APG-L ArchivesArchiver > APG > 2009-02 > 1234141274
Subject: [APG] appropriate and inappropriate arguments,was Re: Copyright Mavens - 1700s & 1800s documents
Date: Sun, 08 Feb 2009 19:01:14 -0600
Church A may limit access to its records because it disapproves of how Church B
may use those records. On a list devoted to genealogy rather than theology, it
should be possible to make this point without expressing one's own opinion of
either church's beliefs.
> Message: 12
> Date: Sun, 08 Feb 2009 19:11:30 -0500
> From: "Peggy K. Reeves" <>
> Subject: Re: [APG] Copyright Mavens - 1700s & 1800s documents
> Cc: APG Posting <>
> Message-ID: <>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
> It isn't any different, and this is why we are increasingly being denied
> access, particularly to church records. There are people of some
> religions who find it offensive to have records of their solemn church
> rituals (such as marriages and baptisms) copied wholesale by another
> religion and entered into that church's database and even sold
> commercially. Especially when they have to see members of their own
> church being listed with LDS "baptismal" dates on the various websites.
> Orthodox Jews find it particularly offensive. Recently, the Catholics
> have denied access to church books for the same reason. I wouldn't be
> surprised if black churches started denying access to their records
> based on past LDS beliefs about dark-skinned people.
> I once did a cemetery transcription and asked if actual burial records
> existed for an old church that is still in existence, since I have
> ancestors who are probably buried there, but some do not have grave
> markers standing. The church said that records do exist, but they were
> not willing to let anyone transcribe them. I was disappointed, but I
> don't blame them. Some of my ancestors in that cemetery are already
> listed as having been "baptized" as Mormons by someone, as if that
> supercedes anything that they did when they were alive, implying that
> their own religion was wrong and they needed to be straightened out.
> The Lutheran church probably thought I was going to sell my
> transcription--or "baptize" the rest of their good Lutherans and put
> them on the internet with LDS baptismal dates.
> Obtaining copies of original records from the source used to be a fairly
> simple and even cordial process. Everything changed when LDS-owned
> companies started filming records of the various repositories "for free"
> and then profiting from it. Now many of the scans, transcriptions, and
> microfilms are worthless, and the originals were tossed after the filming.
> Churches have a right to keep their records to themselves, regardless of
> what people may cry about "copyright". It is in very poor taste for one
> church to take the records of another denomination and profit from it.
> What else can the churches do to counteract this except deny wholesale
> access to their own books, answering only individual inquiries?
> Peggy Reeves
Research and Writing from Northwest Indiana
home office 219/324-2620