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From: "Jo Huddleston" <>
Subject: Thanks for advice
Date: Mon, 29 Dec 1997 17:44:18 -0500


Thank you so much for all the advice I've received since yesterday - I
would love to reply to each of you in person, but I received well over
fifty emails! So nice to know I have all these people looking out for me.

I also received a few requests to post the advice I received. To
summarize, everyone I heard from sympathized with my suspicions, and most
had a horror story to relate about a "researcher" who took info from others
and marketed it as their own. (So much for my fears of being flamed for my
suspicious nature!) The advice I received was to go with my instincts and
proceed cautiously with anyone asking for information. Most people said
they send out a little info at a time, until they establish some trust and
decide if the other person's interest is genuine. Everyone said they are
willing to share freely, but hate being used for someone else's profits. I
also received some sound advice about starting my own web page, getting
signed contracts and/or copyrights concerning my material (which I do hope
to publish someday), and sending copies of my own manuscripts to libraries
and other research facilities. There was apparently a discussion earlier
this year about copyrights; does anyone remember the web site for such
information?

There was the concern, voiced several times, that another researcher could
take shared information and publish it with erroneous assumptions included,
or that a researcher might publish information on living relatives without
concern for their privacy. I also detected a little hostility toward
companies such as Family Tree Maker/Broderbund, who are making a profit off
of family researchers.

I myself have always believed in the karma theory where my research is
concerned; what I give out has certainly come back to me over the years,
and then some, and if I get burned every once in a while, at least I know
I've given help to others, too. But in my current situation, I plan to
proceed with caution; if the people in question won't agree to credit me
for my work (and the work of those who've shared with me), I won't be
agreeing to give out more than the basics on my family.

Hope this thread was of interest to others; I know it was very helpful to
me! Thanks again to everyone who was kind enough to share their thoughts
with me. Take care, all - Jo (snowbound in NC)

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