Archiver > TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM > 2011-04 > 1301933310

From: Scott Hall <>
Subject: Re: [TGF] FindAGrave: Am I Being Overly Sensitive?
Date: Mon, 4 Apr 2011 12:08:30 -0400
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In-Reply-To: <009601cbf2dc$95b16930$c1143b90$@net>

Another thing to note about Find-A-Grave, if you weren't already aware, is
their "Family First" policy which demands that anyone who is directly
related (within four generations) of a memorialized person be given
ownership of a memorial when requested, unless of course, the current owner
is also a family member. So, in your case, if the memorial was submitted by
a stranger, and you are within the four generation group, they MUST transfer
the memorial to you. If they do not, contact the FAG Administrator and they
will force the transfer. You can then edit the memorial at your discretion.

See the 4 FAQs starting with this one:


On Mon, Apr 4, 2011 at 11:25 AM, Elizabeth Swanay-O'Neal <
> wrote:

> Hello All,
> There was quite a bit of discussion about this in the Find A Grave Forums a
> few years ago. It was generally accepted "etiquette" that if the deceased
> was/is not YOUR family member, it is polite to wait 1 year to post the
> memorial so the deceased's family has time to deal with their grief, and
> possibly post a memorial of their own. It was most certainly NOT acceptable
> to post the memorial 2 days before the deceased was buried.
> It was also deemed NOT acceptable to post obituaries verbatim, in their
> entirety, nor was it acceptable to post information about living
> individuals
> without their permission. Facts in an obituary are not subject to copyright
> (i.e., date of birth, death, etc.), so volunteers were advised to re-write
> the obits in their own words. But again, never 2 days before the burial.
> As someone previously said, you've probably run into an overzealous newbie
> volunteer who wants to inflate his/her numbers quickly. You said you've
> written to this volunteer to request a transfer and removal of the
> obituary,
> which is a good start. If you don't get any action, you should post a
> message in the "Help" section of the Forums. The Find A Grave
> administrators
> frown on copyright infringement, so they will most likely request that the
> obit be removed. That being said, the admins are volunteers too, and are
> always extremely bogged down with requests, so it often takes weeks or
> months to get these things resolved.
> If the volunteer in question habitually copies obituaries and posts them
> right after a person passes away, I would report him/her anyway, even if
> you
> do get a transfer. What he/she is doing is rude and insensitive to the
> families of the deceased persons. The purpose of Find A Grave is not to
> make
> people sad or unhappy, nor is it a contest to see who has posted the most
> memorials.
> BTW, I am not a copyright attorney, but I believe the "implied copyright"
> on
> an obituary published in a newspaper (or the newspaper's web site) belongs
> to the newspaper. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.
> Best of luck to you.
> Elizabeth O'Neal
> (EMarie on Find A Grave)
> The Transitional Genealogists List was created to provide a supportive
> environment for genealogists to learn best practices as they transition to
> professional level work. Please respect the kind intentions of this list.
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