I have made a change in the privacy settings on the blog. As you know, the blog is a public blog. When we first started the blog, I did not know whether anyone would ever read it at all, inside or outside of the family, but over the last few months, I have found that I am seeing some visits from people outside of the family. For me, this is a good thing. Most of these other readers are also doing genealogy work. I want feedback, I want interaction with others who are doing genealogy research so that I can do a better job, and I want to be able to share my experiences and what I’ve learned about doing this research with others doing similar work. So I am happy to have as many readers as are interested in checking in.
On the other hand, I have always been and will continue to be careful about protecting the privacy of the members of my family. For that reason, I have not included birth dates or any other information about living individuals aside from occasional references to a name, usually by first name only. All the information I have about deceased individuals is available from public records (and a frightening amount of information is also publicly available about living individuals). In today’s internet environment, our ideas about privacy have had to shift (and that’s without even considering whether or not the NSA is reading our email or listening to our phone calls). Nevertheless, I do want to respect the privacy interests of my relatives as best I can.
In order to ensure that I continue to protect the privacy of my relatives, I’ve made one new adjustment to the blog. The family trees are no longer publicly available. The trees do not have much personal information anyway, but I decided that no one outside the family needs to have access to that information. In order to access those trees, you will now need a password. I am happy to share that password with anyone who is on the family tree. If you want the password, please email me directly. In the future, if I have a post that I consider to be directed only to family members, I will also protect it with that same password.
It’s sad that we cannot be more trusting, but I guess better safe than sorry.