One unpleasant note concerns the few individuals who do research but are not willing to share what they have found with you. That is not to say though that they will not try to obtain from you every bit of information that you might have. One such experience we will share concerns a person in who had been working on the same family line as one of our genealogist. This other person would request information from our genealogist, and give thanks when it was received, but would not send back any copies of their research. Instead, more requests for more information would be made, which would then be followed by yet another thank you, followed by more requests for information. When any information was finally provided, it was only the names and addresses of people who had also contact this other person over the years, in search of information themselves. When our genealogist contacted these people, it turned out these were people who had reached a dead end in their own research on the surname they were seeking information on, or who had very little information on their surname. Obviously this other person thought that these people had very little information that would be useful, so he did not mind sharing their names. Thus ended the kindness of providing copies of research and any further contact with this person by our genealogist. This is not to say that new friendships were not made from the people whose names had been provided and contacted, as everyone had shared the same unpleasant experience with this other person. Though years of research has never provided any further information for these people who were at a dead end in their research, at least they shared their information, and someone, someday, may find the missing clues to unravel their mystery. Their information will be provided here, as we expand our information for you, so keep checking our records.
The above problem occurs when you are researching a surname and you meet someone working on the same name but there is no obvious common ancestor between your surname and theirs. When establishing a contact with such a person, take a little time to get to know them, and establish a friendship. See if they will exchange a small amount of information first, as you exchange a small amount of information with them, and then progress into sharing more. This will save you a lot of time, and the cost of copies and postage, before you realize that you will not receive any information from the recipient of your gracious efforts and research. It is rare that this occurs with people doing research on the same surname as you, if a family connection has been made. Chances are you will ended up meeting them at a family reunion, or gathering, and they would be too embarrassed if they had done this. It would also not be to their advantage if they did it, because you then would be mad at them, and you probably would not share any further information with them on this surname they also want information on. It usually does not occur because most people would be afraid that it would get around the family tree, what a bad thing they had done, and then those relatives would stop providing information to them. It also usually does not occur because these people are from the same family tree as you. Since you know how nice, generous and friendly you are, then chances are, they have those same family traits too!
Another warning is to never lend your information out unless you never care to see it again or you can trust that person with your life. An experience by one of our genealogists will show why lending your material out is not a good idea. After spending a considerable amount of time, effort, and money, to accumulate a large amount of information on one family surname, our genealogist went to visit with someone working on this same surname. They had corresponded for a few years, and thought this trip took our genealogist over 1,400 miles, it was a welcome treat. The visit went well, and in the spirit of cooperation, each exchanged the information they had gathered over the years, so each could decide what they wanted to copy and what they did not. Our genealogist returned home, immediately copied and returned the research borrowed, and waited patiently for the other person to return the research they had borrowed. It turned into a very long wait, well over a year, as family problems and tragedies had plagued the other borrower. The research had been given to one son to copy at work, only to have that son die in an automobile accident. Before the another son could get the information the first son was to copy, their father suddenly died. As everyone had lived in different states, it was a very long time before this family recovered. Though this family had failed to return the research promptly, and it was not with malicious intent that it had not been returned sooner, it still took over a year for it to be returned. In the meantime, our genealogist had to stop working on this surname, as there were no records. Though this is less likely to happen with the Internet, and the ease of exchanging information it provides, there still are many people who do not use either the Internet or computers. So, be wise, and be careful with your research. Only send copies!
Another less pleasant note, is to be careful of offers for books that seem to promise a great deal of information on your ancestry. Generally, this are just generic genealogy books, with the basic "how to do genealogy" information in it. How they try to claim that it is about your family is that they include a section that has names, addresses, and telephone numbers they have for the spelling of your surname. This is not to say that such a book is all bad. If you are just starting out, these books do offer some basic information on doing research, and some of this information is helpful. Before the Internet and surname addresses on CD ROM, this surname listing with addresses was helpful. If the name is very unusual or rare, chances are that many of the names listed will be off of the same family tree as you, and they will be well worth contacting. One of our researchers started out more than a decade ago to work on the family tree, and an uncle had just bought such a book. The generic research information was helpful, but the address list n the back was the most helpful, since the family had a vary unusual surname. By making contacting with these people listed in the book, much was learned about this family, and this researcher has never stopped finding information on this surname. More about contacting such people will be mentioned in the Helpful Hints section, so click on that icon below. Another problem about such books with such name listings is that they do not offer the different spellings of the same, but more about the spelling of names is also mentioned in the Helpful Hints section, so click on that icon below. You might want to first lick on the icon for Research, just to see what we start with.