Monday, July 14, 2014

Highly Caffeinated Genealogist: Identify Yourself

Highly Caffeinated Genealogist Rant Photo by Midge Frazel, 2014


People who ask me a question about an ancestor, a gravestone or family history information that is in my public family tree at or in my blog really need to identify themselves. I try to help people as much as I can but it is getting harder not easier.

Not telling me who you are (just your first name is appropriate) and not giving me an email address to contact you is on my list of things to rant about. It you are someone I know, just signing your name is fine. I might not know the answer but I keep list of people who know about certain New England surnames.

I am suggesting to all of you who read blogs or "comment" on trees that genealogists may not respond to unidentified readers. I just deleted a couple comments on my blog. They might have been SPAM.

While I was on my blog vacation this week, I had a man contact me about a possible ancestor. When I didn't call him back that day, he finally sent me an email. I looked up what he wanted to know and his ancestor turned out to be from a country in which none of my family has an ancestor. My blog is about New England gravestones and families. I think that is obvious.

I declined to call him back after giving him that information. That was the polite way to deal with it. I could have said, "I charge a fee of $$$". 

This is why I only took clients for a little while. People expected me to do it for free.

I need another cup of coffee....


Anonymous said...

Hi Midge, Just finishing my second cup of Joe, I highly agree that people should identify themselves - especially if desiring an answer to a query.

Diane B said...

I would take it a step further, Midge - I actually think it's rude for anyone to reach out to me online and expect that I will call them, or give them my phone number. It's something I've never been willing to do. If I don't know someone at all, email will be fine.

Garret Fractolin said...

Hey Midge- I promise not to call you or bug you! Just wanted to share a resource I just put together for family records researchers. It's over at and has all contact info for every county clerk's office in America. You might even be able to locate those buggers who keep contacting you :-)


Midge Frazel said...

Thanks, Garret for the link!