Public or Private, Which Tree is Right for YOU?
The issue of whether to make your family tree public or private deserves consideration. If you enjoy sharing your family's information and helping others to discover more about their own family, or if you enjoy interacting with other distant relatives, then having a public tree may be for you. However, if you do not want to interact with other family history researchers, or want to keep your family history for your own use, then you should consider making your family tree private. For me, part of the fun of being a family history researcher is to interact with other people who are seeking knowledge about their ancestors and living distant relatives, and sharing discoveries with one another. The same goes for my DNA test results - I want to know more about my own history, so why keep it private? Not everyone feels the same way that I do about openly sharing information with other researchers. Time and again I have reached out to other family tree creators, or to DNA matches, only to be ghosted - never receiving any response for my efforts. Granted, I have an inordinate number of famous distant cousins, but I have never reached out to any of them directly. Even the non-famous (e.g. "normal" people!) that I reach out to is very much a hit-or-miss prospect. Many people that have posted their family trees online, or that have allowed their DNA test results to be published online have no intention or desire to discuss their results with other people. Pretty much every online family tree and DNA testing site has the option to make your family tree or DNA test results "public", meaning that other people can discover and view your basic information, or "private", meaning that you maintain your anonymity and your family tree and DNA results remain private. Why people who have no intention of interacting with other r