|Sharing is nice.|
I think most people want their genealogical research passed down to their descendants. No one wants all their hard work to die with them, right? But what about people other than your direct descendants?
I tend to think of my genealogy as something I want to add to a greater whole. Yes, I want my descendants and other future and current relatives to have it, but I also want it to be out there for the world to see. Imagine if everyone's genealogy was easily accessible; think how much work could be saved!
Of course, it's only really helpful if it's correct and properly sourced. That actually makes me want to share my genealogy even more! All the error-filled trees out there in books and on the net just keep multiplying, because people find them and use them as sources. So my thinking is, every correct, sourced tree that's out there is countering that. If someone finds my correct tree, maybe they'll use that instead of the spurious ones.
One topic that I think really brings out people's levels of altruism in genealogy is one place studies. When I get on this topic I tend to complain about how no one does one place studies in Canada and the US (they're really big in the UK). Recently, someone suggested to me that it's because people are less tied to places here, unlike in the UK where some families have been in the same parish for generations. Therefore, a one place study won't be as useful in one person's genealogy.
The thing is, in my opinion, one place studies aren't about helping myself with my own genealogy. They're about making a contribution to the body of genealogical resources, that will be useful to everyone who's family ever lived in that place.
What are your thoughts on this? Do you put your genealogy out there for the world to see, or do you hide it away on your hard drive or in a private online tree? Do you stick to your own family, or do research that can benefit even people you're not related to? And I want reasons! Let's get a discussion going!