clan davidson genealogies researched by John Lisle
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Our Privacy Policy

Privacy Philosophy

In the Family Frameworks on this site, we do not publish any details about known living people except their name, sex, and published relationships to other members of their family.

The primary objective in genealogy is to identify ancestors and descendants in a particular family tree and to collect personal data on them. We try to include the individual's full name and any nicknames, the date and location of their birth, the date and location of their marriage(s), the date and location of their death, the location of their burial, a copy of their obituary, the names and similar details of their spouse(s) and the details of each spouse's parents, and similar details for each their children. From this we can begin to build a family framework.

In order to support research by other genealogists, this data is often published on internet genealogy websites. As a genealogist, therefore, we may have collected much personal information on you and your family from a variety of sources. The privacy of the information that we have collected on living people is important to us, and we want to assure you a privacy policy exists for the data collected that is consistent with our need to be the authority for the genealogy for these families.

The majority of our research efforts are reconstructing families to develop well documented family frameworks that can be used by family historians with reasonable assurance when creating personal family histories. We try to document all of our source records and materials so that visitors can judge for themselves if we have interpreted the evidence correctly.

The vast majority of the information used to construct these frameworks comes from publicly available, free and subscription on-line databases. We will use published compiled family trees, books, and personal stories primarily as clues that we attempt to verify using actual public records.

Our research is an attempt to create a definitive archive of information about the family framework of the families that we are studying. Some of the most challenging and important research is on 20th century families. To create an archive for people today and later in the 21st century, we need to get the frameworks for the 20th century correct.

And, quite often, to get that correct, we need to be able to make contact with living family members who have a memory of the often twisted details of their recent ancestor's lives.

Our experience with over 15 years of web publishing and administering several DNA projects is that shockingly few people even know their grandparents full names, and other family names and details are often imperfectly known. In our minds, an important part of reconstructing families of the 20th century is making contact and that means letting folks know that we have some knowledge of the family members that visitors know about... And, to us, that is the people's names.

We cannot see how we can delay this research for 50 or 100 years as the folks living in the future will have even less knowledge of the 20th century.

It is for these reason that we publish the names of living people. But only their names.

Even though many of public records sites publish many exact details for living people, we feel that a reasonable compromise was to accept that a person's name was not part of the person's personal details. Newspapers routinely publish living person's names in family contexts, such as obituaries and most newspapers today publish those obituaries on-line.

We have been publishing names of known living people without any other personal details for over 15 years now. We have had very few requests to remove data. In contrast, we have had 100s of people doing vanity searches (searches on their own or parent's names) who have written and given us pages and pages of details of their families and thanked us for what we are doing.

If our information on any person or family came from on-line published records, generally accessible, and that identify family relationship details, then we feel we have an obligation to report the names and family relationships.

However, if our original source for information on those living people was from a family source, and the family source requested name privacy, we respect that wish and make those living people invisible during their lifetime, even if later in their lifetimes public records expose their family. However, sometimes one family member will release information to us about living relatives without getting their permission, and, subsequently, the names of those living people are published. Upon request, we will make the information on the web site private as quickly as possible, and then we will make those people invisible from subsequent web site updates. We cannot control the content in cached or archive sites or in sites that have used our research for their sites and cannot be responsible for removing the data from those sites. (We do not permit visitors to download Gedcoms from any of our sites. If visitors wish to acquire data, they must manually copy the data.)

Of course, we can be flexible when a compelling personal issue exists. We do not want to be the source where children may learn details of their somewhat twisted recent ancestry. In general, we will privatize these situations when we recognize them.

For example, if a woman has a child out of wedlock and gives the child up for adoption, we want to document that for the future, but we also do not want to publish that birth, especially in a form such that her subsequent children might learn of it.

Also, we do not wish to document biological parents in adoptions without getting explicit permission to do that.

A somewhat extreme, but all too common, example is what we call the Family Reunion Book problem. This is where two young, unmarried cousins have a child together, and one of their parents raise that child - their grandchild - as their child. Then, later, the cousins marry and have families of their own. All of the people are living and attending the Family Reunion so no one can be made invisible and not published in the book. So, how do we, as faithful recorders of truth, document the true family relationships in our records so that the real history and family framework is recorded, yet only publish what the children have been told is the truth? Parents must be the ones deciding when to expose their children to the truth about family relationships, adoptions, etc.

To repeat: In the Family Frameworks on this site, I do not publish any details about known living people except their name, sex, and published relationships to other members of their family.

As this site is research site with information about many unrelated families, access to the data on deceased people in the family is open to all visitors with no requirement to login to any account. However, we encourage all visitors to register for a free personal account as use of some of the site tools is easier when logged in, we can keep you informed about updates to the site, and other benefits will be available.

When we are doing family reconstruction, it is possible that we have identified some people as deceased who are in fact living. We will correct these instances as quickly as possible. Please use the suggestion tab to alert us to the issue.

Attached Media

Images of documents, including public records, vital event certificates, articles from publications, obituaries, and similar information are never considered personal data and will normally be visible, unless the focus of the document is exclusively the living person.

Photographs that include the image of a living person, and the image's description or caption includes the name, or any details of living individuals are not considered personal data and will normally be visible. If the image is exclusively of living people who are identified, any one so pictured may request that the image be suppressed.

Personal Contact Information

Our on-line data does not contain personal contact information such as phone numbers, street addresses, e-mail addresses, URLs for living people. In general, when we have such information, we will not provide such information without prior approval of the individual. However, we will forward messages by email to the individual upon request when we can and allow them to reply to you.