A cousin of mine contacted me to find out why I had left the Grace surname off of my surname list. She pointed out that not only had I neglected to include it, but I also had not identified my great grandmother as a Grace. She asked if I was no longer claiming my Grace ancestry.
For the record, I am proud to be a descendant of the Grace family from Freshford Village in Kilkenny, Ireland by way of Quebec and Vermont. This happy couple is Edward and Catherine (Travers) Grace. They are great great great grandparents to me and great great grandparents to two cousins I have connected with through Ancestry.com.
This family treasure proved its value in confirming our relationship. They had the same picture! We were officially Grace cousins.
My cousin knew I was happy about our connection, so she had a valid reason to ask why I had not mentioned our ancestral surname. As you know, I am a newbie genealogy blogger. Part of learning to blog about my genealogical finds is deciding how much I feel is safe and comfortable to share.
For more recent generations whose publicized information might invade the privacy of living relatives, I have elected not to include any surnames. It’s a difficult balance to achieve. It’s a problem I ran into while creating my first Footnote Friday post. Within the source citations, I replaced names with [name for private use] and birth/death dates with (birth year-death year), instead of using the actual information.
Am I being paranoid? Probably not because identity theft is a clear and present danger. That said I would really like to find my groove and decide what my parameters are going to be. I would love to know how others have dealt with privacy concerns. If you are a blogger, how do you decide where to draw the line? Is your line permanent, or flexible? In the case of reports with citations, is it all or nothing? How do you handle this?
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