Facebook and Psychographic Warfare – You ARE the Product

This is important. Please read this post. I am thoroughly disgusted with Facebook and all connected with them in this violation. I am deleting my account with them. Back to good old fashioned letter writing and phone calls and emails to family and friends. Then again, maybe I lied to them because I never trusted them in the first place. It’s not hard to create a false identity on Facebook.

DNAeXplained - Genetic Genealogy

And I thought the Equifax security breach last year was bad.

The situation exposed this past week with Facebook is not a breach, it’s intentional, has lasted for years and it’s called “psychographic research.” If you are a Facebook user, and what genealogist isn’t today, it has already affected, read targeted, you. Facebook intentionally collected and allowed the collection of various types of information from their user’s profiles that enabled “others” to construct an extremely accurate psychological personality profile for each Facebook user. Those profiles allowed bad actors to tailor content intended to manipulate each individual Facebook user for their own nefarious purposes.

Facebook exploited the trust of every single one of their 1.8 billion users. Yes, that’s billion, with a B. Of those, 214 million are located in the US.

Most genealogists use Facebook routinely to maintain links to family, share photos and participate in various groups that…

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Dear RootsTech: Let’s Make the 2019 Conference Awesome

Please read this post as well as the others linked to in it. I find the lack of adequate planning unreasonable. I also want to make sure that others in the genealogy community are aware of this as well as RootsTech. Perhaps a more virtual conference would make more sense. Certainly something must change for RootsTech to continue.

DNAeXplained - Genetic Genealogy

Dear Rootstech,

I just returned home from the 2018 RootsTech conference in Salt Lake City yesterday.  And what a conference it was.

This was my first experience at RootsTech, and I’ve shared it day-by-day with my readers.

Truthfully, although I did have a lot of fun, it wasn’t BECAUSE of the conference sessions, but IN SPITE of the problems. I was intent on making lemonade out of lemons. The conference itself was very disappointing in many ways, but awesome in others – and has so much rich, unfulfilled potential.

RootsTech, I think, based on the attendance and facility, you’ve become a victim of your own success. Perhaps…

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An important reminder to get those older family members to write down or record the family stories, memories of other family members and life events before they are lost to those of us still here.


african proverb

My heart is breaking.  I am away for a painful last goodbye to one of my precious libraries who is, of course, so much more than a library to me.

Suddenly this quote has more meaning than ever before.

gg, guy black quote

If you still have parents or grandparents you can call, tell them you love them today.

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Family Tree Website Reveals Personal Address, Family Information

Do not use this site for your famiy tree.

Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter

Snopes.com reported on a family tree website that is causing a lot of alarm to the general public as it reveals a lot of personal information.

FamilyTreeNow.com claims to be a family history and genealogy web site but seems to be primarily a site that publishes public information about individuals. In fact, there are a number of other web sites that do the same (Spokeo, Intellius, BeenVerified.com and perhaps a dozen or so others) for a fee but FamilyTreeNow.com provides basic information free of charge.

The website allows anyone to enter a person’s name and then displays whatever personal information the web site knows about people of that name. In many cases, results show personal information along with the names, ages and addresses of people they are related to.

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Find A Grave “Memorial Collectors”

I read this post -“Does this couple in Missouri own your relatives on Find a Grave, too?” – over on Young & Savvy Genealogists.

They had an unpleasant experience with a “Memorial Collector”.

I can sympathize.

Yes, I also have had the “collectors” of Find A Grave snatch my deceased family members away from me and my family. They weren’t those mentioned in Young & Savvy Genealogists’ post however they also had a combative statement in their user profile on Find A Grave. Things like: “I went to the cemetery and took the photographs of the headstones and they’re mine” (So very nice of you to go so very often that a family can’t get there quickly enough to get their own photographs of their family member’s grave stone and then tell us that they belong to you.) and “I do not respond to rude or demanding emails or requests” (Why? I’m sure the families you stole from are not remotely happy about what you’ve done. I certainly wasn’t and after several polite attempts to get the memorial transferred, I decided to just not bother any further. I meant that stole too, as much as if you’d come in the house and stolen a family heirloom.) and other things of a similar nature. I also have a problem with the restriction on “direct” relatives. There are many of us who are the only one in the family doing anything like researching our families, creating/maintaining memorials for family members and I believe that if the person is an aunt/uncle, great-aunt/uncle, great grand-aunt/uncle, etc, cousin, and no other person in the family is objecting, the memorial should be transferred to the person in the family even if not a “direct” relative. I have sent requests to add information to various memorials (properly researched and verified information) or photographs which have only gotten me nasty responses to the effect that they are the one maintaining the memorial and they don’t have to add anything they don’t want (Never mind that the memorial is NOT of someone in their family, the person was in MY family and I wanted the correct information for MY family members to know and be able to access.). It is also supposedly possible to add photographs or other information to existing memorials even if maintained by others, however, it isn’t worth the bother if the memorial is under the “ownership” of a collector, they just delete the information and photos – something which was done to a late spouse’s memorial for no good reason, leaving the family members without that information.

I have decided that I am going to follow the excellent guidelines proposed in the above referenced post. I am also going to post memorials to my family members and any others in the extensive family tree who meet the criteria of the guidelines, with proper information, photographs from other family members or persons who give written permission for the use thereof or a link to the location of any photographs or information.

It would, perhaps, be worth Find A Grave/Ancestry.com taking another look at their policies and practices so that “memorial collectors” who really only want to have large numbers of memorials which mean little to them other than as a “possession” be prohibited from such a practice and that a family member must be immediately transferred a memorial belonging to a family member, direct or not.

One of the first questions that should be required before creating a memorial is the person creating it being a family member, there would obviously be a problem verifying the relationship however the immediate removal of any memorial created by a collector for the sake of increasing their tally should be mandatory. Our beloved dead are not there for anyone to willy-nilly abscond with and tote up a huge total of memorials. Those people were members of someone’s family, and family has first dibs. I’m sure there are plenty of people who don’t give a hoot one way or the other if there are memorials of their family members, and those the collectors can have. It simply is wrong that a family can not have the right to maintain memorials to their own.


Sands of Manzanar

This is important to remember. We must not forget the inhumanity we have forced on others. It colors our history in ways we don’t realize. There is a distinct lack of truth in the teaching of history. It seems the actors, sports figures and the plain notorious are the “famous Americans”. We neglect the painful, shameful things like those in this reblogged post, as well as our treatment of the Native Americans, the German-Americans who were interred and other injustices our nation has perpetrated. As a genealogist history and the truth are greatly important in understanding the lives and actions of our ancestors.

Masako and Spam Musubi


It wasn’t the deadly black sand that greeted the US Marines on Iwo Jima.

But as we stood on out on the desert, white powdery dust would swirl up in the softly blowing arid wind…  and I then realized it was upon this gawd-awful sand that my Aunt Shiz and Uncle John built their future for their family.

It was their Iwo Jima…  It was called the “Manzanar War Relocation Center” by our government back during World War II.

They were forced onto these forsaken sands by FDR in April of 1942 but made the most of it.  Quietly.  仕方が無い…  我慢.  Shikataganai and gaman.


FDR called it relocation centers.

It’s just my opinion but political correctness be damned.

It was a prison.  Complete with eight guard towers and soldiers manning .30 caliber Browning machine guns.  Barbed wire fencing all around.  No freedoms.  Chow at specific times.  Public toilets and…

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My Cousin

On a Monday the 17th of September, 1951 my cousin was born. The second in a family that would eventually number seven children. There were the normal things of growing up, school, play, friends, family, eventually college then marriage and children. On an ordinary day, going about the normal things of that day, while driving to work on Friday, 04 October 2013 my cousin’s life came to a sudden violent end due to being hit head-on while driving to work by another driver. My cousin was not even in possession of a cell phone although there was an attempt to blame distracted driving. My cousin was the landing point for another vehicle. They said death was instantaneous, I pray it was. My cousin’s family is still dealing with that wrenching shock, it’ll take more than just a year. Just 62 and a few days, looking forward to retirement, enjoying the grandchildren even more, having time to do more with family and friends all snuffed out. The other driver evidently wasn’t drunk, there was no real information after the initial news report. So on my cousin’s 63rd birthday, I wanted to honor and remember a life, a person who was kind, generous, loving, a good spouse, parent, grandparent, someone with a great sense of humor, a ready smile and a certain grace. Happy Birthday in heaven, cousin. Rest well.