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Learning Curves

In the early stages of researching my tree I made contact with a distant family member who had done extensive research on one branch of my family.  While I gave her the details I had of our 'missing' branch, she graciously shared her family research with me and provided me with free copies of her family charts and certificates.  It was fascinating, interesting and wonderful learning how to do things and it left a lasting impression on me.
Unfortunately I found out sometime later that some of her research had conditions attached to it and due to my ignorance of those conditions, I had caused issues with other relatives by using birth, death and marriage details from her in my online trees.  Needless to say it was not my intention to cause problems for her and so I immediately deleted the offending trees. Feeling uncomfortable with the whole issue, I decided to discontinue using any of her research for my trees and to start fresh with the whole branch and see what I could find out about them for myself, free from worry and with no strings attached.
I learned a lot from the experience and ultimately it all turned out to be a blessing in disguise.  Today I also share my research freely with other family members and can and do help others with their research, even if it is completely disconnected from mine as I like the challenge. Yes, I sometimes get burned with people not sharing in return or failing to acknowledge my assistance, but I know what I did or discovered and really that is just the nature of some people anyway. By starting fresh I got to know this branch in a more meaningful and personal way than I ever would have experienced by just reading and using the research of somebody else.  I ended up applying this fresh approach to all of my branches and made many new discoveries along the way.

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