Welcome to the FEICK/KALLMAN HERITAGE family tree

My family tree on is now a "public" tree. What that means is that anyone with an account may get one of those "shaky leaves" that points them to my tree. I have been working on my ancestry ever since the mid 90's.  I have put lots of work into it and previously kept my tree private for a few "reasons" that I no longer feel are valid. I am ashamed to say I was selfishly motivated. I was family hoarding.

Notice the word "my" comes up again and again. Early on, a remote (very remote) relative on one of MY grandparents lines contacted me with a request to see MY tree. Next thing I see is that he attached MY entire tree on to his, including the lines of MY other 3 grandparents who were in no way even remotely related to him. Okay, then I decided I only want "close" relatives whose names I actually recognize to look at MY tree. Here comes the wife of a second cousin with a request to share information. I was particularly excited as I knew little of this particular line. That person promptly downloaded every photo I had and gave in return nada, bupkis, nothing, zilch. As I invited other family members to MY tree I began to notice MY photos on other trees that had been downloaded to someones computer and then uploaded to Ancestry without MY name as the contributor. Worse still a photo of MY grandmother in the gallery of  another persons grandmother! Didn't they understand the work I had put into MY tree? Relatives who download a few photos and never again showed one ounce of interest? I didn't understand those people.

Two truths have finally made their way into MY brain.

1. This is not just MY family.
Although for security reasons I will not post photos of the living, particularly children, nor their personal information, that beautiful photo of Grandma as a young girl? It belongs to me but equally to her many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, nieces nephews etc. etc. and the many more yet to be born who will see her photo and feel a sense of belonging to that beautiful, young, possibly frightened, immigrant girl who sent her photo home to the family she missed in Sweden.

2. I love family history!
I mean it is more than just a hobby, it is a passion with me. Digging through old books, histories, internet sights, archives, figuring out old documents in old fashioned script, illegible hand-writing and foreign languages. Love it, love it, love it. Not everyone does. I have a good friend with a minor in art history. We traveled together to Europe and I truly appreciated the information she told me as we visited the The Hague museums in Amsterdam. But that's enough for me.  Some family want a couple of photos and a brief look at the tree findings and that's enough for them. Same thing right? and that's okay.

 Sooo...Welcome to the Feick/Kallman Heritage family tree. Wouldn't it be cool if we're related?

***Wish to see the tree? Check out the invitation at the bottom of this blog***