Wagon Trains West

Wagon Trains West

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Wart Hogs, Mama Hens and FAG

One of the most rewarding genealogy sites online is FAG or Find-A-Grave. It is so special and fulfilling to be able to build a memorial to one of one's loved ones. There are some of us, like myself, who only build memorials to our family members. There are also those who have taken it upon themselves to survey a whole cemetery and record all of the graves with pictures as well as interment information. These people find great fulfillment in doing this public service and I am grateful for the hours they spend in this effort.
The problem comes when these people who do the survey and record graveyards for a hobby, etc. feel like they own these memorials just because they created them. Instead they should look on this effort as a contribution to the community and be more than willing to pass the care of these memorials on to family members who desire to own, contribute to and cherish these memorials. When she or he decides that he owns a certain memorial and sits on it like a wart hog or a big fat mama hen spreading her wings over her baby chicks, then the FAG community is not being well served.
What is there to do when this happens? Right now there is not a lot one can do. Recently I heard that Ancestry.com had purchased FAG and I have hope that this situation will be changed and that some other FAG systems will be changed to work more efficiently. The rules for passing on the care of a memorial to another person need to be changed so that the original creator cannot  refuse to share the memorial just because they feel possessive and don't want to give up their ownership rights. Now if the original creator is family, that is one thing, and that person should not have to release the ownership. However if she or he is not a family member and created the memorial in the process of surveying the cemetery, then he or she should be required to pass on the care of the memorial to a family member upon request. I know that FAG has some guidelines similar to that, but they are much too stringent. They should be changed.

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