Author Topic: Who gets the family documents? Update post 71  (Read 11130 times)

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misha412

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Re: Who gets the family documents?
« Reply #45 on: December 09, 2012, 03:16:41 PM »
O.P. here.  How have I wound up being the bad guy?  I'm the person who cared enough about the documents to make an effort to rescue them (with gratitude to Cuz1 for sending them) and am the only person willing to sort through them.  Only a small portion of the 130 pounds of documents are for the cousins' separate family.  I do not want the cousins' family documents.  I want to turn them over to the right person, and the whole point of this thread was to determine who that is. 

At this point, I agree that it's probably best to let the cousins duke it out.  I will make an effort to make high quality copies (as much as possible) for the loser.

You are not the bad guy. You are a genealogist given custody of family documents. I understand your desire to give the other family's documents to Cuz2 because of his love of family history. It is what a responsible genealogist would do instead of handing them over to someone you know has no interest in the value of the documents.

Unfortunately, I have similar challenges in my own family. I have family members who think that having a box of documents and photos sitting in an attic forgotten and molding is better than letting someone who would appreciate them have the box. Possession means more to them than appreciating the contents.

As for the ledgers, a tripod and a high definition camera can do the copying pretty well. Just check the clarity and detail of each photo before going to the next page. If you want to shoot down towards a flat surface like the floor, look at getting a tripod with a removable and reversible center column that allows you to mount the camera underneath the tripod. You can set up the pages beneath and point the camera downward.

But, given the size of the pages, this may not work as the legs may not be wide enough. Another option is to get an artist's stand to place the ledger and then focus the camera on the pages.


bopper

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Re: Who gets the family documents?
« Reply #46 on: December 09, 2012, 04:44:41 PM »
"Oh, I have already sent them to Cuz 2. I will ask him to scan them in and send a copy to you."

O'Dell

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Re: Who gets the family documents?
« Reply #47 on: December 09, 2012, 09:36:59 PM »
OP, I think some of us are reacting to your statements about you being the one to decide where they go. You aren't the one to decide. You mistakenly got some documents. It doesn't matter that you promised them to Cuz2. It wasn't your place to do that. That was some serious overstepping, IMO. Of course maybe I'm just speaking for myself there. ;)

Personally I think they should go back to the person who gave them to you, Cuz1. But hanging on to them while the cousins hash it out is a decent option as well.
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
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nolechica

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Re: Who gets the family documents?
« Reply #48 on: December 09, 2012, 09:40:25 PM »
"Oh, I have already sent them to Cuz 2. I will ask him to scan them in and send a copy to you."

This, I would send to the family genealogist first. /historian

DCGirl

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Re: Who gets the family documents?
« Reply #49 on: December 10, 2012, 10:20:29 AM »
O.P. here.  How have I wound up being the bad guy? 

Because no good deed goes unpunished? 

I'm the bad guy in my family because I objected to a cousin's forwarding photos that I shared with her only and they all ended up being widely published online.   I've come to the conclusion that every family needs to have a designated bad guy in times of stress, and this year it's my turn.  Next year, it will be someone else's.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2012, 10:22:12 AM by DCGirl »

Jaelle

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Re: Who gets the family documents?
« Reply #50 on: December 10, 2012, 11:15:12 AM »
OP, I think some of us are reacting to your statements about you being the one to decide where they go. You aren't the one to decide. You mistakenly got some documents. It doesn't matter that you promised them to Cuz2. It wasn't your place to do that. That was some serious overstepping, IMO. Of course maybe I'm just speaking for myself there. ;)

Whoa, how did the OP mistakenly get the documents? Cuz1 sent them to her on purpose. There was no mistake there.

I do agree that the OP may have overstepped by offering them to Cuz2 next, but I see why she did it. She seems to have had reason to believe Cuz1 would not be interested.

OP, if everyone's amenable, can you act as a mediator between the two siblings? See if they can figure out who would like to see what or arrange an agreement that Cuz1 will have them for a period of time and then forward them to Cuz2? I know it's work you didn't sign up to do, but if you are willing, it might have the best chance of the documents winding up where they're appreciated with no noses out of joint in the meantime.
"But there was one Elephant -- a new Elephant -- an Elephant's Child--who was full of 'satiable curtiosity, and that means he asked ever so many questions."
-- "Just So Stories," Rudyard Kipling

Winterlight

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Re: Who gets the family documents?
« Reply #51 on: December 10, 2012, 11:15:21 AM »
Personally, I'd tell the two siblings to decide between themselves which of them would be the recipient of the family documents. Then get back to me once they've decided upon who it will be.

This. I'd remove myself from being the middleman in a potentially contentious discussion.
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
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O'Dell

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Re: Who gets the family documents?
« Reply #52 on: December 10, 2012, 12:12:47 PM »
OP, I think some of us are reacting to your statements about you being the one to decide where they go. You aren't the one to decide. You mistakenly got some documents. It doesn't matter that you promised them to Cuz2. It wasn't your place to do that. That was some serious overstepping, IMO. Of course maybe I'm just speaking for myself there. ;)

Whoa, how did the OP mistakenly get the documents? Cuz1 sent them to her on purpose. There was no mistake there.

I do agree that the OP may have overstepped by offering them to Cuz2 next, but I see why she did it. She seems to have had reason to believe Cuz1 would not be interested.

OP, if everyone's amenable, can you act as a mediator between the two siblings? See if they can figure out who would like to see what or arrange an agreement that Cuz1 will have them for a period of time and then forward them to Cuz2? I know it's work you didn't sign up to do, but if you are willing, it might have the best chance of the documents winding up where they're appreciated with no noses out of joint in the meantime.

Hmm...I thought the OP said that Cuz1 didn't go thru all the boxes. I'm working under the assumption that the cousins father's family documents ended up in the boxes by mistake. That's the assumption I would make if I had received those boxes: the OP surely only wanted documents from her own family, not some other family. Any that didn't fit her description weren't truly intended for her and should go back where they came from. I've known for that sort of thing to happen. Especially for the amounts of stuff that the OP received.

Also the thing that sticks out for me is that the OP admits to being closer to Cuz2 and the shared genealogy interest. I think those 2 things are clouding your vision, OP. Imagine these things had no genealogical or historical interest. Would you still have been so quick to offer them up to Cuz2?

I think there's the etiquette/ethical thing to do here and the thing you want to do because it makes sense to you with your interest in genealogy. Sure you have the ability to send the items to Cuz2 and might be tempted to, but I think it's the wrong thing to do and there will surely be fallout for your relationship with Cuz1.
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
Walt Whitman

sparksals

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Re: Who gets the family documents?
« Reply #53 on: December 10, 2012, 01:51:26 PM »
OP, I think some of us are reacting to your statements about you being the one to decide where they go. You aren't the one to decide. You mistakenly got some documents. It doesn't matter that you promised them to Cuz2. It wasn't your place to do that. That was some serious overstepping, IMO. Of course maybe I'm just speaking for myself there. ;)

Whoa, how did the OP mistakenly get the documents? Cuz1 sent them to her on purpose. There was no mistake there.

I do agree that the OP may have overstepped by offering them to Cuz2 next, but I see why she did it. She seems to have had reason to believe Cuz1 would not be interested.

OP, if everyone's amenable, can you act as a mediator between the two siblings? See if they can figure out who would like to see what or arrange an agreement that Cuz1 will have them for a period of time and then forward them to Cuz2? I know it's work you didn't sign up to do, but if you are willing, it might have the best chance of the documents winding up where they're appreciated with no noses out of joint in the meantime.

The OP did state she is the one to decide.  Many here disagree.  This goes back to what i mentioned earlier that even though Cuz 1 gave them to her, considering they are family documents, the *right* thing to do is give them back.  I don't think acting as the mediator is a good idea b/c one person will be unhappy and she will turn into the bad guy she doesn't want to be. 

SPuck

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Re: Who gets the family documents?
« Reply #54 on: December 10, 2012, 02:15:44 PM »
CrazyDaffodilLady was given these documents with no strings attached or pretenses so they became hers after they traded hands. She gets to decide what happens to them, and I wouldn't say just because Cuz 1 helped her mother moved that she could get all the documents. My mother did most of the leg work helping my grandmother move into a nursery home, but she did not feel she had the rights to most of my grandmother's items because of that. She ended up taking in most of the stuff she wanted, but then again my aunt was down in Florida and my uncle wasn't interested in nick knacks. Cuz 1 already had the chance to say no to CrazyDaffodilLady. She doesn't get to attach any extra baggage to them now that they are gone and because Cuz 2 wants them.

briarrose

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Re: Who gets the family documents?
« Reply #55 on: December 10, 2012, 07:06:09 PM »
CrazyDaffodilLady -

I know I'm jumping in late, but if you have a nicer digital camera or know someone who will lend you one, you can photograph the larger pages and you'll have high-resolution images of them you can put on CDs/DVDs and forward on to both of them.

You can take photographs as you work your way through the originals. I don't think it's rude of you to keep the originals and dig through them, at least for now, since they were sent to you. It would be nice, though, as you go through them, to separate out the family stuff that isn't from "your" family and put them aside for the other family members.

sparksals

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Re: Who gets the family documents?
« Reply #56 on: December 11, 2012, 01:39:49 PM »
CrazyDaffodilLady was given these documents with no strings attached or pretenses so they became hers after they traded hands. She gets to decide what happens to them, and I wouldn't say just because Cuz 1 helped her mother moved that she could get all the documents. My mother did most of the leg work helping my grandmother move into a nursery home, but she did not feel she had the rights to most of my grandmother's items because of that. She ended up taking in most of the stuff she wanted, but then again my aunt was down in Florida and my uncle wasn't interested in nick knacks. Cuz 1 already had the chance to say no to CrazyDaffodilLady. She doesn't get to attach any extra baggage to them now that they are gone and because Cuz 2 wants them.

I disagree.  In any other 'gifting' situation, I would agree with you.  But when it comes to family sentimental documents and items, the *right* thing to do is to return them after taking the documents that pertain to the OP's family.   Keeping them or deciding who gets them will cause hard feelings and resentment towards the OP from the cousin she doesn't choose.  If she wants to risk family harmony, then keep them or give to Cuz 2.  But as others have stated, it could have long lasting and irreparable effects on relationship with Cuz1.    Moreover, since the Aunt is still alive, Cuz1 may not have any right to pass them on to the OP in the first place.

ettiquit

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Re: Who gets the family documents?
« Reply #57 on: December 11, 2012, 02:26:12 PM »
Considering the OP told asked Cuz1 for any documents that Cuz1 didn't want, why wouldn't she offer them to Cuz2?  I know Cuz1 was dealing with a lot, but she could have 1)waited till she had time to go through everything to make sure there was nothing she wanted (I'm sure the OP would have been patient) or 2)Asked OP to do all the sorting and organizing and to let her know what she found from her father's line.  Instead, when the OP asked for documents Cuz1 didn't want, Cuz1 sent her everything with no comment on the contents.

Regardless of that, I do think the easiest solution would be to send the stuff back to Cuz1 and explain to Cuz2 the situation. 

Scanning/taking pictures of everything for Cuz2 is an incredibly nice gesture.

Sharnita

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Re: Who gets the family documents?
« Reply #58 on: December 11, 2012, 02:34:30 PM »
I think that what Cuz1 heard was a request for stuff she dodn't want right now. Emptying out mom's house or moving her into a nursing home could drive somebody to distraction, doing both at the same time doesn't lezve a whole lot of room to remember or ponder the exact intent of OP's request.



LadyR

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Re: Who gets the family documents?
« Reply #59 on: December 11, 2012, 04:49:42 PM »
Here's how I see it:

* CDL is the geneologist for her side of the family.
* Aunt had tons of family documents, mostly for her family
* CDL offerrd to sort through all the documents, with the intention of keeping and archiving the documents relevent to her work, which seem to be the lion share.
* Cousin1 did e work of sending the documents to CDL, but didn't seem to have any interest in them
* Cousin2 is the geneologist for uncle's family
* CDL has no use for documents from uncle's family, so offered them to Cousin2
* Cousins 1 and 2 have equal claim to the documents based on kinship
* Now that Cousin2 wants them, so does Cousin1

As far as I see it CrazyDffodilLady did nothing wrong. Maybe Cousin2 should have spoken up at the beginning, but it sounds like the majority of the information was for CDL's family, where she is in charge of archiving the records. She took on the job of sorting through all the information and was never told what to do with any documents that did not interest her. Se made the decision herself, knowing Cousin2 archives for that side of his family. I think she should take pictures for Cousin1, who just wants to "look" after all and send the documents to Cousin2.