Ethical Dilemmas in Genealogy
‘I’m just compiling our family tree, what possible problems could there be?’ Researching and devising a family tree traditionally involved asking relatives about their lives, devising a tree and undertaking a paper trail. However, it now involves finding previously inaccessible records and dealing with others via the internet, who
are often strangers. Ethical dilemmas in genealogy came to the forefront since law enforcement utilized information from GEDMatch to apprehend a suspected serial killer. This created a division in the genealogy field about invasion of privacy. However, other ethical dilemmas may be closer to home. Have you asked any family members if it’s ok to include them on your tree? Ethical dilemmas unfolding include discovering secrets, lies, bigamy, enslavement, unexpected DNA relatives, unexpected ethnicities, relatives that aren’t now related. People can now study accredited courses and join professional bodies, but without individual ethical awareness can genealogy keep up?