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A bit of a dilemma

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Kerin Report 27 Feb 2013 15:02

I've been researching my family tree for about about 10yrs ago and I tend to do the main 'trunk' of the tree and if I come to a bit of a brick wall I then go off and research the sub branches.

I've always been generous with my research as I am grateful to a distant relative who helped me with lots of information when I first started lookng and for the help that the members of this site have given me. If any relatives ask me for information when they are thinking of starting to do research then I let them have what I have and then they go off on their own adventure.

My dilemma is this -

My mum called me at the weekend and said some person she knew, who went to school with my brother came up to her on the bus and said that he thinks we are related through the Griffiths family, and that he's heard that I've been doing the family tree and did she know if I'd found a connection. Now the Griffiths family are my Gr Gr Grandmother's family and as there are 11 children with amamzingly common names this is one of those 'sub branches' I've been terrified to even look at.

My mum asked me to see if this is true, so thankfully I knew the rough age of this person and that he had a not so common name and within 30 mins I found out his grandmothers maiden name was indeed Griffiths and judging by age it seems she may be a niece of my gr gr grandmother. So I called up my mum and told her that it did look like there was probably some kind of connection, and gave her all the info I had found out, but as the Griffiths family is so big that all I can say is that he is probably descended from one of the 6 Griffiths boys out of the 11 Griffiths siblings but to go any further it would mean having to order and pay for certs but at least Ive started them off if they wanted to look into it more.

I then got a phone call from my mum saying that she'd told him what I'd found and he had asked her if I could look into it some more and definitlvely find a connection. Now as I've said before, I am generous with my research and do help out but I feel that now I've helped him out he should do it himself as personally I can't spare the time (or the money) doing the research for someone else even though he is realated to me.

What does everyone else think? or has anyone else been put in this situation in the years theyve been doing research?


Jonesey Report 27 Feb 2013 15:30

I think that you have already given the reasons in your last paragraph why you are not able to assist further.

A) Haven't got the time.

B) Haven't got the money.

C) He should be the one to do the research himself since he is the one interested in the connection not you.

I would simply advise your mother of these reasons and leave it to her as to how to pass them on. I am fairly sure that your mum thinks more of you than she does of him.


Kerin Report 27 Feb 2013 15:50

Thanks for the reply Jonesey

I know thats the sensible answer, I think my mum isnt really aware on the time it can take to trace a branch especially one with such a common surname.

A year or so ago I did research one of the Griffiths boys but only because his first name was Christmas but with the others having names like John, James, William etc I am not in a hurry to try researching any of them


Kucinta Report 27 Feb 2013 17:31

I agree with Jonesy.

You've already been kind enough to share what you do know.

You certainly shouldn't have to spend your own money on his research, and as you say, you don't have the time to pursue it either.

You've done more than enough.


Sylvia Report 28 Feb 2013 00:35

I would say you have not gone down that line of the family but if he wishes to do so it will cost him for the certificates.


SylviaInCanada Report 28 Feb 2013 04:01

I agree with Jonesy ....................... with the additon of part of what Sylvia says

Ask your mother to pass on the message that

you have not researched that part of the family, because it does not fit into your current interests, and you are not able to assist further, because ................

A) Haven't got the time.

B) Haven't got the money.

C) He should be the one to do the research himself since he is the one interested in the connection not you.



patchem Report 28 Feb 2013 07:07

I agree with Jonesey, Kucinta and SylviainCanada.
I would like to add that even if he says that he would pay for the certificates then you should still say No.
You have said that you do not have the time.
It is your time that is important.
You would resent doing the research if you have to stop what you love doing just to do the 'paid' work.
Learning to say No is a vital skill.


Kerin Report 28 Feb 2013 15:30

thanks for the messages.

I just felt a little guilty as I always try to help when I can, and to be honest I am a bit of a soft touch who has difficulty saying know when people ask me to do something for them.

I suppose I'll just have to learn to say no :):)


Kuros Report 28 Feb 2013 17:07

There comes a time when we all have to say no. Can you direct him to sites like freebmd and familysearch? Together with what you've already told him he should be able to make some headway there. You could tell him how satisfying it is to find out these thing for yourself - which it is!

Carol 430181

Carol 430181 Report 28 Feb 2013 19:35

Agree with all others have said, for most of my life I ended up babysitting for friends, taking people places I did not want to go, all because I could not say no. Now I do and they don't seem to think any the less of me. But admit no is a hard word to say.


Karen in the desert

Karen in the desert Report 28 Feb 2013 23:27

Agree with all the others in what they have said. I would like to add that I had something similar-ish happen to me. A friend of a friend asked if I could help find some names in their tree.
I explained about the time it might take me and how much certs would cost and person was not only very very surprised but horrified at the cost - they genuinely had no idea whatsoever. When they asked what a professional would charge them I said I only had a very rough idea but they could always look on-line.
They presumably did this as the next I heard, they said they would try doing some research themselves if I could provide them with search sites.