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CMT: Living relatives board

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JaneyCanuck Report 12 May 2011 18:12

Straying way off track here, aren't we?

Average life expectancies are what they are. Nobody's ancestral ages have the slightest effect on them.

My one grandfather died at 65. The other died at 75.

My one gr-grf's first wife died at about 25. His second wife died at about 45. He lived to his 80s.

And we can conclude from this ... what?

For one thing, the very fact that they are one's ancestors means that they lived to adulthood in order to reproduce ... when so many didn't. And *as I have said*, the longer one lives, the better one's odds of making it to the next year or next five years.

Obviously, the chance of someone aged 65 making it to 85 are a whole lot better than the chance of someone who died at 45 doing it ...

The *fact* is that a very small percentage of people born in 1926 are still living in 2011.


jax Report 12 May 2011 17:53

Out of my four grandparents only one died of natural causes at 91

Two died in a road accident and the other I wonder how long they would have lived otherwise?



JaneyCanuck Report 12 May 2011 17:33

Just to answer:

"I also wonder who would be deemed responsible if the information leads to devastation in the lives of those being sought and the people around them, the person who furnished the seeker with the information leading them to be found without giving them any notice or the site where the request was made without any or little monitoring or both."

Neither one. No cause of action would lie whatsoever.

Could make for bad publicity, though ...

"My family research has taught me that life expectancy guides can be very wrong."

No, it doesn't. It teaches that many people outlive the averages. That's the nature of averages.

Obviously, a century and more ago, average life expectancy was heavily influenced by deaths in infancy and childhood.

Nonetheless, the fact that someone born in the 1920s lived to 60 simply does not mean that they then even had even odds of living to 85. They didn't.


TootyFruity Report 12 May 2011 07:07

Janey, As I said on the 10 May we will have to agree to disagree.

As I have said before, more consideration should be given to the person sought. Although I suspect that most are genuine, there may be a proportion that are not and whether information is found and then posted in a thread or by pm there is no way of knowing which the seeker is. At least if there was an intermediator or such like then anyone not willing to use this could be deemed as not as truthful in their quest.

I personally would like stricter restrictions put on data pertaining to living people and the recently deceased. It is one thing to find information for oneself and quite another to have it just handed over by a stranger to a stranger. I also wonder who would be deemed responsible if the information leads to devastation in the lives of those being sought and the people around them, the person who furnished the seeker with the information leading them to be found without giving them any notice or the site where the request was made without any or little monitoring or both.

My family research has taught me that life expectancy guides can be very wrong. Walking around an old graveyard shows that quite a high number lived a long way past what the life expectancy of the day was. My mother is 85. I also have an aunt who is 99 and various other relatives well into their 80's and 90's.


Lindsey* Report 12 May 2011 02:59

At least the exes are slanging elsewhere.

GR please read, What is Friends reunited for if not to put living people in touch with each other ?


jax Report 12 May 2011 02:10

They dont seem to read the comments I have made on FB it just turns into a slanging match between ex and barred members and a few others who use chat, so completly loses the point of the thread



JaneyCanuck Report 12 May 2011 02:00

Very similar to the Help Clinic -- it excludes members from helping.

Kind of counterproductive. ;)


Lindsey* Report 12 May 2011 01:58

I do hope Genes are reading this, it's a very strong argument to put the Living Board on hold until this is resolved,as with the Help Clinic, it didn,t work, it wasn,t wanted , it caused more problems than it solved ,.so let's scrap it.


JaneyCanuck Report 12 May 2011 00:46

Well hmm. I find a copy in google's cache of a Chat thread from 25 March that was added to for a few days after that (I can only see page 1) and then deleted.

I searched for a thread I know was deleted in August 2010 that I have a copy of, and there's nothing in the cache.

And I searched for one that was deleted in February 2011 and there's no trace of it.

So ... two months maybe? ;)

When you say: "Only I have gone on Google and pulled up threads on people 2 and 3 years after they were first posted on here, or Rootschat, FamilyTreeForum etc." -- that's because they still exist. They haven't been deleted. Google scans constantly, and they are recached whenever it hits them.

The odds actually are very low that someone born in 1926 is still alive. Now, each person's odds of reaching the age of 85 increase with each year they survive. If you're 84, you have excellent odds of making it to 85. But if you were 65 in 1990, your odds of making it to 85 weren't as hot.

Average life expectancy for someone born in the mid-1920s is/was under 60.

An example of current estimated life expectancies:

Male. A 65-year-old man has a 41% chance of living to age 85 and a 20% chance of living to age 90.
Female. A 65-year-old woman has a 53% chance of living to age 85 and a 32% chance of living to age 90.

BUT -- first the person has to have made it to age 65 today! And that's for people who are 65 today.

The chance that someone born in the mid-1920s will still be alive today really is very low, but if the person was known to be alive at 65 or 70, the odds of them being alive today are certainly way better than average for their age group.


jax Report 12 May 2011 00:30

HID's parents are both in their 86th year and leading a very active life



SylviaInCanada Report 12 May 2011 00:24


are you sure it will stay in Google's cache for only a month?

Only I have gone on Google and pulled up threads on people 2 and 3 years after they were first posted on here, or Rootschat, FamilyTreeForum etc.

as well as pulling up the names apparently published in newspapers or such like ........ now those usually have gone.

born in 1926 means they would be 85 this year

I have one friend who is going very strong at 85 ....................... as is Queen Elizabeth. Plus several people much older, including Prince Philip at 90.

I'm not so sure that the odds are so low!



JaneyCanuck Report 11 May 2011 21:50

Sylvia, the thread will remain in Google's cache for maybe a month, once it's deleted, then it will disappear. I'm thinking the odds of somebody googling the names in the next month are low.

In any case, the odds of a person born in 1926 being still living today are low in themselves. And the details of any other living people aren't in the thread; I've been sending them privately. Didn't put the details of the most recent marriage or the child's birth in the thread. Yes, those reading with access to the resources could find them, but google won't.

It's just because of the nature of the discussion that I think it should be deleted once it's run its course, even though no living people are actually named in it.


SylviaInCanada Report 11 May 2011 21:38


it's already too late to delete that thread to preserve privacy

I just googled the name of the mother, and the whole thread is there

which means the information is spread around the internet

and THAT is what worries me!



JaneyCanuck Report 11 May 2011 15:40

TF, you know the information is not accessible in Canada! And I don't think it should be in the UK, if anybody asks. ;)

The fact is that it is. None of us who "finds" it is doing anything more than lending a hand. People who ask these questions could hire a tracing agency that would do the same thing (if it was worth its salt), and also would not provide "mediation" (I would call it counselling, or maybe intermediation, since there's no dispute being mediated).

I do believe that people are entitled to know their families -- at least, as I've explained, that children are entitled to know their parents. It's harder to say in the case of parents and their children.

In Ontario, a law was passed a couple of years ago that gives adopted children access to info about their birth parents unless the parents have filed an express opt-out. (Before that, the information was closed and adopted children were never entitled to that info unless the birth parents also filed a request for contact, and there was a years-long backlog in just matching those requests.)

The thread I've referred to isn't an adoption, but the facts are the same -- someone looking for the mother she hasn't seen since early childhood. (I'm recommending that the thread be deleted soon since it's too personal, just using it to track info as we go, for now.)

Positive or negative outcome, I do believe that people are entitled to find out for themselves. I think it's paternalistic to say otherwise. I always recommend against cold contact -- I suggest talking to the present family, considering making contact through third parties like family members on both sides, etc. But I don't stand in loco parentis to anyone looking for their family.

The International Convention on the Rights of the Child, for instance, recognizes the family as "as the fundamental group of society and the natural environment for the growth and well-being of all its members and particularly children", and says things like "States Parties shall respect the right of the child who is separated from one or both parents to maintain personal relations and direct contact with both parents on a regular basis, except if it is contrary to the child's best interests".

I do believe that people deprived of information about their family and the possibility of contact with their family are denied something very fundamental to their identity and well-being. The fact that a child was separated from a parent by something other than adoption doesn't alter the situation. A parent may choose to abandon a child, or may leave the family home for very good reasons with the same result, estrangement. That choice, in my opinion, doesn't govern the child's rights.

I think adults who are looking for their families are well aware of the possible outcomes, good and bad. And I think it's up to them to make the choice. People are entitled to the information that enables them to make choices, and that's all I see myself, at least, doing here.


TootyFruity Report 11 May 2011 06:39

Janey I can understand the burning desire to discover what happened in the case you posted however cannot get past that mediation should take place before any meeting because the person being sought should be given the opportunity to comes to terms with their mothers other family. They may know nothing about her children from her previous marriage and so will not only have to deal with the emotions of being found but also the fact that this was kept from them.

If the search was for a living person in Canada, would the information be as easily accessible or would it be seen as an infringement of the persons being sought privacy?

I am pleased that the people you have helped over the past 4 years have had positive outcomes but these are just a drop in the ocean and there may be many more that did not have a positive outcome.


JaneyCanuck Report 11 May 2011 02:22

demonstrating the pointless futility of the Living Relatives board:

I guess we're kind of half and half on that kind of search -- I think if an aging person wants to find out what her mother did after leaving the family home, and try contacting her second family, I'm going to offer to help.

Those who I have helped who have made contact in situations like this have reported only positive outcomes in the four years or so I've done it.


Lindsey* Report 11 May 2011 02:01

Well as far as I'm concerned Friends reunited was originally designed for people who WANTED to be in touch,it has the facility to list people who you want to contact and it's free.

I say remove the Living relatives part and just leave a list of places to look elsewhere before someone gets upset again


jax Report 10 May 2011 17:38

The trouble is there are too many members willing to find address's and phone numbers for people without really finding out why

I know this can all be found by anyone but it is made too easy.

There are people I would not want to see again and I could be found easy enough on FB, friends reunted, on here and poss ER if so I would not want my address handed out to anyone to just turn up on my doorstep. At least if someone contacts me online I can ignore it

I know I have been guilty in telling posters to try but at least I hav'nt found it



BatMansDaughter Report 10 May 2011 17:20

I can't beleive that the post the JC requested a review on last night around midnight is STILL showing the title details and hasn't been removed.... it is now 17 hours since JC requested it be reviewed..... what are GR playing at???

After reading through this thread again I think I am in agreement with Lindsey* , we all love to help when we can but are we openning cans of worms for others to sort out?


Lindsey* Report 10 May 2011 14:15

I am so anti finding living relations for people., not everyone has good intentions, like the long lost grandpa who stalked his grandchildren and had to be served with an keep away.

Then there's poor S who tactfully approached her birth mother , only to receive a " not interested, don't write again " how crushing .

And I'm not impressed by Davina McCall making it all look so easy , there are proper agencies for tracing people. but not on here where the set-up can be openly abused

The Finding living relatives board should be just a list of proper sites to go for real help

Rant over !