I agree with both of you -- Tengen: having also spent hundreds of hours and dollars I also am wary and do not open the tree indiscriminately anymore. This is your baby! You'd want to see it cared for with respect. Cyndi - I, too, feel as if sharing the documents readily is the right way to go and do share what I have with relatives who are as keen as I am to find the answers and keep the right records. As you said to fiona - if we ever have relatives in common, I'd be happy to share..
The way I found this original post was by looking for any post dealing with the vampires, specifically the photo/article vampires -- if I share my private tree with a cousin who keeps a public tree then my hard-earned photos, articles and documents can be seen by people just collecting names - why are there so many? Recently I realized that one of these unknown takers must be writing a book using my resources because she had no specific family members of her own she was documenting but kept writing to me asking me about my relative who had a bit of a shady past -- she wanted all of the articles! When she finally did allow me entrance into her tree there were no family links to anyone - just a collection of 16,000 names and photos when she could grab them. I realized, when looking at her tree, that the records she had for my shady relative were ones I had shared with a cousin with a public tree -- photos and all! She just wanted more. I was/am furious. How do you deal with these types? Many thanks