Society By-Laws

Click here to view for the most recent version of the By-Laws of the Western New York Genealogical Society, Inc. (November 16, 2013)


Social Media Policy Regarding Research Inquiries Involving The Living

In its mission and in its efforts, the Western New York Genealogical Society (WNYGS) is committed to (1) fostering a collaborative, professional environment both in person and online; (2) providing and supporting continuing education; and (3) encouraging best practices among our members and the larger genealogical community.

In an era of exploding genealogical research and evolving tools for genetic genealogy, it is important to think about ethics and privacy. We as genealogists and members of the Board of Directors have certain ethical responsibilities governing privacy and respectful consideration when dealing with the living, living descendants, and living relatives.

Human experience is varied, and each person’s reaction to biological parentage can be highly sensitive and deeply personal. Private information and private correspondence are part of the research process, but how, where, and with what permissions we choose to publicly share that information are important considerations.

Whether in the role of adoptee, biological parent, or biological relative, the research we undertake can have serious impacts. While we encourage members to inquire about research techniques and resources, we ask that researchers use caution and discretion and not post/publish specific situational details (known or speculated) with direct name associations to potentially living individuals.

It is our view that by promoting respect and sound, ethical decisions, we all benefit in the long run.

> For more information on the ethics of genealogy, we encourage researchers to read Judy Russell's post on the topic.

(December 2017)

Last updated: December 11, 2017