Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Church Issues Cease & Desist Order to Genealogist

The following is taken from the March 16th EOGN:

Genealogist David Shannon found the graves and tombstones of several relatives, including his great-grandparents Julia and Lloyd Harp, in the Old Union Christian Church Cemetery in Lexington, Kentucky. Shannon began to compile the names, birth and death dates on the tombstones, which date back to the early 1800s. "Once I got into it, I figured other people trying to find ancestors would find information in the cemetery helpful," he said.

Shannon then created an independent research Web site, www.oldunioncemetery.com, where he's posted the information on the 475 documented burials collected and a photograph of each visible stone. But the church board at Old Union took offense.

In February, the church's governing board sent Shannon a letter telling him "to cease publishing pictures of stones ... not part of your family because it is sharing family information without their consent." Old Union's minister, the Rev. Scott Winkler, said the church's position is that Shannon's actions are an invasion of privacy. "If you're going to publish other people's private information you need to get their permission," he said. "Any cemetery has to protect rights of people buried there."

You can read the full story in an article by Beverly Fortune in the Kentucky Herald-Leader web site at http://www.kentucky.com/181/story/727210.html. "


Since Old Union Church cemetery is listed online, at several different index sites for cemeteries, I wonder what the church board would say about that? Hmmmmm???? - cbh

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