Is it advisable to upload images of letters written by the deceased ancestor?

+4 votes

With the passing of my grandfather and father, I was given some letters written by ancestors including a great, great, great grandfather, William McKinney, Sr (WikiTree profile McKinney-3310).

Is it either advisable or warranted to upload JPG images of these letters?

To what extent may I use these letters as source information?

One particular letter was written by William McKinney-3310 in the late 1830s.  In the letter, he mentions his wife's name and the fact that he is selling his land in Seneca county, Ohio and moving his family to Clark county, Missouri, where I was able to find his land sale in Seneca county records and his land purchase in Clark county, Missouri.  Both the sale and purchase dates match the information in the letter.

Your thoughts and suggestions are appreciated.

Thank you in advance,

Jim McKinney-3305

WikiTree profile: William McKinney
in WikiTree Help by Jim McKinney G2G Crew (940 points)

2 Answers

+3 votes
Best answer
In my opinion, it's very important to respect the living... so if anyone who is alive is mentioned in those letters, skip those. If anyone who's alive's parents are mentioned in those letters, skip those too. Unless they ALL give explicit permission.

For the same reason I haven't uploaded letters my mother sent to her adoptive mother, even though both are six feet under. Even if I got permission from all of my siblings, I might think twice.
by G. Borrero G2G6 Pilot (101k points)
selected by Anonymous Lykins
Thank you for your response.  Since the primary letter was written in 1837, no one is mentioned who has been alive for over 150 years.  I think I'm safe with this letter, but I appreciate your thoughts about the living and agree with you.

If this were a more modern ancestor and living relatives were mentioned you can always redact. Just cover the info you need to obscure like intelligence agencies do.
+10 votes
I would definitely upload the letter. Old letters like that are valuable resources that will only be available to other descendants if you share them by uploading them.
by Chase Ashley G2G6 Pilot (208k points)

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