Tact for those recently bereaved?

In his latest weekly Scottish Genes newsletter Chris Paton wrote, “I was a little troubled by a new release from Findmypast… which maybe could have included a wee bit more tact for those recently bereaved.”

Chris wrote on his blog “But I think what bugs me slightly about this is that a commercial company has an index of records including those up to 2024, and from a few test searches, the records appear to go up to January 2024 – in other words, there will be people included in this new database who have literally just passed away four months ago. At least on Ancestry there is a buffer zone of a couple of years for those who may be grieveing.

Perhaps a slight tweak to this might make it a bit more tasteful, FindmyPast?”

The latest issue of the Ottawa Citizen includes obits for about 40 people recently deceased, the latest on 14 May. The family pay a pretty penny to have these published, sharing their grief with the community.

In England and Wales, while entries on the GRO website are  only to 2021, probate register entries for deaths are as late as 12 April 2024. Scotland’s People has 202 entries for 2024 death registrations just for people named Reid.

Is Chris being a wee bit tad sensitive?

Chris will be an in-person speaker at the OGS conference in Toronto next month.



4 Replies to “Tact for those recently bereaved?”

  1. When we lose someone to death, the grief never ends. It only changes. And John you are right that families want others to know with a public obit. It actually makes it easier to not talk about the details of the loss. It saves the heartache of repetition. As with most discussions, however, everyone can have their own opinion on this matter.

  2. I find it difficult to suddenly see even a 20 yr old obit that was private and of course innocently ( at the time) mentioning surviving, living relatives – now suddenly appearing and suggested to me on Ancestry from Newspapers. com. Ancestry now knows and wants me to use these living names on my tree. That’s a problem for me as I’ve just identified these people on my tree only as “living”, therefore to be kept private on my tree. So beyond “ignore, it’s irrelevant”, and deleting the “suggestion”, I don’t know how else to protect our living family. Maybe make my tree private?

  3. The deaths have already been publicized locally. Why not let “everyone” know? I can’t possibly keep up with everyone I know and everyone I’m related to. Without a source of everyone who has died it could be years before I send that condolence card; if I ever do. I won’t depend on findmypast for the list though. Make it available. I move all my “living” relatives to deceased on my tree as soon as I know the date. Finding DNA matches depends on knowing who relatives are. Missing 2 or 3 generations has stopped me in my tracks on occasion.

  4. I would say he is being a little too sensitive, but it may be personal circumstances. We each respond to grief differently. Public obituaries/death announcements do help in terms of not having to answer questions, or, worse – having someone call to enquire about the health of a loved one recently lost.

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