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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Don't shoot the messenger re: Barry Ewell

It is with an increasingly saddened heart that I open email and social media with additional specific cases of Barry Ewell's unethical behavior as a "writer" in the genealogical vertical. Today brings word of Ancestry Insider's More Accusations of Plagiarism Leveled at Barry Ewell. Among the 17 examples reviewed in side-by-side comparisons, is AI's report of the Deseret News' expressed decision not to publish any work from Barry Ewell. AI explains:
"Barry Ewell has also copied information from the web for newspaper articles. On 27 April 2013, the Salt Lake City Deseret News published a story written by Barry Ewell titled “Genealogy: Use and Record What You Learn.” The editor has appended this notice:
Editor's note: The original version of this story posted on April 27, 2013, failed to properly attribute all source materials, which violates our editorial policies. The story was revised on March 19, 2014, and attribution to original sources were added. A version of this column also appeared in the print edition of the Deseret News on August 8, 2013. The Deseret News demands accuracy in attribution and sourcing and considers any lapses to be a serious breach of ethics. The Deseret News is no longer publishing Barry J. Ewell's writings. ("
I hope AI doesn't receive the unkind responses Ol' Myrt here has received claiming I've rushed to judgement. Since publishing Unethical behavior and Mr. Barry Ewell? my email and private FB messages include harsh criticisms of my "telling terrible lies about this wonderful man." I've been warned to "back off" and told I'm "ruining this poor man's right to earn a living." I've even been accused of harboring an "un-Christian" attitude toward this man and warned I "would not wish to have his blood on my hands." I am flummoxed by excuses for this man's behavior.

None of us is perfect.

Yet we are each responsible to do our level best to conduct ourselves in an ethical matter.

I will always be a stand for honesty.

I will always be a stand for ethical behavior.

As for my Christian values, let me quote the 13th Article of Faith:
"We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things."  Source: Joseph Smith, The Articles of Faith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. ( : accessed 30 March 2016.) 
One detractor quoted this article to me, emphasizing the "doing good to all men" portion. I don't think it does Barry Ewell or the genealogy community any good to sweep this problem under the rug. The professional genealogy community has a responsibility to accurately report as has been done by Mr. MacEntee, Ancestry Insider and others.

I'd like to emphasize the last sentence "If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things."

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