In doing genealogy I have had several encounters with people who are fiercely protective of information about their ancestors. They don’t want this or that picture on the web. They want this story taken down. They don’t want anyone to have a copy of certain documents, etc. They want the information kept just for them. They know, but they don’t want anyone else to know.
Broadly, our ancestors do not belong to us. They belong to all those who will someday be born to their lines, generation after generation. They belong to history itself. It is not our job to keep information locked away where it will be lost eventually when we die. If we see things that way, eventually every one of the ancestors who gave us our genetics and the lives we know will be forgotten, dust, lost.
People who feel like they should keep information about their ancestors secret and lock it away – people who think they *own* their ancestors – they are making it more likely that those ancestors will be forgotten. It makes me sad, because the loss is so much greater than just the loss of a person. It’s the loss of that person to every descendant who could have known them and, in doing so, known something of themselves.