Private Company Records are Private

Records of private businesses are private records. They do not have to be shared with genealogists. It does not matter how long your ancestor worked for the company, how much money your ancestor spent at the store, or how “bad” you need whatever information they have.

Private records are just that: private.

Some companies do maintain an archives and are willing to share information with researchers. The records of some defunct companies have been preserved in a public archives. Those are exceptions.

You can try and request information from a company for which your ancestor worked. But they are under no obligation to provide you with any information. 

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2 thoughts on “Private Company Records are Private

    1. michaeljohnneill Post author

      Not necessarily. Companies may have employment records if your relative worked there–they don’t have to release those. Funeral homes are also private businesses that may have information on your relative-they don’t have to release anything either. They can if they want to, but since they are private businesses they are under no obligation to do so.

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