Cyndi Gets Ripped Off

According to her blog, Cyndi Howells has had her site,, ripped off, and effectively posted on another’s commercial website. I’ve known Cyndi for most of my “genealogy life,” and I know that she’s put heart and soul into that website, which has helped untold millions of genealogists for the last 16 years. She’s built the site from scratch, checking every site she links to for “title, description and categorization” (Cyndi’s words). This last year she did a very expensive upgrade to Cyndislist, which cost a lot of money, still isn’t fully paid for, and is a real pleasure to use.

To have the site stolen, and used elsewhere without her permission is both immoral and a crime. Cyndi has prepared a lawsuit, and if this goes to court, I guarantee you that she will win. This isn’t the first time that Cyndi’s code has been stolen, so she’s learned to make her code unique. Steal it, and you will get caught. Someone just did.

I know this will come up, so let me say that I only know as much as Cyndi, Michael, and Dick have posted thus far, so I don’t have the name of the party or parties that stole her code. But “shame on them,” whoever it was…

Author: Leland Meitzler

Leland K. Meitzler founded Heritage Quest in 1985, and has worked as Managing Editor of both Heritage Quest Magazine and The Genealogical Helper. He currently operates Family Roots Publishing Company (, writes daily at, writes the weekly Genealogy Newsline, conducts the annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour to the Family History Library, and speaks nationally, having given over 2000 lectures since 1983.

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