I have been researching my family history a very long time, and, for the most part, have had the full support of my relatives in my search for our ancestors. But I know this is not always the case.
Every once in a while, you might run into a relative who is NOT willing to share information, photos or even genealogical research.
Why? you ask yourself, as you flounder around, trying to find ways to convince the recalcitrant relative that you are on a noble quest, and that everyone in the family will benefit. But despite your efforts, the stone wall does not come down.
The reasons for not sharing are many. Perhaps the questions you are asking remind your relative of a horrrible, tragic event that they don't want to talk about (this happened to me once, and when I found out what had happened to my relative, I felt awful). Sometimes the relative wants to feel a sense of control over who gets the family's information--or wants to hide a dreadful "family secret" (usually an illegitimate birth). And sometimes the relative is just being stubborn, holding a grudge, or being resentful and is refusing out of sheer cussedness (this I have seen too, but not in my personal experience).
So what is the enthusiastic genealogy researcher to do?
1) When dealing with a non-sharing relative, curb your direct questions. I am a very direct, inquisitive person, and sometimes that puts people off. I have had to learn to allow people to tell their stories in their own time. Ask open-ended questions, use gentle prompts and don't expect to get all the information you want in one sitting.
2) Build trust with the non-sharing relative, and show them the work that you are doing on the family history.
3) Try to find out the information from other family members. This is always a good idea anyway, since every person has a different perspective.
4) If no other family member has the information you are seeking, look to other sources, such as birth/death certificates, newspaper articles & obituaries, census records, etc.
5) Wait patiently. Sometimes the non-sharing relative will reconsider--but sometimes they won't. One cousin had to wait until her aunt died to look through the boxes of family photos and genealogical research that the aunt had been hoarding for years!
Have a great day!