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General => The Common Room => The Lighter Side => Topic started by: zetlander on Saturday 03 October 20 16:52 BST (UK)

Title: Minding our own business!
Post by: zetlander on Saturday 03 October 20 16:52 BST (UK)
Discovered a great uncle was imprisoned in 1910 for a serious assault on one of his children. 
Decided not to share this info with other relatives who are always interested in my family history research.
Then I thought if he'd won a prize, say, for Literature I'd be telling everyone.

I wonder should we share everything we find about our families - the good - the bad - the unmentionable or should we respect these forebears and keep quiet.
Title: Re: Minding our own business!
Post by: Treetotal on Saturday 03 October 20 16:57 BST (UK)
I find the social history of my ancestors to be fascinating and would record everything about them that I had learned, both good and bad, it is what makes them human. I enjoy finding out a bit scandal  ;D
Carol
Title: Re: Minding our own business!
Post by: panda40 on Saturday 03 October 20 17:11 BST (UK)
One of mine was arrested for molesting a child. He was given 6 months as he was only 18 at the time. If anyone asks about him I would tell them but I donít say anything about it straight off.
Regards
Panda
Title: Re: Minding our own business!
Post by: Kiltpin on Saturday 03 October 20 17:30 BST (UK)
Each event must be taken on its merits. Standards and morals change, sometimes quite quickly. What was once scandalous, a decade later becomes accepted.   

Only you can judge what your people will want to hear.   

Regards 

Chas
Title: Re: Minding our own business!
Post by: Kiltpin on Saturday 03 October 20 17:34 BST (UK)
Further to that - you must record everything. We don't have the right to try and change history. Revealing what you know might best be left until all parties can handle the information. 

Regards 

Chas
Title: Re: Minding our own business!
Post by: BumbleB on Saturday 03 October 20 17:40 BST (UK)
Sorry, but history was what it was, whether we like it or not.  Who are we to pass judgement - we weren't there AT the time, and don't know the full circumstances.
Title: Re: Minding our own business!
Post by: IgorStrav on Saturday 03 October 20 17:44 BST (UK)
I'm not saying that the examples given here are excusable.

But many things which look 'bad' on the face of it may have extenuating circumstances which we will never really know about.

I have a newspaper report of the inquest on the death of one of my gx2 grandmothers who was reportedly drunk and found dead in the latrines of the pub.

But another version of the story is, she was poor, had many children, was pregnant again, and died alone after a haemorrhage and miscarriage, having bled to death in those lavatories.  What a terrible death, and I won't condemn her for having a drink or three beforehand.

With regard to telling the rest of the family, well only you can judge.

Title: Re: Minding our own business!
Post by: iluleah on Saturday 03 October 20 18:11 BST (UK)
I research and love doing it, however when I told my family I was going to start researching I was told to 'let sleeping dogs lie' given no help, told no stories , records they already held were with held from me........ I beleive because they thought it would stop me finding out, maybe they thought I couldn't research without their help........... so decades on I tell them nothing and a couple of times over the decades have been asked  and only to see if I had found the 'secrets' they thought they were hiding.

Then about a 15 years ago my mother told me my cousin was starting to research 'our' FH and said "maybe I could help him" why it was OK for him to research and not me I really don't know, maybe she thought because I had said nothing I had found nothing.... shes wrong but I won't tell her.


So for me it is an easy decision,  I don't bore people who are not interested in my hobby be it good or bad information.... as far as research goes I love it if I find a 'bad one' as there are more records to research, people are people they do good  and bad things, they are humans and it is all part of life.
Title: Re: Minding our own business!
Post by: coombs on Saturday 03 October 20 20:24 BST (UK)
My 2xgreat grandfather killed himself in rural Suffolk, the death cert says "poisoned himself with strychnine while of unsound mind". He had many children and was a miller. He was said to be quite under the weather in recent months and a neighbour in the inquest said he was a bit strange.

His grandson (my grandfather's cousin) did not seem to know about that suicide, but knew about him and wondered where he went to and what happened to him. I had found out what had happened to him already and did not want to tell a 92 year old man his grandfather killed himself.
Title: Re: Minding our own business!
Post by: Rena on Saturday 03 October 20 22:58 BST (UK)
A few moons ago I noticed somebody who has some of my family names in their tree had uploaded some short newspaper articles depicting court cases of siblings of her and my ancestors.  I'd already seen the articles which showed one was a perpetual drunken thug and who eventually nearly killed one of his brothers.

I hadn't put any notes about these men against siblings of my ancestors and the reason is that in the area there are several families who have the same surname and whose offspring carry the same given names.  The newspapers didn't give parents names and I don't think I should smear the dead who cannot answser back.       I'd never heard anything about the misfit family and older cousins hadn't heard anything either. It isn't as though the family didn't have eyebrow raising stories, such as an alleged embezzler (who I haven't yet found).   
Title: Re: Minding our own business!
Post by: eadaoin on Sunday 04 October 20 13:06 BST (UK)
I'd record things from some time ago, but I've put nothing that might upset people on the computer about living people or their parents - prison stuff, parents marriage much later than expected etc.
 I do pencil in things on the printout, however.

(their grandparents are fair game, so I waited till an uncle died before adding his parents' "late" marriage to the version circulating in the family.)
Title: Re: Minding our own business!
Post by: Stanwix England on Tuesday 06 October 20 18:03 BST (UK)
I think it's tricky because some people are far more sensitive then others and you don't know how they are going to feel.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I feel that I've learnt a lot more about the past doing my family history then I knew when I started. For example, I thought illegitimacy was rare and shocking, but I've found that isn't the case. Some people do find that upsetting though.

I have some ancestors who did unpleasant things, which I don't mind talking about, but some people see that as a mark of shame somehow.

It's hard to deal with.
Title: Re: Minding our own business!
Post by: BumbleB on Tuesday 06 October 20 18:45 BST (UK)
I think it's tricky because some people are far more sensitive then others and you don't know how they are going to feel.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I feel that I've learnt a lot more about the past doing my family history then I knew when I started. For example, I thought illegitimacy was rare and shocking, but I've found that isn't the case. Some people do find that upsetting though.

I have some ancestors who did unpleasant things, which I don't mind talking about, but some people see that as a mark of shame somehow.

It's hard to deal with.

BUT it was what it was, when it was!  Live with it  :) We cannot change history!  Accept it  :)

Title: Re: Minding our own business!
Post by: Rena on Tuesday 06 October 20 22:02 BST (UK)
I think it's tricky because some people are far more sensitive then others and you don't know how they are going to feel.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I feel that I've learnt a lot more about the past doing my family history then I knew when I started. For example, I thought illegitimacy was rare and shocking, but I've found that isn't the case. Some people do find that upsetting though.


I started searching for my maternal grandmother's maternal ancestors.  I'd done the "easy bits" in West Yorkshire, then couldn't find hide nor hair of the records of the earlier generation so googled for the mother.  Up popped her name in Huntingdonshire online archives charged with fornication!  That led me to her marriage, which was the next day. :D    Obviously papa had taken his shot gun and the couple's feet didn't touch the ground until they were in church  :D