Genealogy related question? Ask here!


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Genealogy related question? Ask here!

Tämä viestiketju on "uinuva" —viimeisin viesti on vanhempi kuin 90 päivää. Ryhmä "virkoaa", kun lähetät vastauksen.

tammikuu 10, 2014, 3:29pm

I've seen several questions pop up on several different threads recently and thought it might be a good idea to have a thread specifically for asking questions. As a group specifically about genealogy, there's bound to be someone who can help you along!

So do you have a question about a specific source? Ask it here. Stuck in your research? Someone might know which method you can use to take down that brick wall! Want to write you family history but don't know where to start? Chances are someone else was in your position once and can help you now. Stuck on that citation? Show us what you've got and someone is bound to know the answer!

tammikuu 10, 2014, 3:35pm

I'll start off myself with a question about ethics and writing family history. I've uncovered a potentially unpleasant family secret. As far as I know, this bit of information is not known and some people might like to keep it. It concerns a woman who died in 1963, who had two children who are both dead as well. There are grandchildren, but I don't know who they are and do not have any contact with them.

I'm writing a biography of this woman and her spouse, primarily focussed on the spouse. Do I mention this family secret? If yes, in how much detail? I could kind of gloss over it in a sentence, just saying she temporarily lived apart from her family, but not saying why. I could include the why but keep it as brief as possible. Or I could provide all the information I have as long as it fits the story I am telling.

I don't think this family secret is especially shameful, simply interesting. Others might not agree. The information is all in the public domain, if you know where to look. What's wisdom here?

tammikuu 10, 2014, 9:38pm

There have been too many secrets in my family and I am only now uncovering them. There is no need to go public with what happened in the past but I can't see any problem with speaking the truth about what happened. Just don't go online with it; keep it in the family.

What happened is part of your family history and your family has a right to know the truth.

tammikuu 11, 2014, 6:55am

So printing it up in the biography I'm writing (which is distributed only within the family) and leaving it out of the biography I'm putting on my blog... At least the details. That might be a good idea, at least until the older generation has died.

tammikuu 11, 2014, 7:16pm

I think every family has some secrets. I recommend finding a copy of Skeletons in your closet: deciding the fate of family secrets which discusses just this sort of situation.

I would consider how embarrassing would it be if people knew, how much time has passed, who might be reading the information, etc. I would be especially careful if the incident was criminal in nature or there was lasting harm to people. If the event was quite some time ago or used to be considered scandalous but is no big deal anymore, e.g. Australian convicts, then I see no problem.

Not too long ago illegitimacy was a hush-hush subject but is commonplace today. I just record these facts without comment and I don't think anyone even notices. I remember when people wouldn't admit that someone had died of cancer but that taboo has ended. I would be very careful about how I described a case of mental illness — depending on the situation I might omit it.

You might also want to discuss this with a family member whose judgment you trust.

tammikuu 12, 2014, 12:38pm

I'd love to get my hands on Skeletons in your closet. I looked it up after your recommendation, but the only two copies I could find were much too expensive.

Time passed is about a century, but it could still be a big deal to some people today. I think I'll write it in, sensitively, and then do as you say and discuss it with a family member. See what the reaction is before deciding to leave it in or keep it ou.

tammikuu 12, 2014, 1:46pm

tammikuu 12, 2014, 1:55pm

Okay, here's my question. I have traced my relative to an 1850 census in TN stating that he was born in NC in 1803. No idea on his parents or from where in NC. I cannot physically travel to TN or NC to do any research. Any suggestions because online records have hit a dead end?

Muokkaaja: tammikuu 12, 2014, 3:33pm

7 > Oh, thanks! Gonna have to check how much shipping would cost, though, since I'm in Europe.

8> Okay, so TN is Tennesee and NC is North Carolina, I'm assuming? Not from the US, so abbreviations aren't always clear to me.

Now, I don't know much about specific sources for you to look at, but I've read enough genealogy books written by US authors dealing with methodology, so here's some suggestions. Some of these you might already have done:

1. Do you have your relative on all censuses from 1850 forward in time until his death? Do all these censuses state he was born in NC in 1803? Or are there other places/dates of birth?

2. What about other sources that might state where and when he was born? Think about marriage and death-related documents (certificates, newspaper notices, funeral home directories, obituaries, gravestone, wills, others applicable to the specific states). Don't forget about possible military records.

3. If these records still don't give any idea on where in NC he was from, check out his relatives. Where did his wife come from? Are there any siblings you can locate that might've left more information about possible birth place and parents?

4. Don't forget to check out sources the children of your relative made. They can sometimes reveal information about their parents in records made years after their parents are dead.

And last, but not least, review each and every document you have about this relative to see if you might have overlooked information that can narrow down where he was born or when.

Good luck in your search!

tammikuu 13, 2014, 2:26pm

Thanks!! I've been looking into this again. Yes, NC is North Caroline and TN is Tennessee. I was being lazy while typing :)

Thanks so much for the ideas. My problem is that there aren't many records online. I'm going to hit the family search center here in town to see if they can help me out!

tammikuu 13, 2014, 4:42pm

Maybe you can do a genealogy exchange - offer to look something up for another genealogist in an archive near you, while that genealogist looks something up for you in NC or TN.

tammikuu 15, 2014, 7:01pm

Perhaps contact a local North Carolina genealogy club, or the local LDS library? As Samantha_kathy says, it's often possible to find a person on the spot who can consult the paper records, and often they don't even need you to return the favor; hopefully you'd be willing to pay it forward instead.

helmikuu 13, 2014, 9:11pm

>8 homeschoolmom:: Facebook has state-specific genealogy groups that are good places to post questions. People in one area often look up items for people in another area.