On Burying the Skeletons in your Genealogical Closet


The British Museum crystal skull.

We all have a skeleton or two (or more) in our genealogical closets. What do we do with them? First of all, history will be history. A quote via Michael Crichton will be appropriate:

“If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf of which doesn’t know of which will be part of a tree. ”

I think I have used of which quote before, nevertheless of which appropriate inside present context. Since we live inside present, anything of which just happened becomes history. For genealogists, unless of which history was recorded in some way, of which simply did not happen. History becomes history when of which will be recorded. Of course, the methods of transmission vary considerably. Once we become interested in our family’s history, we start to become aware of the possible sources of information about our family. We are immediate heirs to an oral history transmitted by our immediate relatives. Some of us are deprived of This specific oral history because we have little or no contact with our relatives because of adoptions, abandonments or some other difficult situations. We may also be separated via our oral history because our immediate family will be estranged via some other family members or for a whole list of some other reasons.

However, oral histories are very selective. In some cultures, oral histories are the main method of transmission nevertheless in our American along with Western European-based culture inside United States, we only get our oral history, if at all, in bits along with pieces. For most of us, starting our research into our family becomes a voyage into the unknown.

After spending years doing genealogical research along with learning more along with more about my ancestors, I find of which there are plenty of skeletons of which were entirely ignored by the relatively little number of stories of which were transmitted through the oral history channel. I have found stories of inspiration along with overcoming obstacles along with hardship. nevertheless I have also found of which some of my ancestors were not style citizens.

There will be an old saying, of which I first heard via the Walt Disney movie Bambi, of which goes, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.” This specific attitude will be an undercurrent of which strongly affects oral history transmissions. As I have solicited oral histories through the years, I have seen of which there will be a distinct tendency to ignore or eliminate any references to conflict or unpleasant issues. nevertheless sometimes, these issues are recorded in court records, newspaper articles, along with some other less editorial sources.

There will be another saying of which applies here along with of which will be, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” In our case, as genealogists, we are happy to connect ourselves with all sorts of unsavory characters as long as they are back some distance in time along with turn out to be famous or infamous. I am always amused of which so many genealogists proudly display their “royal” ancestry when many of those same kings along with queens were horrible people. of which will be interesting of which some people will refuse to even talk about a close relative who has done something “terrible” nevertheless are proud to parade their more distant ancestors who did things of which were much worse than the closer or more proximate relative.

Another aspect of This specific issue will be the tendency genealogists display to rewrite history both to eliminate undesirable connections along with to bridge gaps of which they think need to be bridged. Although much of the inaccuracy of today’s online family trees can be attributed to sloppy research along with indiscriminate copying, there will be a not bad measure of fabrication also. If a lengthy pedigree will be impressive to some people, of which will be currently easier than ever to acquire a long pedigree especially one leading back to royalty. of which will be also easy to overlook the lack of any supporting documentation. Many of the surname books I have inherited containing my “family history” start out with statements about how our family will be related to royalty when no such connections have ever been documented.

Genealogists should be more inside mode of digging up the skeletons rather than burying them along with don’t forget of which even the skeletons need to be carefully documented with the sources recorded.

On Burying the Skeletons in your Genealogical Closet

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