Discretion and Genealogy

One of the common points of discussion I’ve heard at this week’s National Genealogical Society Conference is discretion.

We all have them. Ancestors born out of wedlock. Murderers or other criminals. First cousins who married, confounding our genealogy software programs and ruining our pretty tree printouts.

The issue was whether or not to divulge and perpetuate these truths in published genealogists, family histories and on websites. We concluded that if it would hurt a living person’s feelings to have the information revealed, don’t do it. It’s a hard pill for me to swallow, as I have relatives who would rather I not reveal that we have an ancestor who fought for the Union in the Civil War.

So, my question is, how do you maintain preserve the secret information so you or your descendant could someday include it in a family history?

13 May 2009
© Corey Oiesen and Genealogy Heroes 2009.

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