Sunday, July 17, 2016

Unpleasant Truths

Do you have any family scandals?  Are they minor or major scandals?

The answer to that second question may depend on time. One hundred years ago, an illegitimate birth might have been considered a major scandal. That’s not the case in today’s world.

In the early 1960’s when a cousin and I wanted to start a family history project we were shut down by our aunts. It wasn’t until 30 years later when I resurrected the idea that I understood our aunts’ fears.  There were rumors of an illegitimate birth, a drunkard or two, and someone who may have been in jail a time or two. Earlier generations were deeply shamed by relatives who did not live up to expected standards. By the time I began seriously exploring my genealogy, the generation before mine had all passed and would not be affected by revelations of misconduct or poor decisions of the past. Later generations are not as sensitive to relatively minor missteps. It’s pretty easy to discount negative things that don’t affect us directly.

A blog post I read today at A Family Tapestry made me think about the families with truly major scandals. Every murderer has a family – parents and grandparents, aunts, uncles and perhaps brothers and sisters. How do future generations deal with this part of their family history? Even if one’s life is not directly affected by an ancestor’s crimes, revelation of those events will certainly have some effect.

I don’t have a conclusion to this post. I am still pondering the subject.


  1. in each family there are some problems

  2. If we look hard enough I think any of us would find those transgressions of the times! Things that I am sensitive to, my children and especially my grandchildren accept as normal events of the day!