Touchy subjects - Should I leave them alone?  

Posted by Abba-Dad in , ,

This one goes out to both my family reading the blog as well as seasoned genea-bloggers. What should I do about sensitive material that I uncover in my research? I will list a few scenarios (some real and some not) and hope to see what you think I should do:

1) Children out of wedlock / Marriage while pregnant.
2) Previously unknown spouses.
3) Canceled engagements.
4) Missing people.

If it were up to me I would write about everything I find. But I am aware of the fact that some people are more private than me and would not want sensitive subject out on display for the whole world (and future descendants) to see. I see several possibilities:

1) Living vs. Deceased.
2) Direct Ancestors vs. Indirect Relatives.
3) Contacted Relatives vs. Unknown Relatives.

For now I will sit on most of my information until I can figure this out. But I think everyone would agree that deceased direct ancestors are fine, right?

How do you treat touchy subjects?

This entry was posted on Thursday, November 13, 2008 at 12:19 PM and is filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


There are certain subjects I can't touch right now out of respect for my mother's siblings. They are all in their 60s and 70s and I imagine that in about 20 years I'll be able to discuss these.

Posting about them or even including them in my genealogy database would bring too much heartache to these people whom I love dearly. The main story involves a daughter giving birth to a child whose father was her father (i.e. incest) and then her 30 year absence after the child died.

I have however written the story down and have included it with my will and estate planning papers so that the story is not lost in case something happens to me.

November 16, 2008 at 12:22 PM

Well, we have a murder. Really. since two grandchildren of the ancestor who committed the murder are living, and since they are quite sensitive about the issue, I have chosen silence on the subject. But the local paper printed the entire story on the 100th anniversary of the event several years ago, after a cousin brought it to their attention. But, I'm still silent, as if I can't read. Funny, isn't it?

November 18, 2008 at 7:26 PM

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