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AfriGeneas Writers Forum

Family Authors/Should There Be Limitations On What We Write?
In Response To: Family Authors!! ()

Hi Cynthia,
I read your post with interest as the issue of what should or what should not be told in writing family history comes up quite often in my family history writing group. Some members say they will not write information that may be hurtful to someone still living, irregardless of it is documented truth. The issue of liability also came up; maybe someone will bring legal action. It was very brave for your relative to use actual names of individuals. I have ambivalent feelings. My simple argument is who can argue with the truth? Of course I realize it isn't always so black and white. (no pun intended)

One of comments brought in a genealogy group stemmed from the fact that certain white family lines have African blood and the Black ancestors fear reprisals/litigation from those families, especially as they are prominent people in Louisiana.

I would like to pose a question to this group of family history writers. Do you have any limitations in what is revealed in writing your family histories? Is there anything you feel should not be exposed? Are you withholding information because things like illegitimate births, outside children, illicit affairs might affect someone still alive or the deceased person's descendants? How do we affectively write our stories if we withhold vital information? Would your story be incomplete without the deep, dark secrets?

Messages In This Thread

Family Authors!!
Family Authors/Should There Be Limitations On What We Write?
Re: Family Authors/Should There Be Limitations On What We Wr

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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