AfriGeneas Genealogy and History Forum
Re: "Let sleeping dogs lie."
In Response To: "Let sleeping dogs lie." ()
Not these words persť, but I've certainly got some that would rather I wasn't researching. Despite my reassurances that I am not out to hurt anyone or actively looking for the "secrets" (they inevitably come up from time to time). I am merely interested in learning about my familial history and passing that on to my daughter and niece. In every family, there are things that make some members feel not so proud.
My 94 year old aunt told me that she doesn't know why I'm so interested, it has nothing to do with us (the younger family members, I'm 32). I have a cousin, in his fifties that told me our family has always been divided and that folks like it that way and to mind my own business (in no uncertain terms)--btw, most of the family members were hungry for someone to be willing to reach out, learn about the family and begin, for some the much needed healing process.
In one line, it had to do with a now deceased cousin who had done some family research (without documenting the majority of her finds) and took all family story as gospel, upsetting many of the older relatives. This also let out the fact that their were affairs, an uncle who supposedly dabbled in unlawful acts, and other things. In this same line, an uncle left the family, had his wife call and tell his mother (my great grandmother) that he died (this was in the 60s). Everyone moved on and discouraged me from following my gut (except my Mom). I kept digging and have since learned that he didn't die until the 1990s and had a number of children with whom I've been in contact for a couple of months now.
It's not just talking either. I have two (my great grandmother's sister and an aunt) that refuse to share photos--even just for me to look at because it's, as they've let me know, none of my business.
I've also got the more silent ones--won't tell me, but word travels. The silent ones usually at least feign interest when they hear of new finds--particulary if they don't directly involve their branch.
I have learned to take it in stride as best I can. I've been blessed with a very supportive Mom and daughter who are always interested and help me think outside the box when I'm brainstorming.
Keep pushing and learning!
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