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AfriGeneas Genealogy and History Forum Archive

Re: When a relative is not a relative...

Ladies, I hear you and I FEEL you. If it were up to me, I'd remove several folks from my family tree (can I just SKIP a generation here or there?) ... so much drama, so much pain, so much crap. You know how it is.

If you want to just tell some interesting stories about these wonderful and fascinating people who moulded you -- who guided you -- who loved you without reservation -- I support that. But do it without linking them into your family history or pedigree reports.

I've seen similar discussions about how to handle two gay parents who have a child by artificial insemination or with a surrogate ... some folks don't want the biological father/mother mentioned at all, rather both of the gay parents. I have absolutely no problem with gay marriage or child rearing, but when it comes to the family tree, it's fine to list the couple as such, but it's NOT okay to list them both as mothers or both as fathers.

When we start "bending the rules" we're opening up Pandora's box, and in the long run, the history that we work SOOO hard to document will fall victim to personal feelings. That's not why we do what we do.

I guess it all comes down to how good is your documentation. If you're creating a family history report, that gives you plenty of leeway to describe family relationships, blood or otherwise, leaving no doubt as to where each line truly lies. My concern is if you place these people in a pedigree chart where they biologically don't belong, these charts have lives of their own, and without any accompanying explanation, may be taken at face value by relatives who don't know any better.

Whatever you decide to do, I hope that future generations will have a clear understanding of how they got there and their true family history.

All the best in your research.

- Lisa B. Lee, PLCGS
Oakland, CA

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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