Saturday, June 29, 2013

Thoughts on Research and Sensitive Information

During the past week, I've uncovered a couple of family stories involving persons who married into the family which may have been sensitive. In one case, I chose to publish the results to the blog. No children of that person remained alive. I was hoping to find the story of his first family from their descendants. In the second case, the children of the person was alive, and I saw no reason to publish the information to receive additional leads. I've verified the information that I found shocking although there are still a couple of records I can obtain which are not available digitally which may further tell the story.

I think I've questioned myself a half-million times about whether or not I did the right thing in the first case, but I'm fairly comfortable with my decision. It's probably the only chance I have of making contact with descendents.

In the second case, I'm also very comfortable with my decision to not tell the story. I have written it up with documentation for the individual's children. It will also rest in my genealogy software. It's up to his children to tell the story publicly if they so desire.

Have you uncovered sensitive information such as this in your own research? How did you handle it?

1 comment:

Jennifer Sepulvado said...

I have had a similar experience recently. I decided to post the story publicly on my blog because the subject and his spouse are deceased, and I am reasonably certain that the other woman is also deceased. All records I can find for her show that she was born about 1910. However, the children of the subject, my grandmother and a sister, are still living. My grandmother is of the mindset that it is what it is, and she did not mind telling me the story to begin with. I did not consult her sister, so I've thought about removing the information. But for now, I am just going to leave it.