Monday, October 06, 2008

On Family and Revising History

My big project that has been keeping me from blogging lately is that I've been updating and entering new information that my husband has found on the web into our family tree program. I've done quite a bit of research myself, started this time again by getting information on my son-in-law from his grandparents. This morning I entered the 20,001st name in my program, all linked to another person already in my tree. I periodically upload my tree to the world tree project, ( so in a month or so, it'll be there for anyone that is doing research to use. This brings me to an interesting point. I was looking again for information on my parents' lines. (A little parenthetical information is that I started doing family tree information by interviewing people in the family when I was still in High School. That was in the 70's. I have had my family tree on the computer and available on the web since 1992 and have been adding to it all the time as information becomes available, both from relatives, and other sources. I have been to the Mormon Library in Salt Lake City to do research as well as to their local temple to use their resources, and I have received and compiled boxes of information from various relatives that were not on the web. I pay monthly for the use of web research resources and since my husband is very interested as well, we both do a lot of work toward expanding our entire tree, not just our direct lineage, but anywhere there is a "hole" that can be filled with research.)
So back to my point... I was looking again for information on my parents's lines and found another tree that had copied the information I had for my father all the way through the end, about 7 or 8 generations (and difficult to obtain). Intrigued, I continued to look at this "other" published tree to find that it included my long estranged sister, yet did not include me! Interesting, isn't that? My tree includes her (regardless of our disagreements, we're still related) and I've even begun to add information on her husband and his family. They used all my research yet declined to list the researcher! I found it very distasteful that anyone in ANY family would revise history to not include a family member. Some of the trees that I find have "information withheld" on some of the no longer living members as well...somthing that dead ends the search right there. My personal opinion is that this information should be shared and protected for future generations to learn from, and to remember their roots from, and it should not be subject to pettiness of anyone at any time that wants to ignore or delete a family member for their own reasons.
At this point in history, nobody knows what the technology will be like in the next few generations, but no doubt the trees that are researched and saved will be part of our heritage and included in the shared archives that our grandchildren's children will use for their own search for their ancestors. It's a shame that everyone can't just be honest and open with the work that they have already done. As for me, I'll continue adding and continue sharing my work, maybe we'll find out that we're all only a few layers separated from one another anyway. :)

1 comment:

Historical Ken said...

How sad to be excluded out of a family line. They have taken a treasured family history and, as your title states, revised it.
I am very glad to see that you have put all feelings aside and included all bloodlines.