Re: Handling Skeletons in the Closet #general

Lisa Thompson <lisajt@...>

I'm glad this topic is being discussed; I've enjoyed the various points of
view. I, too, have a skeleton in my family closet. My mother's cousin had a
child ("T") out of wedlock and the cousin's parents adopted and raised the
child as their own. The parents both died of cancer when "T" was young and
she was sent to live with her "sister" (mother). I had assumed she was told
the truth then, but I found out >from my mother that she was not. She still
thinks her grandparents were her parents. I wondered how to represent her
on my family tree - as the sister or the daughter of my mother's cousin?

I have decided that on any information I share, I will simply leave the
cousin and her daughter off of my tree (since this is the only cousin my
mother has information on and they are both living). However, for my
personal records I will show their true relationship while noting the
perceived relationship. I would hope that by now "T" knows the truth,
but if not, it's not my place to reveal it.

I, personally, would not choose to omit someone >from my family tree (for my
own information) because of any perceived skeleton. Unless you're talking
about something pretty heinous, aren't many "skeletons" a matter of
opinion? (For instance, some people would consider divorce or suicide a
scandal; I personally would not.) My Lebrechts became LeBrights to hide
their German heritage. My Blausterns became Blaustens to disguise their
Jewish heritage. I don't want to hide anything >from my daughters - I want
them to be proud of every aspect of their heritage and to learn from
relatives who may not have always made wise choices in their lives.

Lisa Thompson

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