Re: Do you ever leave someone off your tree? #general

Sally Bruckheimer

Your family is your family, larcenous, adulterous, felonious. You may not
want to invite Jack the Ripper to your next family reunion - that is a
different matter - but his family did nothing to be left out (at least
some of them are presumably innocent, or at least less guilty). Divorced
spouses with no kids are another matter, as they only include or exclude
themselves, but I would include them because it gives a fuller picture of
your relative's life. The big question is publishing information to all.

I agree that, with the 100 year rule, the living should be safe, but it can
be difficult to tell, sometimes, if a person is living at 98 yo or at 102
or dead. Say the person was born in someplace like PA which had no civil
registration until late, like my Grandmother. She was born 17 Feb 1881,
supposedly, but was she? If she were alive and close to 100, I wouldn't
know for sure what her age is.

The Big A makes you decide whether people are living or dead when you
don't know. There are lots of times when I find that someone was 5 in the
1930 census, little Sammy Cohen, and that is the end of it. I can't figure
out where he went or who he married or anything, which Sam Cohen is the
right one? Sometimes it defaults to dead and sometimes to living; if it
didn't default, the people would all have to be in limbo. It should default
to living, so it protects the information of the possibly living, but it
doesn't. Do you publish information about the questionable? You get more
information if you say the person is dead, and if he is alive and 98, and you
can't find him, does it matter?

Sally Bruckheimer
Piscataway, NJ

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