JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen RE: Do you ever leave someone off your tree? #general

Kenneth Packer

I agree, and always include all on the tree with appropriate notes. Over
the years I have had very few objections, but yes some. Even with the few
objections, I do what I believe is right, the complete recording of family
history. And I have lots of family that back me up and have helped on this

I believe that several years ago, I did post my genealogy philosophy which
comes with a copy of the tree when family members order the tree, which now
has 2140 names. The tree stated with 125 names. It Only goes to family; it
is not a public document! It is not on the Internet. You will find my
philosophy paper below. It helps others know what and why I have been doing
this for the past 20 years. Hope my ideas help you and others communicate
what we do with family who may have some resistance.

I believe my paper on genealogy is relevant to this discussion that has had
some wonderful responses. Discussions such as these help us all to be
better at what we do. I hope we continue to share our ideas on this forum.
Why Genealogy and Why a Family Database?
By: Ken Packer (#30)

When our children and grandchildren ask the questions: "Where did we come
from?" "Who were our ancestors?" "Did any of our family perish in the
Holocaust?" "Am I related to anyone famous?" "Has anyone in our family
ever been in jail?" "Is there a history of disease in our family that I
should know about?" "Where did I get my music and artistic talents?" "How
has religion affected our lives?" How will you answer these and other

As we grow, family traditions and history offer security and a sense of
uniqueness. Recounting the origins of our cherished traditions and history
gives a deeper understanding of why traditions are so special. In the past,
families often sat around and told stories for others to remember. With TV
and new forms of entertainment, story-telling has become a lost art and a
lost past-time. Just as we enjoy taking pictures and videos and re-looking
at the events we attended, a family genealogical history and database is
another way of looking at and remembering our history. Genealogy is more
than names and dates. It is the stories of our lives.

Our treasures lie in our knowledge. We are wealthier by gathering the rich
history that makes us who we are. Your family history is about who you are
and where you come from. We are all connected. We are family.

Family Historians want to know about the places where our ancestors lived,
their occupations and interests, what they ate and wore, how they traveled,
and many other aspects of their lives. The records, which throw light on
these things, are rich in information about our ancestors' lives. With this
material, the past - your past - begins to come to life. Family history,
however, is more than this, we discover the truth about old family legends,
stories, or mysteries. It is a record of our successes and failures, of our
joys and disappointments, and the forces that made us who we are. Nothing
is good or bad. It is not about secrets. It is history. It is what we
did. And keeping your family history alive, is very important.

If we don't record that history now, it may be lost forever. If you don't
do it, who will?

This database of family history is for our family. It is not a movie or a
TV script. It is not a book for others to read. It is meant for us and our
children. Since 1991, when the research began, it has grown >from 125 names
and their stories to a family tree of more than 2100 family members. It is
an amazing family that can be traced back to two brothers, Abraham and Chaim
Peker, who lived in Russia in the early 1800's. And the tree continues to
grow because of the efforts of family members who understand the importance
of history and staying connected. Hopefully someday our research will take
us back even farther.

We thank all for sharing and hope you will join us in this important
activity of recording living family history.
--------------End of Reprint-----------

Kenneth L. Packer
Washingtonville, NY 10992
(E-mail) packer18@...

-----Original Message-----
From: Debby Painter [mailto:gincig@...]
sent: Friday, March 16, 2012 12:19 PM
To: JewishGen Discussion Group
Subject: Re: Do you ever leave someone off your tree?

I agree that we are products of our family no matter the circumstances of
these relationships. There will always be people or situations that
families are not too proud of "acknowledging" but they are family
nevertheless. ...

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