More warts - what was not told #general


Barbara Zimmer <bravo.zulu@...>
 

In my family, there were several topics that were not discussed - at
least not with "the children". So I did no know that my uncle
committed suicide by taking cyanide. (He was a jeweler and thus had
access to cyanide which is used to purify gold.) I was able to
obtain the death certificate at the state archives.

Nor did I know (until I recently asked my elderly aunt) that my other
uncle divorced his wife (my father's sister) and remarried. I
obtained more details on that one >from his will.

And in my husband's family there was a great-cousin who "worked in a
saloon" in the western part of the US. A mutual cousin of my
husband was reluctant to share any information about her. The
important part is that she died young and may have suffered >from a
chronic genetic disease which we know has affected one branch of the
family for over 4 generations.

As genealogists we often uncover details which might otherwise remain
hidden. Some of those details may prove to be highly significant.

Barbara Zimmer
Virginia


joyweave
 

Barbara's story reminded me of the single week in which I received death
certificates >from NY City and a town in Pennsylvania for my grandfather
and my husband's grandfather, respectively.

My grandfather's revealed that he died by jumping out the window of a TB
sanitorium and my husband's gf's revealed that he died of syphilis of
the brain.

No wonder no one wanted to tell me anything when I asked!

Joy Weaver
East Islip, NY USA

Barbara Zimmer wrote:


In my family, there were several topics that were not discussed - at
least not with "the children". So I did no know that my uncle committed
suicide by taking cyanide. (He was a jeweler and thus had access to
cyanide which is used to purify gold.) I was able to obtain the death
certificate at the state archives.

Nor did I know (until I recently asked my elderly aunt) that my other
uncle divorced his wife (my father's sister) and remarried. I obtained
more details on that one >from his will.

And in my husband's family there was a great-cousin who "worked in a
saloon" in the western part of the US. A mutual cousin of my husband
was reluctant to share any information about her. The important part is
that she died young and may have suffered >from a chronic genetic disease
which we know has affected one branch of the family for over 4 generations.

As genealogists we often uncover details which might otherwise remain
hidden. Some of those details may prove to be highly significant.

Barbara Zimmer
Virginia


henryn <henryn@...>
 

Joy:

Thanks for your post on this thread:

Joy Weaver at joyweave@... wrote on 11/5/05 12:50 AM:

<snip>


My grandfather's revealed that he died by jumping out the window of a TB
sanitorium and my husband's gf's revealed that he died of syphilis of
the brain.

No wonder no one wanted to tell me anything when I asked!
My family has a similar story: There are unconfirmed rumors about the
less-than-honorable death of ...

When working with information about my relatives or others >from the same
shtetls, I'm often faced with this issue. Sometimes what I have about a
particular person is mostly warts.

I try to consider first the people who were murdered: Had they lived, they
would have chosen to reveal their warts, to conceal them, to overcome them
-- or some other choice I can't even imagine. I wish they could speak for
themselves, but they can't.

In theory, I'm prepared to reveal their warts if that's what can be found
about them, with care and consideration for their descendents. In practice,
I find myself holding back such information.

However I choose, as a descendent, the act of making such choices is a way
to undo a little of the damage.

Thanks,

Henry

Henry Neugass
Palo Alto, CA
henryn@... remove 'zzz'