Recently, while doing some research I found some disturbing information about a family member.
The information I uncovered was horrendous. It is something that could have an effect on several other members of my family and is something that deserves not to see the light of day until well after the deaths of all those impacted by this event. But, it is also something that cannot be hidden away and one day will need to be observed.
I found the information while doing a newspaper search to find an obituary. When I did the search, a whole string of articles came up that detailed the heinous acts of this family member. I read the articles and I have been so upset that I have been physically ill. The first night I read them, I cried for a couple of hours.
There are things that we each will find when doing family research that can be embarrassing or disastrous to family members. Revealing these facts to other family members, or to those involved, is not the job of the family genealogist. However, I don’t rightly know what the right thing to do is.
I can never be thought of as the ideal parent, partner or friend. I have a multitude of flaws and I am an ass. I always have been. I am consistent. I don’t go out of my way to make life worse for others and I never deliberately harm others. That’s why I can’t reveal what I’ve found.
The legal system took care of the person in question, and I guess, the got what they deserved. There is still an obligation to history and honesty for this information to one day be released. Each person needs to decide when to tell about a family horror. There are different things accepted differently by different families.
However, in my case that day will be up to my heirs.