He then married another woman (without having gotten a divorce!) and began a new family with her.
Upon learning this information, and that she had living relatives, Cattrall chose not to follow-up and meet her grandfather's other family. Most of the people who were discussing the program on Twitter (#wdytya) last evening were in agreement that it was a very emotional episode.
What do you do with YOUR skeletons?
This brings me around to a question I would like to pose to readers of this blog.
What do YOU do with the skeletons in YOUR closet? Most of us have them. Mine include illegitimate children, kidnapping (if it's your own child, is it really kidnapping?), several suicides, and probably the worst of all, a third great-grandfather who killed his daughter and then committed suicide in 1851.
Last night's discussions on Twitter as well as on Geneablogger Radio brought out a lot of firmly held beliefs on what to do with this type of information when it is discovered in your family history research.
Points to consider:
- Do you lay it on the line, share with family and publish your findings?
- Do you keep it close to the vest and not share it?
- Do you attempt to rewrite history? The genealogist who published a family history that included the ancestor who murdered his daughter changed the entire context of that story, making him out to be a hero who tried to save his daughter's life. Newspaper reports from the time were quite different.
- Is there a "statute of limitations" on privacy? For example, if an incident occurred four or five generations back, do you treat the information differently?
When I began gathering information from living family members, a relative asked that I not include her first husband in her genealogy. I was rather astounded by the request, because how would I explain where her three children came from?
I definitely understand and respect privacy issues regarding living individuals; that isn't the point of this discussion.
But I am very interested in how other genealogists deal with the skeletons in your closet. This is an open discussion, so please leave your comments below.