Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Brick Wall of a Living Family Member

I have a family member who is more or less... out there. Not saying she's good or bad, but she's just... well, out there. It's a close relative (at least family tree wise), that I don't speak to often for a variety of reasons.

I called her the other night about getting family information. I'm tracing her husband's side of the tree and he's passed away, so I figured he might have left something behind. Pictures. Anything. There are a few things, yes, but she'll have to find them. He's been dead for nearly two decades, I'm sure they're buried in with his stuff in an upstairs closet. She also told me a few stories about relatives, one in particular about Flora that I'm pretty sure is true, but I may never know for sure (Emily's Genealogy Rule #1). These stories were telling about Flora's nature (if they are true), but overall particularly harmless.

Then the brick wall came. I asked more information. Names. Dates. Things I know she had to know, because she was there. Nope, don't remember a thing.

Uh huh.

I'm not saying she's lying, but I think she knows more than she's ever going to tell me. There could be a couple reasons for this, but I think the main one is she doesn't want to do her husband's family "wrong" by slipping up and letting on a dirty little secret, or some skeleton, something probably minor in the whole picture but was a big scandal 100 years ago.

I keep forgetting that we are living in a totally different world than 100-200 years ago. Babies out of marriage is perfectly acceptable now. "Shacking up" is perfectly acceptable now. Weddings are huge now, not five person affairs on Tuesday evenings (that I wish we could go back to, because my wedding has turned into some sort of Princess Di event and not the wedding it started out to be, but that's a different post and not related to genealogy at all.)

I've hit a brick wall with her, but I'm not out of luck yet. There are a couple others out there that may be able to give me answers. And if not, there's always the library... Right?

1 comment:

  1. I know how you feel with the living person brick walls. The Man's mother is keeping quiet about a lot I feel.. She doesn't want me to research her family history, so I won't atm.

    Hope you get your answers somehow.