Friday, November 19, 2010

Follow Friday - 19 Nov 2010

Follow Friday - 19 Nov 2010

My recommendations this week. As usual, I normally pick one or two good posts from my week's readings, or left from the prior week! Hope they are useful or at least interesting to you, as well! If it is your first visit, even better!  ;-)


I am pleased to again recommend a fine post by Dan Curtis - Professional Personal Historian: "What I've Learned About Getting "Truthful" Interviews."

The post is directed at the personal history interview, but the seven point discussion really speaks to all of the genealogy and family history research we do on our family and ancestors as well, in my view. We want the "truth" - but does the "whole truth and nothing but the truth" always contribute in a positive way to what we hope to accomplish in our research and especially in our sharing of our family story?

I do not mean to suggest we "not seek the truth." To the contrary, following the context Dan builds with his seven points, I believe, provides us a better framework within which to tell our family stories.

What to you think?  ;-)

Families are Forever!  ;-)


  1. I've learned, especially through interviewing senior members of my husband's African American family based in Craven County, NC, that the whole truth is helpful in understanding special or delicate situations in families, but shouldn't necessarily be aired as dirty laundry. We need to use some sensitivity. As an "outsider" or in-law, I may have a different perspective on the situation than someone who lived it, and I need to be very careful how I express my perceptions as an observer. My best example would be the circumstances and effects of my grandfather-in-law's supposed divorce and remarriage. There were circumstances which were colored by individual perspectives which changed forever the way people in that family group would relate to one another. Senior members of the family are very careful about such things, and usually talk about generalities for the first 5 or so interviews before they can determine if they can trust the family historian. In all respects, any information stemming from an interview needs to be corroborated by factual evidence. In the above case, I still need to find divorce records, or perhaps it was just a passage of time as in abandonment cases which established the legal separation. Perhaps one day I'll find out.

  2. P.S. I tried to connect to the post above, but the link is broken.

  3. Try reposting, perhaps, and I can delete the first two, if that would be helpful. Or simply try again. Thank you for the fine comment. I looks great, to me. ;-)