Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What to do With Spicy Stories

So I have a number of stories about family members, things that illuminate the personalities of the people in question. I also have reflections on what they were like based on those stories, or what I know of their lives. My problem is that the stories and reflections are not always exactly flattering.

We all have relatives that were drunks, wife beaters, petty (or not so petty) criminals, and so on. My experience is that most family stories don't focus on the unsavoury part of the people, they focus on the good things, and yet isn't the bad stuff part of what are ancestors were?

There is also the issue of what other relatives may think of what I have written. We aren't supposed to speak ill of the dead, but do I(we) really want one dimensional always nice, kind understanding people, when they might not have been nice, kind people. To a certain extent we can view our ancestors through the lens of the time they lived in. In other words, were they good people, or at least no worse than average, according to the understanding of the time?

So what to do? Try to make ancestors out to be better than they were, or present them as real people, warts and all?

Monday, October 18, 2010

Some Interesting Links

Just a few links that I found out about through Geneanet.

The first is the Domesday on a map, from the National Archives of England. Meeth, Dolton, and Beaford show up, among others, but there is no Merton, or St Giles in the Wood.

The second is UK History Photo Finder, pictures from the 1920's -1940's.

The last is an article about a digitization project for aerial photos of Britain. You can sign up for updates at It may be called Britain from Above, but the name was not directly stated.