Do I Really Want to Know?

[Elle’s story]

Researching family history starts out fun and easy. Given names and approximate ages one can find a lot of information online, and so leaves on the family tree appear. It’s spring time and excitement is in the air.

Until the first storm clouds appear on the horizon. What is this child’s name on the 1920 census? That name has never been heard in conversation at the occasional family reunion.

What will questions about this new person bring forth? Who might be harmed by the knowledge? What dreadful things from the past might be hauled out of the attic of someone’s heart or mind? How would I feel about bringing up the questions? How will I feel about the answers?

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