How Do We Choose to Record the Many Layers & Flavors of Our Family History?

How do we define sensitive subjects and the feelings these subjects generate that make us want to keep our heads in the sand?

How can we hope for any change in those “gray areas” when we are doing our Family History, when some individuals are superb at many diversionary tactics that will make it difficult for some to find out what the real facts are?

Nothing sparks a family argument faster or gets people more heated than the two basic evils: Democrats and Republicans 😉  … Okay, seriously in most families it’s always been religion, politics and differences of opinions over family history that will spark the points of contention. So the question is how do you keep all the different family members working to find a common and acceptable agreement when we seem to always collide over any one of these subjects?

Everyone who does any genealogy loves to brag about their famous ancestors they find in their family tree and for the most part that is a good thing.   On the other side of that coin are those who happen to find the “Hitler’s” that are in their family tree which makes them want to hide and never talk about those dirty and sometimes shady parts of their family history . Though out history it has been shown that many have gone to great lengths to keep their embarrassing family “secrets” buried and hidden even to the point of destroying any documents that would tell of anything that was not wanted to be known publicly. This Makes doing genealogy difficult if not impossible for those in that family blood line to sort out their family history when there is big gaps that have been changed or erased all together.  Anything that went against the “Norm” of society was just not talked about or it was covered over.  In some cases an account of something shady might have been written down in one family members account but the same thing was either changed or deleted from another’s.  Areas such as criminals with jail time, children born out of marriage, maybe even having members of the family in radical groups, like the SS or KKK were some of the sore spots.  Then there are other tender subjects we come across in our family research, things like suicides, mental illness, homosexual relationships, domestic abuse, or alcohol and drug abuse, polygamy or interracial marriages to just name a few of those “Taboo” subjects that in some accounts were avoided or recorded differently than what really happen but none the less they were still  a part of those families history.

While I am sure that there are areas, which no matter what a person’s beliefs are on any certain subject, for one reason or another they will never be able to agree or want to understand someone whose opinions do not match theirs. The purpose of my blog this week is not to find out who is right or wrong but rather as someone who loves to do genealogy I want to try to learn how to continue my family research when in some cases so few documents still exists on certain family lines, or I find conflicting documents so not sure how to continue on and be as accurate as possible.  My personal goal is to overcome the problems caused by the many things that the families of that time wanted to hide. Another matter I struggle with is once you do find something in your family history that might not be “socially” acceptable even in our time or would for sure embarrass someone in your family, how do you go about recording it accurately and in a manner that is acceptable ?

There are many who only want to know the exciting and upbeat parts of their family trees and for them only knowing the names, and vital statistics like dates and places of the births and deaths are all that is important to them in their genealogy research. This is where they draw the line and any facts that are uncomfortable, embarrassing, or they just do not agree with are deleted from their family history. They believe family history is a private matter that needs to be kept private and only the upbeat things should be shared.

Then, there are those like me that feels that any type of history should consist of the truth and wrote down accurately and completely.  I am a person who not only wants but needs to know as many facts as I possibly can on all those in my family and this means the “Good, the Bad and the Ugly”.  Until the puzzle feels completed I keep looking. I guess this is my OC that is coming out in my family history research, but I do feel it’s vitally important to know the complete truth.   I do not think less of, or get embarrassed by the choices that my past family members made in their lives that were different from what my own personal moral code is. I truly enjoy the personal, human side of family history which helps me to understand what the times and areas were like for my different family ancestors and this brings me comfort knowing that they too were human and made their share of mistakes. I gain a whole new level of gratitude for the blessings of my life as I have read the different ways others learned to cope with the hardships of their own lives.  I now feel I better understand myself enough to know that what is the best and right course for me, is not always the best and right course for other who might also share the same family blood lines as me.

I find it interesting as I watch the TV show “Who Do You Think You Are?”   Before the professional genealogist reveals any unflattering family news they always ask the star if they are sure they want to know the whole truth.  My answer would always be YES !!


So my questions this week to my blog readers is this.

  1. How do you deal with the many different layers and flavors of your family research?
  2. If you find facts along your research that is in those “grey areas” of being socially unacceptable things do you still share it in your public family research areas?
  3. If you currently have things in your family that are in those “grey areas” of being socially unacceptable, will you do like those of the past did and cover them up, or will you record the facts and the truths as they are?

Need Some Helpful Advice From Any Grandmothers who have gone in to the Labor & Delivery


This is not my first grandchild....but its the first time I will be in the labor and delivery :)

This is not my first grandchild….but its the first time I will be in the labor and delivery 🙂

I could use some helpful advice from any grandmothers who have gone in to the labor and delivery with your daughter to help and witness the birth of your grandchild. My oldest daughter ask me to be there for her daughter’s birth almost nine years ago, but we live 2000 miles apart and I books my flight to go out there a week before her due date. The problem was our grand-daughter decide to come two weeks early 😉 So I miss her birth by 6 days.

. Now my second daughter is going to be giving birth anytime now, and she lived close by so I know I should make it to the hospital with her and her husband. I had given birth to my own five children, so figured I was prepared to go in and help my daughters in the birth of their children, if they asked me to. Yet, I find the closer the due date is getting, the more nervous I am becoming. I am still over joyed and excited about being blessed to be part of my newest grandson’s birth. I have been getting online and reading anything I can get my hands on to read on how I, in the grandma role, can be a supporting role for my daughter, son-in-law and soon to be grandson Declan. Yet, I somehow still feel unprepared. I know I will be extra emotional and not sure how well I will handle witnessing my daughter in discomfort during the labor and delivery process. I want to be 100 % supportive and give my daughter all the love I have ever felt for her at this joyful time in her life.

So, I am doing this blog this week to ask all Grandmother who read this for some advice as to the ways you found you were helpful and what are the “DO NOTS” for me to remember so I don’t make any mistakes. I will take any helpful advice for any readers who want to leave comments too.

I had a daughter in law reply on my Facebook that reminds me that any mother that has had her mother there is also welcome to give me any advice you have. I just want to know any and everything I can on how I can help make the process in the labor and delivery as smooth and stress free as possible.

TO ALL My Family Who Served our Country with Honor in Any Branch of the Service ~ THANK –YOU

I want to honor all my family who are now serving or ever did serve in any branch of our military. I am grateful for all you gave to allow our way of life to be based on Freedom and Peace. My family is large and has a rich military history, as I started to gather up the names of all my family who served in the military I soon realized it was a much bigger project than I could do justice to. I also was afraid that even though I would not mean to, I most likely would leave someone name off the list. So instead of listing every military family member names I will proudly say that our family has many who have served in all branches of the Military, and in all the conflicts in America’s history from the Revolution War to some serving active duty now.

Our family’s military history has not been with just American history, the more I have learned about my family’s military experiences the more amazed I became. I am proud to say there has been many in my family who played key roles in many major world conflict throughout much of our recorded history.

There is the two Tanner brothers (later change the family surname to Danner) Michael Danner (1696 – 1782) (my paternal 6th great-grandfather) and Hans Jacob Danner (1698 – 1771) who were the sole survivors of their entire family. There had been many generations who were military soldiers who fought in the Switzerland and Germany area during a period in history we now call the “Christian Crusades”.There were many Kingdoms that were battling for more power and land to increase their wealth.

There is King Harald III of Norway Sigurdsson (1015- 1066) my paternal 27th great-grandfather. Harald was the last great Viking king of Norway and his invasion of England and death at the Battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066 proved a true turning point in history. It marked the end of the Viking age and beginning of the High Middle Ages.

There is Ithon ap Cymryw, King In Briton “ap Camber” Ap Perdur (1050 BC -) my paternal 95th great-grandfather. Here is what is said of him from the Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia; “Camber (Cymryw) Dux Cambria & Cornwall Kamber was a legendary king of Kambria as accounted by Geoffrey of Monmouth. He was the son of Brutus and a descendent of Aeneas of Troy. Upon his father’s death, he was given the region called Kambria after himself. This area corresponds roughly to present-day Wales. He aided his brother, Locrinus in the defeat of Humber, King of the Huns, which was an act of revenge for Humber’s murder of Albanactus, their younger brother.”

There is Dardanus Darda King of Dardania TROY, Birth 1470BC in BC in Samothrace, Thrace, near Marmara Sea, Turkey, and Death 1414 in BC in Rameses, Goshen, Egypt; he is my paternal 105th great-grandfather. Here is what I was able to learn about Dardanus; “One of the sons of Zerah (the scarlet thread) was Dara or Darda or Dardanus as called by the first century historian Josephus, or Darius as referred to in various Trojan genealogies. Darda is accredited as the founder of the city of Troy. Darda’s descendants never entered the Promised Land or took part in the Exodus of the Israelites. Apparently they left Egypt within those 400 years before there arose up a new king over Egypt. He was involves in the “Trojan wars”.

Then there is King David Israel, Birth 1063 in Bethlehem, Judah, Israel and Death 1015 in Yerushalayim, Israel/Jerusalem, Judah, Israel; he is my paternal 108th great-grandfather. I really don’t need to go into much detail as to what a Military warrior King David was.

I am proud and honored to be part of this family with so many Military warriors. Thanks for all who served with honor. An extra depth of gratitude to the ones who “gave their all” in the quest for peace and freedom.

While this is still very much a work in progress, I would like to end with sharing the “Military” page I am creating to honor my Father, Donald Barrett Danner who served our country with honor in the US Marine Corps, and is still serving in his local area with their Veterans events and in his community to do what he can at 84 to keep America strong and the land of the Brave.

My Father ~ Donald Barrett Danner ~ Staff Sergeant US Marine Corps ~