Discoveries & Family Secrets

I’ve been thinking more about family secrets and unearthing family skeletons. I discovered something today while searching an index for records in the county where members of my mother’s family (the side I’m researching) lived, worked, and died. It’s related to a family secret that wasn’t that much of a secret, really. In fact, it’s related to something my own mother told me when I was a teen. Now I just have to wait for the records to confirm what I think I discovered today.

My research is taking me in all kinds of directions, which I love. Not just genealogy, but the larger history of a place or a period of time (even a house), and what it means to write a family history memoir, the end goal of my project. I’m fascinated by how families tell their stories, to reveal or to conceal, to uplift or to discourage, to celebrate life events or to regret what happened or what could have been.

I don’t expect to learn everything I want to know, especially as the older generation ages and dies. But I’m starting to feel like this is my life’s project and is the book I am meant to write, not for any direct descendants (as neither my siblings nor I have children), but for me. Perhaps it’s a sort of vanity and a way to live in a past that I never experienced. But really, it’s more about wanting to know my mother, who died when I was 19, and whose life was a closed book in many ways, as well as knowing better the grandmother who meant so much to me and whose loss I still mourn.

Author: polishamericangirl

I'm a librarian and amateur historian who runs a women's memoir book club. I'm working on a memoir project about my own family.

2 thoughts on “Discoveries & Family Secrets”

  1. I think all of us who research and write about family history understand exactly what you mean. I recently published a book based on my research into my mother’s parents–a novelization of it since there were too many gaps to fill. It was one of the most satisfying experiences I’ve had—along with blogging about my family history and doing the research for it. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

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