‘We’re descended from Royalty.’ My Father told me once. As a Darwin girl this seemed improbable and I didn’t believe him. It did turn out there was a seed of truth in that story way, way, way back. Often family myths do turn out to have a grain of truth, handed down orally from generation to generation.
Skeletons and secrets are an important and potentially treacherous area for researching your family history. All sorts of ‘hidden’ information about ancestors can be revealed. The further back in time the less traumatic the secrets are likely to be. Bringing minor misdemeanours and misbehaviours to light can really help us to connect to our ancestors as interesting and flawed people. Just like us. However, sometimes what is uncovered can have more serious repercussions.
Cultural Lineage, Parentage, Illegitimacy, Addictions, Violence, Mental Illness, Crimes, Atrocities, Sexuality, Identity
There are many great memoirs and biographies written dealing with secrets, skeletons and myths and the impact of how discovering and uncovering can deeply affect those still living.
Here are a few of my favourites:
What are your family myths? Is there a seed of truth or is it completely fabricated or are you yet to find out? I’d love to read your experiences so please share.
My family has its share of secrets, skeletons and myths. I have written about one of them that precipitated my foray into genealogy. Read on.