Family history is usually perceived as just that 'a family history' - and family can be very large and broad.  Information is shared with out sources, information is shared without credit, and information is shared simply to solve the mystery each researcher is dedicated to solving.   I spend hours in front of census records, deeds, and other historical data verifying, guessing, and leaping into the dark of a "what the heck!"

Some family lines had full, rich historical data that was freely shared among many offspring, so their information and stories are all the same.  Some hid their information like a forbidden treasure and it is leaked out as if trying to unseat a crooked politician; I have had people want to swear me to secrecy about some aspect of family history that was already common knowledge to anyone able to read a census or pension file!

Our ancestors were not perfect - get over it!  They had 'flings', they had bad marriages, and they enjoyed being human and all that means.  Their achievements or failures are theirs;  there is no reflected glory or reflected blame.  We have to reach their  level of achievement  or seek to do better with our lives than they did with theirs.

So recognize the work of others but also recognize the nature of family history is to share, freely, and then accept whatever we uncover, knowing that we are better, one way or another, for the knowledge.

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