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23 September 2014

The Vague Nature of Relationships

In some families, it can be difficult to remember exactly how someone is related. When you are analyzing statements made by someone you have interviewed, keep in mind that your informant may have gotten confused about which grandparent a certain neighbor was related to, whether the relationship was by birth or by marriage, or whether it was the husband or wife in a certain family who was the actual "relative."


  1. Remember also that words such as "Aunt", "Cousin", and even "Grandma" may have been use for close family friends and may have been more indicative of age and generation than actual relationship.

  2. We almost gave a hand-carved "what-not" to the wrong side of the family when disposing of a family member's possessions! Thankfully, we discovered a note placed on the bottom of it just in time!