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16 February 2014

There Are Many Half-Truths

To say something is a "half-truth" is usually meant in a negative light. However genealogists should remember that many statements made by relatives, alive or dead, are half-truths. This is not meant negatively, but should serve to remind us that any statement could be partially true and partially false. Don't assume a statement is completely true or completely false.

Often the truth rests somewhere in between.

1 comment:

  1. When I was about 13 years old, I discovered a document in my mother’s desk that revealed Daddy was not, in fact, my birth father. The document was a divorce decree naming my mother and my birth father. I asked my mother about it, to her distress, and she admitted her previous marriage that produced me. I learned he was not a part of my life after I was about 6 months old, that he had married several more times, and that I had seven or eight half brothers and sisters.

    Well, this was certainly something to think about. Where did all these people live and could I be running into them and not even know we were related? I did not have other family close by to answer my questions and I wasn’t going to learn more from my mother as she was adamant that “he” would not become a part of my life, so this whole thing was set aside in my mind and soon forgotten. After all, I had Daddy and he loved me and took care of me and my birth father was just a name on a piece of paper.

    Many years later when I became addicted to genealogy research (1987), I began studying my mother’s lineage. Soon my ancestor chart was looking very lopsided and I felt I had to fill in the blanks on my paternal side. I discovered I had just enough clues to began my search. I won’t detail the steps I took here, but I did eventually learn that I had two half sisters and one half brother. Each of these individuals had a different mother. I am the oldest of the four of us, have met and visited in the homes of my first half sister and my half brother. Thinking back to what I learned so many years ago – several marriages and 7 or 8 half brothers and sisters – I now knew of 3 marriages and 3 half siblings, but what about the other 4 or 5. Well, my second step-mother, the mother of my half brother, had been married previously and she had 3 daughters and a son from that marriage. If I counted them, I had located 7 half siblings. This time the rumor proved true.

    I didn’t meet my youngest half sister until a couple ofyears ago when we were connected via e-mail and are now Facebook friends. My older half sister has since passed on, but I am glad for the time we had together and I now enjoy getting to know my half brother’s wife and family (he is the strong silent type) and look forward to getting to know my youngest half sister and her family.