06 May 2019

How to support yourself and others around major family secret discoveries?

If you were at the Ottawa DNA group meeting last Saturday you saw examples of DNA unravelling family secrets. We didn't get into the next phase — what to do once you've made the discovery. That's the topic of a presentation given at Family Tree Live UK conference in London last month. 

That presentation was by Katy Barbier-Greenland, a qualified social worker with a background in social policy whose Ph.D. project investigates family secrets.

Katy has posted a summary Outcomes from this project on her website.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Most interesting John. I divulged a family secret to an elderly cousin that her family were really not members of the this family. Their ancestor was informally adopted (as there was no formal or legal adoption in what later became Ontario at that time) as a young child by the only person he ever knew as a father, after his own father had died in Scotland and his mother had had no choice but to come with her relations to Canada in 1820. She had remarried here while her son was still a small child.

My cousin's reaction was particularly grounded and practical. She told me, "well, don't tell this story around anywhere for 10 years or after my death, whichever comes first. [Both have occurred.] The oldest grandson is getting married this summer and the nonsense he is insisting on, like all the members of the bridal party wearing the clan tartan and the pipes leading them into the church. Well, after 10 years they will finally have paid for the damned wedding or will be divorced by then so it won't matter."

Of course I complied. Cheers, BT