Monday, April 21, 2008

Auntie Mame: Friend or Foe?

Friends of the family can serve as great resources to one's own family history. Friends may have kept old wedding or birth announcements; they may have photos of you family that you've never seen before; or they may have kept personal family records that included information your family. Then there's the flip side. Friends may also lead us astray in our family history research. An interesting article on Bay, "Beware of Friends Posing as Relatives," points out that close family friends, sometimes adopted into the family and given honorary titles such as aunt or uncle, can set a researcher down a wrong path trying to prove a family relationship that simply does not exist. While there may be no real remedy for this excursion, the make-believe relative may be one more factor to weigh.

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