• A Non-Traditional Family Tree

    January 2, 2012 by  
    Filed under Articles, Latest News, Lesson 2 Articles

    Genealogybeginner.com is set to tackle same sex marriage, test tube babies and strong opinions.

    Last week genealogybeginner.com received a post on our forums that brought up a very timely and relevant issue. The subject of this thought provoking post… how to record non-traditional relationships in your family tree.

    This significant topic tends to bring up far more questions than answers. It has also sparked more than a few passionate debates among genealogists.

    A Blended Family Tree

    The definition of family has certainly shifted. From the narrow boundaries of the nuclear family common in our great grandparent’s day, to our current culture of:

    –          Blended families

    –          Common law unions

    –          Same-sex marriages

    Add to this the further complications of test tube babies and children conceived by surrogate mothers; then try to decide how to document and record these events.

    Genealogy Purist or Genealogy Radical

    In the genealogy world, there are definitely some strong opinions on the subject with two main schools of thought.

    One school of thought comes from a purest view that insists; only direct genetic relationships have a place in your family tree. This view is the same one that states aunts, uncles, cousins and even siblings have no place in the genealogical record.

    The second school of thought makes a case for recording all information about a family group. The argument on this side of the fence states that if there is an existing record then the information should be included.

    No matter what your personal view, genealogy has yet to come up with a software program equipped to deal with it all.

    Ask a Genealogist

    See this post on the Ask a Genealogist forum. Let us know if you would like more information on how to record non-traditional relationships. We welcome questions dealing with the documentation of complicated offspring.


    Image Credit: SoDigitallyMevia Photobucket

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