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Genealogy/Family Tree Maker and ethical genealogy


Greetings Nancy Janyszeski -

On my mother's deathbed (in 2004), she disclosed to my sister and to my youngest brother's ex-wife that my youngest brother's father was not the man she was married to.  My father (her husband) died in 1987.

Two important questions:

1.   How should that fact (my youngest brother's unknown father) be entered in Family Tree Maker?
2.   It seems to me that because the youngest brother's ex-wife was told, as well as my sister, that he (youngest brother) should be told.  So, should he (my youngest brother) be told of the fact that his father is unknown?  

I appreciate any guidance/help you can provide.

Jon Bond

Jon - this is a personal decision.  

I personally think that EVERYONE, if possible, has the right to know their parentage. That is what genealogy is all about finding and knowing our heritage.  Your brother has the right to know all of his family and that heritage.

Having said that - this is a very difficult decision and I understand that.

You can enter the correct father for your brother very easily in Family tree maker by adding an additional spouse (even though he really wasn't) to your mother.

Good luck.



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Nancy Janyszeski


I do genealogy research in Bucks County PA and maintain a website dedicated to the history and genealogy in Bucks County, one of the three original counties in Pennsylvania. Where William Penn settled and Washington Crossed the Delaware. Bucks County History and Genealogy


20 years as a family researcher and web page historian. Executive Board member of the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania,, Advisory Board member of the USGenWeb Project. State Coordinator for the Pennsylvania GenWeb, County Coordinator for PAGenWeb Bucks, Montgomery and Northampton County.

Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania, executive board USGenWeb project, Advisory Board, PA State Coordinator Haycock Historical Society, Executive Board

Student of Bucks County History and Bucks County Family History.

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