Thursday’s Thoughts: Living Descendants

Sorry. I won’t make you famous. If you are reading this, I doubt you will find your name appearing on a descendant list on this website, I identify descendants with Living as the first name on lists of descendants. For privacy reasons, of course. Since you are living, I generally won’t write about you here.

Now, here’s where it gets dicey. What if you already have the status of a public figure? Maybe you or someone else published a biography about you and your family? I know of one family member who has done that and their book is online at the New York Public Library. The United States Holocaust Museum has publicly available video interviews of holocaust survivors with information about their immediate and extended family. And guess what? Some of those videotaped are family members.

Very few of us remain anonymous anymore. To find yourself online all you have to do is a google search. Many databases exist online that show your name, address, and telephone number. Even your age. Just because there’s some information online about you, that’s not a good enough reason for this website to identify you by name and provide details about your life.

If you are living and I write about you, you are most likely already “famous” by virtue of a previous publication that has been widely disseminated and that you have agreed to allow. No invasion of privacy there. To respect your privacy, I won’t write about you or identify you by name unless you are already deemed a “public figure” and there is a compelling family history rationale for doing it.

So though you may not find yourself here, you may find stories about your ancestors and their family members who have left behind a history that I have found enlightening and entertaining.


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