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Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines

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Readers share their research worries, tips and lucky finds...

Be wary what you wish for In her programme for the BBC about Medieval birth, marriage and death, Dr Helen Castor cited LP Hartley’s opening quote from The Go-Between: ‘They say the past is a foreign country, they do things differently there.’ This statement brought to mind two situations which crossed my path recently.

The first was an article from The Guardian newspaper regarding DNA testing which was posted on the Family Tree Facebook forum. The Guardian writer hinted that to counter the lauding of the many benefits for taking a DNA test, warnings should be printed on the kits to inform the participants that, should they follow up the results, there could be potentially disturbing and upsetting consequences. Children had found that their parents were not their parents, their fathers were not their fathers, that there were unknown step-siblings, among other things.

However, similar concerns had been raised years ago when adopted children were allowed to trace their birth parents. It is certainly the case that the needs of the persons searching, who wish to fill a void in their lives, should be balanced with considered thought, for the consequences for those being sought.

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About Family Tree

Discover the rich records of the golden era of family history, as we trace our ancestors from the Victorian age. Reflect on your roots and sense of identity. And make use of 25 fabulous free resources to learn more about your kin. From DNA sleuthing tips to document research skills, and family stories - find all this and more in Family Tree...