Archiver > TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM > 2011-12 > 1325358103

Subject: Re: [TGF] A sensitive topic
Date: Sat, 31 Dec 2011 19:01:43 +0000 (UTC)
In-Reply-To: <>

Karen, Mary, Peggy, Susan, Denise, Kim, Kathy, Trevia, Harold, Dave, and ALL others,

Your input is quite helpful and very encouraging. I have studied and studied about the right thing to do and I feel leaving history – words, phrases, and all – intact is in order. Thus, I will be able to maintain the integrity of this man’s life history, in his own words.

Denise, Kim, Kathy, Peggy, I love all your comments.

I visited the website Trevia suggested and checked the neighborhood guide. It is quite a useful tool. I have already done much of what is suggested in this guide, but have picked up a few more ideas to use. Thank you Trevia, for sending me the link. And I visited the link from Susan. Very good ideas, too.

Harold and Dave, I have considered my audience and they will be mostly locals and those who have ever had any connection with this former neighborhood. I am assuming hunters and anglers and wildlife watchers will also be interested since many of the foundations, chimneys, and all cemeteries are found in this area that once comprised this neighborhood, and this is in an area used by sportsmen. The language stays.

Having grown up at the Mason-Dixon Line, many views were southern AND northern. I guess that is why I find this topic so sensitive. Yes, Mary, I am so lucky to receive such a great gift of history. This is something I will treasure because it is another valuable window into the past for this neighborhood, family, and friends. Karen, the readers will have a full picture of the past.

As I continue with the TGF I learn more beneficial things. Thanks to all!

Cheryl Proctor

Southern Indiana

----- Original Message -----
From: "Karen Rhodes" <>
Sent: Saturday, December 31, 2011 11:34:32 AM
Subject: Re: [TGF] A sensitive topic

I also grew up in the south in the 1950s, and I think it imperative that
today's generation and future generations know exactly what it was like
-- hurtful language and all.  People need to be aware of these things --
racism, lynchings, the Holocaust, slavery -- so that they will not
happen again.  Cleaning up the language might save a few individuals'
sensibilities, but sometimes sensibilities need to be offended in order
that these wrongs will not be repeated.  If we do not have a full
picture of what happened in the past, how are we to take steps to
prevent these wrongs in the future?

Karen Rhodes
Middleburg, Clay County, Florida
Author of /Non-Federal Censuses of Florida, 1784-1945: A Guide to Sources/

On 12/31/2011 6:45 AM, Mary Scrudder wrote:
> I've read this thread with interest but I am conflicted with my own thoughts
> on this matter. It is clear that from a 'historical view' staying as close
> as possible to the original is important. However, having grown up in the
> south, in the 50s, and personally hearing (and remembering) some comments
> made by others - - Well - - rude comments were not always used. But rude
> comments were heard often, and the comments were meant to demean, and
> condescend.
> I agree with others that a well worded introduction would help prepare your
> readers, but I think that if you have especially hurtful language, a
> bracketed blank would be appropriate. A question to ask might be - after so
> many years have passed, could anyone still be hurt by the written words? I
> think the integrity of the history, and especially the voice, could still be
> maintained by a few omissions.
> Cheryl, You are so lucky to receive such a great gift of history.
> Mary
> Austin, Texas
> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> [mailto:] On Behalf Of
> Sent: Friday, December 30, 2011 1:14 PM
> To:
> Subject: [TGF] A sensitive topic
> I seek advice from those who have written and published geneaogical and
> historical works.  I am working on compiling a neighborhood history, which
> neighborhood no longer exists, as it is no longer residential.  There are a
> number of persons still living who used to live there or have ancestors who
> lived there.
> I was delighted when a relative loaned to me a life history typed up by this
> individual (the author) who has been deceased since 1971.  This relative has
> given me permission to include the deceased man's life history in my
> neighborhood history.  Many of his stories are not only relevant to the
> neighborhood history but sheds light on events, folkways, day-to-day living,
> etc., etc.
> The deceased man used soom "colorful" language and some words to refer to
> certain races during the first or second decade of the 1900s, and was quite
> common to use those words for this particular area at that particular time.
> Some of these words are not "politically correct" to put it mildly.
> I am not sure how to handle this situtation.  I want to stay as close to the
> "original" wording as possible in order to keep the flavor of his stories,
> including his bad grammar, but I don't want to offend certain races of
> people by his occassional use of the words no longer acceptable in today's
> society.  I wonder about the integrity of my work if I insert with brackets
> a substitute word - or just how I should handle this.
> I have decided to insert proper punctuation , for the sake of ease of
> reading.
> Help!  What should I do?  I eagerly look forward to hearing from those who
> can help - especially from those who have been in this situation.
> Cheryl Proctor

The Transitional Genealogists List was created to provide a supportive environment for genealogists to learn best practices as they transition to professional level work. Please respect the kind intentions of this list.
To unsubscribe from the list, please send an email to with the word 'unsubscribe' without the quotes in the subject and the body of the message

This thread: