Do you find yourself mourning?

+5 votes
Sometimes my genealogical research leads me to a person that I never knew, but whose death affects me.  Do you find yourself mourning previously unknown ancestors when their story begins to touch you personally?

Likewise, what do you do to combat the sadness brought on by your discovery?
in The Tree House by Peggy McMath G2G6 Mach 3 (37.8k points)
Oh, Peggy.  We are all human and make mistakes.  Sometimes we can fix them and sometimes we can't.  Sometimes we move on and sometimes they stay with us a while.

I recommend a nice cup of tea, a brisk walk, a good movie and prayer.
I'm with you, Peggy.  It is not unusually to find me hysterical in front of the computer.  I cry for a little, tell whoever it is I am so sorry, then move on to another family altogether.  I am tearing up right now remembering a family who lost the husband and seven children in the space of 3 weeks to the flu.

4 Answers

+6 votes
I don't mourn my ancestors. I celebrate that they lived to make it possible for me to be here. Many suffered hardship and that makes me appreciate them more. There are some people I come across in research that I find the circumstances sad but not to where I grieve for them. I try to look at things that were accomplished and that they lived.
by Doug McCallum G2G6 Pilot (448k points)
+5 votes
Yes, recently I came across an only child (female) who died at the age of 18. I decided to look into the cause. It was suicide. This is the first time I have reallly taken the time to look at the cause. From now on I will be looking closer at the cause of death.
+3 votes
I have two uncles, both Confederate soldiers, one killed in battle (at Seven Pines) and one died of disease. The documents of arrangements for the bodies being sent home are rather bureaucratic, but it must have been a great sadness for the two families to receive back the bodies of their young adult sons for burial. That makes me sad, as do all deaths during wartime, for all families.
by Pip Sheppard G2G Astronaut (2.4m points)
+2 votes
I have occasionally found families where most or all of the children died very young. This is quite sad, and I think of how fortunate we are in the US where infant mortality is so low.
by George Fulton G2G6 Pilot (501k points)
when he was very little my dad was sick and some of his brothers were sent out for medicine - his little brother was sitting on a counter and a gun in the shop to be repaired went off killing him instantly  - My Grandma could not deal with the loss and sent my brothers one brother away to live with another family because he let Jimmie die - now Eldon was only 11 when this happened - purely an accident but the family was forever changed and it is real sad
The USA is about number 33 worldwide in infant mortality rate.
I also had a family changed forever by a death, so I imagine for some life stops when their loved ones die. I have numbed myself to feeling most emotions but do on occasion get teary-eyed for an ancestors tragic death or untimely loss of children.

But to give this a positive spin:

If I find a tiny child who died between censuses, I think 
"It's OK, I've found you!" and think joyfully of a little child who was otherwise lost and forgotten - and now is back with his/her family. smiley

That is wonderful Ros

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