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I need input...I just want to do the right thing

So lately, I have been very involved in doing my family's genealogy. I have come a long ways and I love it, learning about my family history. While doing the research, I found that my great grandma and grandpa had a young servant girl named Mary that lived with them and helped to raise their son, my grandpa. I recently came into a bunch of photos of my great grandparents, my grandpa and Mary. Something inside of me is telling me to contact the family of Mary (her son is still alive and they have a lot of other family members alive, as well) and share the pictures of Mary with them. However, at the same time, I feel a lot of apprehension in doing this because there is a lot I don't know. I don't know if Mary's job as servant is a sore spot in their family history and I do not want to offend anyone or dig up something that may not want to be dug up, you know? I keep thinking, if the situation were reversed, would I want someone to come to me and share old pictures of my family? And I keep coming back to the answer "yes". I would just like some opinions from others that aren't so close to the situation to give me input. What would you do in my situation? If you were on the other side of the matter, how would you feel? Thanks for any help you can give me! -Andrea


Asked by IMaTAPSgirl at 2:54 PM on Jun. 21, 2013 in Relationships

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Answers (5)
  • Do you know Mary's son? Does he live close enough to get together.
    Maybe you could meet and they may have things or memories to share with you.
    I personally would like to have a picture if it were me. They many not have many pictures of her.
    I think it would be a thoughtful gesture.
    I am fairly sure you did not know Mary but you knew your grandfather and she must have done a good job in raising him. You might also want to let them know what a good job she must have done.

    Answer by Dardenella at 3:08 PM on Jun. 21, 2013

  • Thanks for your answer. I do not Mary's son, personally. He lives about 6 hours away from me, in Fresno, CA (which is kind of neat, considering my great grandparents lived in Louisiana, and Mary's son was born there). I just am nervous as to whether they would have a bad reaction to me and our family, seeing as how she was a servant to my great grandparents.

    Comment by IMaTAPSgirl (original poster) at 3:16 PM on Jun. 21, 2013

  • If you don't wish to offend I would first stop referring to Mary as a "Servant" she was an employee. Secondly I would work on not sounding so smug in my communications.

    Answer by KristiS11384 at 3:35 PM on Jun. 21, 2013

  • Maybe write a letter explaining the situation and include a few pictures of Mary. Let her son know you'd like to be contacted if he is interested, then leave it up to him.

    Answer by Ballad at 4:33 PM on Jun. 21, 2013

  • Thank you to the ladies who actually answered my question, instead of giving some smart ass comment. I appreciate your input. In no way am I smug or self righteous and I'm not even sure how you got that out of my question. As for calling her a servant, I apologize if that was not the PC term, I was just going by what she was called in the census, as I was doing my research.

    Comment by IMaTAPSgirl (original poster) at 5:23 PM on Jun. 21, 2013

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