(cartoon credited to www.amfor.net )
If you do any kind of genealogy research for profit, eventually you're going to run in to a client like this one!
"Don't tell me if there's someone of another color in my ancestry"; "Don't tell me if we owned slaves"; "Don't tell me that any of my grandparents were married more than once"; and the list goes on and on!
I once had a client from a prominent family. We discovered that her ancestors made them wealthy (to this day!) off of the Libyan slave trade. They purchased slaves from Libyan traders. And then brought them to the Carolina's and re-sold them there. When preparing her genealogy into a readable book format, she requested that I not put that pearl of wisdom into the book. And when she found out that her 8x gr-grandfather had a child with one of his slaves, and then publicly proclaimed the child as his because she looked white, was raised in the home as white, and married as a white woman, she was enraged. "Don't you dare say a word about her in the genealogy or I won't pay you a dime!"
We've all had someone like this, haven't we?
My ancestors were no different than any others. There were slave owners back there. And one of my ancestors was a white slave, no African blood at all. (He supposedly stole aboard a ship bound for America, was caught and pressed into slavery until he reached the majority of his age. So sad. But there it is.
Instead of hiding from these "awful truths", we should embrace them. We need to remember, colonists and American's through the Civil War, were used to having and owned slaves. It was simply what someone did to supply labor for their plantations and farms.
You will also find the occasional murderer; philanderer shot be a jealous husband (or who was the jealous husband!); the wealthy land owner; the poor tinker; and the list goes on.
Instead of denying your ancestor's past, embrace it. What happened two or three hundred years is of no mind, or account, today. If someone judges you by your ancestry, perhaps they should check out their own! Seeking out your genealogy is not for the faint of heart, to be sure!
But the rewards are better than a bank robber's!
What's the strangest thing someone asked you NOT to include in a genealogy?