David Laskin

David Laskin, best-selling author of the book, The Family, said:

Medical writer and professional genealogist Jane Neff Rollins gave a spellbinding talk about how to deal with sensitive and scandalous discoveries. In the course of researching her family history, Rollins has ferreted out a raft of secrets and transgressions that relatives have hidden over the years including instances of bigamy, theft, spousal abuse, suicide, homosexuality and conversion. As more and more family dirt surfaced, Rollins found herself facing the fraught ethical question of what to reveal.

Her bottom line is that she feels she has a responsibility to reveal heritable physical and mental traits, and has no qualms about telling embarrassing secrets when all the people involved are dead. “We genealogists can cause embarrassment,” says Rollins, “but keeping secrets is not good for you. Yes, I have gotten flak from family members — but ultimately I feel I am serving the greater truth.”

Read more: http://forward.com/articles/204417/a-report-from-the-jewish-genealogists-summer-ca/