I was at the Records Room of the Kings County Surrogate's Court one morning last week. I found a piece of information I'd been wondering about for almost as long as I've been researching my family history. I can't be 100% sure that the fact is accurate, as it's not a primary source - but it's closer to it than anything else I'd come across, so I have a decent amount of confidence in its accuracy.
Now, the reason that this one fact has eluded me is because the person it concerned didn't wish it to be known, but rather, took great pains to avoid revealing it while alive. And this has always left me a bit conflicted. If I were to discover this fact, and know it with any degree of certainty, would I share it? (I'm not sure I've reached that degree of certainty yet, so I don't think I'd be spreading this information yet, anyway.) I've never gone looking for a primary source for this fact, precisely because I wasn't sure what I'd do next. On the one hand, it seems inappropriate to keep it from curious relatives, especially those who have shared lots of information with me over the years. But would that be the right thing to do? I know that the dead have no expectation of privacy, but I wonder if disrespecting our ancestors' wishes amounts to disrespecting our ancestors. If I had no respect for my forefathers, I would not be occupied in the genealogical pursuit, now, would I?
Do I share?