The Genealogy Journey

The newbie genealogist's resource for books, mags, databases, and -- of course -- any free research stuff to be found on the Internet.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Resources to Locate Black Sheep Ancestors

Black sheep ancestors can range from those who commit basic thievery to those who commit heinous murders. My own family has a black sheep ancestor – I suspect most families do. However, it can be difficult to trace these individuals because family members don’t want to talk about them. Furthermore, you need to consider whether including detailed information on a black sheep ancestor is:

- Based on fact.
- Going to hurt family members if included.

For example, you may have proof that a black sheep ancestor was part of your family (a birth certificate, for example). This is based on fact and can be included in the family tree. But including information on any crimes the ancestor committed serves no purpose to the family tree, might hurt others in your family, and should not be included. However, you can keep the information about the black sheep ancestor in your files; just refrain from publishing them until all involved are deceased.

For resources and information on black sheep ancestors, see the following Web sites:

Blacksheep Ancestors

What It Is: Prison records, insane asylum records, articles, and biographies of famous black sheep ancestors. Also has a link to a black sheep ancestor Yahoo mailing list.


Cyndi’s List on Prisons, Prisoners, and Outlaws

What It Is: Cyndi’s List has over 100 links, divided by country, that are related to black sheep ancestors.

International Black Sheep Society of Genealogists

What It Is: A mailing list to help locate black sheep ancestors.

~Mary Kaye


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