Open Thread Thursday – Blended Families


George Geder at his blog Geder Genealogy has begun a great series of posts on blended families and how to handle their data in genealogy research. Specifically, George has taken several genealogy database software companies to task over their inability to handle certain types of data related to blended families.

While it may seem very 21st century, the concept of a blended family is not new. Our ancestors knew that sometimes families did not just connect along blood lines – there are instances where children were adopted or simply “taken in” by a family. Or instances of unrelated persons living under the same roof for various reasons.

Consider your own modern day extended family and you’ll likely see families with multiple marriages, same-sex pairings, adoptions,  children produced via in vitro fertilization with a sperm donor or even a child carried by a surrogate mother.  Admittedly, due to medical advances and changes in society acceptance of different types of family constructs, blended families can hardly be avoided in genealogy research.

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Please either post on today’s topic of blended families at your own blog and then post the link here in the comments or simply add your two cents in the comments section:

  • What is your definition of a blended family? Have you encountered such family types among your ancestors?
  • How do you document blended families in your genealogy research? Is your current genealogy database software able to handle data for blended families?
  • Have your personal opinions on blended families influenced how you document them?
  • Have you ever sent feedback to a genealogy software vendor about the inability of their product to handle certain types of data involving blended families?

This is a great topic for this week’s Open Thread Thursday! And please, if you have a topic you’d like to see discussed among your genealogy blogging colleagues, please contact us and we’ll take it under consideration.

©2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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About Thomas MacEntee

What happens when a “tech guy” with a love for history gets laid off during The Great Recession of 2008? You get Thomas MacEntee, a genealogy professional who’s also a blogger, educator, author, social media connector, online community builder and more. Thomas was laid off after a 25-year career in the information technology field, so he started his own genealogy-related business called High Definition Genealogy. He also created an online community of over 3,000 family history bloggers known as GeneaBloggers. His most recent endeavor, Hack Genealogy, is an attempt to “re-purpose today’s technology for tomorrow’s genealogy.” Thomas describes himself as a lifelong learner with a background in a multitude of topics who has finally figured out what he does best: teach, inspire, instigate, and serve as a curator and go-to-guy for concept nurturing and inspiration. Thomas is a big believer in success, and that we all succeed when we help each other find success.


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