I’m back to my favorite hobby of helping friends explore their family history. The most recent discovery I made was for a friend who lives in Boise, Idaho. Her family runs a local repair shop and she’s been interested in hearing stories about their family business through the years. Usually, my research involves finding relatives from generations past, but in this case, I was looking deeper.
My friend knew a lot about her relatives and the history of the family business, but wasn’t so sure about stories involving her family. She felt that they had kept some secrets over the years and she wasn’t sure how to uncover hidden or lost information. My plan was to scour the Internet and newspapers of the past and see what I could find.
Accidents and Beyond
The newspapers from the local library revealed more than I could’ve imagined about my friend’s family history. Apparently, back in the eighties, her family had to hire a Boise personal injury lawyer because her uncle was killed in a hit-and-run accident. What’s interesting about the case is that they never would’ve found the man who hit her uncle if he wouldn’t have brought his car to their family’s repair shop!
The man was charged criminally and civilly for his crime and the family received a large wrongful death settlement. This settlement helped the repair shop grow and thrive through the years. The family never talked about the death of her uncle because it brought them a lot of pain and suffering. They also didn’t want people to think the uncle’s death benefited the company financially.
Knowing Our History Is Telling
When I told my friend about this story, it helped her understand her family more. She knew there was some secret lingering in her family’s past but she wasn’t sure what it was. She could understand why her family wouldn’t want to broadcast this news to the world because they may judge her family for using the wrongful death settlement to grow the business.
Though she never met her uncle, her family is tight knit and supportive. She’s certain her uncle would’ve wanted her family to use that money to their benefit. My friend told me she’s still trying to decide whether to talk to her family about what she’s discovered. I think she’ll eventually reveal what she knows. When everyone in the family knows the family history, it can bring them together. I hope I brought my friend some clarity and I’m happy my hobby can do that.