Genealogical research creates a strange collection of oxymora. While people are enthralled over the idea of learning about their ancestry, they're only interested in the positive information the so-called 'good stuff'..reaching the light of day, never mind being perpetuated in historical records. The Great-great-uncle that was hanged as a horse thief is conveniently forgotten. A turncoat brother who showed enemy forces a way into a besieged city isn't claimed as a relative. Or a slave owner who was dispised as fervently by his wife as by the slaves he owned is reduced to a name and date in the records.
This attitude results in volume after volume of bone dry genealogical records. You know the kind 600 page volumes that condense people's lives to date & location of birth, date and location of death, occupation (if you're lucky) and the names of all their children. Hopefully, you also have their dates and locations of births & deaths and the pattern repeats itself for every subsequent generation (or previous generation, if you're working backwards).
Although there's nothing inherently wrong with that approach to genealogical records, so much is left out. People become nothing more than a name and a date with absolutely nothing to indicate what they were really like and we, their descendents, are much the poorer for it. I'll grant you that, far too frequently, names and dates are all we have and that's sad in itself. What's sadder is to have information available on the person and not preserve or record it.
Life is a work in progress, the ultimate in on-the-job-training. Mistakes are made, many of which permanently affect those closest to them. It's not all peaches and cream. In fact, if you let it all hang out, you have to be aware that those who did not live through a particular event may judge one of your relatives...or you far more harshly than you ever did.
Good or bad, the events happened. They're part of history and cannot be changed. Oh, they can be ignored, forgotten, even rewritten the way you want them to be creating a tapestry of lies in the process but you still haven't changed history. You've slapped a fresh coat of paint over the dirt and grime, but little else. Keep in mind that you are a product of that history. Without that horse thief, traitor, slave owner, military hero or ordinary farmer who spent a quiet life and was never noticed, you would not be what you are today. Our ancestors did the best that they could, given the conditions of their time. Some of their actions were wrong. In some cases, most of their actions were wrong. But every one of them did something right. If they hadn't, you wouldn't be reading this today. Think about it.