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Scandalous Family Secrets


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Have you ever learned of a family secret that answers literally decades of questions?

My mom moved to California from the midwest with my grandparents in the 60's.  The rationale seemed very plausible - they moved here for the nice weather.  Come to find out, that wasn't the main reason.  My mom's cousin told me there was a huge falling out when my grandparents left the Catholic church and became Lutherans.  They were basically disowned by the rest of the family.  Life became so miserable, they packed up everything and moved out west.  Not once has my mom let onto this.

My dad has an aunt who spends most of her time on genealogy.  She attends reunions, knows everybody, publishes photo books, yada, yada, yada.  I've asked her literally ten or fifteen times for a copy of the family tree from her computer.  There's always an excuse - it's too big to print, her printer doesn't work, she doesn't have Adobe Acrobat to make a PDF, the family tree isn't complete, she forgot, and on and on...  I learned from my cousin that the real reason she won't give out a copy is because two of my dad's first cousins are actually husband and wife, and the family tree is rather...embarrassing.

Any good stories?

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My mom se t me the family slide collection. Most were in cartridges for use with the slide projector but some were loose in envelopes. I went through every single slide and transfered them to file format.

Then I found roles of negatives that were never printed. Most were of my Dad's time in Europe when he was in the air force. Amongst the shots of various forgotten friends in the service and shots of airfields and planes were several pictures of a woman, obviously not my Mom. Then pictures of her with my Dad. 

I made jump drives of the nearly 2,000 pictures for my siblings, excluding the girlfriend pictures. My father just passed away and the funeral is this weekend. Those pics will never see the light of day until Mom passes on.  Or maybe Dad's secret ends with me. 

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27 minutes ago, yk9001 said:

Sorry to hear about your dad, Blarg.

He was 88 and his passing was actually for the better. He had been suffering with Alzheimers for the last four years and degenrating health to the point he couldn't stand and walk. We did what we could, medical and nursing home but it was well past time for him to move on. Funeral is Saturday in Montana and he's getting a military burial. Looks like it will be nice and sunny and maybe we will dig out one his old fishing poles and dip a line in his honor. 

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My mom's father was an ass...ran around on my grandmother constantly...would disappear for years at a time. Being a strict Catholic my grandmother would ask the priest to allow her to get a divorce/annulment but he would say no. One day my grandfather shows up at the hospital my grandmother works at, as a patient. He starts carrying on a multi year affair with another nurse. At some point the other nurses wises up and takes off. Grandfather goes back to being the debauchery asshole that he was and disappears again...finding one woman after another to run into the ground and getting punched out by my uncle for picking up another woman right in front of him.

Flash forward many years, my grandmother's passed, and he's found another woman to leech off of and spends most of his time trying to guilt his grandchildren into loving him...and that invariably fails.

So he passes and my mom and her 2 living siblings get a note from a lawyer that my grandfather has left his 5 living children his entire estate...which equals nothing because he had nothing. Turns out the nurse he was having an affair with had two of his children and then bailed to California to get away from him and remarrying and telling both of her kids that her new husband was their father (or that their father had died...we weren't quite clear on that). They lived their entire lives believing that.

So, from what we can gather from his last wife is that my grandfather, being the asshole that he was, even though he didn't have anything to give them, decided as a final fuck all to everyone called them out in his will.

 

 

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Another story...family lore is that my mom's ass of a father...that his side of the family was connected, owned a land and oil wells back in Illinois in the early 1900's. My great uncle was busted for counterfeiting and to keep him out of jail the family ended up bribing the governor to get him pardoned. Flash forward a few years and my great aunt finds out my great uncle is counterfeiting again and calls the cops on him herself and as the cops are busting down the door my great uncle is handing my grandfather the plates/evidence and telling him to toss them in the river down the street.

No idea how true that story is

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18 hours ago, Blarg said:

I went through every single slide and transfered them to file format.

What equipment did you use? I've found some slide/negative scanners on Amazon but I'm not sure of the quality. Did you have access to something more sophisticated from your work?

Sorry to hear of your dad. Montana should be nice this time of year. Missoula area?

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1 hour ago, Lhalo said:

What equipment did you use? I've found some slide/negative scanners on Amazon but I'm not sure of the quality. Did you have access to something more sophisticated from your work?

Sorry to hear of your dad. Montana should be nice this time of year. Missoula area?

After my dad passed, and before my mom did, I digitized all of their slides with a scanner purchased for the task.  Didn't find any scandalous pics, though.

It was four or five years ago.  I will look for the name when I got home.

 

The quality was so-so but some of the slides were just so faded.

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My parents divorced when I was 3, and I ended up living with my Mom in CA while my Dad moved to Boston and eventually re-married and had 3 kids.

Two years ago, my half-sister got a DNA test kit for her birthday from her husband, to trace her ancestry. She made the results public, and a year later a random guy contacted her saying that they are 100% related as siblings. They emailed back and forth, trying to get to the bottom of how they are related. Come to find out, my Dad, before he was even with my Mom, knocked up his girlfriend when they were in their teens living in Michigan. 

Because my Dad's girlfriend's family was strictly religious, she was told to keep her pregnancy a secret, to not even tell my Dad. So she had the baby and gave it up for adoption. The man that contacted my half-sister was the baby given up for adoption, and he is basically using the DNA testing to retrace his whole life. It turns out he went from being an adopted child, from a nice home and great adoptive parents, to having this whole other side of family. He's now met his biological mother and sisters, and has corresponded with our side of the family. 

So, now I have an older half-brother that I've never known about. And my Dad, who passed away 15 years ago, has a son he never knew about. 

I think this is common with the DNA kits, so be careful, you never know who's out there. 

 

 

 

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On 6/26/2019 at 2:22 PM, Blarg said:

My mom se t me the family slide collection. Most were in cartridges for use with the slide projector but some were loose in envelopes. I went through every single slide and transfered them to file format.

Then I found roles of negatives that were never printed. Most were of my Dad's time in Europe when he was in the air force. Amongst the shots of various forgotten friends in the service and shots of airfields and planes were several pictures of a woman, obviously not my Mom. Then pictures of her with my Dad. 

I made jump drives of the nearly 2,000 pictures for my siblings, excluding the girlfriend pictures. My father just passed away and the funeral is this weekend. Those pics will never see the light of day until Mom passes on.  Or maybe Dad's secret ends with me. 

Blarg, your story sounds so familiar.  Have you told it before?  Maybe someone told a similar story in some previous thread.  Family history can be fascinating sometimes.  Even vague memories that a person has and wholeheartedly believes can be debunked and provide a new "perspective" on people that you know/love.  I remember after my parents passed my family sitting around telling stories and realized that some childhood memories were wrong, misremembered or misunderstood based on my age at the time of the memory.

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My father and his people were from Arkansas.  Someone came out of the woodwork in the past few years and claimed that my fathers family history is false based on either his mother or grandmothers unfaithfulness.  They thought we were actually more likely to be Williams, instead of our actual last name.  Was kind of a WTF moment.  Was actually invited to a Williams family reunion.  Didn't go, didn't follow up.  My history is what it is and I'm too busy to look into a alternate history. 

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On 6/27/2019 at 2:21 PM, Angel Dog and Beer said:

My parents divorced when I was 3, and I ended up living with my Mom in CA while my Dad moved to Boston and eventually re-married and had 3 kids.

Two years ago, my half-sister got a DNA test kit for her birthday from her husband, to trace her ancestry. She made the results public, and a year later a random guy contacted her saying that they are 100% related as siblings. They emailed back and forth, trying to get to the bottom of how they are related. Come to find out, my Dad, before he was even with my Mom, knocked up his girlfriend when they were in their teens living in Michigan. 

Because my Dad's girlfriend's family was strictly religious, she was told to keep her pregnancy a secret, to not even tell my Dad. So she had the baby and gave it up for adoption. The man that contacted my half-sister was the baby given up for adoption, and he is basically using the DNA testing to retrace his whole life. It turns out he went from being an adopted child, from a nice home and great adoptive parents, to having this whole other side of family. He's now met his biological mother and sisters, and has corresponded with our side of the family. 

So, now I have an older half-brother that I've never known about. And my Dad, who passed away 15 years ago, has a son he never knew about. 

I think this is common with the DNA kits, so be careful, you never know who's out there. 

one of my closest friends (mike) found out just a few years ago that the man who he knew as his father wasn't his father at all. he was married to my buddy's mom and raised mike as his own, and mike never knew anything differently. mike did a 23 and me test and found out in the last 8 months that he has two half brothers he never knew about. it's worked out okay for him, but he's a 60 year old man and can handle it now. imagine hearing stuff like this when you're 15 or 25 - probably a much different reaction.

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