Because I just can't leave well enough alone, I'm now uncovering family history that I had no idea about. With the help of my maternal grandmother's albums, which includes two generations back (from her) family tree, I'm entering information like a crazy person into ancestry.com.
I was momentarily befuddled though. I knew my uncle wasn't my dad's full brother but I always thought he was the younger brother. I was completely wrong. He is an older brother by about three years. His dad was a man I had never heard of until I found their marriage license online.
My mom said that my grandma and this man were married just long enough to produce a child, essentially. My grandpa then took him as a son, including giving him his name. According to photos, he was a young toddler when they got together.
But then my grandma kicked my grandpa out when my dad was in the younger grade school age because of his drinking habits. She was a single mom for awhile. Dating...perhaps marrying, again...and then she was with the man I knew as my grandpa Earl on two different tries.
I told my mom "Well, good on Grandma. Just keep trying." My mom said something along the grandma version of "I know, right?", which surprised me a little.
OH, and then, my mom was married twice as well. (I know, soap opera writers are going to request our family tree for plot lines) I was explaining to my mom at a family dinner that I was going to print out a timeline of the family tree. "But it shows you were married three times, twice to dad, so I have to fix that."
She looked panic stricken for a second and said "Well, not *everyone* knows I've been married twice." I'm guessing she was referring to my nieces, who would think it was cool. But then she didn't tell me until I was nineteen and literally days away from marrying the first time so....
Anyway, today I'm plugging away, entering information on the website when I found my grandparents (my dad's parents) marriage certificate. I looked at the date and thought "Oh, there must be some mistake." I double-checked, only to discover that my dad was conceived out of wedlock. His birthday was June 4 and they were married on March 16.
This had to be scandalous, back in the day. But it also made me wonder, my grandpa gave my uncle his name, was there any chance that my dad wasn't his son? The mind reels.
So, divorce records are going to be my next adventure. I texted my brother and his blithe reply was "Lol, Kinda figured that long ago." What. the. Actual. Hell. family?
I'm morbidly fascinated in what else I am going to uncover. I don't think I mentioned that my married name is the same as my grandma's maiden name. Yeah. "Lucky" for me, it is an extremely common last name so odds are good we're not second cousins. *fingers crossed*