Home › Forums › Advice & Chat › Wild family stories
- This topic has 37 replies, 7 voices, and was last updated 1 year ago by LisforLeslie.
When my great aunt, who never had kids and was really in to genealogy, died at 103 a few years back, I inherited a box of research, photos, and memorabilia of our family tree that she’d collected over the years. The most fascinating/disturbing thing in it was an original copy of a “contract” written up in the 1870s by my great-great grandfather (my great aunt’s grandfather) relinquishing him of any responsibility to a baby he conceived out of wedlock with a teenage girl. He paid the girl $50 to be released of any obligation and they both signed the contract. Apparently, shortly afterwards, the girl died, and her parents brought the baby to my gg-grandfather, who refused responsibility and left the baby on her mothers grave (!!!). His parents, my ggg-grandparents, hearing of all this and, I imagine, horrified by their sons behavior, took the baby and raised her as their own (and from the research I was able to find, that baby grew up to have a fascinating and dramatic life).LisforLeslieGuest
These stories are amazing.
I am from a fallen branch on my dad’s side. I have no idea who my cousins are and to be honest, don’t really care. I suppose I could do a DNA test to find connections but who needs that mishagas? I generally dislike people – it doesn’t change with DNA.Part-time LurkerGuest
This thread is so apropos for me today LOL I’ve been doing some genealogy this year, and so far I’ve found no fewer than 4 “secret” kids. No idea how or if I’m going to handle telling the rest of the family. Hell, I almost started a thread myself to ask for suggestions LOL Guess I should be grateful I haven’t found any second families or incest though- yuck!d2Participant
I have a friend who decided to put together a family genealogy for his children and grandchildren. As part of his research, he and his siblings took DNA tests. As he expected, his siblings were descendants of his mother and father – however, he was not. It turned out that his biological father was a family friend. His parents were friends with another couple, and their families often had get-togethers. Apparently, his mother was more friendly with the other husband than anyone realized.FyodorGuest
“Yeah man, I would never get a DNA test. I don’t want to know. Fucking men and their secret families”
Hey, Gina was equally culpable here! She cheated too and kept the same secret.
Wendy, wow. That is shocking!
I have found unfortunate things like, some of my family lived technically in Mexico before the purchase of Texas. I also had a GGGG (or something) grandfather who was a dentist/barber in Austin in the late 1800s and I have found a confederate soldier. I have found multiple women who were hospitalized for nerves and some who died of suicide. Women who had a baby a year for 13 years. Can you imagine!?!?
All those insemination stories are so bonkers to me!
I don’t really have much of a relationship with most of my family, so I don’t really know where the interest is. Just to place myself, I guess? My dad abandoned my brother and I at age 11 and I didn’t see that side of my family until I was 22 and then a decade later. So…there is a huge part of me that is curious but I don’t want closer relationships with them really.
I didn’t say it wasn’t partly Gina’s fault! But I do know my grandfather applied heavy pressure to her and in general behaved pretty terribly back then.
But also, Fyodor you never hear about women having secret families! I would love to meet the woman who had energy for a second family. There just isn’t enough mental capacity in anyone for all those schedules and food likes and dislikes, clothing needed, lists, play dates.FyodorGuest
I think that the secret family thing was more feasible pre-internet. If someone was doing something in another city or state, there was really no automatic way to know about it. You could just show up in Arizona and tell someone that you have a different name and go by it. Even if you went by your own name, how would other people know. If you had a job with a lot of travel you could be out of touch for weeks at a time. It obviously wasn’t common even then, but I could see how an unscrupulous person could pull it off.FyodorGuest
My wife’s cousin is a statistical geneticist and he says in situations where both spouses provide paperwork stating that the husband is the biological father the husband is not the actual biological father ….so there are women having other men’s children in their marriages pretty frequently. Obviously you don’t see women having separate fully discrete families because the reproductive process is much more…conspicuous for women.KateKeymaster
I think it’s still pretty common. Women often don’t do the digging they should do to figure out if someone’s a cheater.
But nah with the women have secret families too. Where are they putting up, hiding, and supporting this second spouse and kids? And to Anon’s point, where do they have the energy after caring for their primary family all day? Like yeah maybe you can pass off one baby as your primary spouse’s kid, but that’s super risky if it doesn’t look like him and / or he knows the math doesn’t add up.
Yeah I’m sure there have been many kids born from another man’s donation, but that’s different than fully furnishing and affording and having a second wife and children which is what I mean by second secret family.
I read a disturbing article in the Atlantic or somewhere about super donors. Really, really creepy men out there who want to spread their seed as far and wide as possible.LisforLeslieGuest
I think we’ve learned it’s pretty common for women to carry another man’s child and pass if off as her husband/boyfriend. But it’s not nearly as possible for women to hide a second family. As a man, I make my contribution and I leave that with family 1 or family 2. Neither family is aware of the impending arrival.
Unless the woman has a long distance set up and she can be remote for 5 plus months, both families are going to expect an arrival. And it’s not like she can say to one family that she’s going to go visit her mom with the kid and then show up at her other home with some random infant. The logistics here are just too hard.
I suppose you could marry a man who already had kids. But I can’t fathom a woman who would want to spend time cleaning up after two families. Maybe if the second husband was really rich and there were nannies and maids and stuff.