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February 24, 2010


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I love your spin!!!! Wow,what a story!And we just never know do we?! We could probably write books if we knew all the histories of our families. I found out all sorts of things when I was doing genealogy research...but I know there was much I didn't uncover!

My great aunt also had a baby (out of wedlock in the early 40s) and gave it up for adoption. Alas, we don't even know the gender of this cousin, and wherever they are, they haven't attempted to find any of us.

Other than that, any confessions I might have that would change my family's life...well, that ten-foot pole wouldn't work on ME, either. :P

What an amazing story! We have some family secrets along those lines as well, that's how my great uncle came out of nowhere when I was a baby to tell my dad about the second family my great-grandfather had raised in secret.
You're linked! And forgiven since you're confessing it now, but I think I'll forgive your great aunt on this too. :-)

God, what a horrible situation to be put in! I'm glad your cousin found her siblings. There are rumors of my aunt and an abusive first marriage that resulted in a baby being given up for adoption. I can't get any more details from that out of my parents though..

This wasn't a secret, but apparently a great aunt of some level (maybe my grandmother's aunt?) had a baby out of wedlock with her boyfriend and gave the baby up for adoption. A couple in Milwaukee adopted the girl. GA Barbara and her boyfriend, who lived in northern Wisconsin (250 miles away, which is not a walk in the woods now and imagine the trip 100 years ago), eventually married, but never were able to have any more children. They asked the adoptive parents if they could see the little girl, but the parents said no way. So Barbara would bribe the photographer who took the girl's annual photo to send her copies of the girl's pictures, which is how we happen to have them in our family albums.

Maybe I should poke around and look for her descendants. They might be my neighbors.

Wow - what a story. I often wonder about my mom's side of our family. There are so many strange & strained relationships... we just don't know what happened all those years ago.

Great spin!

There is one on my husband's family. His stepbrother was a sperm bank baby. The guy he thinks is his father is not his biological father. The ENTIRE family knows. I don't think he's been told yet, and I think he's 20. It's ridiculous.

I love all of your old pictures. They really set the scene for many of your posts.

That is quite a story. At least the cousin found some family. That must be a great find for her.

I can only imagine what your great aunt must have gone through. I can completely see burying it far away from your heart so that you don't feel the pain and then never bringing it back up. You put such a distance between yourself and the event that it almost becomes just a story to you.

I've found Italian families are much like you. We blurt out all the secrets, except the really big ones (we all knows who died their hair, and who was pregnant before they got married, but we'd never know about a long ago given up child, either).

Great Spin!

Wow! What a family secret! My mother was raised by her grandmother for that exact reason. When my mom was 15 her "mom" passed away. Suddenly, her aunts showed up, collected my mom, and dropped her off at her biological mother's house. Yea, that was a strained relationship.

Wow. What a story. The lack of birth control and the different attitude towards abortion made the drama of women's lives something completely different than than now.

Your story might not be as clear cut as that. You need to remember that there was no social security in those days. And the info about the husband might not be as black and white, again remember the exact times.
But the Grocer and the Butcher were not well liked people. It is not only in dark French novels that the these trades took payment in kind.

How strange to find out about a long lost cousin. But you're right, I can't imagine the pain your great Aunt must have endured. It seems really sad to me.

We are lucky we live when we do.

I remember when I wasabut 14 my dad saying something about me having a brother. When I was 18 my father presented me with a letter and a photo. This lead to letter swapping with my brother and later at the age of 25 our first face to face meeting.

My birth mother had managed to keep his exsistance a secret from everyone, even her own parents. My brother was taken away from her by the state a 18 months and place in a home that later adopted him.

I was angry about this secret for a very long time.

My mother learned that her maternal grandmother was her grandfather's 2nd wife. My mom was very very close to her grandparents growing up. She never knew this. Her mom mentioned it to her at some point after her grandmother had died. My mom was startled and wondered what were the circumstances around the first marriage and why did it end - were there any children - why was this such a secret - why had it NEVER been mentioned before? Amazing the kinds of things that our families keep secret. Very interesting story!

I love the direction you took your spin! Makes me wish my grandparents were still alive so I could find out if there were any skeletons in the closet of anyone that might be interesting to know. :)

Really an incredible story. I think in our parents' and grandparents' day, many more secrets were kept. And of course, there wasn't the internet!

What's really remarkable is what it took to keep a marriage intact. What "Mary" must have suffered. Can't imagine it.

Wow...what an amazing story, Maureen!

Well, you know it was a different generation...they took that stuff and held it tight wasn't to be talked about.

Such a shame...that they felt such shame. Maybe had just ONE person opened up, they would have realized that they were SO not alone...

Like crazy Aunt Harriet...


I loved this story! I love the truth, the rawness, the way you put yourself in her shoes. And I'd say it's in your genes to keep a secret! Great Spin!

I love the picture. How people then dress so beautifully and so proper. They took the time to dress up and image was important.

There is a part of me that wishes for that properness. I think we are in the generation of taking things too casually and too lightly. Anything goes.

I believe the decision was done in the best interest after thinking things through and everybody was committed to their role and duty.

What a confession! I can't imagine the stress of keeping that kind of secret for so long.

My great-grandmother had a child when she was a teenager about 100 years ago. Her mom and dad raised him but it wasn't a secret. I'm sure it was very scandalous for the times.

What a great spin. I veture to guess these types of "situations" happened a lot back in the day. Thanks for sharing.

There are many secrets people hide in their families for fear that others--including fellow family members--will disrespect them somehow. But the truth is, it makes us see that they too are human. Thank you for sharing this story! No family is untouched by a secret.

Wow. You are right: would have been hard now for any woman, any family, let alone at that time. I actually did believe it would be a lot easier for them to keep the secret then than now. The whole social and cultural structure seemed to reinforce their beliefs and support their decisions that keeping this a secret was the right thing to do, probably the best for all involved. Nowadays, I imagine a mother would be constantly persuaded otherwise.


BTW I have an award for you over on my blog you Beautiful Blogger! Come and get it!

That is a very interesting story...we do have some of these in my family, I'm sure and in my husband's family since he doesn't even see his dad . . . and hasn't since he was about 3.

That's an amazing story. I can't imagine what she must have gone through, especially back then, and to have to give up that daughter must have been heart breaking. I'm sure my family has it's share of skeletons, but I haven't been given much access to them. My grandmother has a wealth of fascinating stories, but getting them out of her is like pulling teeth. Thanks for sharing this.

Secrets have been a big part of my life...I hate them. I'm an open book with my husband. I've seen first hand what secrets can do to a person.

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