Page 1 of 8 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 143
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Age
    47
    Posts
    17,919
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    31401

    Dark history in your family tree

    Does anyone else have some dark historical stuff that went on in their family tree?

    My mum was telling me today about one of our descendents who back in 1944 drowned herself and her 5 children. I think she was pregnant with a 6th child, which considering the youngest was 3 months old must have been very stressful. Quite fascinating. There are a few articles available on the internet about it too so it made the news of the day back then.

    In fact the most fascinating thing is the link to this article which explains her state of mind.

    http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/arti...Term=drownings
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2001
    Age
    33
    Posts
    2,201
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    468
    Since my mother's side of the family are all from the rural South (U.S.), and most of them RIGHT NOW are extremely racist, I don't even wanna know what my ancestors got up to.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    near the rink
    Posts
    1,994
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie Willy View Post
    Does anyone else have some dark historical stuff that went on in their family tree?

    My mum was telling me today about one of our descendents who back in 1944 drowned herself and her 5 children. I think she was pregnant with a 6th child, which considering the youngest was 3 months old must have been very stressful. Quite fascinating. There are a few articles available on the internet about it too so it made the news of the day back then.

    In fact the most fascinating thing is the link to this article which explains her state of mind.

    http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/arti...Term=drownings
    wow aussie that is so sad =( poor woman probably had ppd and i can only imagine having 3 month old and being preggers-
    so sad!

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Springfield, next door to Homer
    Age
    43
    Posts
    842
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    One of my mom's younger brothers was murdered along with their dog when he was about 9 years old, and to this day it is an unsolved case. I don't know much else about it because it's hard for my mom to talk about and my grandparents never talked about it, which is understandable.

    Also, on my mother's side of the family one of my ancestors was a slave owner and the family disowned him. All it says in our family tree book is his name, slave owner and disowned.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    My old Kentucky home, far away
    Age
    37
    Posts
    4,428
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    5515
    My great-great grandfather was involved in the Hatfield-McCoy feud.
    'Life's hard. It's even harder when you're stupid.'--John Wayne

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Southern CA
    Age
    57
    Posts
    1,511
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    I am a direct decendant of a survivor of the Donner Party. She was my fraternal grandmother's grandmother, and the rule around the house was, "that subject" was never to be mentioned. Also, evidently she never smiled, even to her many family members.
    Last edited by KHenry14; 12-12-2011 at 04:55 AM.

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Missing Matsutake
    Posts
    2,737
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    Yes,

    One of my grandfathers several generations back on my mother's side supposedly caught a witch bathing in the river outside the Pueblo and she was also singing. He caught this woman, pulled her down to the ground by her hair and forced her into confessing her witchery. In retrospect it frankly sounds like he beated women.

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    3,846
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    I actually researched mine a few months ago (went back about 1000 years!! however accurate it was...) and found out one of my noble ancestors from about 700 years ago murdered another noble ancestor in public because he slept with the first guy's wife. It's fun to find out you have nobility in your history because then you can wikipedia the names. I found out lots of juicy tidbits.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    The Top of Utah!!
    Age
    55
    Posts
    7,499
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    16360

    Unhappy

    It's not really history, but I have a paternal great-uncle that lived and died on the street (literally,) on skid row in San Francisco.

    He would pop up occassionaly on our farm in Oregon during the 60's, and always scared the bejeebies out of my sister and I.
    Nubka - Unpaid Slave Laborer...

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Thankfukky watching skating
    Posts
    13,601
    vCash
    317
    Rep Power
    40891
    I have a cousin who traced back my mom's side to 1610 when our ancestor landed in Virginia from England. He also found birth records in 1600 in London for him. He was only 10 when he got to Virginia...he either came alone or his family died on the trip because he is the only one of his name recorded that year. That side has an illustrious history until the Civil War. They were not slave owners, their fortune came from shipping, but my grandfather's father & relatives were all soldiers for the South.

    I don't know about my dad's side. His parents immigrated to the US so we don't know much about the ancestors. I do know his mother was forced into an arranged marriage when she was only 15 & he was 27. Then he came to America & left her to come later. She came steerage when she was 17 or 18 & had a baby by then. He was a lousy husband but I wouldn't call that dark history.

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Dashing Between Bennetton and Krispy Kreme
    Posts
    2,447
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by KHenry14 View Post
    I am a direct decendant of a survivor of the Donner Party. She was my fraternal grandmother's grandmother, and the rule around the house was, "that subject" was never to be mentioned. Also, evidently she never smiled, even to her many family members.
    I remember the Donner Party being mentioned on the Golden Girls for some reason. Not knowing the history, I looked it up and...

  12. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    2,727
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    Well my maternal grandfather and great-aunt escaped Germany in the 1930's--my grandfather was given the only family Visa by his mother, and my great-aunt was smuggled by nuns. The rest of the family was killed in concentration camps, including their then 9 year old brother. My grandfather came here, got his citizenship, joined the army, then went back to Europe to fight and free concentration camps. After the war was over he was Hermann Goering's translator during the Nuremberg Trials. Goering killed himself with a cyanide capsule rather than be executed. Once that was all over my grandfather came back and got his PhD in biochemistry. In conclusion, my grandfather makes us all feel like our accomplishments are insignificant. The man is now 91, sharp as a tack, and travels all over the world for pleasure. And he even resembles Albert Einstein. My great-aunt is a fun lady too, but she's been beset with health problems all her life and isn't doing as well.

    As for my dad's side, Millard Fillmore is a distant relative. Blergh.

  13. #13

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    The Porny Old Ladies' Home
    Posts
    5,118
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    31559
    Nothing very shocking, but there are 2 scandals in my family:
    My maternal grandfather went AWOL from the Italian navy somewhere around 1920. He jumped ship while it was docked in New jersey, and hooked up with a friend who was living in Brooklyn. He eventually became a US citizen, the immigration laws were quite different then. When people who didn't know his history would ask why he never went to Italy to visit his family, he would quickly change the subject. The truth was, he was afraid he was on a list of deserters and would be arrested at the airport.
    Also on my mother's side, her cousin's wife had a baby while her husband was in the army and stationed in Viet Nam during the war. They told everyone she'd gotten pregnant when her husband got compassionate leave to attend his father's funeral. However, the funeral took place a year before she gave birth. I was very young at the time and don't know the whole story, obviously, but they are still married.

  14. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    LEAVE EDMUNDS ALONE!!1!
    Posts
    20,437
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    There isn't a single relatively sane, socialised and balanced person in my family but I guess you could tell that already.

  15. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Age
    31
    Posts
    1,599
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    My great-great-grandfather on my mother's side is completely unknown. My great-great-grandmother got pregnant but married someone else who accepted the baby and never told anyone who the real father was. It wasn't even put on the birth certificate. Maybe not that much of dark history (though I guess having a baby from another man at that time was pretty scandalous ) but definitely a deep dark hole in my family history.

  16. #16
    From the Bloc
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    California, I wish
    Posts
    17,300
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    10397
    Quote Originally Posted by KHenry14 View Post
    I am a direct decendant of a survivor of the Donner Party. She was my fraternal grandmother's grandmother, and the rule around the house was, "that subject" was never to be mentioned. Also, evidently she never smiled, even to her many family members.
    Do you mind sharing which survivor is your ancestor? I have read a lot on the subject and have even visited several of the key sites. The part of the story that remains infamous is really only the tip of a larger, very interesting tale in a fascinating period in American history.

  17. #17
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    1,703
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    My ancestors of five generations ago were Madonna's too.

    Does that count?

  18. #18
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Southern CA
    Age
    57
    Posts
    1,511
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    Do you mind sharing which survivor is your ancestor? I have read a lot on the subject and have even visited several of the key sites. The part of the story that remains infamous is really only the tip of a larger, very interesting tale in a fascinating period in American history.
    Sure, her name was Nancy Graves, and she was 9 years old at the time of the trip west.

    Here's a remarkable story....In 1996 they held a sesquicentennial celebration, where all of the many descendents gathered. My father decided to mingle and walked up to some rather dour people who happened to be of the Reed family. He introduced himself and commented about what a great thing it was that all these people came and were able to meet. This stern guy agreed, and said that they felt that this time they might actually talk to the Graves family!!! Evidently these people were carrying a 150 year old grudge!!! You can't make this stuff up!

    BTW, anyone interested in the Donner Party should read Ethan Rarick's "Desperate Passage", the definative work on the subject.

  19. #19
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    4,744
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by ballettmaus View Post
    My great-great-grandfather on my mother's side is completely unknown. My great-great-grandmother got pregnant but married someone else who accepted the baby and never told anyone who the real father was. It wasn't even put on the birth certificate. Maybe not that much of dark history (though I guess having a baby from another man at that time was pretty scandalous ) but definitely a deep dark hole in my family history.
    My great-grandfather on the paternal side also has an unknown father. The name on his birth certificate was his mother's dead husband--who had been dead for almost a year and half when he was born. He had that last name, which is my maiden name, but clearly is "incorrect". We knew that for years, even though it was not really talked about.

    Recently, doing some research, my brother found out that our great-great grandmother ran a "boarding house" after her husband died. Several other women lived there and men (particularly traveling workers, railroaders) came and went "quickly". It very much appears that "boarding house" was a euphemism. And, thus, no research will ever uncover the father.

  20. #20
    From the Bloc
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    California, I wish
    Posts
    17,300
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    10397
    Quote Originally Posted by KHenry14 View Post
    Sure, her name was Nancy Graves, and she was 9 years old at the time of the trip west.
    Fascinating! So great to have a direct line into history like that, and to still have access to other descendants. (Just too bad your ancestor is one of the ones who never wanted to talk about it afterward!)

    Another great book is The Donner Party Chronicles by Frank Mullen Jr - it's a compilation of articles from the Reno Gazette on the 150th anniversary of that winter, with tons of images past and present and maps.

    Have you been to Donner Lake and the memorial? Sutter Fort in Sacramento also has a little exhibit, and gives great context for the journey they were on, and what California was like back then.

Page 1 of 8 123 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •