I found an uncle I never realized I had

I’ve been playing around with Familysearch.org and other free genealogy sites. It’s been a while since I discovered anything new (the most exciting was that the name my grandmother used wasn’t her birth name). But the other day, I found something fascinating.

I often search for my grandfather, just to see what I might find. He has a unique name, and any record mentioning it is about him. But there was something new this time: a death certificate.

I looked into it. My grandfather was the father on the certificate. And my grandmother was listed as the mother (though there was a slight typo in her last name). The information matches where they lived at the time and where they were born.

The certificate was for a child who died when he was three weeks old.

It took a moment to sink in. My mother wouldn’t have known about it, since she was born a year later. My late aunt would have been old enough, but I suspect the subject was not mentioned afterwards.

I also think of my grandmother. She lost this son, and a second one in WWII, and my grandfather died before I was born. But she was always one of the most upbeat and positive people I knew.

It’s a different kind of story, but my genealogical research found an uncle that I didn’t know about too. About 8 years before I was born, one of my father’s sisters married, but she was widowed about a year later: he was 33 years old, but I don’t know the cause of his death. She later re-married, and I knew that second husband as my uncle, but I never knew about the frst marriage until very recently.

About ten years ago I found a living first cousin that I didn’t know existed, the son of my father’s sister, neither of whom I ever knew. Since then, we’ve become friends and have visited a number of times, and we’ve become more like brothers over the years.

I had something similar in my family…we found the birth certifcate from 1906 of the person known to be the oldest of 6 brothers and sisters. But his birth certifcate lists not only “mother’s name” but also “number of children born previously” to the mother. And it clearly says “two”.
So apparently two babies died in approx 1904 and 1905, and nobody ever mentioned it.

Life was tough back then, and most diseases were incurable. What we would today call a tragedy, people just accepted as part of life.

When I was going through my mom’s tree, I discovered an aunt she knew nothing about. She was listed in a Chicago census one year, aged 5, then disappeared. We assume she died, but my mom had never heard of her, and she and her mom’s family were really close.
I emailed the church where the aunt would’ve been baptised, never heard back. Anyone who reads Polish and lives in Chicago want to make a field trip for me?

If you go to USGENWEB and look under Illinois/Cook County, you’ll likely find volunteers who will do some legwork for you.

It’s really sad sometimes reading old US cenus docs which record (in some years) the number of pregnancies a woman had, how many children born, number still living. The last two numbers often differ by quite a bit. E.g., 10 and 6.

A friend (who has no siblings) just found out he had an uncle he never knew about. How could a father not tell his son that he (his dad) had a brother?

Anyway, my friend’s father (and mother) died several years ago.

A few months back my friend was contacted about an inheritance. Seems the uncle never had any children AND owned a whole apartment building complex in Los Angeles. He now receives $40,000 every 3 months. It was explained to him that paying him every 3 months instead of every month saves accounting costs which means more money for him. Friends have questioned this arrangement and even asked if the $40,000 is the real amount he is due, but John refuses to look into it, saying someone is sending him a huge amount of money, why question the situation?

I recently discovered a great-grand-aunt (great-grandfather’s sister) who lost 5 of eleven children all before the age of six, between 1900-1910. Two pairs of them died one or two days apart. :eek: :frowning:

Don’t have the actual records, but my guess is that TB was a likely cause. I can’t imagine what that family must have gone through.

Because these are often painful family secrets that the principals would prefer to forget.

The exact numbers my GGGrandmother showed in 1900. :frowning:

I’ve not been able to find out anything about the four children (yet)

That certainly is a possibility in this case. Maybe the inheritance was a way the uncle paid John’s father back for some long ago incident between the two brothers.

I found a GGGrandmother’s “missing” 2 children by searching ancestry just based on the parents’ names, with the target person’s name blank. Probably something you’ve already done, but worth bringing up perhaps. Both had records in the find a grave index. One was just labeled “baby” on its headstone. :frowning:

I once found a sister I didn’t know existed, she’s 6 years younger than me. Both of my parents are still married.

I was able to talk to my mother about it. She knew vaguely about him, but didn’t know any of the details, other than vague warnings about how hard it is to lose a child. My mother was the first to be born in a hospital; her other siblings (including the one who died) were born at home and that was clearly a result of the death.

She didn’t know his name, though, or when this happened and thought it was a few years earlier than it was.

Sadly, an all-too common story. When were told to get over it, forget about it, have another baby as soon as you can. These days parents who lose a child at birth get all kinds of support and they’re encouraged to spend time with the body before burial, to take photos and footprints, and every effort is made to help them move forward with memories and mementos from their loss. So very different to the bad old days when they weren’t even allowed to see, let alone hold, their dead or dying baby.

He really should look into it, because of tax stuff. Is the property in a trust, or a partnership deal? He may be liable to pay taxes on part of that income. If he gets a K-1 tax form (or K-something, I don’t remember) he must not ignore it! (My late in-laws’ property went into a trust, and there’s an income property, and my husband gets a monthly payout/stipend, a part of which is taxed. I don’t understand it all, sometimes it’s just better to pay the professionals.)

John has certainly looked the tax implications of the inheritance. What he doesn’t want to bother looking into is the question of whether or not the $40,000 every three months he is getting is the correct amount he is owed. I suppose he could hire a lawyer and have him look into the financial details, but he says he doesn’t want to piss anyone off by implying that he doesn’t trust the organization that is sending him $160,000 a year for doing nothing.

Would you look into it?

Ahh, yeah. The organisation that’s facilitating his payments is either professional enough that they won’t get their feelings hurt just because he checks to make sure everything’s above-board, or they aren’t professional enough to be handling his money. It’s his money. They aren’t doing him a favor by giving him $160k p/a out of the goodness of their hearts. It’s his money.

I have one older sister, and my birth certificate says my Mother had two prior deliveries before I was born.

My sister’s birth certificate says there is one prior delivery to her birth.

Our mother died before we got our “official” birth certificates.

Dad is still living, and has told us but he says the certificate is counting Mom’s miscarriage that happened before my Sister was born.

But the certificates clearly say “Prior Deliveries” and not pregnancies.

I asked Dad directly whether Mom could have been pregnant before they were Married, and he said absolutely not. Mom was virtuous and certain that she waited until Marriage.

My sister’s theory is that she had a twin (She was born full term but only a little more than 5 lbs).

Dad is the only person still living that I know that knew Mom before they were married. All siblings and their spouses are dead.