Okay, I’ve done a bit of genealogy to flesh out my family tree. My maternal grandfather’s story was a bit interesting.
First of all, his grandfather (let’s call him “John”, my great-great-grandfather) got married. He and his wife had children, including a daughter (“Sarah”). Then John’s wife died when Sarah was about 18 or 19. Later that same year, Sarah gave birth to my grandfather. Sarah was unmarried, and the identity of the father was kept a secret (it’s not even on the birth certificate). John remarried and he and his second wife raised my grandfather as their own child, and had additional children. Sarah married a few years later and had many children with her husband.
My grandfather never knew Sarah was his real mother until he was in his 60’s, decades after she and his grandparents (whom he had thought were his parents) were dead. He was emotionally wounded for the rest of his life over the fact that his mother had “rejected” him and left him to her father and stepmother. My grandfather finally died a few years ago at the age of 91. My family tree has a big empty space on his father’s side, since that man’s identity was unknown.
Until yesterday. My mother called me, because she had been talking to one of her cousins who was descended from one of my grandfather’s half-siblings (Sarah’s other children). This cousin said that he had had a fight with his mother about this (she wanted to keep the secret), but felt like my mother should know who my grandfather’s real father was.
John. His grandfather. :eek:
My grandfather’s biological father was his mother’s father. That’s why he was raised by John – Sarah’s husband wanted nothing to do with him. I’m so thankful my grandfather died without knowing the truth, as far as we know. I’m left wondering if the Ancestry.com software will let me designate the same person as my my great-great grandfather AND my great-grandfather in the same branch of the family tree.