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    "I Have A Murderer In My Family Tree" – 15 Juicy Family Secrets That Shocked, Alarmed, And Honestly, Fascinated Me

    "I have 'alphabet cousins' on my dad's side. These cousins were literally just named letters. JT, QT, FH, etc."

    Recently, we wrote a post sharing people's juiciest family secrets. The comments were so shocking that we HAD to turn those into another post! Here are some of your most fascinating family revalations...

    1. "I have a murderer in my family tree."

    "Sometime in the 1800s, my God-knows-how-many-greats uncle's 50-year-old self took a fancy to a farmer's 16-year-old daughter. He shot the farmer in the head with a shotgun and took an axe to the daughter when she refused to marry him. I found a newspaper clipping about it while clearing out my mom's house, and had to call my aunt to confirm the story."

    bookfanatic1979

    2. "My great-grandfather ran moonshine across the Kentucky River during Prohibition."

    "He had six kids to feed and, even though the area we live in is metropolitan now, I'm guessing there wasn't much work around back then. He did what he had to do, then went legit and worked the rest of his life on road crews, helping to build the interstate system."

    absepa

    3. "Not the most exciting tidbit, but my great-great-great (I don't recall exactly how many greats) grandfather saw Abraham Lincoln get shot. At least, that's what I'm told."

    noahbrown2

    4. "My dad was adopted as a newborn. All of his half-sisters know about him now (there are five of them), but we also know he has at least a few half-brothers he hasn't met yet. My grandad apparently slept his way across the US."

    trishateferw

    5. "Every woman in my foster mum's family was known for their amazing, delicious brownies. They're super protective of the family recipe and only make it on really special occasions, so I was touched when they decided to share it with me. Sentimentality quickly turned to shock, though."

    "Reader, it's a pre-made supermarket mix. It has been for generations (like, I genuinely think you can trace the year this 'tradition' started to the year this mix was released).

    They don't add anything special. They don't even chuck on any toppings. It's just plain, regular-degular, per-the-pack brownies — and every man in the family believes it's one-of-a-kind ambrosia from the matriarchal goddessess of the family. They'll talk about how one aunt makes a better 'secret brownie' than the other. They're all the exact same, of course.

    At first, I was appalled. Now, I admire them."

    —aglver

    6. "My family traced our ancestry back to a George Norton who lived in 1600s Salem, Massachusetts. The written record says that the Puritans put him in stockades for slandering the church."

    "It said his 'naughtiness' was the principal item of church business for a certain year, LOL." 

    norty

    7. "Some relatives gossip about my mum being the daughter of Ava Gardner, the movie star. My mum has always dismissed that, saying they are just jealous, but the dates and locations match, and the resemblance is quite amazing."

    currywurst8

    8. "I was really close to my grandpa, but he was super soft-spoken and never really talked about himself or his life. It wasn't until he passed away (and the tributes came pouring in) that I realised how brilliant he was."

    "He was orphaned at a really young age, put himself through university using sheer tenacity, and became an extremely well-reputed expert on chemical and biological warfare. As in, he consulted for the United Nations. But we lived in small-town Canada, and he never mentioned any of it! I wish I'd had the chance to ask him about it all 😞."

    e4a299ed3c

    9. "I have 'alphabet cousins' on my dad's side. These cousins were literally just named letters. JT, QT, FH, etc. — just letters. WHAT?!"

    sideeyetilidie

    10. "This is probably pretty common, but I didn't know until after my grandmother passed that she had married while still in high school. It was during the war, when people did things like that because the guy was being shipped out."

    "Her yearbook surname is different to her current one, so I asked my mom why, and she told me. She said not to mention it around my dad. I'm certain he's aware of it, though he probably wasn't told until he was older.

    I'm not sure what the issue is as my grandma and her first husband married right before the guy left, and they had no kids, etc. The only thing I can think of is that her first husband survived, and they divorced. I guess back then divorce had a lot of stigma, so maybe that's why it was a touchy subject.

    She clearly didn't want any of us to know, in any case. It's just funny because she seemed so traditional and conservative, but it sure sounds like she had a lot of moxie. Go her!"

    sideeyetilidie

    11. "I'm still trying to untangle a family mystery. My great-great-grandfather moved to Western Canada from China and left his wife behind in China. He ended up having three children with my great-great-grandmother, who was white. She took off, so he brought my great-grandma (his daughter), her brother, and her sister back to China for the first wife to raise. Then he came back to Canada and disappeared."

    "We later found where he's buried, but we don't know what happened in between. As for my 'real' great-great-grandma (who he met in Canada and who left him) — we have no idea where she went, if she had any other kids, or if any of her family ever knew about our side. My great-grandma (her daughter) passed away in '97. I've tried genealogy sites but turned up nothing, so far."

    bitterowl93

    12. "My great-great-grandfather borrowed a lot of money from a saloon owner in Buffalo, New York over a century ago. Rather than pay the money back, he simply burned the saloon to the ground and left town under cover of darkness. He later settled in Indiana, where he started a new family… Or so I've been told."

    barlowdelvaux81

    13. "My mum didn't have the greatest childhood growing up, but she always used to tell us about this uncle she had who looked after her. He was basically the only person who cared about her as a kid, according to my mum."

    "Well, one day we were sitting around the dinner table with some family and some random cousin was like, 'you know he was a homosexual?' My mum had never mentioned that before – I'm not even sure she knew it. I was 15 at this point and in the closet, so I was pretty happy to find out that back along in my family tree, there was another gay lol."

    sam_cleal

    14. "I have a lot of relatives I don't know about, but I've been trying to piece together my family tree. I found out that one of my relatives was put in jail for arson, and then burned the jail down. I mean, they shouldn't have been shocked."

    —aglover

    15. "I'm pretty sure my aunt hired a private investigator to track down my other aunt (her sister, not my mum), who had intentionally disappeared. I still don't know why or how."

    —casualgem30

    Do you have any tea in your family tree? Spill in the comments below (only if you feel comfortable, of course)!

    Additional thumbnail credits: Getty images / New England historical Society / Fox