25 Spilled Family Secrets That Must Make For Awkward Family Reunions
"My dad’s cousin is actually his sister. Thank you, AncestryDNA. Be careful out there, folks!"
1. "My great-uncle and great-aunt decided to take in a foreign student as part of an exchange program. The student was a handsome and charming young man, and he took a strong liking to my great-aunt. I guess my great-aunt liked him, too, because she divorced my great-uncle to run off with this student who was the same age as her children!"
2. "My grandma likely killed my grandpa. He 'fell' down the stairs in the middle of the night. The police report has a lot of holes in it. There was suspicion from the police and my mom that my grandma may have pushed him down the stairs. But no one could prove it either way, so it was ruled accidental."
3. "When my niece was 14, she had an uncontrollable seizure and was put into a medically induced coma. The doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong with her and needed to do a complete family history. They asked tons of questions, did blood work, etc. Eventually, it came out that my brother isn't her biological father. Her mom won't say, but it's believed that my brother's best friend is the dad."
4. "My mom randomly told me today that my great-aunt would scam men into giving her money by telling them she was pregnant and they had to pay for her abortion. She was never pregnant. Also, she was gay."
5. "Turns out my dad has 60-something siblings, and the man I thought was his dad is not actually his dad."
6. "My mom never knew her biological dad and thought he was some guy my grandmother was dating who then dipped out. A couple of years ago, we did an AncestryDNA test and learned that my mom's biological dad is actually her grandfather's first cousin."
7. "When my grandmother was starting to get really sick, my uncle started getting really into everyone’s family DNA. My grandmother had a fairly hidden past because she grew up in Germany during the Holocaust and my grandfather had long passed."
8. "I had a direct ancestor who married his stepmother. His father died, so he married her. Apparently it wasn't uncommon."
9. "I took a DNA test and discovered I’m 25% Jewish, which shouldn't be possible, given what I know of my family. It turns out that my maternal grandfather was 100% Ashkenazi Jew but had faced such antisemitism that he couldn’t get anywhere in business. His solution? Move to a new state, claim an entirely different ancestry (German and English, with a pinch of Norwegian), insist he was Methodist, and start all over."
10. "When I was 12, I told my grandmother that I just didn’t feel like my dad was my biological father. She said, 'Well, he’s not!'"
11. "I recently learned that my dad and his brothers were bank robbers in the '60s and '70s. They’ve all passed away, but I really wish I could ask my dad about his interesting past!"
12. "My uncle (by marriage) was adopted and grew up as an only child. A few years ago, he did a DNA test and discovered nine half-siblings between his two biological parents. Using his adoption info, he learned he was the result of an affair between a boss and a secretary."
13. "My grandma was one of 11 kids. Her mom died when she was 18, and at her funeral, we all learned that she was actually one of 21 kids and that my great-grandpa married my grandma's twin sister's best friend five months after my great-grandma died."
14. "When my mom was in her twenties, my grandparents had a messy, horrible divorce. Growing up, my grandparents couldn’t even stand to be in the same room together. As I got older, more details about the divorce came out, but it wasn’t until Grandpa passed away that my mom told me what had happened. My grandpa had written a novel where he trashed my grandma so he could have the last word. He even sent a copy to his kids."
15. "My siblings and I knew that our aunt had adopted her own grandchildren. Her two daughters had gotten pregnant in their teens. Our adopted cousins didn’t know this until my younger sister let it slip when they were children. Oops."
16. "My grandfather died when my dad was 9. Around the time I was 19, my dad told me that his dad hadn’t served in Vietnam before he died and that he had actually been serving time in prison for armed robbery."
17. "I was looking through my baby stuff when I was around 14 and found a card that was signed by my aunt and uncle, except it wasn't my uncle's name on the card. Turns out my aunt and now-uncle had an affair before she got a divorce, which led to her and my mother not speaking for the first five years of my life."
18. "My great-grandpa married and had a child, abandoned his wife and daughter, and then remarried a woman with the same name who was 20 years younger than himself. He then had another daughter who he kept accidentally calling by the first daughter's name."
19. "My grandpa was in the Navy, and my mom remembers him bragging about all the prostitutes he would sleep with while overseas. He and my grandma got divorced, and I never met him. I found out when he died that, at one point, he was in jail for grand larceny."
20. "My mom was born four days after my grandparents were married. Her grandma and my grandpa's sister had to track her dad down and make him marry her mom. He was engaged to a woman in another town at the time. Grandpa was a bit of a cad, but they were married for over 60 years after that."
21. "My uncle, who lived with my grandma all his life, told us when he was 40 that he had a secret family with a wife and two sons!"
22. "My grandma's 'sister' is suspected of actually being her mother. They’re only 13 years apart, and this was the 1930s, so it would've been a huge scandal."
23. "My dad’s cousin is actually his sister. Thank you, AncestryDNA. Be careful out there, folks!"
24. "My grandfather had an affair behind my grandmother’s back when my mom and her siblings were children. When my mom was in high school, she was approached by somebody who was her age and claimed to be her brother. He was named after my grandfather and looked just like him. When my mom told my grandfather later that night, his response to my mom was, 'Shut up.'"
25. Finally: "My grandmother set the house on fire and tried to blame it on my uncle (her stepson) because she didn't like him and wanted him out of the house."
Does your family have any juicy secrets? Tell us in the comments!
Note: Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.