23 People Share Their Family's Most Fascinating Brush With History
"My uncle shared a jail cell with Charles Manson."
1. "My grandma's brother, John Bundy, adopted his wife's son, Ted. This made the serial killer Ted Bundy my cousin by marriage and adoption."
2. "One of my paternal uncles shared a jail cell with Charles Manson when he was in prison."
3. "My great, great grandfather caught Pancho Villa in his barn taking his horses. Pancho Villa told him they were needed for the revolution! My great grandpa told us that his father tried to stop him because the horses were all they had, but he was threatened with death!"
4. "My grandfather’s aunt was the original Morton Salt Girl. Her dad painted the picture, entered it in a contest, and won. He didn’t get much money from the contest, but it’s still a pretty cool story."
5. "My dad’s first cousin was Ernie Davis, the first African American to win college football's Heisman Trophy (and who died less than 18 months later of leukemia). I found out doing a genogram."
6. "A distant cousin of mine was one of the mutineers on the HMS Bounty. His name was Matthew Quintal and he was a real piece of shit."
7. "My maternal grandmother dated Eminem’s dad when they were in school. (This isn't that impressive but pretty good considering we’re from a small town in North Dakota!)"
8. "My great-great-grandfather was Adolphus Busch, co-founder of Anheuser-Busch!"
9. "I'm from Kentucky, and my great-great-uncle (by marriage) was Colonel Sanders, the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken. It's a hilarious thing to tell people when you travel around the world, because the only thing most people know about Kentucky is KFC!"
10. "My great-great-uncle drove for General Patton. He was supposed to be driving on the day of the accident that killed the general, but he had a cold and was on bed rest. My uncle actually kept Patton's dog, Bastard, until the dog died."
11. "One of my great-great-great (etc) grandmothers was Angelica Schuyler Church, Alexander Hamilton's sister-in-law."
12. "My grandfather invented the child-proof safety cap on prescription bottles."
13. "My great-grandfather was the original model for the Coca-Cola Santa Claus. It was so much fun growing up telling people my great-grandpa was Santa!"
14. "According to my grandma and her family, Bonnie and Clyde lived near them in Texas. My family talks about hearing them practice shooting and other interesting events that happened when they lived down the road."
15. "My mom was neighbors with Stephen King growing up. His son was in my aunt's class, so he would come to school events and stuff like that. Whenever we go to Maine, we pass his house."
16. "My grandfather was on the team brought in to conduct John F. Kennedy's autopsy."
17. "My grandfather's signature is on the moon. He was a team lead at NASA during all of the Apollo missions and two Skylab missions, and NASA had each team lead sign a gold leaf that was turned into a plaque and left on the moon."
18. "My great-granddad dated country legend Patsy Cline. One time, Patsy was doing a show a couple years after they broke up, and she ran into my granddad and grandma. Patsy started flirting with Granddad, and Grandma got so jealous that she hit Patsy with her boot!"
19. "The Bronte sisters are my first cousins six generations back."
20. "I have a friend whose father grew up down the street from John Fogerty. He would hear John and his bandmates practicing in their garage — the band, of course, later became known as Credence Clearwater Revival!"
21. "My grandma lived in Portage, Wisconsin in the 1950s. When my dad was on leave from the Navy, he visited and played on a softball team with Ed Gein. Unbeknownst to them at the time, Gein was digging up graves and killing and eating young women."
22. "Before Janis Joplin was a rock star, my grandma taught her in school. She said she was quiet/anti-social."
23. "On my maternal grandfather’s side, we traced the lineage back to William Wallace. In fact, many later generations continued to name their kids William Wallace and my son’s middle name is now William."
Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.