Every family has it’s skeletons, and my family is no different. The hardest part is knowing how to tread when looking at it from a family history point of view.
Two of my siblings have a different father than I do. It’s never made my love for them any different as they are still my brother and sister. It just makes it really difficult to share my research successes as for a huge part of my family history has nothing really to do with them. Sure they’ve adopted the name of my father but it isn’t his ancestors blood that flows through their veins.
At some point in the past few months I started to realize how unfair it is that I was able to talk and brag about my ancestors and where they came from, but that they had no idea about half of theirs. It made me sad and I decided to begin looking into their biological father’s family.
It started out innocently enough. I put his name and his parents names as far as I could remember. Amazingly, I was able to put together some information and could trace their family back to PEI for several generations. (Thanks Ancestry!) It was very exciting as I was finally able to pass along some history to my brother and sister.
And then the unthinkable happened.
“You have my mother on your tree. Why?”
How do you respond? What do you say? I was treading lightly as I hadn’t really revealed much to my siblings. They knew I was looking at family history, but I hadn’t completely told them about looking into their father’s family. How do I even deal with this request from one of their relatives?
Too chicken to ask face to face, I did what any scaredy cat would do in 2014, I sent them a private message over facebook and explained the situation and asked if it was okay to reveal a little bit of information. Amazingly, they both said sure. Both thought it would be really interesting to know they have family out there.
And so started a conversation with their 3rd cousin who remembers meeting my sister back in 1969. “She was an angel,” was how their cousin Maureen described my sister. Having seen pictures of her back then with her snow white hair, blue eyes and sweet cherubic face I am not surprised. Maureen has been able to reveal more about the family on their paternal grandmother’s side and we have shared pictures and stories.
It’s amazing how searching for that other family I’ve been able to fill in some blanks and get a better picture of my family.