Discovering a family secret 2



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Most families have secrets. They can be fun secrets like a recipe that everyone loves but holder doesn’t share, or they can be as damaging as an infidelity or crime. When looking through the family history, perhaps you use sites like, and you get to find out interesting things about your ancestors. When they arrived in Australia, where they were before that, what they did for a living, are some of the things that would be fun to find out.

On a Reddit forum post entitled “Have you ever stumbled upon a dark family secret?” one user noticed an unknown branch of the family tree that wasn’t that far from them. Reddit user, using a fake account for privacy reasons, posted “I found out over Christmas whilst doing a family history search online that my dad had fathered 2 children by a different woman about 20 years ago”. When the father was going to the north of England for work he was secretly living with his other family. Digging deeper the user called the mother to her half siblings “I told her my name and that I was actually his daughter, his only daughter I thought up until that moment and that I had two other brothers who were older and my parents had in fact, been married for over 35 years. This poor woman screeched down the phone crying. She never knew any of this.”

It can’t be easy to find out that you have other siblings this way but as one user stated it was better to learn about other siblings than never knowing what happened to them. Their tale went back a few generations, back to the Australian Gold Rush, but the story of tragedy ended quietly with “family had too many kids and not enough money so they sold one of their kids” with all attempts to find out what happened to the child failing.

While a lot of the secrets can be dark, some did have a littler take on them. One user shared that while after his father and uncle had an argument his uncle “decided to poke holes in all of his condoms. He was dating my mother at the time, and that is how I came about.” While the user was thankful that the uncle did this, they agreed that this as a cheap act.

One of the Starts at 60 staff has a story of a family secret that they were proud to know the truth. It was always known within their family that their grandfather had fought in WWII. That was as far as they were ever told, it wasn’t until their grandfather’s death that anyone was able to have a look at his military records. They were pleasantly surprised to find out that he served as a chef on the USS Arizona during the time of the Pearl Harbor attacks. After swimming through water that was on fire, he was able to save some injured men. While he was given the option to go home after this event he instead choice to get on another ship and fight for his fallen brothers. Obviously, it was hard for him to speak about when he returned home but his family will never forget his humble sacrifice.

Do you have any family secrets that you found out? Is there a funny secret that you found out years later?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. I found out at the age of 50 I had an older brother, who had died at three days old. My mother had died when I was 10 after a long illness, and I still feel so sorry for my Dad, who raised my sister and I, that he had no one to talk to about Michael. I had two boys as did my sister I wonder if Dad looked at these boys and thought about his lost son and what he would have grown into. Brings me to tears every time I think of it. Sad. So much hidden for no real reason.

  2. When researching your family story it isn’t unusual to uncover information that could be upsetting to family members. Please treat that sort of information with sensitivity. Never knowingly put false information onto your tree but resist the temptation to reveal a startling fact that could be distressing if made known. How would you feel if the information was about you?

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