Sponsored By GenealogyBank

22 January 2013

Did Grandma Tell You Everything?

You might have thought the world of your Grandmother and she might have thought the world of you. That does not necessarily mean that she told you the truth about your great-grandfather. She might have thought you did not need to know the truth or did not even know the truth herself. Don't let your affection for a relative cloud your perception about what they told you about a long-deceased family member.


  1. This is actually a really good thing to be reminded of. I've suggested this once in a while to cousins, who got very insulted and said things like, "I don't think Grandma would lie." But, Grandma had told us, all of us, that her mother had died when she was barely four years old. She never changed her story. Ever. She was born in 1901 and so that put me on a life-time of searching for an obituary, cemetery, death record etc for 1904-1906. She also told me her mother had been buried in a specific cemetery without a stone. I finally, quite by CHANCE, came upon an obituary in the newspaper for her mother, clearly dated, 1909!! And her mother was not buried where she said. (Twenty-five years of looking for the wrong date!!) My grandma also always told me that she was "full-blooded French" but when I began questioning her as to the names of her grandparents etc, she mentioned an Eliza Jane Yates. I told her that Yates did not sound French to me and she actually blushed and said, "No, it's not. It's English." I adored her, but she was not past exaggerating to make things sound more interesting! :-) Being 3/4ths French just wasn't as exotic as "full-blooded" I suppose.

  2. My grandmother's parents I now know were divorced 1895. I had always assumed (or as a child she told me) her father was dead. Do I regret my behavior, after her death. I was going through old letters and found one that started telling grandma about her father's death in 1909. Impulsively, I tore it up "MY GRANDMOTHER WOULD NEVER LIE TO ME!" Do I now regret that action of over 50years ago. I believe the 1909 is correct, but I cannot find the state. Lies are so dreadful! Aunt Em, her sister-in-law said Grandma had trouble with her mom "chasing men"- Why didn't I follow up on that comment at the time?The truth is so much nicer than fiction.