One thing that I’m learning from genealogy is that everyone lies. Some are interesting, some are whoppers and some are just silly.
Case in point. One of my grandmothers lied about her age. Not an uncommon occurrence. She lied about her age so that no one knew she was older than her husband. What I want to know is if he knew about it. Or if she conned him all of her life. Can you guess?
Evidence #1 – US Census records and other records have her birthday at 1889.
Evidence #2 – On the Vermont death records, she is clearly listed as having been born in 1894. My grandfather must have been in on it because her younger brother was born in 1891.
#3 – On the 1940 Census she was married to my grandfather (step-grandfather, actually, as my biological grandfather was killed in WWI), the only grandfather I knew and loved with all my heart. And……she lied about her age.
Did he really know? He must have known. But I have no idea. I just think it’s funny. Her gravestone is wrong, for heaven’s sake. But guess what. It turns out that his last name wasn’t really Maslen, it was O’Rourke. And we didn’t find that out until recently. Geesh.
Next example of lying.
My maternal grandfather was born in New York City in 1895. All of my life, we have been told that we are Dutch. That he came from the Netherlands. His father was born in Germany in 1866 and emigrated from Germany when he was about 2.
I have traced my grandfather’s direct line back to the 1600’s and so far, every single male until they emigrated to the US, has been born in Germany. On the US Census of 1900 and 1910, my great-grandfather’s place of birth is listed as “Germany.” Then, beginning with the US Census of 1920 until my grandfather died, he listed his father as being born in Holland.
I’m sorry, but that’s a whopper. I’m guessing that since the US was at war with Germany in WWI and WWII, my grandfather thought it was circumspect to say he was Dutch, since he always lived here and his family was here, not there. I haven’t gotten through all the spouses down the line yet. But most seem to be from Germany. We definitely have some Dutch somewhere, but his father, grandfather, great-grandfather and all the way down that line to at least the 1600’s were definitely German.
Man, did I call all my brothers and all my cousins after that discovery.
I, too, have my secrets.