My genealogical world was turned upside down last week while attending a maternal uncle's funeral. The family was in the church's social hall having lunch between the service and the burial. I noticed that there was quite a bit of animated conversation going on at the table in front of me. I looked at my sister who was seated there, and she kept saying to me, "Did you know? Did you know?"
I went over to her and asked what she was talking about. She asked me if I knew that my grandfather had an illegitimate son. I looked around at the table and heads were nodding yes. It seems that the secret had been revealed to an uncle recently by my aunt. My other aunt spoke up and said she was planning to tell us at our annual trip to St. Simons Island in May. My sister and I asked my mom about it. She also knew and was rather upset that the cat was out of the bag. She thought that it was a secret only known to the three sisters and she had wanted it kept that way. A few days later I was told that my other two uncles had known.
Story is that some of my family had been attending a family reunion in Jasper, Alabama, a number of years ago. A relative had mentioned that there was a man in Jasper that looked just like my maternal grandfather. My grandmother's sister told my aunt that she knew who the other man was. This aunt is also a genealogist and she tracked down a couple of the man's daughters and actually met with them a couple of times. I've been involved in genealogy since 1995. Why wasn't I told?!
The mother of the illegitimate son was a woman I know about from my research. Her name was Grace. Grace was my grandmother's maternal aunt. Grace was my grandmother's step-mother. And most likely Grace was the lover of my grandmother's husband (my grandfather).
Researching the life of Grace has moved to the top of my to-do list. I'll also be reviewing my family's DNA results and looking for some new subjects to test.