15 Ordinary People Whose Family History Is Full of Secrets and Mysteries

4 years ago

Every family probably has their own secrets that have been kept for decades, or maybe even centuries. But sooner or later, everything that is secret gets revealed, and DNA tests that are popular today, a trend on compiling family trees, and sometimes, pure luck speeds up this process. These findings are often so shocking that they divide a person’s life into “before” and “after.”

We at Bright Side have read hundreds of stories from people who revealed their family secrets, and we were surprised to find out how many mysteries the past actually holds. These stories will probably also inspire you to look for hidden truths about your family. And at the end of the article, you’ll find a bonus that shows how family relationships can bring something new into our lives.

  • My parents have 2 children, my sister and me, but I’ve always wanted a brother. But it wasn’t meant to happen. However, after my father, who was a colonel, resigned, he got so interested in genealogy that he discovered 4 centuries of our family history in 30 years. In 2016, I was on a bus tour in Europe because of my job. And somewhere in Germany, on a bus with 30 people from Slavic countries, during a casual conversation, I realized that I was talking to my maternal blood relative. This guy and my father wrote to each other a year ago because of their common interest in DNA-genealogy, but because of their age difference, they didn’t continue communicating. But this guy on a bus was my peer, he was charming, smart, and just a couple of years older than me. A true brother! And it turned out that we live very close to each other. We now call each other almost every week, meet almost every month, and a couple of weeks ago, he became my daughter’s godfather. This is how my dad gave me a brother when I was 36 years old. © orthdx / Pikabu
  • My boyfriend, Mike, grew up with a single mother who never talked to him about his dad. At the age of 34, he decided to take a DNA test and found his biological uncle. He was very excited when he received a message from Mike, because he didn’t even know that Mike existed! His uncle, Earl, was happy to share photos of his brother and told Mike that his dad was a bodybuilder, and then he got his undergraduate, masters, and doctorate degrees in education. Mike is also a bodybuilder, he is in graduate school now, and he’s planning on getting his doctorate degree in the same exact field as his biological dad. It turned out that all of Mike’s relatives are from Pittsburgh where we live now too. His biological father lives walking distance from us! He doesn’t want to communicate with his son, but Mike has become friends with his uncle, his cousin, and his sister. They all are so welcoming and excited to have found him. © YasMysteries / Reddit

“My boyfriend Mike and his dad at the same age”

  • My dad died in a car accident a long time ago. I’ve never seen my mom shed a tear — after the funeral, she continued to live as usual, like nothing had happened. I was very disappointed in her and thought that if she didn’t love him, she could at least cry to be polite. She passed away recently, and I began sorting out her things and found her letters. The letters that were addressed to my dad. She wrote to him in heaven about my studies, about everything. She even wrote the ending of the book my dad didn’t get to finish. © Overheard / Vk

  • My grandma recently did a DNA test, and the result helped her find her sister she never knew she had. She found out that this woman had more siblings, and one of them, Edith, was born on the same day and year as my grandma and in the same city. Her parents were sure there was a mix-up because Edith looked nothing like the rest of their family. They even contacted the hospital, but the hospital said this was impossible. We saw the photos and were very surprised — Edith looks just like my great-grandma and great-grandpa, and my grandma looks so much like Edith’s family. My grandma plans to take another DNA test to find out the truth. © lesueurpeas / Reddit
  • My great-grandfather was an amazing jeweler. His work was sophisticated and very beautiful. I inherited some unusual jewelry that he gave to his wife — my great-grandmother, who he loved very much. Recently, we decided to demolish their old house and build a new one. We found a chest in the wall! I can’t describe our joy when we opened it — it was filled with extraordinarily beautiful jewelry. It turned out that my great-grandmother told my mother in her childhood that her grandfather had hidden 3 chests! But he didn’t say where exactly. We are looking for the other heirlooms now. © Overheard / Vk
  • I found out my father wasn’t my biological father in the 10th grade in my Biology class. We were learning about blood types and their traits. I raised my hand, thinking I was the smartest one, saying to the teacher, “Your chart isn’t accurate, my dad has AB negative and I’m O positive.” My teacher replied, “I think your mom can explain this to you.” And we all chuckled. It turned out that the person who I thought was my biological dad actually wasn’t my dad. © dontaskmeforfeetpics / Reddit

  • My grandfather was a typical reserved man of very few words. We had nothing to talk about, so I can’t say that our relationship was good. He died of lung cancer 2 years ago. A few months after his death, I was visiting my parents, and my mom pulled out a shoebox that belonged to him filled with sentimental photographs. He kept it hidden in his closet. Nobody knew about his secret. Almost every single photograph was of me. It broke my heart. My grandfather clearly loved me a lot more than I thought he did. © OnlyAutoSuggest / Reddit
  • Thanks to my interest in genealogy, it was very nice to tell my dad that his drunk and abusive father wasn’t his biological dad. And that lovely family friend, who’d always tried to be there for him (first day of school, at home when he got back from the army, who encouraged him to work at the job he loved) was, in fact, his father. He proudly shows off pictures of his real dad now. © Mischeese / Reddit

  • In 2017, I did a DNA test and found out that I have an aunt who I’d never heard of. I sent her an email, and her reply was an absolute shock for my family. She said that her father’s name is Robert (my maternal grandfather), and that she wasn’t sure if he even knew about her. I was trying to decide whether to tell my mom, because it seemed like we had found her blood sister. When I finally told her, she was blown away and so was my grandpa when she told him. It turned out that my grandpa worked away from his wife and kids for a while and fooled around. He had no idea that he had another daughter. My grandpa is traveling to meet her in a week and he couldn’t be more excited. © Yllohnna / Reddit

  • I begged my grandpa for years to get his Christmas fudge recipe, but he always told me it was a family secret he’d tell me later. When he passed away, I thought the secret passed with him. Years later, my mom told me that grandpa’s Christmas fudge was the recipe on the back of the marshmallow creme jar. I laughed and cried because that was just totally my grandpa’s style! I am now the keeper of the secret family fudge recipe and I have to make it every Christmas for my big family. © dorkmagnet123 / Reddit

Bonus: My grandpa’s hiding place

I recently moved into my grandpa’s house, he’s gone abroad. I found a letter on the table with hints
for finding a hiding place. After spending lots of time on it, I found a vault. I adore my grandpa! It turned out that there was a candy wrapper there and a note, “Ha-ha-ha.” © Overheard / Vk

Have you ever managed to reveal a family secret?

Preview photo credit Overheard / Vk


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The one about the boy who found his father at the age of 50 shows that some traits are just in your genes, and there's nothing you can do.. even growing up completely separately and they still had similarities


I wonder if it's awkward to meet your biological parent after so many years..


I don't know how I would react meeting my parent after 20+ years.. I would have so many questions


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