I’ve touched on this before, but I wanted to devote some real time to it. I want to come up with something a little more thoughtful than my usual angry rants (which I usually delete when thinking more clearly).
Here is the forewarning then, I’m going to talk about things that are hidden, dark, mysterious and painful. People generally don’t like this stuff, which is one reason why it remains hidden, dark, mysterious and painful. I don’t like it either. So, I’m not going to dredge up every woe, because I want to stay on task and talk about the larger conspiracy.
It struck me that I needed to talk about this, while I was looking at the records for my grandparents. Specifically their marriage. Although I’d seen the marriage records before, I didn’t have a copy of them in any of my ancestry trees. So I looked at the date I had for their marriage and there it was April 1946. On a quick search for the actual record, I can see April 1946 appearing in many family trees, but no records or media associated with it. It’s even referenced at Find A Grave, with the town “Rushton” instead of Rushville assigned to it.
My gut says this is wrong, but no matter how much I search , I cannot find the actual record at ancestry.com. So where did I see it?
Familysearch.org. One quick search away and here it is. Well..part of it:
The important thing is, not necessarily the town, although my grandfather’s residence was listed as Rushville, Rush, Indiana. I’ve been told this was the address of his uncle or a cousin. The important thing here is the date. April 5th 1947. One year later than any public listing at Ancestry. Also a year later than anything mentioned in their obituaries.
This seems like a picky detail. Certainly no one who has posted this date, one year too early, meant any harm by it. It seems like the right date to put out there, but it’s falsified evidence. The official record has been fudged, just a little, just enough. Hidden within this record is a conspiracy that continues to be perpetrated by many unwitting people who have no idea they’re a part of it.
My aunt was born in June of 1947. Her parents were married earlier in April of that year in Indiana, instead of Michigan. Neither of them lived there in Indiana. So we have a matter of months between their wedding and her birth. That sounds like an unplanned pregnancy and a rushed wedding in the 1940s. Society and family demand that everyone toe the line. It looks a lot like two people trying their best to conform and …it is. That is one layer of this particular conspiracy.
Here is the second layer: My aunt is a nurse. Simple blood typing told her a long, long time ago that Charles Thompson was not her biological father. Other relatives in the family whispered to her fears that her dad was not her bio dad, but gave her no information on who her real biological father might be. Her parents kept to the official script until their deaths. One of them obviously knew the truth, we’re not really certain the other one did. My aunt’s origins were left there, dark, mysterious and painful.
I think a crime has been committed against my aunt. She needs to know some very basic information, but many people have actively conspired to keep it from her and now many more knowingly and unknowingly join the conspiracy.
A lot of people suffered for this, in ways that are too painful, even now, to bring up. Like I said at the beginning, I can’t begin to list here the counted sorrows that came along with this dark thing. Just know that this secret, so harmlessly glossed over today with a simple date change, didn’t go away. It led to pain and suffering for decades for my aunt and my grandfather. Even my grandmother (always tough as nails) suffered with it too, more than I will ever know.
They paid a high price to maintain conformity in 1940s and 50s America and, of course, my aunt is still paying for it.
There are a lot of different participants in this conspiracy and most have no idea they’re helping the original conspirators perpetuate the crime almost 70 years later.
Next up: Compounding confounding.