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These People Confessed the Weirdest Facts from Their Family Tree

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We all have weird stuff in our families: scandal, backstabbing, brushes with fame, etc.

A bunch of people went on AskReddit to share the weirdest family stories they could come up with.

1. Weird but cool

“My great-grandfather saved my life, even though he died 89 years before I was born.

He was a semi-well known medical researcher (enough for a wikipedia page and a family of bacteria to be named after him.), who ended up dying after being crazy enough to inject himself with one of the diseases he was studying. 100ish years down the line, I caught one of the diseases that he studied; his research had paved the cure of that and a few other serious diseases.”

2. Lucky #7

“My grandmother is the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter, which makes her special according to some Appalachian old wives tales. Her breath heals canker sores, apparently. People who suffered from canker sores used to drive from miles around to go to her so she could blow in their mouths and make the sores go away. I have multiple family members who swear it works.”

3. Great uncle

“My great uncle disappeared after Vietnam. He killed his best friend playing with a gun when he was a kid and hadn’t been the same after, had a bit of a death wish. Vietnam had made him even more morose and withdrawn, so when he vanished, the family just assumed the worst one way or another.

20 years later, come to find out, he had moved to Mexico and started a family. My grandmother got a call from his teenage daughter, letting us know he had passed away. Stomach cancer. Nobody had any idea. Dude just lit out and severed ties without saying a word.”

4. A whole lot

“My grandmother had 3 siblings and my grandfather had 6 siblings. They got married, then my grandma’s brother married my grandpa’s sister, then my grandma’s first cousin married my grandpa’s other sister, and then my grandma’s second cousin married my grandma’s third cousin. I have a whole, whole lot of double or triple cousins.”

5. Twisted tree

“It recently came to light that my mom’s sister is actually her mother, making my aunt actually my grandmother.”

6. Mobbed up

“My wife’s family is the coolest family ever. My wife is directly related to Marco Polo. Her family has deep deep roots in Italy and Sicily. Her Mother’s side of the family almost all have the last name Polo, including her own mother. They actually showed me the lineage pretty far back, with surprisingly few unknown areas in the family tree.

Her great grandfather was actually kicked out of his small town in Southern Italy for being in the Italian Mafia. Yes. They raised money to send him to America from Italy in the early 20th century, to get rid of the patriarch of their mob.

You think that’s all the Mafia in her family? Hahahaha, no it gets worse. On her Mother’s side of the family there are also Cubans. Specifically, the Cuban Cigar Mafia in Cuba and Florida. Her Grandmother has grainy old pictures from her days as a “Cuban Cigar Princess” in parades and at town events in Yborr City and Tampa. My wife’s crazy grandma took out one of those coffee table books on the Cuban Mafia, and there were circled people in pictures with a bunch of machine guns and cash, and she pointed like _”There’s your uncle Diego, and his wife Odalys, OH and there’s Ernesto! He’s such a sweetheart.” When my wife’s great grandfather died, they put a block in the sidewalk in Ybor City that said _”[Name]. Our Patriarch.” They showed that to me too.

I love this family.”

7. Albinos

“My great-grandmother and great-grandfather were both carriers of the albinism gene, but neither one of them were actually albino themselves.

They had nine children together: each and every single one of them was albino.”

8. Coulda been a First Lady

“My grandmother dated Bill Clinton in high school, he had a pretty major crush on her. She broke up with him because he was in the band.”

9. Witch!

“My 9x great grandma was Rebecca Nurse, one of the women accused and hung at the Salem Witch Trials. Also my grandpa may have murdered his wife (not my grandma).”

10. What a life

“Great granddad survived a coal mine collapse, escaped the Mafia, and lied his way into the US army all at the age of 16.My great granddad, Salvatore, worked with his father in the coal mines of Appalachia until a mine collapse trapped him and a bunch of other men in the mines. He thought he was going to die, so he prayed to God and said, “hey, if you get me out of here, I’ll never go into the mines again.” Lo and behold he gets out.

Great granddad says, “okay, glad you’re safe, we’re going back in the mine tomorrow.” Salvatore is like, “hell no.” They get into a fight that ends with Salvatore leaving. He makes his way to New Jersey where he finds himself working in a bordello as a translator between the Italian (Mafia) owners and their patrons. Well, the mob boss’s daughter catches feelings for Salvatore and the Family starts pressuring him to marry the girl. Sal takes one look at the situation and thinks, _”this can only lead to bad things,” _and sneaks out of the window in the middle of the night.

He makes his way down to Atlanta, and WWI is in full swing at this point and, fearing the Mafia might try and find him, he signs up with the Navy to try and get away from America for a while. They take him in, train him up as a bugle boy and assign him to a ship.

A few months later, everything is going good, the ship captain has confirmed that they are ready to set sail and then he finds out that his bugle boy, Salvatore, isn’t actually of age or a US Citizen. Whoops. Well, the captain can’t go back and say that he isn’t ready to sail, because he would get into a ton of trouble. So he takes Salvatore down to the courthouse and explains the situation to the judge.

The judge says, “no prob, I kniw what to do.” So the captain gets him a bottle of Jack, they slip the number 17 into Salvatore’s shoe. And when the judge asks Sal, “are you over 17?” Sal says, “yes,” and they make him a citizen. Everything is in order. Sal goes and fights in the war. Lives. Comes back. Does a bunch of other really cool stuff. And dies at a ripe old age.”

11. Ouch…

“A relative declined an offer to invest with Henry Ford. He thought it was a fad.”

12. Wow

“My great-uncle was accused of arson and murder and ran away to sea, eventually dying in a knife fight in Shanghai (according to the family story). I desperately want to know more about this, but everyone who knew the story is now dead and none of them wanted to talk about it when they were alive anyway.

His sister also led a fairly adventurous but much more legal life and was lost at sea for a while (although thankfully found again).”

13. What an honor!

“My family claim that one of my great great uncles was the first man in Ireland to get run over by a van. He worked the docks in Cork and supposedly got hit by a freshly delivered one.”

14. Nope

“My family lives on what we call the compound. Essentially they own continuous plots of land my Dad, Grandparents, uncle, and cousin all have houses next to each other on the compound. Great for visiting and we had our wedding there (on a river). Dad keeps trying to get my husband and I to join them. Nope.”

15. Badass

“My great grandparents both worked for Thomas Edison, which is how they met. That great-grandmother is super badass, too…she came to the States when she was 15 and didn’t speak English, just as the German Depression was getting bad. She had to teach herself English and raise enough money to bring her starving family over from Germany to join her here. She lost all her savings in the US stock market crash and had to start all over, but she did it!”