People don't usually live their lives considering the future generations too heavily.
Sure, one's children and grandchildren are in the plans. But rarely do the children 200 years from now factor into the plans.
Thus, people live life rather precariously. They take chances, go pursue strange adventures, carry on risque and dramatic relationships. In the vacuum of a single life, that's all well enough.
But for the people generations down the line, looking back on those old biographies, an ancestor's approach can seem wild. It might even leave one feeling that if one small detail turned out differently, the whole story would have went in a different direction.
And that is of existential importance for the person looking at the history.
starman123 asked, "Reddit, what parts of your family history is interesting?"
"Interesting, if not incredibly sad. I had a great great grandma (or aunt, can't remember) who had 13 children out of wedlock, all by different men. She was nicknamed notoriously loose Julie by her town."
"The doctor told her not to have anymore children after the 12th, but she did so, and both her and that baby died."
"The community felt she was such a stain on the town's reputation they refused to bury her in the town cemetery (back in the old days, small town)."
Life Took a Turn
"Grandfather had an affair with my grandmother's sister. He got her pregnant and when the little boy turned 7, he went to live with my grandparents...and they raised him as their own."
"The pain my grandmother must have felt is insane. I didn't learn this until this year at 36."
"My Swedish ancestors arrived to Australia by boat. When they arrived one of them got crushed by a crate that fell off a crane on the docks. He made it all the way and didn't even get to set foot in Australia." -- nimernith
"Dam even just the flight from Europe to Australia is anxiety fuel, can't imagine taking a boat all the way there. I'll take my chances in Europe eating potatoes." -- Another_Human
Expand on that Takeover, Please
"My great uncle traced our family back 14 generations. We tried to take over in Wales, failed and were then banished." -- [deleted]
"Did you find this out after trying to enter wales?" -- c0ber
"Do you ever sit by a window during a cold, summer rain; looking out soulfully into the darkness? And as you slowly draw your fingers against the fogged glass; yearn for what could have been yours?" -- IronCorvus
An Empowered Line
"Women in my family have been going to college for seven generations (since the 1840s). Most of them have Master's degrees."
"Also one of these women (either my g-grandma or my g-g-grandma) was involved in the first car wreck in her city as a teenager when she stole her parent's car and drove it into a horse-drawn buggy. A legend."
"I'm related to John Wilkes Booth and Abraham Lincoln. There's a family legend that John actually survived the manhunt and lived in a family attic until he died of old age. There are also various other escape theories running about."
"When my family tried to get the bones of the body the US government claims is John Wilkes tested, a judge first denied exhumation."
"There are three vertebrae being kept by the US Army Medical Command, and they also denied permission, claiming that the test which would require less than .4 grams of bone would be too destructive."
A Very Great Grandmother
"My great grandmother was the first woman to vote in Maine." -- Jeffveilleux2
"Get that suffrage girl!!" -- Nopef***this
"Epic Gamer Moment #53" -- SSJRobbieRotten
"Hot" -- DuncansAlpha
An Alarming Discovery
"My family tree has this one branch that loops back to itself..." -- The_Blatalian
"Break out the banjo." -- steven_hawking_legs
"Are you your own grandpa?" -- Myfourcats1
"Fellow loopedy-loop tree, I see you." -- Chieftain-drake
"My grandfather is an identical twin. During WW2 he joined the military and his twin took his place at his job. Grandfather got out of the army made up a new name he's been going by since." -- handsthefram
A Historical Claim
"One of my great something grandfathers was Thomas Wolsey, the cardinal over England during the reign of Henry VIII and the guy who attempted to get the pope to let Henry divorce Cathrine of Argon. Apparently I came from one of the bastard children he fathered with Joan Larke."
An Organized Crime Plot?
"There were two Tilley's on the Mayflower that I could potentially be very distant relatives to. Apparently a prostitute and a horse thief." -- cockapooch
"Elizabeth Tilley is my 14th great grandmother. No word on her profession or penchant for equine thievery." -- hedpe70
"I'm both Austrian and Italian, but also neither of those."
"My ancestors immigrated from a place that was technically Austria, they wrote Austria on all their paperwork. But now it's Italy. My ancestors would tell you they were Italian."
"Anyways. I should be eligible for Italian citizenship by blood, but when I applied, they essentially said, 'No, you're Austrian". So I attempted the same in Austria. Their reply? 'No, you're Italian.' "
A Succinct Description
"I probably have the factor wrong, but somewhere around my 8x great uncle was President James Buchanan: the US's only bachelor president who was most likely gay and hands-down the worst president in our history."
Middle Age Success
"My family was running one of the biggest french pottery businesses during the middle age." -- julos42
"You mother is a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries." -- AlienStoriesGiphy
Tough Act to Follow
"Up until me, every single person in my blood line got laid." -- dlordjr
"I hear it skips a generation." -- omgwhatsavailable
"Ah so you followed sex ed nice." -- Ovisers318872
A Slight, Permanent Tweak
"When my family came to America (somewhere around the late 1800s, early 1900s) we added an 'O' onto the front of our name to make it sound Irish."
"Everyone was giving low-paying jobs to the Irish and it was an easy way to get a job at the time."
A Big Reveal
"My grandparents were dating and got engaged. During this time my grandmother's mum and my grandfather's dad began having an affair. On the day of my grandparent's wedding they left their respective partners and told people they were together. So it makes them step brother and sister."
"My grandmother is still salty about it as you can imagine."
Do you have something to confess to George? Text "Secrets" or "" to +1 (310) 299-9390 to talk to him about it.