Re: Fairy Tales my Father Told Me #belarus


I think every family has a few legends. I've been told that my grandfather's aunts were anarchists in the late 19th century, putting us on the tsar's bad side, but there's no way to prove or disprove that. It makes an interesting story, so we like to believe it. Did Tsar Alexander III even have a good side?

On the other side of the family, I was told my grandmother had two sisters who died as babies. I've only found documentation for one of those sisters, but infant mortality was high, so it's not an unlikely story. Other stories about witnessing shootings in prohibition era Brooklyn are probably exaggerations (though living near Al Capone's family was confirmed by census records).

It wasn't uncommon to not know exact birth dates, so my great-grandfather picked Lincoln's birthday and put it on all his documentation. My great-aunt emigrated at age 20, and stayed 20 years old through the next two censuses. Miraculously.

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