Re: Scandals, Shandehs, and Lies:The Stories Families Don't Tell #announcements #events

Roberta Apte

When I was growing up my grandmother always told me that she had five sisters. "All girls," she would tell me. In researching her family I found a senses from 1920 and 1930. The 1920 census shows a male child as the youngest in the household. As I researched him, I found him in a mental institution on Long Island. I don't know how long he was there because there doesn't seem to be records. I did find him in the 1950s, living by himself. My mother didn't even know about him. This is just one of my family secrets that I've uncovered through genealogy research.

I often wonder how my great-grandparents were able to commit him. I wonder if he truly had a mental health condition, or if maybe he was gay and they couldn't accept it. So many things at that time were considered mental illness that would not be today. My great-grandfather was very religious and my great uncle might have been rebellious or had a learning disability. Who knows?--
Roberta Slome Apte

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