When I think of “negative” genealogy, I think of the 1992 movie “A Few Good Men” with Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, and Demi Moore. Remember when Jack said, “You can’t handle the truth?” I can’t handle it when someone in my family has done something terrible (or negative) to someone else.
According to Oral History, my great-grandfather, Robert Miller, moved his wife, Lillie, and children to Cleveland, Ohio, in the early 1920s. He returned to Alabama to live with his other wife, Roseanna, and their children.
My great-grandmother, Lily Sawyer Miller, was a dressmaker living in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1930. She was married and head of household; living with her were two of her daughters, Velire and Anna, son, John R., grandson, James Chappell, and roomer, Randolph Hart.
Her husband, Robert, lived in Macon County, Ohio, with his other wife, Rosanna. Their census list children May Bell [Mary Bell], George, Lillian, Mattie, J Lee [?], Jane Mary [Mary Jane], Vellie [Valure], French [Frank], and John.
The 1910 Census for Robert and Lillie lists George, Lillie, Daisy, Mat, Iola, Anna Lee, and Mary J. In addition, I found a 1913 Alabama county marriage for Mary Miller where her father permitted her marriage.
I also found a 1912 Bullock County, Alabama birth record for Robt Lee Miller with parents Robert Miller and Rosanna Harris-Miller and a 1913 Bullock County, Alabama birth record for Miller [John Robert] with parents Robert Miller and Lily Miller.
I didn’t personally know my great-grandparents or what the situation at the time was. I have enough on my own, but it just makes me sad. That old saying, “You can’t pick your family.” I want to enjoy the ones that are here.