My grandmother passed away a couple years ago. While going through her house, my family found a box with my grandfathers name on it in his handwriting. My grandfather died before I was born. It was taped closed and the dust on it suggested it hadn’t ever been opened.
Inside, my family found newspaper clippings and other documents.
Turns out that in the early 1900’s, my grandfather took a road trip with friends to see the ocean. During their time at the beach, their car was stolen. They decided to stay awhile; being in their late teens and out of school, they decided to earn some money and have a good time.
My grandfather met a Mexican girl and married her within the course of a month. There was an article on the vehicle theft, as well as another on the marriage and a marriage certificate.
We could never find information on what happened next. We don’t even rightly know if they married for love, to get her citizenship, if they had kids, or even if he was legally divorced when he married my grandmother in the 1930’s. We don’t think my grandmother knew.
We did find out his first wife returned to Mexico. She did have children (who say they don’t think their mom had kids before she remarried). We sent them copies of the documents we found and they were as flabbergasted as we were.