When Cathy Combs of Spokane, Washington began researching her family history, she had no clue what discoveries were awaiting. She uncovered a huge chunk of family that she never knew existed.
MyHeritage has played a pivotal role in the documentation of my family history, and research that enabled the discovery of my half-siblings!
It all started with Jean McDonald Clark. Jean was born in Chicago, but raised in Minnesota. She married Ernest Rucks in 1946. Between 1947 and 1950, the couple had four children. She was a young bride with an unfortunate domestically turbulent home life. While pregnant with her fifth child, she fled to California to safely give birth and process for divorce. In the early 1950s, battered women in such situations had few options or resources.
Not long after Athena Orchard, then 13, lost her short battle with cancer, her family uncovered a hidden message of over 3,000 words written on the back of her bedroom mirror. The Orchard family's story was featured in the Daily Mail.