|The story of Cousin #41 - The UNKNOWN Daughter and Cousin||Earlier this year Michele Hagan of Louisville, KY started a search for her grandfather. That led to this story.
Michele's mother (Carolyne) died in 2002. A few months ago an aunt (while going through an old family album) took several pictures out (they were glued in) and made a discovery, which she then shared with Michele. The photos were of MICHELE's grandfather, and had 'Clarence Harnage March 1938 Monteverde, Fla' written on the back. This was apparently the first time that they had been examined in 70 years.
Michele immediately started a search for her grandfather. She finally landed on the harnage.org website and recognized the picture of Clarence. She contacted me and Rado with her story and shortly thereafter drove to SC to talk to Rado. She said she just had a sense of urgency about the trip - that was June 27th, just 3 weeks before Rado's death.
Michele, Rado and Linda had a full day of talking about both families. Rado had no doubts that the pictures were of Clarence and Clarence was known to have been in Monteverde at various times (it being less than 10 miles from Clermont and Winter Garden.) Rado was convinced that they were related.
Carolyn Marie Lynch Hagan, Michele's mother and our cousin #41, was born in January 1939. Later she legally changed her name to Carolyne. She was the eldest child of Ethel Johnson, with 5 siblings. All the girls had blond hair, except Carolyne. Hers was darker, more like Clarence's.
|The Rest of the Story||Here is the story that we have pieced together (parts of which came from Michele, her relatives, and documentation.)   At some point in the late 1930s Ethel Johnson went to central Florida to work, probably as a nanny/housekeeper. When the family who she was living with (not sure if relatives or not) found out she was pregnant, she was told to leave. She went home where she was told to either have an abortion or immediately get married. She chose the latter route and married a man named Lynch. She was also told to never mention this incident again, which she apparently heeded, including not telling Clarence. It is said that he was told that she got sick and moved back home, so he never knew that he had a daughter.
Older members of her family had known the story all Carolyne's life, if not the actual name of her father.
Though this is not proof positive that Carolyne is Clarence's daughter, it was good enough for Rado. He didn't doubt it.
And why else would Ethel keep his pictures all these years?
Carolyne had two children, Joseph (Bryan) and Michele and 4 grandchildren, two boys by Joseph (Bryan) and two girls by Michele.
So, Carolyne Marie Lynch Hagan and family, welcome to the Harnage Family, even if we didn't know you.
And thanks to Michele Hagan, her daughter, for breaking tradition and finding the truth.
Here are some Photos
And here is the Family Info