So, I’ve known for awhile that I was related to Marilyn Monroe, but I’ve never really thought to make too much of a fuss of it. But I have a story that others in my family might find interesting. So I am sharing it. It’ll be below the genealogy stuff.
The grandparents I share with Norma Jean are: Richard Lane & Sarah Fuller. They are her maternal grandparents & my paternal. I will share anything you want if you are a descendant of these two. If you aren’t, my stuff won’t help you, but you can have it anyway. If you have an ancestry account, the links below will work for you. TsHotMess is the name of my tree, and I know that doesn’t sound encouraging but, whadd’ya gonna do?
If you are researching your own connection to her from scratch, be very careful with the “Sarahs”. A few people have the Sarah’s in this line all mixed up. I have gone great lengths to use my DNA & anyone else’s from her line who was willing to send it to me in order to verify as many levels as possible. There are a few of my aunts & uncles that are stragglers without a connection but, since there are very few alive who are related to her, and even fewer who will give up their DNA, it could take a few more generations to get them all genetically accounted for.
7th cousin 1x removed
mother of Marilyn Monroe
mother of Gladys Pearl Monroe Baker
father of Della Mae Hogan
father of Tilford Marion Hogan
father of George Washington Hogan
father of Zachariah Hogan
mother of John Hogan
father of Silence Lane (Hogan)
son of Richard Lane
daughter of Dutton Lane Sr
daughter of Elizabeth “Betsy” Oaks Lane
son of Belinda Norman
son of William Jasper Casper Stultz
To me, celebrities are just humans, & I don’t really have much of a fandom personality. However, recently, I decided that for the first time ever, I was gonna go visit Marilyn so that I can say I did. I noticed the door to her crypt looked newer. Not just recolored by the ridiculous amounts of lipstick people kiss on to her crypt, but really newer. I went into the office & checked in with the management. Apparently people creep around in the grave yard at night & if they can catch security sleeping on the job, vandals will muck around with her resting place. They told me there was no next of kin for Marilyn listed in the files, no one had stepped up to replace the last listed person who was now deceased. This means that if anything undesirable should happen to her crypt, they have no one to call to notify. There is no one to follow through & press charges & see to it that the sick vandal is punished by law.
Well, I can’t have that. That doesn’t work for me. Just because she is ridiculously famous doesn’t give me license to ignore that she is blood related & just walk outta there saying, “Call her fan club”. I went ahead and put myself on record as the person they call if Marilyn should experience any unfortunate circumstances & need a credible advocate. I mean, I am several generations down from her & she was dead before I was born, but still, family is family & until someone else steps up, I am better than no one at all. I just had to provide the vital records which were in the cloud anyway so it was very easy to get them to list me.
Now, I hope nothing ever happens where I need to be called because, um what the hell do ya do when your deceased kin comes up missin’ from the crypt? “Anybody got the surveillance footage? Can we see what direction she ran off in? Did she have her purse with her?” I am at ease knowing they’ve got a camera pointed right at her door so if vandals return, it will see them.
Then I got to thinking… the MOST famous woman in this whole world- not just in the United States, but the ENTIRE world… is my cousin. We share grandparents. She died young but if she had not, I would have known her. You could say, “nah, 7th cousins who are both alive don’t usually know each other”. Typically that is true, but in this case, that wouldn’t be true because our families were in close proximity to each other through most of the generations. It wasn’t until after Marilyn was an adult that people got scattered around. My great grandmother knew her. So, I guess maybe she deserves a little more respect from me than what I’ve given. I at least need to acknowledge how fabulous she must have been in order to captivate the entire world. Women everywhere envied her, tried to copy her, be her, steal her grace, energy etc. And men… they practically drove themselves clinically insane trying to get her attention.
While I was in the cemetery office discussing Marilyn, a woman overheard my conversation with the staff. She then met me outside Marilyn’s crypt, which she had come to visit. She told me she had just picked up a book at an estate sale and it was a rare find. It was all about Marilyn & had a photo of her on every page with the authors hopelessly devoted affection declared opposite each image. I didn’t want to take her “rare find” but she insisted. She got it from her car, then wanted a photo of us together with the book. All just because I am Marilyn’s cousin & had just verified it in the cemetery office. That was a bit flattering! She asked me what I thought of Marilyn, and I readily admitted that she probably knows more about Marilyn than I do. I have never seen a single movie she was in, never read a single book about her, I just knew that she’s my cousin & that’s all I needed to know to have enough reason to care about being listed in her file. She was so intrigued by this, she said she at first didn’t know why she chose to pick that book up, but now she knew that it was meant for her to give it to me, & it was to be the book that introduced me to my cousin. I was happy to take it at that point because she got to my feelers by being so emotional about it. I glanced at the photos, then I read a couple paragraphs of the first page. I determined that this author was shamelessly infatuated, to maybe an unhealthy degree, & he had no problem shouting so from the mountain tops. I could not stand to read more than a couple paragraphs, the old sap was just miserable living his life without her in it. He thought she walked on water! That she was genuinely Gods gift to men. Who am I to say he is wrong? But, I closed the book.
This sweet woman I met at the grave also asked me what I thought really happened to Marilyn. I again stated that I have never read any of the reports or theories or opinions, but that my gut feeling is that she did not intend to die that night & I had absolutely no grounds for that other than it’s what I feel. Standing there outside her crypt, I was compelled to answer on the spot & even after saying I didn’t know, that I had not even read the death report, she still wanted to know what I thought. And, so I asked myself what I thought. Seems to me that whatever happened, she didn’t intend to die. Now, I wonder if I am coincidentally right. So, to give myself one more thing to do, I decided to look at my genealogy notes, take them a bit further, bring everyone to life that leads up to her & then see what more I feel about her, without ever reading anything Hollywooded that could influence me. After I think I’ve figured it all out, I will then read the police report, read the books, watch the movies & any other thing anybody has put out. And, I will see how much of what I think is true really is verifiable as truth & how much of it makes sense. Why? Well because I think she deserves a fair shake. I want to know who she was before she was Marilyn because that’s the girl my great grandmother knew.
Maybe, when I am done with the line Norma Jean & I share, I will know so much more about who died when Marilyn was born & how to reconcile both personages. Seems like a great genealogy project to me. The world cares about Marilyn. They don’t necessarily care about her truth, but they care about any ol thing anyone ever wants to say about her just because OMG it’s about Marilyn, so it must be true. Aside from fooling around with whether I am right or wrong about her death, I probably should be a cut above & research Norma Jean first. After that, maybe I will care about the work of art that she turned herself into as Marilyn. She was proud of it, I will be proud of it too. But, Marilyn isn’t first priority on my geni-blog. She is 2nd to the only person she will EVER be second to: Norma Jean. You’re welcome to discover with me, and in the end, not only will I see if I agree with myself that she did not intend to die that night- with any luck, I will be able to discern what is true about her and what is just her fan club making money. That way, when I am cornered at the cemetery again, I have something juicier to send them off with. Or maybe I could just spin up a plot twist & start a new rumor. Kidding… joking, kidding. Her fans would hand me ass to me on a platter.
I am now in touch with one other branch of her biological family, also related on her moms side just like I am. They are very disgruntled by her fan club. They say there are so many lies, and when they’ve confronted the fan club with the truth & proof of it, they claim that the club responded, “This is a for-profit business.” Basically, that family branch feels the club doesn’t care what the truth is, just that they continue to make money. I don’t know if that claim is true, I am just a genealogist who wants to know whatever I can verify & reconcile.