Ancestral Secrets, Family Acceptance & History

“I was always raised to believe my family was flat out perfect”

     Russell Cook     

Does your families past affect your future? Functional Medicine practitioner Dr. Veronica Anderson and Co- host Russell Cook share how their family history has shaped their life path.

In this episode, Dr. Veronica will talk about her families distant behaviors and violent actions while Russell shares a secret he was never told until recently. Listen to the end for Russell’s results to the Ancestry genetic test.

Listen to episode 38 on iTunes here or subscribe on your favorite podcast app.


iTunes Dr. Veronica's Wellness Revolution

38: Show Notes

Dr. Veronica Anderson’s Links:


Time Stamps:

02:00 – Dr. Veronica’s families history

11:30 – DNA & life path

12:50 – Violent actions

15:00 – Russell’s father’s stories

18:00 – Imperfect families

19:48 – Learning at a young age

20:48 – Sex & violence

23:27 – Parents support and acceptance

24:45 – Ancestry genetic test


Full Transcript:

Female VO: Welcome to the Wellness Revolution Podcast, the radio show all about wellness in your mind, body, spirit, personal growth, sex and relationships. Stay tuned for weekly interviews featuring guests that have achieved physical, mental and spiritual health in their lives.

If you’d like to have access to our entire back catalog visit for instant access. And here’s your host, Dr. Veronica.

Dr. Veronica:  I am Dr. Veronica and I am a medical doctor, medical intuitive, homeopath, functional specialist, health coach and just all around here person to give you information about your health and your well being but not the typical stuff that you hear everyplace else.  You are worried about your numbers, your cholesterol, your weight, your blood pressure, all those numbers, numbers, numbers and you hear all these studies that are out there eat this, drink that, don’t eat this, don’t take that, this good for you, this is bad for you except how do you put it all together?  You have to put it all together based on what you know is best for you.  You have to start listening to you but how do you know what is right and what to listen to?  Well, this is what is what wellness for the real world is all about and I have with me my co-host Russell.  Hi Russell, how are you?

Russell: Hi, Veronica, I am doing pretty well, well as to be expected.

Dr. Veronica:  Yes, we are going to talk about well as to be expected because unfortunately I will let the audience know, I know you have grown to love Russell and his family and we chit chat a little bit about our families and unfortunately Russell’s father has passed.  He has moved on to another plain. And so today we want to talk a little bit about families and histories and secrets and curses and all that type of stuff.

So I am just going to jump right in and talk to you about my family and this is a bit interesting.  How did this get spurred?  Well, my beloved mother, I have two parents and I know both my parents and I was born into this family which in today’s culture, maybe a little bit unusual, but I think it’s what a lot of us aspire to perhaps that we like for our families and kids but I was born in a family with two married parents and I was the second child of my mother. And I believe as far as I know, and I am saying this, as far as I know that my sister and I are the only children of both my mother and my father.  So my mother has only been married one time, after divorced did not remarry.  My father has been married a second time but did not have any kids out of that relationship as far as I know or has had any children before that as far as I know. But, I am saying this as far as I know because you just never know.

On my mother’s side of the family my mother was “adopted” and how the story goes is this, my grandmother was a pregnant teen and I am not quite sure how old she is because there is dispute about that or disagreement about that just because we believed that my grandmother said her age was older than it was to make things look better but it seems that she was pregnant around fifteen, had my mother at sixteen and gave my mother to another family.  Now, this was all in Philadelphia, my mother was born in Philadelphia, my grandmother had been born in South Carolina, I think it’s Leesville something like that and when she was pregnant, the story goes, came up here to Philadelphia. I am not quite why she came up, question of the family not being happy that they had, you know, a young pregnant girl there and so she came up to Philadelphia and when she was pregnant met a couple in the store, a couple who could not have their own children offered to raise my mother, took her.  No official necessarily papers were done at that time and my mother was raised in this other family which was from what I can determine a very nice life.  My mother’s adoptive father worked for Sears, Roebuck & Company for all these years and even through depression and everything always had a really good job, I believe as an electrician.  I remember him when I was young going back and forth the steady.  My grandfather always drove, into very late in his life, a beautiful Cadillac.  Now you know Cadillacs aren’t the status car of today but back in the day the Cadillac was the it luxury car.

So my mother grew up in this family for twelve years pretty much as an only child and then my grandparents, I will call them, took on another child, a male.  This is now my uncle Stan but you realize there is no blood relationship although he is my uncle Stan and I love him.  It doesn’t matter that there is no blood relationship. And so they had this nice middle class life in Philadelphia in a time where it really just wasn’t all that great a lot of times for Black people in America.  My mother grew up into this relatively well-off family in middle America, maybe even a little bit better than that if you kind of look at some of the things that they had.  My grandfather, when he retired actually bought a boat that slept eight people and for a while he had a dock down in Atlantic City area and I remember going to this boat as a child.

So, why are talking about that?  The story ends up good from my mother’s side but my mother never knew who her father was, she never met her father.  And until just right before my birth grandmother died, my mother at the time we found out who her family was, they were all in Philadelphia.  My birth grandfather, I never met, my mother never met him, my birth grandmother, not the adopted one was so tight lipped about who my mother’s father was that one day my sister and my mother went over and ordered her basically to tell who her father was and my grandmother gave a name.  I believe the name she gave was Claude Lindsey.  I am saying that now because I don’t know if this name has any significance to anybody.  If you know somebody in South Carolina, Leesville area, somebody mentioned a place called Saluda, that the family was down there.  I am interested in meeting that family because I don’t know anything about that side of the family at all as far as my grandfather is concerned.  And interestingly, my father’s father died in a car accident when he was like two or three and so I don’t know either of my grandfather’s.  So I don’t know the ……. 0:07:39.9 inside of the family and I don’t know my mother’s side of the family.

And this is the way things go.  But my grandmother, my biological grandmother went on to have ten, eleven, twelve other kids after that with a man who she married.  Now, the interesting part about this is my mother always felt like she was on the outs as the adopted child even though she reconnected with the family and she wondered why didn’t my mother take me back.  Now, the really stunning thing that I found out just two days ago, about 48 hours ago is that my first cousin on that side in our family Facebook group posted the death certificates and also the marriage certificate of my grandmother and the man she was married to and lo and behold the year that they were married was 1957. Now, you are saying what’s significant about that? My mother was born in 1935, my grandmother’s eleven kids all of them were born before 1957.  Now the story also goes that the man was married to somebody else when he met my grandmother and I don’t know how old how my grandmother was when they started to liaise.  I know that on the marriage certificate they both had the same address and so they were living together obviously as a family but there is this other woman that we found to her death certificate ………. 0:09:15.0 who the grandfather, not my grandfather, but I don’t know he is not my grandfather.  And that’s what makes this all sort of interesting and fascinating because there were such secrets that I have no idea if the man that my grandmother named is my mother’s father or if this man she was married to was my mother’s father and I am just so curios about that.  I have asked my cousin to submit towards when you get a genetic test, I want to get a genetic test too.

And so, this is interesting because my grandmother was very well respected in the Philadelphia community to the point where they have a mural program in Philadelphia and my grandmother’s picture is one of the murals on the wall.  And so obviously somebody who became almost iconic in the neighborhood and to have had this life that was a little bit, I am going to go out there and say we all have different.  Life is complicated I realize that and I have done all kinds of things but a little bit questionable from the core and moral standpoint when it came to her romantic liaisons.  Now, I am happy that, I was teasing my cousin, I am going to say this like right there, I was teasing my cousin, I said that I am great grandmother was a hotsy pants because if she weren’t a hotsy pants I wouldn’t be here right now.  But on the same token it’s interesting because I have always felt that the way the family in general looks at my grandmother it’s like she is a deity and a saint but yet when you look how she lives some of her personal life that wasn’t necessarily the case.  Now, doesn’t mean, I am not saying she is a bad person or anything like that, its, complicated. I know that, I know it’s complicated but what makes this even more important is, we talk about family secrets and passing on memories and ways, you don’t just pass someone your DNA from a health perspective.  We now know that you pass on spiritual and emotional memory in your DNA. And so have you ever had the experience where you met somebody who is in your family, they are a distant relative you know they are blood related, you can figure it out and they are so much like you or their life path has been so much like yours that you say oh my God that’s really amazing how much alike we are not just in how we look but in our life paths.

So in my family there are lots of children in the family who were born outside of marriages and lots people who have been with lots of different partners and on the father’s side, they grandfather of most of the people and could be my grandfather, I don’t know that but our history is a little bit different, I had found out that that gentleman who was the father when he was seventeen or sixteen or something like that he was apparently in an abusive family where his father was abusive, he killed his father.  So this man who was the father of all my aunts and uncles killed his father. Now in the male side of our family, I the male side of my family a lot of my cousins and all this other stuff there was a lot of violence.  A lot of, a lot of, a lot of violence and some of my cousins have died by the hands of violence, some of them have killed other people.  I am talking about this history because I knew this man as my grandmother’s husband, he was very old when I came across him and none of this kind of stuff is ever talked about because it’s pretty unsafe for you to talk about it.  But, you have these, let’s call it, some generational curses that are going on with what has happened in the family and I believe that and you are passing on these memories, you have a genetic memory, you have a sole memory and your sole memory is different from your genetic memory and those emotions and those ways are passed on and on and on until you do something to break that history.  And what you have got to do to break that history is you have to do exactly what I am doing now and talk about it, admit that it is what it is and bring it out to light in the open.  And so I want Russell to tell a little bit about his history but before we get there you are listening to Dr. Veronica, Wellness for the Real World.  If you want to reach me, you can reach me at contact me, I love to hear from your opinion, you know, I hope I am not ousted out of the family, I never felt like I was really part of the family, so if they oust me out hey.  But, Russell we have heard these stories before about some of the ways that we are and our families and some of the interesting pieces that we have found out from a, let’s call it a social perspective and so given that, you know, we want to celebrate your father because you have said so many interesting, I feel like I know your whole family even though I have never met them but you have told me some interesting details about your father and the rest of your family that go along these lines that also connect with how you are today.  So let’s hear a little bit about that.

Russell: Well yes, you know, I am very glad that my dad lived to be so old, he was 94 and my mum died 20 years ago he has really kind of blossomed since she died. He has told me some stories that just have completely blown my mind and probably there are several but probably the biggest one is that he told me that his father, my grandfather was gay.  This is back in the 1900s sometime.  This is in Wild Ohio and he and friend were caught marking around down at the ……… 0:16:04.2 hall several times. And it was creating quite a problem. And his parents, my grandfather’s parents sent him off to Battle Creek Michigan which was a very famous place to go to to recover from ……. 0:16:20.2 at that time. And he was treated for three weeks or three months I am not sure which and pronounced cured and sent back to Ohio.  And my dad also told me that his marriage to my grandmother was arranged. This woman Grace was, you know, getting a little older and in danger of becoming an old maid and the families got together and decided that these two should get married and she would keep him on point and have a decent life and raise a family, which they did.  You could have not …………… 0:17:04.7 my aunties will tell you.  As my father said she sure wore the pants in that family.  You know, it makes me stop and think, hearing a story like that which of course was never ever talked about and I think back to when I was in my late teens and I came out myself as gay, how much easier it would have been for me if I had known that.  I was always raised to believe that my family was plat out perfect not a flow anywhere, you know, no skeletons in the closet.  And it really helps to talk about these things you know.

Dr. Veronica:  So the reason for talking about this is, I mean this are topics of much shame and embarrassment that your family is not perfect because I believe that all this wasn’t talked about.  My grandmother was so, so tight lipped about who my father is. And like, you know, being an intuitive there is a lot of stuff I can figure out and I never talked to my grandmother at all about this. I didn’t know a lot of the history because we were a little more separated from the family and kind of weren’t hanging around with everybody and so I never knew a lot of the history but as I started sitting back and thinking about it, you know, one day, funny because I found out that her eventual husband was married to somebody else and they said well, she couldn’t have kids and that’s why he …… 0:18:48.7 grandma.  And the story gets, let’s call it cleaned up and one of the things I believe and that’s why I put the name out there and I want somebody from South Carolina to say, hey, we know that family and that story is familiar.  And, why?  Because I am here and so I am happy that people were doing whatever they were doing, I am here I am happy grandma, whatever you were doing I hope you had fun and I hope you are enjoying wherever you are now and you are looking down and smiling at me.  But I believe that one of the reasons that my grandmother fled South Carolina is probably because she would sleep with somebody else’s husband or boyfriend or whatever. And the pattern exists within female lineage of our family of this type of behavior, it’s kind of regular and in the permissiveness around it.  We don’t necessarily talk about it.

Now, when I grew up my mother was the type of person that was very open and progressive and so reads me Cat and the Hat and on the other side reads me lifecycle books.  So I knew how the body works when I was like three, four, five, six and she always told me about here is the facts of life, here is what is sex is and it’s nice to have sex inside of relationship, with love and you know, if you have sex it’s nice to be that way but make sure you are always using birth control and you don’t want to have a baby at the times that you are not ready.  She just laid it all out so that from the beginning as far as sex and relationships and everything I thought about from a level headed perspective and so that when I was ready to have children I had the children.  Whereas most people in our culture and society even today in America with everything on TV we would rather our kids see violence, this has been a survey than them seeing sex.  Now, sex is fun, it’s pleasurable, we all love it but nobody wants to say that we certainly don’t want our kids doing it because it’s bad, yet this act of enjoyment and love has become less acceptable than violence.

And so I talk about these type of subjects because they really impact on what happens ultimately with your health.  If you have shame and shame is usually based on fear, your fear you are not going to be accepted.  And it so there was large amounts of shame surrounding my grandmother’s birth of my mother. And I don’t even know how much the family knows about when the marriage occurred all that, they were living there.  So a lot of times when you are a child you see things but you don’t quite understand what’s going on.  I remember meeting cousins, I have one set of cousins where they have two different mothers but they are all about the same age and so there is the wife and then there is the other woman and when I first met them I just couldn’t figure out, I mean, I knew this person and then there was that woman over there that, you know, she was part of the family too when whose kids are those?  Oh, they are his kids, wait a second I don’t get it because I am a middle America, I am a middle America, we have two cars, two kids, a mother and father, this is it and we weren’t exposed to all the rest of the stuff going on and we didn’t have TV going on the way it was and now it’s regular for people just to have babies in the old time but that just wasn’t necessarily what it is.  Now, let me just say, I want the best for everybody and I want people to be happy but I have got to tell you that what do I want from my sons?  What do I want from my grandchildren?  I want them to be born within a stable relationship, a loving relationship and they are both wanted. And so I had the luxury of that and it seems like for you Russell even though there is the question about the sexual preferences of your relatives that there seems to be love and understanding going on in the relationship and you were thus born into that type of family.  Is that what it is?  I am I seeing it right or not?

Russell: I am not so sure about my father’s family.  It was always very difficult to visit them, my mother was disappointed, well, she just wouldn’t do it anymore.

Dr. Veronica:  Interesting

Russell: Yeah, yeah, they were just very very strict, she was very strict, very religious.   She was very much a teetotaler and very much prohibition back in the day.  But on my mother’s side definitely yes and my father is definitely very loving and very supportive.  I will tell you another one that shocked me.  This is about my grandmother, my maternal grandmother.

Dr. Veronica:  Wait, that will wait Russell because you are going to tell us a good story and we have got to leave it for another episode just because we are going to have to move on but yeah, you know what, but that keeps people listening because I know we have some things pending here, one we are going to talk about the medium stuff on another time but two, we want to hear more about the okay, here is more, as I learn more I am going to share more.  I am going to share more about my family, we are going to share about Russell’s family and what we find out because a lot of times when people pass away you start finding information about them, you get curious.  I ordered my 23andMe test, I think I am going to go also on and I want to figure out.  Wait, I want have got to tell you guys, you are going to love this about Russell, now who else would be like this but Russell, okay.  So Russell got his genetics done and he was so distraught one day we got together, I said what’s the matter?  He said I had my genetics test done and I am one hundred percent white. You guys are laughing, the reason why I say that is because how many people do you know, this is America, like everybody is so proud of what they are, who would be indignit that they were a hundred percent white?  I am going to call that with keep listening.  This is Wellness for the Real World, Dr. Veronica, keep listening and we are going to have more exciting stuff for you, more guests and more topics of interesting discussion about me, about Russell, about the world.  And this is how you stay well, the truth shall set you free, Wellness for the Real World.

Female VO: Thank you for listening to the Wellness Revolution Podcast. If you want to hear more on how to bring wellness into your life visit See you all next week. Take care.



Dr. Veronica Anderson is an MD, Functional Medicine practitioner, Homeopath. and Medical Intuitive. As a national speaker and designer of the Functional Fix and Rejuvenation Journey programs, she helps people who feel like their doctors have failed them. She advocates science-based natural, holistic, and complementary treatments to address the root cause of disease. Dr. Veronica is a highly-sought guest on national television and syndicated radio and hosts her own radio show, Wellness for the REAL World, on FOX Sports 920 AM “the Jersey” on Mondays at 7:00 pm ET.

To get started transforming your health, schedule a consult HERE.