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Old 05-08-2014, 09:52 AM
 
Location: The analog world
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One thing's for sure. All families have secrets.
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Old 05-10-2014, 11:28 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randomparent View Post
One thing's for sure. All families have secrets.
And some they took with them to their graves.

One of my aunts told me that everything was less formal in the past. If a woman gave birth outside of marriage, often that child would be given to and raised by married sibling -- informally adopted.
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Old 05-10-2014, 01:56 PM
Status: "happy again, no longer catless! t...." (set 6 days ago)
 
Location: Cushing OK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnieA View Post
My paternal grandmothers family and she as well, were listed as B on a particular census. But, on no other census were they listed that way. On that same page, everyone was listed as black. There was no question, they were not black but, someone coming in on that one census record would make that leap.

On a later census, that same grandmother was listed as illiterate but her grandson recited the stories of grandma reading from the bible to grandpa, who was illiterate. That same grandpa's mother was listed on a census as illiterate but there are examples of her handwriting from their old bible and stories of her reading to her children, as well as, an old reader that has been passed down in the family with her name on the flyleaf.

I say this to point out that not all of the information on the census records are truth. Sometimes the family might not be at home and a neighbor gave info; a child was questioned in the absence of an adult and answered erroneously; lazy census takers. It happened.

Another example is where people were asked where their parents were born and on numerous occasions, from one census to the next or different family members, the place would change. One record cannot be taken as gospel. You have to keep digging for supporting information, if you can find it.

We also match through DNA with another family surname. It's possible we are not who we think we are. But, I also think, that could have happened through a collateral family member. Would that not be possible, as two brothers would have the same DNA, wouldn't they ?
My grandparents were probably divorced in 1934. I found evidence they were still married in 33. On the 1940 census both live apart, him listing his new wife as married. He was living with her in 35.

But Grandma is interesting. She indicates that she was not married to him in 35. But the box has an M which is crossed out and then the word 'divorced' written above it.

I know how much bad feeling there was (he married his mistress/live in) but why the M was there perplexes me. I know due to him never paying his wife or kids a dime (and he had it) Grandma wasted no chance for us to know the reason she had so much old stuff was That Woman. But I'd sure have liked to be a fly on the wall when the M was written. I'm assuming she was glad to see the last of him.

My great grandmother's parents are always listed as born in Scotland. She is sometimes listed as born in Scotland and sometimes Iowa. I'm assuming she may have arrived in Iowa a small baby or young child.

Then there is my other g grandmother. Either her father was an Irish (assuming Ulster) emigrant. All the other kids are his. They all list their father as Irish. Then my grandmother comes along and always lists hers as English. She's also very tall and her mom was below five ft. The Irish husband was barely five ft. I was as tall as them before twelve. I think it unlikely that a woman who is four nine or ten and a man only a little taller creates a daughter who was six foot. Mom and siblings claim there were two fathers. Other family trees don't mention him. But its always deliniated in the census. Since it would have been recorded at the time and grandma being so tall, I assume the census is true. Both husbands were Smith and fairly common first names so tracing them you get multiple hits.

Last edited by nightbird47; 05-10-2014 at 02:10 PM..
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Old 05-14-2014, 11:28 PM
 
4,135 posts, read 9,118,806 times
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Originally Posted by MaseMan View Post
Anyone ever experience similar to this? I have twice now made contact with somewhat distant relatives, only to find out one parent I had thought was their parent...actually wasn't.

"Yes, so and so was my mother, but her husband wasn't my father..." And it's not like you can just ask, "OK, who was your dad?", when in all likelihood they may not know.

Just wondering if anyone else has gone through the same thing.
You may hit stepfamilies:

My g-grandfather had 3 wives, one child a wife. The oldest child was born in 1840s, the youngest ( my grandmother) in 1880. // My husband has a g-g-grandmother who married & was widowed while pregnant with his grandfather. She then married again and had about 6 more children. When that husband died, she married at least once more -- then his family lost track of her.

Very common in the 1800s (and I am sure before). We have no clues who is what part of those 2 families -- just that they are "family". And yes, ask them for their info.
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Old 05-16-2014, 04:22 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
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One nice thing happened to me recently...a distant family connection (not a blood relative) took the time to talk to me on the phone after I wrote him a letter. Turned out he didn't have any real info for me, other than confirming his dad was who I thought he was.

His dad was married to my grandmother's step-sister (she died, then he remarried). He and none of his siblings knew of her existence, so it sounds like the dad never mentioned her. Still, was nice he took the time to talk to me.
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Old 05-17-2014, 03:08 PM
 
Location: North West Northern Ireland.
20,695 posts, read 18,584,116 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaseMan View Post
Anyone ever experience similar to this? I have twice now made contact with somewhat distant relatives, only to find out one parent I had thought was their parent...actually wasn't.

"Yes, so and so was my mother, but her husband wasn't my father..." And it's not like you can just ask, "OK, who was your dad?", when in all likelihood they may not know.

Just wondering if anyone else has gone through the same thing.
Just tracing my Protestant ancestry. It wasn't weird or anything it was just a wee bit awkward going to the churches and stuff.

My mum gets really angry when I trace that side and it kind of gets on my nerve because it is my heritage and it is part of me so I have every right to research it.
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Old 05-17-2014, 03:09 PM
 
Location: North West Northern Ireland.
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Originally Posted by TracySam View Post
Another reason why with genealogy, I limit my interactions to just dead people and records. Awkward moments only seem to come up with those pesky living people...
I stopped asking the elderly people in my family because I just get 'and why do you want to trace this?'

I don't understand why old people are like that surely they would be interested in their heritage?
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Old 05-17-2014, 03:15 PM
 
Location: North West Northern Ireland.
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Originally Posted by MisfitBanana View Post
The KKK are white supremacists. So it goes to follow that great great grandmother was not white.
I don't understand what is wrong with that? Maybe you are better off not speaking to people like that.
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Old 05-19-2014, 07:37 AM
 
Location: Wisconsin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac15 View Post
Just tracing my Protestant ancestry. It wasn't weird or anything it was just a wee bit awkward going to the churches and stuff.

My mum gets really angry when I trace that side and it kind of gets on my nerve because it is my heritage and it is part of me so I have every right to research it.
A lot of times it's because someone did something shameful (maybe they were a criminal, etc), or there was an adoption or illegitimate child that someone didn't want others to know about for whatever reason.

In researching my grandmother's birth family and their history, there aren't a lot of "happy" stories, unfortunately. There was a lot of early death and family strife. History is what it is, though.
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