1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Skeletons in the cupboard

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Catriona, Jul 12, 2020.

  1. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    I think I've found out why the wife of my mother's brother was so evasive when I asked her about her husband, William. I had heard the story of how he died piloting his plane in Rhodesia (as it was then), but since he was one of her two brothers, I was keen to know more. She wouldn't tell me and her kids were as evasive.

    Today, I realised I hadn't been on Scotland's People website for years now, so I paid it a visit to get downloads re my mum's family.
    Imagine my surprise when I found two marriage entries for him. One to Helen, but another to a Sheila - with the same surname as his wife! The first as expected in the 1930s but the second in 1960! That was about a couple of years before his death, but I can't find an official record of that, presumably in Rhodesia.

    So it has left me wondering. Who was the second one? And what relation to the first? Unfortunately the marriage, although listed on the site, doesn't have an online record to download, so if I want to know more (confirmation) I guess I'll have to write to them to request a copy of it. I suspect the Sheila who died in 2018 might be the same person, but I guess I'll never know now.

    Interesting morning trawl!
    John Farrell likes this.
  2. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    Some time it does not pay to look too closely at the details of a family.
    Adulterers, bigamists, murderers,. Drug dealers. And Mr Big are all members of someone's family.

    My family were particularly successful through the 17th to 20th centuries. The family Records and histories are very favourable. However that is not to say that a number of members seem to be only represented by their names. I suspect there was plenty that could have been said that never was.
    But it is nice to know ones forebears and wider family in some detail, what ever that might turn out to be.
  3. LesleySM

    LesleySM Well-Known Member

    One of my cousins on mum's side looked into the family and so far has found grandfather was a "ladies man" and had a couple of extra kids outside of matrimony

    His brother committed suicide by drinking poison in a pub in Hackney (It's still there, my youngest brother went there and said if he stayed in there a minute longer he would have) because he was a "rake" and thought he got the pox (he had chicken pox through not the other one)

    My grand mother was Jewish so as it goes down the maternal line her daughter would have been Jewish and her daughter i.e. me would be Jewish- what can I say but Oy Vey!

    And there's the small matter of my Aunt Win never had any children, mum made her my godmother because of it....my cousin was contacted by her granddaughter! Turns out in WW2 she fell for an American guy (corny I know), got pregnant out of wedlock, somehow managed to keep her baby until she was 3 months old then was bullied by my gran into giving the baby up for adoption (the really odd thing I used to work in the next office to said granddaughter for about 18 months and even knew her vaguely)

    Oh and there's uncle Leslie, who I got my name from. Official line MIA over France he's listed at Runymede....Friends and family say he was seen in Mile End several times after he was supposed to be dead but whatever happened he was mentally damaged
    John Farrell and Catriona like this.
  4. John Farrell

    John Farrell Well-Known Member

    My 3rd great grandfather, Abner Lucas, was jailed in 1820, for throwing stones at a yeomanry patrol. Afterwards, he left Staffordshire and settled in Durham. He set up a firebrick manufacturing business, and became a pillar of the community, even having his own Primitive Methodist chapel. Abner's son John was twice mayor of Gateshead, and in an article about John, in 1961, the reporter at the Gateshead Post says of Abner "What brought him to this North East village (Eighton Banks) may never be known"...
    RovingMike and Catriona like this.
  5. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    We always knew my father, born in October 1921, was illegitimate and that his mother had tried to sue the father for maintenance, but he had died (so it was claimed) before it could go to court. After his death, I received a box of old letters and bits and pieces, which had clearly been unopened since his mother died about 45 years ago. In it was a letter from a solicitor in Littlehampton about a hearing date. It was dated 9 months before his supposed birthday.
    I wrote to them to see if they had records from then, but they didn't. However it was clear his birth was kept secret for a year. Both his mother and grandmother were servants at the big house nearby, which seems to have been the reason. So he was always a year older than he claimed.
    John Farrell and Catriona like this.
  6. MickLL

    MickLL In the Stop Bath

    I recently found a whole new branch of my family that was previously unknown. I had an uncle that I didn't discover until I was about 15 or 16. He was never mentioned because of his marital record - or more precisely extra marital record. He apparently had kids by his first wife (and those were the ones I recently discovered) and a bunch more with his common law wife. I knew about those.
    I now begin to suspect I've posted this story before so I'll stop.

  7. Fen

    Fen The Destroyer

    My Gr-Gr-Gr-Grandfather married his cousin so my family tree is a bit complicated to say the least!
    Catriona likes this.
  8. MJB

    MJB Well-Known Member

    You're not related to my wife are you?
    Catriona likes this.
  9. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    My history teacher when I was 13-15 was a young Scottish woman who developed a strong dislike for me. Appeared that my mother (nee Cragg) from Westmorland, was descended from a Scottish traitor named Cannock / Craig, who fled south with money raised to hire an army in England. I can find no evidence for him anywhere and if he had the money, he either spent or buried it, but she seemed to believe I was a mortal enemy.
    John Farrell likes this.
  10. AGW

    AGW Well-Known Member

    You just end up with scattered clues and no way of accurately joining up the dots....its fascinating stuff and leads to hours of idle speculation....I have no records older than 1690 but I have proven genetic links that suggest that the previous generations were very turbulent. Its thrown up dramatic religious splits (quakers, catholics, episcopalians and presbyterians) and a strange german fellow (presumably something left behind from the 30 years war!). Oh for a time machine.

    RovingMike and Catriona like this.
  11. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    Probably. As are we all at some point.

    I can get back to the 1600s, but then there's only so much speculation and assumptions I can make with any certainty of being right.
    The only thing I find interesting about my lot is they were very mobile, location-wise and stayed that way to my mother's generation.
  12. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    Snap! We posted at the same time but with similar sentiments.
  13. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    My family's sole claim to fame is that my paternal grandfather managed to go bankrupt in 1938 - having steered his business successfully through the depression!

    My wife's ancestors, on the other hand, include all sorts of quite well known American figures, at least two of whom have had films made about them. According to my in-laws, the real people were nothing like Hollywood's view of them and neither were the sort you'd invite to the childrens' christening parties.
    Catriona and John Farrell like this.
  14. MJB

    MJB Well-Known Member

    My ancestors on my mother's side include two brothers who were in court charged with burglary. One was acquitted, the other hanged. I bet that made Christmas interesting.
    John Farrell and RovingMike like this.
  15. John Farrell

    John Farrell Well-Known Member

    Not really a skeleton, but before I looked into my ancestry, I believed that my paternal grandmother was a descendant of Rob Roy McGregor - this is what the family stories said. I found, though, that she was descended from Irish immigrants to Scotland.
  16. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    We had a Jehova's Witness on my mother's side, who people spoke of in hushed tones. Not sure I ever met them.
  17. MJB

    MJB Well-Known Member

    Unless you're descended from nobility or the clergy, the 1600s seems to be where the trail goes dead for everyone. For me to follow my line back I'd have to go to Holland as my lot came over in the mid-1600s and we've been mis-spelling our name ever since. Turns out it's Boan not Bone. My wife on the other hand has a direct line back to Estrid, sister of Cnut and linked to most royal families of Northern Europe. When this happens historians do the work for you.
    Catriona and John Farrell like this.
  18. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    According to the name, my lot were Anglo Saxons who came over in 7/8th century and settled in Surrey. In fact I never quite knew where until we moved to Surrey 8 years ago. They seem to be all over Epsom like a rash, undertakers mostly and pillars of the church. Not checked in with any of them yet though.
    Catriona likes this.
  19. John Farrell

    John Farrell Well-Known Member

    The line we've been able to follow back furthest is my wife's father's mother's father. He was Norwegian, and Norway has online parish records and censuses going back into the 1700s.
    Catriona and MJB like this.
  20. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    Similar tale for me.
    My mother was a Duff. Her ancestors are all from the same area as a prominent Duff family in NE Scotland and there are links to the nobility. Names down the generations are the same as that family and there are those distant relatives of mine who maintain they link into the family, but I haven't found the definitive link in the 1600s. If I could, then I could possibly get back to 962AD, but there's little likelihood of confirming it.

    Interesting though!!
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2020
    John Farrell likes this.

Share This Page