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Family history shocker!

(68 Posts)
FoolishFay Thu 28-Aug-14 18:23:45

I've been researching my family for about 15 years but today I'm lost for words. My great great grandfather threw himself under a train at the turn of the century in his mid 60's. He and his wife had separated some 25 years beforehand. I found a number of newspaper reports suggesting a grim life of petty crime and general dissoluteness. But I have to admit I was gobsmacked to find at the age of 61 he was remanded to the Assizes for an 'unnatural act with a donkey'.

And even worse, he'd done 18 months hard labour 30 years previously for attempting it with a cow.

diddl Sun 31-Aug-14 21:06:06

RTB you are a star!

Elijah is down as Elizah!

So have found him, although occupation only listed for 1901

SaggyAndLucy Sun 31-Aug-14 20:34:45

My great uncle was had up for bigamy. He had at least 5 wives. It made the Daily Mail!

Comito Sun 31-Aug-14 20:32:27

I inherited a load of bumpf from my aunt when she died. It was all birth/death certs and general family history stuff. From this, I found out that a distant relative had fallen into a pond while walking home drunk one night.

MIL did a load of investigations into their family tree and found out some VERY interesting stuff. I'd love to tell but it would out me as it's quite unusual. Suffice to say that her DH's grandfather turned out to be very much more (and less) than previously thought.

RedToothBrush Sun 31-Aug-14 20:28:21

Different DOB are pretty common.

diddl Sun 31-Aug-14 20:25:21

Well I have found them, just not on all.

Was hoping to see what job they did.

And can only find that by paying.

Yet when I put another rellie in, their job comes up!

It's an unusual name & I have found them with a different dob!

RedToothBrush Sun 31-Aug-14 20:18:18

diddl, there are lots of reasons why you might not find someone:

They simply weren't included for some reason - this is rare.
They could be out of the country (including Scotland/Ireland)
They are on it, but their name is recorded wrongly
They are on it, but they are transcribed badly so they don't appear on searches
They are using a different name (its not uncommon to go by a middle name for example).
Other incorrect details are entered on an entry you have found, so you don't believe it is the correct person.

You have to be slightly creative in your searches as a result. For example searching by surname only, in a certain area or searching by looking for another relative in the same household.

90% of the time, you can find them eventually. The other 10% are bloody annoying!

diddl Sun 31-Aug-14 20:01:53

Anyone know how the censuses work?

Can't find my relative!

HangingBasketCase Fri 29-Aug-14 00:02:20

My Nan's ancestors were quite well off. Not loaded aristocracy, but they owned land, a large house, had servants and even cottages that they let to tenants. At some point they lost all of this and my Nan wound up living in a council house (nothing wrong with council housing, but it is a come down from a house with servants).

Stratter5 Thu 28-Aug-14 23:53:45

Maybe it is an apocryphal tale

No, I know first hand from an investigating officer that it did happen in Southend it was a then mayor. My XH also knew someone on the local paper, and it was deemed 'too hot to print'. Apparently, it's not that uncommon sad

lavenderhoney Thu 28-Aug-14 23:50:59

Gosh op, he sounds interesting, to say the least. Let's hope he was, er, teaching it to dancesmile

Mine so far is finding my dm adopted family all over ancestry currently trying to find their family history and completely disowning and refusing to acknowledge my dm and db who they grew up with as they were adopted. They got put into a children's home when their dm died. Her adult dc couldn't wait to get rid of the adopted childrensad

I have a lifeguard so far, and a diamond dealer, army career soldiers, civil service and one poor chap was sectioned but still managed to play cricket for the county hmm actors, vicars- family gatherings must have been funsmile. I still can't work out how some met in the 1800's, what with one being a farmers daughter in Cambridge making straw hats and meeting her husband who was born, raised and worked in central London.

FoolishFay Thu 28-Aug-14 23:43:01

Today I joined the British newspaper archive for £10 a month which allows you to search on a very detailed basis.

FoolishFay Thu 28-Aug-14 23:42:04

iamdivergant. Start by asking your parents what they know and find as many names and certificates you can. I use ancestry.co.uk - it offers you possible matches and you can link with others researching your family and swap notes. Beware - it's utterly addictive!!!

BeyoncesCat Thu 28-Aug-14 23:40:35

Lol at all of these! How do I find out my family tree??

FoolishFay Thu 28-Aug-14 23:20:01

He was a gardener, when he was working, which made me think of manure! Apparently, according to to the papers, 'he followed the respectable, but no doubt lucrative, avocation of collecting pigs food'... The bench 'hardly knew what to do with him, as he came up for paltry offences so often' (that's the petty theft, rather than romancing farm animals)...apparently 'he was the most aggravating defendant they had ever had in Eastbourne and the bench were quite tired of inflicting penalties upon him...'

MehsMum Thu 28-Aug-14 22:36:49

Sorry, Fay, that had me in stitches.

Makes my FH looks very dull by comparison: respectable rural poor where the most outrageous things you could do were a) (if you were female) run away to London and marry a Frenchman or b) (if male) join the army and leave the country completely.

MyOldJob Thu 28-Aug-14 21:57:06

No, central Scotland.

Maybe it is an apocryphal tale.

Stratter5 Thu 28-Aug-14 21:51:12

MyOldJob, wasn't Southend, was it?

MrsWinnibago Thu 28-Aug-14 21:32:16

Horse Provender is food isn't it? Provender is food.

thesebootsweremadeforretail Thu 28-Aug-14 21:31:56

"Maybe it's not as bad as you think ... perhaps the unnatural act was something wholesome, like teaching it to dance. <<helpful>>"

Wheeeeeezzzzzzzzes

Teddybeau1988 Thu 28-Aug-14 21:26:05

I did chuckle at that OP, that's hilarious.

Me and my sister are currently trying to research our Nan. We don't know much about her, apart from that she moved to the uk from Berlin in the 1940s. The pub her and my grandad met at was known for having German spies stay there before the war researching the area.

Nonie241419 Thu 28-Aug-14 21:19:27

TimeForAnotherNameChange - your story sounds really similar to my Grandad. He married 3 times. One wife ended up in an asylum, not sure what happened to the first, my Gran was the third. She was 25 when they married and he was 50. He died when my Mum was 5, leaving my Gran widowed with a 5 and 2 year old, and a gaggle of step-children who weren't fond of her.

KingCrimson Thu 28-Aug-14 21:11:37

What an awful story, Patrick!

MyOldJob that's a great story!

Patrickstarisabadbellend Thu 28-Aug-14 20:44:23

My grandad on my dad's side had one eye and a wonky leg.

Patrickstarisabadbellend Thu 28-Aug-14 20:43:41

My great grandad was part of a massive gang of paedophiles who passed children around. My mum and her sisters were involved from the age of 3.

All the men were all pillars of the community.

Thankfully my great grandad and his weird nonce supporting wife both died horrifying deaths.

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