Has anyone investigated their family tree and found anything interesting?

(142 Posts)
IcouldstillbeJoseph Fri 14-Sep-12 12:51:03

I'm off sick and lying around watching rubbish daytime TV. Loads of those adverts for Ancestry.co.uk etc. It doesn't really interest me, but was wondering whether anyone has ever discovered anything interesting/significant in their family tree?

mixedmamameansbusiness Sun 11-Nov-12 14:33:14

My great aunt committed child murder and it is pretty doc,enter, newspapers, official documents etc. I noticed that my great great great grandfathers wife was previously married and happened to live two doors away from him, full of intrigue although I lack facts here. I would like to write novels so the family history thing gives me great ideas. The great aunt thing also loosely forms the basis of my planned dissertation for my history degree.

It is a. Fabulous hobby I really enjoy it and would encourage any one to give it a go. It is so much more than names and dates.

SaskiaRembrandtWasFramed Tue 18-Sep-12 14:11:24

Inspired by this thread I've decided to have another go at breaking down some brickwalls - and found something surprising!

"excellently skilled in Physick and Chyrurgery & had by God’s help wonderful success to admiration & was very generous in her administrations"

This was written about my 9x great grandmother by her husband after her death. Apparently, chyrurgery is an archaic term for surgery. As far as I can tell she would have been setting fractures, treating infections and performing complicated deliveries. And this was just after the civil war when women who did these things were often accused of witchcraft.

SoleSource Mon 17-Sep-12 20:51:59

County no longer our surname. Train station not in use but think still exists.

SoleSource Mon 17-Sep-12 20:48:08

Fgs 16th century

McPhee Mon 17-Sep-12 20:45:11

We discovered that my Nan had a baby in the war who was given up, and sent to live with the babys father. It was very sad as my nan had obviously had to keep this a secret and taken her pain to her grave sad. She wasn't my grandads child.

Since then we've become reunited. I like to think my nan is happy now.

edam Mon 17-Sep-12 20:42:12

How can the name of a county be a rare surname? Rutland? Westmoreland?

SoleSource Mon 17-Sep-12 20:02:18

Oh yeah King of England in 16th century would visit the Lord. Is all me knows.

SoleSource Mon 17-Sep-12 19:48:43

Fab thread smile

Our surname is very rate. Traced to 16th century. Lord, manor, county in England named after our surname . Also a major train station. New house/museum opened in our surname this year. About 20 of us left.

HmmThinkingAboutIt Mon 17-Sep-12 19:37:13

Before 1841 you need to look at parish records for baptisms, marriages and burials. They vary in how much information they will give you. Sometimes its useful and sometimes its not. Baptisms will sometimes list the names of both parents (this includes between 1841 and 1911 too which can be helpful).

www.freereg.org.uk and www.familysearch.org are good starting places for parish records but not everywhere is transcribed so it depends on where your family is in 1841 as to how you work backwards from that. You may need to go to local record offices to find some parish records.

Its very much pot luck backwards from 1841 as to how good the records are and how far back you can go.

Hulababy Mon 17-Sep-12 18:44:48

HmmThinkingAboutIt - thanks, I'll look at exporting it

Hulababy Mon 17-Sep-12 18:42:45

And how are you all finding out things like how people died? From the death certs? If so, if that in person rather than online searching?

Hulababy Mon 17-Sep-12 18:41:53

Is there an online method of searching for people prior to the 1841 census.
The 1831 census doesn't list names and address, and many of the BMD registers don't list names of mother/spouse, etc.

Or do I have to go and visit each parish in person?

Whitamakafullo Mon 17-Sep-12 10:38:29

My G G G gran was had 4 sons, all seemingly to different fathers, who were all suspected to be married men. She never married herself

She set up her own business (a sweet shop) and became very successful. Good on her, although my gran would've been mortified if she had known this story grin

When one of her younger sons got married, he had his eldest brothers name on the marriage certificate as his father confused

Another relative apparently died in the flu epidemic according to my mum, but I've never been able to find his birth certificate, which is odd.

For years I was told I was descended from James Watt, but I have found this to be utter shite grin My mum and auntie won't admit this to anyone wink

IAmSheWhoMustBeObeyed Mon 17-Sep-12 10:34:18

Hecate you could also try Canadian genealogical talk forums. That's how I found my distant German ancestors- from a specific site. There are some very informed people out there who have often deeply researched very specific areas. If you posted all the aliases your ancestor was known by and any other relevant info someone might be researching from the Canadian direction and make the link.

HecateHarshPants Mon 17-Sep-12 08:06:37

iscream, wouldn't that be funny!

I will pm you with my email address. Then if you give me yours, I can scan the pic in and send it to you.

Lexilicious Mon 17-Sep-12 07:54:04

about the handwriting on census and other records... I read somewhere recently that when you have to type a word in those security check boxes from a mangled looking picture, sometimes it is actually from an old book or document, and they are sort of crowd-sourcing what it might be spelling, as part if a digitising project (congressional library perhaps?)

My (Co. Durham) maternal grandmother's maiden name ends in -men, and there is a split away earlier Cumbrian branch of the same name which has been written -man in the census there. It took me ages to convince my mum/grannie that they were linked, just subject to however the enumerator 'heard' them say their name at the door. I guess you could think of it by accents too.

iscream Mon 17-Sep-12 07:26:34

kbear - maybe were related grin

BigFatLegsInWoolyTIghts Mon 17-Sep-12 07:21:18

I looked into my Mum's side and we haven't moved from the area since I don't know when....when I found us STILL in the same town in 1700 and STILL living in shared rooms and working as stall keepers, I bloody gave up!

iscream Mon 17-Sep-12 07:20:20

*I mean His sons daughter , his granddaughter. The connections can be confusing if I am not staring at the tree!

iscream Mon 17-Sep-12 07:18:14

I also found out my grandmother had been married before too, and had 2 sons, my half uncles. My father never even mentioned to my mother that he had three older half brothers!

iscream Mon 17-Sep-12 07:16:48

I found out my grandfather had been married before he married my grandmother, and had a son. I found his son's grand daughter, she is my half cousins, and had lot's of stories to share with me. I also found out my great grandfather had been married previously to marrying my great grandmother. They didn't have children and she died a couple of years after marrying him, then that same year he married my great grandmother. I wasn't too impressed with that.

iscream Mon 17-Sep-12 07:13:27

HecateHarshPants Hmmm. I guess you could try a family finder dna test, or one that tests both male and females? Maybe you'd maybe find a female ancestor/descendant of his, who could help with your trail? I don't know much about which is best, I will have to find out before I upgrade to a test that shows the females.
I am Canadian, if you would like to show me his pic. Imagine if I knew who it was! (unlikely but you can never tell)

Kbear Mon 17-Sep-12 06:43:22

wonderingwendy - I have an aunt, now deceased, with a middle name of Mahala. I am not sure where it came from.

Kbear Mon 17-Sep-12 06:40:21

My interesting thing wasn't historic but current.... I found that my grandfather's brother had a son we didn't know about. We traced him and he lived around the corner from us!

We put a note in the door and he got in touch. Turns out his grandson is in the same year at junior school as my son. So.. to put it plainly, we found that my son was at school with his second cousin.

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