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Family Tree Research - intrigue!

(7 Posts)
gremlindolphin Tue 07-Jul-09 11:58:32

There is a 20 year age gap between my fil and his sister which is common knowledge in the family and gets joked about etc but what no one seems to have noticed and I have just checked this while compiling the family tree recently - is that the parents would both have been 45 when they had him where as his sister would have been 19 - which makes me think that perhaps she wasn't his sister after all!

She then didn't marry until she was 50 and fil has always been upset and puzzled that only she was left the parents house and he wasn't mentioned in their will. The sister has now died.

I have looked at fils birth cert which has the original mothers name on which as most people were born at home then (1931) I assume they would have done anyway if they wanted to hide it.

So is this any of my business, what other research can I do, who should I tell or should I just forget about it? What do you think??!!

MrsTittleMouse Tue 07-Jul-09 12:10:31

Having a child at 45 isn't unheard of. I would be surprised if they had been able to get a forged birth certificate too.

To be honest, even if his sister was actually his Mum (which I know wasn't uncommon - it happened in our family), I wouldn't do anything about it. If everyone involved has died then I can't see much benefit and there could be a lot of hurt. And how on Earth would you tell him??? "Hi FIL, how are you today? By the way, did you know that your parents weren't really your parents? Lovely weather we're having."?

flibertygibet Tue 07-Jul-09 12:24:42

Yes, I think you could stir up a lot with this. Your FIL is probably very aware of this and might even have his own suspicions. But is there any way of actually finding out? Sometimes these things are better off left.

I did some family tree research on the internet and found a link to a site that listed my dad's 'second wife' and their son. Now, I knew about the son but he's still married to my mother, his 'first wife'...go figure.

I was annoyed that it is on the internet in a public space though.

lizziemun Tue 07-Jul-09 12:42:04

My aunt was born when nan was 45yrs. My mum was nearly 15yrs when her sister was born. So it is possible to have a large age gap between siblings.

And if grandad hadn't been away in the war then they would have married sooner (nan was 25 and grandad 28)

In fact my aunt is closer in age to my brother and me then my mum (her sister).

bluebump Tue 07-Jul-09 12:42:24

My dad found out that his parents weren't married when he was born (only 1950's) and whilst he wasn't at all bothered by this his mum was really upset that he'd found out so tread carefully!

AMumInScotland Tue 07-Jul-09 12:45:12

I don't think there's any other reasearch you can do which would show anything. There'll be no other paperwork, and any genetic test would not show the difference between such close family members.

TBH it's hardly odd to have a baby at 45 - most likely, they'd got careless about contraception and found they got a little surprise.

Your FIL will know his sister was 19 when he was born, and will have seen enough books/films to be aware that it's a possibility, so I don't think you need to mention it as though you'd found out something new, though I suppose you could mention it in a jokey way if the subject comes up "If this was Eastenders, she'd probably turn out to be your mother, not your sister!". But I don't know what benefit there'd be to anyone.

mummyrex Tue 07-Jul-09 14:00:33

Such age gaps used to be very very common. Loads in our family tree. My own sister is 15 years older than me and I have a younger sister still (same parents).

Of course your assertion is possible, we also have a case in our family, but nothing can be proved and possibly a lot of hurt caused if you stir things up.

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