Friday, 18 September 2009

The family plot thickens

Oh geez. Today was the beginning of a treat I'd been long anticipating for myself; I was at the National Library and Archives for a "Next Step" series of lectures that lead into this weekend's Anglo-Celtic Connection Conference, the annual orgy of genealogy lectures put on by the family history society to which I belong. (Now, don't look at me like that. I suppose you like stuff like sports or shopping or computer games. I like family history. So there.)

O gawd. Stop all the presses. I went home to apply what I learned. Regular readers of the blog (yes, there are a handful) might recall my post last February about the Resident Fan Boy's mysterious and long-dead paternal grandmother of the three maiden names. Quick recap: Grandmama was married (in 1904) when she took up with Grandpapa (in 1907, or thereabouts). They had four kids, two of whom died. The last one was born the same year Grandmama's legal husband perished in France during the Great War. Grandmama and Grandpapa finally tied the knot in 1923, both describing themselves as "widowed".

Well, guess what? Grandpapa wasn't lying either! He had married in 1901, to a lady with the same maiden name that appears in youngest child's birth registration. She died in 1922, which explains why Grandmama's and Grandpapa's marriage took place in 1923. (We thought that she had taken that long to learn of the death of first husband who had lit out to Canada, then volunteered for the war there.) Our heads (mine and that of the Resident Fan Boy) are spinning. Were his father and uncle brothers or half-brothers? Did Wife Number One know about Quasi-wife Number Two? We need to send away for some more certificates.

Well, it seems exciting to me....


VioletSky said...

oooh, I love this stuff. Skeletons. Intrigue. Scandal.
But, only in previous generations - beyond the pain.

Persephone said...

My late father-in-law and his brother have passed, as John Edwards would put it, so they are safely out of reach. However, my sister-in-law and my husband's cousin need to be treated with kid gloves, even though their paternal grandparents have been dead for more than fifty years. The Resident Fan Boy is just fascinated, which is new for him. I've got juicy genealogical scandals on my side of the family too, but they've never really held his interest... Sigh.