Thursday, 28 February 2013

A genealogical jolt

Outside, the snow is clinging to the branches of the tree like blobs of meringue.  You can hear the occasional soggy plop as a cold, wet ball gives into gravity.  I've been on the receiving end a couple of times over the past thirty-six hours.  They're heavier than you think and your shoulders jolt upwards as the snowball bears down.

I've had a genealogical jolt today.  I've been working my way through the London Electoral Registers (1832-1965), checking which of my London ancestors had enough property to vote in the nineteenth century.  An odd pang of pride has been the appearance of the names of two of my great-grandmothers and a couple of those of the Resident Fan Boy as suffrage was extended to "selected women over 30" in 1918.

However, as is the usual case, my checking through the data has led to a re-examination of some parish records -- and to the discovery of a third marriage for one of my great-great-great-great-grandmothers and the realization that this third marriage was to another great-great-great-great-grandfather.  That is, a different 4xgreat-grandfather than the one she married the first time.

Which seems to indicate that a pair of my great-great-great-grandparents were step-siblings.

As far as I can tell, this wasn't illegal in 1813 and isn't illegal now.  They didn't even grow up together, as their respective parents were well into middle age when they found each other.

Still, it's a bit like a thick wet smack on the top of my head.