What is the biggest surprise you have found in your family tree research?
According to anestry:
That my step great grandfather's wife Emily was NOT his first wife. And no one in the family knew it.
AND my great grandmother had a younger sister that died as a baby, and my Aunt, the keeper of family secrets, didn't know about the baby girl, while plowing through some old photos together we disovered that said aunt had the baptismal cert.
How cool is that?
I was not actually doing any research, but after my grandmother died, at the age of 97, we discovered that she had been married before my Grandad, losing her first husband during the second world war. We also discovered that my grandad had been married before, and divorced. My mother, their only daughter, did not even know any of this, even though she was very close to her parents. My grandmother, who I spent a lot of time with, never ever spoke about her first husband, not even on the odd occasion that I would question her about the war and what life was like. Her two sisters, still living, did know but had never mentioned it either. My mother only found out from a photo and documents when she cleared out her flat after she died.
Recently found that my grandfather and his family emigrated to the USA in mid 1890s. Three, possibly four, siblings born there, all of whom died in infancy. Grandfather and the brother we knew about returned to England to live with their grandparents in 1900 after their mother died, I assume that their father was unable to look after them. We had always wondered what became of my great-grandparents!
I have discovered that my husband and I share ancestors from the 1600 and 1700s. For instance, I am "proving" right now that Chaucer was my 17th great grandfather, while he was my husband's 16th great grandfather. Happily, we do not share (as far as I can prove right now) his direct descendant. I stem from one of Chaucer's descendant's while my husband stems from another.
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