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Friday, 24 August 2012

Complications in family history research...


Why research can be complicated…..
Sometimes when researching family history, we come across a person whom we're fairly certain should belong to a particular family but can't understand why this individual's birth is registered in a totally different location to the rest of the family.
I had one such a case when researching my husband's family. His grandfather and all but one of his eight great aunts and uncles were born and registered in Northern England - but the birth one of the great aunts is registered hundreds miles away in Hereford.
… For a long while - knowing from other information that I had the correct person, I just assumed the registration district had been transcribed wrongly. It was some time later when I decided to try and sort out this mystery that I found this great aunt was a surviving twin, the other twin had died at birth.
It appears one of my husband's great uncles had met and married a young lady from Hereford who was training to become a midwife in one of the northern cities   Apparently after completing her midwifery training she and her new husband decided to make their home back in Hereford. (Ah, a glimmer of light began to shine.) I decided there had to be some connection and widened my research, and was excited to find the great aunt who had given birth to the twins, had been told to expect a multiple birth, and had travelled to Hereford to stay with her brother and his midwife wife, until after the birth.
So not one but two pieces of information was uncovered. (1) that this great aunt was half of a twin birth, which non of her present day family were aware of, and (2) the reason why she was born and registered hundreds of miles away from where her siblings were born and registered.
Success – Another seemingly brick wall demolished!

On taking this theme a little further, I know if I hadn't made a record of my own family, my  future descendants would be hard pressed to sort my lineage out, as I was born one hundred and forty miles away from the rest of my family - not only that, but I've always been known by family and friends by my second Christian name, while on official papers it is my first name which is recorded.
It's very easy to see why family history can sometimes be so complicated to sort out.

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