Grandma Really Wasn’t Grandma After All

Sometimes relationship terms are also used as terms of affection, even if there is no biological relationship. Take care when a letter, diary, or a relative refers to someone as an “aunt” or an “uncle.” The use of the term may have been done out of respect and not necessarily indicate a biological relationship.

Of course, you may gain some clues or insight by researching this person, but if you find no biological connection between the individual and your family be open to the possibility that “Grandma” wasn’t really “Grandma” after all.


3 thoughts on “Grandma Really Wasn’t Grandma After All

  1. Nancy Nelson

    I grew up in a small town where there were lots of multi-generational households. Aunt Mabel was the mother-in-law of my youngest uncle. Nanny Thorne was the mother-in-law of my oldest uncle. Nana Reed and Nana Thorne were the grandmothers of two of my friends and not in the family at all.

  2. Toni

    I thought Aunt Netha was one of those respect aunts. Turns out she was my grandfather’s sister. I had no idea when I was so young that there was a relationship there.

  3. Billie Eacret

    my Mom’s great grandmother was known as Grandma Shook by everyone…even her own siblings called her that. She is even listed on the 1920 census as the mother-in-law of one of her brothers. She was married at one time to her brother’s father-in-law. In my family we have even called some in-laws siblings aunts and uncles. some of my great aunts and uncles spouses siblings I have referred to as aunts and uncles…i think it comes from being from a large family.


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