Is there a chance that one of the people you think are your ancestor’s parents is not actually their parent? Is it possible that the woman you think is your ancestor’s mother actually his step-mother? Or that the man you think is your ancestor’s father is actually her step-father?



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  1. Yes, it happens all the time, even in today's society. I have found that several of my ancestors married numerous times. Their has always been skeletons in the closet throughout the generations.

  2. I have been searching for my grandmothers brother (Dennis O'Rourke) My grandmother said he drowned in the river when he was a school aged child.

    I found his baptism (church record)and birthday was 28 October 1875 and then below on the same page was his sister Anne born 11 November 1875.

    I am still trying to determine whose parents were which childs. My great grandparents were listed as the parents of both children.

  3. I was following a child back through the census and he disappeared in the earlier ones. I realized that a child by the same first name but different last name was living with the family in the earlier years. He may have eventually taken their last name…..needs more investigation to see if this child was not naturally theirs. Love the mystery.

  4. I have a great uncle that was suposedly adopted back in the 1800s by my great grandmother and grandfather. The only info I find about him is a child of a different name (on the census 1880) living with them as a boarder at 4 years old. On the next census 1900 the child has a different given name and our family surname. I wonder if this could be the same person. It has always been a mystery where he came from and there is no one alive to ask. My mothers brother gave us the same original name without to my knowledge ever knowing the name on the census. He was a great collector of gossip.

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