I have all these scraps of paper with diagrams on them, arrows and margin notes. Trying to prove connections between people born before 1800 with the present. Amazing puzzle… leading to all sorts of theories. Progress has been made.
Great great gran who you met last post had a sister we never knew about. Her father, had a whole family totally unknown to us before my investigations. All knowledge we did have was hearsay … family legend; I’m sure much embellished over the years.
Now, I can say with certainty that my great grandfather four times removed was likely French, perhaps from Belgium, and he arrived in Scotland during or before 1793, running away from the turmoil in his homeland. He married. Then married again four months later. No record of a divorce or annulment? That’s the first mystery…
There are lots of mysteries in his story! I am still trying to untangle the truth from what facts I can find about him.
I only have records for this man’s life from 1793 – that first marriage in Scotland – to 1814 – a birth record for his youngest and whom I now consider his 9th child with the second wife – then he disappears again. I can follow his children’s lives to a certain extent. One died in his first year of life confirmed by a burial record; another 2 also seem to have died as infants. There are no records beyond their baptism for them. That left 6 children whose lives to follow: one of them my ancestor; and one of them possibly his twin sister.
At first I wasn’t sure he was really part of this “new” family… I had no birth record for him. Only where he was born and the year. The same for his twin. No birth record. We first see her at her marriage in 1816. That record was how I linked her to the rest of the family. Later I found another record confirming their relationships. She is a witness at her little sister’s marriage in 1838.
Finally I found “proof” that my ancestor was part of this family too: a census record that had my great great grandmother Mary Ann, his daughter, as witness at his “twin” sister’s daughter’s wedding. I also found a census record with Mary Ann living with Harriet …. the daughter we had never heard about before – her big sister! …. before she left for Australia. It was true! William had a mysterious father and yes, maybe he was a twin! Siblings though, we had never heard he had more siblings than the twin.
He was supposed to be born illegitimate too. The first marriage not being annulled may have given rise to this part of the story. It’s also possible his father had another wife before these two! Who was this man? Where did he come from? Well, I still don’t know the answers to those questions or when or where he died … and so the search goes on!
The chaos in France and Belgium during the time period that my ancestor left France or Belgium is making my search very challenging. I am having to brush up on my history, and my poor French…
Wish me luck!