Sins of the fathers…..

These past few days weeks I’ve been engrossed with chasing people round the WWW in order to add them to a long list of family members I have noted on one of those online history sites. Yes, that love of family is getting to me again and I decided to have my DNA looked at

Over the years some interesting facts have emerged where The Golfer’s family has been concerned. For someone with no links to Australia previously he was tickled pink to discover a convict lurking in the past. He lurked alright one night to the point of ‘breaking a curtilage and larceny therein’ for which he received 14 yrs transportation! Unfortunately after receiving his ticket of leave and being noted on one census said convict has disappeared from the face of the earth.

With his (The Golfer’s) father’s family coming from a rural Essex background we discovered he had loads of farm workers……ag labourers was the term used……and other delights such as husbandman, shepherd, vermin catcher – mole catcher – rat catcher, stockman on farm – thatcher and blacksmith. At one time in his life his father was a chimney sweep!

His maternal Gt Grandmother played a big part in his life but no Gt Grandfather was ever seen or spoken about. Seems he walked off and joined the navy early in the marriage only returning home a few times – after a lot of digging we discovered why.

Like a lot of sailors he did have a girl in another port – one he obviously liked better than Granny C because he ended up marrying her. All the while Granny C was alive and well living back in Colchester with The Golfer’s family! So we added a documented bigamist as well to the tree 🙂

And of course with him always having a book in his hand The Golfer was really taken by the fact that one of his paternal GtGt aunts in the ‘Dorset Line’ as he calls it) married a cousin of Thomas Hardy, the author.

My Irish Armagh based family seems quite tame compared to his being mostly land based ag labourers or textile workers (silk weavers mainly) and one whose occupation was noted as being a sugar boiler on one daughter’s marriage certificate moving up to confectioner in later ones. Many of those from Armagh migrated over to Canada and USA which makes it difficult to trace because of the number of people from the same extended families having their children around the same time and giving them similar or the same names.  Also the added bonus of a lot of them relying on others to record names for them – my father was adamant one family’s name was Muldoon yet I’ve found documents where it is recorded as McIldoon/McEldoon/Meldoon 😟

Now where my mother’s family was concerned it was well known that my maternal grandfather loved the ladies. Rumour had it he fathered a child with his sister in law but those who could enlighten me and my sisters are long gone so we let that one pass. However a few years ago I found some thing online that had me wondering about the lovely old gentleman I shared a birthday with.

There was a person looking for family of this man (who has quite a distinctive set of given names) It was suggested he was actually married and had a child (names and dates were given) but knowing that on the dates given I had a legal grandmother in Belfast raising my mother’s older brother I just put it to the back of my mind.

I was checking my ‘DNA matches’ online last week and something jumped out and had me squirming in my chair. The names and dates in a tree matched those in the online plea from a few years back so……….

He was away a lot during WW1 – was he where my grandma thought he was?  Some documents prove where he was part of the time – being mentioned in dispatches for bravery one of them but……..

Was my grandfather a bigamist as well??

28 thoughts on “Sins of the fathers…..

  1. sometimes the “past is best left in the past” – there’s a rumour in my family lineage that there is Caribbean blood in our bones, something to do with our darker than normal elbow skin tones. My niece was doing a DNA test, I must check in with her on her results…


    1. my niece swiftly replied – looks like our links to the caribbean, and to africa are just myths…although looking at the ratio, I think we might have been with the crusades or similar as we have travelled a bit around the European countryside…


  2. All I know about my ancestors is that one of them was a drummer boy in Napoleon’s army. That branch of the family came from Alsace-Lorraine. My paternal grandparents came from Sweden, my maternal ones were born in the U.S., but my mother’s maternal grandparents came during the Irish Potato famine. So I’m a mutt from peasant stock and am happy about it. 🙂


    1. Jean I can just see the little lad probably in a red jacket beating his drum on the battlefield. Fench – Irish – Swedish. Now that’s a very continental mix. I can see it now……Cool Swedes trying to calm the passionate French and keep the peace with the argumentative Irish!


  3. Coincidentally, Cathy…my paternal grandparents(Nicholson) came to Australia from the town of Armagh, County Armagh. Shortly after they married they came to Queensland, settling in Rockhampton. There they had their family, one of whom was my older brother, Graham’s and my father.

    Presently, a cousin, son of one of my late father’s sisters is putting together a family tree, and when he has completed it he says he will send me a copy.

    Bingeing on “Outlander” not long ago stirred up my interest in my ancestry. My ancestors consisted of Scottish Highlanders and a few Northern Irelanders who slipped across the waters to Scotland. 🙂


    1. You really do have a bit of green in your blood don’t you Lee. My ‘lot’ came from the area round Lurgan and Portadown, living in townlands with wonderful names like Corcullentragh Beg. How wonderful to have someone do the research of your tree for you but rather than wait for it to be finished why not ask him to let you in on the generations as he goes.


    1. Oh shocks I’ve had a few – but then there is an awful lot of happiness to be found as well Germaine. Seeing family names repeated always makes me smile. Lovely to see you again 😊


    1. I’m having the time of my life doing this Cathy. I’ve been on the hunt for about 10 years now and new facts and figures are still turning up. The DNA tests were the next step in learning facts about one elusive line – and it’s working 😊


  4. Some interesting discoveries there for sure, Catherine! My DNA test 3 years ago has paid for itself over and over as I find more and more relatives! And my DH has discovered that the man he thought was his dad, actually wasn’t…it was a family friend and he has 8 half siblings as a result!


  5. Intersting post Cathy! I have been researching my maternal line for over 20 years, and have unearthed a few pieces of information that indicate bigamy, but don’t prove it. What I found interesting was the knee jerk reaction that came from some of the male members of the extended family, and some men researching the area where the suspected bigamist was born, and married the suspected second time. According to them the male ancestor in question was above reproach, and a very important man, although I can find no evidence at all to support these claims. No way the “honourable” ancestor could have committed adultery according to these men. But I found that the females researching this family history had no problem whatsoever entertaining the notion of a bigamy. One of the close female relatives, at the time of the suspected bigamy, had an illegitimate daughter, and later hung herself, no one knows why… I have my suspicions. It is fascinating stuff!


    1. Wow Maggie what a simple yet complicated situation that is. You never know how people are going to react to confrontational information.
      I have yet to tell my sisters about my discovery – maybe I will maybe I’ll just put it to the back of my mind and stay mum for a while.


  6. I think our ancestors give us hours of entertainment with their varied stories. What a colourful history! I would be thrilled to discover so much information about my ancestors. They lived their lives so long ago and we are lucky if we discover anything about them.


    1. Marie,like those before us our lives will be so different to those coming after us in say 50 years I wonder if our descendants will actually be interested in our goings on?

      I know from your blog you have a good grasp on some of your family- having looked at several Canadian census (for The Golfer’s) tree I’m sure you’ll find plenty more to interest you there.


  7. My paternal grandfather’s sister was killed in a domestic violence shooting. Her angry husband killed his wife (the sister), the mother, one uncle and himself after injuring several other family members. What else is unknown about our past because media wasn’t around?


    1. Well that was a nasty piece of family history Annie. True about the media. Although if we had the resources to dig deep enough ( like they do on some of the tv shows) I’m sure we would find lots in print concerning our families


  8. LOL… My husband’s father used to say; “Don’t look up your Family Tree. You might find things, you won’t like.” -grin-

    You are certainly finding interesting things!

    We had our DNA done. But never went farther, no Family Tree things. I really don’t want to dig up unknown relatives. ,-)

    Have fun! Which you certainly are doing!!!


    1. It is fun – it is enlightening- it is interesting – and so much more.
      Was there a reason for having your DNA tested and not using it for genealogical reasons?


  9. That was a very interesting bit of research you shared. My cousin told me she had her DNA tested and it came back with some Jewish heritage. I’m guessing it was from her mother’s dside of the family and not the family we share, but then, who knows…..


    1. And that’s the ‘thing’ with this test Gram, you never know what’s going to turn up 😊
      Miy heritage was spot on – mainly Irish and Scottish with a little bit of English thrown in for good measure! There was a minuscule amount of Western European, due I imagine to the Plantation period when settlers arrived in The north of Ireland from other countries.


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