I have had a great couple of weeks. I last left off on this blog with letting everyone know of things to come this summer. I knew then that I would be very spotty when it came to posting because I was expecting my third child. Well, she has arrived.
Caroline Elsie was born on June 23rd at 9:03 a.m. She weighed 7 pounds and 6 ounces and was 19 and three-quarters of an inch long. What a beauty! We are happy at her arrival and now at 3 weeks she has fit perfectly into our family and is adjusting to that newborn life well.
I have also started on a business venture with my sister. We have created our own small boutique featuring clothing and jewelry. I hope that leads into being able to provide an outlet for the “My Past Life” shop that I had mentioned in my summer plans. I have so many ideas and graphics already in place for merchandise that I would love to be able to share with you.
So, with all that being said let me tell you the real reason for this surprise yet overdue post! I will preface by saying that all names have been changed to protect the innocent. Intrigued? I was too.
In my experience with being an amateur genealogist (I flatter myself) the record is key. It is the proof in the pudding of who belongs to whom and who is what. For instance, if I were to look at a birth record it clearly states who the parents of a person are. This should be taken as fact. But what if it wasn’t a fact…
Here is the story.
I recently heard a rumor that someone I know may actually not be the person I think she is. We shall call her Jane. Jane is a person in a large family. Growing up she had several other brothers and sisters; some older, some younger. She was born in 1948 to (let’s call them) Jack and Jill.
Now, Jane had an older sister. We shall name her Mary. Mary was born in 1934. She was the oldest sibling in the large family. At the time of Jane’s birth, Mary would have been about fourteen.
And let’s just say that the person I know…well, we can call her Betty. Betty was the youngest of the bunch. She is Jane and Mary’s sister. And for timelines sake Betty was born in 1958. So Jane would have already been ten years old.
But what if Betty and Jane weren’t sisters? What if Betty was actually Jane’s aunt? Strange to think someone younger could have been an older someone’s aunt.
Rumor has it that on Mary’s death bed she confessed to her own daughter that the person everyone knew to be her sister was actually her child. She explained that she had become pregnant very young and that her own parents raised the child as one of theirs to cover up her pregnancy.
Sounds like something out of a lifetime movie to me. I mean it was 1948. A young girl becoming pregnant out-of-wedlock was a no-no. And I am sure the family would want to do the right thing. But how do we find out for sure? Records show that Jane’s parents are Jack and Jill. But didn’t a midwife record this information? Or was it solely up the parents to report the birth?
If I follow a paper trail on an ancestry website and start to pull records, it will only show me that Jack and Jill are indeed the parents of Jane, Mary and even little Betty. Everything would have been “covered up”. I feel the only way to be certain of Jane’s parentage would be to do a DNA test. If a DNA test is done, how accurate would the results be? I am not expert when it comes to DNA but what would the results show…that Mary was the mother of Jane or that Mary and Jane were simply relatives.
This isn’t the first time I have heard a story like this. And that is all it may be…a story. I guess we shall never know for sure. There will always be the “what if”. Any older sibling that could possibly prove the story or deny it is already gone. This will forever remain a mystery. I have spoken with Betty. She feels that Jane doesn’t have to prove who she is. That she will be always and forever her sister. And I think that is all that matters.
How would you go about trying to prove or disprove a rumor like this in your research? What kind of ways have genealogists tried to figure out the rumors in a family’s tree? These are all questions that I hope to answer myself one day with the more research and experience I gain.
Thanks for reading!