Question of the Week: What's an unusual story you've found in your research?

+17 votes

imageDo you have an unusual story that you have found in your genealogical research? Tell us about it with an answer below! You could also use the question image to share your answer with friends and family on social media.

in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (1.8m points)

42 Answers

+12 votes
Best answer

While researching the Thurber one-name-study, I learned of Bethiah Thurber born at Rehoboth, Mass. in 1693.

Bethiah conducted a private lottery in 1733. She had purchased 14 acres at Rehoboth from her younger brother Samuel, and decided to sell tickets to a lottery in which one of the prizes was the land. I never even thought about such a lottery -- are they illegal in the US these days?

Bethiah had married John Hedges in 1728. From Ebb Tide in New England: Women, Seaports, and Social Change, "Throughout the 1730s Bethiah Hedges was in and out of court in Newport, Rhode Island, both as plaintiff and defendant. And depending on one's perspective, she was either a conniving fraud or a splendid example of a woman who maniuplated femes covert laws to her own advantage. Part of the reason Bethiah prevailed in a 1735 suit initiated by Thomas Hicks was because he sued her as a widow and she claimed that, since her husband was alive, she could not be sued as such. As it turned out, John Hedges was, in fact, dead -- and Bethia knew it -- according to a 1735 deposition from John Osborn, who was present when Mrs. Hedges received news of her husband's demise in 1731.

Moreover, the reason that John's death came to light at all was because it served Bethia's interest to reveal that information. In June 1735, one month after she agreed to arbitration in the Hicks matter, Bethia sued John Hunt for a debt of ninety-five pounds. Hunt requested an abatement because Bethia's husband was living (this was, after all, what she had just maintained) and, therefore, argued Hunt, Bethia could not bring suit in her own name. This is the context in which John and Mary Osborn described the circumstances of John Hedges's death, presumably at Bethia's request. By this time, however, the court appears to have had enough; for whatever combination of reasons, Bethia lost the case.

Two years later, Bethia Hedges was in court again, this time defending herself against Job Caswell's claim of twenty-four pounds. In her response she asked the court to abate the action because "she at the Time the Note sued upon is said to be dated and made was under Covert and therefore could not make a Note worth anything." The court agreed, abated the suit, and awarded Bethia costs ...

Cases that confront gender rules were rare, and it is difficult to assess their meaning ... Yet it is fascinating to note how a system, disadvantageous to married women on the surface, could be improved by various strategies."

by Barry Smith G2G6 Pilot (223k points)
edited by Barry Smith
Yes! house lotteries are still happening. And I remember hearing about one done by a private person maybe 20 years ago. Just google it... my search today showed several in the UK, & also local governments doing it for affordable housing, but if the housing market was down you'd see some by private persons again.
+19 votes
I had been trying to find out about an ancestor who served in the British Army during the American Revolutionary Way. As the story went, his last name was MacGill and he deserted out of Canada several years after the war ended. It was thought that his surname was changed to Gill and he fled to the USA. There was a sales manager for a manufacturer in Orillia, Ontario, who I told the story to at lunch and he knew of a woman in town whose maiden name was Gill. He started repeating what I had told him at lunch and she finished to story. Shortly after that, she sent me a lot of information about the soldier and his family which included a son with six daughters and nine sons. So, I learned about my 3rd, 2nd and 1st great grandfather.

A descendent discovered my 3rd great grandfather's military record which proved that the surname was not MacGill, but Gill all along.
by Frank Gill G2G Astronaut (2.3m points)
+22 votes
A 6th great-grandfather's records had been impossible to find.  Many distant cousins have written about him and researched but had come up with nothing - the town he came from in England didn't exist.  In the New World two men existed with his same name, one a convict, and the other, our ancestor, a head-right claim who was sent over as an indentured servant.

Last year I searched through all of the birth records with his name and finally I found him, but in a whole different part of England than where he was supposedly from.

I located a distant cousin who had conducted some good research on this ancestor and shared my research and he agreed that these were the records for our ancestor.  However, our ancestor was arrested, convicted, and sent to the New World as a penal-deportee.  This made sense with the records in the New World - the two men were actually one in the same.

But how was he claimed as a head-right?  The main who claimed the bounty for shipping him also has an interesting past.  Supposedly he was from the family of Huguenot French aristocracy.  They fled France, came to London and then migrated to the New World using their funds to get started.  The man became very successful in the New World so much so that his son later became a famous General and later the Governor of one of the States.

But all of the French records didn't match this family and I eventually found a criminal conviction for the man who supposedly paid the head-right for my ancestor, living just a mile or two from my ancetor.  So it seems they were both convicts in London and the second man not a noble at all.  When I super-imposed my ancestor's crime spree over that of the man who allegedly paid for his head-right we see that these two men were doing crime in the same parts of London, only tens of meters apart.

It seems that the head-right claim was a fake and the money that the second man obtained from the fraud was used to start up his business and he became quite wealthy.  This family wealth translated into a stepping-stone for his son to become a general and governor.  

We're working on collecting the info for this story and we hope to publish it.  It will no doubt be a bit of a shakeup for the family history of the second man - he has a Wikipedia page that tells all about the fantasy Huguenot ancestors.
by SJ Baty G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
+17 votes

Well, I've found a lot of unusual stories but none were happy ones. These include the man that died after he drank 13 half pints (about 3.5 litres/0.7 US gallons) of beer in 7 minutes for a 5p bet, my 2x great-uncle who locked a thief in a public urinal after chasing him through the streets of London, one boy seriously wounding another with a rifle loaded with peas and gunpowder, and some sort of mess involving a bartender holding up his own bar and murdering a customer.

I guess the takeaway is that violence sells your newspaper better than any happy stories. sad

by David Smith G2G6 Mach 6 (69.4k points)
edited by David Smith
+18 votes

My first cousin three times removed is Seymore Edward Long, and his unusual life has really intrigued me. His father and my second great grandfather were in the carriage making business, and Seymore learned to make carriages. This is how he met and married Maryann Forepaugh, a circus equestrian. Her uncle was  Adam Forepaugh, owner of the famous Forepaugh Circus. He and Maryann had seven children, and after her death he married her sister Isabella Forepaugh, and they had three more children. In the 1900 census, Seymore is painting circus wagons. This is a 1899 photo of Forepaugh circus wagons.

by Alexis Nelson G2G6 Pilot (468k points)
+17 votes
One of my ancestors, Margaretha Fahrenkrug (1671-1746) from Tönningstedt, estate Borstel, Amt Segeberg, Duchy of Holstein (but parish Leezen as exclave) married on 21 Oct 1692 Claus Sahlmann from Tönningstedt. After I found all this so far, I searched for the children and then found his death (May 1741). This was the end of the family for me. A gap in the children between 1699 and 1710 I had at first not attached any major importance (possible would be forgotten entries, miscarriages or stillbirths).

Some years later, when I researched the Stolten family in the parish of Leezen, I came across an entry that a Hans Stolten married a widow Margaretha Sahlmann, née Fahrenkrug on 13 Nov 1699. That has made me then suspicious and I have examined again everything exactly. Since no death entry for Claus Sahlmann before 1699 could be found, I took tax lists for help and found out that Hans Stolten became a temporary owner of the farm of Claus Sahlmann in 1699.

And then I found the almost unbelievable, after Hans Stolten died in 1709, the widow Margaretha, née Fahrenkrug married again a Claus Sahlmann from Tönningstedt, who then died in 1741.

So she had two husbands with the same name.

Even on WikiTree someone wanted to merge the two as one person, because they were both named Claus Sahlmann, came from Tönningstedt and were married to Margaretha Fahrenkrug. However, I had to reject that.
by Dieter Lewerenz G2G Astronaut (1.6m points)
Your story with the same name was interesting; thank you for sharing it. In my family there are three Seth Marvins about the same age that served in the American Revolutionary War from New York, so that has caused confusion. You gave me an idea for a possible future question. Thank you Dieter.
Nice story. I have to ask myself if I would have figured this one out.
Have you found birth dates for either Claus?  If this were a novel, they would be the same man, and there would be some trip he went on, or maybe he absconded with another woman.  Being alone, Margaretha would have married Hans because she needed help w/the farm (or maybe had a secret love for him prior), but with Hans' death she & Claus reconcile.
+15 votes
I was trying to find where my husbands great Aunt and children had disappeared to- in 1901 Irish census but not in 1911 Our thinking was possibly they had died or were visiting relatives.. Then someone sent me a newspaper clipping with court cases Sadly Patrick Sharkey was found guilty of child neglect and violence and the children were removed to industrial schools ( a little like being taken into care) I am still searching through the census to find them all I found Mary his wife and one of the sons in the workhouse
by Anon Sharkey G2G6 Mach 4 (40.3k points)
+13 votes
I've come across more than a few over the years, but I think I'll go with this one:

My great-great-grandmother was named Inga, she was born in Norway & came to the US with her parents in the 1880s, when she was about 15, I believe. Her father, Andreas, had grown up on a farm, but he was the youngest of nine children, which meant he wasn't going to inherit the farm from his father, which is why he first left his home area for Haugesund, where he became a merchant, & where Inga was born & spent her early years. In Norway, he was more of a general merchant, but when they came to the US & settled in Chicago, he & his brother started a fish company, which specialized in lutefisk & fruit syrup (if it weren't for the large Scandinavian community there, the business would almost certainly have failed miserably). We have some photos of the family home in Chicago from around the 1900s-1910s, & it's very... lavishly decorated, shall we say? Andreas's business didn't do terribly, but it's a little strange & not at all what I or my living family would expect.

Though they were raising a family with several children, Inga & her husband's marriage was never especially happy; we have snide notes they wrote back & forth to one another over the span of decades, & they suggest that Inga was seriously considering trying to get a divorce around 1918. Regardless, they remained married. One of the notes, we think it's from some time in the '20s, is in Inga's handwriting, & reads along the lines of "Alfred, we have no more gold and silver to sell anymore." Another intriguing suggestion- Alfred's father had done work with gold, making watch cases, but he had been long dead, & it's believed that any wealth that had arisen from his career probably didn't remain by this point.

The Depression hit the family quite hard; Alfred had bought a chicken farm, very much against Inga's wishes,  in Michigan shortly before it began, &, as one might expect, it did not go well (it did result in my great-grandfather doing jobs for the Chicago mobsters for a few years, but that's another story). In the mid-'20s, both of Inga's parents died, & her sister Magda, who had never married & still lived with them, ended up being taken to a mental institution after their death. Sometime around this time, Inga & Alfred stopped speaking to one another. Alfred moved up into the attic, only coming downstairs to sneak food from the kitchen when he knew Inga wasn't in there. As far as we're aware, Inga & Alfred went at least 20 years living in the same house together without speaking a word to one another; my grandmother remembers that when they'd visit her grandparents every Sunday when she was young, from the living room, they'd occasionally hear the creaking of someone coming down the steps from the attic, & her aunt would just silently get up & draw curtains over the doorway to the room while her grandfather took food from the kitchen & returned upstairs- no one acknowledged him.

In her final years, Inga began to experience arteriosclerosis, better known to some as "hardening of the arteries." One of the possible symptoms of arteriosclerosis is dementia, & she began to exhibit behaviors which led the family to believe she was experiencing dementia. The house always had a dish of cookies whenever my grandmother visited, Berlinerkranser (literally translates to "Berlin wreathes," though it's a very Norwegian cookie), & when my grandma, as a young child, reached for one, her grandmother would slap her hand away, saying it was for the "special guests," until one of her children would convince her to let my grandma take a couple, but the "special guests" were mentioned multiple times by Inga. On at least one occasion, she was found sitting out on her porch, quietly singing the Norwegian national anthem: "Ja, vi elsker dette landet."

Eventually, someone finally asked her who these special guests she kept referring to were, & she announced that she was expecting a visit from "General Eisenhower & the King of Norway."

The three living generations of the family & the family who was alive then all pretty much just wrote it off as being due to the dementia, told as a sad story about our ancestor losing her mind as it were.

When I first got interested in genealogy, I primarily focused on my direct ancestors, & so when I worked on my Norwegian family, I almost entirely just worked on tracing lines back as far as possible, without looking into their siblings or my cousins for quite a while. It was only a couple years ago I properly took the time to look into Inga & her father's siblings & the lives they lived, & took it upon myself to know what happened to the rest of the family, & one of Inga's siblings, her eldest sister, Lovise, stuck out to me. Sadly, she has no living descendants, else I'd try to be in contact, but she was married to a man named John Helmich Wilson, who was half-Scottish & half-Norwegian. I think Wilson's father had something to do with shipping, which was how he met Lovise's mother-in-law, Vibeche Janson, who's family wasn't exactly the usual farmers I'd come to expect from the Norwegian families connected to mine. Her father was a notable merchant, as well as the American Consul General in Bergen, appointed by the President of the United States. Her brother was a notable poet, as well as the founder of the Unitarian Church in Norway. Other brothers also served as Consuls to various nations (one was Consul to Liberia- not sure about the other one). Her maternal grandfather was a notable bishop, who in turn was descended from a notable family of businessmen. Her paternal grandfather also served as American Consul General in Bergen, & was descended from a family of notable merchants, who I believe may have had Dutch roots, who had ended up in Bergen because of it's being a part of the Hanseatic League. Her grandfather's half-sister was the grandmother of Norway's best-known composer, Edvard Grieg.

Louisa died 1907; her husband's death isn't certain, but assumed to be before 1920.

All this put some things in perspective. They weren't related by blood, but the family's in-laws were quite prominent to say the least, the kind of people who would have had the opportunity to have reason to meet with "General Eisenhower & the King of Norway," & when taken with the context of the allusions to "gold & silver," the photographs of the lavishly decorated house in Chicago, the suggestions of notable relatives, one has to wonder if Inga's family had been quite well off, thanks to their family connections, & if, in her declining state, constant reference to the "special guests" was Inga's way of trying to remind herself, & the family too young to remember, of the way life once was.
by Thomas Koehnline G2G6 Mach 5 (54.7k points)
Great reminder that filling in all of the cousins, aunts and uncles, etc., really helps us understand our direct family better!  Thanks for sharing!
+16 votes
My neighbor had a dna test run and it came back with her having several dozen brothers and sisters.  They did the research and it turned out that they were all born in the same town and all their mothers had the same OBGYN.  He was known locally as a fertility expert but we now know how he did it. He had passed but it took the research to figure out the common connection. They are now up to over thirty people who have tested as siblings and they just had their first family reunion right before a COVID started and all the kids are over 60.
by Gurney Thompson G2G6 Pilot (213k points)
Now that DNA testing has become so commonplace, there have been several cases just like this, where an OBGYN/fertility doctor is found to have used his own sperm to impregnate his patients. It's common enough that, were I in need of fertility assistance, I would definitely use a female doctor.
A doctor using his own sperm seems to have been common practice back then, due to the lack of proper storage for a sperm sample to be preserved until fertilization.
In the early days of sperm donation and fertility treatments, most of the donors were either doctors or medical students. Apparently it was very common for doctors to mix their sample with the husband's sample, while assuring the couple the other sperm would "help" the husband's sperm along (something so ridiculous if you know anything at about reproduction that I am boggled that anyone believed this). I presume that in many cases the couple chose to believe the child was the husband's, and clung to even the flimsiest excuse to let them do that.
+13 votes

My grandmother was orphaned at age 7. (A runner-up story! Her mother at age 29 in 1894 moved to Washington, DC after her husband died to live with her well-to-do, “social climber” sister. She got a clerical job working in a federal department. She had an affair with a married physician, became pregnant and died from sepsis after getting an abortion. In her will she disowned her sister and gave guardianship of my grandmother to her lover. The contest of her will was so contentious that the judge —to my everlasting chagrin—ordered all parties to eschew interest in the case in return for his directing custody to a grandparent several states distant and expunging the court record of “abusive language and actionable insults.” ) 

My great-grandmother had herself been orphaned at age 3 in Kansas City, Missouri. I knew she had been raised by a family in Ohio, but I had no idea why or how. Ten or so years back I spent a week combing through the State archives in Jefferson City.

I learned that my 2 great-grandmother was widowed at age 20 with three children under 7 years old (one step son, and two daughters age 3 and 5.) In 1867, at age age 22, she died. 

Everything I learned about her story was gleaned in extensive depositions of her neighbors for a dramatic court case  

After her husband’s death she had moved to Kansas City with her two daughters. It is unclear if she was legally married to the man she lived with “down by the levee in rooms over a public bar.” Neighbors related stories of my 2 gr-grandmother selling her and the children’s clothing to get food money  They all had critical opinions of the man she was with  “He is always drunk” was about the least critical comment.  

Mr Ludlow was in Kansas City from Cincinnati in 1867 on business.  He was a hardware merchant. Walking along the street he discovered my 3 yr old gr-grandmother and her 5 year old sister “standing on the sidewalk, underdressed, dirty and hungry.” When he made inquiries to find someone responsible he was told by neighbors the girls were neglected  They implored him to help  He spoke to the (step-father?) who was drunk and disinterested. So, Mr Ludlow packed the meagre belongings of the girls and their dead mother and returned to his hotel. 

In the next days he obtained guardianship papers. The girls were both taken back to Cincinnati where Mr Ludlow and his wife raised my gr grandmother like a daughter and her sister was raised by Mrs Ludlow’s sister and family. Saved from abject poverty and neglect both girls had an upper-middle class upbringing. 

But, what happened next! It turns out Mr Ludlow discovered a deposit slip among my deceased 2-gr grandmothers things. It was for a bank operated by the Catholic Church in St Louis. Mr Ludlow traveled to St Louis and flashed his guardianship papers at the clerk in charge at the bank. He was allowed to inspect the log books and located $1500 on deposit in my 2 gr-grandmother’s name. He withdrew it. 

The problem? The account belonged to a woman with the same name who was shocked to find her $1500 had been withdrawn. 

A court case ensued with Mr Ludlow being sued by no less a notable figure than Archbishop Peter Richard Kenrick of St Louis. 

Reading the depositions from both sides is riveting. Human nature on display! Every neighbor of my 2 gr-grandmother related that as her coffin was being loaded on the undertaker’s wagon in front of the residence it had fallen. The top popped off and my grandmother's body was partially thrown out. This was a detail every neighbor included with shocking detail.   They also related many useful bits of information of interest to me as a researcher. 

Reading the deposition of the clerk who had allowed Mr Ludlow to withdraw the cash made me feel very sorry for him. He was a victim of having a soft-heart. I wonder if he lost his job?

I need to return to the archives to see if the complete case files are available since my last visit a decade ago. 

AND: to anyone who has not delved into court records I recommend it as an invaluable research endeavor. 

by Margery Wilson G2G1 (1.5k points)
edited by Margery Wilson
+13 votes
found my ancestor grandfather  Bruce Walter Adams on my mom's side was in ripleys believe it or not .  bruce it seems drove a team of oxen for lot of miles in a snowstorm  to deliver food to neighbors to keep them from starving.  you say what was amazing about that?   he was only eight yrs old. I have copy of the article in ripleys. to prove it. lol
by x x G2G1 (1.7k points)
Great family story
+11 votes
In researching my paternal grandparents, I found that they were both single and traveling on the same ship to the US.  They lived more than 30 miles apart in Bohemia, so it is unlikely they knew each other before boarding the ship.  I never heard the story of them meeting on the ship while they were alive.
by Jim Vondrak G2G6 (7.4k points)
+10 votes
Probably my favourite one is my 8x Great Grandfather William Gunner. William first shows up in the records of the churchwardens of Edenbridge, having promised to marry Mary Hollands and got her pregnant and then tried to leave. The churchwardens arrested William and locked him in the village cage. They then procured a marriage licence and a ring, escorted him to the church and barred the door. He was not allowed to leave until he was married!

William and Mary appear a few more times in the Edenbridge records, generally not for good reasons. There is a palpable sense of relief in the final entry which records that they applied for, and were granted, leave to remove to Hever.

by A. Gunner G2G1 (1.6k points)
Thar is not much of a "remove"! Hever is right next to Edenbridge.
I know it's just down the road, but different parish so no longer the problem of the Edenbridge churchwardens!

+10 votes
My unusual story is about the nuclear family of my great-grandfather, Albert Gideon Briggs. Born in 1845 to James Litteral Briggs and Anne Manly Briggs, Albert had four brothers. They apparently were a tight-knit family.

Anne Manly Briggs died in 1856, and in 1857 James married Sarah Murphrey. All five brothers served Mississippi in the Civil War. Joseph W. Briggs was killed in action in 1863.

When the war was over, brother Francis Marion Briggs married Joseph's widow, Mary Ann Ludwick. William Manly Briggs and John V. Briggs married Rosendell and Caroline Murphrey, sisters of their stepmother! Soon they had children whose grandfather was also their uncle by marriage. Of course William and John's step-brother Matthew was also the first cousin of their children.
by Martha Murphy G2G Crew (680 points)
+9 votes
My Great Grandfather lived in San Francisco in the 1920s. He inherited a sum of money from one of his sisters when she passed. I found a front-page picture and story about his daughter from back east trying to have him declared unfit to manage the money. He is shaking his finger at a judge saying how foolish this is. He did win and ended up with the inheritance.
by Peg Wanie G2G1 (1.0k points)
+8 votes
My unusual story consists of the following. I had no trouble digging up information about my famous ancestor, Charles Anthony Deane,

an inventor of the diving helmet together with his brother, John.

Charles married Sophia McIntosh, also my ancestor.

So far, nothing unusual came to my attention until I received a message from my 5th cousin with an unusual story about another brother of Charles and John named Capt. William Deane.

It turns out that Capt. William married Christian McIntosh,

a sister of Sophia McIntosh. My 5th cousin is a descendant of Capt. William and Christian, so I guess you could say that we are "double" cousins. Maybe there is a more formal term for it.

This may not be rare in the world but it was the first and only time I had come across it in my genealogical research.
by Marion Ceruti G2G6 Pilot (156k points)
edited by Marion Ceruti
+11 votes

I was researching my great-great-grandparents, John M. Walker b. 1841 in Henderson, KY, and his wife Celia Allen Walker, b 1842 in Henderson, KY.  

I could not find his death dates, and I kept coming across "other" John M. Walkers in MS.  MY John M. Walker was not present with Celia, and she styled herself as "widow" in census records, but i could not find death information for John.

The breakthrough came when they BOTH filed for his Civil War pension - her as a widow and he him!

The National Archives folder on his case ran to 150 pages of inquisition, testimony from many parties, and military documents.  In the end, we see that John simply walked away from his large family one day, before the birth of his last child.  He remarried (a couple of times) in adjoining states. He went to live with a brother eventually. His wife, Celia, claims he had a fall from a horse during the war and was never the same.  She presents witnesses to testify to that. There are also doctors' testimonies saying, no, that he seems fine to them. John himself just said Celia was too ornery to live with.  The other wives? Oh, he knew that was probably wrong. But oh well.

SHe died in Dec of 1900, in Henderson, surrounded by her large family.
He died in Leavenworth, KS in a home for soldiers, Nov 1901.
They never saw each other after he simply walked off from the home, 13 Feb, 1878, yet he was never more than a few hundred miles from his family.

by Cara Shelton G2G3 (3.1k points)
+8 votes
While searching for info on my 3x great grandfather, who was born July 4, 1823 in Haworth, West Yorkshire and later moved to the United States, I discovered that he had a twin sister who was born July 3, and both of them were baptized by Patrick Brontë.
by Julie Peterson G2G3 (3.7k points)
+6 votes
For several years I was unable to move  past my 2nd GGF, Benjamin Harp.  I had a very confident belief that my 5th GGF was Thomas Marion Harp Sr. as he was the first Harp for whom I could find any record in Granville County, NC when he moved there in 1750.  My immediate family still lives in the same general area where TMH lived in 1750.  I had several prospects for the identities of my third and fourth GGFs but could never nail it down. Having taken several DNA tests, I had quite a bit of data which I believed could answer the question but did not have the personal knowledge to exploit it fully.  I made the decision to hire someone to help me.  With that help I finally confirmed that my third and fourth GGFs were respectively William Anderson Harp and James Sampson Harp, the latter of which was the son of  TMH,  my 5GGF.  TMH  moved to Granville County, NC from Fauquier County, VA.  Before moving to NC, his birth name was Thomas Marion Earp, son of Joseph Joshua Earp, and brother of William Earp.  Why TMH changed his name remains a mystery, but it is known that all of his birth family which remained in VA retained the name Earp.  His brother, William Earp, was the 2nd GGF of  Wyatt Berry Stapp Earp, famous American western lawman.  What made this  most interesting to me personally was that my  adult life was spent in the career field of law enforcement.  The DNA analysis determined that Wyatt Earp and I were related as fourth cousins three times removed.
by Ralph Harp G2G Crew (800 points)
+9 votes
My grandmother, who was adopted, always claimed Native American ancestry. She was married the 1st time at barely 15 and 3 months pregnant. She eventually had 5 kids by at least 4 different fathers. As a result her grandkids are half cousins whose only DNA link is through her. 3 of us tested and found she was 100% Romany Gypsy. By matches my cousins and I share we found lots of Boswell matches. I was finally able to contact one of those Boswell matches who told us the name meant we were Romany. I didn't even know what that was at the time. We were also given other Romany names to look for. Cooper was among those names. Sure enough we had lots of Cooper matches as well. So now we had an answer to another question. When my grandmother was giving birth to her 2nd child and separated from her husband she used the last name Cooper instead of her married or adopted name. So now we knew that she knew who her mother was as we later discovered her birth parents were George Boswell and Myrtle Cooper. Still digging for more but, some questions have been answered.
by Jim Miller G2G1 (1.3k points)

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