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What’s the biggest skeleton in the closet you’ve discovered?

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  • isnt the drink a mafia term for forced drowning?


    Didn't know that!


    Don't know if he was drowned.


    All I could get from elderly relatives (all now long deceased, sadly) was that he died 'badly', which could mean anything...shot, stabbed, tortured, and left dead on the street, as an example to others....




  • I have the worst crime in rural Ireland. A great grandfather drank the farm. I mention it to ask for advice. The story we have is that he had been close to ordination as a Jesuit.
    Does anyone know how to find out more on that? Time is the 1890s




  • His entry in to seminary may have been reported in the local papers, as may any visits home when partially trained - this would depend on the area, the local paper and how little other news there was!




  • Cragaun wrote: »
    he had been close to ordination as a Jesuit.
    Does anyone know how to find out more on that? Time is the 1890s

    The Jesuit archivist in lower lesson street is very helpful




  • L1011 wrote: »
    His entry in to seminary may have been reported in the local papers, as may any visits home when partially trained - this would depend on the area, the local paper and how little other news there was!
    The Irish Jesuit order has a large archive in Leeson St Dublin. They were helpful when I was researching one.


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  • Someone close to me was contacted by a 1st cousin she never knew existed. This lady was adopted & her mother told no one. (Or maybe she did) She knew her birth mother's name and that her father bolted when her mother was pregnant.

    She wanted to locate her mother and siblings but the person never replied or passed on any of the information.




  • baldbear wrote: »
    ...the person never replied or passed on any of the information.

    That's a real shame.

    It's such a small thing to do to pass on any useful genealogical information to someone making inquiries but for an adoptee it can mean the world.




  • I agree, such a shame. It's happened me twice recently. Once in relatively close extended family, but we contacted the relevant family members first before responding, the other more distant where myself and the adoptee did a bit of detective work to figure out who her mother was. Such a shame adoptees at present have no right to their own birth cert. In the latter case, while she'd been searching for years, we figured it out within a couple of days of the DNA match, to find out her mother had died only 6 months ago.

    I figure that it's justified because
    a) it's only right, and
    b) they'll eventually find the person (hopefully, anyway). For example, in the first case above, while we were discussing with the family, the person concerned made contact with other DNA matches who may not have been as delicate.

    I actually had a third contact the day after the second one but it's a very low % match so I wasn't able to be of much help.




  • Hermy wrote: »
    That's a real shame.

    It's such a small thing to do to pass on any useful genealogical information to someone making inquiries but for an adoptee it can mean the world.

    Yeah.. i told the person that they should reply or contact their cousin to let them know as this will come out someday with other people joining genealogy sites. I've asked again did they say anything & they keep saying they don't know what to say.

    It's sad making connections with dead family members and ignoring the living.




  • I did uncover a 3 x great grandfather who was according to several prison records "the cleverest and most notorious pickpocket in the city of Cork" in the 1860's.

    He died in Cork jail in January 1868 aged 28. His final arrested was for stealing a 2 gallon barrel of whiskey off a cart that was heading from Mr Murphy's brewery to a Mrs Smith at Fermoy. He was turned in by my 3 x great grandmother who clearly had enough of his antics. They had only 1 son, my 2 great granddad.

    While he may well have been the most notorious pickpocket in Cork, I fail to see how he was the cleverest given the number of arrests he had and that he served time in prisons in Mountjoy, Spike Island and Cork Jail.

    I wasn't sure for quiet a while whether to believe that this could be my guy until I saw the name and address of his wife on one of the prison records which matched to the family home for the next 20 years of records.

    The details in the records are fantastic but the shear volume of newspaper articles are priceless.


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  • This isn't my "Skeleton" tale but it shocked me because it affects present day peoples lives and I'd bet it's not uncommon.
    It is 4 years since I took a DNA test to help with tracing my ancestors and every month, more and more "relations" pop up.
    It started initially with 255 possible relatives and now I'm close to 2000, the majority of which live in the USA.
    I find most people are not remotely interested in finding the "connection" anyway and because I have no knowledge of ever having family there, it really is a needle in a haystack, so I don't pay much heed.
    Early into this New Year though, I was contacted by a lady living in New York, a possible 3rd cousin and we have conversed quite a lot since then. I asked her what made her take the DNA test? she replied:
    "I didn't apply personally, my brother gifted it to me and my two other sisters for Christmas just gone. Not only are we all close in age but we were very close as siblings too and all decided in 2020 to research our family tree. The DNA test came back that the youngest sister did not share the same biological father as her other three siblings, they were all shocked to the core at this new knowledge as none of them had a clue, believed the parents they all grew up with were the same. Our father passed away several years ago and our mother is in a care home suffering dementia, so we couldn't get any answers. The saddest thing is the younger sister has taken it so bad she has stopped talking to us and cut herself off from us"

    I just thought to myself, how sad that a close family has been damaged by someones not so long ago "Skeleton"




  • I have to say it’s interesting that the DNA kits are connecting adoptees to families.
    My girlfriend is adopted and reluctant to contact Tusla for fear it will open up doors that’s shouldn’t be opened as she is aware her biological mother will be notified from any request she makes.

    I told her about the DNA kits and the experiences people on boards have had.

    She’s ordered a DNA kit there today. Would be interesting to see the results, possible 1st cousins or even siblings, who knows! She wants to know more from a distance, not to get involved in anything with anyone.




  • Green Mile wrote: »
    I have to say it’s interesting that the DNA kits are connecting adoptees to families.
    My girlfriend is adopted and reluctant to contact Tusla for fear it will open up doors that’s shouldn’t be opened as she is aware her biological mother will be notified from any request she makes.

    I told her about the DNA kits and the experiences people on boards have had.

    She’s ordered a DNA kit there today. Would be interesting to see the results, possible 1st cousins or even siblings, who knows! She wants to know more from a distance, not to get involved in anything with anyone.

    It’ll most likely be 3rd to 5th or more distant cousins.

    However there’s also the possibility of closer and the issue with that is they’ll be alerted immediately also.

    Friend of mine did one recently and discovered that his first cousins were actually half cousins and that meant her parent was only a half sibling in her family. Also others that she had expected to be 2nd and 3rd cousins that she knew and was in contact with were actually far more distant.

    This means her grandmother has a skeleton in her closet and someone further up the line has one in theirs.

    Makes me wonder why we concentrate on the paternal line (and why women change their names when married) when in actual fact the maternal line is the only one we can really almost 100% trust.




  • OU812 wrote: »
    Makes me wonder why we concentrate on the paternal line (and why women change their names when married) when in actual fact the maternal line is the only one we can really almost 100% trust.

    Patriarchy...

    As a woman, I've never understood those who are more interested in their patrilineal line. They're ALL my ancestors. I want to know about all of them. Some of them have my surname but that doesn't make them more special.

    Genealogy Forum Mod





  • My mother's grandmother on her mother's side, who she called Lilly, isnt actually her biological grandmother. Her grandmother died and her grandad married another woman of the same name and they had two more children together. Not a skeleton per se I suppose but I was doing the family tree and discovered it through the civil records and she was surprised when I told her :o

    Also her dad was conceived out of wedlock...his parents married in May and he was born in September. Its highly likely he was early of course and its all above board :D, but her granny is down as a minor on the marriage cert which makes me think there was a bit of urgency to it :cool:




  • I found out my mother had 2 sisters in the UK one of whom she only got in contact with recently.

    She often said to me that she remembered her mother and aunt in the 60s in Birmingham with a dark coloured baby dropping the baby at a Catholic home, but she was young so wasn't sure. One sister is of jamaican heritage. The others car was blown up in Bosnia in some kind of mission, she was a constable.

    I found out my gg grandfather died when an army plane on a training mission crashed into his travelling circus. And my gg grandmother was Jewish, who had a few petty sessions against her for 'shooting firearms defiantly in the air on front of police'.

    There will be more!





  • The circus incident was surely reported in the newspaper!

    Genealogy Forum Mod



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