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24-02-2021, 18:37   #31
srmf5
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I somehow doubt that. Cousins at that remove are very distant for the word ‘incest’ to be used. Second cousins share about 3% of DNA, it drops to less than 1% for third and about 0.25% for fourth cousins.

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What is the point of a a skeleton in the closet? Those stories often have an element of truth. Surely any half-serious genealogist would try to ascertain the facts? What is the point of perpetuating a myth?
If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton you may as well make it dance. (GBShaw)
You'd be surprised how disgusted people can get by finding out that a couple are/were third cousins, etc. Some people tend to use the term inbred quite loosely, particularly younger people. My own great grandparents were 2nd cousins and my aunt married her third cousin. I remember telling a friend that my great grandparents were 2nd cousins and she called me inbred. It wasn't in a malicious way but it also wasn't completely in a joking manner. I learned to keep it to myself after that. I personally wouldn't marry a known cousin but I wouldn't be judgemental about it either. However, it could easily happen that I'd unknowingly marry a distant relative if I married someone from the area where I was born. I've seen so many familiar names among matches who I had never known I was related to. I was actually surprised that Mum and Dad didn't end up matching each other when I got their DNA results.

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24-02-2021, 18:41   #32
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In your first post you said you hid the info? If was a typo,you can edit your post.
I think that the poster might have meant that the client requested the information to be excluded from the report. I could be wrong though.
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24-02-2021, 23:55   #33
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You'd be surprised how disgusted people can get by finding out that a couple are/were third cousins, etc. Some people tend to use the term inbred quite loosely, particularly younger people. My own great grandparents were 2nd cousins and my aunt married her third cousin. I remember telling a friend that my great grandparents were 2nd cousins and she called me inbred. It wasn't in a malicious way but it also wasn't completely in a joking manner. I learned to keep it to myself after that. I personally wouldn't marry a known cousin but I wouldn't be judgemental about it either. However, it could easily happen that I'd unknowingly marry a distant relative if I married someone from the area where I was born. I've seen so many familiar names among matches who I had never known I was related to. I was actually surprised that Mum and Dad didn't end up matching each other when I got their DNA results.
I wouldn't bother with people like that and certainly would not class them as friends. The marital pool in rural Ireland was very small before mechanised transport and a cash economy. Look at any village and even today you will find the butcher's son marrying the baker's daughter.
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24-02-2021, 23:57   #34
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I suppose for some people researching a family tree is a sentimental journey and the more one indulges in sentiment the less one is inclined to allow the facts get in the way of that journey.

As I get older I have less and less time for sentiment and especially so in genealogy. There are no heroes and villains in my tree - just lots and lots of dead people who are complete strangers to me despite their apparent familiarity.

However, I do think there is great merit in shining light on these so-called skeletons in the closet, either dispelling a myth or confirming a story that's been handed down.

As to my own research I have no significant skeletons to speak of, though in the case of one relative whom I had always been told had died young due to cancer, her death record gives cause of death as abortion which I'm not sure what to make of.

And while I write this it has just occurred to me that I myself, being an adoptee, am somebody else's skeleton in the closet!

Great post Hermy but I disagree with your concluding sentence. Thankfully that day is over.
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25-02-2021, 09:05   #35
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I found out my great grandfather assaulted a constable in Fermanagh, spent time in Sligo prison and then moved to Cork after release, slightly changing the spelling of his surname.

I'd love to know the full story there.
The assault may have made the papers, so you might be able to find a mention.
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25-02-2021, 09:42   #36
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There are things I discovered as being new to me but known to older generation.
Two gran aunts, one had a child with the others husband.
A great grand uncle who died after being stabbed during a new york bar fight.
My grand father had an older half brother who had a disagreement with his father never to be seen again. Years and years later a nun from the area returned home and called in to tell the family she had met him at some point in south africa. I haven't been able to find records of him.
I have a distant relative with two hollywood stars in the hollywood walk of fame
My maternal grandparents refused to talk about the war of independence etc and I found my grand father had been a baby when his father passed away from pneumonia. His wife tried to get a military pension as he had been sleeping rough with the ira but was turned down as could have got sick regardless.
Ive gone back to about 1800 on all lines but for the main part I just know birth death and marriage info unfortunately. Other than the IRA link everything was known already by aunts or parents.
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25-02-2021, 10:50   #37
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I have a distant relative with two hollywood stars in the hollywood walk of fame.

Oh come on!!! You can’t just casually drop that into the thread and give more detail.

Two stars means double threat (possibly a third they went recognised for).

What is it they have them for and who is it?
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25-02-2021, 12:39   #38
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One paternity issue, but my favourite, which I don't know if it counts as a skeleton as such, but my father's uncle was technically 'an escaped lunatic'. He escaped from what was then called the National Lunatic Asylum in Dundrum in 1926, with some help from the IRA.

We generally like to refer to him as mad uncle Jack now.
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25-02-2021, 14:58   #39
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Oh come on!!! You can’t just casually drop that into the thread and give more detail.

Two stars means double threat (possibly a third they went recognised for).

What is it they have them for and who is it?
Not that famous just got one for tv work and another for movies, barry sullivan.
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25-02-2021, 15:07   #40
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2nd cousin once removed one of the stars of Ballykissangel; another 2nd cousin played a Sergeant Callan in M.A.S.H......
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26-02-2021, 13:26   #41
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Now I feel disappointed as have found nothing like this at all in my tree.
Kinda boring from what I have seen ie born, married,had loads of children many of whom died at or shortly after birth ,died and were buried all within maybe a mile or less.

Only things that seems different to nowadays is the disparity in age at marriage.Farmers seemed to be 40 plus a lot of times whilst their wives were rarely over 30 at marriage.
Fair few 5 month pregnancies as well .
This contrasts with other sides of my tree where urban labouring couples seemed to marry in their late teens or early 20's.
Also the speed of remarrying ie wife dies and widower married again within a year or two,in many cases to a sister, cousin ,niece etc of his previous wife .
Assume this was to help rear the large families of the time .
Couple of other things that stand out as different to present times include the amount of females living at home with no occupation at marriage,the amount of "boarded out" children and the custom of people,mainly women ,moving in with an elderly and/or unmarried relative at a young age to help out/work with on the farm or business.

Afraid none of the above qualifies as a "skeleton" or came as any surprise but is interesting in its own way.
Trying to imagine the elderly relative you either remembered or have perhaps just seen photo's of as a young child/adult having all the same issues etc that people still have today along with a few that thankfully have disappeared is for me a most interesting part of it all .
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26-02-2021, 19:35   #42
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The skeletons in my cupboard are in Australia.

A great-granduncle, who was an engineer went to Melbourne in the late 1800s to help with the construction of the rail system. His grandson was convicted for embezzlement in the 1940s. He worked for the State Insurance Office and faked compensation documents in order to pocket the money. The amount totaled £1,165 which was a significant amount back then. He was imprisoned for 4 years with hard labour. He had a wife and three children at the time and had apparently inherited a large sum of money and lived the good life until it ran out. He then started stealing from his employer to fund his lavish lifestyle until he got caught.

An unmarried grandaunt emigrated to Oz and had a son, who she raised as her nephew, who she claimed was the son of her brother back in Ireland. There are numerous newspaper reports of his graduation from medical school, his engagement and marriage to a socialite. All the reports refer to him as the son of X (her brother) from Cork and giving a contorted version of the grandaunt's homeplace address. The son never knew she was his mother and the whole convoluted story only emerged after her granddaughter did a DNA test.
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26-02-2021, 20:21   #43
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I wouldn't bother with people like that and certainly would not class them as friends. The marital pool in rural Ireland was very small before mechanised transport and a cash economy. Look at any village and even today you will find the butcher's son marrying the baker's daughter.
Well she's not my friend anymore. We were only about 15 at the time. That's why I mentioned young people being more likely to be surprised at it since they don't seem to realise how common it was back in the day in a rural area. I grew up in a small town that I went home to pretty much every weekend (pre-pandemic) so I know all about it.

I was actually surprised when I first started researching that my grandmother and two of my greatgrandmothers were in their 30s when they married. It's something that was brought up in the people living longer thread. However, I wouldn't have known any of my great grandparents even if they all lived to 100. I only knew two of my grandparents with one dying before I was born and the other a year after I was born. It's still better than my mum who had one grandparent die when she was aged 2 and the other 3 before she was born. Previous generations in my family never knew their great grandparents either so it's a phenomenon that will be missed in my family since we never experienced it.

Dad was 33 when he married Mum aged 28.
Grandfather 31 married grandmother aged 31 in 1956.
Grandfather 37 married grandmother aged 24 in 1952.

Great grandfather aged 25 married great grandmother aged 31 in 1923.
Great grandfather aged 32 married great grandmother aged 20 in 1911.
Great grandfather aged 33 married great grandmother aged 26 in 1914.
Great grandfather aged 35 married great grandmother aged 37 in 1923.

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26-02-2021, 21:28   #44
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Well she's not my friend anymore. We were only about 15 at the time. That's why I mentioned young people being more likely to be surprised at it since they don't seem to realise how common it was back in the day in a rural area. I grew up in a small town that I went home to pretty much every weekend (pre-pandemic) so I know all about it.

I was actually surprised when I first started researching that my grandmother and two of my greatgrandmothers were in their 30s when they married. It's something that was brought up in the people living longer thread. However, I wouldn't have known any of my great grandparents even if they all lived to 100. I only knew two of my grandparents with one dying before I was born and the other a year after I was born. It's still better than my mum who had one grandparent die when she was aged 2 and the other 3 before she was born. Previous generations in my family never knew their great grandparents either so it's a phenomenon that will be missed in my family since we never experienced it.

Dad was 33 when he married Mum aged 28.
Grandfather 31 married grandmother aged 31 in 1956.
Grandfather 37 married grandmother aged 24 in 1952.

Great grandfather aged 25 married great grandmother aged 31 in 1923.
Great grandfather aged 32 married great grandmother aged 20 in 1911.
Great grandfather aged 33 married great grandmother aged 26 in 1914.
Great grandfather aged 35 married great grandmother aged 37 in 1923.
Parents were 36 and 24 on marriage.
Grandfather 44 grandmother 39 in 1928
Grandfather 45 grandmother 28 in 1937

Great grandfather 25 great grandmother 27 in 1873
Great grandfather 30 great grandmother 27 in 1872
Great grandfather 42 great grandmother 22 in 1882
Great grandfather 24 great grandmother 24 in 1902

On my mothers side she has multiple people in her tree related 2 ways to her and a fair few related on 3 different lines.A real web of inter marriage over 2/3/4 generations and all with the most common names in the area.
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27-02-2021, 00:05   #45
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Perhaps I am too analytical at times, but IMO many of the posts in this thread are not ‘skeletons’ and are simple family background stories. Most could be put to rest (or ‘the test’) by a simple bit of research in for e.g. newspaper archives. The fact that one of my second great-grandfathers lost twenty-odd of his sheep to marauding dogs is not a skeleton but it does demonstrate that on the introduction (1865) of the dog licence large numbers of dogs were turned loose by owners rather than pay the two shillings and sixpence licence fee. Another of my great-grandfathers age nine found a dead body on the road near their farm – a murder- and he was, despite his age, cross-examined in court as a witness. Shocking in today’s terms, but not a skeleton.
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And while I write this it has just occurred to me that I myself, being an adoptee, am somebody else's skeleton in the closet!
To me the expression ‘a skeleton in the cupboard’ is a pejorative term relating to an undisclosed fact about someone which, if revealed, would damage the perception/standing of that person in the community. In no way does or could it relate to an adoptee.

Events must be seen in the context of the day – up to about 1970 an unmarried mother was perceived by the State, her family, the Churches and society at large as a ‘fallen woman’ and at best an embarrassment or at worst a ‘disgrace to the family’. (‘Fallen’ even derives from ‘fallen from the grace of god’.) Such a pregnancy would have an impact on the economic future of the family (“Is he suitable for that promotion, after all, he let his young daughter get pregnant!”) She would be a social outcast and some of that opprobrium would extend to her family and its standing in the community. Very few families would have the financial independence to provide support or the courage as it would be seen as condoning the pregnancy. That is the way it was, whether we like it or not. On her own the girl’s future would be fraught with difficulty, her ability to obtain a job unrealistic and to hold it unfeasible, her financial independence impossible, her marital prospects negligible, her morals forever questioned and her very existence forever open to snide remarks. The father invariably walked free and frequently denied involvement; paternity tests were unknown until the late 1980’s. Should he contest paternity it was an uphill battle for the mother to prove it / obtain maintenance, as she started from a negative position of ‘questionable morals’. That is why a move to a mother and baby home and adoption was seen as a ‘way out. The State and the families simply outsourced what they viewed as a solution to the Churches, who in turn took on the task (their traditional role being reforming ‘sinners’) and made money from it. The rights of the unborn child were not even an item for consideration, let alone discussion, at that time. Everyone in society was implicated and condoned the ‘status quo’.

Today, for those who have such a child in their past, the situation is very complex, emotive and any perceived ‘skeleton’ has assumed quite a different character. They are in what many would perceive as a ‘no win’ situation. Most have since married and have families of their own; some fathers might not even be aware of the child; most (probably?) unmarried parents have not told their spouses and/or children of the past childbirth. Bringing out the topic now would be viewed negatively by almost all – the spouse because by keeping the pre-marital child hidden it was a breach of trust/honesty in the marriage, the children of the marriage would view it the same or worse because they would be more openminded and view the concealment as unjust. There also are serious legal implications for the parent since the Inheritance Acts confer rights to a child born outside a marriage who now would share the estate on an equal footing with other siblings.

There is more for the parent to lose financially & societally than to gain in searching for a past child. Add a layer of case law, new Acts such as that covering GDPR, several reports (e.g. by Incorp. Law Society) on what should/should not be done and the deep complexity of the legal background is clear. Is it a skeleton in their cupboard? Perhaps, but not one linked to having a child outside marriage, but one as a result of hiding the fact and ignoring any attempt to search now that society’s view is changing.

From what I have read, (and I'm no expert) very few (other than the adopted child) want to delve into the topic. Most such adoptees now are aged over fifty and over time the problem will disappear. Unjust as it is to the adoptee, it’s another ‘Irish solution’.
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