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Oh dear!


I'm feeling pretty bad today! I finally found a living descendant from my Gaunt family line and was able to share a photo of her Grandfather with her. William Gaunt was my Grandma's brother and he was killed at 32 in France during WW1.

Her husband noticed that 2 photos on their dining room wall that relatives had copied for her, that were supposed to be her Grandfather, looked nothing like the photo I sent and although I'm very sure that my photo is of her Grandfather (uniform isignia's match his rank on his official documents and those on the other photos don't), I still feel bad to have "stirred the pot" so to speak. One photo she has is of William's brother I think! So at least it's still family!

Hello, i think all us family researches "stir the pot" at some time. I really stirred a hornets nest up last year when finding out that granddad was not actually grandad and no one in the family knew of this little secret my grandmother had kept until i started this family research. The first grandad could only be my grandfather if it was a miracle conception!!! Is there anyone in the family that maybe able to ID this fellow for sure, for you? Wedding photos etc.
Yes know what you mean Gibbo. My poor Dad was shocked to find that his Grandma was illegitimate, then t was Mum's turn when we found out that her Grandma had live in a defacto relationship with her 2nd husband and her first child was born out of wedlock. They sure were good at keeping secrets back then!

There is nobody left that would be able to identify the photo, sadly. "Best love to all" was written on the back, but no name signed. We'll keep chipping away though. I came across an ancestry tree which has Willie's wife's family on it. I've contacted the tree owner and she is looking for family photos which might help! Fingers crossed!


Quite often parents moved away after having an illegitimate child if there were circumstances surrounding the illegitimacy such as an extra marital relationship and the previous wife died, or the husband left her for his mistress.

Ancestors could be crafty.

I think sometimes families adopt other members of their family privately. Such as a grandparent is known as parent when the mother is actually who the child thought of as a big sister. Aunts sometimes take in a child when the parents are over stretched or one of the parents died and their relationship is never explained. The worst in our family was an aunt who on the day of her wedding had someone come and tell her that her father was a bigamist and so her parents were not legally married. I'm sure sometimes people invented relatives rather than explain the truth. So "Here's a photo of your Dad, he was killed in the war."
Oh Well Jill, these things happen. It only shows that there are downs as well as ups (or should that be oops).
It can't be helped if these things come up by accident, I'm sure if you knew you would have treated this in a different way.
No one goes out to 'upset the apple cart'.

Yes you're right Steve, I would have just shut up! My Dad now say he's not sure that the photo is Willie's brother either. I'm off on my way around to see Dad to do a photo overlay of my Gt Grandmother's face with that of her son Eddie. I think they're remarkably similar, but the other 6 siblings are like each other (nothing like Eddie/Mary Ann) and that includes Willie, so I'm now dead sure it's him He etched the name of his wife "EMMA" in the mud at his feet and drew a box around it, this is clearly visible when viewing the photo on the computer, so that's the definitive proof to me and the fact that in my photo Willie is sporting the 2 stripes of a Bombadier, on his insignia and the photo my cousin has shows her soldier with only one stripe.

Hi Duckweed, yes I think the lies would have saved so much embarrassment. I personally love finding out the sordid truth, but my Dad is still slightly put out that his Grandma was illegitimate and more so because no one ever told him. I guess you wouldn't really ask so many questions of your grandparents in those days, mainly because they wouldn't think a child warranted an explanation anyway, but the fact is people died at a younger age and probably a child of 10 or so wouldn't even think to ask.

Moral of this story is: if you are writing on the back of photos for the album make sure you write the name of the person in the picture, your name and the date. Simple! Or it should be, shouldn't it?