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Active member
Falls Church, Virginia
Six of my eight great grandparents were immigrants to the US, the parents of the seventh were, I have only one branch here before 1855, most came between 1880 and 1920, and from several European countries. I still haven't traced that one branch back to the origin, but have been looking at the families of the other immigrants.

My latest surprise was from a great grandfather; he came here from Staffordshire, England in 1886, second oldest of ten children. I found a younger brother enlisted in the RA in WWI, and died in the Mesopotamian campaign in 1917, he's buried in a military cemetery on the outskirts of Baghdad. I spoke with his granddaughter, and she doesn't think he ever knew, that he never talked very much of his family in England, it seems there was no communication.

Another was hinted at by my paternal grandmother, she never knew the whole story but she told me that there was always something not quite accepted about her paternal grandmother, but she never knew what it was. A relative hired a German genealogist, and it turns out my grandmother's father is actually the illegitimate son of a minor German count, have a copy of the christening certificate where he's named. Rather proves gossip transcends both time and space; she married in Germany and the man adopted the boy, yet the German community here knew she'd transgressed!

Common to find surprises? Is that an interesting part or has it sometimes turned awkward?