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  #1  
Old 22-01-22, 15:00
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Default Things they never told me

I knew Dad was hand-in-glove with his cousins as a boy. There were two in particular, and I have some lovely photos from when they were all young men. Sadly, the cousins died when they were about fifty, Dad had his first heart attack about the same age, so I never got to meet them, though I knew very well the little two-up, two-down which Grandma had seen built while she was a girl and where she lived from about 1920 until it was demolished in the 1960s. She and her neighbours were all shunted off to flats on the other side of Portsmouth.

What I really hadn't taken in was that in 1921 her sister was living next door, so Dad's cousins must in truth have seemed like brothers, while in 1939 another sister's daughter was living in the same house.

So, did Dad tell me this, and I wasn't interested? Was it so banal a truth that he didn't bother? My aunt never mentioned this and now it's too late to ask.

What are you discovering from the census that you feel you should have known already?
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Old 22-01-22, 18:05
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Two things stand out for me.

The first is that my grandmother apparently lived with her much older brother for much of her childhood (albeit next door or even in the same house as her mother), yet I never heard her mention him, his wife or family.

The other is the opposite, in that it proved a family story. My g-grandfather went AWOL from his family in London for several years. According to family stories, he ended up living in Hereford and eventually a family member visiting the town bumped into him by chance and persuaded him to return to his wife. Sure enough, in 1921 he's working as a bookkeeper in Hereford. It's nice to have that one confirmed.
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Old 22-01-22, 18:06
Olde Crone Olde Crone is offline
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Not the 1921 census, but I discovered that my gggf's eldest and youngest son were both kicked to death by a horse, 20 years apart, on the family farm. When I mentioned this astonishing fact to my father, he said, yes, I knew that!

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Old 22-01-22, 18:24
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Well, I really did sort of know it before; but my great-grandfather (MFF) James Berry turns up on the 1921 as James Berry Walton.

1881 - still with wife Emma, son Walter, and daughter Maggie in Sutton-in-Craven, Yorks.

1891 - with teenage Walter a short walk up the road in Sutton Mill while Emma and Maggie have decamped to Main Street, Sutton-in-Craven

1901 - with Mary Walton born Cross Hills (a few steps from Sutton) who will remain with him until his death; they have removed to Southport, Lancs. and she is head of household while he is said to be Jane Berry, female boarder

1911 - Mary and James are now in Onchan just outside Douglas, IOM; she fills out the census form listing a “James Walton” a retired head of household as her husband, followed by James Berry (mistranscribed by Ancestry as Beng) as boarder

I had long suspected that James Walton was made up and that this fictional head of household was an alter ego for James Berry. I can’t say I’m the least bit surprised therefore to find “James Berry Walton” as head of household in 1921 with Mary Walton said to be his wife. She did indeed collapse the two into one, it would seem.

Maybe not exactly what you had in mind, Phoenix, when you asked what I feel I should have known already! It's sad the hoops they had to jump through.
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  #5  
Old 10-04-22, 11:08
Sheepy Sheepy is offline
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Default Always Tell Children Their True Identity

My grandfather didn't tell me his real surname, nor did my grandmother tell me hers. My other grandmother concealed the fact that my "aunt" was adopted as a war baby in 1939 of possible enemy German / Dutch parents. My other grandfather lied about his military service and my "aunt".

Please tell children their true identity !
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Old 10-04-22, 11:33
Olde Crone Olde Crone is offline
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Sheepy

I agree to an extent but I suspect that the younger children of Fred and Rosemary West (for example) will have better lives if they never know who their parents were!

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Old 12-04-22, 17:29
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Even if their parents were serial murderers many adults would still want to know their true identity.
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Old 13-04-22, 22:00
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I wouldn't be too sure about that.
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Old 15-04-22, 12:45
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Do you know why these things were not told to you? There could have been a valid reasons for all of this and our acceptance of things today does not mean they were accepted situations back then. You are looking at all this through your own view point, rather than those of the people directly involved.

Hiding a military history might be not wanting to remember, rather than anything shameful.

Your Aunt's history is her story, not yours so I can understand you not being told.

I had family friends who changed their surname when I was a child. There was a valid reason and we all moved on. I can see the children involved at the time would probably not even think of it now, and may not tell their children, or grandchildren. No big, dark secret, just not something important now.
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  #10  
Old 23-04-22, 11:26
Sheepy Sheepy is offline
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Default Identity is History

I still think children should be told their true identity no matter how difficult some aspects of it may be, they can always be supported with researching their full tree to find something positive. Identity is history after all, and a family tree is tens of thousands of people each contributing a piece of history - whether good or bad. Children are entitled to know their true identity, it should be made a law. Very difficult circumstances can be balanced with other positive histories from their tree. The good and the bad is a lesson in life (and marriage) after all !
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