The truth about…Researching your Family Tree

family tree

This is a photograph of an article about my grandfather, my cousin has been researching our family tree and has discovered amazing photographs, articles and poetry from our family history.

I got quite emotional at some of the poetry, others were quite humorous considering he wrote them in a POW camp. This isn’t the whole story regarding my grandfather and the family tree research, there was a lot more we discovered.

We were told our grandfather came back from the war a different person, and you can imagine that to be true. He never settled back into family life and disappeared when my Dad and his sisters were still young. He was never heard of again.

So 50 years later my cousin starts to research our family tree, he is very thorough and really enjoys the research. I was excited as we are apparently related to Oliver Cromwell and I was hoping he would confirm this.

So the research begins and he finds our grandfathers birth certificate, but instead of the expected death certificate he found another marriage licence and the birth records of more children!

We were astounded, our grandfather had another wife, life and  family in London, he never divorced so according to the law he was a bigamist.

To cut a long story short Cousin contacted the London family, they were as shocked as us, they had no idea their Father had another family in Liverpool.

My Aunt has now met her youngest half-brother and they had a lot to talk about, but as their parents, and my father have all passed away there is no one to answer any questions. Especially the one about my aunt having a half-brother 6 months OLDER THAN HER!

Diary of an Imperfect Mum
And then the fun began...


  1. July 3, 2015 / 17:36

    What an amazing story. You should write a novel about it. I would love to read some of the poetry! Thanks so much for sharing! #fbfriday

    • Nortonmum
      July 3, 2015 / 18:51

      That’s an idea, I should at least put a little collection in a blog post. Thanks.

  2. Shivonne Costa
    July 3, 2015 / 15:27

    Oh. My. Word. I would flip if I found that out! What skeletons we must all have in our family’s closets, but holy smokes, that’s craziness! How neat if you found old journals or letters or anything that he kept, maybe from the other siblings?

    • Nortonmum
      July 3, 2015 / 17:02

      It was a shock, my Aunt has found her youngest half-brother.

  3. Anca
    May 29, 2015 / 20:14

    WOW!! This is really amazing and shocking at the same time. Getting to know a new family can be quite daunting especially in this circumstances. Amazing story, I though this kind of things happened only in the movies.

    • Nortonmum
      May 29, 2015 / 21:23

      It really was a shock for all of us Anca x

  4. December 9, 2014 / 21:50

    Wow what a shock! Every time I watch Who Do You Think You Are I’m astounded at how much it is possible to find out through the archives. More than you bargained for sometimes! How frustrating that there are so many unanswered questions though. Thanks so much for linking such an interesting and different post up to #thetruthabout

  5. December 9, 2014 / 17:56

    Wow! It’s amazing how much you can find out these days! I would be driving myself crazy with not having all the answers, but I’m a bit nosey! My father is really into researching our family history and has dug deep. The stuff he finds is amazing! He’s been working on putting together a book with a complete family tree for quite a few years now, and it seems the search never stops!


    • Nortonmum
      December 9, 2014 / 20:13

      Your Dad’s book is going to be so interesting. I think my Aunt wanted more answers, so sad there was no one who knew. She now wonders if my Dad (being the eldest) probably knew something but I think he would have told us.

  6. suzanne3childrenandit
    December 9, 2014 / 11:38

    Oh my word, family secrets eh?! What a shock for you all. A whole new family!

    • Nortonmum
      December 9, 2014 / 14:17

      I know, one of them is my age too!

  7. Honest Mum
    August 16, 2014 / 08:49

    Wow this post raised the ends of my hair up-what a shock for you all but also so wonderful to find a new family too. Thanks for linking up to #brilliantblogposts

  8. Tony Pitt
    August 15, 2014 / 15:43

    Wow, that sounds like something that should be on a TV programme hosted by Davina McCall hehe. Really interesting though, it just goes to show that all of the things that happen to families today aren’t new, they just weren’t openly discussed back then. I would love to do this type of thing, (not the secret family but the research) but it sounds like too much energy (both). Did you ever find out if you were related to Oliver Cromwell? I wonder if I’m related to William Pitt the younger hmmm.

    • Nortonmum
      August 15, 2014 / 16:10

      My cousin was so distracted he hasn’t got that far back yet, but one of the family members does work at Number 10!..coincidence?

    • September 5, 2013 / 08:07

      I know, the other family always wondered why none of the boys were named after their dad as was usual 60 yrs ago. Of course now they’ve found its because there was already a son named after him,it’s my dad.

  9. September 2, 2013 / 20:20

    I love family trees – before Monkey was born I spent a considerable amount of time researching all sodes of my family – got to meet long lost relatives, put my Dad back in touch with cousins he hadn’t seen for 50 years and so much more. It is fascinating

    • September 2, 2013 / 22:14

      Its great isn’t it, I haven’t got the patience but my son said he would like to do some research.

      • September 2, 2013 / 23:14

        I used to get lost in it for hours. It is very addictive! I wish him luck

  10. September 2, 2013 / 19:52

    How lovely to have the article, we don’t have anything at all relating to my paternal family, would love to know more about them, hope you get more answers!

    • September 2, 2013 / 22:25

      Me too, my granddads youngest son,my aunts half brother who she met is the same age as me.

  11. September 2, 2013 / 19:38

    Wow what an incredible story, it must be fascinating learning about your family history. It will be interesting to hear what else your couisin discovers including whether you’re related to Oliver Cromwell! Amazing. Thank you so much for sharing such a fabulous story #whatsthestory

    • September 2, 2013 / 22:30

      You’re welcome. He went looking for Oliver Cromwell and found a whole new family. Wish my dad was here, my aunt has a suspicion he knew something as he was older than her.

  12. mamasyder
    September 2, 2013 / 17:55

    Family history research is so addictive isnt it. Such a interesting story about your Grandfather, fascinating! x

    • September 2, 2013 / 18:19

      Thanks, you have no idea what you might find. Hope he gets back as far as Oliver Cromwell.

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