I have come across a lot of people in my family tree whose origins are what I like to call questionable. By questionable I mean people who I’ve found who I am not quite sure of their relationship to the family I researching. I come across this frequently with children. There is always though who are nieces, nephews etc who origins are easy to find.
Once such example of this is of a little girl who was on one census living with one of my great great grandfather’s family and she is listed as his adopted daughter but has the same last name as him. This therefore let me to some theories
1. She was a relative’s child
2. She was of no relation, prehaps a neighbour or family friend’s child whose parents had died or were unable to care for her. This would lead me to believe that the census-taker simply didn’t ask for clarification of the child’s last name which is mostly likely.
3. Child born out-of-wedlock
The child only appears on one census, so I that of course adds to the mystery who her parents are. One idea I have is perhaps the parents need to go away and the child was living with the family temporarily. I have tried searching for a child with that first name is the birth records around the dates she is born but no such luck.
Another example I have is of a child who si consider a granddaughter of one my great great grandparents but it is unclear which of the great grand uncles and aunts child it is. The same child on a later census is considered a daughter of the same great great grandparents. The curious thing is though the child’s last name is the same is the Great Great Grandparents this would conclude to one that the child is from one of the sons mostly likely. The issue is though I have found which is think is the child’s birth record( I plan to order the record soon to see if I can put an end to the mystery.) The other issue is one of the daughters is listed married on the 1st census the child shows up on, so I am fairly certain this is the child’s mother but I am not sure why she has the mother’s last name and not the father’s. I have a feeling that her birth record is the clue is this case.
I think this information gives an insight into an ancestor character, it shows how strong family ties were or how close they may have been to neighbours or friends.