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Never expected family research to be easy.....but

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Fiona Report 6 Sep 2005 22:40

Thanks Janice, feels good having someone to talk with. I'll have to send them a letter, just hope I get a reply!


Fiona Report 6 Sep 2005 22:41

Janice, Both names in same town, I'm thinking maybe father and son.


Janice Report 6 Sep 2005 22:43

Could be, as you say the surname is unusual. Hey if it is father and son, you have a new cousin! Got to go now. Hope you manage to get some sleep tonight though I expect this will be buzzing round your head. My local library has BMDs so if you want help trawling the indexes send me an e-mail with what you want done. Take care, Janice


Fiona Report 6 Sep 2005 22:48

Thanks Janice, Not sure about the sleep!! Good night.


Unknown Report 6 Sep 2005 22:48

Fiona Wow! You have been so helpful to me I would like to help you too, but what a tricky situation. Please let us know how you get on and if I can help, I will. nell


Fiona Report 6 Sep 2005 23:06

Hi Nell, Thanks!!! Will let you know if I need any help. To think I complained to my dad about our family tree being boring!! Fiona. x

The Ego

The Ego Report 6 Sep 2005 23:09

If you need help finding if your grandmother is dead or alive,mail me.


Fiona Report 6 Sep 2005 23:28

Alter Ego, Thank you! Will do, lots to think about and work out with this one. Fiona. x


jumarcat Report 8 Sep 2005 07:32

oh Fiona.... what a shock. I hope everything works out okay for you, and if you do tell your mum she is okay with it too. thinking of you.

Gwyn in Kent

Gwyn in Kent Report 8 Sep 2005 08:02

Do you think your grandmother married her son's father? Can you find a later re marriage? She may still be alive,but under what name? Library or archive GRO index would be your best bet. ..Tedious but it can pay off, as I have done a blanket search like this. I would want to get all the background clear before approaching the possible brother and/or his son. This will possibly be a big shock to them too, so their feelings must be considered.

Merry Monty

Merry Monty Report 8 Sep 2005 08:37

This is really tricky isn't it? Maybe the saving grace is that you say your mother wanted to know how her mother died..... Could you start by telling her you cannot trace a death registration (suggesting you don't know any more at this point) and see how she reacts to that - it's not as if you have gone behind her back to begin your search, because she wanted to know the first bit, at least....... Then don't do any more searching until your mum has 'caught up' with where you have got to. Pretend you are doing this together one step at a time - then you wont be presenting her with anything new directly....... I'm not making much sense, but I expect you know what I mean? Only trouble is, you have searched for additional childrens births and found evidence, but your mum might not suggest that is the next step, after you tell her there is no death cert - so you would still have to get her to think of the idea herself. It probably won't hurt for you to always be one step ahead, but let her think she is leading the way. However, you know your mum better than all of us! Very best of luck with this.... I shall keep up with this thread and keeping my fingers firmly crossed for all of you. Best Wishes Merry


Fiona Report 8 Sep 2005 16:09

Ann, Thank you, I will be telling my mum, I think she's been lied to enough by her father and his family. I don't think she needs her daughter lying and keeping things from her as well, it's just finding the best time and way to do it. Gwyneth, Yes, they did marry, I found the index for that. I know they didn't stay together as I was told that the father was married to a different woman when he went home for a family funeral. Merry, Thank you for your suggestions, I did think of taking it in stages and have called my mum to tell her I can not find a death index. Worried me a bit when she went quiet, but she was just thinking. She said a few choice words about her father and asked where I go from here. Then she told me that must of been why she never saw a picture of her mum and the family would not talk about her, she thought it was because her dad was upset at the death.........I think not!!! She did cry a bit................I hate having to do this over the phone but being 3,000 miles away it's not that easy to get home and I was only there 2 months ago so I won't be going just yet. I have hopefully found someone on this site from the same area as the brothers birth, just waiting a reply as to a possible family link. You just got to hate the waiting!!! Fiona. x


Janice Report 8 Sep 2005 17:02

Hi Fiona, Do you think that your grandmother didn't know that her daughter had been told she was dead? She might have tried to contact her and been blocked, or just wondered why her daughter had never tried to find her once she grew up. Janice


Fiona Report 8 Sep 2005 17:25

Hi Janice, I thought of that and think it highly likely, they lied to my mum about her death and if she did send letters I'm sure they would have kept them from her!! Fiona.


Half Report 8 Sep 2005 19:05

Just to let you know that I'm thinking of you and if there is anything I can do please let me know.

An Olde Crone

An Olde Crone Report 9 Sep 2005 00:21

If I have got this right, your grandparents would have been divorced in the 1930s/40s? If that is the case, your Grandmother would not have stood a cat in hell's chance of being allowed any access to her child. When the 'guilty'party was a mother, the Courts were utterly vicious. Custody was always given to the father and the Courts often instructed that the Mother should have no access and indeed could be prosecuted if she even attempted to contact the child. With this in mind, and given that your mother was told her mother was dead, she could hardly have received birthday cards or even letters from a woman who was supposed to be dead! Remember also that 80 years ago, people were much more in awe of Authority - your Grandmother may have wept many bitter tears over this, but was too obedient and fearful of the Law to do anything about it. Your Mother, as her (presumably) oldest child, is entitled, I THINK (correct me if I'm wrong) to get a copy of the Divorce Papers. And for what its worth, yes, I totally agree with you, your mother has been lied to enough. A salutary lesson to all those who choose to lie to small children, without thinking the consequences through, for their own ends. Olde Crone


Fiona Report 9 Sep 2005 05:11

Little Lil, Thank you!! Olde Crone, Yes the divorce would have taken place about 1845 give or take a year or two. I have applied for a copy of the divorce, once I get the absolute and know which court it took place in I should hopefully be able to get a copy of the full papers(might need mums help for that bit). Thank you for the insight into divorce back then, might explain why her mother couldn't see her. Your right, the lies my mother was told as a child over sixty years later have hurt her and I know she's going to feel more hurt because it upsets me to and I'm not the one who was kept from my mother.


Angela Report 12 Sep 2005 17:52

Hi Fiona I have been following your story and I think it's very sad. I hope everything turns out alright. It's is going to be heart breaking for your mum when she learns the truth. But one thing did cross my mind and that is when you eventually show her the copy certificates she will see the date you ordered them and will then realise that you have known longer than you let on (if you get what I mean). So you might have to order more copies or explain that you had known for a while but wanted to let her down gently. Best wishes Angela


Fiona Report 6 Dec 2005 14:28

I have given my mother all the details I found a bit at a time over the last weeks, she was shocked and is still even now trying to come to terms with it all. Things really came together yesterday! With the help of a Genes member who turned out to be an ex in-law of who I found to be my mums brother that she new nothing of I got an e-mail address for who turns out to be my mums niece. I sent an e-mail to her yesterday and this morning I got an e-mail back!! I was so nervous and it took me a while to click on it, don't know why it turned out to be the nicest e-mail I've ever received. It turns out my mum has 3 sisters and 1 brother, they did know they had an older sister only they never knew much about her as their mother was always too upset to talk about her. She said her and her mother were so please that we'd managed to find them. It feel so great to final be getting some answers, it really was the nicest e-mail. She has said her and her mother are going to sort through the family album and send pictures of the family for my mum, my mum will finally be able to see what her mother looks like!!!!! The vauge story the sister has from other family members was that my mum was taken from her grandmothers garden while her mother was working, from things I have learnt about my mums dad and his family it really does not surprise me. The really big thing from the e-mail was that my mums mother is still alive!! She is coming up for 87, they haven't told her yet not knowing how painful this could be for her and I have to admit as much I would like to meet my grandmother the last thing I would want would be to cause her any harm and at 87 I'm not sure if anyone could handle all this. Don't want to kill her off now we've found her. This has been a great morning and the best Christmas Present I've ever had.........if I could only stop crying long enough to enjoy it. One very happy Fiona!!!


Unknown Report 6 Dec 2005 14:36

I am confused - are Fiona Colgan and FC Michigan the same person??? Whatever, FC I am pleased you have made contact. I understand your feelings, but remember that if you've survived to 87 you must be tough! She also knows that she had a child and was upset about her, so this leads me to think she would be really glad to know how things have turned out for her. And its not even Christmas yet! nell