If you’ve been tracing your family history for any length of time, there’s a good chance you’ve run across a shady character or two. But what are the odds? Apparently someone has been checking into it. According to a Yorkshire Post article,
An estimated 1.4 million people have made contact with previously unknown family members, whose existence comes to light via the 730 million UK records held online and five billion international records.
The most common discoveries are illegitimate children (19 per cent of researchers discover one), family members whose names have changed (14 per cent), family members who were secretly convicted criminals (7 per cent).
One woman, Shirley Griffin of York, has discovered that her forebear, Frederick Parker, was 27 when he became the last man to be hanged at York Prison in April 1868.
Many people discover a secret adoption within their family (6 per cent), missing family members (6 per cent) and royal blood connections (4 per cent). Around 23 per cent have confirmed connections to the aristocracy, famous historical figures or rich landowners.
What kind of stories have you found? Share them in the comments section below.