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Propriety and Reality 4th November 2009 BMD Indexes
In our family we knew that my great-grandmother had been raised by her own fabulous "Grannie". Even as small children, my cousins and I, and our parents and their parents before them, knew the sad story of the the three little girls, orphaned young and the wonderful, upright, kind Victorian-lady Grannie who took them in. Well, I think she was a fabulous woman, and, arguably, all the more so in that she was not quite as she seemed--at least not the staid version we all assumed. My research (largely aided by The Genealogist) has unearthed tales of previously unknown husbands and children; a son who followed in his mother's footsteps, marrying, founding a family, leaving said family for another (already established) and--still working on this one--possibly then abandoning the second family to marry someone entirely different just two years before he died at a relatively ripe old age. Meanwhile Grannie's brother-in-law was involved in one of the most spectacular divorce cases of the 19th century, and her husband was one of the main witnesses against the wandering wife. This all came back to haunt 50 years later when the son of the adulteress took Grannie to court claiming ALL her children (and we thought she only had ONE) were illegitimate and should be barred from inheritance under an old family will. Now tell me this isn't fun!

Anne Beirne

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