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Unpleasant surprises

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Unpleasant surprises

Postby newbirds » Wed Aug 22, 2018 1:15 pm

Have any of you uncovered any unpleasant surprises while carrying out family tree research?

For the last few years, I've been helping my aunt (my father's sister) research her family tree. In particular I've been focusing on tracing her first cousin and her cousin's daughter, who emigrated to Australia in the late 1940s and she lost contact with after they returned to the UK for a visit in the 1970s.

Over the last year I made real headway and tracked down a death certificate for her first cousin. As for her cousin's daughter, it turned out that her husband was jailed for tax fraud following a high profile national inquiry/commission in the early 1980s and she fled to the USA.

Recently I discovered that my aunt's cousin's daughter had a child, who my aunt didn't know existed. With a name to go on and assuming that he would most likely be in his forties by now, I did a quick Google search to see if it would be possible to trace him online... only to discover that he was convicted for sex offences (namely grooming a teenager over the internet and attempting to meet her) only four years ago.

Obviously this came as a huge shock. As shocking as it was to discover that my aunt's cousin was involved in million-dollar tax fraud, it's hard to get your head around the fact that a living relative of yours is a convicted paedophile and it's definitely not what I imagined I would find when I set out to research my family tree :?

Having gone through a real mixture of emotions as I process what I've discovered, I wondered if anyone else had unearthed any unpleasant surprises during their genealogy research.
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