Wednesday, 4 April 2012

A-Z Challenge: D is for Daughter-in-Law

This is one of those words/phrases which meant something entirely different in your ancestors' times.  Look at old censuses and be amazed at the number of daughters-in-law who appear, aged only 3 or 4!  Wonder at the loose morals and shocking marriage customs among your farthest and dearest!

And then you find out the truth.  A daughter-in-law in our ancestors' day was in fact a stepdaughter, or part of a blended family where the father or mother married again after the death or disappearance of their spouse.  Some naughty census-takers, intent on confusing later generations [hollow laugh] even called a stepdaughter a daughter!  Similarly, if you find unknown sons-in-law - they are quite possibly stepsons.  Which of course hints at a prior marriage for either the father or the mother.  Which means more family history delving - yippee!

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Ros, I am a retired elementary school librarian. I love books and all kinds of stories. I enjoy history as well. Some of my ancestors came from Scotland (I was a Campbell before marriage). I am trying to visit all the A to Z challenge bloggers, besides keeping up with my own. What a task! Thank you for your interesting posts. Ruby



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