Fearless Females (Day 19): Surprise! Surprise!

Surprising facts are commonplace when doing genealogy; like children born out of wedlock.  They exist in almost every generation of mine — and quite possibly yours.

They are commonplace now, since the 1960s (but not necessarily socially accepted), due to influences from Woodstock and the “Flower Power” theme, but now it seems to done out of Spite, due to the comments of disapproving mothers. Comments like:

“You KNOW he only wants you for one thing, Dearie”


“She’s not your type, Sweetheart.”

— and both situations end with “You can do better.”

But, back in the 1860s, it was not so acceptable; as written in an earlier post.

These days the surprising discoveries involve classy dames that were financially well off, but still managed to get mixed up with, and fall for, those typical bad boys. Some were lucky(?) when boys married them; while many were loved and left “in the family way.”

Every month, I change my two research books — I have over 21 of them — and pick up where I left of, so as to keep the research in them at least constant to the current year.

A couple months ago, I was looking up obituaries, searching cemetery databases, reviewing online family trees, etc until I located a famliy line that mirrored the one I was researching. All proofs were cited; I was also familiar where to locate these quoted references and able to look at them myself.

For example:  Great-Great-Aunt Bertha — everyone’s got a Great-Great-Aunt Bertha — who at 16yrs-old marries a 32yr-old man, who was still married!  He abandoned his first wife in the United States and fled to Canada! 

But, I think the perfect example is this one: the former Mary SHIPPEN fell madly in love with Benedict ARNOLD IV — Yep, THAT Benedict Arnold! The same one who left General George WASHINGTON and took a commission with King George III’s Royal Army to fight against the future American president. Just what did Mary ever see in this guy?

And the shocking discoveries” You say?

From the first example, their descendants are related to the ATKINSON lines I am researching, as Bertha was born an ATKINSON and related to my great-grandfather J.W.

From the second example: their descendants married into the ATKINSON lines

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