Thursday, 24 April 2014

A-Z Challenge 2014: U is for Uncle

www.a-to-zchallenge.com
Uncle.  Everybody knows what an uncle is, right?  A male relative, who is the brother of your direct ancestor.  But did you know that 'uncle' was used much more extensively in the last century? 

I remember (when I was small) having an 'Uncle George'.  When I got older, and began researching my family history, I wasted precious months trying to find a 'George' in my mother or father's family who would qualify as my uncle.  It turned out that he was no blood relation at all - he was a family friend, and my parents always considered it polite for small children to address male family friends as 'Uncle'.  (I had an 'Aunty Joyce' as well...)

This confusion can extend to earlier times, as well.  Say you are looking at a census, and there is a four-year-old son-in-law.  ?  Well, the term 'son-in-law' was often used in place of where today we would say 'stepson'.  So, keep alert, and 'never say never'...

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A-Z Challenge 2014