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A recent visit to see my parents ended up in us all glued to Genes Reunited, as we were adding into my tree a few more details about my Dad's family. The very recent discovery about Chester Wood needed updating and we started to look again into the details of Dad's grandparents. Rumour in the family suggests that Ella, Dad's Grandma was a kept woman, as her husband, Arthur wasn't a ‘family' man. We had their basic details, but we wanted to try and find Ella and Arthur's marriage certificate, as there was uncertainty in the family that a marriage actually took place. We drew a blank, even using variance searches for their names, especially for Ella Trautmann - you can imagine the potential spellings!
Despite researching for about a year, I'd still consider myself to be a beginner, so I posted a message on the ‘find ancestors' message board to see if any of the genes members could help me. Within ten minutes I'd had a couple of responses asking for a few further details. No one could find the Wood / Trautmann record, but I did receive a message from a lady who had done quite extensive research on the Wood family, namely Albert Burton Wood, Arthur's Dad. I was absolutely blown away by what happened next...
I received a personal message from a member, who wasn't aware that there was a ‘Wood' branch of the family from Arthur, who is my third cousin. Not only that but the research around Albert Wood confirmed that he was a man of society, suggesting that Ella Trautmann was in fact the kept woman we have been led to believe. I was pointed in the direction of a picture and further information about Albert, and it's the first photo I have seen of my Great Great Grandad.
I also discovered that I am named after my Great Great Auntie Rhoda Wood (Albert's sister). On calling my Dad about this discovery he was amazed - as he had never heard of Rhoda Wood and had always maintained that it was a pretty name he liked.
I've shared my tree with my third cousin, who has reciprocated and we are working together, with the help from a few members, to establish the true relationship between Ella and Arthur, and find that elusive marriage certificate if there is in fact one.
My experience of family history this week has just been overwhelming. Typically, it's thrown up lots of questions, and time doesn't permit me to sit and explore the family every day, which at the moment is incredibly frustrating. It is however, incredible to learn that there is a familial link with my name, and that Dad's maternal family has living relatives who are also researching the family. I can't quite describe that feeling other than I've had a very real ‘goosebump moment'.