U Unk!

There can’t be many people studying their family history who don’t have someone named Unk.

Unk is the catch all to cover unknown forename or unknown surname, and can be the sign of a real ‘brick wall’. One of my 2x great grandfathers was born a little over 6 years after his ‘father’ had died. His younger brother and sister even longer after. Clearly I’m never going to know who was my 3x great grandfather in that line, but it’s amazing how many public family trees have left the deceased spouse of my 3x great grandmother as the father for these three children!

Something else which amuses me is when the hints system on Ancestry gives weird and wonderful suggestions of who some of these ‘Unks’ could have been; I have an Unk Yeadon born to a family in the USA, and apparently baptised as George Hadoon in Northamptonshire to completely different parents.   then there’s Thomas Unk, who Ancestry suggests is really Thomas Thornton, Thomas Jacques and Thomas Sheraton.

I guess this is all part of the fun and challenge of discovering who makes up the roots and branches on your family tree, along with the other ‘unknowns’ that we strive to discover – when did my (other) 2x great grandfather die, or did he really just evaporate from the face of the earth sometime after 1872…….?

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