This genealogist’s quirky questions

1 May 2015

No two days are the same but some days are, it has to be said, slightly more bizarre than others. This week has been strange in many ways, but nothing beats Thursday’s quirky question…. Unexpectedly, I had a call on the office landline from a Swindon telephone number. That’s not so odd in itself but it looked like the telephone number was the home number of my good friends who were – the last time I heard – away on holiday. Mr B greeted me when I answered. Odd in itself as I think this would be the first time ever that Mr B has called. Thankfully, Mrs B – probably aware that I may be concerned that it was not her on the other end of the line – swiftly called out “it’s OK, I’m not dead!” Good to know, Mrs B!

Anyway, the reason for Mr B’s call was to ask for some assistance in the world of genealogy. His father having passed away last year, Mr B had been in touch with the cemetery/local council to find out where the family plot was, in order to bury his father’s ashes. Granny B was buried in 1998 in a plot which, Mr B had been told, was purchased in 1932 by Mrs C. The question was: Who the devil was Mrs C (and indeed, her husband, Mr C) and what relation were they to the B family?

Changing the subject to allow time to do some swift research, I broached the subject of their recent travels and Mr B filled me in on some of their escapades, hideous campsites and bad weather. It transpired that Mr and Mrs C died within a year of each other in 1932/3 and were residents of 16 XXXX Street in a picturesque town in Sussex. The C surname was closely linked to a surname in Mr B’s family but the two families were completely unrelated and Granny B and Mr and Mrs C’s burials were over 60 years apart.

So, where is Grandad B? Not in the same grave as Granny B, it would seem. In fact, armed with all the information I had found, Mr B discovered that Granny B was in fact buried in the wrong grave!!!! Eek! So now, not only does Mr B have to bury his father’s ashes but also obtain a court order to dig up Granny B’s ashes and bury her in the right place. I think heads might roll at the cemetery…. How can mistakes like that happen???

[The interesting thing was that Granny B, at one stage in her life, lived at 14 XXXX Street, so she is actually buried with ‘the neighbours’!]

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