Twin trouble! More family history fun with Dear Tom


19 February 2018
Pixabay-twins-pic-if-needed-33568.png Twins born either side of the clocks changing – has anyone else come across this before in their family history research?
In every issue of Family Tree we share stories of genealogical wonderings collected from across the world by our very own columnist Tom Wood in 'Dear Tom'. Enjoy a couple of his recent gems, sent in by readers...

Every issue in Family Tree we share stories of genealogical wonders, gems and funnies collected from all over the world by stalwart family historian Tom Wood in his hugely popular Dear Tom column.


Many readers share snippets gleaned from their genealogical searches and sometimes even their own life histories, as we found when Anne T Simmonds wrote in to Tom recently with a surprising tale that appears in our March 2018 issue, about the time she delivered twins as a pupil midwife.


Anne tells us that Twin 1 was born before the clocks went back that day at 1.50am, and Twin 2 arrived after the clocks went back, at 1.15am. As Anne says, looking at the times of birth, it would appear that Twin 2 was born first! However, she explains that the midwives put extra details into the notes so that if a question of inheritance ever arose, it would be Twin 1 who was the heir, and not Twin 2. Indeed, the midwife teaching Anne stressed how important it was that the mother’s notes show these details, to help in any future legal cases. Well, we never knew that.



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Our thanks go to genealogist Caroline Makein for sharing this next item, which she came across while working in Dundee City Archives. Caroline was searching through kirk session minutes for the Dundee School Wynd United Presbyterian Church (CH3/93/6), when the following gave her a giggle: ‘14th of October 1839. Appeared William Downie, wishing to be disjoined from the congregation. The Session declined granting disjunction – as he had dismembered himself owing to irregular attendance on Devine [sic] worship.’


Caroline adds: ‘Perhaps he got more than he wished for – it certainly had me in pieces!’


• Have you got a genealogical gem for Dear Tom, or can you help a fellow family historian with a query? Email us or comment on our Facebook or Twitter pages and we'll pass your snippets on for Tom's consideration.