Friday, January 7, 2011

When Aunts Marry You Get an Uncle

When I was visiting my parents and grandma last month, there was a discussion about my grandpa's uncle with a wooden leg. My mom and grandma didn't remember his name, but remembered visiting him in Ontario on vacations. They thought the wooden leg was from a war injury (World War I).

My grandfather's father, William Francis Elvey Suckling, was the only son in the family. My grandfather's mother had only one brother, Leslie Merritt Stull. Leslie served in WWI, but he moved to Cleveland, Ohio. Grandma and mom said that the wooden leg uncle lived in Ontario. I kept saying that grandpa only had one uncle and assumed that they didn't know what they were talking about.

I was so confused until two weeks later. It finally came to me that when your aunt gets married, you get an uncle. Duh! I think I have been so focused on the family groups of my direct line, that I forget about all those extra collateral relationships.

So one of my grandfather's aunts married a WWI veteran with a wooden leg. I don't know which one it was yet. The Ontario records that are online do not capture the time frame of the 1920s and 1930s that I need to solve this new family mystery. But at least now I know my grandpa could have had an uncle with a wooden leg.


  1. That's quite funny! It's always a bit embarrassing when we genealogists get caught out by family relationships - but they can be confusing!


  2. It was funny to read this; I grew up knowing my mom's siblings and their spouses, and I often felt closer to the aunts and uncles who had married into the family.

  3. I'll have to tell your grandma and mom that you don't think they are nuts any more. Love the story. Pretty funny. ...Dad