When looking into my family history on Ancestry.com, I never expected to discover a secret ancestor; My granddad appeared to have a brother that nobody knows anything about.
I added my great-grandmother, April Jean Dawn Aston from Mitchel Troy, to my family tree and a message popped up saying she had four sons. Me, as well as the entirety of my family, were only aware of three. Her first born son was apparently called Robert Morris.
Obviously curious, myself, my mum and my nan became detectives overnight. We ordered Robert’s birth certificate, initially thinking someone had accidentally made the connection between this mystery man and my great-grandparents.
When the birth certificate came back, you can imagine how gob smacked we were to see April Jean Dawn Aston and Dennis Henry Edwin Morris listed as his parents, making Robert my granddad’s brother.
Another twist in the tale was when we noticed he was born in December 1947, just two months after April and Dennis’ wedding and born in Stratheden Nursing Home in Chepstow.
So you would think we would have seen the wedding photos and made the connection years before this discovery as she would have been seven months pregnant, but, although we can now tell she was pregnant in the photos, her pregnancy belly was fairly small and couldn’t have gone unnoticed.
We’ve come up with a million different theories as to why the couple would give up a baby only a few months after their wedding and just three years before the birth of my granddad’s older brother but none have been proven yet.
We reached a dead-end at this point. We had exhausted every family member for information and it felt like I had looked through all 30 billion records on the ancestry site.
But then I found the death certificate of a 16-year-old Robert Morris whose birth year was also 1947.
Although it was another potential lead in our self led investigation, it was disappointing to think that he may have passed long before anyone had the opportunity to meet him. We applied for this certificate and it came back with his death being linked to a motor accident.
A newspaper clipping described him as a foster child from Abergavenny but also explained his state was given to his biological mother, who wasn’t named as April Jean Dawn Aston.
So now our detective work comes to another halt while we look for more indications as to who Robert is... and why nobody knows who he is.