Names of Interest, Stories Under the Tree

The Dilemma

Edith was distraught as she sat on her bed crying wondering what she was to do.  Her sister Mabel came over.

“Whatever is the matter, Edith?”

Victorian Woman, Sad, ReflectiveIn between her sobs, she told Mabel her dilemma.  “I have done something stupid.  Mamma and Papa told me to stay away from that Charles Newman.  They told me to avoid those merchant seamen as they are bad news but I didn’t listen.”

“What’s he done, Edith?”

In a barely audible whisper, Edith replied “I’m with child.  Mamma and Papa will kill me!”

“The only thing to do is speak to Mamma and Papa.  They won’t be happy but you have to tell them.”

“I can’t, I can’t. They will disown me.  I have brought shame on our family.”

“You must tell them, Edith, I will come with you.  It will be all right.”

The next morning, with Mabel’s support, Edith told her parents she had to speak to them.  Her mother burst into tears whilst her father became incandescent with rage.

The Dilemma, Sailing Ship, Merchant Sailor“I told you to keep away from Charles.  I told you he was no good.  Well, there’s naught for it now but for him to marry you!  I am going to his home now!”

“Papa he left this morning and will not return for months.”

Her father stood up and as he stormed out he said “I’m going to speak with his parents.  We will make sure he marries you upon his return.”


Charles Newman was my great-great-grandfather.  I had a lot of trouble finding where he came from as he had written on all documents that he was from Coventry.  I was fortunate a few years ago that a cousin of my mother, Shelley, found me via a request I had put on a forum regarding the Newman’s.  She was the one who made the connection that Charles had come from London when she found one document that showed he was born there.  

From there we found that he had been married previously to Edith with the signature on the certificate matching the Australian documents.  We are yet to find what happened to Edith as he married again in Australia only a few years later.  I have no further information on Edith or her family so this is a work of fiction.


Read some other fictional stories I have written based on the information I have about my ancestors in Stories Under the Trees series.


Have you got missing ancestors on your family tree?  Head over to Findmypast today, by clicking the image, and start filling in the gaps.

6 thoughts on “The Dilemma

  1. I actually loved this post, I love the website in general. The minute I saw the website it just caught my attention, it’s very pleasing to the eyes. Also your writing style is very captivating.

    Pretty cool that you know these stories of your ancestors too.

    1. Hi Yusuf

      This story is a work of fiction but based on the records that I have discovered. I don’t know the full story behind Edith but I hope one day to fully unlock what occurred. I am currently writing an article that lays out the facts of what I’ve discovered thus far in relation to this story. So please keep an eye out for that in the future.


    1. Hi Joseph

      I love bringing to life, my ancestors. I did not know them. I don’t know if the stories are how they occurred, however based on documents I have I can envisage how it may have been. It lets me feel that bit closer. I’m glad that my stories have you thinking about your ancestors!


  2. Nice little story and somewhat interesting. You said it was fiction, but it sounds like somebodies real life dilemma. Either way it was a good short story.

    1. Hi Fred

      It is a fictional story based on actual documents I have found in my family history research. I did a unit called Writing Family History in the Diploma of Family History I undertook and this was one of the pieces I wrote for that. I’m glad you enjoyed it.


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