Sometimes you make unexpected connections when researching an ancestor. I was checking up on Archibald Strachan, who went to the USA, and an Ancestry search came up with a death for an Annie Miller Strachan in USA. I knew there was an Ann Miller who married a Strachan on my tree – what I wasn’t expecting was to find a death certificate saying her parents were Samuel Strachan and Janet Mitchell. It seems that John Strachan born in 1856, who was detailed in my post of 8 July, didn’t marry Ann Miller – he married Ann Miller Strachan, who he was related to and who was the sister of Archibald Mitchell Strachan.
John Strachan was the great great grandson of Thomas Strachan and Susannah Alexander, through their son John Strachan, his son Thomas Strachan and his son John Francis Strachan. Ann Miller Strachan, though born the same year as her husband, was actually of a generation above him as she was the great granddaughter of Thomas Strachan and Susannah Alexander through their son Samuel Strachan and his son Samuel Strachan.
There are quite a lot of instances of people marrying close or not so close relatives on my family tree, and I suspect there are more to find out as I do more research. Perhaps it’s only to be expected when people lived in close-knit communities, such as coal miners, or in more sparsely populated areas, such as north-east Aberdeenshire. But it also seems to point to the fact that the extended family was very important to people back then, and they knew how everyone was connected to each other.