Genealogically speaking, this has been quite a strange weekend.
I got a chance to look at some documents from the Melbourne Orphans Asylum from around 1862. My great great great grandfather (John Jennings) had died early, and his wife had died in childbirth a few years earlier, so my great great grandfather (Francis Naylor Jennings) and 3 of his siblings had been put in the orphanage (or orphanarium as I accidentally said to someone - damn you Futurama!).
So, apart from a description of Francis as "none too sharp", one of the more interesing bits was a history of John. Oh.. apparently he wasn't born in Scotland as previously recorded, but in Demerara, British Guiana (now Guyana). Okay, that's moderately odd. So when I get home, I did some poking online and found a likely candidate amidst someone else's research - matches place and time, and a couple of other family details like names that got reused later on - with a bunch of extra info. So, looking through that I find:
From Annals of Antigua, 1815, John P Jennings, owner of a sugar estate on St Martin, in the District of Marigot.
Source: Will dated November 1823, proved 1827, names wife Tomlise, sister Ann Jennings Murray, brother-in-law John Murray, brother Joseph Clayton Jennings, children John and Eliza,
and children's mother, Betsy.
... wait, what. His wife is not the same person as the mother of his children. I dunno about you, but the first conclusion I jump to when I see a mistress of a plantation owner in 1820 is that she might well have been one of the African slaves... what. the. hell. :) I haven't found any way to confirm or deny who Betsey was (or Tomlise either), but the possibility amuses me greatly.
So, in the meantime I start chasing some of the other folks around, and find that spelling things Jennyns finds a few more references around the web... including discovering that Lady Margaret Brooke, queen-consort of the second White Rajah of Sarawak, Charles Anthony Johnson Brooke
was Francis's second cousin (making her my second cousin, four times removed :)). That particular branch appears to have been adventurers, soldiers and policiticians, whereas most of folks on this side have been fairly low key.
So I've been fairly amused all weekend. :)