People have discovered illegitimate children in their families or other family secrets through an online social history website, it was claimed today.
A study by Ancestry.co.uk found that many people had contacted long-lost relatives or even new family members because of a growing interest in family history.
The report said billions of historical records are now becoming available online, allowing people to check their family’s history.
Many found that they had past connections to members of the aristocracy, famous historical figures or rich landowners.
Simon Harper, managing director of Ancestry.co.uk, said: ‘This research confirms that for most Britons the odds are that somewhere in their family’s past there are secrets waiting to be discovered, whether they be connections to crime, lust, royalty, wealth or fame.
‘With literally billions of historical records now available online, the internet has made it possible for us all to put our family’s tall tales to the test.’
A study of more than 2,000 adults found the most common discoveries made by checking family histories included illegitimate children or family members who had changed their names.
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