Was there a player in my family tree?

The Temptations could have sung a song about my maternal great-great-grandpa, Daniel Minogue.

For all I know, one of their songs may have been about him.

I did a little bit of digging around about Daniel Minogue on Ancestry.com and I found what could be shocking information if it is confirmed.

I found someone that sorta matched my great-great-grandfather. It listed a son named Simon Minogue — which is the name of my great-grandfather — with a wife named Katherine Maloney. That is the same name as my great-great-grandmother. There’s a pretty good chance we’re talking about my ancestors here.

There’s just one catch. This Daniel Minogue had another wife with whom he fathered children both before my great-grandfather was born and afterward.

Oh Danny boy.

If this is accurate, then that would mean great-great-grandpa Minogue had two families — with at least eight or nine kids — going on at the same time.

Was great-great-grandpa a rolling stone?

Was he a player?

A two-timer and possibly a polygamist?

My eyebrows are raised right now as I type this. Say it ain’t so. No, seriously, say it ain’t so.

See, here is where everything gets confusing. Everything I've ever heard and read about my great-grandfather said he was born on a specific date in 1874, and that date supports the notion that there may be something fishy about his father. 

However, I found my great-grandfather's naturalization paperwork last weekend and that indicates he was born five years later than my family previously believed. 

That would change the situation dramatically because it would open the possibility that something happened to Daniel Minogue's first wife after they had all of their kids. It could be possible that he was a widower when he married my great-great-grandmother.

The downside to that theory is that my great-grandfather's age in every U.S. Census he appears in supports the 1874 birth date. I've also tracked down a virtual match to him — down the same birth place and the 1874 birth date — in the Irish civil birth records.

All of this certainly means the family is going to have to sit down at some point and sort this whole mess out. This is going to require some answers.

I have always had a certain view of this particular branch of the family tree. I’ve had this image of a bunch of pious Irish Catholics who were models of virtue in the rural villages of eastern County Clare.

So much for virtue if this information is true.

This goes to show that we never know what we may find if we shake our family trees a little bit. My grandmother was once telling my father about some ancestors in my mom’s family tree. Let me preface what I’m about to say with the explanation that I come from a long line of Irish Catholics.

When my grandmother got to one particular ancestor, her voice dropped and — perhaps out of some sense of disgust — whispered “He was a Protestant” as if it was some black mark of shame on the family tree.

Then again, these folks were from Ireland so a Protestant marrying into a Catholic family would be pretty OMG-worthy.

All things considered, though, a man having children with two women at the same time makes everything else pale in comparison.

Even in 21st-century America, we’d turn our heads at that and go, “Say wha?”

I guess if Daniel Minogue were alive today, he’d just shrug and say, “Don’t hate the player, hate the game.”

Curt Yeomans is a very shocked Senior Reporter for the Clayton News Daily and an avid traveler. He can be reached at (770) 478-5753, ext. 247, via Email at cyeomans@news-daily.com or on Twitter at @CYeomansCND.