Family history is often seen as the stories of people who were part of a traditional family unit, married to someone of the opposite gender, had children and lived their lives as 'normally' as possible. But what of the relatives who could not accept that this was the life for them, and were attracted to same-sex partners? Was it possible for them to live their life as they wished to, with their chosen partner and without hindrance, ridicule or attack? Would they be breaking the law in doing so, and how would family and society react if they were found out? Some of those concerned married and had children, like the majority, and buried their feelings in the bustle of everyday life; others stayed single but abstained from relationships altogether, as a way of keeping safe. A number managed to live openly and proudly as themselves, challenging the prejudices and misconceptions of the day.
This is the story of all those people, the brave, the discreet, the frightened, the loving and the loved, as well as love against all the odds; more than likely, it is a story that can be found in every family history. Told in an empathetic and clear-sighted way, this is the first history of same-sex relationships aimed specifically at family historians and offers valuable insights into the lives of those who were often seen as outcasts. It includes research guidance for genealogists researching this often-neglected aspect of family history, and offers invaluable insights into the families, society and culture they lived in.