For a very long while, all my life I'd say, our family often discussed the parentage of my maternal great grandfather. My grandmother knew, but would never actually name for certain, for fear someone in the family would try and extort money from their "secret" relatives.
Part of the reason I started a family tree was because about 6 years ago my Dad told me in a conversation he would like to know more about that side of the family.
So, off I went on the quest. Actually, as a surprise for my Dad's 70th birthday in 2012.
All my grandmother told me when I was 15 was that when my great great grandmother was in service as cook she worked on the Mount in York and the absent father was " the son of the Lord Mayor of York". This was long before the advent of the internet and research into this would have been difficult for a 15 year old.
To back up the Lord Mayor's son story, as a child my grandmother's home was filled with antiques which had been given to the family and were apparently from the Mansion House in York.
So, to start the research I had to establish the year of birth and name of mother.
Through lots of hard work and deduction I eventually found my great grandfather's birth certificate and on this was the name of his Mother.
I found him firstly on the 1911 census, stating he was an adopted son.
I was also then able to purchase his birth certificate and see he was born in 1886.
The then Lord Mayor of York was
Could this man be my great great great grandfather ?
This is how Terry and sons looked in 1870
Joseph Terry was knighted in 1887, the year after my great grandfather's birth.
and the Royal Jubilee.
The Terry sons where Thomas Walker Leaper (1855- 1910), Samuel Saville (1859-1928), and Joseph Richard (1857-1859) with his first wife Frances.
He also had a son with his 2nd wife Margaret named Francis, as he was born in 1878
it is highly unlikely he is my great great grandfather.
So the natural deduction is my great great grandfather is possibly Thomas or Samuel.
Thomas married and had a family, Samuel never did.
Samuel is clearly shown living at Mount Villas on the census of 1891 aged 32
He died in Knaresborough in 1928.
However, my great grandmother does not feature as working for the Terry family at all, as you can see.
She never married and remained a spinster all her life, her sister Harriet brought up my grandfather and it was not until his own marriage in 1902 that he discovered the "truth".
When she retired from domestic service she lived with my great grandparents and she died in the family home at 2, Frances Street, York in 1937 and my great Uncle Terence is shown on her death certificate.
8th April 1911.
? son of..................................
Sadly, I was unable to complete this research for my father, due to his untimely and unexpected death in June 2012. So I am sharing here for my cousins and family to enjoy.
This blog is written to try to clear up the biggest mystery of our family, I am making no claim to be a Terry descendant, nor writing this to cause hurt to any of the living Terry family.
I am looking into details as told to me, by my grandmother and to members of our family.
Of course DNA testing would show for sure, but I am only interested in my origins and not fortune.
Taken from Graces Guide:
Joseph Terryof The Chocolate Works, Bishopthorpe Road, York. Telephone: York 2147 (5 lines). (1929)
1793 Joseph Terry, confectioner, was born on 11 November, at Pocklington, Yorkshire, the son of Thomas Terry, a farmer, and his wife, Elizabeth Dales.
He served an apprenticeship and then opened an apothecary's shop in Walmgate, York.
1823 He married Harriet, the daughter of William Atkinson, of Leppington Grange, near York; they had five sons and three daughters. Harriet was the sister-in-law of Robert Berry, of the confectioners Bayldon and Berry, in St Helen's Square, York, since 1767. After Berry's death, Joseph joined his son to become the partnership of Terry and Berry.
1828 Joseph Terry's second son, (Sir) Joseph Terry, was born in York on 7 January, and educated at St Peter's School.
1830 He was in sole charge of the business, making cakes and sugar confectionery, marmalade, mushroom ketchup, and medicated lozenges.
1830s Terry established retail agencies in seventy-five towns, mostly in northern England and the midlands, but also in London and Luton.
1836 Joseph Senior helped to form an association in London, in order to protect the consumer against adulterations to confectioners' and lozenge makers' products.
1850 Balding and rotund but with plenty of side hair and mutton-chop whiskers, Joseph Senior died at West Huntington, York, on 8 June, survived by his wife. The company was run after Joseph Terry died, by his three sons.
1851 Joseph Junior then joined the family firm, which had 127 employees by that time.
1854 After a period during which it was run by executors, Joseph and his two younger brothers took control of the firm. He married Frances, the daughter of Dr Joseph Goddard of London and they had three sons prior to her death 1866.
1862 Joseph Terry Junior opened a chocolate factory at Clementhorpe (an area of York near the river)
1864 Joseph Terry was always the dominant partner and he concentrated his energies on expanding the firm. He transferred manufacturing to a new site in York, where he erected a steam-powered factory.
1866 There were 400 different items in the price list.
1871 He married again; this time to Margaret, the daughter of William Thorpe of Aldborough House, Malton, Yorkshire, with whom he had a son and three daughters.
1876 Joseph Terry and Sons applied for its first trademark.
1880s Their eldest son, Thomas, a partner after 1880, built up exports to Australia and New Zealand. During that decade the firm received a number of exhibition awards for its confectionery.
1886 Since at least the 1860s the company had been making chocolate products, but its reputation of these grew only after Joseph Terry built a separate chocolate factory in 1886.
1895 It was incorporated as Joseph Terry and Sons Ltd, when it had 300 employees.
1898 On York city council from 1860, Terry served as sheriff of York in 1870, and was later lord mayor four times; he was knighted in 1887. He assisted all the main societies and associations in York, from the school of art to the city's cricket club and the asylum. His craggy and bearded face hid a genial and benevolent disposition. He was a freemason, a member of the York Sunday school committee, and president of the York Conservative Association. However, he overexerted himself in a by-election in the city, and died of heart failure at the Royal Station Hotel on 12 January 1898. He was buried at York cemetery on 15 January 1898. He was survived by his wife.
1923 The company was now run by Frank and Noel Terry, and the family continued to run the business until 1963.
1929 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Manufacturers of the Choicest Chocolate and Confectionery, specially manufactured and packed for export to all countries. (Stand No. L.35) 
1932 The Chocolate Orange and All Gold were launched.
1975 Terry's of York was acquired by United Biscuits.
1993 Kraft General Foods acquired the business, the company then merging with Jacobs Suchard to create Terry's Suchard.
2005 The last company factory in York closed.