This is one of those words/phrases which meant something entirely different in your ancestors' times. Look at old censuses and be amazed at the number of daughters-in-law who appear, aged only 3 or 4! Wonder at the loose morals and shocking marriage customs among your farthest and dearest!
And then you find out the truth. A daughter-in-law in our ancestors' day was in fact a stepdaughter, or part of a blended family where the father or mother married again after the death or disappearance of their spouse. Some naughty census-takers, intent on confusing later generations [hollow laugh] even called a stepdaughter a daughter! Similarly, if you find unknown sons-in-law - they are quite possibly stepsons. Which of course hints at a prior marriage for either the father or the mother. Which means more family history delving - yippee!
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