Cambridge Coincidences Collection

Well I Never!

Professor David Spiegelhalter of Cambridge University wants to know about your coincidences!

Family coincidence

I was the youngest boy in a Smith family, and had seven sisters. Long after my marriage I discovered that my mother-in-law's maiden name was Smith and she had seven older brothers.

Met On Line

I got my first PC in 1998 and made contact with my now wife.We swopped phone numbers and photos, she in California, me in England and finally met and married in 2000. both 50-ish and with grown up children. My wife's30 year old son's names are Erin grandaughter's name is Erin, her brother is Robert. Had Robert been born a girl ,the name would have been Maisy Rose ,Maisyrose was my wife's online sceen name,My wife's birthday is 8th march, same as my dad's and my daughter's.

new zealand holiday

while on a driving holiday in new zealand one day we went to a really quiet remote spot by a river. there where two ladies there parked up enjoying the sun. in conversation with them, they mentioned that their husbands had gone fishing. i joked that they were " fishing widows" and that i was a " railway widow " as my husband is a train buff. one of the ladies, who it turned out was on holiday with her sister, asked were we came from and when i said the Wirral she asked if i knew a chap called Dave who volunteered on a welsh railway.

Foreign flatmate's sister

Late 70's I was shopping at a market stall in Florence Italy when an American girl (I'm British) who was stood next to me said "Is your name Caroline?" In shock I replied Yes, but I'd never met the girl concerned. A few years earlier I had lived in Florence on a placement for a language degree. For part of that time I had become friendly and shared a flat with this girl's older sister, Marcia. Her sister obviously heard the English voice and because of the city connection wondered if it might be me - and she knew my name - I don't remember her's.

First cousins 35 mins apart

My daughter was born on May 25th 2004. My husband's brother's daughter was born that same night, just 35 minutes later. When the babies were conceived we were living in London and my brother-in-law and his wife were living in New Zealand and neither or us knew the other was trying for a baby when we became pregnant. They then moved back to England and their baby was born in Manchester and ours in London. So the first cousins are also twins. One weighed 9lbs 10oz, the other 9lb 12oz.

Same names

I wasn't very close to my sister though that has improved. As far as I was concerned her son was christened James. It was only many years later I realized he was James Robert Alexander. My son is Robert Alexander. My best school friend also called her son Alexander during a period we weren't in touch. Carrie

Jasper Carrott

In early September of 1997 my husband and I were in the British Airways Club Lounge at Heathrow Aiport Terminal 4. My husband pointed out a guy to me, saying he thought it was Jasper Carrott. I took a good look at him, as discreetly as possible and told my husband that it wasn't Jasper Carrott. We looked again and my husband then agreed that he'd been mistaken.

An Historic Coincidence

We live in Warwickshire, but in January 2011 we spent a weekend for the first time at The Old Ship Inn, Brighton, at a backgammon tournament my husband was taking part in. A few weeks afterwards, at home, I was looking up some of my husband's ancestors in old censuses online . I found my husband's great-great grandfather John Garrard E in the 1851 census -as a guest at The Old Ship Inn, Brighton.

random meeting abroad

I would have been 10 or 11 when we were on a week's holiday in Ostend, Belgium. My mother started talking to someone we did not know, and it turned out to be her cousin with whom she had no contact for many years and whose name (Sonny - properly Clarence) we children had never even heard before. This was in the early 1950's when holidays abroad were not commonplace.

Basil the Rat!

This is true and very funny! About 10 years ago I was watching 'A Life of Grime' presented by John Peel on TV. Mid program I heard my wife and daughter shrieking upstairs. They rushed down into the lounge announcing that they'd been confronted by a rat in one of the bedrooms. You can understand my reaction "Yeh, right, very funny!". They went on and on demanding I did something. In the end, totally unconvinced, I went upstairs to investigate. They told me to look under the bed.