What does "someone's in a family way" mean? Shouldn't it be "in the family" here?
To "be in the family way" is a pretty old-fashioned way of saying that someone is pregnant or that they are expecting a child. It's not something you will commonly hear nowadays. I think it is used here to emphasize the fact that these two characters are in the past. Ex: I heard your sister is in the family way. Ex: Jean is in the family way now.