2019: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 38 (Sept. 16 – 22): Cousins
I “first” joined Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks on its “first” year in 2014… and what a whirlwind year that was… writing, editing and researching daily for 365 days! As much as I wanted to continue the following year, I found that I didn’t have the time to continue another year with that type of research… although I did continue blogging and writing stories at my own pace, which allowed me to write on other topics as well as family stories when ideas came my way… but I’ve often missed it. The first year were no specific weekly prompts like today… but I’m taking a different spin on them. There will be some posts on a specific ancestor, but most will be memories that spring from those prompts. Head over to 2014 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks to read about my ancestors in the first years challenge.
If you’re new to genealogy, make your “first” stop to Amy’s website for genealogy ideas or even join in on this 52 Week challenge… you learn by doing… not procrastinating! There is no right or wrong… anything you do is a start!
I’ve always envied my husband in growing up surrounded by cousins… going to cousins birthday parties, hanging with cousins at weddings and having a cousin who felt more like your sister. I only had two first cousins, but as they didn’t live near me… I went to none of their birthday parties… spending very little time with them and spent no holidays together… that I remember. I do have photos of us together, but unfortunately I have no memories of time spent.
What puzzles me today is discovering that I actually have many second and third cousins close to my age, but never really knew them. My grandfather, Paul Bryan, had several brothers… who all had children, with many that actually lived near granddaddy. Why didn’t I see them when we visited? I have more contact with my cousins today than I ever had… sad that I never had the opportunity to have grown up with them… having those cousin memories. Meeting with them later in life came about after I became interested in family history and making contact with their parents… my great aunts and uncles.
My husband, on the other hand, always had cousins to hang with… going to the races on Saturday nights with his uncle and cousins, birthday parties, weddings… but the best cousin get-togethers was the Christmas Eve celebrations at Grandma Minnie’s in West Haven and Nonni’s house in Shelton. I was fortunate enough to have been able to enjoy many of those celebrations with his cousins there… and I have those memories!
I never went to any weddings as a child… did no one in my family have weddings… but on the other hand… hubby has many memories of going to family weddings… full of cousins to hang with… and sometimes even meeting new cousins from out of town… of whom he’d never met.
His grandfather’s barber shop, Buddy’s Barber Shop, was another meeting spot for the cousins… often running into cousins Michael and Bobby (DeTulio) as they sat waiting for Uncle Joe to give them a trim; they only lived across the street from his shop. Grandpa Joe’s barber shop was where all the family news could be heard… so you had best to behave… as you didn’t want to be the subject of the day.
After marrying into hubby’s family… I finally had cousins!
First cousins fall directly in line behind your aunts and uncles… making them the children of aunt and uncle so and so. I was always taught that the children of your first cousins became your second cousins, and the children of your second cousins were your third cousins… and so on and so on. There is another thought on the name calling that totally changes it… but I believe it’s neither right or wrong… just depending on how you want to see things. The key to all the family relationships though is always the grandparents… with all the cousins being directly related to them.
The relationship chart from Wikipedia shows both ways of how cousins relate to a common ancestor
Cousin chart from Wikipedia:
I always felt the closest to my first cousin Robert Bryan… of whom I was always jealous of as he spent much of his summer at granddaddy and grandmama Bryan’s house in Union Point. Robert and I were exactly three months apart in age… the story my mother always told was… when his mother announced she was pregnant, my mother didn’t believe her and said, “well if you have a baby, I’ll have one three months later,” and that’s exactly what she did. Robert was born on January 16th, and I was born on April 16th… of the same year.
Being a boy, Robert was able to tag along with granddaddy to the fields, hunting for rabbits, although he mostly caught them by setting out rabbit boxes, and fishing for catfish in granddaddy’s favorite streams. Being a girl, I was left out of all the fun things… as it seemed to me. Thankfully when Robert and reconnected on Facebook, he shared all his memories with me… of which I’m very grateful… as they gave me a deeper insight into my grandfather… of whom I was more closer to, but never knew on those terms. Girls weren’t allowed to go hunting or fishing or even work in the fields. All I was allowed to do was play “doodlebug” under the car shed… and grandaddy’s sandy car shed had the best doodlebugging spots… just ask any of my cousins that visited there. But they all seemed to visit when I wasn’t there… another puzzle!
Even today I still have cousins that I connect with often on Facebook, but yet to meet face to face… but I’m working on narrowing the field. I recently met one of my second cousins, of whom I’d only had Facebook contact with; always nice to have that face to face. We hope to have our grandchildren meet up one day, especially the two who share the surname of “McKinley” as their first name. My granddaughter, McKinley, turned 7 this year, while his granddaughter, McKinley, turned 2. In telling my granddaughter how she had a new cousin who also shared her name, she immediately said, “I want I to meet her.”
Stay tuned for Week 39: Map it out
Continue reading 2019: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks over HERE!
To read more Family Stories… click HERE.
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