Saturday, May 3, 2014

SNGF: Counting Cousins

This week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun (SNGF) challenge from Randy Seaver of the Genea-musings blog is to count your first cousins. Specifically:

1)  Take both sets of your grandparents and figure out how many first cousins you have, and how many first cousins removed (a child or grandchild of a first cousin) you have.
2)  Extra Credit:  Take all four sets of your great-grandparents and figure out how many second cousins you have, and how many second cousins removed you have.
HINT:  Make a Descendants Chart with your genealogy software program!
3)  Tell us the grandparents and great-grandparents names, but don't give the name of living cousins unless you want to.  
4)  Are there any of those lines that you don't know all of the cousins names?  Do you care?  

5)  Tell us about them in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or in a Facebook or Google+ post of your own.  Be sure to drop a comment to this post to link to your work. 

1a. My maternal grandparents were William Earl SWICEGOOD and Molly Fay BROOKSHIRE. They had 6 children. The photo at right was taken in 1984, I think, at a family reunion. From left to right: Dee, Bob, Leah (my Mom), Nina, Bill, Patty. Only Uncle Bill is still alive.
   As for cousins, Aunt Dee had two daughters. One has 3 children, who I don't know, and the other has 2 children, who I keep in touch with regularly. So...2 first cousins, 5 first cousins once removed.
   Aunt Nina had two daughters. One has 1 son; the other (now deceased) has a son and a daughter. So...2 first cousins, 3 first cousins once removed.
   Uncle Bill married, but had no children.
   Aunt Patty had three children. Her oldest daughter has one natural daughter and 3 step-daughters. Between them they now have 15 children. The next daughter had one son, who has 2 sons. Her son has one natural daughter and I'm a bit fuzzy on his step-kids; there are either one or two step-daughters. So...3 first cousins, 3 first cousins once removed, 4 or 5 first step-cousins (?) once removed.
   Uncle Bob had two kids, a daughter and son. The daughter has not married; son has one daughter. Tally...2 first cousins, one first cousin once removed.
Total for Mom's side: 9 first cousins, 12 first cousins once removed.

1b. My paternal grandparents were Harold Herbert SHARP and Virginia Corine MELDRUM. They, too, had 6 children. Unfortunately, my Dad had no contact with his family from age 17 on and was unwilling to answer any questions about his family. He even claimed I was named after the state we were living in when I was born (Virginia) rather than admitting that I was named after his mother and/or sister.
   Anyway, based on census and vital records, I believe my Dad's family consisted of the following:
   Older brother Harold, who I believe married but had no children.
   Younger brother Dawes, who has been married at least 4 times and has fathered at least three children, a daughter and two sons. One son has at least one child; I don't know anything about the other two.
   Sister Virginia who I believe was married three times and had one child each by her first two husbands. Each of her kids have been married at least 3 times, according to Texas marriage records online. I have no idea how many kids they've had.
   Younger brother Jack married and had at least one daughter.
   Youngest brother James married and I think had 5 children, 3 of whom had at least one child each.
Total for Dad's side based on limited information: 11 first cousins and no telling how many first cousins once removed.

skipping to #4: I am pretty close with several of my cousins on my mother's side and with my one surviving uncle, even though we live half a continent apart. I try to get back to my mother's home town in the Ozarks every year, primarily to visit cousins, but also to do research. None of the family actually lives there any more, but the extended family still has a couple of houses in the town. I think of Weaubleau as more "home" than anyplace my family actually lived.
   I've never met anyone on my father's side of the family. My Dad died at age 60 and his mother survived him. When she died without a will, his family tracked my mother down through the V.A. and one brother, Dawes (who I think is still alive) came and visited her. However, she didn't mention this to me and I didn't discover the sheet of "family notes" Dawes had given her until after Mom died in 1996. I was able to track my aunt Virginia down--who assured me I was named after her, not their mother--but would not share any family information with me. I found an address for Dawes and sent him 2 packages of family history information and a couple of short notes, but never got a response. I guess I should try to track down some of my Sharp first cousins, but Texas is a long way from Seattle and I'm really not sure what I have in common with any of them. Someone posted a Sharp family tree on Ancestry a couple of years ago that includes this line, but is has since been taken down. I tried 3 times to contact the "owner" of this tree, but never got a response.

Funny I hadn't noticed until writing this blog post that both of my parents were the second children of six. Mom's siblings were more spread out than Dad's, from 1915 to 1932 versus 1916 to 1926. But from all I can tell, my Mother's family was much closer knit, though further spread out geographically, than Dad's. All of his siblings stayed in south Texas; none of Mom's family stayed very close to home.

1 comment:

  1. It's interesting what you see the second or third time round isn't it. Swicegood is such an interesting sounding surname. I've never heard of that before.