Have you ever struggled to explain how you are related to someone? Sometimes, it is so very easy. You can say, "He's my mother's brother." That works well.
In my world, however, it can be quite difficult to just say it. I mean, I sometimes find I need a pen and paper just to explain it to my closest blood relatives. Take, for example, my dear sweet cousin who called last week just to chat. I met sweet Barbara some 12 years ago while I was researching my grandfather's bloodline. She had an unusual name to my ears and she was living in the same metro area as I was. Or at least, someone with that surname was. So, I took a chance and wrote her a letter. Gee, do you even remember writing letters and sending them through the mail? That seems like ages ago. Anyway......
Barbara gave me a call after she had received the letter and told me that she was indeed the granddaughter of my grandfather's first cousin. She had stories to tell and I had ears anxiously waiting to listen. And, then, she dropped the news that we shared another bond.
It seems her grandfather on her mother's side was the brother of grandfather's mother. Seems confusing, eh?
To make it clear really does take a paper and pen, or a great chart printed by my favorite genealogy program, but it is true.
My sweet cousin was able to provide more information for me and was able to introduce me to both her parents. Now, yes, they were quite old and memories were fading. But for me, they were a link to grandfather. For me, they were a love bond ready to happen. For me, they were family and I was happy to listen and hold their hands. Just thinking that those wrinkled hands of old had known my greatgrandparents and hugged them and shared family meals with them just brought shivers down my spine. Of course, hearing them share some more lore with me brought tears to my eyes.
So, here I sit, still trying to untangle the weave of the cloth of which I am made. Every time a new string appears, there's another new story for my ears. Just last week, Barbara shared with me that my greatgrandmother had worked in a cigar factory. A cigar factory? Really? I didn't even know there was one in the Low Country.
So the search was on.... Using my trusty fingers on the keyboard, I found the cigar factory that had been mentioned. I just wonder if she worked there when it first opened in the early 1880s or if she worked there before her marriage or after the birth of her children. I still haven't figured out if I can determine that, and I may not be able to find the trail. But, the image of her that was painted for me by another great-niece of hers became clearer as this niece told me that greatgrandmother loved her snuff. You can read the story of how I found her here.
Ahhh, genealogy. How many double shots of blood do you have running in your veins? I have several of them....from the late 1800s. Brings new meaning to who is related to whom? Or is it how many times are you related?
©AS Eldredge 2013.