|Images d'Épinal : Cendrillon|
I have this friend, she is related to EVERYONE. No, seriously she has a cousin connection to over half of the people we know in common; maybe even more than that. She is also the reason I am sitting here today and the first person I go to with genealogy questions. Dare I say she is my genealogy fairy godmother? Perhaps not, I don’t want to get hit the next time I see her.
What fascinates me about this is the fact that when you have links to colonial New England, like we do, you have links to a lot of other people. I have one line from the Mayflower, Alden, but unlike most persons of that time my family left the area very quickly. Within 3 generations they were in New Jersey. A generation later they were in Kentucky. The next they were in Indiana where my line finally stayed for the next 150+ years. My other New England family was named Kelley. They were Irish immigrants to the Boston area who then moved to Martha’s Vineyard before landing in Indiana via Ohio.
I think it is due to this migration pattern that I have fewer links to others with colonial roots. My friend on the other hand has a multitude of connections to a lot of families because even though her family group moved through New England they married in every town and integrated into the various communities. Essentialy her family stayed longer and made more connections. Interesting study in family dynamics and migration patterns, yes?
She and I have 2 confirmed great X-grandparents in common. They are Christopher Webb and his wife Humility Cooper (or could it be Wheaton), as well as John Crabtree and his wife Alice Courtney. We are still looking at the links to my husband, but so far it seems they may have as many as 7 cousin connections. My mother-in-law has long roots in New England, much to her amazement, so this is not as surprising of a find.
Then there are the connections to figures that are larger than life. My oldest child, the American History buff, has grabbed onto the fact that we are cousins to Presidents on one side and a signer of the Declaration on Independence on the other, all because we have the same colonial genealogical roots. These cousin connections have sent my son on a research spree (you should have seen him when he was shown his cousins signature on the declaration at the archives). He comes to me every so often to let me know about another cousin connection he found on the internet. The hard part? Trying to explain how distant of a connection this is. To him a cousin is a cousin darn it, we should be proud of all our ancestors. It must be that need in people to be connected in some way to people or places that have a historical significance.
What are your thoughts?
Do you have lots of cousin connections to fellow genealogy friends?
Did your family stay for longer periods of time, or did they have itchy feet?
I’d love to hear your experiences with researching New England ancestors and families that cross (sometimes more than once) with each other.