Thursday, 7 July 2016

Week 27: Convoluted Family Tree

Have you ever heard the little ditty from Ray Stevens entitled “I am my own grandpa”?  If you have never heard it before you can see it here.  It is kind of funny, he marries a widow who has a grown daughter that ends up marrying his dad and then both couples have a child.

Ever family has twist and turns with cousins marrying, and sisters marrying brothers and even sisters marrying cousins.  And we have our fair share in our tree as well.  But there is one that has a unique twist.

Ernest Palin was born in Coppenhall in 1895 to John Palin and Caroline Thompson.  He was the last born in the family.  There was Hannah in 1874, Emily in 1878, Mary Jane in 1879, Albert in 1882, John in 1884, Thomas in 1885, Samuel in 1887 and May in 1891.

Ernest Marries Gertrude Bradley in the Nantwich area in 1915 and they went on to have four children.  Caroline was born first, then William, then Marjorie and then Gerald.

Ernest’s brother Samuel married Mabel Elson in 1912 and they had three children.  Wilfred was born first, then Samuel Junior and then Ida Alice.

Ernest Palin died in 1928 and Mabel Elson Palin dies in 1929.  Can you guess what happened next?

Samuel Palin marries his brother’s widow, Gertrude in 1931.  So now the 7 cousins become step-siblings.  Then Samuel and Gertrude have a baby named Dennis and he becomes half-brother to the 7 cousins/step-siblings.  So if Dennis is a half-brother to his late Uncle Ernest’s children and a half-brother to his father’s earlier children, wouldn’t that then make his siblings half siblings to one another as well?

I can imagine the laughter and love around that Christmas tree!  Imagine the card on the present “To my favourite cousin, and half brother/sister”. 

Personally, I think it is wonderful!  The second cousins, the half brothers/sisters, the step siblings, the adopted siblings it is all just labels.  The bottom line is we are one big family!

As I mentioned earlier we have many cousins that have married.  My great great grandfather, William Palin had a sister Elizabeth.  You can clearly see in the image below where Elizabeth is my Great Great Aunt.  Pretty Straight Forward Connection!

Now Elizabeth marries her cousin Thomas in 1819 in Tarvin.  My connection with this Thomas goes back one generation.  So with out Thomas's marriage to Elizabeth he would be my first cousin four times removed.  But since they did get married, I guess he would become my great great Uncle.

But this is now where the issue lies, is how do I figure out my connection to Elizabeth and Thomas's children.  Would I follow the connection via Elizabeth or via Thomas?

For this we are going to select the middle child, Charles Thomas Palin to show my connection through his mother.  In the picture below you can see where Charles Thomas would be my first cousin three times removed.

But the connection totally changes to Charles Thomas if I go through the father's line.  Here in the picture below you see where Charles Thomas is now my 2nd cousin 3 times removed.

 All of this comes to mind because I had the wonderful opportunity to meet two descendants of Charles Thomas Palin this past weekend.  

The tribal pages relationship program follows the connection of least resistance or the closest connection.  I think I will too.  Meeting these cousins felt like meeting family whether you call it 4th cousin once removed or 5th cousin twice removed, we are still family!  

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