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January 19, 2009

I May Be My Own Grandma.....

I use FTM for my preferred Genealogy program. One day out of sheer boredom I ran a kinship report and was shocked to learn that my father was also my cousin.

To be exact, my father is listed as my father AND as

my 8th cousin once removed
my 9th cousin once removed
my 11th cousin once removed
my 10th cousin twice removed
the husband of my 5th cousin once removed


I was stunned. And confused. I knew what once removed meant - that we were a generation apart. Okay so far. Being 8th cousins meant we shared a common 7th great-grandparent. Being 9th cousins meant we shared a common 8th great-grandparent, and so on.

"husband of my 5th cousin once removed"? Well that meant my mother was my 5th cousin once removed and that she and I shared a common 4th great grandparent.

It wasn't making sense to me, as of course my parents and I share common ancestors! But how did we get to be cousins as well as father-daughter? This sent me off to have a good look at how my relationship to my father became a cousin relationship too.

It's a bit confusing but here is how it happened beginning with my father's 3rd great grandparents, Cornelius Vollick and Eve Larroway who married in 1795.

Cornelius and Eve shared two sets of common 2nd great grandparents. That is, Cornelius' great great grandparents were Jochem & Eva (Vrooman) Van Valkenburg. So were Eve's. Cornelius' other set of great great grandparents were Pierre & Cornelia (Damen) Uzielle. So were Eve's.

Two of Jochem & Eva's grandchildren (through their son Isaac and daughter Jannetje) married two grandchildren of Pierre Uziele and Cornelia Damen.

The Van Valkenburg grandchildren were Isaac Van Valkenburg (who married Maria Bradt the daughter of Storm Bradt and Sophia Uziele) and Marytje Van Alstyne who married Petrus LeRoy the son of Maria Uziele (who was Sophia's sister!) and Leonard Le Roy.

Here's a chart which might show the relationships in a less confusing way

I'll go into my mother's line and that tangled web of cousinship on another day.

The confusing relationships reminded me of I'm My Own Grandpaw a song written about a man who, through a combination of marriages, becomes stepfather to his own stepmother — that is, he becomes his own grandfather. Am I my own Grandma? My grandchildren love hearing how they are my cousins as well as my grandchildren....


M. Diane Rogers said...

Funny how people are so connected. And, I admire the way you drew up that coloured chart. Makes it so much easier to see how it happened.

Olive Tree Genealogy said...

Hi Diane. Yes it's fascinating isn't it? I bet many of us have these double relationships. I had to draw the chart because I was getting confused myself! :-)

Evelyn Yvonne Theriault said...

This song was new for me - here's a Youtube link to the Muppets' version:

Evelyn in Montreal

Julie said...

First, let me say thank you for your kind words over at my new blog. Second, let me say, wow...3,000 CDVs, that's quite a collection...can't wait to see them when you get them up on your site.

And finally, this is quite a tangled mess you've gotten yourself into. I myself have a similar situation and have wanted to write a blog entry about multiple relationships for some time...just haven't gotten to it yet. Good luck with your mom's side of the puzzle.

Andrea Christman said...

I love hearing about this relationship! I have a similiar situation in my family. I am from a very small Texas town that was settled in 1844 by Alsatian immigrants and there are many, many instances of cousins marrying cousins! They didn't venture far to find their spouses, it seems! I have wanted to blog about it for awhile, but it makes my head hurt to get all the relationships straight! You did a great job!

Anonymous said...

This is such a wonderful story! So interesting. Isn't it amazing how we all connect with each other!

Call me Annie