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Archive for May, 2021

My cousin recently mentioned to me that she has no full siblings, only halfs (halves?). That got me to thinking about things that we all take for granted and never think about.

My mother’s mother had six children, five of whom lived to adulthood. (Grandma lost a three-year-old in the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic.) Of those five, three of them had only one child each. One had two, each from a different marriage. I have to wonder if there would have been any more from the first marriage had it not ended in divorce. But if there’d been no divorce, I wouldn’t have this cousin who is like a younger sister to me.

The fifth child was my mother. If she and Dad hadn’t adopted my brother, I, too, would have been an only child. Fourteen years after my birth, my mother had my sister. She and I are the only ones in the family with a full sibling.

Have you ever counted your cousins? On Dad’s side, I have ten first cousins including two who were adopted by my uncle. On Mom’s side, I have five first cousins. I know all of them, having grown up with my maternal cousins and visiting the paternal ones many times over the years.

My Dad had thirty four first cousins, twenty one from his Mother’s side and thirteen from his Dad’s. I think he may have known all of them, but I don’t think they were all local to him growing up, so some of them he might not have been as close to as the others. Some of them lived in Seattle, but they came and visited once or twice. Some lived in Illinois, which wasn’t terribly far, and it’s a good bet that they were able to come for holidays or family functions.

My Mother had forty seven first cousins, but per her cousin and family history book writer, Glenda Pagan Hibdon, there are a few I haven’t been able to document. If they died young, there wouldn’t have been any records, so I have to take her word for them. Twenty eight of them were from her Mother’s side and nineteen from her Dad’s. I think Mom knew most all of these cousins. Or at least she knew of them. A few were in Texas and Michigan/Indiana, I believe, and if they didn’t come visit Jonesboro, they were certainly talked about so Mom would have recognized their names.

These stats probably don’t interest anyone but me, but I wanted to document my ramblings in case I want to refer to them again in the future.

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