Family history: Understanding relationships

Telling a story through family relationships

One example: When cousins marry cousins

Not allowed in every state these days, in our not-so-distant-past it wasn’t uncommon for a cousin to marry a cousin. A look at populations and geography and one can better understand the reasons. How does this effect our understanding of family when, through research, we stumble upon cousin marriages?

Presented here as a general interest story, a closer look at relationships, nonetheless, can lead to one more way to tell a family story. Take a look at how Susan shows us the complexities within one family.

Relationships and how they tell a story

In Susan’s story, she profiles sisters Mary and Sarah Smith, two younger sisters of my great, great grandfather Josiah “Si” Smith. You read that after Mary and Bill died, their spouses (Sarah and Adelbert) were married years later. You also saw that Mary’s grandson, Warren, married Sarah’s granddaughter, Dora.

Family relationships can be complex, the web indeed quite tangled. Regardless, they offer opportunities to share your stories with your children. Relationships might also be a great starting point for those who may not know how to begin the storytelling process.

Have you come across interesting relationships and/or marriages in your research? Let us know; we’d love to hear your story.

Photo credits: Susan Phelps

Happy Profiling! ❤

  1. Do I have a story to tell? You’d better believe it. My dad’s parents were first cousins once removed. In other words, my grandfather married his first cousin’s daughter. And not only that, all four of my dad’s grandparents were related to each other. To get a better feel for what I’m talking about, you can read my blog post on the subject. I even have a nice chart that shows the groups that repeat in the family tree of my father.

    It’s a bit mind numbing. Check it out here:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Van, Thanks for chiming in. You certainly do have entanglements, I think more tangled than those in our tree. I love how you show the relations in the circle map in your post. My favorite, though, is the poem. You simply nailed it, and it had me laughing out loud. I encourage anyone reading here to go to the link and read the poem. It will be worth the time. Thanks again!


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