Thursday, April 29, 2010

A cousin and a half

kw: genealogy, puzzles

This interesting linkage showed up as I deciphered the relationship between my grandmother Liz and her favorite cousin "Billie". I have letters between them, and Will-Ella usually signed herself "Bill", sometimes "Billie", and only once by her given name, in a formal condolence letter when Liz'z father died.

With the help of a relative who has better records than I for this branch of the family, I found that these two cousins are doubly related. It hinges on the relationship between JGK's two wives. Mary was Jane's aunt, through her sister Marg.

That means that, while Ella and Kate were half-sisters, they were a little closer than that, but I haven't figured out how; perhaps they are also half-cousins.

But for sure, Liz and Billie are half cousins via their grandfather, but half cousins once removed via their grandmothers. I don't know if they ever thought about it. They didn't write about it. They were best of friends and frequent correspondents. That's what mattered to them.

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