Cousins

As I have noted, my parents were both only children, so my sisters and I had no direct aunts or uncles, and no first cousins. But we do have cousins. And a whole lot of them were under one roof on Thanksgiving night.

When people try to describe cousins, they tend to talk about the siblings, but I find it easier to understand a generation earlier.

DIRECT ANCESTORS
Edward Yates and Lillian Archer, married in the 1880s

THEIR CHILDREN
They had five children, one of whom did in infancy. For this purpose, I’ll mention only two:
Gertrude Yates married Clarence Williams.
Ernie Yates married Charlotte Berman

THE FIRST COUSINS
Gertrude had one daughter, Trudy Williams
Ernie had four children, Raymond, Frances, Donald and Robert
As Edward and Lillian’s grandchildren, Trudy is first cousins with Ernie’s four. She’s a decade to the day older than Raymond, but they are the closest thing to siblings she had.
Continue reading

The Vacation in Newport

I recently mentioned visiting the mansions in Newport, Rhode Island, but not much else. It was school vacation week, and the Wife suggested that we could go to a timeshare of my parents-in-law there. The Wife, the Daughter and I had been to visit a friend of mine in another part of the state some five years earlier, and we briefly visited Newport as well.

What she didn’t tell me until the morning we were leaving was that her brother, his wife, and their twin 11-year-old daughters were ALSO going on the trip, staying at a different resort. Not that I minded; I just didn’t know.

We got to Newport in reasonably short order. As you enter the city, the first major street one is on is called Farewell Street. Can you guess what dominates the road? Continue reading

The Olin International Family Reunion

For over 75 years, various branches of my mother-in-law’s family have gotten together for family reunions. But at some point, the Olin Family Society, founded in 1992, decided to have an international reunion every five years. In 1996, it was in Fargo, ND; in 2001, in Binghamton, NY, which we attended; and in 2006, in Pasco, WA, which we did not attend, because we thought taking a two-year old who didn’t travel well on a transcontinental flight as her first airline experience was a lousy idea for all concerned.

The Olins trace their lineage back to the late 17th century Continue reading

Reunion QUESTIONS


My wife’s mother’s family, the Olins, have been doing family reunions for decades. As I first mention a lustrum ago, one can trace my wife’s ancestors nine generations back; unfortunately, a couple of my mother-in-law’s siblings have passed since then.

Whereas, on my side, there have been these intermittent attempts to gather Yates (mother’s mother) and Walker (father’s mother) families together, with no real sustainability. My mother’s father’s people, the Williamses, have been doing a gig in recent years; these are people even my mother hasn’t gotten to know until fairly recently.

1. Have you ever gone to a family reunion? Is it a regular event or a one-off? If you haven’t, would you? Why or why not?
2. How far can you get in your own genealogy? I can find my mother’s ancestor five generations back, but am still unclear as to my father’s father’s side.