As I get older, I am more interested in the past. Wondering if that’s because I now forget the present, so have only the past left. Anyway, I’ve been dipping my little toe into my ancestry and coming up with a family tree. However, due to a marriage, I have a family forest, not just a single tree. Let me try to explain.
My brother is my step-brother is my cousin.
Did that send shivers down your spine? Are you hearing the banjo music of Deliverance? It’s not that bad; let me explain further.
My mom (Phyllis) had 2 brothers, Wally and Bus. This forest story is more about Phyllis and Wally, so for now am leaving Bus out. Phyllis married Mac; they had 2 kids (I am one of them). Wally married Wanda; they had 4 kids. We all hung out together, always. Age-wise, if the oldest was 10, the others were 9, 9, 8, 6, and 4. As you can see, we were all fairly close in age.
As for girls, it was just me and one of my cousins. We all grew up, some got married, some had kids (actually we all had kids eventually; I was the last, of course). Wanda was my mom’s best friend, and was a marvelous aunt! I could go into a lot more detail, but let’s just cut to the chase.
Wally died. Phyllis died. The remaining spouses (Mac, my dad — and Wanda, my aunt) married each other. Don’t freak out; there were only related via marriage. It was their first spouses that were brother and sister, not them.
Thus my 4 cousins became my step-brothers and step-sister. My step-sister, G, always wanted a sister and so did I. We both got our wish!
So that’s how my brother is a step-brother is a cousin. One of my more humorous brothers calls me his step-custard. Kind of a mangled step-cousin. We both work at the same place and like confusing everyone when we say we are related. The short explanation is:
- N’s father and my mother were brother and sister.
- They died, remaining spouses got married. Thus N, who was my cousin, is now my step-brother.
And while researching some ancestry, I discovered that I have a drop of Cherokee blood too. And related back to Chief John Ross of the Cherokees; Principal Chief from 1828 to 1866. His maternal grandfather was my great, great…… (I can’t remember all the greats) grandfather. Chief John Ross (with others) was responsible for remodeling the Cherokee tribal government into a miniature republic with a written constitution.