29.1 Answer to last week’s quiz: The 3 ways Clement and Clovis Berube are related. (1) Since their fathers Pierre and Charles are brothers, they are 1st cousins. That was easy. (2) Since they share a common ancestor, 3G grandfather Pierre Roy, they are 4th Cousins on the other side of the family.
29.2 (3) And thru marriage? Clovis’ wife Marie Roy is also a 3G grandchild of Pierre Roy, so she is 4th cousin Clement, as well as being a 2nd cousin to her husband Clovis. Thus, to the extent that Clement’s sister’s husband would be his brother-in-law, his 4th cousin Marie’s husband Clovis is his 4th cousin-in-law…while at the same time of course being his natural 4th cousin, and his 1st cousin too…and whew.
29.3 More Notes from the Field…Once you’ve found the information you’re looking for, find it again somewhere else…and again, and again. If you’re lucky, all 4 will match…if not, set it all aside for future updating and move on to something else. Say you’re looking for the mid-19th century family of Abe and Zöe. One website says they had 3 kids, another says 2, including one not listed with the first 3…then you find 2 more sources, and neither matches the others you’ve found. That’s par for the course, trust me. Just imagine how pleased you’ll be the day you finally get it all sorted out! It’s just that today wasn’t the day.
29.4 Also, watch out for parents and grandparents with the same first name…or like 3 consecutive generations of Andre’s…or 4 of François’s. In collecting this data, be extra careful you include all the identically named ancestors…otherwise you’ll end up with 3rd cousins where there should be 3rd cousins once removed, and your tree is seriously goofed up.
29.5 One thing I’ve been looking at with my French Canadian Berube forebears is instances where Berubes married Berubes. I put together a massive chart tracing the connection between a dozen such couples, and I’m working on a second one with about a dozen more…Lord knows how or even if I’ll be able to integrate these 2 trees. Since there are 2 major trunk branches from the family founder Damien Berube…his 2 sons Pierre and Mathurin…perhaps I’ll split up the charts between inter- and intra-branch unions. We’ll see.
29.6 I had decided the first completed chart was too big to fit on this blog, but a friend convinced me I ought to at least try. So Chart 100 is here presented 2 ways, horizontally and vertically. And again, if you left-click on a Chart, you ought to be able to magnify it and/or print it out larger if you care to.
29.7 What I’d like to highlight here is the use of color to link the 2 Berubes in each couple, including colored lines tracing them to their closest direct ancestor. And if you search carefully, you’ll detect several 2nd cousin matches, which given these French Canadian families were all strict Catholics, looks a little, um, “irregular.” Now it’s true that since the canonical reforms of 1983, 2nd cousin marriages are no longer forbidden. But even back in the 1700s and 1800s, there were numerous (I believe 28!) reasons for getting a dispensation…a subject we’ll cover very soon with Scapulars and Spatulas. But on to ye olde mail-bag.
29.8 Dear Stolf: Wasn’t there something slightly, as you say, “irregular” about the relationship of one of the Presidents to his wife? I want to say it was Millard Fillmore. …from Connie in Canoga Park
29.10 Her father was Oscar Folsom, and Cleveland was his law partner in Buffalo, NY. When “Frankie” was born, bachelor Cleveland become her unofficial uncle, and doted on her until she was 11, when her father died in a carriage accident. He left no will, and the courts appointed Cleveland administrator of the Folsom estate. This brought him in even closer contact with Frances, becoming something of a surrogate father, which under the circumstances is completely understandable
29.11 However, while she was away at college, they corresponded, and it was at this time a romantic relationship began to develop. Now mind you, these were well-known celebrities. Cleveland had been Mayor of Buffalo, Governor of New York, then elected President despite having admitted fathering an illegitimate child. When Frances and her mother Emma Harmon Folsom took a trip to Europe in 1885, the press mobbed their ship on its return, certain Emma had bought a wedding trousseau…for herself! A brief statement from the White House informed the nation that the President was in fact engaged to the daughter, not the mother. At their wedding, John Philip Sousa provided the music.
29.12 I’m sure tongues wagged…that’s human nature, after all. But the public was soon won over by Frances’ good looks and youth…she was only 21 when she married the POTUS…and she went on to become one of our nation’s most popular and admired First Ladies. In fact, advertisers used her name and picture to sell everything from perfume and liver pills, ashtrays and ladies’ undergarments. This was of course completely unauthorized, but by the laws in place at the time, the Clevelands had no recourse but to request a modicum of tastefulness…ladies’ undergarments? Her daughter Ruth, who died at age 12…and not the ballplayer…was the inspiration for the Baby Ruth candy bar. Frances died in 1947 at age 84. Oddly enough, Grover Cleveland’s “love child,” Oscar Folsom Cleveland, adopted into another family as “James E. King,” died that same year.
29.13 Dear Stolf: My father’s sister married the younger brother of my maternal grand aunt’s husband, and everybody had kids. Do we have some sort of exotic double cousins in our family? …from Dirk in Bogalusa
29.14 Well, Dirk…I’m gazing intently at Chart 101…and I’m not seeing any. Let’s double-check to make sure I’ve got everybody right. Bear in mind, the part shaded in pink is a duplicate of the entire original tree, to show where one of the unions takes place. So your father is B and his sister is C…they are the Blue family.Your mother is A is a White…and when you say “my maternal grand aunt,” I’m taking you at your word…that you mean your grand aunt thru your mother, and not your mother’s grand aunt. I’ve got her as D, sister of your mother’s father. She married into the Yellow family, her husband being E. And your father’s sister C married F, brother of E. All look OK?
29.15 Now it’s certainly true that brothers E and F directly connect the White and Blue families thru their Yellow family. But altho it’s less direct, it’s also true that A and D connect the Blue and Yellow families thru the Whites. And its true that when F attended a function of his wife C‘s family, you were there…as you were as well when brother E attended a shindig thrown by his wife D’s family. So you feel that linkage personally.
29.16 But it sure looks like that’s all it is…3 families connected thru marriage. Trouble is, none of these unions has blood relatives on both sides, which is what you need for double cousins. A and D are blood relatives, but their spouses B and E are not. Likewise, F and E are blood relatives, but their spouses C and D are not. And let’s face it, the way we do things in Western culture…cousins by marriage, of whatever degree, removed or not…don’t have much kinship gravitas. And in-laws of in-laws have bupkis.
29.17 Still, I can see why you sensed there was something going on. Feel free to suss it out yourself, and I’ve even prepared 2 more potentially double cousins scenarios in Chart 102…are there or aren’t there? Good luck, and check back next week, hokay?…
Copyright © 2011 Mark John Astolfi, All Rights Reserved