#152 Adventures in Cousinland…the Saga Begins!

152.1  Uncle Wiki has a long list of cousin marriages down thru history…well, up thru 2nd cousins anyway. I noted to my surprise that they got the relationships right for the ones I knew of…the Roosevelts, Jerry Lee Louis, Elizabeth II & Philip, and several others. So for the next few weeks (months!?), we launch into Adventures in Cousinland, where I will attempt to verify some of the other more famous and interesting pairings.

152.2  I noticed 5 signers of the Declaration of Independence on the list…2 to 1st cousins, 2 to 2nd cousins, and one to a 1st cousin once removed. Now 5 out of 56 seemed low to me, knowing how they did things in those days…and I can pretty much guarantee that if they took it up to 4th cousins or so, the number would be a good deal higher. Anyway, I thought to start out with those 5…alas…

152.3  …the first 2 I investigated turned out to be pretty tricky, and it became apparent that each merited a blog of its own…which is why this project may take some time! No matter, I got the time. And we begin with Charles Carroll of Carrollton.

cc of cton

152.4  As you can see from his signature, that was his real full name. I counted 5 generations of Charles Carrolls…an interesting name in and of itself, since Charles, Carl, Carlos, Carlo, even the Polish Karol (Pope John Paul II), as well as Caroline, Carol, Carole, and Carla are all derived from the Latin Carolus. Yes, even Carroll, which in the case of Carroll O’Connor now seems more like a surname than a male version of Carol, which I’m sure many people assumed it was.

152.5  But it was the custom in this family to distinguish generations not by numbers, Junior/Senior, or middle names, but by where they lived…either a town or a plantation or estate…altho in some cases the place name was used as a middle name, as in CCC’s father’s 1st cousin, Daniel Marlborough Carroll, aka Daniel Carroll of Marlboro. This tradition got going in earnest when the first Charles Carroll, who arrived in Maryland from Ireland in 1688, had a son…the son was eventually known as Charles Carroll of Annapolis, his father retroactively becoming Charles Carroll the Settler.

152.6  And CCA’s son was CCC…his son, sometimes referred to as Charles Carroll of Homewood or Charles Carroll IV, more commonly styled himself as Charles Carroll Jr. Still, you will then see his son called Charles Carroll V, after which I stopped looking…

152.7  CCC was the only Catholic Signer…not surprising when the population of Catholics in the Colonies barely reached 2%. And according to Uncle Wiki, he married his 2nd cousin…which in those days would have required a dispensation, in the form of a monetary contribution to the Church…no problem, as this was one of the wealthiest families in the New World. His wife was Mary Darnall, also from a very rich family, and known as Molly…but were they 2nd cousins?

chart 523

152.8  Chart 523  will tell the tale…and to limber up our genealogical muscles…and trust me we’re going to need them to be limber…let’s see what other married relatives we can find. CCC’s father CCA and his wife Elizabeth Brooke were half-1st cousins, as his mother and her father were half-siblings from grandmother Eleanor Hatton’s 2 marriages. Likewise, Molly Darnall’s parents were also related…half-2nd cousins again thru Eleanor Hatton, and 3rd cousins thru the Sewells. And it’s a good thing we started with this, because it gives you a taste of what’s to come with these intertwined clans.

152.9  Now as you study Chart 523, I hope one thing becomes apparent…CCC and Molly could not have been 2nd cousins…whatever types of cousins they were, it has to be cousins removed, since they are of different generations…for example, CCC’s grandparents Clement Brooke Sr. and Jane Sewell were Molly’s great grandparents. And how they got together in the first place is an interesting story. Henry Darnall IV abandoned his wife and young daughter…some say he was eventually executed for a capital crime in Canada. Rachel took Molly to live with CCA (Rachel’s Hatton half-1st cousin once removed) and Elizabeth (Rachel’s aunt on the Brooke side.) Rachel cared for Elizabeth until her death, and it was natural that Rachel’s daughter Molly and the son CCC would eventually get together.

152.10  The way to determine how CCC and Molly are related is to trace back to as many common ancestors as there are. Since this tree is especially complicated, I decided to do that by steps…making use of the fact that for 2 people to be related, they must have parents who are related…and those parents must themselves have parents that are related…that’s what tracing back is, after all. Thus, since they are of the same generation, I started with how CCC’s parents were each related to Molly’s grandfathers, Henry Darnall III and Clement Brooke Jr. (Those parents that are unrelated to anyone else I have left off this chart.)

chart 524

152.11  Chart 524 summarizes the results. At the top, you’ll notice that Elizabeth Brooke is related to Henry Darnell III thru both the Sewells and the Hattons…but from what we have already said, that shouldn’t be surprising! Next, CCC, as the son of CCA and Elizabeth, will be related to the 2 grandfathers’ children in the same way, but plus one…1st cousin becomes 2nd cousin, etc…as shown in the middle of the chart. Finally, since Molly is the daughter of the 2 grandfather’s children, she has the same relation to CCC as they do, but once removed. Not so difficult once you break it down, is it?

chart 525

152.12  Chart 525 verifies these 5 connections. I won’t bother to figure the mathematical degree of relationship, but it’s clearly a lot closer than 2nd cousins…double half-2C 1R is equivalent to 2C 1R…and so they are 2C 1R twice, that alone being equivalent to 2nd cousins. But CCC and Molly are even closer on top of that thru the Brooke’s, 1C 1R…with a 3C 1R thrown in for good measure.

152.13  I had one more curious wrinkle to examine and then we’d be done…unfortunately… I happened to notice that another founding father, Daniel Carroll, who among other things signed the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution, was described as CCC’s “cousin.” And not for nothing, Daniel’s younger brother John became an Archbishop and founded Georgetown University. Well, this is “Cousinland” after all…no rest for the weary…

chart 526

152.14  So Chart 523 is expanded as Chart 526…new individuals added are colored pink. As you can see, there were a gaggle of Daniels…the one in question is often distinguished by historians as “of Rock Creek.” And yes, the great granddad’s Aghagurty and Litterluna are Irish place names. I also found Daniel Carroll’s wife Eleanor Carroll described as CCC’s “1st cousin,” which suggests, taking it strictly logically, that CCC and Daniel were not 1st cousins…otherwise Eleanor would have been Daniel’s 1st cousin too, not just CCC’s, given all 3 had the same last name.

152.15  Sure enough, CCC and Eleanor are 1st cousin since their fathers were brothers. CCC and Daniel were 2nd cousins since their grandfathers Keane and Charles the Settler were brothers. And thru those grandfathers Daniel and his wife Eleanor were 2nd cousins…but also 2nd cousins thru the Darnalls, since grandparents Mary and Henry II were siblings…so that’s double 2nd cousins. And it’s a funny thing…in making Chart 526 from Chart 523, I wanted to eliminate any irrelevant relatives to make it simpler…for some reason, I resisted jettisoning the Sewells. And after a bit of thought, I realized why…because CCC and Daniel were 3rd cousins thru the Sewells, by way of their mothers…is why.

152.16  Say listen, can we get to that curious wrinkle you mentioned and wrap this up? Certainly, let’s do. As before, we start with Chart 523, and new additions are colored pink.

chart 527

152.17  In Chart 527, our focus of interest is Eleanor Brooke, sister of CCC’s grandfather and his wife Molly’s great grandfather Clement Brooke Sr. Eleanor’s first husband was Philip Darnall, son of Col. Henry Darnall. The question is, who was Philip’s mother? Because if it was Eleanor Hatton, then Philip and his wife Eleanor were half-siblingsoops.

152.18  Now no less an authority than the Maryland State Archives Online don’t go that route…they echo the consensus of those that care about this, stating that Eleanor Hatton was Col. Henry’s second wife…his first wife is “unknown”…and of course that would be Philip’s mother, and thus he married his step-sister, not half-sister. This theory is bolstered by the fact that Philip was born in 1671, and Eleanor Hatton didn’t marry Philip’s father until after her first husband Thomas Brooke died in 1676.

152.19  Trouble is…records and dates can be fudged, accidentally or otherwise. And the person who dealt with this at Ancestry.com does an interesting thing…


152.20  …which is to refuse to identify Eleanor Brooke by her first name, instead calling her “Private Brooke.” Now objectively speaking, your family is your family, right? Still, online these days there is a very delicate issue of privacy, and relatives still alive are sometimes called Living or Private instead of their given names…with or without the appropriate surname, depending on whether, I guess, you’re shooting for semi-privacy or deluxe privacy.

152.21  Fine, but…if she married her half-brother, he married his half-sister…where’s his privacy?…and 300 years later, who cares?  Even if chivalry is the reason they did it in this dainty fashion, I can’t concur…sorry, it’s Eleanor! Eleanor! Eleanor!

152.22  At the same time, I have no trouble going along with the step-siblings not half-siblings scenario. But look at it from the point of view of Henry Darnall II. First, his half-brother on his father’s side marries his half-sister on his mother’s side…what some people today are calling “quarter siblings.” Then when Philip dies in 1705 at age 34, Henry II’s step-sister marries his wife’s brother…um, is she stalking me or something?  Ha! Next week, we slash and hack our way into the further depths of Cousinland…please join us, won’t you?

wicked ballsy


Let’s face it…fun means different things to different people…sez me.


Copyright © 2013 Mark John Astolfi, All Rights Reserved


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