#159 Adventures in Cousinland: B.N.A.

…which you old stamp collectors will recognize as standing for British North America…

Whoa, that was a close call…but it came out all right in the end…no harm done…we can even laugh about it now…it was kind of fun, but kind of um, weird for a moment there. What happened was this:

159.1  Attacking Uncle Wiki’s list of famous people who married cousins, I decided this week to be systematic about it and finish of with people from North American history. I noticed 2 who married 1st cousins once removed, and started with them…first, Martin Van Buren, the 8th POTUS, and the first to be born in the independent United States, in 1782.

mvb jcc

159.2  Got out a blank pedigree charts, started looking thru the ancestors. Now what does it mean when 2 people are 1C 1R? It means that one of them is the 1st cousin of a parent of the other…nothing more. Same as the uncle/aunt/nephew/niece relationship, where one of them is the sibling of a parent of the other. In both these cases, they are of 2 different…adjacent…generations. The older generation is the 1C 1R ascending…or in Spanish “2nd uncle/aunt”…the younger generation is the 1C 1R descending, or “2nd nephew/niece.” In this case, the 1C 1R’s are husband and wife…and there is a tendency I think to assume a husband is older (and taller!) than his wife, but obviously that need not be so.

159.3  And most of the time…but not always!…an uncle or 1C 1R ascending is considerably older than a niece or 1C 1R descending. That was the case back in 154.7-9, where William Ellery was 15 years older than his wife and 1C 1R Abigail Carey. Not quite like that here…Martin Van Buren was just 1 year older than Hannah Hoes…in fact, they are described as childhood sweethearts. But as I sifted thru their pedigrees…something was not quite right…lemme double-check this here…2 different wives…hmmm…It was looking like Martin’s wife Hannah Hoes wasn’t the 1st cousin of Martin’s mother Maria Hoes…but her half-sister! (I wonder how many people, enthralled by King Arthur’s Camelot and the Knights of the Round Table, also recall that he had a bastard son Mordred by his half-sister Margawse…granted, they didn’t know at the time…and it was a long time ago…)

159.4  So Van Buren married his half-aunt? A little too close for comfort, I suppose…still, I’m here to learn, not to judge. And after all, your mother’s half-sister is related to you by the same degree as a 1st cousin, 1/8. So it goes down in history as 1C 1R, which is an understandable obfuscation. Digging further, I hit this at a site called WikiTree…that’s Uncle Wiki’s double half-3rd cousin…


159.5  …which states that Maria and Hannah Hoes were not half-sisters, but…sisters! Could they have meant half-sisters? The underlined names are links, and checking those…no, it’s sisters…Martin Van Buren married his aunt! Now granted, these folks grew up in the Dutch enclave of Kinderhook, NY…Van Buren is even described as the only President for whom English was his second language…he spoke English to the nation, but Dutch to his family. Certainly there was more than the usual amount of intermarrying going on in this parochial community…still…geez louise!

159.6  So back to the drawing board we go…get a fresh pedigree sheet and start from the beginning…slowly and carefully, review everything…and thankfully, I found the problem. And it was genealogy’s classic bugaboo: 2 different individuals with the same name. Turns out there were 2 different Johannes Dirksen Hoes’s…one the grandfather of the other, born 53 years apart. JDH born 1700 was Maria’s father…she had a brother named Dirk…and his son, JDH born 1753, was the father of Hannah, as per Chart 552. So Martin Van Buren was 1st cousin to the younger JDH, and married the daughter = 1st cousin once removed…after all. But as I said, it had me going there for a minute there…aye chihuahua!

chart 552

159.7  Good example here of how generations can overlap. Dirk Hoes was born in 1724, first child in his family…followed by 5 siblings by 1739…then Maria came along in 1748….which is how her son and his granddaughter end up about the same age. And I should mention that the spelling of names in Chart 552 is somewhat standardized…you will find Van Schaak also spelled as Schaick and Schaich…and Quackenbush can be Quakenbuss and even Quakkenbos. You’ll also notice 2 Van Alen individuals…I found no immediate relation between them…but more Hoes and Van Burens kept popping up further back, so it wouldn’t surprise me…just not enough hours in the day, you know?

chart 553.png

159.8  Next we have John C. Calhoun…7th Vice President, serving under both John Quincy Adams and Andrew Jackson…and chosen in 1957 as one of the 5 greatest Senators of all time. He too married his 1st cousin once removed descending. This one was pretty straightforward…altho one interesting blip did emerge. Remember, these were the days when spelling…even proper names…was quite loosey-goosey compared to today. John C. Calhoun’s father-in-law, also his 1st cousin of course, changed the spelling of his last name to “Colhoun”…altho at least one of his sons changed it back. Back in Ireland, it was Colquhoun, Colchoun, any number of ways.


159.9  OK, time for a singalong…Swamp Fox, Swamp Fox, tail on his hat…nobody knows where the Swamp Fox at…and HEY LQQK! It’s Leslie Nielsen! As an aside, the Western craze on TV thru the 1950s and early 60s developed in sort of an odd way, looking back on it. Eventually, the characterization of the lead role on a show amounted to merely what kind of a gun he used and what kind of a hat he wore. Examples…gun: Wanted: Dead of Alive, Shotgun Slade, The Rifleman, Johnny Yuma–The Rebel…hat: Davy Crockett & Daniel Boone, Zorro, Hotel de Paree (below)…or both: Wyatt Earp, Yancy Derringer, Bat Masterson, Have Gun Will Travel…well, with Paladin, it was a hat and a holster, but you get the picture.

159.10  Gosh, the way they presented the short-lived Hotel de Paree, the hat was the star…Earl Holliman was only there because they needed a head to put it on. BTW, those mirrors in the hatband are called “conches” (a more typical one in red)…and as you can see, in this instance they weren’t polished silver dollars as some folks think.


159.11  So when Walt Disney introduced his viewers to Texas John Slaughter, all he did was show us “a turned-up white stetson and a pearl-handled gun…” Indeed, that’s exactly how the theme song started out…that was all you really needed to know, his hat and his gun. And the reason for this was actually quite logical. Even tho they were called “adult Westerns”…compare Rawhide and Gunsmoke to The Cisco Kid and The Roy Rogers Show…the marketing of tie-in products was exclusively to children…give ’em a hat and a gun and they’re good to go.chart 554.png

159.12  Anyway, ole Tail-on-His-Hat married his first cousin, their mothers being sisters. He and his wife were also second cousins, having grandmothers who were the Baluet (or Balluet) sisters. All researchers who name the Baluet sisters’ parents call their father Jean Veillet…none explain the name change, altho such things are not unknown. And not for nothing, but Marion’s parents were also first cousins.sir john a

159.13  Now for those of you keeping score at home, I will confirm that the Wiki list is so far today 3 for 3. But here comes a stumble. Sir John A. MacDonald was the first Prime Minister of Canada…I daresay you will seldom see such a bemused expression on the face of a world leader (above, left)…and heck, they even have a holiday for him…see todays’ wicked ballsy. Uncle Wiki says he married his 1st cousin…but if you consult Chart 555

chart 555.png

 159.14 …it’s actually half-1st cousins, as their mothers were half-sisters. And while it certainly doesn’t excuse it, you can see where the mix-up might originate…the half-sisters’ fathers were both named Shaw, altho it is said they were “unrelated”…which those well-versed in genealogy will understand could mean 6th cousins…or 10th cousins…still, no connection has yet turned up. As another aside, I does my heart good to see this arrangement. As an example of Occam’s Razor…the principle that you should use the simplest explanation, all things being equal…I have in the past cited Gomer and Goober Pyle on the Andy Griffith Show. With the same last name, and knowing nothing else, it’s safe to say their fathers were brothers, if “cousins” means 1st cousins. But another possibility is their mothers were sisters, and each married a Pyle, these fathers unrelated to each other. And everybody laughed at me…well, “knowing nothing else” isn’t quite accurate, since the first time Goober’s last name is given, Andy calls him Goober Beasley…so there’s that…

mad tay

 159.15  Thus, today Uncle Wiki is 3 for 4…still not bad. But while I’m thinking of it, permit me to present one more set of cousins. In this case, they didn’t marry each other…but were both POTUS’s. In terms of Presidents related to each other, we have 3 cases of direct ancestry…Bush 43 the son of Bush 41…John Quincy Adams the son of John Adams…and Benjamin Harrison the grandson of William Henry Harrison. As to collaterals, there have never been brothers or 1st cousins who were President. The 2 Roosevelts were 5th cousins, the most famous collaterals, but not the closest…that would be James Madison and Zachary Taylor, who were 2nd cousins. And 2nd cousins today are very often dismissed as “distant cousins,” which is why you may be hearing about this for the first time.

chart 556

159.16  Madison and Taylor’s fathers were 1st cousins, their grandparents brother and sister…Chart 556  in yellow. They were also 3rd cousins once removed, in pink, Madison being Taylor’s father’s 3rd cousin thru the Thorntons. And based on what we’ve been discovering thru Adventures in Cousinland, it’s fair to say that when kinship between 2 famous people is quoted, it’s very likely merely the closest relationship…and I haven’t tried to be a completist about it, if such a thing were even possible…but then again, it’s hard to resist when additional connections present themselves.

159.17  Two other things I’d like to mention about Chart 556. First, I have excluded spouses and other relatives who aren’t relevant to the relationships we’re examining…altho 2 of those I have included, and each for a reason. You’ll see where Zachary Taylor’s grandfather was also named Zachary Taylor, as was his son, the POTUS’s uncle. Now with an uncle and grandfather sharing your name, you might style yourself as III…or if the grandfather were no longer living, II or even Junior. President Zachary Taylor’s preference was to do neither, and he had every right.

159.18  You’ll also notice Zachary Taylor’s maternal grandmother, Sarah Bailey. Given that Taylor’s mother was named Sarah Dabney Strother, you might think yourself justified in assuming her mother was a Dabney…but as you can see, that wasn’t the case…here Dabney was her father’s middle name…and it was he who got it from his mother. Just recalling what they say about the word “assume”…

chart 557

159.19  Finally, a thought on diagramming family trees…don’t be afraid to be creative. If, for example, Chart 556 seems to you a bit expansive, you can certainly scrunch down Francis Thornton at the top, as in Chart 557…just make sure it’s clear and understandable, that’s all.  Next week, Adventures in Cousinland goes roaring off in a different direction…see yez…

wicked ballsy


Gosh, how I love sitting down in the morning with a steaming cup of java and the local paper…and not all the chuckles are on the funny pages…no siree…


Copyright © 2014 Mark John Astolfi, All Rights Reserved


#158: Third Report of the New Rochelle Genealogical Society

158.1  Maurice B. “Buddy” Sorrell…and right away we have a name problem. His full name is given in 4-107, and I believe that’s the only time…the actor was born Moritz Amsterdam, and Moritz is indeed the German form of Maurice…also Morris in English, from Latin Mauritius or Mauricius. But in 5-148, at his much delayed bar mitzvah, he is called “Moshe Selig Sorrell,” and Moshe is Hebrew for Moses, with no connection to Maurice. BTW, in 3-97 he mentions having had his bar mitzvah, but given his subsequent embarrassment at not having one as a youth, I give him a pass for this small fib. Anyway….he has a German Shepherd named Larry…he smokes…married with no kids…once and only once he wears glasses.

chart 548

158.2   As you can see from Chart 548, he has a brother Blackie, a one-shot, played by jackbainePhil Leeds…no relation that I can find to Peter Leeds, who appears twice in the first season as Officer Jack Baine…and who coincidentally has relatives in Danville, Ill., where Rob grew up…he asks for Alan Brady Show tickets for them in 1-17. No other Sorrell siblings are mentioned, either specifically or thru nieces/nephews…like Norman, his 10-year-old “kid cousin from Little Neck” in 3-81…who could have easily been written in as a “nephew” but wasn’t. Cousin Ira is a make-up man…Cousin Irving is a jack-of-all-trades, being a dentist, a lawyer, and by 5-135 he “rents bulls.”

158.3   As for uncles and aunts, Uncle Lou Sorrell, the shoe-store owner (4-116) is the only one ever shown. You’ll recall that I decided these charts would show screen captures for characters who appear, black circles for those mentioned…with a notation of their relationship as mentioned. Buddy’s father was never mentioned…so his circle is blank…but he had to exist for Lou to be Buddy’s uncle on the Sorrell side. He is probably dead by the season 5 bar mitzvah, since Buddy says he’s doing it for his mother who lives in Brooklyn, and there’s no father present at the ceremony, only her. Altho now that I think about it, in 3-91 Buddy talks  about a grandfather who likes to come over and play cards, so who knows about his father. He also mentions a “drunken uncle” (3-69) who could be Uncle Phil or dead Uncle Henry…no indication when we see Uncle Lou that it could be him.

158.4  Fiona “Pickles” Conway Sorrell…and as she explains in 1-13, everybody in her neighborhood named Fiona was nicknamed “Pickles”…of which, of course, she’s the only one…yuck yuck. Previously married to a professor turned forger, played by the show’s produced Sheldon Leonard, but only as a voice outside Rob’s front door. Portrayed by 2 different actresses…Barbara Perry 1-13, 1-25…and Joan Shawlee 2-51, 2-54, 2-58. A former showgirl…she smokes…has an Aunt Harriet in Vermont…both parents apparently still living, as Buddy once mentions his “in-laws.”

158.5  Starting with the third season, Pickles is never seen again, altho often referred to, and sometimes on the other end of the telephone, altho never heard. In fact, at Buddy’s bar mitzvah (5-148) he says she is there, altho we don’t see her. But Pickles’ last physical appearance in the second season is an odd one…

fake picles

…at Rob’s surprise morning birth party (2-60)…which is why they’re all wearing pajamas…she’s seen only from the back, with her hair piled high Joan Shawlee-style, and with Joan’s general, um, build. No one is credited for this stand-in part, and the Internet Movie Data Base, which is famous for ferreting out uncredited actors, has nothing on her either. Personally, I think it’s a shame Pickles’ character was written out as a physical presence…at least the first Pickles…Barbara Perry is awfully cute with those dimples and all, and plays the part as a sweet scatterbrain, like Georgette Franklin from “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” Joan Shawlee’s take on the character is more brash and crude, but there you go…

158.6  Sally Rogers…Not a lot is known about Our Gal Sal…was once engaged to a man named Bill Henderson, hence the name of her cat “Mr. Henderson”…she smokes…she once dated Pickles’ cousin. In the first season, she recites several incompressible “sayings” from her mother…for the rest of the series, these quips are transferred to her “Aunt Agnes.” But altho never seen, Aunt Agnes does more than offer advice…she lives in Greentown, Connecticut…Sally visits her once, and she visits Sally on 2 other occasions. Greentown is also the location of Randy Twizzle’s bowling alley, altho it’s a fictitious town.

chart 549

158.7  We know Sally has no sisters (4-116)…nothing ever mentioned about brothers or her father. That Agnes is her mother’s sister is pure speculation on my part, based on the fact that they both watched Sally on “The Stevie Parsons Show”…I got the feeling they were together. In 5-148 she mentions her cousin Eddie the psychiatrist…could this be the same cousin who once hired a birthday party clown (3-81) or who is a twin (3-70)?

158.8  Among Sally’s many beaus, the only one of any permanence is Bill Idelson’s Herman Glimsher, whom she eventually marries in the 2004 reunion special “The Dick Van Dyke Show Revisited.” Idelson specialized in weird names, portraying Rush Gook, the adopted son on radio’s “Vic and Sade.” More than an actor, he wrote several TDVDS episodes, along with scripts for “The Andy Griffith Show,” “Gomer Pyle USMC,” “The Odd Couple,” even “Twilight Zone” and “M*A*S*H,” plus the 1963 low-budget scifi flick “The Crawling Hand”…and he went on to produce “The Bob Newhart Show” among others. He was Herman Glimsher on only 4 TDVDS episodes…once per season, second thru fifth…and also in one episode he’s a bellboy. His widowed mother appears just once (3-70), with no first name…recognize her? Same actress who portrayed Uncle Hezekiah’s and half-brother Alfred Reinback’s cousin Luthuella Detweiller in 5-133.

158.9  Notice that I’m spelling Glimsher with an “-sher” on the end. TDVDS did not include character names in the closing credits until the 4th season…so let’s check the tale of the tape…


158.10  Well…that settles that!  Another pick ’em. The other question about Herman is his brother Woodrow…or are they brothers? In 1-2…just the second episode of the series…Sally’s got a date and Buddy asks if it’s that weird-looking one, Woodrow Glimsher…Sally says no, that’s off. Woodrow’s mother wants him to wait a little while, until Sally is too old for him…so now she’s going out with “Herman”…he was introduced to her by…wait for it…Woodrow Glimsher’s mother. Now many fans assume Herman and Woodrow are brothers…as I have done on Chart 549, but only as speculation.

158.11  On the surface it might seem open and shut except for 2 things: in 1-2, Herman’s last name is not given…Herman Glimsher isn’t the only Herman in the world after all. But also, does Mrs. Glimsher really intend to steer Sally away from her son by introducing her to…another son? Maybe so, depending on how she feels about these 2 sons…then again, she eventually acts towards Herman the way she originally acted towards Woodrow…maybe Woodrow croaked sometime after 1-2. Another possibility is that this Herman, assuming he is the Herman Glimsher, is a relative on Mrs. Glimsher’s husbands’ side…her nephew by marriage, say…and not being her blood relative, what does she care who he goes out with?

 158.12  Finally, of the main characters on TDVDS, Mel Cooley and Alan Brady are inexorably intertwined, being brothers-in-law. Did Alan marry a Cooley or Mel marry a Brady? The show has it both ways, and we examined this in detail in Related How Again? #143. Thus, 2 charts for the 2 possible scenarios.

 158.13  Melvin Cooley…No middle name that we are told…that he’s Melvin and not Melville, Melburn, or Melwick is established in the pilot, 1-1. Went to Princeton…married, but his wife is never seen and has no first name…amateur ventriloquist with “Dummy McGee,” seen on Chart 551and at last we have a major character who’s never seen smoking, which doesn’t mean he doesn’t….Richie?…candy cigs in several episodes.

chart 550

 158.14  Now the fact that sometimes he’s Alan’s fraternal brother-in-law, sometimes spousal brother-in-law (see Related How Again #144) is simply an irreconcilable continuity gaff… altho it’s interesting to note that early on, he’s assumed to have gotten his job by “marrying the star’s sister”…1-14, 1-18, 1-27, 2-39, 3-70…as in Chart 550. Later on…and usually just to fit the gag…it’s the other way around…3-70, 5-145, 5-152…Chart 551. But what’s fascinating about the Fan Logic Game is how such seemingly inconsequential “throw-away” facts can have serious implications.

chart 551

 158.15  Take the famous “babies switched at the hospital” episode, 3-63. The plot is set up by Mel telling Rob and Laura that his wife’s out of town, helping her sister who’s having a baby…it’s a girl, and this baby niece is beautiful, unlike the mother and father, whom Rob recalls Buddy has nicknamed “Godzilla.” Now if, as in Chart 550, Mel married Alan’s sister, then his wife’s sister is also Alan’s sister… otherwise not, Chart 551. But it’s looking like Alan could be from a reasonably large family as the families of TDVDS characters go…

 158.16 Alan Lester Brady…middle name from 4-103. And almost all we know about his kin comes from one joke…in 1-37, the Petries and Helpers are watching his show, and at the end it says it’s a Jeff Greg Barb Ben Ray Lou Polly production…Rob explains that the company is named after his 2 kids, wife, lawyer, brother, manager…and bird. His wife Barb is also named Margaret in 5-152…and his niece Jackie appears in 3-84, played by Jackie Joseph, who on an earlier episode played dancer Alberta Schweitzer…you’ll recall her from “The Andy Griffith Show,” and lots of other shows. Is Jackie the daughter of Alan’s brother Ray? His sister married to Godzilla would seem too young to have a daughter that old, so I speculate that that’s the case…you could add yet another Brady sibling, but I’d come at you swinging Occam’s Razor (see Related How Again #156).

158.17  In Chart 551 I assume Alan’s father is still living…no reason not to, altho he only ever mentions his mother. But in Chart 550 he is definitely dead, since in 3-70 Mel says his (Mel’s) mother-in-law…Alan’s mother this time…is single. And that’s pretty much all we know about the main characters’ family trees…except for one last mystery…


158.18  …and it’s a doozie, altho one that happily has a potential solution. In episode 3-86, “How to Spank a Star,” the gang must deal with the egotistical actress Paula Marshall, stunningly portrayed by Lola Albright, showing far more acting chops than she ever did on 3 seasons of “Peter Gunn,” I must say. Mel can’t handle her, so Rob takes a stab at it…and the above scene takes place in Mel’s Office…so who’s in the picture frame?

158.19  No Cooley children are ever mentioned or even implied…the photo looks too old to be Mel’s daughter…then again, too young to be his wife? Still, I’m wiliing to go out on a limb and say it is supposed to be his wife…but whose picture is it really? Not Richard Deacon’s wife, he was gay…uh-huh. A relative of the cast or crew? Such “inside jokes” were not uncommon…but for now, as they say, it’s a mystery…well, OK, I checked pictures of Carl Reiner’s wife Estelle…don’t think it’s her…but that’s the only one I did. If you care to, knock yourself out and be the one who comes up with it. Next week, back from its hiatal hernia, Adventures in Cousinland…

wicked petrie


Speaking of inside jokes, if Mary Tyler Moore could “shout out” to her first husband with “Laura Meeker” in season 1, she could get her second husband Grant Tinker 3 times later on…in 4-102, Arthur Batanides plays prison convict Harry Tinker…in 4-112, the butler of Stacey’s fiancée Julie Kincaid is named Tinker…then in 5-142 Laura mentions an amusement park called Tinker Town…not to be confused with Dizzyland from 3-81. But what we have above are 2 cameo appearances by Garry Marshall, the creator of “Happy Days”…as a referee for the Pitter-Patter Petrie fight in 5-137 and as a bartender in the Western fantasy 5-157. He wrote 18 episodes of TDVDS, but not these 2…nor did he write 4-97, where Rob recalls his old Social Studies teacher, Mrs. Masciarelli…that was Marshall’s father’s name before he changed it, pronounced Mash-a-relly.


And here’s a weird one…TDVDS didn’t do product placements…occasionally something off the supermarket shelf was seen in the kitchen, but with the brand name solidly blacked out. But these 2 puppets…Morticia Addams and Uncle Fester…are seen hanging on the wall of Richie room in 5-153, “The Man from My Uncle,” with Godfrey Cambridge as “G-man” Harry Bond. Trouble is, “The Addams Family” was on ABC…TDVDS was on CBS, which countered with “The Munsters”…wha–?


Copyright © 2014 Mark John Astolfi, All Rights Reserved