#161 Adventures in Cousinland: Mission Accomplished

161.1 …which is not to say I won’t revisit Uncle Wiki’s coupled cousins list at some point in the future…I did notice one that we won’t get to this time around, but it’s interesting…thing is, the cousins involved aren’t that famous so checking may be more difficult. But today’s selection are pretty famous…


161.2  Edgar Allan Poe…did he marry his 1st cousin…you betchum, Red Ryder. And you might also see elsewhere, as I did, that his cousin married his sister-in-law…well, not really. Nelson Poe was his 2nd cousin, and Josephine Emily Clemm was Virginia Eliza Clemm’s half-sister…so it’s 2 half-sisters marrying 2nd cousins, which even so, ain’t hay.

chart 566

161.3  Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. …he was a poet, professor, and physician…it was his son Jr. who was the famous Supreme Court Justice. Married his 2nd cousin? Yup…and one interesting note about his name. While it’s true to say his middle name is his mother’s maiden name, it’s even truer to say that he was given his material grandfather’s name…first and last…Oliver Wendell.


161.4  Samuel F. B. Morse…1st cousin once removed? Right on the nose…he married the daughter of his 1st cousin.

chart 568

And for the record, “What hath God wrought” comes from the Bible, Numbers 23:23…and it’s not a question, but an exclamation…”What wonders God has done!”


161.5  Zack Wheat…Hall of Fame outfielder, 1909-27…all but the final year with the Dodgers. By this list anyway, whom sports figures marry seems to be less interesting than whom politicians, writers, scientists, and inventors marry…go figure. But thankfully this one turned out to be easy enough to track down…and Uncle Wiki stumbles here. They say he married his 2nd cousin…actually, it’s 1st cousin once removed, the daughter of his 1st cousin on his father’s side. The story is he skipped a game in May of 1912 to elope…having met Daisy for the first time only 2 months previous. You might check out GSA to learn more…altho that’s only a guess on my part…everything today is a syndrome with 3 letters. nez pah?

chart 569

161.6   Finally, I really have saved the best for last…William Greenleaf Eliot Jr. …educator and philanthropist, grandfather of poet T. S. Eliot. His family tree is a lulu, something I’ve never seen before…and Uncle Wiki gets this one completely correct. In a nutshell we have 3 Greenleaf sisters…each has a child…cousin # 1 marries cousin #2…and their son marries cousin #3, his double 1st cousin once removed. Why double? Because William Greenleaf Eliot Jr’s wife was his 1C 1R thru his father and thru his mother…this is what happens when 1st cousins wed….don’t everybody look so surprised.

chart 570

161.7  And altho he was 6 years older than she, the ages do check out…for the simple season that William Greenleaf and Mary Brown had 15 children over a period of 24 years, thus the generations overlap. His grandmother Elizabeth was the 2nd born…and her mother Anna was the last, 22 years later.

161.8  The ultimate tale of the tape…of the 23 cousin couples I checked, Uncle Wiki’s list had 19 correct, 4 incorrect…add to that the 4 I noticed as correct when I first perused the list…the Roosevelts, Jerry Lee Lewis, Honey Fitz, and QE2 (2 closest ways)…and that’s a very healthy 85% mark…not 100%, but there you go…

161.9  Still, that last one raises some interesting questions, including a possible link to a POTUS…and we’ll accordingly go green next week.

wicked ballsy


BTW…is that a “neck beard” on William Greenleaf Eliot Jr.? I want to say yes, but I wonder if a true neck beard would be confined the neck only, with nothing growing out of the chin… top row, left to right, Civil War Col. Marshall Howe, Richard Wagner, Nero, British cricketeer John Lillywhite, and unknown. Bottom row, Henry David Thoreau, Horace Greeley, and 2 more unknowns. Might WGE’s be more in the nature of what that called a “chin curtain”?

When the neck beard reached all the way up to the sideburns it was called a Newgate Fringe or a Tyburn Collar, after public places for hangings in Dublin and London respectively. Below are 3 more not quite neckers…Henrik Ibsen left,  Presidential candidate for the Greenback Party in 1876 Peter Cooper middle, and unknown right…but good job all the way around, sez me.



Copyright © 2014 Mark John Astolfi, All Rights Reserved


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