So, tonight I went over to my cousins’ for a drink. Her parents were there and we got to talking about genealogy. My dad had sent some pictures of connected family. I explained who each person was.
In looking at the family tree carefully, I discovered that my cousin isn’t my fourth cousin, but my fourth cousin once removed. For those who don’t understand what that means:
- My cousin and my sibling’s children are fifth cousins
- My cousin’s father and I are fourth cousins
- My dad and my cousin’s grandmother are third cousins
- My grandfather and my cousin’s great-grandfather were second cousins
- My great-grandfather and my cousin’s great-great-grandfather were first cousins
- My great-great-grandfather and my cousin’s great-great-great-grandmother were siblings.
So in other words, we’re not really related. If you traced the number of people who have the same relationship genetically that my cousin and I have, you’d probably have over a thousand people or something.
And yet this woman welcomed me into her home, helped me get settled, and has provided me with a family here. All because six generations back, two people were siblings.
This to me exemplifies the idea of seeing the best in the world. Based on this tenuous connection, we’ve created a strong bond that is stronger than much genetically-closer relationships.
Of course, what made this all possible was a common interest in family history. Both families talk about our common ancestors like they were recently dead, not a hundred years or more gone. In this world where the hurts and feuds of generations gone past lead to war, it’s good to know that there is a positive side to family history.
- When deciding what to keep and what to give away, don’t sever your connections to your ancestors – they are a part of you.
- Seeing the best means also being willing to take a risk based on intuition and trust.
Tomato & Walnut Soup