Monday, July 27, 2015

Digging in the Drafts: Cool Story, Cuz

Anna June was very surprised to learn that a little boy she was playing with at a party was her long lost cousin.

(photo courtesy Aeryn Peck)

This is true, except they weren't lost.

Aeryn and I met each other on a beach trip about nineteen years ago. We've stayed in touch off and on through our mutual friends, which is how we met to begin with. A couple of years ago, we made "friends" on facebook. We have lots in common - we're both moms, we're the same age, have lots of the same friends, and we work at UAB.

Let me back up. When my grandmother broke her leg and started staying with my parents, we had to call on help from all branches of the family tree, plus various available friends. Our dear friend Margaret, who is retired, lives close to Mom and Dad, and often stayed with Grandma on Friday afternoons in between when Mom needed to leave for the auction and when I could get there after work. They had a great time.

Recently, Margaret joined Facebook. I was feeling overwhelmed with gratitude to her and I wanted to get a little activity going on her wall for all to see. So I posted a status update thanking Margaret, as well as my aunts and uncles who have come to take care of their mom, and Grandma's cousin Deb.

Then I got a Facebook message from Aeryn that said, "How do you know Deb?"

My response was that she is my cousin.

Her response was that she was also Deb's cousin.

It took us a few days (and a few conversations with some family members) but here's how it goes:

Benjamin Hughes was born during the Civil War. He married and had children, including Ida and Alma (my great-grandmother). After his first wife (Rose Etta?) died, he remarried when he was in his late forties. After marrying Mollie, his second wife, he had more children: Agnes and Amos. Amos was Deb's father. Agnes was Lynn's mother. Lynn is Aeryn's dad.

Therefore, Aeryn's great-grandfather is the same person as my great-great-grandfather.

So, it turns out we have even more in common than we thought!

Maybe it's the Hughes genes that gave us our porcelain skin? Academic prowess? Taste for great food?

I don't know, but it sure is fun. In our family, there is always room for more.


Annie Gallitz said...

This is REALLY somthing!!!!I mean, REALLY!First off, I didn't even realize that youcould trace your family history back as far as the civil war; this opens all sorts of research possibilities..( Shenandoah???????????)' Second, what are th odds , do you figure, of you randomly meeting someone,mhave so much in commom, abnd tthen, finding this out >>>>>>>>>????????????? THis is FASCINATING to me!!!!!!!!!!!!

Laura Gallitz said...

Yes, we were pretty excited to find all of this out. My grandmother was happy to know it, too - I'm glad we got to share it before she passed away. And meeting Aeryn was not random to me: her dear friends from college were my dear friends from high school. It has been my experience that awesome people tend to be found in clusters, and, well, some of that is hereditary. Also, this is Alabama and on both sides of my family we can trace back many generations to this area. Therefore, one must assume that I am related to nearly everyone else in this town in some way. It keeps you on your best behavior, knowing that!