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Dee Burris Blakley ([personal profile] dee_burris) wrote2012-11-21 08:27 am

Random musings...

I started this blog to share - photos, memories, documents, places and people - with other people.

Freely sharing was important to me because of the sharing of information I experienced in the early years of this journey when I asked for information.

On surname message boards. Hard to believe, but I still find posts of my own from 1999 on some of those boards.

Distant cousins found the blog in Google searches. I correspond with several of them still. All the other bloggers were right.

If you build it, they will come.
In the last few months, I've started getting emails that go something like this:
I am making sure that this e-mail doesn't bounce. I am researching a possible family connection in Arkansas. (That's the actual text of a message I found in my inbox this morning.)

I always reply to those, to let them know the email address is still good. Sometimes, there is a distant family connection.

Sometimes, people have seen how Arkansas-intensive my tracks are on the internet, and they just need help with their own trees.

What can I say? I'm a Scorpio, and always intrigued by a mystery.

Even when it doesn't have one of my own surnames on it.
You know how people say that they hope they don't find out they unwittingly married their own cousin?

I've always figured that somewhere downline - closer to my generation - I'd find out someone was a cousin of their spouse.

I decided last week to start looking at my nephews' and niece's families on the *other* sides of their families.

I started with my niece. Her father's surname is Rankin.

Started with her dad and went backward.

After about 3 hours, I sat here grinning like a fool.

Her dad is my 4th cousin, twice removed. The connection starts in 1877, when John James Rankin married Margaret Ann Lemley in Pope County.

Margaret Ann was the daughter of Ephraim Lemley, Jr. and Cynthia Elvira Burris.

So my niece is also my 4th cousin, three times removed.
Of course, I didn't stop with the pedigree.

I'm looking for bits and pieces of information that give the third dimension to the names, dates and places.

Turns out the Rankins (and their allied families) were quite the movers and shakers in Perry County, AR.

And some of its earliest settlers.

The Rankin family will have blog posts of its own.
rainbow: image of a light skinned person wearing a knit hat with orange skulls. the orange skulls have hearts for eyes and nose. (Default)

[personal profile] rainbow 2012-11-27 09:23 am (UTC)(link)
*laughter* Well, it gets better, in a sense. Their secret marriage was much more successful for them than for John's first cousin, my great-grandfather, Ed, just over five years later. Ed and Mae only managed to keep it a secret 10 days:

San Francisco Call, 18 Jan 1908, page 7

YOUNG BERKELEY COUPLE
ARE SECRETLY MARRIED
Miss Mayme Dempsey the Bride
of Edward J. Brennan, Jr.
in San Rafael
BERKELEY, Jan.17 -- Friends of
Miss Mayme Dempsey, daughter of Mr.
and Mrs. Luke Dempsey of 1014 Dela-
ware street, have learned that since
January 7 the young woman has been
the wife of Edward J. Brennan Jr., son
of Mr. and Mrs. Edward J. Brennan of
1519 Hearst avenue. The young couple,
who are living in San Francisco, where
Brennan is employed, were married in
San Rafael. The secret, which was
known to only a few of the friends of
the couple, leaked out today.


P and I eloped while he was on leave in April 94, then had a proper wedding exactly six months later at home. It was just a few months ago I learned we had kept a family tradition. *g*

And then there's the Curtis connection. Ed's father was Ed, and his mother was Josephine Curtis; they married in 1884. James and Ed Sr's other brother John arrived in Berkeley in the 1870s and married Anne Curtis in 1878. She died in 1883 of malaria. She left 3 small children, including Herbert, who was only 5 weeks old. Anne and Josephine's sister, Theresa, moved into the household care for the children. Over time she and John became close, and in 1888 they married and had 3 more children before John died in 1894.

The part about John's family that I wish I knew is why after his death his first 3 children (including Herbert, who had only known Theresa as his mother) never lived iwth her again. Only her children by birth did, at least on the censuses. That seems very sad, given they were her niece and nephews as well as her step-children.