Don’t Tell The Kids Our Family Secret!

J&J picA couple of years ago my Son-in-law Jake, asked me to research his Genealogy and to send his Grandmother, who was 87 years old, a copy of the results. I was excited to do so and gathered all the information that he knew about the family and eagerly began.

Jake is a second generation Wyomingite. His paternal ancestors came from Missouri and places on the east coast.  His Grandfather Jack Craig was born in Missouri in 1925 and moved to Wyoming in the 1940’s. The family’s ties to Missouri go back to the early 1800’s.

Dolph and Renda Craig
Dolph and Renda Craig

Great Grandfather, Dolph Craig owned and operated a saw mill in Winona, Shannon, Missouri. He married Renda Buff and they had 5 children. In following Renda’s line back through time, 5 generations to be exact, I stumbled on a very familiar last name….Rucker. I know that Rucker is a very common German name and that a lot of Rucker’s immigrated to America starting as far back as 1690. I was intrigued and began to dig deeper.

The first mentioned Rucker named in this line was Frances Rucker born in 1761 in Amherst Virginia. She had married John Canebrake Lea in 1786. Frances was the daughter of Colonel Ambrose Rucker. Frances’ name was not the least bit familiar, but Ambrose? That one I knew I had heard before. Upon further examination I found that Ambrose was the son of John Rucker and Susannah Phillips. John had been born the oldest child of Peter Rucker and Elizabeth (Fielding) Rucker in 1680 in KissinCousinsEngland. I became so excited I could hardly contain myself. Peter Rucker born in 1661 in Germany was my 7th Great Grandfather! That meant that he was my daughters 8th Great Grandfather and he was also my son-in-laws 9th Great Grandfather. My daughter and son-in-law are 10th cousins! Jake descended from John Rucker and my daughter, Jerusha descended from Thomas Rucker the 2nd son of Peter and Elizabeth Rucker.

Oh the fun I have had with this. I have relentlessly teased them about being kissing cousins. I even told their two sons about this unique coincidence and now they have even begun to joke about it. It is amazing that one person born in Wyoming and another born in Arizona somehow meet, fall in love, get married and have children and then discover that they have a common lineage. Here’s to Genealogy (raised wine glasses clinking and hand clapping)!!

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

12 thoughts on “Don’t Tell The Kids Our Family Secret!

  1. A year ago I found out my husband and I are 9th cousins (1x removed). Most everyone in the family found it hilarious and the husband and I are now referred to as the “kissing cousins”. LOL

  2. This is so fun! I had a couple of friends who did geneology projects in high school. Their respective families had been in the same city for several generations, and the friends (who were dating at the time) wound up being 7th cousins on one side of the family and 8th cousins down the other. How funny is that!

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