Category Archives: Cousins

Freaky Friday’s ~ It Was Murder!

Freaked Out Letters Funny A Little Crazy Word

If you have read any of my blogs you know by now that I was not raised around my relatives. I had 2 years of my life where I lived near them and got meet and get to know a few of them. One set of relatives was my Dad’s youngest sisters’ family. Her oldest son was already married so I didn’t get to see him very often. The next son, Darrell was a few months younger than I, and we became fast friends. Her youngest child, a young girl was a late in life surprise for my Aunt and her husband. She was born when my Aunt was 44 years, quite old for the early 1960s! Her name was Madonna Rose, and she was quite a handful! I was 9 years older than her and at the time I wasn’t used to having young kids around.

When we moved away from Missouri and made California our home Aunt Margaret for blog olderwe were cut off from all family by my mother and her mental illness. For 5 years we had no contact. When my Dad was diagnosed with lung cancer I went behind my mother’s back and contacted my Aunt. She and Dad had always been very close. When we knew my Dads’ time was short, I invited my Aunt to come to visit. She did and they had a great time catching up. Of course, I had to pay the penalty for my actions after she left.

Fast-forward about 30 years. When I had begun my genealogy journey,Madonna age 6 I concentrated on finding my “older” ancestors and didn’t even think of trying to find the living ones. About 10 years ago I was searching through Facebook for people who lived in the small town in Missouri that my Aunt had lived. I saw that one of my Aunt’s granddaughters had an account, so I contacted her. We became “friends” and we exchanged information on our families. I was heartbroken to discover that my Aunt and Uncle had passed away. But I wasn’t prepared for the news that Madonna Rose had died 9 years before. My cousin began to tell me the story of what had happened.

Madonna had graduated from High School and got married. She had a palmer 3 generations 1987son and after a few years, the marriage ended. She remarried and soon had a little girl. 9 years later Madonna was told she had colon cancer, and she had surgery. Her prognosis was very good and was told with chemo she should have an excellent chance of beating it. She was a fighter and did everything she was told, however, her condition began to decline. On August 21, 2001, at the age of 37, she lost her hard-fought battle.

You may ask why is this blog called “It was murder” when she died from this horrible disease? Here is the rest of the story……

In 1990 Robert Ray Courtney, a pharmacist in Kansas City, Missouri began purchasing pharmaceuticals on the gray market and using them to fill prescriptions at his pharmacy. In time he began diluting prescriptions to increase profits. In 1998 an Eli Lilly sales representative noticed Courtney was selling three times the amount of the cancer drug Gemzar than he’d bought. Lilly initiated an internal investigation but found no evidence of illegality and closed the investigation without further action. In early 2001, this representative voiced his concerns to a nurse who worked for Dr. Verda Hunter, an oncologist in Courtney’s building, who was also one of Courtney’s customers. Hunter noticed that many of her patients were only suffering mild side effects, and their condition didn’t seem to be improving. Hunter had medication that had been supplied by Courtney tested. That test showed that the sample contained less than one-third of the drug prescribed, and upon receiving the test results back, Hunter immediately notified the FBI. Hunter submitted seven additional samples for testing by the FDA’s forensic chemistry lab. Tests on those samples revealed that they contained as little as 15 percent of the prescribed dosage, and at most only half of it. They immediately knew that they had to move quickly. While health care fraud cases normally take years to build, the investigators knew they didn’t have that long.

Investigators persuaded Hunter to help them in a sting operation. Hunter gave Courtney several prescriptions for fictitious patients. After Courtney mixed the drugs and sent them to Hunter’s office, federal agents had them tested. The samples contained less than half of the prescribed dosage, and in some cases contained less than one percent of the active drug. On August 13, 2001, federal agents raided Research Medical Tower Pharmacy. A day later, Courtney surrendered to authorities and was charged with one count of adulterating and misbranding medication.

In 2002, after initially being caught diluting several doses of chemotherapy drugs, he pleaded guilty to intentionally diluting 98,000 prescriptions involving multiple types of drugs, which were given to 4,200 patients, and was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison. He is currently serving his sentence Littleton, Colorado.

Madonnas hsMy cousin, Madonna was one of the 4,200 patients who had received this diluted drug and she was not given the chance to effectively fight for her life. It was murder!

 

 

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: 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

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Filed under Ancestry, Cancer, Cousins, Death, Family History, Family Search, Freaky, Freaky Friday's, Genealogy, Hughes, Memories, Missouri, Uncategorized

Multiple ~ 52 Ancestors 52 Weeks #28

MultipleThis week’s prompt got me to thinking about what would I consider to be a multiple. At first, I thought of twins that run in my family, but I have already written about most of them. Then I thought about a number of ancestors that died in the same years. There were many multiples of them also. Eureka! It finally hit me, and here is my interpretation for multiple.

I have found several lines where I descend from two siblings. Here are 4 examples of that.

 

First Jonathan Brewster (1593-1661) from the Mayflower, is my 9th great-grandfather. I descend from 2 of is daughters making them both my 8th great-grandmothers.

Grace Brewster (1639-1684) married Captain Daniel Wetherell

Hannah Brewster (1641-1711) married Samuel Starr

So how does this make me a descendant of these multiple sisters?

Grace and Daniel had a daughter, Mary Wetherell who married George Dennison

Mary and George had a son named Daniel Dennison who married Rachel Starr

Hannah and Samuel had a son named Thomas Starr who married Mercy Morgan

Thomas and Mercy had a daughter named Rachel Starr who married Daniel Dennison

 

Second is my 4th great-grandfather Colby Rucker (1760-1781) I also descend from 2 of his daughters making them both my 3rd great-grandmothers.ConfusedEmoji

Sarah “Sally” Rucker (1791-1850) married Thomas Hayes (1780-1849)

Elizabeth Rucker (1787-1855) married John Coffey (1776-1845)

Here is where it gets complicated. Thomas is the son of George Hayes (1760-1839) who is the son of Thomas Hayes (1740-1829) who is the son of George Hayes (1714-1747). This George had a daughter named Molly “Polly” Hayes (1742-1829). She and Thomas (1740-1829) are siblings. Molly married Benjamin Coffey (1747-1834) and they had John Coffey (1776-1845).

So Thomas Hayes’ great-aunt is the mother of his brother-in-law!

 

Third is my 9th great-grandfather John Dodson (1571-1652) I descend from 2 of his sons.

Jesse Dodson (1623-1716) married Judith Hagger (1615-1655)

Benjamin Dodson (1624-1652) married Anne Simms (1624-1715)

Jesse and Judith had a son named Charles Dodson (1649-1716)

Benjamin and Anne had a daughter named Anne Dodson (1651-1715)

Charles and Anne got married making them first cousins and becoming my 7th great-grandparents.

 

Fourth, is my 7th great-grandfather William Bond (1674-1713) married Dorothy Dayne (1677-1720) wait for it….his brother Isaac Bond (1676-1719)  married Anna Holmes (1676-1715) is my 7th great-uncle.

 

cousin1William’s son William Bond (1701-1779) married the daughter of his Uncle Isaac, Clara Bond (1709-1789) making them both my 6th great-grandparents and my cousins.

 

I hope you are not as confused as I was several years ago when I discovered these multiple connections. I have actually found a few more but I have a headache just listing these!

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: 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.

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Freaky Friday’s ~ 1630’s Massachusetts

Freaked Out Letters Funny A Little Crazy Word

I have found many, many ancestors who have married their first cousin. I have even found some who married their Aunt or Uncle. Back in the early days of the colonies, there were not a lot of choices as to who they could marry. Some of them even immigrated from a country that practiced intermarrying with relatives so it was commonplace. In today’s society, it is definitely frowned upon and in some places in the country, it is illegal!

My first recorded incident of first cousins marrying begins in 1629. Myscotland_16th 9x Great Grandfather, Christopher Lindsay (1592-1669), immigrated to Lynn County, Massachusetts from Scotland. He came over with his brother Daniel of whom I have very little information. He was wealthy and purchased a lot of land in the County.

Abigail shipHugh Alley (1608-1673) my 9x Great Grandfather, immigrated from England to Boston aboard the Abigail in 1635 along with his younger sister, my 9x Great Aunt, Margaret (1620-1669). By 1640 they too moved to Lynn County. Hugh married Mary Graves (1609-1674) in 1641 and they had 8 children, 4 sons, and 4 daughters. The oldest daughter was named Mary (1641-1681) and their third daughter was named Sarah (1651-1731).

Meanwhile, Christopher Lindsay marries Margaret Alley in 1644 and they have 3 children, 2 sons, and a daughter. The sons were John (1644-1705) and Eleazer (1646-1717).cousin1

In 1667 John Lindsay marries his first cousin Mary Alley. In 1668 Eleazer Lindsay marries his first cousin Sarah Alley!

This also makes Hugh and his sister Margaret Grandparents to the same 2 sets of grandchildren. This makes my head hurt!

It doesn’t matter how long ago this happened or the circumstances that brought it about, I find this Freaky!

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: 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.

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My Ancestors Signature #11 ~ Susan Childress Rucker

How many of you have searched for any kind of photo of an Ancestor and you weren’t able to find one? Especially for one who lived before photography was invented? Have you ever looked through documents like wills, or marriage licenses and you discover that your 3x Great Grandpa had signed it? This signature is a little piece of him that was left behind. By posting it online we can preserve it for future generations. This is the 2nd female ancestors’ signature I have found!

My 3rd Cousin

woman silhouette

Susan Childress Rucker sign on Bond Apr 3 1878

1808-1878

Bond April 3, 1878

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: 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.

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Saturday’s Dilemma ~ My Big Mistake ~ Assuming Civility

facebook-logoFor over 10 years I have been using Facebook to keep my relatives informed about my Genealogical finds. I have posted some of my blogs and made inquires of those who may know more than me about family relationships. My personal Facebook page is basically for family only. Of the 140+ “friends” I have only met 6 in person. I wasn’t raised around family so most of these people are relatives who have found me over the years through other relatives. Most have expressed appreciation for all the history and stories I post.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a blog about my 9x Great Uncle Jonathan Singletary who changed his last name to his mother’s maiden name of Dunham after he had gotten in Zachary Taylor 2some trouble. While researching I discovered that President Barack Obama and I share my 10x Great Grandfather Richard Singletary. I thought this was a find worth sharing with my family. I had previously shared that Daniel Boone is my 1st cousin 8x removed and that President George Washington is my 3rd cousin 8x removed, and also President Zachary Taylor is my 1 cousin 6x removed. Everyone had been so excited over this news.

Again, I reiterate that I do not personally know most of my family personally. I have my own very strong political beliefs which I have never shared on Facebook. I do not put up memes supporting or disparaging any candidate as this has never been my purpose for my page. I do have several cousins who regularly post their views, some very vigorously, but I do not respond to their posts.

HereticThat brings me to Monday evening when I naively put up the post about my discovery. I did make mention that regardless of your political views this was an exciting find and to please remember this is a genealogy post not a political endorsement of any kind. After putting the post up I had an errand to run so when I returned home about 1 hour later I was shocked to see what had happened. Immediately after I posted, I had gotten a barrage of “worst President, best President” responses, then the fighting began! I do not use curse words, ever! I was shocked by the cursing, swearing, name-calling, and yes, even the threats that went on. Some of the cousins even “blocked” each other. I felt so defeated as all I wanted to do was share my discovery. I took the post down!

I felt bad because I know some of my civil minded relatives would have liked finding out who they are related too! However, I am now hesitant to inform them of it as some of the ones who reverted to name-calling, etc were ones I also thought were this way! This was definitely a lesson learned. I think from now on I will only post about ancestors who were not famous or controversial!

How do you or would you handle such a situation?

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: 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.

 

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Filed under Ancestry, Barack Obama, Blogging, Cousins, Daniel Boone, Dilemma, Facebook, Family History, Family Search, Famous, Genealogy, George Washington, Saturday's Dilemma, Uncategorized

Saturday’s Dilemma ~ Just Stating The Facts

dilemmaI wrote a blog a few weeks ago concerning how much detail should be included in a personal story for future generations. I know I would love to have more information like this, good or bad, on the personal lives of my ancestors. The consensus of the replies to the blog reinforced my belief that we should include some of the “hard” stories in our genealogy writings. Now I have a new dilemma kind of along the same line.

A few years ago, I asked some of my cousins if they knew any stories about anyone in our family. I specifically asked for those of my Grandparents or ancestors further back in the line. I did state that if the person were deceased I would also like stories of those in our generation. I got a few short stories about my paternal Grandfather, a couple of Aunts, one Great Uncle, and one of my deceased 1st cousins. They are all great stories, but I have reservations about writing the one about my cousin.

Society has changed a lot in the last 50 years. What was accepted or tolerated then, is stop-racism-1taboo today. People are easily offended, and, in most cases, they have every right to be. However, we can’t change history nor whitewash things that happened back in the 60’s that we would find abhorrent today. The story about my cousin would be considered racist, and it is! However, it did happen, the world was in a different place than it is today, and it is a fact that it happened.

My dilemma is do I just write it as a fact, or should I include some historical detail and explanation of the times in which the event happened? Perhaps I could go into a little detail of how my cousin grew up and his family’s outlook on the situation that was happening?

 

Any input or suggestions would be appreciated.

 

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: 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.

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Filed under Ancestry, Cousins, Dilemma, Family History, Family Search, Genealogy, History, Hot Topic, Memories, Missouri, My Stories, Saturday's Dilemma, Story telling, Uncategorized

Freaky Friday’s ~ Is The Invite In The Mail?

freaky-fridayMy blog on Wednesday for the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks was about a 9x Great Uncle named Jonathan Singletary who changed his last name to his mother’s maiden name of Dunham. It was quite a story. However, as I was researching Jonathan I came upon a very Freaky discovery. Let me explain.

When I write a blog I spend several hours doing research, checking sources, and tryingresearch-clipart to write in a way that is understandable. I don’t rely on just one source, I will scroll through page after page of information to make sure the information is correct, comparing facts, etc. To be honest, sometimes it can get downright boring! Here is another confession…..this time it wasn’t just the story about a family scoundrel that got me interested in this particular family line. It was a person I found at the end of one of the lines.

presidential-sealI have several “famous” people on both sides of my family. I have Patriots, war heroes, pioneers, Mayflower passengers, and 3 Presidents I am connected to. As of Wednesday I now have another President to add to my list. I discovered that I am a 9th cousin to Barack Obama. To say I was shocked is an understatement!

 

I wonder if I contacted him if I would get an invite to their next family reunion? No, I don’t see that happening, that would be too freaky!

 

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: 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.

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Freaky Friday’s ~ “What is “Freaky?”

freaky-friday-logoHave you ever researched an ancestor and saw something you thought was “freaky”? Is that a good thing or a bad thing? I guess that depends on what your definition of freaky is. The word was first used back in 1832 and the meaning hasn’t changed since then. However, in today’s world, something freaky oftentimes means something that is creepy. Merriam Websters Dictionary defines “freaky” as being strange or odd. So, when you find something in your family tree that is freaky it isn’t always a bad thing.

You may wonder “Why the language lesson”? I did it to make a point. The definition of this word has stayed the same although most people consider it differently. This is how it can be when we find something in our family line that we feel is freaky. We look at it through our 21st -century eyes and that makes it difficult to wrap our heads around it.

One example is in my Coffey line beginning with my 4x Great Grandfather, Benjamin. He1st cousins and his wife Mary “Polly” Hayes had 8 children. 4 of his sons married their first cousin and one marrying the daughter of his Grandfather or to put it in easier terms, he married his aunt! Within 3 generations this family had over 15 intermarriages of cousins. To me, I consider this strange, odd and freaky. These types of things are rare in this day and age, but back in the 1700’s it was a common practice for many reasons. Families lived close together in small communities that didn’t include very many non-relatives. So when it came time to get married they had a limited selection. Looking at the facts surrounding the time frame helped me to put it all into perspective.

emigrants 1700Another situation that could be considered freaky would be how entire families just loaded up their belongings and moved hundreds or thousands of miles away. Today it happens all the time. My husband and I have moved from Arizona to Mississippi, Missouri, Louisiana and Tennessee and back again. That is 4 long trips and a lot of miles. However, the entire process was pretty easy compared to the 1700s. We could research information about the area, find housing and jobs before we left here. Moving, although tiring was simple, just pack up the U-Haul and go. We had detailed maps or GPS so we knew exactly how to get where we were going. My ancestors would make the decision to move, raise the funds, sell most of their belonging and if they were lucky within a year or two they could begin their move. They were basically in the dark when it came to what the destination looked like. They had “crude” maps and they just prayed it was correct. Instead of it taking 2 days to drive to their new home it would take weeks or months to get there. Then they had to build their home and plant their gardens and crops and begin anew. They were the brave, adventurous ones. If we had to do this most of us would never leave the area where we were born. Looking back, what they did could be considered freaky.

I am sure that you can think of many things your ancestors did that we would never do today. That in itself would make the action “freaky”. So when we look back on their lives remember, we don’t have to understand the why of what they did as it was a different time. I am sure if they could have seen into the future they would have thought we were all a little “freaky”. My search for the “odd and strange” will continue!

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: 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.

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Freaky Friday’s ~  Once Upon A Murder

Freaky-Fridays-logo1-optimisedIn the early morning hours of Sunday, July 13, 1930, 21-year-old Virgil Bullard and his 3 brother-in-laws began a trip into town. Lexington Missouri was about 4 miles southwest of the farm they lived on. Traveling down the dirt road they soon passed by one of their neighbors’ farm and the owner, Irvan Menaugh came out to the road and stopped them. A few days earlier Virgil had borrowed a team of mules with a threshing outfit from Irvan. Along with the mules he also borrowed some new collars for a span of mules. He had returned them all the day before. Standing by the large wagon, Irvan began to accuse Virgil of swapping the new collars and harnesses with some old ones. Virgil stated that he had left the new collars in the wagon when he returned them all. “No, you didn’t,” Manaugh said. “There were two old collars in place of them, and besides you called my wife a b—- and I am going to kill you!” Irvan then pulled out his gun and fired one shot from the .38 caliber revolver. The bullet struck Virgil, penetrating the skull above his right eye. The 3 other men in the wagon, Mitchell Lee Willard aged 32, Leonard Hughes aged 17 and Douglas Hughes (my Dad) aged 15 tried to get Virgil into town to the Doctors as quickly as possible The Doctor tried to save him but he died a short time later.

It took the police 7 hours of hunting the Menaugh farm and the surrounding area to locate Irvan. They found him hiding in some bushes on his property. He was immediately arrested and was held on the charge of first-degree murder.

According to family stories, Charley Hughes, the father of 20-year-old Nellie Hughes Bullard, went down to the courthouse in Lexington with his shotgun and tried to get into the jail to kill Irvan. He was very distraught as Virgil had not only left behind a young wife but she was also pregnant. Because Charley was a well known and respected Horse and mule breeder and Horse Trainer in Lafayette County he was not arrested for his actions. Irvan Menaugh was found not guilty and was released.

This was a horrific event in our family history. All of my dad’s family disliked the Menaughs because of this. Not quite the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s, but the feud still rages on today.

About 10 years ago I met a cousin named Cathy from my mothers’ side. I was put in Lexington MO Signtouch with her about a month before my husband and I made a trip to Missouri. She was almost as excited to meet me as I was to meet her. Because of the very strained relation I always had with my mother, I had spent the first 11 years of my Genealogy journey only researching my dad’s side of the family. When we met, Cathy gave me a packet of the research she had on the McGowan side of the family. We had such a full schedule while in Missouri and a 36-hour drive back to Arizona, I didn’t have time to look at the information until after I got home.

Virgil DCImagine my surprise when I was entering all the information I had received into my Smith/McGowan tree and when I got to my cousins’ immediate family I came across the name Menaugh! Cathy’s mom had married the son of Irvan Menaugh after the death of her husband. Cathy had never heard this story so I emailed her the newspaper article. We both agreed that the fact that her step-grandfather had murdered my aunt’s husband was indeed quite FREAKY!

 

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: 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.

 

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Filed under Ancestry, Cousins, Death, Family History, Family Search, Freaky, Freaky Friday's, Genealogy, Lexington MO, McGowan Family, Murder, Uncategorized

Saturday’s Dilemma ~ Trying To Get It All Straight

gene check listI have started going through my trees with a checklist of documents I have or need for each ancestor. It has helped me to fill in a lot of blanks. When I am working on the tree, I usually just work on one line at a time. If it is the Hughes line. I will look at my dad, his dad, then his dad, etc. I don’t change the order by looking into their spouses as well. I do this after I finish the male line.  Everyone does their research in their own way and this is mine. It usually works well until I make a mistake.

 

A couple of days ago I was researching my 2x Great Grandpa George W. Hayes. As I was closing his page getting ready to go to the next Hayes in the line, I heard a loud thud and someone yelling! I told my husband it sounded like someone got hurt so we went outside. Our elderly neighbor had fallen so we helped her up and took her into her house and made sure she was okay. When I got back home, I was still a little frazzled by the incident so I thought I would just get back to filling in some missing pieces in the tree. I pulled up the tree and hit the button and then I pulled up the ancestor. When I looked at his wife’s name I was confused. It gave her name as Elizabeth Rucker. I could have sworn her name was supposed to be Sarah Rucker. When I took a second look at her husband’s name, I realized that I had hit Georges’ wife tree by mistake. When I looked at Georges’ parents his mom was listed as Sarah Rucker. If this was correct that made George and his wife, Elizabeth Coffey first cousins. So, the search was on!

 

 

 

The farther back I went the more confusing it got. It was confirmed that Sarah and Elizabeth’s father was Colby Rucker.  Sarah married John Coffey, the son of Benjamin cousin blocksCoffey. Elizabeth married Thomas Hayes whose mother was Mary “Polly” Hayes. Mary Hayes was married to Benjamin Coffey. If this isn’t confusing enough Benjamin Coffey’s brother Thomas married Elizabeth Smith. They had a daughter named Mary Coffey, who married William Coffey, who was the son of Benjamin Coffey!

headspin

OK, my head hurts from all this inter-marrying.  I am going to spend some time looking through the many, many children of the Hayes, Rucker and Coffey lines to see how many other cousins have married. I know this isn’t really that unusual, there are probably some like this in most trees. I know I have cousins in my mothers’ line who have married. However, not this many within 3 generations!

 

So, here is my dilemma. Actually 2 of them. First, what is the best way to make a chart linking all of these cousins together to get a better view of them and their relationships with each other? Second, what do you think about me putting the “extra” relationship in my trees so future generations don’t have to do what I have done?

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: 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.

 

 

 

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