Besides the sun and the beautiful skies this week, my world has been filled with cousin talk, cousin connection and the exhilarating feeling of some accomplishment. The topic of cousins seems so easy to grasp and yet -- it can get complex what with 1st, 2nd, 3rd, Removed, Double, Half, and many other iterations.
Above are just some of the formats for working with "cousins". From the basic trees, to enhanced trees to illustrated explanations to frustration as shown in the "theory of relativity" decision.
Rather than trying to identify the degrees of cousin, I usually just say "Cousin" and let it go at that. Sometimes though I do have to get more specific and that is when the charts and so come into play.
In the past week though I have met and interacted with two or three new cousins, interacted with several already known and identified cousins and am actively seeking still other new cousins.
The last few weeks I have been concentrating on the Bumgardner, Butler, Hoopes, Rider and Rankin families. All tied to me on my maternal side of the family.
While climbing through the Bumgardner tree branch, I looked closely at Dayton Bumgardner's family. Dayton had an older brother, Carl. Carl was a little less than two years older, they both were born in Iowa.
Both Carl and Dayton eventually moved to Chicago, Illinois around the turn of the 1900s. I think they were close as brother's often are and I've seen many newspaper clips describing the two of them traveling back to Iowa for various family events.
Then I got to thinking about my own involvement with the Carl Bumgardner family as I grew up. I actually never met Carl or any one in his family which struck me as odd as I thought about it.
Carl and Dayton lived fairly close to each other in Chicago and they had children around the same years of each other's creating close-in-age cousins. Unfortunately, Carl died in 1952 and I remember attending his funeral and my Aunt Jean remarking about how much Carl looked like Dayton.
Our immediate family attended numerous holiday get-togethers at Dayton's house and not once was anyone from Carl's family in attendance. I never really thought about it til now.
Carl and his wife, Lydia had two children, Ada & Charles. I don't know if Charles -- who often went by Leonard, his middle name -- had children. But Ada and her husband had at least one child that I know of -- Carol Ann Vandenberg, who would be my 2nd cousin.
Above is the chart that depicts how Carol Ann fits into the tree. She is about the same age as my sister and so I went looking for her. Thank goodness for Newspapers.com and Genealogybank.com.
Reading the above article was astonishing to me because of the fact that I do not think anyone in my immediate family knew of her or about her achievements. And prior to this week, if I had just come across this article I would not have ever guessed that we were cousins.
And then I found the article shown to the right. Both of these articles came from The Pointer, the newspaper from Riverdale, Illinois, in 1961.
The sad thing is that I still do NOT know for sure if she and John actually got married. I have not found the evidence as yet.
And so there is a lot that I need to try to find, including Carol herself, which would be another cousin located and found.
One piece of evidence that I found is the fact that Carol's mother,
Ada Lydia Bumgardner, my first cousin, passed away in 1999 while living in Urbana, Illinois.
That fact leads me to think that Carol may have stayed in the Urbana area as well and continued to teach there.
So much to investigate, so little time . . .
Two other things, among many things going-on this week will take my time, the first is:
This show returns this week and is a favorite of mine. Each week they highlight a personality and uncover some of their family tree with a quality presentation of the facts.
There are currently three TV shows on now connected to genealogy and family history -- The Relative Race, Long Lost Family and now WDYTYA . . . there can't be too many of these in my view.
And lastly, a big chunk of time can be used up watching the return to Baseball this week:
The season openers are this week and the Giants will feature Madison Bumgarner as their starting pitcher in the first game. As I have said before, Madison probably is a relative -- we just have not proven the connection -- yet.
One really nice aspect of baseball is that I can work with my iPad and do research while still watching and enjoying the games.
So, that is a bit of our week. See you all "in a few"!