Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Weekend on the Severn River


 P enjoying view of the Severn River 
from the deck of our rental house

This past weekend, five cousins and two spouses rented a house on the Severn River near Annapolis, MD.  It was the first meeting for some of us.  Although P and I drove just 20 miles, the others flew in to Baltimore from Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, and Wisconsin. 

The five cousins are all women. I am the oldest, at 81. My sister is almost 78. One cousin is 77. I lost contact with her in 1946 when both my parents and hers were divorced. The other two cousins are sisters. The older is 62; the younger, 58.  Three years ago, I had no idea the younger two cousins existed. My husband had been researching his family on Ancestry.com when the youngest contacted him, saying I had turned up as a first cousin on Ancestry and asking how we were related. 

My dad's brother, who died in 1965, turned out to be the father of both my 77-year-old cousin by his first wife and also the two new cousins.  We are all glad we found each other. 

-the 77-year-old, who thought she was an only child all these years, is delighted to have two half sisters. I am also glad to have re-established contact with her.

-the youngest cousin always felt as if she didn't quite belong in the family she grew up with. The man she thought was her father often said, "You don't look like one of us." She was relieved to learn the results of her Ancestry test. Now there was an explanation for all the hurtful comments of adults and the nasty teasing of schoolmates that she endured while growing up. 

--her older sister delayed getting tested because she was afraid the truth would disrupt her family, but she finally took the Ancestry test.  At first, the truth took some getting used to, but

--her two other siblings eventually accepted their new status as half-brother and half-sister and have even said they'd like to be part of the new family. 

P and I met the youngest cousin at my sister's house two years ago.  This past winter all of us began getting together regularly via Zoom sessions. We all wanted to finally meet in person. And that's what we did this weekend. 

The three older cousins are reticent introverts. The new cousins are Forces of Nature: assertive, exuberant, extremely energetic. 

We're going to set up our own blog. 

21 comments:

  1. At times answers to such family connections must be helpful for some people to understand, but it would be with great reticence that I would delve in the past using DNA. Anyway, it has worked out well for your family.

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    1. Yes, it did, in our case. You're right, though. It can open a real Pandora's box.

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  2. As interesting as meeting a new daughter and her baby at my brother's funeral. Families are fun.

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  3. Nice to reconnect to family. It's weird to meet sisters and cousins as adults; my mother had a similar situation in the '70s (although it was a deathbed confession and not DNA results that opened that can of worms).

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    1. Sometimes it IS like opening a can of worms.

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  4. What a lovely connection.
    Coffee is on and stay safe

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  5. How fun to get together. It seems the only time I ever see cousins is at funeral.

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  6. We three older ones realize that the clock is ticking.

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  7. What a great family reunion! How wonderful that you all found each other! DNA rocks, doesn't it!

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  8. glad it worked out for all of you and what a great way to meet in person....

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  9. I'm glad you were able to have this reunion before it's too late. Interesting, years ago, a first cousin once removed found me on Ancestry. I knew her aunt,my mother's older sister; long story why I lost touch with my mother's entire family. I met my first cousin, her father, for the first time in perhaps 60 years (I'm now 68, he's now 91) prior to COVID, and he recommended that I take an Ancestry genetic test, that I would be "very interested" in the results. I didn't take him up on it. A part of me would rather not know. But I won't rule it out "one day".

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  10. I think this is a great idea, your own blog. I love your writing, as always. Love, M

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  11. It is a bit of a Pandora’s Box…. but is definitely still cool and interesting to know. I am happy you are going to create a blog about it.

    PipeTobacco

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  13. Ohhhh...make sure you let us know about the blog!!

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