Wednesday, November 20, 2013

How I met my cousins

In my first post on this blog, I mentioned that I have been researching my family tree.  I have had no luck tracing my father's side back to Poland and Slovakia.  However, my mother's side, from England, Switzerland and Germany, has been easier. 

The English branch was the easiest of all.  I knew that my maternal grandmother's parents were from England, and I knew their names.  Almost immediately I was able to find British census records on the internet which placed my great grandparents in a village called East Garston.  I posted an inquiry on a genealogical website asking if anyone had any information on the family.  Within a day or two, I had an answer from a fellow named Kevin who lives outside of London.  He shares the same surname with my great grandmother.  He told me what he knew about his family tree.  I read his reply, and wrote him back saying that his great grandfather and my great grandmother were brother and sister.  That would make us third cousins. (Since then I have traced the family farther back.  On one branch of the family I have gone all way back to our great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandparents in the late 1600s!!)

Kevin and I continued corresponding via e-mail.  I eventually traveled to England and briefly met him, his wife, and two sons.  In the summer of 2011 they took a vacation to the United States, and in between visits to New York City and Las Vegas, they spent a few days here in Ohio.  It was great to get to know them better, and to play tour guide for them.  It is wonderful to discover family that you didn't even know existed!

Here are Kevin, with his wife Sue, and their two sons, Charlie and Scott.  The boys wanted to visit Cedar Point Amusement Park, in Sandusky, Ohio, not far from where I live.  Cedar Point bills itself as the "Roller Coaster Capital of the World."  It had been a long time since I had been there, and I wasn't sure if this "old man" was up to riding the roller coasters.  But I had as much fun as they did.
Here is Kevin by the grave of my great grandparents in the nearby city of Strongsville, Ohio.

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