Last week, my mother watched a TV show in which a guest was asked how many cousins she had. She replied “25” and the host said that was a lot.
Mom hollered at me (she was downstairs in the family room) to see if I knew how many cousins she had. She knew it was a lot, but didn’t know the exact count. So, off I went to get my genealogy files and start calculating.
By the time I was done, I had counted an incredible (well, incredible at least to me) 143 first cousins!
Here’s the breakdown.
Mom’s father Eugène Desgroseilliers was the eldest of 14 children, but only some of them had children. Eugène’s sister Flavie had 8 children, while brothers Roméo had 5, Léonidas had 12, Léandre had 5, Ovide had 7, Ovila had 6, and Joseph had 7. That’s a total of 50 paternal first cousins.
Mom’s mother Juliette Beauvais was the third of 16 children, and most of them had children. Juliette’s sisters Agathe had 8 children, while Lorette had 7.* Brothers Ovide had 16, Oscar had 11,† Léger had 15, Romuald had 4, Emile had 4, Martial had 7, Réal had 15, Aurèle had 4, Joseph had 6, and Jean-Marie had 3. That’s a total of 93 maternal first cousins.
* Lorette married Eugène’s younger brother Ovide and had 7 children, so I didn’t count them in the maternal total.
† Oscar had 11, possibly 14, children, but I used the lower number to count them.
Some of Mom’s aunts and uncles lived in the same towns she did as a child, and she got to know those cousins. A few relatives lived further away from her family, so she didn’t meet them until she was an adult, but there were other cousins she never met and didn’t know anything about them. Now and then, though, Mom’s older sister Madeleine (because of where she lived and how much she travelled) would get news of those distant cousins and share the details with her sisters.
Tell me, dear readers, do you know how many first cousins you have?
Copyright © 2014, Yvonne Demoskoff.