Ancestor loss through cousin marriages only scratches the surface of ancestral family interrelationships. With such a strong response to my investigation into charting these relationships, I wondered how many cousin pairs there may have been in my family, only to be surprised at what I discovered.
Thinking it would be a simple task to find the interrelationships, as there is a beginning to family records, I thought I could compose the information quickly in my Origins group, born between 1680 and 1710. I didn’t expect to find many, as it seemed some parents of this generation migrated to Hermeskeil from other places. But the more I researched, the more connected relationships revealed themselves of sibling groups marrying other sibling groups, chains of marriage relationships between families, and every kind of cousin pairing. Even the earliest instance of when it all starts began with some knots. It became a great challenge to chart, and made me determined:
1. First I illustrated the relationship of one family to others. This was the glimpse into the complexity of how thirteen families interlace.
2. Then I discovered this chain of 16 relationships which I lined up and analyzed how they correspond, again with lines. I tried the traditional approach to charting—the U shape with connecting lines via generations and direct relationships.
3. Now, I have added a time sequence. It seems more visually explanatory to stagger the boxes according to birth date. The lines seem to tell more of a story.
Continuing on with this investigation, I am finding more and more instances of complex family connections, to the point where it seems the entire village must have been related to each other. Did they all look the same too??
—Always inspired, Liane
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Liane Sebastian wears an editor’s hat, designer’s coat, and artist’s shoes.