Growing up I felt a little gypped in the world of cousins. Don’t get me wrong, I love the four that I have. But, with my dad being an only child and only one of my moms siblings having kids… there it is… four cousins… all boys. Most of us probably have great memories of visiting our cousins at family reunions or spending time with them during the holidays. But sometimes we seem to discount our connection to those who aren’t our first cousins.
This past year I learned a very important lesson about the importance of distant cousins. I didn’t have much information about one of my second great-grandma’s on my dad’s side. Her name was Maria Addison, and I am descended from her second marriage (Mills) in which she had three kids. Only one of which had children and the line didn’t produce many more people at each generation. There was really no one down our line that had any information about her.
One day I decided to look further into those that descended from Maria Addison’s first marriage (Fremlin). My thinking behind this was that someone might have more information about her. I’ve found that the best way to find the names of living relatives is to read obituaries. They can contain a world of information about a person including those who survived the deceased. Little did I know I was about to discover something great. I found an obituary for Maria’s grandson Guy Addison Fremlin. Among those listed as survivors were his son Guy with the same name and his sister Janet Addison Cox. After searching the internet for Guy the second, I found an email and sent him a message. He got back to me rather quickly and confirmed our family connection. Guy also said that the person in their family that does a lot of family history is Bob Cox… Janet’s son.
Soon after connecting with Bob through Facebook he added me to a page he created for the Fremlin family. As I looked through the page at family reunion pictures I came across this…
A picture of my second great grandmother… Maria Addison Fremlin Mills. Never having seen a picture of her I was moved to tears. I now had a face to put to the things that I already knew about her. It seemed like a miracle to me, so I wondered what other information they might have.
In April I had a trip planned to Northern California, so I decided while I was there I would make the six hour drive down to Ventura to meet Bob and his mother Janet who is in her nineties. It was so worth the drive. They shared so many stories with me and my dad and had other family pictures from people on our side. As genealogy goes… it was a great day!
This is a picture of me and my new found cousins Janet Cox (granddaughter of Maria Addison) and her son Bob Cox. Connecting with cousins, no matter how distant, can be a huge blessing as we try to make connections to our ancestors. So get out there and start connecting.