The Great-Grandchildren Tour

A couple of months ago, I received an e-mail from a relative from Canada. Our grandmothers were sisters, so we’re cousins of some sort. We met as kids, when he and sisters crashed at my grandmother’s apartment for a dancing competition. But those Canada ties had long ago dropped away as the grandparents passed away and people moved on.

This spring, I started plugging in family information into He found me and asked for old pictures and documents.

Our common ancestors came over on a boat to Ellis Island more than 100 years ago, not far from where we had lunch. Their many, many great-grandchildren are now spread out all over the states and Canada. Since my second? third? cousin travels a lot for work, he’s made a project of meeting up with as many of these great-grandchildren as he can.

My brother, my (first) cousin, Jeff, and I joined him this weekend in the New York City, and we poured over old pictures and each told our own versions of family lore.

I asked him what commonalities did he find in these descendants from the mismatched couple from Bari? He said music. Many people in my family are unusually talented with music. I do not fit in that category, but the two middle guys in that photo – my brother and cousin – do. He also seemed to think that we are all unusually charming.

Anyway, I thought that Ryan’s adventure was fun and thought I would share.

2 thoughts on “The Great-Grandchildren Tour

  1. Ooh, a mirror selfie! I appreciate the collection of this [fairly] recent history. It is the era that I find most fascinating and the one where I feel here are stories and documents and knowledge that are available now but will disappear if we don’t collect and archive. We were recently given a stash of pictures of my husband’s grandparents (and his father) when father was about 4 (that would have been in the 30’s, I believe). I scanned and archived on my family blog, which I will need to make more accessible than it currently is (i.e. print it).

    I believe you are 2nd cousins, sharing a common great-grandparent. My children are close to their second cousins (whose mother was their nanny when they were small), so we’ve tried to define the relationship. Those cousins are first cousins, once removed to my husband, who is cousins with their father, sharing a common set of grandparents (the once in the pictures).


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