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 ancestry.com. 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.