Spousal cousins

Scott Steward’s ICYMI publish “Surrounded by family” impressed me to mirror on shared ancestors amongst my mom’s paternal grandparents, Millard E. Morse and Myrta E. Pierce, who married in Wareham, Massachusetts, on 13 October 1906. This photograph, a household gem, captures the happiness of their marriage ceremony day.

Contemplating this couple got here from long-established Plymouth County households, it got here as no shock to me that they might share 33 pairs of shared ancestors — beginning six generations previous them, nicely past any shared recollections. In my novice days as a genealogist, over 40 years in the past, what a boon I skilled in accessing the New Bedford Public Library’s assortment of household genealogies. And what a delight to seek out household teams within the Normal Society of Mayflower Households silver books! A number of Plymouth households nonetheless elude me, however among the many “new” Mayflower lineages I documented have been the dad and mom of Sylvia Fish, born circa 1777 in Sandwich, daughter of Levi Fish and Sarah Cobb, and Rebecca Palmer, born circa 1739, daughter of William Palmer and Esther Taber.[1]

Unlikely seventh cousins as soon as eliminated: my grandparents, Emory and Lois (Rhodes) Morse, in Wareham, Massachusetts in 1936.

My mom’s dad and mom, Emory Morse and Lois Rhodes, by no means would have dreamed that they had ancestors in widespread. Three of Lois’s grandparents have been born outdoors the US: paternal grandfather William Rhodes in Devon, England; paternal grandmother Mary Counihan in County Kerry, Eire; and maternal grandfather Mariano Sylvia in St. Michael, Azores.

That left a risk that the lineage of Lois’s maternal grandmother, Mary Bethiah (Paine) Sylvia, born on Block Island in 1848, would possibly result in a “duplicate ancestor.” It took me years to hint Mary’s ancestry again into eighteenth-century Massachusetts.

Although Mary B. Sylvia lived till 1933, her final studio image above dates to 1898, maybe on the event of her daughter Isabelle’s marriage to Amos Chase. How I want her husband joined her for the sitting, as a result of no formal image of him survives!

A collection of discoveries, first inside conventional revealed genealogical research and later from genetic proof, confirmed one set of Mary Sylvia’s great-grandparents as Seth Phinney and Sarah Cotton, who married in Harpswell, Maine, in 1788. Seth was probably born in Barnstable, Massachusetts, circa 1760, earlier than his dad and mom moved to Harpswell in 1763.[2] Seth may depend Mayflower passenger Thomas Rogers in his pedigree, and thus, this Mayflower passenger who died through the first winter emerged because the ancestor-in-common of my mom’s dad and mom.

We have now no management over the place our forebears lived. It strikes me as a marvel of geographic and historic happenstance when ancestors we all know by identify lived in areas that generated exceptional data and served as an space of examine that different genealogical students proceed to plumb. With generations of unknown Irish and Portuguese ancestors, I by no means take the privilege of discovering a paper path without any consideration.

Three strains of descent from Thomas Rogers to my mom, Marilyn (Morse) Dwyer:


[1] Permitted Mayflower supplemental strains of Michael Dwyer, Normal Society #48,876.

[2] Joseph Criminal Anderson and Lois Ware Thurston, Maine Households in 1790 (Rockport, Me.: Picton Press, 1994), 4: 218–19.