Friday, September 30, 2011

My Mother and Stepmother Cousin Connections

My cousin Kate Keller posted this picture on Ancestry.com this week. 
Martha Matilda "Mattie" Larue 1838-1920
Found in collection of photos and papers held by Mary Steele LaRue. Dated 1917 and "To Mary S. LaRue, 1917, Grandma LaRue". frankieraney1originally submitted this to Wilson Family Tree of East Texas on 22 Jun 2007
The photo is not in good shape, but instantly captured my interest because of the perspective. I haven't quite figured it out. At first I thought it was taken looking through a window. But upon closer inspection, it appears that Mattie is sitting on a porch with an exterior window directly behind her. Anyway, I LOVE the photo. I'll bet the open book on her lap is a Bible. Her obituary below says "To talk about the Bible and religion was her chief delight."
When I saw that cousin Kate has posted this photo into our ancestry tree, I had to refer to my genealogy database in RootsMagic to determine who Mattie was and how she was related to me. That investigation led me on a surprising, amazing, and delightful journey yesterday. I made notes of my findings and this evening drew up this chart to illustrate what I discovered.
My mother was Ruby Flanders, who married my Dad in 1943. She appears in a green box at bottom left of the chart. My twin brother and I were born in 1947 and in 1949 my mother divorced my Dad. In 1951 Dad remarried to Phyllis Jones, who appears in a green box at the bottom right of the chart. 

Mattie Larue is in the blue box, as her name was Martha Matilda Larue, 1838-1920. She was married to John Wellington Larue who was the grandson of John C. Larue and Clara Hardin. John C. Larue is the 3rd cousin 5 generations removed of my mother Ruby, and his wife Clara Hardin is the 1st cousin 6 generations removed of Phyllis Jones, my step-mom.

John Wellington Larue is the 5th cousin 3 generations removed of my mother Ruby and he's the 3rd cousin 4 generations removed of my step-mom Phyllis. His wife Mattie Larue is the 4th cousin 4 generations removed of my mother Ruby and she's also the 4th cousin 4 generations removed of my step-mom Phyllis.

You might not find this significant. But there was great hostility between my mother and step-mother. Their families were totally separate "camps" when I grew up in Kansas. Think of the Hatfield and McCoys. The Flanders and Jones families were not at odds, but the two wives of my dad, Ernie Margheim, certainly were! So to discover this cousin connection is just quite amazing to me! They'd each probably "roll over in their graves" if they knew this.

And it doesn't stop there! Look at the yellow box that shows Hardin DuVal and his wife Mary Strait. Mary Strait is the great, great grandaunt of my mother Ruby Flanders. And her husband Hardin DuVal is the 3rd cousin 5 generations removed of my step-mother Phyllis Jones. 

I love it when I discover these connections. That's obvious, because I worked for an hour tonight to write up this relationship chart showing all these connections.

And it all started with this beautiful picture of Martha Matilda "Mattie" Larue. Thank you, cousin Kate, for sharing it with me yesterday!
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