Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Surprising Connection Between Dad's Family and Mother's Friends

The title of this post doesn't suggest anything surprising or unusual. Many couples have friends from one side of the family who are related to the other side of the family. But as I grew up from childhood, my dad's side of the family and my mother's side of the family were like the Hatfields and McCoys. At least that's what my stepmother raised me to believe, and enforced in our home. The two families were polar opposites and neither was ever spoken of in the other's home.

As I've done family history research, I've discovered quite a lot of connections between my mother's family and my dad's family. Another one came to light today as I visited with my dad about one of his cousins. I've drawn this chart to illustrate the relationships I'll describe here.
My parents are Ernest Margheim and Ruby Flanders. You can see in this chart that Alvina Koleber is a first cousin of my dad. Alvina's father (George Koleber) and Ernest's mother (Amalia Koleber) were brother and sister. Actually they are "double cousins" because Alvina's mother (Mary Elizabeth Margheim) and Ernest's father (John Margheim) are also sister and brother.
Alvina Koleber Buehler
Alvina was first married in 1939 to Elmer Buehler. The chart shows that Elmer's brother was Raymond Buehler, husband of Adeline Kasselman. I was shocked to learn this today, because Ray and Adeline ("Addie") Buehler were very good friends of my mother Ruby Flanders and her second husband Don Craine. Many times as I visited my mother in Wichita, Kansas her friends Addie and Ray were present. I went to school with their children as I grew up.
Adeline Kasselman Buehler
It's interesting to me that Ray Buehler's sister-in-law was Alvina Koleber Buehler. Dad has told me that Alvina was employed in the early 1950s at Jones Home Laundry in Great Bend, Kansas. 
Alvina Koleber Buehler in her
uniform at Jones Home Laundry,
Great Bend, KS

Jones Home Laundry was owned by Henry James "Jim" Jones, whose daughter Phyllis also worked there and in 1951 became my step-mother (as second wife of Ernest Margheim). Phyllis was encouraged by Alvina Buehler in August 1950 to attend a dance in Great Bend since she was 26 years old and single. Alvina knew that one of the band members providing the music at the dance was guitarist Ernest Margheim, newly-divorced father of two-year-old twins, Dennis and Becky (me). Phyllis and Ernest met at that dance and were married 18 March 1951.
Alvina Koleber Buehler is in the front row at left and 
Phyllis Jones is 4th from right. 
Dad told me today that the first time he met his first wife Ruby Flanders (my mother) he was also at a dance. She was dancing with a man named Ray Buehler! Dad was attracted to Ray's dancing partner so after the dance Dad asked Ray what her name was. Ray told Dad that he didn't know! Dad asked her to dance anyway....and they were married July 9, 1943. Eventually Ray married Addie Kasselman and the two were life-long friends of my mother Ruby and her second husband Don Craine.  

It just amazes me that all those years that I knew Addie and Ray Buehler as close friends of my mom and step-dad I had no idea Ray's brother Elmer had been married to my dad's cousin Alvina Koleber. And I had no idea that a friend of my step-mother was married to the brother-in-law of a friend of my birth mother. Even putting the names Koleber and Margheim in the same blog post as the Buehler and Ruby Flanders Margheim Craine names seems like pouring oil in water. But I've discovered and illustrated the connection and am now trying to let it soak into my boggled mind. The things we don't know when we're young and the things we wouldn't know if we don't talk to our parents and other relatives!

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