This week Jerry Michel posted this photo on the Facebook page for the Russell County Historical Society of Germans from Russia.
Jerry identified the couple as Johann George Bender, Sr, (1803-1913) and his third wife, Maria Katherine Schneider, who were married 13 May 1883 in Russell County, Kansas.
My dad's father, John Ludwig Margheim was born in Russell county, Kansas to German parents who were also from the Volga River area of Russia. I knew the Margheims were associated in many ways with Bender and Schneider families, so I did some research into this couple pictured above.
As a result of my research, I was able to prepare this chart, which is also pictured above at the start of this post.
Let me guide you through this maze of cousin connections. At the bottom left is me, Rebecca Margheim, shown as the wife of Larry Jamison. My dad's ancestry goes up to his mother Amalia "Mollie" Koleber and on up to her great grandfather, Johann H. Koleber, born 1817 in Russia. Besides son Johann H. Koleber, the Senior Johann had daughter Maria, wife of George J. Maier. Maria, her husband and family are pictured at the top left of the illustration above. Their daughter Louisa Maier married John Bender. You can see their wedding photo under their name.
John Bender's grandfather was the Johann George Bender whose photo was posted on Facebook yesterday. But John's grandmother was the first wife of Johann, being Maria Schwien. Johann George and Maria (Schwien) Bender's great granddaughter Manetta Bender married Archibald Parkhurst. Archibald's mother was Letha Cochran and her third cousin was Leo Cochran, the husband of Geneva Hill.
I knew I had some Hill cousins so I looked up Geneva on Family Search and found the rest of her Hill lineage. Her great, great grandmother was Sarah Strait, wife of Richard Hill. I'm a third cousin five times removed of that same Sarah Strait. In the chart above you can see that my mother Ruby Flanders is a seventh cousin of Geneva Hill.
So at the bottom right, you see me again, as the descendant of Ruby Flanders and Ernest Margheim. The chart I've prepared shows the cousin connection between my paternal ancestors and my maternal ancestors. The connection is meaningful to me because, as I grew up, I thought these two families were worlds apart. They were on opposite ends of the spectrum in MY world. Little did I suspect that they could be connected through cousin marriages. My world is getting smaller all the time!