Friday, October 30, 2015

Cousins in Common: The Rathbuns

Are there even more cousins that David and I are both related to? Yep. I don’t find this surprising anymore. Interesting, you bet. Even fascinating. But not surprising. I wouldn’t be surprised to find coincidences like this and line-crossings in the family trees of many couples.

So which cousins in common am I talking about today?

Norton Galard Rathbun (1838-1919) was my first cousin five times removed. Norton's parents were Saxton Squire Rathbun (1813-1895) and Barbara Elizabeth Huss Rathbun (1816-1894). You can see their gravestone in Bakertown Cemetery, Clyde, Ohio, just below. Norton’s maternal grandparents were Noah Jacob Huss (1790-1843) and Mary Burkholder Huss (1789-1849). You can see Noah and Mary's gravestones in the same cemetery about three-quarters of the way through this previous post. Noah and Mary were my five times great-grandparents through my paternal grandmother’s line.

Gravestone of Saxton Rathbun and Barbara Huss Rathbun.
On Christmas Day of 1865 in Sandusky County, Ohio, cousin Norton married Elizabeth E. Hufford (1842-1926). Elizabeth was David Maxine’s second cousin five times removed. Her great-grandparents were Christian Hoffart (1716-1788) and his second wife Anna Catherine Vogel Hoffart (1715-abt 1807). Christian and his first wife, Elizabeth Keim (1723-abt 1763), were the six times great grandparents of David through his paternal grandmother’s line.

The marriage of Norton Galard Rathbun and Elizabeth E. Hufford Rathbun means that all their descendants are cousins to both David and me. Not that they had a great number of descendants. Norton and Elizabeth had three sons, Edward Carlyle Rathbun (1867-1942), Arthur F. Rathbun (1869-1965), and Herman W. Rathbun (b 1867). Edward had two sons, Irvin Noah Rathbun (1899-1988) and Alan Edward Rathbun (1906-1993). Irvin and Alan had seven children between them, seven great-grandchildren of Norton and Elizabeth Rathbun. One, maybe two, of those didn’t make it to adulthood. None of the remaining five has had any children that I can find so far. All of those offspring are cousins David and I have in common.

Dorothy M. Sherrard Rathbun, 1936.
At one point I thought I might find another family connection though one of these common cousins. Alan Edward Rathbun (1906-1993), grandson of Norton Galard Rathbun, married Dorothy Marguerite Sherrard (1910-1994) in Canton, Stark County, Ohio, in 1936. Since my father has had relatives in Stark County, Ohio, for nearly two hundred years, I wondered whether Dorothy Sherrard was connected to me through another line. But I can’t find that she is.

But there is another family connection among these Rathbuns, David, and me. That connection turns these family lines into one big circle.

A while back I posted here about David's and my cousins in common the Colgrove sisters—Victoria Marie “Vikki” Colgrove Young and Rebecca Louise “Becki” Colgrove Siler. They're related to David through the ancestor they share with him: David F. Sellers (1845-1927). So, like David, they're related to Elizabeth E. Hufford Rathbun through David F. Sellers's maternal line.

I’m related to Vikki and Becki through our common great-great-grandfather Matti Juhonpoika Uhmusberg Hietanen (1857-1915), a line going through my mother. But it's through my father that I’m related to Norton Galard Rathbun, so Vikki and Becki aren’t related to Norton, too, just to Norton's wife, Elizabeth.

But just as David and I are related to all Norton and Elizabeth Rathbun’s descendants, so are Vikki and Becki.

Is that too confusing?

It’s easier to visualize, so I’ve created a chart. The names in red are cousins in common. I didn’t want to make the chart any more complicated than it is, so I didn’t put in the children of brothers Irvin and Alan Rathbun--although those children are also cousins in common with both David and me. If you trace the main course of the lines and ignore the offshoots to the red names, you can see that it’s actually a closed loop.

Cousins in Common: The Rathbuns Chart. As with all images on this blog, click it to see a larger version.

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