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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Some more cousins for Adrienne...

Last year I wrote about meeting Adrienne, a long lost relative of DH's who lived in Huntington Beach.

The 3 of us had a lovely lunch at Laguna Beach  March 8, 2011

Neither of them knew of the other's existence up until a few years ago. On our US trip last year, our first stop after landing at LAX was Santa Monica. An elderly cousin of DH's mother lived there and we planned to visit her. Sadly she died, aged 97, the month before we arrived . So our plans were to change somewhat.
Thelma was an Aussie but had become a US war bride, so she ended up living longer in the US than she had in Australia. Thelma had one daughter (Adrienne), and catching up with her had also been on our itinerary. Following her mother's death, Adrienne was to get a few surprises as secrets from long ago were gradually revealed.
Thelma at her daughter's home, with the dogs

When Thelma's birth certificate was obtained it showed that the woman that Adrienne believed to be her grandmother was actually her great aunt or her mother's aunt. Thelma's  biological mother (Johanna) was actually her adoptive mother's (Anna) sister. Johanna had given birth out of wedlock. Oh dear we are talking about the early years of the 20th century. Now DH's mother was very close to Johanna who died in 1975 and the family often visited Aunty Josie as she was called. So Adrienne was so excited to be able to speak to someone (DH) who had known her 'real' grandma. But it gets better...

Thelma is the flowergirl in this wedding photo of DH's grandparents

On Monday I got a call from Ann, who told me she was DH's second cousin. Ann hadn't seen DH since he was a little boy. She was 'doing' her family tree  and needed some help with DH's mother's family. She sounded so excited on the phone that she ended up coming over to see me. (DH was at golf) She'd heard a rumour that her nan had had a baby out of wedlock...did I know anything about it? Her nan was Johanna/Aunty Josie. I said yes it's true and though this woman is now deceased, her daughter is living in the US...would you like her email? 

A photo of Johanna in her later years. I had found this photo on

To cut a long story short, I copied old family photos for her, she went off to ring her sisters and to send an email to Adrienne introducing herself. Adrienne was absolutely thrilled!  You see Ann , her siblings and Adrienne share the same grandmother, Johanna. Johanna spent her latter years living with one of her sons and his young family...this son just happened to be Ann's father. So Ann and her 7 siblings have so many memories to share with their newfound cousin. And of course, DH is renewing the ties with his cousins after so many years. As Ann makes more and more phone calls to siblings and other cousins, we are all gradually getting more old photos, documents and stories for our family histories. And it feels great :-)

Cousins! Glenda, sisters Patsy (Glenda's mother) and Ann with DH


Lea White said...

How nice to be able to find people this way!

Becky said...

OH that is so wonderful.

Naturally Carol said...

Hi Maria, good to see that you're keeping busy and getting together with family is very rewarding! It's a wonder you will have time to make pillowcases..hehe.