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Friday, May 20, 2016

Who do you think you are? Or the tale of two sisters.

DH's cousin from the US has been staying with us and her 16 day trip has been quite a whirlwind. I know her head has been spinning and I feel as though I'm in a spin dryer! Lol. 
Cousin Adrienne's lovely mother was, what is affectionately known as an Aussie war bride; she married a US airman stationed in Australia during WW2, and went to live in the US after the war.
Married in Scott's Church, Sydney.
Adrienne had known of her Australian family, especially the family of her mother's Aunt Ethel. She of course knew of her grandmother, Annie.
( photo as a young woman)

And of course, her grandfather, Billy, much loved by Adrienne's mother...
Adrienne's mother died in her 98th year, 5 years ago. It was then that it was revealed that Annie's sister Johanna, was really Adrienne's grandmother...
And her biological grandfather???? Well no one knows. 🙁
Johanna was later to marry and had 3 more children. One of these is still alive and 95 year old Jeanie is of course Adrienne's aunt! 
And these 2 were finally able to meet last week! 

At 95, Jeanie has the odd 'bad day' according to her daughter, but that day was definitely a good day with Jeanie regaling all of us with stories about her mother.
Now Jeanie and her 2 brothers gave Johanna a lot of grandchildren...yep! a whole lot of new cousins for Adrienne. DH's family had also grown up with these cousins too of course and one Saturday my brother in law and my sister in law hosted an afternoon tea for Adrienne to meet some of her new cousins...

Well over 20 turned up and extra tables and chairs had to be hurriedly brought out!

( DH's grandmother Mary, was yet another sister of Annie, Ethel and Johanna. For some reason there seems to have been a family 'split' at some stage resulting in branches of family not being aware of others. Before 2009, Adrienne had had no idea of DH's parents and siblings. And until 2011 she had not known of Johanna or her descendants and vice versa.) 
But now her family of cousins is quite large and even a bit overwhelming trying to remember all those names! 😉


10 comments:

Cynthia said...

What a story! I'm not even sure I got all the connections so I can see why Adriennes mind is reeling! It must have been really wonderful, though, to meet all those new family members.

Vireya said...

Families can be so complicated!

It's great that you all had a good time together.

shez said...

Hi Maria what a fasinating story,thankyou for sharing my friend xx

Maria said...

Interesting family history.... Pleased you could give Andrienne a memorable time....

margaret said...

How lovely to finally all meet it must have been very moving, I am sure a few tears of joy were shed too

Carolyn said...

Very convoluted! Just as all the 'best' families are. How wonderful to all be together.

JeanN said...

Fabulous story Maria. As a "genealogy tragic" myself, I just love to hear about these sort or reunions.

Nanna Chel said...

Maria, I think I am confused. Just as well you have it all worked out. LOL!

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Yup, I didn't follow that very well, but it is a fairly common story for that time in history. My husband's mother had much the same kind of situation..and still does not know at 90 if her father was her father or who she thought was her brother was really her father (not an incestuous situation..just lies). Family kept babies in the family back then..I myself was raised by an aunt and uncle.

Looks like you all had a great time with LOTS to talk about!!
xx, Carol

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Oh, I meant to comment on how lucky you are to have these pictures. The first one is absolutely a beautiful wedding picture.
xx