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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Your Fond Cousin

Some years ago I visited a genealogical website and found some cousins. We are the last of a large clan that bred less and less over the centuries and in moving to North America. There is only a handful of us now. I'm still in touch with a couple of them, we email, share jokes and holiday greetings.

One cousin, Nancy, lives in Rhode Island. For years I've owed her photos of her grandmother that I know- or at least think- I have somewhere. With all the moving and repacking in the last few years, I haven't found them to send on. But Nancy's patient, thankfully. Yet another thing on my unending to do list.

Our great-grandmothers were sisters, and their daughters Mabel and Susan were our grandmothers. Being the only girls in their own families they remained close cousins all their lives and wrote letters to each other regularly. They signed their letters identically- "With love, Your Fond Cousin", in their Victorian flourished handwriting.

Nancy and I have sent each other our holiday greetings and it brings a smile when I write my sign off and then see hers: "With love, YFC, Nancy." We don't use the flourishes, or even the whole words, but the tradition is in those initials. Your Fond Cousin. I'm sure Mabel and Susan are smiling, too.

8 comments:

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

That is sweet. And what a treasure to have some of those old letters with that spidery Victorian writing.

Lisa said...

Don't you just love genealogy!? I owe pictures and histories to so many, I can't even keep it straight anymore. I guess I'm going to have to keep a log book. I was able to meet a cousin in May that I connected with through Ancestry. Our grandmothers were sisters. However, I don't have any letters or stories like yours. :( I'm pretty sure I've sent you what I was supposed to send...

Austan said...

Lawless- I wish I'd been trained to write that way. My script is legible, but theirs was beautiful.

Austan said...

Niecely- It really is great. Our side of the Inneses has shrunk so much while others have bred like Hendricksons! I do think there was an update on the Hendrickson side that you meant to send me... ;)

Geo. said...

When I across other Portuguese, they tell me we are all cousins. And, considering how many times Portugal has been invaded and has absorbed other cultures, it's probable you and I are cousins too. At least it pleases me to think so.

Austan said...

Geo.- Somewhere in the way, way back, the Scottish branch that came from Belgium was originally Portuguese. So I'm sure we are! :)

The Elephant's Child said...

After my mother's death one of my brother's started exploring the family tree. Very soon he discovered some cousins we didn't know we had. There was obviously a falling out between my mother and her brother (only siblings) but, since both are dead we will never know why. Our missing cousins live in the UK, and have been in touch with my brother at least. Early steps towards repair...

Austan said...

EC- At this time of year I think about the family members we're out of touch with, in particular two nephews. One I haven't seen since he was 5, and another who seems to have disowned my brother Beery and me since his father died. It's kind of sad that I'm closer to my sis-in-law's nephews than to those two. There's no accounting for some things in life. I have my Niecely and Nephew and their daughter, and for that I'm quite thankful. If we leave the doors open, who knows what the future will bring.