Tuesday, September 8

Tombstone Tuesday: WEAVER - CORNWELL

Isaac H. WEAVER & Eliza (CORNWELL) Weaver
~ Muddy Creek Cemetery, near Waynesburg PA ~

This is the branch that chokes the relationship calculator in my genealogy program, and why there's a large bottle of Excedrin next to the computer whenever I have to add to or update their descendants. Seriously.

In the early 19th century, it wasn't illegal for first cousins to marry. The dangers of inbreeding weren't known yet, and a cousin of marriageable age saved one the hassle of having to find a suitable stranger outside one's own neighborhood or church congregation.

My Cornwells, however, went a bit overboard on this.

It all began in 1789 when my 4th great-grandmother, Ann "Nancy" PRICE, married Wm Henry CORNWELL.

Six years previous, her sister Abigail had become the first wife of Isaac WEAVER, son of another Isaac who'd been Speaker of the Pennsylvania Senate and later Treasurer of Pennsylvania. Fine. No problem.

Fast forward a few years to when the Weaver and Cornwell children were old enough to marry. Three of Abigail and Isaac Weaver's sons married Nancy and Henry Cornwell's daughters, their first cousins.

Naturally, they all 'went forth and multiplied'.

That wasn't the end of the marriages between Weavers and Cornwells, but explaining the other connections is best done with a large - very large - piece of paper and the Big Box of Crayons. So I'll spare you the details (and the inevitable headache).

Suffice that for "normal" couples, I'd be related by blood to only one or the other, not both. For example, the wife might be my 3rd cousin once removed (3C1R), and the relationship calc would show her spouse as "husband of 3rd cousin once removed".

Not so with Isaac and Eliza here.

Isaac H. Weaver, son of Isaac and Abigail (Price) Weaver, was my 1st cousin 5 times removed (1C5R).

Eliza, daughter of Henry & "Nancy" (Price) Cornwell and sister of my 3rd ggm Abigail McClellan, was my 3rd Great-Grandaunt.

That makes (by marriage) Isaac my great-granduncle and Eliza also my distant cousin.

Legacy isn't set up to display dual relationships for one person, so it splits the difference and labels Isaac and Eliza's children my 1st cousins 4 times removed.

Not a problem had they not used family reunions for matchmaking. Whenever I come across a Weaver with ancestors from a certain part of Pennsylvania or Illinois, I just "know", more often than not, that person will be one of "my" Weavers.

Now where did that Excedrin get to?

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Tombstone Tuesday is sponsored by GeneaBloggers


Lisa Gioia-Acres said...

I clicked on your site through the Authorblog site and to my great surprise and joy saw a gravestone! Trawling cemeteries is my favorit hobby and tracing genealogy is not only my passion but my profession (mourningdove preservation . com is my website). I love the story you shared. I will now head over to GeneaBlogger site to check it out. Thanks for a great post.

Highton-Ridley said...

Hey JamaGenie, You were one of the winners of my August freebie prize draw. I emailed you but haven't heard back. highton.ridley [at] google.com


JamaGenie said...

Mark, you should have my email by now. I posted my choice at http://saturdayschild-jama.blogspot.com/2009/09/thursday-drive-wonder-of-wonders.html


sunnyside2day said...

Came across your blog by accident but glad I did. (so maybe it wasn't by accident....it was destiny?) I got a chuckle out of how your family may years go just kept things in the family! Granted today it wouldn't be funny but heck back then....like you said who knew the problems it cold could cause. Keep that bottle of Exedrin close by though!

JamaGenie said...

Glad you enjoyed this, Sunnyside2day. I enoyed your blog too!