Saturday, October 17, 2009

Genea-Musings - Saturday Night Genealogy Fun

Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings has posted his Saturday Night Genealogy Fun with the title "Family Increase."

1) Pick one of your four great-grandparents - if possible, the one with the most descendants.

2) Create a descendants list for those great-grandparents either by hand or in your software program.

3) Tell us how many descendants, living or dead, are in each generation from those great-grandparents.

4) How many are still living? Of those, how many have you met and exchanged family information with? Are there any that you should make contact with ASAP? Please don't use last names of living people for this - respect their privacy.

5) Write about it in your own blog post, in comments to this post, or in comments or a Note on Facebook.

Since I am usually 'up north' on a Saturday night with limited cell (broadband) service, I miss out on most of the Saturday night Genea-Musing fun. But not tonight!

1.) I have chosen my paternal great-grandparents Francis Xavier Bergeron (1863-1953) and Mary Elizabeth Reinwand (1865-1951)

2.) I created a chart using Family Tree Maker

3.) The descendants of this family are as follows:
Children: 8 (all deceased)
Grandchildren: 19 (14 are deceased)
Great-Grandchildren: 24 (2 are deceased)
Great-Great-Grandchildren: 39 (2 are deceased)
Great-Great-Great-Grandchildren: 7

4.) There are several branches of this family line that have not been updated in a couple of years but then, securing accurate information from them has always been difficult. My grandfather divorced his first wife while living in Minnesota, where he was born and spent the early part of his childhood. He moved to northeastern Wisconsin where he met my grandmother and where they lived the remainder of their lives. There has always been a sense of being on the outside looking in with the family that remained in Minnesota, something my dad and aunt mentioned many times. I do exchange Christmas cards with several of these cousins - a good reminder that the 2009 Christmas card should include a printout of their family information and ask for an update.

My family was hit very hard by the Flu Pandemic of 1918: Four of Francis and Mary Reinwand Bergeron children died during the epidemic. Two daughters died leaving no children while the two sons both left behind a wife with young children. One son, Henry, lost his 3 week old daughter to the flu less than a month before his death.

Over the years, Francis and Mary raised a number of their grandchildren during different times of their lives. I often think about how difficult it must have been to never have experienced 'empty nest' or at least only for a short period of time.

This is a great exercise in confirming my belief that all family historians researching their family should expand their research horizons to include "cluster genealogy" or what others call "whole family research." Several of my grandfather's siblings married siblings: the two sisters who died during the flu epidemic married brothers while another brother married the sister of my grandfather's first wife. Had I not expanded my research to include the spouses and their families, I would not have discovered a second Bergeron-Reinwand connection.

Mary Reinwand's sister-in-law was Catherine Wilmoth. Catherine's sister, Johanna Wilmoth, married Adolphus D. Bergeron, the brother of Francis X. Bergeron.

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