Wednesday, May 6, 2015

I Found a Long Lost Cousin on FaceBook


Facebook has long reaching tentacles doesn’t it?  One friend leads to another, which then may lead to a group, which then, as in my case, led to a long lost cousin.
Actually this isn’t the first time I have found a long lost cousin on Facebook.  The first time it happened, though, she found me, on Facebook.

“Hello Lynda,

My grandfather and your grandfather were first cousins.  They lived around the corner from each other and worked in the same steel plant.”

That’s what her Facebook message said.

It was funny because I had never heard about this relative before.   I called my Aunt Edie, my father’s sister.  She was the youngest of the siblings and the only one still alive.   I asked her about this cousin.  She told me that she did remember something about her father having a cousin, but didn’t know much about him.

After I saw Dottie’s picture, that’s my newly found cousin, it was absolutely clear, we were related.

Now, we exchange FB pleasantries.  You know, she’ll “like” a post of mine.  I’ll make a comment on a photo she has posted.  That sort of thing.  We did speak on the phone once also.

A more recent find happened just the other day.  A couple of months ago I joined a FB group.  The members are people from my high school graduating class of 19something or other, which is the year I graduated.

I was perusing through the comment chatter and noticed a familiar name.

My mother’s side of the family has a complicated family tree.  I called my Aunt Dolores, my mother’s sister.  I asked her about this cousin.  Between the two of us we tried to jostle each other’s memories.

We decided that yes, Bob was a cousin.  His father and my mother (and of course Aunt Dolores) were first cousins.  So I guess that makes me and Bob second cousins?

As we were reminiscing, I recalled that Bob and his twin brother did go to the same high school as I did and we were in the same class. They lived on the north end of the town, we were on the south end.  It was a long time ago and we really didn’t hang out together.

I sent Bob a friend request.  After a couple of weeks, no reply.   Well, I thought, maybe I was mistaken.

Then I had a sudden realization. I hadn’t included a note of explanation with the friend request.  He probably didn’t recognize my married name.

I sent him a FB message, with an explanation.  He immediately replied back.


"Lynda, OMG it has been too long.  Yes we are cousins.  I worked with your X years ago.  I will send you a friend request.   Please call me when you have a minute.  I will be going to the class reunion in July, will you be going?

We chatted back and forth for a few minutes and then decided to talk on the phone.    

We tried to sort out the family tree.  His grandma Lucy and my grandpa Emil were brother and sister?  I think.  Like I said it’s complicated.  

We caught up with family news. His long marriage to a childhood sweetheart. 
I told him I remarried.   When he mentioned he and my ex-husband worked together at one time.  I said, “Oh that’s right, I remember that now.”   
We exchanged, how many children and grandchildren, we each had.

Bob tried to persuade me to go our high school reunion.  But, as I explained to him,  I am still painfully shy and back in high school I was never part of any group.  

Before we hung up, Bob said to me, “Lynda, please think about coming.  I would love to see you.  Come on you can sit with us. I’ll save you a seat.”


21 comments:

  1. I've never wanted to go to a school reunion either. But your story sounds like the fates coming together and who knows what good things will happen if you go? At least you will have a seat with people you know.

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    1. Yes, I am giving it further thought for sure.

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  2. Yes I wouldn't be keen on a school reunion but it's nice to know Bob would be saving a seat if you went and you could have a good old catch up so it might be nice? Special Teaching at Pempi’s Palace

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  3. Family trees can be extremely complicated. I'm working with a cousin of mine to identify some people in photographs from my maternal grandfather's family. His paternal grandmother was my great-grandfather's half-sister. So, that makes he and I....half-second cousins, once removed (his great-grandmother is my great-great grandmother). You and Bob would be plain old second cousins. I had to look at a chart to figure it out for sure.

    With that said, you'd be surprised how people behave at class reunions, especially after the 15 year reunion (which my class just had 2 years ago). Social media has helped with that, though.

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    1. Hey, thanks for the clarification. As you said it is a little confusing.
      I think you’re right about social media helping out with keeping up with old friends.

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  4. Perhaps I should go looking for my second cousins on FB. I never thought of that. We didn't go to school together as they were from Nebraska, but that would be fun to see if I could find them.

    Great story. You should go, if only to see your cousin.

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    1. I bet you could find your second cousins on FB.
      I am giving serious consideration to attending the reunion. I have until the end of May to decide.

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  5. That is neat about connecting with your cousins! Facebook is wonderful for that! I think I would go to the reunion, if only just to see him :)

    betty

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    1. Still thinking about the reunion.

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  6. My sister and I found our long lost cousins on Google. Our maiden name is unusual and one day my sister googled the name. It came up with about 800 hits which is a pretty small number for google. But at the top of the list was our cousins name. We connected. It was joyful. That was about 10 years ago and we see and visit together several times a year. It has been wonderful and continues to be.

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    1. That is neat. I bet a lot of people find biological parents and children given up for adoption that way also.

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  7. Ohf I do hope you go, I love going and who knows who you'll run into. People do grow up and those petty little groups from HS do become a thing of the past. I agree though facebook is awesome for making connections. I also belong to a group on facebook for our high school class 1969, and we have just over 100 members ad really enjoy chatting, sharing memories, catching up, sharing pictures etc. Being on facebook was really helpful when I was trying to find folks for our 45th reunion last summer. I've also found old grade school friends from when I lived in another city, and not only do we chat on line, we've met up again in our old home town...great fun.

    Howdy...still visiting, trying to keep the momentum going.

    Sandy at Bridge and Beyond Announcing a Contest

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    1. Hello Sandy!
      I am still hemming and hawing about whether I want to go to the reunion. It has been fun catching up with my cousin though. My post has triggered a lot of lively interaction with our relatives on Facebook.
      I have been by your site every day. I guess I should stop lurking and speak up :)

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  8. LOVELY POST
    NICE BLOG DEAR
    i followed your blog, please follow back
    http://melodyjacob1.blogspot.com/ #MELODY JACOBS
    thank you

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    1. Thank you! I’ll be over to visit!

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  9. I found a half-sister. I knew she existed, but I'd never communicated with her. She tracked me down on there. She's some bigwig in Missouri government. It was nice...we communicated for a while and then we just ran out of things to talk about! Maybe we'll meet in person someday.

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    1. Wow, a sister that’s interesting. I guess you never know who may be out there, huh?

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  10. That's exciting. FB has reunited not only lost relatives but lost pets.

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    1. Lost pets? That would be an interesting story!

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  11. Ya know this reunion is going to make a Great blog post ;) nudging you slightly. I'll be saying a prayer for you from one shy girl to another.

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