Besides ancestor hunting, one of the best things about researching our genealogy is re-uniting with and meeting new cousins. This week I’m lucky enough to do this again at a “Mini Marquet Reunion” in California. I’ll be reconnecting with a cousin who I haven’t seen since the 1970s, meeting another cousin’s daughter, and introducing a fifth cousin that I met through the internet, to all of these people.
My mother, Miriam Marquet, and her two older brothers, Win and Art, were raised in Berwyn, Illinois in the 1930s and 40s. By the 1960s, the Marquet brothers and their families were living in California.
Our family traveled west a couple times to visit my uncles in the 1970s—five kids in a station wagon without air conditioning, and once with a collie! We couldn’t wait for the Holiday Inn swimming pool!!
But then I lost touch with my Marquet cousins—until 2012, when I contacted my cousin Matt, Art’s son, who was still in California. I knew his mother was interested in genealogy, so I asked if he had any information on the Marquet family. Because I made the effort to reach out, he sent me tons of old photographs and documents. It was then that I was proclaimed the family historian. That same year I was contacted, through Ancestry.com, by Jane, a fifth cousin who also lives in California. It turns out that she and I share a five times great grandfather, James McMaster, who we were both researching. Two maternal cousins living in the same state meant that a trip out west was in order. My husband,Tom, and I traveled there in 2013, where I met Jane in person and reconnected with Matt and his wife, Sherry.
But what about my Uncle Win’s family? About a year later, I saw that my cousin Amy had developed a tree on Ancestry.com, so I messaged her. In the fall of 2016, she came to Chambersburg, Pennsylvania “on her way” to a cruise out of New York City. She rented a car in NYC, and drove 4 hours south—definitely not on her way—to reconnect with my two New Jersey sisters, Chris and Kim, and me. Since she made that crazy trip, I promised to go back to California, and that’s where I’m headed this week.
So on Saturday, January 27, Amy is hosting our first Mini Marquet Reunion at her house. Matt and Sherry will be there, and even Jane has agreed to drive down and meet more cousins. Amy’s sister, Mallory, is also coming, as are (I hope) the cousins’ children—first cousins once removed. I’m so psyched to meet more living people!!!
And maybe after talking genealogy a little, we’ll put aside the dead people, just for a while, and be thankful for the opportunity to meet new cousins and reconnect with the old—and yes, we are getting old! But hopefully some of those “once removeds” will carry on in the ancestor hunt where we leave off.
Finally, this year, I encourage everyone to take a break from your computers and archives, and connect or reconnect with your living family. You just may enjoy them more!