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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Cousins and More

At least one genealogical dream has come true for me.  Hopefully, it won’t be the last one and will open the door for many more. Daily, I discover new cousins who descend from my 3rd great grandparents, John Balus West and Mary Ann “Polly” Swanson.
Recently, I discovered a new cousin, Beatrice, who descends from the same great grandparents.  And even, more… this new 4th cousin is a 4th cousin with my 4th cousin, Joanne, who also descends from the same West grandparents.  For the three of us John Balus West and Mary Ann “Polly” Swanson were our 3rd great grandparents.

Since I like things organized, I created a chart to illustrate my relationships with cousins. I have included one of these charts below to illustrate the connection among the three of us.  Joanne and Beatrice gave me permission to use their names.  Thanks, Joanne and Beatrice.

Lineage of Charlotte Ruth West
Lineage of Linda Joanne Johnson
Lineage of Beatrice Wellborn
John Balus West/Mary Ann “Polly” Swanson
John Balus West/Mary Ann “Polly” Swanson
John Balus West/Mary Ann “Polly” Swanson
Alexander Balus West/Nancy Land
Franklin W. West/Cynthia Adeline Holder
Margaret “Peggy” West/Wilson Hendrix
1st cousins
Thomas Harvey West/America Ann McNeil
Thomas Clingman West/Bethanie Triplett
Mary Jane Hendrix/George Washington Wellborn
2nd cousins
William Charles West, Sr./Ada Beatrice McQueen
Dicia Albertha “Bertha” West/George Hayes Walker
Benjamin Wellborn/Artie Wagner
3rd cousins
William Charles West, Jr./Ruth Stella Hughes
Winnie Hazel Walker/Arvil Robert Johnson
George Hayes Wellborn/Mary Wellborn
4th cousins
Charlotte Ruth West
Linda Joanne Johnson
Beatrice Wellborn
Most Recent Common Ancestors: John Balus West and Mary Ann “Polly” Swanson
A few days ago, I met on-line another cousin, Patsy, who descends from those same great grandparents. However, these common grandparents are not in the same generation for Patsy as for the other three of us. They were Patsy’s 2nd great grandparents but our 3rd great grandparents.  Patsy is actually a 3rd cousin to the parents of Joanne, Beatrice, and me.  Therefore, Joanne, Beatrice, and I are “removed” from her.  In our situation, we are 3rd cousins 1 removed (3rd cousins 1R) from her. “Cousinships” certainly become complicated!

One never knows where he will find ancestors and cousins.  Several years ago, Joanne and I met through  Beatrice and I met a few days ago on the Wilkes County Genealogy Facebook site. Patsy and I, also, met on the Wilkes site.  Joanne became a follower of this blog about the time that I started writing it.  Beatrice has been a reader for quite a while, also.  Perhaps, many more of my anonymous readers may be West cousins!

Furthermore, I have connected with cousins through Family Tree DNA’s Family Finder.  Even though I haven’t found any DNA matches with the West surname, I have found DNA matches with the collateral families of Barlow, Carlton, Ferguson, Isbell, Land, McNeil, and Triplett.
While I take this opportunity to acknowledge these newly-discovered West cousins, I haven’t forgotten those of you from across the county—from North Carolina and Tennessee to the west coast.  All of you have been incredibly helpful as I have sought information about our common ancestors and the places they lived and as I continue to seek answers to the unknowns of our past.   One reason that I have this blog is to share information with you about our common heritage.  Many thanks to Beatrice, Brandon, Brent, Butch, Carol, Debbie, Fred, Jackie, Jeanette, Joanne, Nanette, Nick, Patsy, and my sister, Sandy, for sharing your information with me about our West families.  Many thanks to my other cousins who have shared information about our collateral lineages as well. I appreciate all of you.


  1. Hi Charlotte, I am waiting for my grandfather's DNA test results to come back. When they do, I will look for you as a match. If not a match, it is possible that our West lines are not connected after all (or it is just too far back). I have a match to one West descendant so far. I'm surprised you don't have any West matches yet. Ginger
    (Descendant of Solomon West and Catherine Criscillis)

  2. Ginger, thanks so much for your comment.

    Was your Solomon West the one who was born abt 1785 and died abt 1871 and was the son of Solomon West and Isabella Boyd?

    I have often thought that the Solomon West (1726-1831) who married Isabella Boyd (and was also married to Mary Boyd and Martha Higgins Norton) could have been the brother of my 5th gr grandfather, Alexander West (b bet 1720-1730, d aft 1790). That Solomon West (b1726) named a son Alexander!

    Even though circumstantial information tends to support my opinion that Solomon b1726 was the brother of my Alexander, I have no sound documentation for it.

    The DNA matches that my sister and I have through the West line come from McNeil, Land, Ferguson, Triplett, Carlton, and Isbell ancestors. Two individuals with West lineage are in the current batch of DNA being tested through Family Tree DNA. I am hopeful that my sister and I will match them.

    We need to stay in touch. If you will provide your e-mail address in a comment, I will not publish that comment. All of the comments posted must be published by me.


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