Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wedding Wednesday - Sister Wives

circa 1920 in Baltimore, Maryland

Admit it, I got you with that title. Not quite what you are thinking, but keep reading.

I found this photograph fascinating since discovering it on Ancestry. While researching my great-aunt's husband, Henry Andrew Puskar-Gunner, this gem appeared in a member tree.

Thinking there could be a family connection I sent an email. The next day I received a message from the owner of the tree asking how I was related to her family line.

Since then Kim and I have communicated to fill in the missing pieces of our shared heritage. It has been a wonderful experience to discuss culture, customs and share our love of family history.

Recently I asked Kim if she would mind my using the picture for a blog post. She was very gracious and gave her approval. Her exact comment being "As for using the pics, you are more than welcome! Like you said, you never know who will be reading and might reply. I could certainly use all the help I can get with some of these lines!"

Now the story behind this wedding day photograph. Captured in the center are Howard LeCompte and his bride, Josephine Palcher. Seated as witnesses to the marriage are their respective siblings, James LeCompte and Anna Palcher.

Here is the relationship of the people pictured to my line:

Henry Andrew Puskar-Gunner (husband of my great-grand aunt)
Mary A. Puskar-Gunner (sister of Henry)
Frank Emory Palcher (husband of Mary)
Anna and Josephine Palcher (daughters of Mary Puskar-Gunner and Frank Emory Palcher)

What is so interesting is later that year James and Anna were also married! This makes for an interesting family tree. In a sense Josephine and Anna really were sister wives. Two sisters marring two brothers. Would that make their children double cousins? Sure would make the sister-in-law relationship a more friendly one.

Thanks to Kim for her kindness in allowing me to share this photograph. Since that first email we are on the road to friendship and discovery.

18 comments:

  1. Lovely story! I grew up with two cousins who were "double cousins" like you mentioned... their fathers were twins who married twin sisters! It made for very interesting school events w parents. No one could tell who was who. ;)

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  2. Love the story! We have a similar situation in our family which I will share later :)

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  3. Great story Deb Ruth, and I love the photograph! How fortunate that you connected with Kim.

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  4. Wonderful story! See, you must keep telling you story.

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  5. I think this sisters-marrying-brothers thing happens more than we know. Even the comments bear that out. I, too, know a family with this (not related, though).

    A wonderful story and especially the photo. Isn't Ancestry great for connections like that?

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    1. Jenny,

      Very true about sisters-marrying brothers! Just finding out how many did just that in my husband's Mennonite family line. In fact have three brothers marrying three sisters! Will be a fun post for sure.

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  6. Great story and picture! You're right -- the title definitely got my attention.

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  7. Yep, you win the prize for great titles today. It's a beautiful photo and story.

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  8. What a great story and it's great that you were able to find a connection with such a great photo. I've got a few of those sister wives and brother husbands in my tree too. I suppose when people didn't move around quite so much and the pickings were slimmer than today it may have been more common.

    Thanks for sharing!!!

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  9. Thanks for sharing the story and picture -love those hats! I have a number of brothers marrying sisters in my various family trees so I didn't jump to false conclusions from the title ;-)

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  10. I guess when the families or close neighbors had their parents' involved in some way in the matchmaking process , it is bound to happen and the offspring would be healthy as there was no close mixing of genes. I have a line in Bavaria with a lot of first cousins that married and actually had contact with descendants from these unions . Many babies died , though .

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  11. Excellent Post! Thanks for sharing.

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  12. I too have a similar situation in my family - my maternal grandmother and her sister were married to two brothers, my grandfather and my great uncle. I only wish I had a picture of the four of them together. Thanks for sharing your story!

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  13. So glad my photo got so much attention! I have enjoyed connecting with you too Deb, it has been wonderful to share these photos and history with others and I look forward to a productive 2012!

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    1. Kim,

      And what a wonderful photo it is! Great to have met you too. Hopefully we will solve family mysteries as we travel into 2012.

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  14. Great Picture. Love the hats.
    Regards,
    Theresa (Tangled Trees)

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  15. In my family tree 2 of my Great Aunts marry brothers. Also even closer my brother and my cousin are married to sisters. So my brother is also a brother in-law to my cousin. What does that make their children??

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