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10 October 2008

Fifth Cousins, Once Removed

As a follow up to Citing "Occult Powers" in a New Netherland Genealogy, Shirley Pugh Thomson wrote to let me know that she and John Moore have pinpointed their relationship. They are fifth cousins, once removed. That particular cousin relationship reminded Shirley of an even better story which she consented to share with you all:

Discovering that fellow CGS board member John Moore and I are distant cousins was a pleasant surprise. Such discoveries do turn up now and again in a roomful of genealogists, but a similar surprise came like a bolt from the blue for me in the late 1980s. My husband of more than 30 years (then) and I also learned that we are 5th cousins once removed!

Thomas and Shirley: their engagement and wedding in 1957 and at their anniversary celebration dinner fifty years later.

Neither Tom nor I had been aware of any connection between our families. Since we both grew up in a small farming community where many lines of both our families had settled early, a number of them arriving before Indiana statehood in December 1816, it may have seemed likely. But those people were neighbors, friends and sometimes fellow church members, not family. My surprise came about because I had not guessed that these—to me—separate and distinct families had been intimately intertwined years before they reached the end of their journey in the rolling hills at the edge of the Wabash.

I discovered that my husband's ancestor, James DRAKE and my ancestor, Benjamin HARRIS had married sisters!

Sarah and Mary PADDOCK were two of the eleven known children of Ebenezer Paddock and Keziah Case. I found the Paddocks, the Harrises and the Drakes all living and paying taxes in southwestern Ohio before their move to Indiana.

The girls evidently started life in Virginia and spent their youth moving from one rough and untamed claim in the woods to another, migrating westward with their family to Nelson County, Kentucky, then Butler County, Ohio, and finally westward across southern Indiana to Sullivan County on the Wabash River, the new state’s western edge.

So I found a connection, a shared line, but—of course—the Paddock girls’ venerable father left us with shared mysteries. While Ebenezer is a DAR patriot, finding records about him has not been easy. Numerous other descendants have been searching for them and for records of his father and mother for a long time.

I would also like to know about that shared migration pattern. How was it that those three families—and a handful of others—seem to have migrated in coordinated moves? Does it only appear that way at this distance? Were the families connected as father/sons or father/sons-in-law or something else? Was it just word of mouth about the great new place?

For now, my cousin-husband and I continue looking for answers.

Shirley Pugh Thomson


Quasimodo said...

You can see the Paddock lineage on the Alden Kindred website for Ebenezer Paddock although some of the the dates for his children are wrong. His daughter Sara Paddock was born in 1776 and married James Drake in 1798 (I have a photocopy of the marriage license). See

Michael Mankin, Sacramento, CA