It’s a new year and a fresh start.
Each year I renew a challenge to myself to continue with documenting the families that makeup who I am. Once again Amy Johnson Crow has thrown out the gauntlet and challenges us to develop the habit of writing/recording our family history discoveries and sharing them as 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. I hope you will enjoy these blogs on another 52 Ancestors.
The Holmes line starts in our family when William Henry Francis married Susannah Holmes 20 July 1826 in Zanesville, Ohio. William Henry Francis is my 3x great grandfather on my paternal side. Susannah Homes is the 2nd child of 14 children born to Peter and Elizabeth (Redman) Holmes 22 November 1806. Now Peter was the son of George and Anne (Hill) Holmes of Fauquier County Virginia. His sister was Sabitha (or Tabitha) who had married Joseph Francis in 1797, and their son William Henry was born in 1798, thus making William and Susannah first cousins and Sabitha is not only Susannah’s aunt she is her mother-in law.
Marriage to a first cousin may seem strange to some of us here in the United States but it is actually not unusual in many other countries. Here in the United States only 19 states actually have restrictions against first cousins marriage, and only 5 have it as a criminal offense. First cousin couples risk for birth defects are around 6% where non-related couples risk of birth defects stand about 3% as reported in the Independent. First cousin marriages are more common in the Middle East and it may be approximatly 10% of marriages worldwide are between first cousins.
Susannah Holmes was born in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia. Francis and Holmes appear both in Fauquier County Virginia and Muskingum County Ohio. The two families are intertwined for generations in both Virginia and Ohio. So maybe it is not surprising that William Francis and Susannah Holmes are married in 1826 after both families had moved west to Zanesville, in Muskingum County Ohio. I want to explore this further, although they are not direct ancestors I have already noted several siblings that marry either another Holmes or a Francis.