Hi! I'm Kelly.

As a writer, I've always been interested in family stories. When I heard of a Satanic cult in my family tree, I thought I'd found the story of a lifetime. Read more.

Family Bramble

Family Bramble

I tried to build out a few branches of my family tree this afternoon, but they got tangled.

Let's start with good old Jasper, shall we? A great-great grandfather of mine. He married a woman named Philena. (Or Phelena. Those nineteenth-century census takers had terrible handwriting, so who knows?) Jasper and Philena/Phelena had eight children together before she died at age 44. One of them was named Stella. 

Then Jasper married a widow named Phoebe. She had a daughter from her past husband who was also named Stella. They were like The Brady Bunch, only instead of Alice the Housekeeper they had two Stellas. 

Why am I harping on this Stella business? Because one of those Stellas was my great-grandmother. She married her step-brother, Ernest, and they had two children together. Then Ernest died of hip cancer and so Stella married her other step-brother, Ira (or Iren, or Irea. Census takers, I tell you.) 

Technically this doesn't count as incest because they weren't related by blood. But thanks to them, my ancestry is a hot mess. And I have so many questions: How did Philena/Phelena die, anyway? Was their town really so lacking in eligible bachelors that Stella had to marry not one but two step-brothers? Was that a normal thing in the early twentieth century, or are my relatives just weird? 

I don't have a family tree; I have a family bramble. 

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Waving the Flag

Waving the Flag

Is it the weather or the climate?

Is it the weather or the climate?