My great-grandparents, Arthur T. Cook and Dollie Allison, had nine children who lived to adulthood, and those children gave their parents 26 grandchildren, that we know of, including my mother, Zenova Cook Hahn. They all lived – or are living as I write this – long lives. My mom didn’t lose a first cousin until 2016.
James Donald Beasley was the oldest of the cousins when he died at age 88 on November 25th, 2016, due to illness.
A month later, one of the youngest cousins, David Charles Holland, passed away at the age of 62, after severe health problems.
In 2018, Curtis Clark Hale died at 82, and just this month, Clark’s brother Trammel Douglas Hale followed at age 83.
My mother didn’t have any first cousins on her mother’s side, as her only aunt died during pregnancy before my mother was born.
In comparison, I’m one of nine first cousins on my dad’s side. We are the grandchildren of Charles Hahn and Malzie Silcox The first first cousin that I lost was in 1992. Dusty Hahn was 19 years old when he died in an accident involving an ATV. Dusty’s on my dad’s side of the family.
I’m also one of nine grandchildren of Hoyt Cook and Willie Stevens. The first loss on that side was in 1997. James Hoyt Cook crashed his car just hours before our grandfather died after a stroke. His half-sister Wendy Cook died, along with one of her young children, in a car crash in 2015.
My dad never really talked much about his first cousins, not like my mom talked about hers. My grandfather Charlie had three younger siblings, and they’re the ones whose names I remember – Gussie (Anna Augusta), George, and Dan.
Looking at the family tree on FamilySearch, 26 grandchildren were born to Rev. Theodore Hahn and Maggie Cooper. 13 of my dad’s first cousins (not counting his siblings) have passed away, including three in childhood. My dad and four of his siblings are gone.
Deceased children of Willie Louise Hahn: Robert Brill (2006), Opal Brill (2019), Louverta “Bert” Brill (2011), and Earnest Brill (1934, age 20 months).
Deceased children of Mary Elizabeth Hahn: John Morris Jr. (1937, age 5), Violet Morris (2004), Virgil Morris (1937, age 3), and Augusta Morris (2013). Three more sons – Thomas, Joseph, and William – are listed as deceased with no death dates).
Deceased children of Anna Augusta Hahn: Franklin Hurst (2004), and Martha Jane Hurst (1991).
Malzie Silcox’s parents, Dave Silcox and Annie Givens, had 32 grandchildren. Dave also had three daughters with Sarah McCann, and at least 9 grandchildren.
Of those known grandchildren, five have passed away: Patricia Kerr (1962, health age 12), Connie Silcox, Malcolm Best (1970, boating accident, age 19), Dorothy Silcox, and Raymond White.
It has often struck me, while researching family history, that I often get to know a relative and lose them on the same day. I may celebrate their birth and mourn their death within a few minutes.
It gives me some peace to know that by entering them in the FamilySeach family tree, finding articles and documents about their lives, and – in a few cases – preserving family photos through scanning, I am helping to keep their memories alive for posterity.