About PetersPioneersDistant and Removed Cousins

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By Peter Biggins

Mariä Himmelfahrt Church, Schönholthausen
Mariä Himmelfahrt Church, Schönholthausen, Kreis Olpe, North Rhine-Westphalia.

Are we related to them somehow?

If we have a common ancestor, then we are related.

  • If we have the same parents, we are siblings.
  • If we have the same grandparents, we are cousins.
  • If we have the same great grandparents, we are second cousins.
  • If we have the same great great grandparents, we are third cousins.
  • If we have the same great great great grandparents, we are fourth cousins.
  • And so on. We are nth cousins if the number of greats in our common grandparents is n-1.
If my parent has the same ancestor as you, or vice versa, then we are nth cousins once removed. If my grandparent has the same ancestor as you, or vice versa, then we are nth cousins twice removed. And so on.

The Druekes in Grand Rapids, Michigan, are a good example to illustrate distant and removed cousins. We are not the only Drueke family in Grand Rapids. There is another one that is related to us in two ways. Back in the 1880s, two Drueke cousins once removed married two Berles sisters. We knew about the Berles relationship, but we did not know how we were related on the Drueke side until Marilyn and I met Pastor Franz Rinschen in 2007 in the rectory of Mariä Himmelfahrt Church in Schönholthausen, Germany. Pastor Rinschen told us about my great great great grandparents, Johann and Elisabeth Bitter Drüecke and took us to their house in Ostentrop, a nearby town that was part of his parish. He also gave us details on their descendants, enough to see the connection between the two Drueke families in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Johann Drüecke 1742-1798  m. 1790 Elisabeth Bitter 1770-1835; lived in Ostentrop, Westphalia
Johann Joseph Drüecke 1791-1869  m. 1821 Antonette Margarethe Gottschalk d. 1849 Johann Wilhelm Drüecke (Drüeke) 1793-1854  m. 1833 Josephine Bernardina Heller 1812-1887siblings
Johann Wilhelm Drüecke b. 1823  m. 1853 Lisette Korte 1830-1890 Peter Wilhelm Drüeke (William Peter Drueke) 1853-1926 (1871 to New York, New York, USA; 1873 to Grand Rapids, Michigan)  m. 1882 Elizabeth Berles 1858-1941cousins
Carl Ferdinand Drüecke (Charles Drueke) 1857-1928  m. 1887 Josephine Berles 1866-1945 (1880 to Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA) William Francis Drueke 1883-1956  m. 1906 Rose Viola Smith 1882-1973 second cousins
Arthur Karl Drueke 1890-1948  m. 1917 Annette L. Kubiak 1893-1975 William Francis Drueke 1912-2000  m. 1941 Doris McLaughlin 1920-1997third cousins
Karl A. Drueke 1919-2009  m. 1940 Frances A. Lampani 1918-1982  m. Eleanor Kleiner Mary Kay Drueke b. 1949  m. 1970-1987 Leo Parks b. 1950 m. Carl E. Groeningfourth cousins

In the above table, which looks at the Drueke relationship, Mary Kay is fourth cousin of Karl A. Drueke.

In the table below, which looks at the Berles relationship, Mary Kay is third cousin of Karl A. Drueke's son Roger.

Franz Berles 1828-1884  m. 1851 Regina Green 1831-1906
Elizabeth Berles 1858-1941  m. 1882 William Peter Drueke 1853-1926 Josephine Berles 1866-1945  m. 1887 Charles Drueke 1859-1928siblings
William Francis Drueke 1883-1956  m. 1906 Rose Viola Smith 1882-1973 Arthur Karl Drueke 1890-1948  m. 1917 Annette L. Kubiak 1893-1975cousins
William Francis Drueke 1912-2000  m. 1941 Doris McLaughlin 1920-1997 Karl A. Drueke 1919-2009  m. 1940 Frances A. Lampani 1918-1982  m. Eleanor Kleinersecond cousins
Mary Kay Drueke b. 1949  m. 1970-1987 Leo Parks b. 1950 m. Carl E. Groening Roger Druekethird cousins
Lauri Parks b. 1970  m. 1998 Ennis Young Patrick Druekefourth cousins

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