Family Matters

If you don’t know me – well, even if you know me – you may be surprised to hear that I have no fewer than 43 (fourty-three) cousins.

The math goes as follows: My maternal grandparents lived in Åbenrå and had five children – four girls and one boy, born between 1931 and 1941 – and they had ten children in all. This means that I have nine maternal cousins, aged 35 (I think) to 52.

My paternal grandparents lived in Vejle, were a bit more active on the domestic front and had fifteen children, born between 1922 and 1947, who in their turn had thirty-five children. That’s thirty-four paternal cousins, aged 23 to 55.

34 + 9 = 43. (I’m a single child. For some reason)

At this point I should note that I can name all of my maternal cousins but not all of my paternal cousins and I rely on information about the exact number of paternal cousins from one of them. Apologies if I’ve got the numbers wrong.

I suspect that all of my maternal cousins haven’t met since sometime during the mid 1970s and cousin-gatherings aren’t an everyday event in my father’s family. One reason is that we are spread out over a large part the Northern hemisphere. Another that we are spread out over nearly all walks of life.

In any event, my cousins Bettina and Ghita (they are the daughters of my father’s oldest younger brother, Ervin) took it upon them to gather the surviving seven siblings, cousins with partners and their children. I haven’t got the official count, but I’ve been told that the total attendance was somewhere around 100 persons. Remember that we are talking about the closest family here. Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it to Givskud, but my mother did and enjoyed it very much.

Now my cousin Monica (oldest child of my father’s third oldest  older brother Orla – that’s a man’s name in Scandinavian) has sent me some photographs from the party and it’s been very interesting to see them. Some people I can recognise, others are complete unknowns. Did I have a cousin called ***? Well, yes. And is this a cousin or the partner of a cousin? Not always easy to tell.

Oh, and I should note that the Danish People’s Party has proposed to limit child support to two children in every family. You see, according to the DPP true Danes only have two children. It seems that my family isn’t Danish after all.

PS: As a matter of fact I know why I’m a single child. My parents had different rhesus-blood types which meant that there was a substantial risk that child #2 would have been born with hemolytic desease.