Apparently I’m related to the kids of a woman in my bookclub. We were discussing this month’s book pick (“The Last Widow of the South” by Robert Hicks) and one woman said as Chicago-born woman she never understood the Southern position on the Civil War. This led into a general discussion on stereotypes and misconceptions about the reasons the Civil War took place. It was an interesting discussion, made all the moreso when this same woman said, “I decided to really get into studying the Civil War and guess who I ended up liking the most?” There was a pause and she said, “Stonewall Jackson!”
I piped up, “Who is a great-great-great-great uncle (or something) of mine.”
“Hey my kids are related to him, too!” the hostess of the evening said. Apparently her ex-husband is also in the Jackson family tree somewhere down the line. I related the story of the Christmas that my grandmother received a drawing of Stonewall Jackson as a gift (I think it’s the one pictured here on the left), and it had an uncanny resemblance to one of her sons, my uncle. My uncle held up the drawing so it was next to his face and it was REALLY WEIRD. They looked exactly alike. Very freaky. I have that picture around somewhere of Uncle Jack holding the picture – if I can find it I’ll scan it in so you can see for yourself.
Anyway, the discussion moved back to the book, but I still thought it was interesting that the world is so big, and yet so small that I could randomly move to South Carolina and end up living down the street from a woman whose kids are distantly related to me through a Civil War general who hailed from Virginia (which is where the bulk of my dad’s family has lived for generations).