Crazy thing, I have had more interaction, more, if not excited response, interested response from my Shumate relatives a generation or so back from James Earl, upstream from him, not down. The grandchildren of Chester Earl Shumate, My great grandfather, my Dad’s first cousins. A couple of them have been very welcoming, and helpful. I even got to talk to my Dad’s uncle Troy, last living sibling to Grampa, as it were, on his 90th birthday. So a shout out and a thank you to the two
But yeah, a couple of my first cousins once removed, or thereabouts, have been very forth coming, just don’t really know much. That whole, James Earl not spending much time around the family, or Chester either for that matter. But a shout out to the two Shirleys regardless, they would share more if they knew more.
It seems that Chesters wife, Annie Lloyd (Sanders) Shumate, James Earls mother, was rather religious, so combining her religious upbringing, her teetotalling, and having been abandoned by her husband, she didnt suffer much when James Earl visited, so he never visited for long.
But Chester had two other boys and two girls, I think. I have made contact with members of three of those 4 lines so far. At least I think so.
In fact it was one of those lines, a 2nd cousin, who proved the hypothesis about us being Shumates. We knew the Shumates were probably my family, but this woman’s dna results proved which shumate it was, locked in our answer. After that, a whole bunch of previously unknown matches, fell right into place. Have had several more matches come in in the last year, that have verified the match as well.
Still, I am still, we, are still, an awkward story, if not a skeleton in the closet. I guess this is an upside to James Earl being such a jerk…. They weren’t surprised to find out he had more family out there. Apparently, he had ceased to be able to disappoint any more.
There was no one saying”Oh no, not OUR James Earl!” No, they were like,” Yeah, sounds like Earl’ and “Doesn’t surprise me at all”
Indeed, at least in my case, the further away the cousin relationship, the more helpful they have been. It was a couple of Shumates, who turned out to be about 6th cousins, who helped me the most thus far. They were the ones that found, and helped me narrow down, my Shumates in Arizona.
They were the ones that were able to help me correlate my physical evidence with the DNA evidence, and pinpoint two Shumate families, cousins to each other, that were in the right place at the right time.
So as I have said before…. It has been a mixed bag. We have found acceptance, but, at least from the Shumates closest to us, it is more of a resigned acceptance. The most excitement, has been from the 6th cousins….. but to be fair… we really are just getting going on this exploration…. Things could thaw, and new cousins will undoubtedly be discovered, be met…. we just keep diggin’, just keep swimmin’.