Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Old Trunks wonders what the numbers were for multiple births in the late 1800's and early 1900's. She is wondering if there were many triplets. How could she know? Look through the census records, they would be listed.

While paging through the Pennington County Historical Society list of graduating seniors, it is hard to tell if there are numerous sets of twins or are these graduates brother and sister or perhaps cousins?

Old Trunks wonders, if, 100 years or more from now, when the eight babies born in California recently will be grouped together in a class list for someone else to wonder as I wonder.

The class lists started at PCHS in 1904. In the beginning of research, the idea was to take every name--yes, including all names ending in son into consideration as possible twins. Yet, as one reads the lists, one sees there is more of a chance class mates are twins IF the names have a common first letter, i.e. A.

It wasn't until 1913 that two names really felt like twins. Anne and Alexandria Tharaldson were honored as the top two people in their class. One hopes they studied together to grasp such wonderful trophies.

Now in 1918, there was Gladys and Grace Johnson and Christine and Clara Pederson. They do sound like twins, do they not?

Enid and Joyce Mellem both graduated in 1946. They were cousins. Emil and Pete's sister, Nina was the children's great grandmother. But Enid and Joyce don't sound like twins anyway.

Let's fast forward to 1955 when there was Bradley and Barbara Teal. Later the parents would have another set, who graduated in 1962.

Where Dawne and Dean Larson of 1957, twins?

Where Marie and Mildred Bruggeman of 1959 twins? How about Georgine and Geraldine Austin? Are you seeing any faces, yet? How about Darby and Dale Nelson of the same year? Where they cousins? How would we know? Do we need old year books to see if one was a red head and the other had dark hair?

Where Audrey and Arlene Terrian twins? How about Dale and Don Wenneberg, also of the 1960 graduating class.

Gary and Gladys Peterson of 1961? Lloyd and Judith Ranum? Lloyd and Judith were second cousins:

Knute Ranum (common denominator)

In 1962, there was Tim and Tom Teal. Yes, brothers to the 1955 twins. And there was Ray and Roy Nelson. There were a lot of Nelson's that year. There is no Ray and Roy listed, although in the 1962-2002 reunion booklet, presented to classmates, they are called R&R.

So maybe there is no way to speculate just who were twins or cousins. Maybe it is just that most twins have a certain ring tone to their names. Certainly Mr. and Mrs. Nelson knew that and really named them Bruce and Harold for a specific reason!

The eight babies born in California are called A-H. My grand daughter's grandchildren will need that clue.

Meanwhile, think about the twins you have known. Think about the neat idea of having a mirror. Meanwhile, I am off to look in the year books to figure out which twin was which, that is, if they were twins at all.

Let me ask you this: If you would have been a twin, what would its name be? Wayne and Jane? Linda and Glinda? Mary and Harry? And then what? Who gets Tim and who gets Tom, and why, if for any reason?


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