Tag Archives: Family Resemblances

Family Resemblances – or Not!

DNA research is becoming such an important part of a genealogist’s work as he or she looks for new family branches. It’s funny sometimes how some inherited characteristics show up so strongly in one family and much less so in another, especially when looking at photographs.

I have two sets of childhood friends who are good examples of facially resembling other close family members. The first set of friends are two sets of fraternal twins. One set is boys and the other girls and they are all full siblings. First of all, none of the four of them even look like brothers and sisters, never mind twins, but twins they are. One of the boys is the spitting image of his father, while the other looks to be the twin of his first cousin since they look so much alike. Of the girls, one looks very much like her mother while the other looks like her grandmother.

On the other hand, I am completely amazed at a brother and sister who were my childhood friends. Today, they could be clones of each of their parents. I do a double take each time I see a new photo posted on FB.

My family is much more like the twins’ family. I don’t think any of my close family has a strong resemblance to any other close family member. That seems to be a theme running through the history of my family.

Take a look at five generations of my maternal grandfathers. They are father, son, grandson, great grandson and great great grandson.


Thomas Adams, 1783-1859


Daniel Adams, 1810-1893


Calvin Segee Adams, 1843-1921


Charles Edwin Adams, 1877-1922


Vernon Tarbox Adams, 1899-1968

Except for a high forehead, I don’t see much resemblance among any of my ancestors. The shapes of their faces vary quite a bit, as do their ears and noses. If these photos were in a random group of pictures and I was asked to sort who was related to whom, I would never come up with this combination.

What about your family? Do you have relatives that you strongly resemble or is your family more of a visual hodgepodge like mine?