Much to his surprise, Kevin Howley recently discovered that his grandmother and his opponent, L. Brooks Patterson, are cousins. Kevin has been an avid genealogist since he was a teenager and is the family expert for several of his lines.
“I happened to be updating some information on one line of my family tree and noticed that one of the daughters of a cousin by the name of Harriet Brooks had married a Patterson,” noted Howley. “Curiosity got the best of me and from there it only took an instant to figure out that L. Brooks Patterson was a child of that couple.”
Howley and Patterson are descendants of John and Sarah Poore, who settled in Newbury, Massachusetts in 1635. Howley’s grandmother and Patterson are the same generation. Kevin’s grandmother, Pauline Howley, was born in 1906 and died in 1989, so she was never aware of the connection. The two branches of the family took very different paths on their way to settling in the Detroit area.
Kevin has deep roots in Michigan, including an ancestor who settled along the River Rouge in the 1780s. Another ancestor, William Dickinson, was the signer of the charter application to incorporate Hamtramck as a village in 1901, and is his great-great-great-grandfather. (Dickinson Elementary is named in William’s honor.) Dickinson and his in-laws are buried in the Royal Oak Township Cemetery. Kevin’s mom also remembers spending a great deal of time in Waterford Township while growing up, that being the home of her great-grandmother. Kevin’s grandparents moved to Beverly Hills in the late 1950s and his parents moved to Farmington Township in 1964 – and are still there today.