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All in the Family

For the Gene and Liz Sheridan clan 2009 ended the way it began: With a new bouncing baby boy joining the family.

Nolin Reeve Russell was born Jan. 6, 2009, and is the son of Kayla Triplett and Ryan Russell. Then the birth of Zion David Patterson, son of John Paul and Katie Patterson, closed out the year on Dec. 21.

But once you’ve got a good thing going, why stop? At least that’s what this family apparently practices because Nolin and Zion were just bookends to the addition of five more babies to the Sheridan clan. And, guess what? They were all boys.

“We come from a big family. There is always a baby being born,” Talitha Patterson said. “I am an aunt 20 times and when these babies started to be born, I became a great aunt three times.”

To give you Talitha’s genealogy, she is the sister to Mike Patterson, Lawrence County Clerk, and to Zion’s father, John Paul.

Or to put it another way and in Talitha’s words:

“To three of them I am a great aunt. To one of them I am an aunt and the others I am a cousin to the mothers,” she said. “We love it obviously. It is not the first time we have had a lot of babies born in one year, but it is the first time it is all male. We felt very blessed.”

Filling out the family are Chance William Triplett, son of Noah and Jamie Triplett, born on Jan. 26; Wyatt Richard Brown, son of Eric and Teresa Brown, born on April 13; Rex Joseph Weber, son of Dr. Nick and Mary Beth Weber, born on May 18; Tucker Dale Collins, son of Aaron Collins and Linda Tucker, born Sept. 14; and Dillon Joseph Monnig, son of Daniel and Lauren Monnig, born Nov. 21.

The late Gene Sheridan, Talitha’s grandfather, was owner of East End Hardware and father of Mary Gene Sheridan Patterson, who takes on the duty most Sundays of cooking for this crew.

“Anyone who wants to comes out,” Talitha said. “It’s not uncommon for 20 or 30 people to come out for lunch on Sunday. She does a lot of beans and corn bread and homemade macaroni.”

Right now three of the seven boys are only children, but if the tradition of the Sheridan family continues that won’t be the case for long. After all, Mary Gene is one of 11 and Talitha is one of eight.

“We knew by Christmas we had all seven boys,” Talitha said. “We can imagine the ruckus they are going to cause.”

But that ruckus will be a sound of joy for those in the Sheridan tribe, who believe it’s the institution of family that can give each member the strength and happiness they need to attack each day.

“No matter what they go through, their family will always be there for them,” Talitha said. “We have had some heartache in our family, but at the end of the day we are there for each other.”