The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge


By Imogene Turman © 1983

Issue, June, 1983

coincidenceWedding photograph of 1979 wedding of Ronald Jessup and Rhonda Simmons. Pictured to left of bride is Ronald's grandfather, Edgar Jessup. Pictured to the right of groom is Ronald's Grandmother, Nancy Thompson Jessup.Mr. Jessup married Miss Simmons in May, 1879 and May, 1979. Sound impossible? It’s true.

When young Ronald Jessup married Rhonda Simmons in May, 1979, it stirred old family memories. Upon checking, it seems Ronald’s great-grandfather, Yancy Jessup, had also married a girl by the same last name of Simmons, in the month of May, one hundred years before!

The family dug a little deeper and found more amazing coincidences. Both couples met in the fall of the preceding year (1878 and 1978) and both couples became engaged at Christmas of that year (1878 and 1978).

The maiden name of the mother of each groom was Smith. Both men were the oldest child in the family, were tall, had brown hair and blue eyes.

Both of the brides were the oldest child in their families, had brown hair and were 16 when they met their future husbands.

These are all the similar facts the family has found so far, but they haven’t checked birthdates and other things. The list might go on and on.

Are all these things a coincidence or a continuation of a love that refused to die?

(All information and photographs were furnished by Ronald’s aunt, Imogene Turman, of Hillsville, Virginia.)