I come from a VERY large family. I have 3 brothers and 5 sisters. We didn't all grow up together. 1 brother and 4 sisters are from my dad who divorced my mom shortly after I was born. 2 brothers and one sister grew up with me. We lived with my mom. Anyway... I didn't meet my father until I turned 16. Now, I am almost 40 and still don't know my other siblings very well. We talk on occasion, but not often. 3 of my sisters, I haven't seen in almost 20 years. It gets hard, but we cope. On top of the siblings, I have aunts and uncles, and enough cousins to populate a small city. Some, I am close to, but some I really have nothing to do with.
I also live in a small town, where I am related to nearly everyone. (I had to marry a man from Wyoming just to make sure I wasn't marrying some distant cousin)! My mom is famous for introducing me to "New" cousins every time we go somewhere together. People I wouldn't have ever known to be related to me lol. It tends to be confusing and overwhelming at times.
When my boys (I have 3) were little, we moved to a city about 3 hours away. Circumstances made us move back to the small town after 8 years of being away. It was then that I caught myself doing to my children, what my mother still does to me. For example.. someone brings a friend over..the first thing I asked were "Who are your parents?" Or "Oh hey, I went to school with your mom!". I hated when my mother did that to me, so I stopped myself from doing that to my boys. But, when they started dating, they would bring the girl to the house mainly to make sure we weren't related. It's sad, but necessary. My oldest son, who is now 21, met and married a woman from Washington. He knew we wouldn't be related to her lol.
My middle son, who is 20, and my youngest who is now 18, still bring home every girl they meet, just to make sure we aren't related. I keep telling my husband that we need to move far away, because being this close to this much family gets to me. I don't have a family tree, I have a family forest!