‘For whatever reason our families drifted apart over the years, and I think if there’s anything we can learn from our ancestors it’s that we’re not gonna let that happen again’
Thanksgiving for the Spriester families will be a bit sweeter this year after two cousins met for the first time thanks to a residence hall staffer. The meeting of the two cousins also ended a 50-year-old feud that had split the family.
Sloane Spriester and Bart Spriester met each other after front desk worker Tom Conboy noticed the names on their ID cards.
As reported by The Loyola Phoenix:
Conboy said he first brought up the situation to Sloane, who said she thought it was just a joke.
“I was checking out after being checked into my friend’s room in Francis Hall and the front desk person checking me out, Tom, held up my ID and told me, ‘Sloane Spriester? Spriester like Bart Spriester?’” Sloane said.
Although confused by the situation because she had never met anyone with the same last name as her, Sloane said she assumed it was just a funny coincidence.
In the following days, Conboy said he continued to bring up the similarity when he saw either of the Spriesters, still not considering the idea they were related at all.
“I just thought they had the same last name,” Conboy said. “I try to keep a really easy-going attitude with the students, so it was just something to talk about and have a little fun.”
The two cousins met soon before Parents Weekend which meant the students’ parents, who are half-cousins, were able to reunite.
“The Spriesters recalled a feud in their lineage dating back many years, explaining why Bart Jr. and Sloane were unaware of each other’s existence,” The Loyola Phoenix reported. “While the [Spriesters] said many details of the feud are unknown, Bart Jr. said the quarrel led the families to not being on speaking terms for over 50 years.”
“It felt like a gift that we discovered another side of our family that we never knew about,” Steve, Sloane’s father, told the student newspaper.
“For whatever reason our families drifted apart over the years, and I think if there’s anything we can learn from our ancestors it’s that we’re not gonna let that happen again.”