WICHITA, Kansas (KSNW) - A basic conversation about family names unmasked a deep hidden secret between two social studies professors at Kansas' Hesston College and their ancestors, revealing a kinship that had been concealed for over 250 years until now.
In 2004, Sharon Cranford and Dwight Roth were enjoying a dinner with co-workers when Roth over heard Cranford discussing the name Mast which was her family's name. It was then the two began to learn that they were distant cousins with an Amish- Mennonite background.
"The only thing my grandmother told me years ago when I was growing up is that we came from peculiar people and that it was not something that we could talk about," said Cranford.
After all these years, the two are talking. They have broken down walls to expose ties to the small Amish community they never knew existed.