From the comments on https://edithwhartonsociety.wordpress.com/faq/
Can anyone tell me specifically how Edith Wharton was related to the Van Rensselaer Family? She is almost always referred to as a “cousin,” but was it through her paternal or maternal line?
Here (from the comments) is a reply from Marjorie Cox:
Hello, In reply to your inquiry regarding the family connection between Edith Wharton and Walter Berry – I have found a marriage between Eugene Van Rensselaer and Sarah Boyd Pendleton. Eugene Pendleton was born in Albany, NY on 12 Oct 1840. He was the youngest child of General Stephen Van Rensselaer (1789-1868) and Harriet Elizabeth Bayard (1799-1875). Walter Berry was the son of Nathaniel Berry(1811-1865) and Catherine Van Rensselaer (1827-1909). Catherine and Eugene were siblings. Eugene was Walter’s Uncle. On 26 Apr 1865 Eugene married Sarah Boyd Pendleton in Baltimore, Maryland. Sarah was born 11 Dec 1846 in Martinsburgh, West Virginia and was the daughter of Dr. Elias Pendleton (1820-1902) and Mariah Lucinda Tritt (1821-1887). The Pendleton line first connected with the Jones’ on 27 Jan 1825 when the marriage of Dr. James Muirson Pendleton to Margaret Jones took place in Manhattan, New York. James was the son of Nathaniel Pendleton (1756-1821) and Susanna Bard (1760 -1816). James was born in Manhattan in 1799. Margaret was the daughter of Joshua Jones (EW’s G Grandfather) (1757-1821) and Margaret Renshaw (1765-1848) and was born in Manhattan on 21 Jan 1808.
The common ancestor for James and Sarah is Henry Pendleton (1683-1721). He is the G Grandfather of James and the GGG Grandfather of Sarah. The relationship between these “cousins” if quite distant. Sarah is a 2C2R of James Muirson Pendleton.
In A Backward Glance Edith Wharton wrote, “My own ancestry, as far as I know, was purely middle-class; though my family belonged to the same group as any blood-relationship with it. The Schermerhorns, Jones, Pendletons, on my father’s side…”