Are you related to anyone famous? It does not have to be a direct line.
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If you believe the family book compiled by my great aunt's cousin, I'm in a direct line from William the Conqueror. Not likely true, though.
Supposedly Ethan Allen, but the connection is tenuous. Also supposedly Wyatt Earp, but the great aunt who told me that was a pistol of a woman, so I take anything she says with a grain of salt. Her side of the family is devilish hard to trace though, so perhaps there is something in it. She says they changed their name because of that connection. I wonder if it was a different outlaw, I thought Wyatt Earp was one of the mostly good guys.
Okay, this family connection is very long and convuluted (my moms sister married my dads brothers wifes brother, and THEN the person the famous person is related to is on the complete OTHER side.........) ANYWAY.....my aunt and uncle (see above, lmao) their uncles wife, one of her ancestors is the Dr Samuel Mudd that helped John Wilkes Boothe.
(I hope you guys don't mind me butting in.)
My family has a two-panel display that links us all the way to Charlemagne, as well as a half-dozen other brand-name royals.
The trick is that it's in two pieces. The top piece takes it from the royals down to a dozen or so terminal points, each with a number. Everyone buys that. Then you buy the bottom part that links to you—well, to some reasonably illustrious or philoprogenitive ancestor.
I've got some reasonably well-known ancestors, including four on the Mayflower. On the other side, I've got actual Frenchmen, which ought to count for something getting to Charlemagne, even if he was basically a German. I'm not sure which side connects, but I imagine that a large percentage of Anglo-French can get to Charlemagne easily. (And if you can get to Charlemagne, I'm guessing you can get to a lot of Late Antique German nobles and through some senatorial family to, say, Augustus?)
Anyone seen these charts? Are they common? Am I messing up how they work?
I have some, none on direct lines. Always cousins. My family informants never claimed any of them, and probably wouldn't believe me if I told them that they were related.
But in 2004 I discovered a connection that had me doing virtual cartwheels. :-) Not even a relative; the father of an in-law. But that puts him on the extended tree! He was (quoting from his monument at Saratoga) "the most brilliant soldier of the Continental Army." Benedict Arnold.
P.S. Psychic Roots? I've been reading everything I could get my hands on about Arnold for over 45 years. Spent an entire day of my first visit to London locating his burial place and then persuading the vicar to open up the church and the crypt. (Nice man. He also got out the burial record for me, and while he had an
interested visitor ("no one ever wants to see my church") also pulled out the marriage record for William Blake.
Tim: everyone with European ancestry is descended from Charlemagne. The Sultan of Brunei - over at the opposite side of Eurasia - is descended from Charlemagne. It's possible that a majority of the people on the planet might be descended from Charlemagne. It might be harder to find someone who isn't descended from Charlemagne.
(I can go into great length on this, but that discussion is too long for this thread.)
Suffice it to say that you (as a Classicist) should know that it's quite possible that the entire human race might have a single common ancestor as recently as Classical times. So, yes, a Senatorial ancestor for someone of Eurpean descent is a near certainty.
Google "Rohde" and "Most Recent Common Ancestor" if you're curious.
Why would the common ancestor have been Charlemagne? Why not his
cousin, or the guy who cleaned out his stables? Did the direct line of every other individual who lived at the same time die out?
myshelves - the "most recent common ancestor" refers to a series of papers by "Rohde" that discuss these issues; I seem to recall that somewhere he actually brushes on the "descended from Charlemagne" question.
The short answer is that Charlemagne left 17? acknowledged children (and maybe a few score unacknowledged children?) - and C's descendants were better fed than most of their peers. (It's good to be king....)
1200 years since Charlemagne is 50 or 60 generations - a tremendous amount of time for that brood will spread Charlemagne's genes across the world. The entire human species is only about 50-cousins "wide", so it's likely that most people bear some relation to C.
Look at it the other way: ignoring intermarriage of relatives, you have 4 grandparents, 8 great-, 16 great-greats, etc. You don't need to go back many generations before your theoretical number of grandparents is greater than the population of the planet. Go back 30 generations (less than 750 years), and you had more ancestors at the time of the Black Death than there were people on the entire planet.
And Charlemagne was 1200 years ago.
Did the direct line of every other individual who lived at the same time die out?
Rohde specifically mentions the paradoxical conclusion that any particular individual alive a few thousand years ago either is the ancestor of everyone now living, or their line DID die out. Either their genes were passed on, or they weren't. If their genes were carried forward, there's been time for them to spread planet-wide.
AsYouKnow_Bob: The math doesn't work out quite as well as you describe. Intermarriage isn't to be ignored at all—it is the norm. We don't marry and screw randomly, and certainly don't do what your example proposes—marry only people who AREN'T related to us! Rather, we tend very strongly to favor people with social and geographic proximity to ourselves. A good test is the Genghis Khan study--that 1/12 Asians have genetic ancestry from Genghis Khan. The period isn't quite as remote, but the social structures (polygamy of the wealthy and powerful over much of the space and much of the time) more favorable. By your reasoning, everyone should be descended from Genghis Khan. Not so.
Anyway, I am in no way *proud* of the connection. I'm sure tens- or hundreds of millions share it. A large but considerably smaller number could prove it easily. That is, most of the paths from Charlemagne are obscure. The ones that are easy or even possible to trace cluster in the higher end of the social spectrum, so you need to be able to get to some, say, 18c. worthy to get to Charlemagne. The other ways are lost.
That you have to get there means that, while we may suppose that everyone in southern Europe is descended from Themistocles, we can't trace it at all...
And interesting question would be whether genes spread faster from high- or low-status individuals. On the one hand, status generally maps to health, and to greater opportunities for travel and choice of mates. On the other, high-status families endeavor to conserve status and limit property or power dilution by marrying above or close to their rank and within a kin group. At the far extreme you get royal incest—Egyptian and Persian, for example. If your wife is your sister, property doesn't get distributed, and you aren't creating new rivals.
I've never quite understood how exact the science is. Is it possible to establish that the 1/12 are descended from Temüjin, and not from his brothers? (I have a vague recollection that he had brothers and a sister.) And did they eliminate Temüjin's oldest son, whose paternity was in doubt?
I think that in this case all of the tribal leaders shared in the spoils, the more abundant food, the women, etc.
If I could trace my ancestry back that far, to Charlemagne or to his stable boy, I'd be damn proud - - - of my accomplishment, not of the ancestor. :-)
I've run into various interesting names as I've researched.
By the luck of the genetic draw, I have various Salem witch trial families (if they are famous......Putnam, Hathorne, Samuel Sewall, and the like) and various early Plymouth names (Bradford, Brewster, Standish, Alden -- but I've heard estimates that there are now upwards of a couple million people alive descended from the Alden/Mullins marriage).
Funny story: my grandmother, early in my researched, told me I wouldn't find any Mayflower people, and when I did she dismissed them because most of the lines either went through her ex-husband or through a great-grandmother of hers who had left young children to run off with another man is was therefore persona non grata*. Until...... one day at a women's group meeting, someone was bragging about her one line back to the Mayflower. Suddenly, Gram was quite interested in her lines back to 11 different passngers ;-)
I've also run into Roosevelts (FDR is something like 3rd cousin several times removed through both the Roosevelts and the Delanos, while TR is either closer or further away -- I've forgotten which.......) and Adamses, plus Anne Bradstreet and Thomas Hooker among others in colonial New England.
And how far is famous? Azariah Horton is often called the first American missionary from the colonies. Does that count?
Overall, howver, I've found my Scottish side, where I'm doing original research in old records, more interesting than much of the New England lines where someone else has already gotten to it and I'm just taking one bit from that book and another sibling from this book and so on......
*Anyone who thinks dysfunctional families are a modern invention hasn't done any genealogy......
Love the story about your grandmother.
My mother tended to discount some of my discoveries, especially those on my father's side. :-) One day she mentioned to me that a contestant on Jeopardy had 3 ancestors who fought in the Revolution. "So? I've got 5." "But do you know that?" Lengthy citation of sources, including baptismal records and New York in the Revolution, causes eyes to glaze over; the woman on Jeopardy is taken on faith. :-)
I have TR & Eleanor as distant half-cousins. FDR gets in only as an in-law.
Tell us about the Scots! I once sat between a Campbell and a MacDonald at a banquet. Someone had to. :-)
Ooo! I just remembered a favorite famous relative. I'm tickled pink at the thought that I had a cousin who walked on the moon. Astronaut Stuart Allen Roosa was one of the many descendants of my NY ancestor Aldert Roosa.
Any other Roosa descendants in the Group?
I am descended from Stephen Hopkins of the Mayflower. I have a bunch of connections to some authors. I share an ancestor with Tennessee Williams, Mark Twain and about 16 generations back Laura Ingalls Wilder have a common ancestor. I am supposedly decended directly from Ann Boleyn's sister, Mary. If you do any Internet searching there is an article claiming that Mary's son, my descendant was fathered by Henry VIII. Who knows? It is fun to speculate.
I've got all of those Mayflower people - among the men, Hopkins and Warren, plus the previously mentioned Bradford, Brewster, Standish and Allerton, as well as Francis Cooke, John Howland, William Mullins and a couple others I'm blanking* on -- and then there were the other early settlers like Cushman and Weston.
And I'd forgotten Laura Ingalls Wilder; her Ingalls family goes back Essex County MA -- as does Joseph Smith, the Mormon founder and a second cousin several times removed multiple times over.....
*Edited to add: one of the blanks filled in: George Soule.
And edited some more 'cuz I can't type.......
I've got a Lincoln connection - my grandmother's maiden name. My line comes from a Revolutionary general Benjamin Lincoln - who was Abe's great-grandfather, I think. Anyway, we're distant cousins. (There are NO direct descendants from Abraham Lincoln.)
My mother's maiden name was Burns and the family came from Scotland - so there has to be some connection there.
My (well-researched) family linage goes back to Charlemagne too. We run through King John (who "was not a good man."), as do thousands of others, I'm sure. My mother, in an excess of zeal, went back one more generation to Charlemagne's father, Pepin the Short. I did NOT need to know I was descended from Pepin the Short - at 5'5" I am by far the shortest person in my family, and I didn't need to give the teasers any more ammunition!!
My lines are
1.Thomas Cushman-Mary Allerton
Isaac Cushman- Rebecca Harlow
Mary Cushman-Robert Waterman
Thomas Waterman 1707-Mercy Freeman
Jonathan Waterman 1730 - Hannah Soule
Robert Waterman 1759 - Rebecca Cushman
2. Thomas Cushman-Mary Allerton
Elkanah Cushman 1651-Mary Cooke
Josiah Cushman 1687-Susanna Shurtleff
Elkanah Cushman 1721-Patience Paddock
Rebecca Cushman-Robert Waterman 1759
So Rebecca and Robert were third cousins through Thomas and Mary. (They are related several other ways, but my nice genealogy program that figures such things out for me is at home and I'm at the office..........)
I've got a good bit of my research on-line at Rootsweb's Worldconnect, although I've been less completist at entering the Plymouth information as so much of it is otherwise available; I've tended to focus on lines no one lese is researching ;-)
Some years ago I indexed a book about Argyll (in Scotland) and back in the Middle Ages one of the Campbell family (later Earls/Dukes of Argyll) had commisioned a genealogy which went back to Adam and Eve via Old King Cole, Empress Helena, Joseph of Arimethea, and various other characters (as was often the case with genealogies of the period). Apparently an American family had traced their family to the Campbells and had taken over the whole line. They had commissioned a large pedigree which hung on the wall of their house showing their descent from Adam. Apparently there was a small note note saying they believed it to be true because the information had cost a lot of money. I thought it was a nice story. And according to the good book I'm also descended from Adam but I don't have the in-between bits.
#30 - I like that! If you want to get technical, one of the in-between bits would be Noah. :)
They had one of those trees on the wall at my FHC. Probably trying to encourage sound genealogical practices. :-) One of the more recent infamous genealogical "inventors," Gustave Anjou (1863-1942), mucked about with some of my colonial lines - - - and probably with those of some others here - - - in the course of selling fraudulent trees to his customers. See
http: //personal.linkline .com/xymox/fraud/fraud223.htm
(Close up the spaces, left to try to get this to work as text) and follow links from there.
There is no point in "doing genealogy" just to find a bunch of farmers or laborers. :-) And that went double for people who were paying Anjou and his ilk. If a famous person had the same surname, he must have been a relative if not a direct ancestor. And, of course, one can buy the "family coat of arms" from dozens of bucket shops.
On one of my Anglo-Irish lines, there is a military cousin who made it into the history books; about the only person with that surname who does. Some guy doing "genealogy" by looking up the surname (how else? - grin) wrote a book in which he fit him in as an ancestor by moving his (well documented) birth date back 155 years, and his birthplace to England. Others find the book, and I see that tree out on the web regularly. It is in print, so "it must be true."
According to my spit-fire great aunt, we are directly related to Davey Crockett. She says she has all the information and has given it to her daughters, no one wants to share and she doesn't want to do it again, Hmmmm.
I haven't started that side of the family yet. I have done some quick genealogy research to see if it would "stand out". No such luck of course.
Here's a funny-my father couldn't remember the names of his two uncles, one of which went by Uncle Tater. In TN, they are doing a project putting all the gravesites on the web. I fooled around one day and happened to find "Tater" Rhea. How very funny is that!!
34> That's hillarious. We've got some odd names in our family, too. I always wonder if they are nicknames or real...
There's still a lot of gullible people out there. Some companies send out offers through the post for a book of "your family's history" for something like 25 GBP. Turns out to be nothing much more than a 3 line derivation of the name (probably spurious or guesswork), a mention of one or two famous, or infamous, people with the same name (culled from the web or standard reference work) and the bulk is just thousands of people with the name culled from telephone directories or similar.
As your story about the Anglo-Irish line shows the web is a great place for spreading falsehood.
By the way my own line is full of weavers and farm labourers with a sprinkling of tradesmen, shopkeepers, engineers. None of them are famous but there are some quite interesting stories belonging to quite humble folk.
I have an actual pirate, Murat Reis of the Sallee Rovers of Morocco, born Jan Jansen of Harleem. I'm descended through his son, Anthony Jansen van Sallee, who emigrated to New Amsterdam with a lot of money and Grietje Reyniers, a barmaid he met while waiting for the ship.
Murat/Jan was captured by the Moroccans in the Canary Islands. Anthony was apparently with him, unless you subscribe to the thought that he was the son of Jan's Arab wife. In any case, Jan converted to Islam and led raids on the Spanish and, in one case, on Baltimore in Ireland. He died wealthy and respected, surrounded by him Moroccan family.
Anthony came to New Amsterdam, where he was known as Anthony the Moor. I've seen several sites claim this as proof that he was black, thus claiming him as an early Negro settler. If he was indeed the son of Jan and his Arab wife, Anthony would be half-Arab, and Hazel van Dyke Roberts' article in the New York Genealogical & Biographical Record pretty much says Anthony was too old when he migrated to have been born in Morocco. However, Anthony was supposed to be a swarthy man, but that could have come from life on the sea. (There is no clear evidence that he was a pirate like his father, but his farm on Long Island was well known as having the best deep-water anchorage in the colony.)
Isn't Anthony supposed to have been an ancestor of Jackie Onassis?
#38--he may well be, but I don't know for sure. I only followed my own line.
Not related to anyone famous but my Great Grandfather was a captain with the White Star Line and I just found Chekov's wife in a list of passengers on one of his voyages.
Sodapop (#40) That's just the sort of interesting tidbit that gives a bit of 'umphhh' to a family history and the kind of thing I was getting at in my post #36 (not suggesting that yours are 'humble folk' like mine!)
Editing to ask why, all of a sudden, do I have to join the group to post?
#41 PossMan, mine are all 'humble folk' too. My great grandfather's story is really interesting though. He went to sea in 1885 as a ship's boy (lowest of the low) on sailing ships and worked his way up eventually captaining some of the biggest steam ships of the time.
Other than the possible direct connection to an Irish king/war lord (and if you have any Irish blood you can find some king somewhere in the line to gaze at and realize the slight possibilities), my family appears to be directly descended from non-entities. I'm fairly certian that I would be one of those people that would end up not related to Charlemagne (or Genghis Khan). Of course, I've only gone back to the 1700s (or 1600s, a while now since I last looked; others have traced the family further back than that date - bunch of farmers appears to be the common family occupation, not that anyone in the family in the last 100-200 years was a full-time farmer).
#43 Speaking as one directly descended, from as far back as I can tell (1500s), from farmers, someone had to feed all those famous people! Raised by farmers too, and proud of it. :)
Hopefully, I didn't give the wrong impression. :) I'd be perfectly happy to find out that my ancestors were farmers. Heck, I'd be perfectly happy to find out that they were all shady characters of one sort or another, or all "goody two shoes" if I could get back a distance from the present (my great grandfather "disappeared" without leaving a trace of prior ancestors, well, a bare minimum trace was left).
re 46> That's where I'm coming from. My ancestors were ordinary folk, and therefore I can't find them, especially when they run off on the family, or don't go through the actual process of getting married.
That getting married thing isn't always good. I have one ancestor who appears from various records to have been married to 3 women at the same time. And he lived in a very small village!
Well, the family member that didn't marry (until later), ended up with many kids, and no real way to track the father or which siblings, if any, are related. With three marriages there are 4 possible parents (1 of the three women, or some unkown fourth woman, +, of course, the fifth - the husband). And therefore 4 possible paths (the unknown one, obviously enough, gets you back to my situation; actually my situation could have been worse, if I didn't know the story of the missing great grandfather, as the great grandmother remarried, and I might have been confused and thought the new man was the father, instead of the step-father).
Mike, this is a good example of how DNA testing for genealogy purposes can be useful. Is this your direct, paternal line?
Both mysteries are in the paternal line, and while it is assumed that both are dead, only one's death is confirmed, and neither's current location is known (the other would be setting some age records if still alive). One is a great grandfather, the other is, if I recall correctly, his mother (some knowledge of his parents is known, like names, but nothing behind the name of the father is known, and the mother's information is clouded by the multiple kids, and married (or not) status.
I'm a decendant of Jacob Zimmerman and George Klock, the first two settlers of what is now St. Johnsville, New York.
I am also a decendant of a person named "Lady Harriet Oldacre", but have not found any information about her, besides her daughters name and dates, and husbands name. The closest location I have for this line is Wisconsin two generations previous. Any suggestions for reliable places to look for upper class people? I can only assume this is an English name originating in Great Britian.
I have Oldacre/Oldaker in England, and have read a book tracing a more wealthy branch (bankers) of the family. Never heard of a Lady Harriet. Was Oldacre her surname or married name? Was she "Lady" in her husband's right, or on her own? I guess you haven't found her birthplace on a census?
A fairly reliable place to look for upper-class British people is in Burke's Landed Gentry.
#54 it was her Surname, husband John Hucks STEVENS, daughter Mary Hepzibah (SHEPARD) STEVENS b. 24 Jul 1841 d. 1 Oct 1896. Daughter married William Sherood SHEPARD b. 17 Mar 1837 in CT, d. 18 Dec 1910 MN. This SHEPARD is one of my two longest lines taking me back to 1587 in England.
My only source for this information is my Great Uncle who has for fun done some genealogy, but is not the most accurate in his research.
I see that there are 2 databases on WorldConnect --- elcamino and jcollects --- that have Harriet Oldaker wife of John Hucks Stevens. Both show her born in London 1 Feb 1816.
I don't think I have anyone famous in my direct line, but apparently I'm a very, very, very, very distant cousin of Laura Ingalls Wilder, President Chester Arthur, and Vice-President Dick Cheney. We're all descendants of Anthony Colby, who immigrated here in 1630 and settled in Amesbury, MA. I thought that was neat.
#56 thanks much! that will help greatly, next stop IGI and ship records!!!
Okay, a couple of weeks ago had trouble posting a message, so I am going to try again. About the day before all that happened, I found out something really really interesting about my husbands family.
I am still trying to figure out how he may or may not be related to Elizabeth 1, but apparently, his Kniveton descendants, his great great something grandfather's wife (or could be an uncle, not sure on the complete history yet!) she was the daughter of the wife of Robert Dudley, whom was the son of the favorite of Elizabeth 1.
Okay here is how I see it, no relation:
Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester was married to a woman, whom he abandoned in 1605. Thier daughter married married Sir Gilbert Kniveton (and if anyone has been attempting to pay any attention on the other post, Gilbert Wiggins is the grandson of Gilbert Kniveton, and the name Gilbert is ALL over that family!!)
So that is my famous connection!!
Hmmm. Those Dudleys are tricky. Apparently Frances was the daughter (possibly illegitimate) of the son (possibly illegitimate) of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, the favorite of Elizabeth.
Search for: dudley kniveton in Google books and also for "Gilbert Kniveton" and you get some useful hits. There is also a post about the Dudleys, citing a book that sounds helpful, on GenMedieval-L. http:// archiver.rootsweb.com/th/read/GEN-MEDIEVAL/1998-08/0903011061
(Close up the space I left.)
Edited to add: Btw, the Earl of Leicester died about 1588. The son, born about 1574, was known as (but wasn't) the Duke of Northumberland.
Is that the wife Robert supposedly threw down the stairs? I think her name was Lettice Knollys, if I'm not mistaken. His father John (the former Duke of Northumberland) was executed by Mary for the Lady Jane Grey/Dudley debacle.
I have a pretty interesting connection myself. My 7th great grandparents were Isham Randolph and Jane Rogers. They had two girls, Jane and Dorthea Randolph. Jane married Peter Jefferson and had Thomas. Dorthea married Capt. John Woodson and had Anna "Nannie" Woodson. Nannie was the 1st cousin of Thomas Jefferson, so I am (and due to some inbreeding) his 1st cousin 7 times removed. Not direct, but still cool.
Amy Robsart was the one who fell or was pushed down the stairs.
Thomas Jefferson is waaay cool. And all of the interesting lines have inbreeding. :-)
Er . . . why does your "inbreeding" link go to Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers? Having ancestors in Gondor or Rohan would be super cool, but a bit tricky to document. :-)
Of course, Amy Robsart. I should have remembered, and I didn't know I had a link in my post?
As far as the inbreeding goes, Nannie Woodson married her 2nd cousin John Stephens Woodson. I remember thinking how much I hated it when they put the married name instead of the maiden, turns out it was her maiden name...so that cut out one of the generations.
I am my own 9th cousin and 10 cousin once removed - from the same side due to cousin intermarriage. I should have 9 heads and I'm not even Southern. ;-)
I'm my own cousin at least a dozen different ways. Cousins in some degree marrying in several generations, on various lines, going back at least to the 1600s.
About the link (now gone): You must have put the phrase in brackets instead of parentheses. Why LT decided to create a Touchstone for The Two Towers from that will remain a mystery.
If I had to pick an ancestor I was most proud of, it would be Rebecca Spray, a Quaker lady from Pennsylvania colony. She was raped and made pregnant with my ancestor in the late 1600s. Not only did she not hide her "shame," she hauled the guy to court and accused him. He was convicted, too. She raised her little son to be a good man and gave him her own last name. God love her guts and courage. Otherwise my maiden name would have been Bullock or Bullard (I forget which.). I grew up thinking Spray was a weird last name, but now I couldn't be prouder of it.
Wow, MerryMary, very interesting. That's wonderful that she was not "put on trial" so to say herself. During those times, an accusation like that could quickly be turned against the woman.
Seeing the Pulitzer citation topic reminded me that there's someone famous who is about as far from being on a direct line in my tree as you can get. :-) But I'm happy to claim all of the in-laws and their interesting relatives.
My gr-grandaunt's husband was a distant cousin of Ray Bradbury, both of them descended from Mary Perkins Bradbury of Salem witchcraft fame.
Interested in this group. I've done genealogy for 40 plus years but lately have had to just check on what others have done on the various websites. Through this I have made connections to most of the US presidents and their wives and a lot of miscellaneous people, but I know I am subject to anybody else's mistakes in so doing. But I am sure of a relationship to General Thomas Stonewall Jackson and Princess Diana for starters.
I was here before, but did forget to mention that I am descended from TWO of the ladies executed in the Salem Witch trials --Rebecca Towne Nurse and Martha Allen Carrier. I don't believe either of them were actually witches, but they were hanged anyway through the antics of the accusing girls, the palpable fear of the populace, and the desire to get rid of devilish people.
I think there was also a motive of people wanting to get the property of some of the accused. Money usually comes into it somewhere.
I am related to President Jimmy Carter (4th cousins twice removed) and also to Senator Sam Nunn. I do not remember the relationship to the Senator, but it is cousins of some sort.
According to this three-ring binder of printouts my aunt gave me about 15 years ago, I'm related to both Adam AND Eve, and all the European monarchs you can name!
Relations that I can verify are much less illustrious. Here's a couple:
Hannah Duston who, according to legend, escaped her Indian captors in the 17th century.
Hermann Göring - Nazi commander
I was here before, but did forget to mention that I am descended from TWO of the ladies executed in the Salem Witch trials --Rebecca Towne Nurse and Martha Allen Carrier.
Then we are cousins as Martha is my 7th great-grandmother. I am descended from Rebecca Carrier, daughter of Andrew, son of Andrew, son of Martha. And you?
Admiral George Dewey is my second cousin three time removed (on my line) through Rebecca Carrier and William Dewey. He is also my sixth cousin three times removed and my eighth cousin twice removed.
Susan Saint James is my second cousin. I have never met her but my grandmother adored Susan’s father and knew her and her family well.
Here's a few I'm related to but not exactly proud of:
>Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside (distant cousin)
>Sen. Henry Clay (not quite so distant cousin)
And here are some I'm kinda proud of:
>William Wallace of Braveheart fame (some Wallace changed his name to Burnside between William and me, distant cousin)
>Robert Bruce, William Wallace's "successor" (the line from me to him goes straight back, takes a sharp left turn and then continues on back; all that to say there isn't really any blood relation but I am related to him nonetheless : ) )
On a kind of a different note, one ancestor of mine was given a military escort during the (Un)Civil War which included two Yankee officers, future Pres. Rutherford B. Hayes and future Pres. William McKinley.
Believe it or not, I am related, on my mama's side, to Alonso Quixano, the man from La Mancha who inspired Don Quixote. This may explain why I cannot spy a windmill, of any sort, without tilting at it, and how I was finally deported from Holland despite its liberal reputation.
More recent family tradition, handed back over the years, from children to parents, links me to Ramon Gomez de la Serna - who wrote odd Greguerias amongst other things, and was a close friend of Jorge Luis Borges - and also Che Guevara strangely enough, which probably explains my dark beard, fetching beret, and cheroot.
Although my daddy went to school with Val Doonican, and looked like Bing Crosby on a good day, Stan Laurel on a bad, his family were not 'well-connected,' and frequently fell apart.
One of my ancestors had a sister called Hendrickje Stoffels who was the housewife (not married though!) of Rembrandt van Rijn, the famous Dutch painter. Based on 17th century legal documents, I was able to find out where her parents' house stood.
Although Hendrickje and Rembrandt had at least one child, no descendants survive. So you could argue that I'm the closest they have to current heirs :-)
I'm a direct descendant of Conrad Weiser. Don't know how "famous" he is, but there are parks and schools, etc named after him in Pennsylvania. He was an interpreter for and ambassador to some of the First Nation tribes in the early US colonies.
80DustyMorse First Message
Samual Morse who invented Morse Code. He is like my great great great great great Uncle on my dad's side.
A first cousin twice removed was the governor of Wisconsin... but that's as close to 'famous' as I've gotten so far; my kin are all humble farmers and such. But boy are there some good stories -- one military man drown at sea, leaving his wife and children alone and penniless in the 'new world' of Canada. I'm also a Wallace, but haven't done enough research to know if I'm related to William Wallace or not...
Hendrickje Stoffels, the mistress/model/business partner of Rembrandt van Rijn, was a sister of an ancestor of mine. See the Wikipedia-entry on Hendrickje Stoffels. Through genealogical research I was able to find the first ever record where Hendrickje is mentioned together with her parents and siblings. This eventually allowed me to reconstruct the location of the house where she was born. We revealed that location during a conference in 2006, the year we celebrated the 400th anniversary of Rembrandt's birth.
I'm related to the late silent film star Marion Davies. I can't work out the exact relationship, but she and my grandmother had the same grandfather.
I guess that would make you first half-cousins, twice removed.
I soooo hate the English way of naming relationships! In the Netherlands, every relative that is not an ancestor, descendant, sibling, aunt or uncle is called a nephew or niece, with a 'after' added for each generation beyond cousins. For this reason, our word 'neef' can be either a nephew or a first cousin. You and Marion would simply be after-after-nephew and after-after-niece.
Hmm, when trying to write down the rules, I realize maybe it's not so simple after all :-)
#85 Thanks, I've often wondered what the precise relation is.
My mother used to tell us of how, when Davies died and her obituary was in the newspaper, my grandmother threw the paper in the fire; she was a strict Catholic and Davies 'lived in sin' with William Randolph Hearst.
Daniel Boone was my first cousin, nine times removed.
The actors Wallace, William, & Noah Beery are cousins--I believe second cousins, but I need to check--of my maternal grandfather.
My husband's father claims a relationship to Sam Houston, but I've not been able to discover anything.
Patrick Henry (give me liberty or give me death) was my great x 9 grandfather.
Hey, Tim and I are related through Charlemagne!
Edward I was my ancestor, go back through wikipedia and you can get to Charlemagne and beyond, back to 576 AD ish.
Should book out the larger part of Australia for a family reunion!
Oh on my mums side I am related to a first fleet australian convict. Not really famous except now with the web I can google his name and come up with all his details.
Wow, some really cool ancestry here!! I'm still working on mine, no such luck with anything famous though. Will keep you posted!! Enjoy your research!
So far I've located a bigamist, a counterfeiter and Henry Billings Brown, 52nd Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, appointed by President Theodore Roosevelt. No horse thieves -- so far! :)
My Mom's cousin was married to Jimmie Caras, the famous pool player. He won several world championships in the 1930's. He died in 2002 at the age of 93. My Dad remembers seeing him play at a local pool hall near his home in Wilmington, DE. I never personally met him.
My mother was very proud of being a direct descent of John Dickinson. However, on the John Adams series, the actor who plays him doesn't look like him. The family portraits show a man with a broad forehead, double chins, receding hairline. Emily Dickinson is from the Joseph Dickinson branch of the family who settled in MA. So she is a very distant cousin.
I'm not sure the exact relation, but I am related to J.D. Rockefeller on my Mom's side. I remember her telling me how his cousin (or something), who is the person actually related to her, changed his name to Rockefellow to distance himself from J.D. and his policies.
I'm a distant cousin to General General George B. McClellan, plus Abraham Lincoln (Flower line) and Richard Nixon (Brinton line). An odd combination.
Mostly farmers in my family except for a couple of very distant cousins on mom's side. One of her Fordyce cousins may have been a govenor of Missouri and a not-very-nice man.Haven't checked him out so can't verify the story.
Another Fordyce cousin was one of the founders of Hot Springs,Arkansas.
The immigrant ancestor of mom's direct line, Mulinex, was a transported convict so I have something in common with the Aussie convict descendants. America was a convict colony long before Australia. Australia became England's dumping ground after our revolution and independence. My ancestor was a really bad guy. He was convicted of shoplifting a "sugar loaf" worth 4 shillings. The original value was apparently set at 10 shillings but a reduced value got him a reduced sentence. Instead of hanging him they could transport him.Of course the transportee had to pay his own passage which meant he had to indenture himself to whoever was willing to pay the ship captain. The ship 'Loyal Margarett' sailed from Newgate on 10 Jun 1726 bound for Maryland.
Family legend has it that my great grandpa robbed a bank with Frank & Jesse James but there's no way to prove it. Grandpa supposedly met Jesse in Alabama near the end of the Civil War. I know Grandpa was in Alabama but don't know about Jesse. I also know they were on different sides in that conflict but can't swear they wouldn't have had any contact. It's known Frank & Jesse, along with several unknown men, did rob a bank in Huntington,WV., grandpa's home state. One of Jesse's known alias' was John Davis Howard. Grandpa's name was John Davis and his brother-in-law's surname was Howard. Such common names, nothing can be concluded. I don't think it's true but my aunt swore it was. My grandparents certainly never had any money.
so that's the extent of fame in my family
Not famous but quite interesting - evidence seems to point reasonably accurately to the fact (suggestion?) that one of my ancestors made barrels which were used on the English naval ships in the battle against the Spanish Armada. And my great-grandfather was a founder member of the Labour Party over here. Okay, it's not Charlamagne but it's good enough for me.
To #81 (Herbar):
Read my post (#61) again.
"I have a pretty interesting connection myself. My 7th great grandparents were Isham Randolph and Jane Rogers. They had two girls, Jane and Dorthea Randolph. Jane married Peter Jefferson and had Thomas. Dorthea married Capt. John Woodson and had Anna "Nannie" Woodson. Nannie was the 1st cousin of Thomas Jefferson, so I am (and due to some inbreeding) his 1st cousin 7 times removed. Not direct, but still cool."
I said Anna Woodson was Thomas Jefferson's first cousin. I said nothing of any Jefferson offspring.
I have the dubious distinction of being related to a certain Alabama governor who made a name for himself with his views on integration (and his attempted assassination). A couple of ancestors did marry well, including one who married a direct descendant of a signer of the Declaration of Independence -- not sure which one off the top of my head.
87: My husband's father claims a relationship to Sam Houston, but I've not been able to discover anything.
My great grandmother apparently had a family tree on her wall showing her relationship to Sam Houston. My father remembers it from his childhood (1940-ish), but my great grandmother is long gone and nearby relatives don't know what happened to it. So far all I've managed to do is disprove every clue I've found. I don't know whether her tree was wrong (and possibly the source of erroneous internet genealogies) or included a link that I have yet to discover.
Remember the common ancestor of Cheney and Obama that was in the news last year (http://www.suntimes.com/images/cds/special/family_tree.html)? My ancestor also, but I haven't calculated the exact relationship.
My 6th & 7th Grandfather Crawford's had farms that adjoined the farm of Col. William Crawford's grandson. Several other of his grandsons lived across the river in Ohio. This Col. Crawford fought in the Revolutionary War and died a prisoner of Native Americans. Crawford County Ohio is named for him. No documented relationship but it is all I got.
One of my 5th grandmothers on my father's side was a Lewis, related to Meriwether Lewis. Another branch of the family supposedly includes a link to James Fenimore Cooper, although I haven't been able to verify that connection yet.
There is some tenuous connection in our family to Wallace Warfield Simpson (something in the Warfield line).
An actual relation is F.E. Strohmeier who invented the Vick's cough drops in his candy store and published a book of photographs of the San Francisco earthquake (which in turn caused him to have to sell his cough drop patent).
103: I have a Warfield line too. The most recent person with that name was in Anne Arundel Co MD in the early 1800s. My family tree program says that Wallis Warfield Simpson was my 5th cousin 3x removed. So maybe you're my cousin too. :-)
My family history has Titian the Renaissance artist. I had an aunt that wrote the chart for me years ago with the names of my ancestors.
love this group!!!!! I just found it and have really enjoyed reading... I have been doing genealogy for about 10 yrs and found out we were related to Daniel Boone... I was totally excited, with the family history I had found before I figured we were just bad people.....
My grandmother's uncle was Mendele Mocher Sforim (Mendele the Bookseller), a pseudonym. His birth name was Abramowitz. He's considered one of the three founders of Yiddish writing, the other two being Peretz and Sholem Aleichem. I write nothing like him.
Related only by marriage but my Mom's 1st cousin was married to Jimmy Caras, a five time world Pocket Billiard Champion.
I don't know in links work but here is his obit.
Allegedly related to Queens Mary II and her sister Anne. Less loftier relations include comedian Doug Henning, and Hugh Caugell, favorite high school teach of James Dean.
I am one of many people with Cash family links. As far as I can tell, Johnny Cash was my fifth cousin once removed; if that's correct, Rosanne Cash is my sixth cousin. It doesn't make me special but it's kind of fun.
I've been seriously researching my ancestry for three or so years, and I can identify about half my gt gt gt grandparents, and back to the 17th century on a few lines. So far I can only claim one "celebrity" ancestor, if there is such a thing - one William Hone, who lived mostly in London, England in the late 18th, early 19th century. He was a member of Charles Dickens' circle, a writer, publisher and radical activist. He was tried for treason 3 times and acquitted - the treason consisted of lampooning the monarchy. He's my gt gt gt gt grandfather. Most of my other ancestors have been agricultural labourers, shoemakers (an amazing number of those), a couple of printers, one or two publicans. While it is certainly possible that I might be descended from Charlemagne or Genghis Khan, I'm hardly likely to be able to find any evidence of it. Most people of English descent can find reasonable traces of their ancestors back to about 1580 when the system of parish records were introduced, but unless you have found an ancestor by then who has documented ancestry from earlier than that (i.e. nobility or at least gentry) then you are just speculating (admittedly, a harmless activity). Throughout most of recorded history most people have been dead common.
Luther Burbank is my third cousin, three times removed. An uncle of mine used to correspond with him.
My 32nd ggg-grandfather is Torquat Des Rennes Anjou Plantagenet, born in 800 AD in Anjou, France and seems to be the earliest that I could find.
copyedit52, I hope you've read Aaron Lansky's book Outwitting History, about his attempts to save Yiddish literature. Fun and sad at the same time.
Sure who isn't. Here is a summary of mine
I am interested in the ancester who I reportedly have in common with Barbara Bush and her son, George W. Bush. The ancestor is a Benjamin Coe who lived in Morris County, New Jersey, and died in Western Pennsylvania after the Revolutionary War.
The information that I have about Benjamin Coe mostly comes from "Robert Coe, Puritan" which is a massive Coe genealogy. I would love to hear from anyone who has other information about this Benjamin Coe.
Among the connections that go (theoretically) waaay back are Davy Gam (Welsh hero that Shakespeare wrote about), Robert the Bruce, Thomas of Woodstock (son of Edward III), William Randolph & Mary Isham (known as the Adam & Eve of Virginia, because of the number of American presidents & politicians they're related to), Richard Bland (member of Virginia House of Burgesses), etc. But there's really no way to tell for sure except through DNA testing.
>114 somermoore:. Thanks for the lead on this. If not me, then I know someone who's obsessed with the subject of Yiddish preservation and I'll get it for her.
I figured out how I am related to the famous: Jackie Kennedy, Humphrey Bogart, Tom Brokaw, Howard Dean, Wright Brothers etc.
A few I failed to mention earlier:
Darrell V. McGraw, current Attorney General of the State of West Virginia (nephew of my mother's aunt);
Warren McGraw, Darrell's brother, former Justice of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals (nephew of my mother's aunt);
Hulett C. Smith, former Governor of the State of West Virginia, 1965-1969, (relation probable but uncertain);
Abraham Honaker and son James Honaker, gunsmiths, makers of the somewhat famous Honaker Rifle (5 great- & 4 great-grandfathers).
Since my family is from Virginia/West Virginia it is really hard not to be related to someone famous, especially from the early American time-frame.
#120 Exactly, we are all related to a Cavalier or some other pilgrim immigrant.
William Shakespeare...via his sister Joan, who married a guy called William Hart. Six generations of Hart descendants, then one married a Mary Richardson, whose sister Fanny had a grand-daughter Elizabeth who married Thomas Fletcher, who was the brother of my gt-gt-grandfather. Not direct, but the link is there. I only discovered this info recently, when some documents belonging to my grandfather came to light.
Mind you, there are probably at least a thousand living people who have a similar link, as the Harts were quite prolific breeders, as were the families they married into :)
I have been researching family history for several years and have come across several famous people to which I have proven to be my ancestors. My 14 Great Grandfather is Robert Bruce. I'm descended from the Calhoun Clan through my Great Grandmother. My Great Great Uncle is Henry Lowell Mason, religious songwriter. Charles Dickens is an ancestor through my Mother's maternal Grandmother, Molly Dickens.
A semi well-known relative was my 4th Great Grandfather, Heinrich Adam Harmon (through my Mother), who rescued Mary Draper Ingalls after she escaped from the Indians. He was of Moravian Descent and his family was driven from Moravia because of their religion. His family settled in Mannheim, Germany and he was Palatinate Hermann before migrating to Pennsylvania, then to the Shenandoah Valley in VA. The Harmon/Harman/Hermann family was instrumental in helping to colonize the Shenandoah Valley area. I noticed that there has been a lot of discussion about Charlemagne. I have recently read, but have not proven and probably will never be able to prove, that the Hermann's are descendants of Charlemagne.
Supposedly, according to Ancestry.com, Queen Elizabeth is my cousin several times removed. Ancestry.com also lists Babe Ruth, Doc Holliday, Truman Capote, several former first ladies (including Lady Bird Johnson - through both my family and my husband's family), Laura Ingalls Wilder, and a few more that escape my memory at the moment.
Of course, if you believe the Bible, we all are descendants of Adam and Eve and Noah's family after the flood.
I just found out that I am related to George Washington. His mother, Mary Ball, was 1/2 sister to my ggggggggrandmother, Esther Ball. Their father was Colonel Joseph Ball.
please take some of this with a grain of salt!!!!i'm descended from 3 mayflower passengers,richard warren,francis cooke and his son john cooke!!!also descended from henry 1 "the fowler",ist king of united germany back in 900s!!!also descended from william the conqueror and his ancestors rollo the viking ragnvaldsson and his wife poppa de valois de bayeux,france!!!also some of the english&scottish kings,notably king alfred the great!!also the ancient high kings of scotland&ireland!!!also the kings of judah back to david and on back to adam&eve!!!also descended to charlemagne the great&his ancestors back to adam&eve!!!!like i say,do please take this with a grain of salt,but i do believe the bible is completely true and we all descended from adam&eve thru noah&his family!!!!!
paternal great- grandfather: George Perkins, (1841 - 1891)
author of Three Years a Soldier. (Containing diary entries and letters to his home town newspaper, it was published some 142 years after it takes place
(Civil War) and 114 years after the authorʻs death.
The title and some notes were provided by another
great-grandson of George: Richard N. Griffin.
Great-(something) uncle (I donʻt know the number of ("greats"): Lew Wallace, famous for Ben Hur, and also the author of The Fair God and The Prince of India, as well as some non-fiction. He and his younger contemporary George Perkins were not related, but G. P.ʻs son married
Adelaide Alexander, whose mother was a Wallace.
Heres one for you! I found out that I am related (5x removed) to Ben Kilpatrick. He's more the infamous variety. He was part of the Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid bunch, and was killed while robbing a train. What's even funnier about that is that the Cassidy gang did a lot of robbing of cattle barons...my wifes family was the Kettenrings, who were huge cattle barons in Texas at the same time. Its interesting to think...My ancestor was probably robbing my wife's ancestors. Time doesn't change much, does it..grin..
Here is a web site that describes the gang a bit. I find it interesting.
My great grandmother was the sister of Lt. Gen. George Grunert. He was in command of the Philippine defense force prior to Douglas MacArthur taking it over. He was also the presiding officer of the Pearl Harbor Board that investigated the attack on Pearl Harbor after the war.
His daughter Mary was married to Jonathan Owen Seaman, who was a Maj. Gen. in command of the II U.S. Field Force in the Vietnam War in 1966.
Both have Wikipedia pages, which may not be enough to be considered famous, but at the very least they've made footnotes in some scholarly works.
By the way, interesting topic.
I am decended from George Taylor the brother of Zachary TAylor the president, I am also decended from William Millikan Sr and Jr, who both were famous Quaker preachers and authors, Elihu MIllikan who fought in the battle of New Orleans with Andrew Jackson and was commendated for his efforts, and best of All I am also a direct decendent of Nancy WArd the wise woman of the Cherokee's. She is the most famous that I am decended from. Oh and her daughter was married To Brig GEn. Martin who Martinsville, Va is named for he is also a direct decent and was her husband. I am always looking for books on any of these people.
My 3x great grandfather is Elijah Simmons Collard. He and his sons Job, Lemual and James (my 2x great grandfather) fought at the Battle of San Jacinto. Elijah was a member of the committee that wrote the Declaration of Independence for the Republic of Texas. He was a senator, but when Texas was admitted to the union Washington would not accept his credentials.
The brother-in-law of Elijah's daughter is Jonathan Lindley, who died at the Alamo.
My family tree contains (spurious?) connections to Charlemagne and William the Conqueror, and a more secure connection to Mayflower passenger Edward Doty. A more recent addition is Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain: my 7th cousin 5 times removed. Now we're talkin' shoestring relations! My husband's family was also in North America during colonial times, and I suspect I'll find that we're related somewhere in the fogs of the 17th century. I think that might get my kids' attention. :-)
"...I suspect I'll find that we're related somewhere in the fogs of the 17th century."
My parents are 4th cousins.
Also, my mother's dad is the caretaker of a small (2-3 acres?) cemetery and has been for many years. So my mom's front yard was a cemetery. Buried in that cemetery is a great uncle of my dad. No one knew it until I saw it a few years ago.
My father was descended from the brother of Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox; there has been a Francis Marion in every generation since, up until mine (no boys).
Myshelves, my mother and my sister and I used to joke about petitioning to join the DAR on the basis of our descent from Benedict Arnold! So I guess we are cousins.
Francis Marion DeMonbrun? I too am related to him.... then on the other side, many connections to the Crowned Heads of Europe! As the song says "That don't impress me.... much." I love my family history!
It's one of the fun parts of doing this, isn't it, trying to find these connections?
A g-g-g-grandfather of mine was the brother-in-law of a fellow farmer Mr. Massey in southern Ontario, and invited to invest in his startup business. My relative had just lost money on another bad investment, so he turned down the offer. That business eventually became Massey Ferguson, a renowned agricultural equipment manufacturer. Someone else in that Massey line became the governor general of Ontario: Charles Vincent Massey. Way to go for not courting that side of the family, g-g-g-grandfather.
My wife's line is more interesting. There is no doubt she's a descendant of Louis Hebert, widely believed to be the first European farmer (and doctor) in Canada. She also shares a common ancestor with Pierre Trudeau, a former prime minister of Canada.
Wow, who can trump Cecrow & Wife ?! I feel like a comparative piker with Chief Pontiac, with the inventor of the mechanical water meter, with the founder of Kenova (West Virginia), with the first Attorney General of Wisconsin, and with the attorney who established in court that it was not libelous to call Henry Ford an anarchist. Naturally that description was metaphorical, as the defendant in the case was the infamously conservative paper THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE. Real anarchists naturally take serious exception to the court's verdict! . . . And o yes, I forgot one of the more intriguing, William Kadle, Masterof the Knights Templar in England, shortly before the wrath fell on that particular order.
Borrowing from others' data, I thought I had traced back to a couple of British knights from the middle ages. That is, until I inspected those lines more closely and found instances of mothers who died before their children were born. Somebody did shoddy research, lol.
Cecrow, I have a case of 'research' having great-grandmother dying before my grandfather was born. I can tell you that the 'research' is wrong and that she died 36 years later.
I have been doing genealogy since the early 1990s when electronic resources were almost nonexistent. In addition to my own family lines, I also use the genealogy and newspaper databases to learn about the authors and artists of books which interest me (often juvenile series books). In many cases, these people were not worthy of inclusion in library reference volumes because the books they worked on were below the dignity of the library.
In my own lines I have found some interesting mysteries. My GG Aunt was Nellie S. Keeline Sauter Landrock (1870-1944). Imagine my surprise when I found several copies of an article in various newspapers around the U.S. which described her as an heiress with a claim to a Dutch fortune, including an estate on a cannibal island near Borneo. (One example on a free website). According to the articles, Nellie and her husband went to great lengths and expense to "prove" this genealogy which is supposedly a 7th generation from the Anneke Jans Bogardus of Trinity Church land fame. I found passport applications and passenger list references to say that they had gone to Europe. Some newspaper articles also said that they went to the island to view the lands they would inherit but did not stay long. When they returned, they settled in another city and state, perhaps to avoid the people who knew them well when this hit the news.
There are many fraudulent cases of genealogy connected in one way or another with this Anneke Jans Bogardus. Some are on the basis of claiming ownership to vast lands in Manhattan due to a faulty transfer. This case, is a bit of a twist, with the island estate and some $10 million. The articles named some rather sizable sums ($4,000 in 1921) for this genealogy that tried to link her to the famous person. Of course there were people who would provide any "proof" desired to a famous person for a price.
My relative was not the only one taken in by this type of scam. A woman from Arvada, Colorado, was also convinced that she deserved a share of the Bogardus estate and some of the newspaper articles referred to them as well.
Many county histories and family genealogies state lines that point to this person and probably nearly all or all of them are in error.
Consider what it takes to follow a family back. From 1850 forward the U.S. census records are decent. However, before that you have only the head of household and counts for males and females of a given age range.
Church records can be useful if they can be found.
For many U.S. families, their true knowledge of the genealogy before immigration to the U.S. is limited. Again, there have been no end of "professional genealogists" who will put together an impressive tree for a fee. Perhaps the family was not privy to a conspiracy to link them to a famous person. However, it is usually not hard to find places where these lineages, with no or minimal documentation, fail. For many whose ancestors were defrauded in the past, they find a published genealogy or an extensive line or tree and take it at face value without confirming each claim made.
Many people are truly connected with famous people. How many more are not? Perhaps some of these people wanted to believe that they had a greater ancestral heritage and would believe whatever was placed before them.
>144 Keeline:, I was googling how to determine if you're related to British royalty, and found a site that said it's a very common discovery - that about half of the people living in Great Britain today can find a relationship, one way or another. Hmmm ....
". . .Many people are truly connected with famous people. How many more are not?" (144)
Prof. Clyde Kluckhohn* a Harvard
professor of Anthropology and Social Relations at Harvard in mid-20th century would answer: "Few or none!" He didnʻt claim to be a demographeer, but I suppose he drew on the conventional historical demography of his era. The way Kluckhohn put it was, "If you have ANY West European ancestry, you
CANNOT AVOID being descended
from Charlemagne! And youʻre also descended from the horse thieves, peasants, and stable workers of the centuries between Charlemagne
His main point was to debunk claims of illustrious ancestry not by denying them, but by saying: "Youʻre descended from Charlemagne? Big deal! So is nearly everybody else!"
(Do the arithmetic: We all have 4 grandparents, 8 great-grandparents,
16 great-great parents, etc. With this doubling of number of ancestors
every generation, it lsnʻt long before weʻre talking huge populations.)
I've heard it said that anybody who has any English descent in their family is almost certainly related to William the Conquerer. Same arguments.
". . .almost certainly related to William the Conqueror.. ." (148)
Sounds pretty plausible. A distant cousin (?) of mine, Brad Perkins, without saying that he himself was a direct descendant, said that he had traced his paternal line back TO William the Conqueror* Which is almost 6 centuries (24 generations?) further back than 1648, the furthest I can trace back the line of John Perkins, the first Perkins in America. My son. Umi Perkins, traces it back to England a couple of generations back of 1648.
*Speaking of more immediate ancestry, itʻs interesting that W. the Cʻs Anglo-Saxon
adversaries knew him better as
"William the Bastard", which they no doubt meant both figuratively and literally.
In re #149, and "William the Bastard". On some other thread, or perhaps in one of my Reviews, I mention a pious legend which has some bearing on that ol' boy. In those days people really believed in what was called "the odour of sanctity". Literally -- they believed that the incorruptibilty of a corpse, or at any rate its comparatively slow decay, was evidence of God's pleasure with the dearly departed. It was claimed that William -- already no sylph -- bloated so badly after death that he had to be squeezed into his coffin, and then, once inside, the gases from fermentation continued to expand so vigourously that the lid was blown off. Make of that what you will.
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