Fun connections made on the World Family Tree

The vast majority of us didn't inherit castles or manors or anything like that. Because of this, we Americans tend to have a healthy disdain for "the manor born." At the same time we are curious about our roots--sometimes so much so that we cling tenaciously to the idea that we "are" Irish or Dutch or Italian or German or Norwegian even if there is so much variation among those peoples that it doesn't really mean anything. When I lived in Brighton, Massachusetts I felt like a bit of an outcast because I wasn't Italian. In Pella, Iowa, the saying was, "If you ain't Dutch, you ain't much." In Spring Grove, if you weren't 100% Norwegian, you kept it a secret. Although being on the outside of this "heritage-pride" never really harmed me and was generally good natured, it did implicitly suggest that those of us who aren't "pureblooded" are mutts and only have a probationary term of acceptance in the community of hyphenated Americans. Ancestry.com's World Family Tree/23andMe genomics testing makes it possible for everyone (even those who have been adopted) to trace their own ancestors way, way back by finding your connection to already established family trees. It is a fun way to find long lost cousins and connections to people who you thought were cool as a kid--for me Christopher Reeve and Clint Eastwood. Below are some other distant relatives of mine that World Family Tree identified. I can connect with other descendants of a particular person, and together we can bring together family heirlooms or do genetic studies looking for deeper ancestry or shared traits. Most importantly, World Family Tree connects us to a matrix of diverse human beings with unique thoughts and lifestyles, which I feel could balance out the tendencies we have to declare ourselves hyphenated Americans.
 
 
William Bradford (1590-1657)

     Governor of the Pilgrims at Plymouth. Wrote book, Of Plymouth Plantation.

Relationship: 11th great grandfather

 

Below are some other distant relations that I think are interesting. Sorry, the links stopped working when I imported them into this webpage.


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Samuel Adams (1722-1803)
Massachusetts Representative
Samuel Adams helped to organize the Boston Tea Party. From the beginning he was a loud voice for independence.
 
Relationship: 2nd Cousin 9 times removed
 
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Daniel Wesson (1825-1906)
Gun Company Owner
Daniel B. Wesson partnered with Horace Smith in Norwich, Connecticut in the early 1850's to develop the first repeating rifle, the Volcanic rifle.
 
Relationship: 5th Cousin 6 times removed
 
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John Locke (1632-1704)
English philosopher
John Locke is considered one of the most influential Enlightenment thinkers. His philosophical writings include "An Essay concerning Human Understanding."
 
Relationship: 2nd Cousin 13 times removed
 
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20th President of the United States of America
Serving the second shortest term in U. S. history (only 6 months), James Garfield was the second President of the United States to be assassinated.
 
Relationship: 6th Cousin 5 times removed
 
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Mamie Eisenhower (1896-1979)
First Lady
Mamie Doud Eisenhower was the wife of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Her popularity came from her beautiful clothes, her pride in her home and her husband, and her million dollar fudge recipe.
 
Relationship: 7th Cousin 4 times removed
 
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Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)
American Author
Spending 2 years "living simply" in the forest was the premise for Henry David Thoreau's famous book, "Walden". Thoreau also wrote "On the Duty of Civil Disobedience", an essay that encouraged people to prohibit governments from having absolute power.
 
Relationship: 5th Cousin 8 times removed
 
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Franklin Pierce (1804-1869)
14th President of the United States of America
A strong background in law, military service and politics brought Franklin Pierce to the presidency of the United States in 1853. During his term the Kansas-Nebraska Act was enacted and the Gadsden Purchase, 45,535 miles of land, bought what now makes up the southernmost area of New Mexico and Arizona.
 
Relationship: 6th Cousin 6 times removed
 
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John Parker (1729-1775)
Revolutionary War Hero
John Parker commanded the Massachusetts militia at the Battle of Lexington and Concord. He did so while suffering from Tuberculosis; he died shortly after this battle.
 
Relationship: 4th Cousin 10 times removed
 
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Henry Hobart (1560-1625)
Attorney General, Chief Justice
Attorney General of England and Wales; Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas, Baronet.
 
Relationship: 13th Great Grandfather
 
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Lucille Ball (1911-1989)
American Actress and Comedian
Lucille Desiree Ball was the comedic star of the 1950s TV show I Love Lucy. Often called, "The Queen of Comedy," Ball has acted in Broadway productions, motion pictures, and TV shows.
 
Relationship: 8th Cousin 3 times removed
 
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American Author
Laura Ingalls Wilder's experiences growing up in the unsettled West inspired her famous children's series Little House on the Prairie.
 
Relationship: 7th Cousin 5 times removed
 
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Julia Child (1912-2004)
American Gourmet Chef
American chef Julia Child introduced French cuisine to America through her many cookbooks and television shows.
 
Relationship: 8th Cousin 3 times removed
 
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Emily Dickenson (1830-1886)
American Poet
Emily Dickenson is considered one of the most influential poets in American history. During her lifetime she published only a few poems, though her writing career produced over 1700 poems (all published posthumously).
 
Relationship: 7th Cousin 5 times removed
 
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Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
American Author
American author, poet, and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson first formulated the philosophy of Transcendentalism. His essay "Nature" expresses this philosophy. He also wrote "The Concord Hymn" and coined the phrase "the shot heard round the world."
 
Relationship: 6th Cousin 7 times removed
 
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John Hancock (1737-1793)
Massachusetts Representative
John Hancock made his signature very large on the Declaration of Independence so that King George could read it without his glasses, thus the use of his name to mean "signature."
 
Relationship: 5th Cousin 9 times removed
 
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O. Henry (1862-1910)
American Writer
Born William Sydney Porter, O. Henry's famous endings known for their clever surprises, coined the phrase "the O. Henry ending."
 
Relationship: 8th Cousin 4 times removed
 
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Katharine Hepburn (1907-2003)
American Actress
Four time Academy Award winning actress Katharine Hepburn maintained a successful acting career for over 70 years. Her notable performances in The African Queen and On Golden Pond, as well as countless other films, contributed to her title as the AFI's Greatest American Female Star.
 
Relationship: 9th Cousin 2 times removed
 
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Stephen Crane (1871-1900)
American Author
Stephen Crane began writing at the age of 8. His most famous novel, The Red Badge of Courage, was about the American Civil War. He died at the age of 28 of tuberculosis
 
Relationship: 7th Cousin 6 times removed
 
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Bette Davis (1908-1989)
American Actress
Ruth Elizabeth "Bette" Davis was the first actress to receive the American Film Institute's "Lifetime Achievement Award". Her career spanned almost 100 films, including "All About Eve" and "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?"
 
Relationship: 9th Cousin 3 times removed
 
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Humphrey Bogart (1899-1957)
American Actor
In 1999, the American Film Institute named Humphrey DeForest Bogart the "Greatest Male Star of All Time". Bogart played in such movies as "The Maltese Falcon", "The Big Sleep", "Casablanca", and "The Caine Mutiny".
 
Relationship: 9th Cousin 3 times removed
 
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39th President of the United States of America
President Carter sought to restore confidence in the American people after they had been deceived by President Nixon. The energy and inflation crises motivated him to set an example of how to conserve energy.
 
Relationship: 9th Cousin 3 times removed
 
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First Lady
Lucy Ware Webb Hayes convinced her husband, Rutherford B. Hayes, to fight in the Union army and to oppose slavery. He later became an influential part of the abolitionist cause.
 
Relationship: 8th Cousin 5 times removed
 
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First Lady
Barbara Bush, wife of George H. W. Bush, was a strong advocate for literacy and education, having had several schools named for her.
 
Relationship: 10th Cousin 2 times removed
 
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Amelia Earhart (1897-1937)
American Aviator
Amelia Mary Earhart was an early female pilot who broke new ground for women in aviation. She disappeared over the Pacific Ocean while trying to fly solo around the world.
 
Relationship: 11th Cousin
 
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John Steinbeck (1902-1968)
American Author
John Steinbeck's writing is characterized by portrayals of working class families in California. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature as well as the Pulitzer Prize. Two of his most famous works are The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men.
 
Relationship: 9th Cousin 4 times removed
 
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Alfred Deakin (1856-1919)
Politician
Alfred Deaking was the 2nd Prime Minister of Australia. He became prime minister in 1903, and served as prime minister for a total of five years in four different ministries.
 
Relationship: 9th Cousin 4 times removed
 
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Robert H Goddard (1882-1945)
American Inventor
Robert H. Goddard, the father of modern rocketry, once asserted that rocket technology would make it possible to get to the moon. This claim was mocked and scoffed at by the public until Goddard launched the world's first liquid fueled rocket on March 16, 1926 and continued his rocket research until his death in 1945.
 
Relationship: 9th Cousin 4 times removed
 
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Lillian Gish (1893-1993)
American Actress
Lillian Diana de Guiche, or Lillian Gish, is known as the "first lady of the silent screen" and starred in many silent films including The Birth of a Nation and The Scarlet Letter. Her career spanned over 75 years and countless television and film appearances.
 
Relationship: 9th Cousin 4 times removed
 
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First Lady
Frances Folsom Cleveland married President Grover Cleveland in the White House, the only couple to have done so. Their 27 year age difference proved no disadvantage to their romance.
 
Relationship: 8th Cousin 6 times removed
 
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Spencer Tracy (1900-1967)
American Actor
Spencer Bonaventure Tracy was a two-time Academy Award-winning actor. He acted in movies such as Dante's Inferno, Captains Courageous, Boys Town, and The Old Man and the Sea. Tracy's career included 74 films.
 
Relationship: 9th Cousin 5 times removed
 
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Vina Fay Wray (1907-2004)
Actress
She is best remembered for her role as Ann Darrow, the blonde seductress of a gigantic, prehistoric gorilla in the classic horror/adventure film King Kong (1933).
 
Relationship: 9th Cousin 5 times removed
 
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W. G. Grace (1848-1915)
English Cricketer
A great cricketer, W. G. Grace brought the game of cricket to a new level of technique and fame. His development of modern batting and his amazing ability, made cricket one of the first spectator sports.
 
Relationship: 12th Cousin 1 times removed
 
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Button Gwinnett (1735?-1777)
Georgia Representative
Button Gwinnett has one of the most famous signatures in American history. This signer of the Declaration of Independence has a Georgia county named for him.
 
Relationship: 9th Cousin 9 times removed
 
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