Friday, February 3, 2017

This Week's We're Related Relationships - 3 February 2017

I received 7 new cousin relationships on the We're Related mobile app this week, which is based on Ancestry Member Trees.  The new relationships, and my initial evaluation of them, are:

1)  Drew Smith - Facebook friend, 8th cousin, common ancestor is George Brown (1651-1721).

My line to George Brown is through his son Samuel Brown (1686-2739).  Drew's line is through Mercy Brown (1708-1819) who married a Satcher.  I have a Mercy Brown (1690-1754) as a daughter of George Brown and a sister of my Samuel Brown, but she married John Walker (1696-1760) in 1711 and resided in Eastham, Mass.  There are over 500 Ancestry trees with George Brown and daughter Mercy Brown, but few if any are tied to Eastham, Mass.  Most are tied to Pennsylvania.  My judgment is that the mobile app added generations to Drew's tree that are erroneous.  My judgment is that this relationship is Very Unlikely.

2)   Jane Bartlett -- Facebook friend, 8th cousin, common ancestor is Hannah Lawrence (1662-1707).

My line to Hannah Lawrence, wife of Obadiah Sawtell, is through Hezekiah Sawtell (1703-1779).  Jane's line is through Josiah Sawtell (1687-1753), who I have as a brother of my Hezekiah Sawtell.  My judghment is that this relationship is Likely.

3)  Susi Pentico -- Facebook friend, 8th cousin, common ancestor is Anna Maria Knauss.

On my side, I have an ancestor named Catherine Ruth (1770-1813) who married Philip Jacob King in York, Pennsylvania.  I don't know who Catherine Ruth's mother is.  The app says that the father is George Rhoades (1740-1812), and his mother is Catherine Meyer (1715-1793) and his mother is Anna Maria Knauss.  Note that there is a surname change - why isn't it Catherine Rhoades, daughter of George Rhoades? Some Ancestry trees claim Rhoades and Ruth are the same surname.  In any case, the app has added three generations to my tree.  I don't know if Susi has the Mayer and Knauss connection or not.  My judgment is that this relationship is Unlikely.

4)  Sharon Gillis -- Facebook friend, 8th cousin 1x removed, common ancestor is Sarah Abbott (1671-1754).

My line on the app to Sarah Abbott is through my brick wall ancestor Jerusha --?-- (1750-1817), and then two generations of Chandler to Sarah Abbott.  The app has added 3 generations to my tree.  I know of no records that say Jerusha was a Chandler, but apparently some Ancestry trees know better than me.  I haven't looked at Sharon's line.  My judgment is that this relationship with Sarah Abbott as common ancestor is Unlikely.

5)  Josh Hutcherson -- Actor, 9th cousin, common ancestor is William Terrell (1659-1743).

My line on the app to William Terrell goes back to his purported son, John Terrell (1680-1748), who was born and died in Somerset, England.  The William Terrell (1659-1743) was an immigrant from England to Virginia, and he apparently did not have a son John born in 1680.  So the app added one more generation to my confirmed line.  I did not search on Josh's line.  My judgment is that this relationship is Highly Unlikely.

6)  Carol Stevens -- Facebook friend, 7th cousin 1x removed, common ancestor is William Healey (1688-1772).  

My line back to William Healey goes through Joanna Healey (1718-1809).  Carol's line on the app goes through Sarah Healey (1726-1826) who married a Clifford.  My database says Sarah Healey and Joanna Healey are sisters.  My judgment is that this relationship is Very Likely.

7)  Jeri Steele -- Facebook friend, 8th cousin 2x removed, common ancestor is Richard Smith (1626-1688).

My line to Richard Smith goes through Hannah Smith (1666-1693), who married Samuel Healey (1662-1732).  I don't know for sure who Hannah's father is.  Some Ancestry trees say it is Richard Smith (1642-1714).  There are over 2,000 trees with Richard Smith (1626-1688) who was born, married and died in Yorkshire England.  He had a daughter Hannah Smith (1654-1689) who died in England.  I didn't check Jeri's line since the app was so wrong about my line.  My judgment is that this relationship is Highly Unlikely.

My count is up to 144 famous or Facebook cousins provided by the app.  This week, my judgment is that only two of the seven cousin relationships are Likely or better.

I will say it again:  My biggest problem with this We're Related app is that it thinks it knows my ancestral lines better than I do, and adds one to five generations to some of my end-of-line ancestors.  The second biggest problem is that many of the lines of the famous or Facebook persons have colonial lines that jump from one region to another, as with the Drew Smith line.

The app may be right -- I don't know for sure -- and I can't really find out because the app provides no source material to back up their assertions.  If there was authoritative information for my end-of-line ancestors, I would add it.  None of the "Unlikely" or "Wrong" relationships have been convincing to me yet.


Copyright (c) 2017, Randall J. Seaver

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