Friday, April 28, 2017

This Week's We're Related Relationships - 28 April 2017

I received 11 new cousin relationships on the We're Related mobile app over the last two weeks, which is based on a "Big" Ancestry Trees which is, apparently, unsourced.  The new relationships, and my initial evaluation of them, are:

1)  Sir Walter Scott -- Author, 5th cousin 7x removed, common ancestor is Robert Whitney (1543-1612).  

The app says my line to Robert Whitney goes through son Thomas Whitney (1550-1637) and grandson John Whitney (1592-1673) of Watertown, Mass.  However, there is an obvious problem there with Robert Whitney having a son Thomas at 7 years old.  There is scholarship that indicates that Thomas Whitney's father was Robert Whitney (1498-1555) of Hertfordshire.  Therefore, the app has my line wrong.  I don't know about Walter Scott's line. My judgment is that this relationship is Unlikely.

2)  Stevie Ray Vaughan -- Musician, 8th cousin 1x removed, common ancestor is Anne Bartlett (1684-1721).

My line to Anne Bartlett is through son Joseph Colby (1707-1768), while Stevie's is to Benaiah Colby (1705-1746), who I have as a brother to my Joseph.  My judgment is that this relationship is Likely.

3)  Peggy Lauritzen -- Facebook friend, 9th cousin, common ancestor is Henry Bennett (1664-1739).

My line to Henry Bennett (who married Frances Barr in 1685) of Ipswich, Mass. is through his daughter, Mary Bennett (1685-1717), who married Nathaniel Knowlton. Peggy's line is through his son John Bennett (1680-1730), who I do not have in my database as a son Henry Bennett.  There are a number of Ancestry Member Trees with John Bennett's parents being Henry Bennett and Sarah Champion of New London, Conn.  My guess is that the Ancestry "Big Tree" used for these relationships conflated the two Henry Bennetts into one person.  My judgment is that this relationship is Unlikely.

4)  Thomas Watson -- Scientist, 6th cousin 5x removed, common ancestor is Thomas Farrar (1615-1694).

The app says my line to Thomas Farrar adds 5 generations to the ancestry of Jerusha (--?--) Metcalf (1750-1817).  Nobody knows who Jerusha's parents are, even the Ancestry "Big Tree."  My judgment is that this relationship is Wrong.

5)  Michelle Williams -- Actress, 9th cousin, common ancestor is Samuel Blodgett (1658-1743).

My line to Samuel Blodgett goes through daughter Huldah Blodgett (1689-1777), while Michelle's line goes through Joshua Blodgett (1694-1756), who I have as a brother to my Huldah.  My judgment is that this relationship is Very Likely.

6)  Randy Clark -- Facebook friend, 7th cousin 1x removed, common ancestor is Rebecca Drake (1697-1749).

The app says that Rebecca Drake is them other of Samuel Fitz Randolph (1730-????) of Woodbridge, N.J.  I don't know the name of Samuel's mother, but I know that his father is Jacob Fitz Randolph (1706-1779).  Randy's line goes through a Private person (why?) who is the apparent father of Catherine Randolph (1739-1826), who married a Jackson.  The Fitz Randolph book says that Rebecca Drake married Joseph Fitz Randolph (1691-1750) in 1712 and had 13 children.  The Fitz Randolph book also says that Catherine Randolph born in 1739 was the daughter of Edward Fitz Randolph (1706-1750).  I think that the app has messed up Randy's line.  My judgment is that this specific relationship is Unlikely, but since we both have Fitz Randolph, we are likely 9th cousins.

7)  Neil Patrick Harris - Actor, 8th cousin 1x removed, common ancestor is Anna Barbara --?-- (1664-1783).

The app adds two generations to my ancestor Maria Magdalena Ritter (1706-1784).  Neil's line goes through a daughter Anna Maria --?-- (1725-1784) and a grandson John Nicholas Radabaugh (1752-1850).  So Anna Barbara --?-- lived 119 years and had a daughter Anna Maria at age 61.  That doesn't look right to me.  My judgment is that this relationship is Unlikely.  

8)  Beth King -- Facebook friend, 8th cousin 1x removed, common ancestor is Nathaniel Soule (1637-1699).

My line to Nathaniel Soule is through his son Jacob Soule (1687-1747), while Beth's line goes through son Nathaniel Soule (1681-1766), whom I have as a brother to my Jacob in my database.  My judgment is that this relationship is Very Likely.

9)  Cindy Scherwinski -- Facebook friend, 8th cousin 1x removed, common ancestor is Adam Mott (1623-1711).

My line to Adam Mott of Portsmouth, R.I. is through his daughter Elizabeth Mott (1659-1723), who married Matthew Wing.  Cindy's line is through Gershom Mott (1653-1733).  I don't have Gershom Mott as a son to Adam Mott (1623-1711).  There are many online trees that show Gershom Mott was the son of Adam Mott (1619-1693) who married Jane Hulet.  There were several Mott families in New York and Rhode Island in the 1640-1700 time frame.  It may be that the Ancestry "Big Tree" has conflated two Adam Motts to create this relationship.  My judgment is that this relationship is Possible.

10)  Mike Huckabee -- Politician, 9th cousin 1x removed, common ancestor is George Brown (1651-1721).

My line to George Brown of Eastham, Mass. is through his son Samuel Brown (1686-1739), while Mike's line is through Samuel Brown (1694-1769).  Two Samuel Browns!  Many Ancestry Member Trees indicate that Samuel Brown (1694-1769) was the son of George Brown of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, not of Eastham, Mass.  Again, the app has apparently conflated two or more George Brown persons.  My judgment is that this relationship is Wrong.

11)  Les Brown -- Musician, 9th cousin, common ancestor is Anna Merz (1641-1705).

Who the heck is Anna Merz?  The app added three generations to the ancestry of my Michael Able (1719-1791) of New Jersey.  Les's line goes through son Peter Maier (1672-1741) in Germany.  My judgment is that this relationship is Unlikely.

My count is up to 222 famous or Facebook cousins provided by the app.  This week, my judgment is that 3 of the 11 cousin relationships are Likely or better.

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.



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Copyright (c) 2017, Randall J. Seaver


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1 comment:

Darren Price said...

3 out of 11 is about 27%. I'd be curious to know the overall average % judged to be "Likely or better", and whether the app results are getting better over time. I haven't been keeping track, but my gut says not really?