Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Geni.com Says I'm Related to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis!

I received an email from Geni.com recently noting that Jacqueline Lee (Bouvier) (Kennedy) Onassis (1929-1994), wife of the the 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy (1917-1963).

Here is the chart that shows my relationship with the former First Lady:

Geni.com indicates that she is my 10th cousin twice removed.

The link between my line back to a common ancestor with Jackie's link to the common ancestor is Adam Mott (1596-1661) and his first wife, Elizabeth Creed (?) (1598-1635).  I am descended from their son Adam Mott (1623-1711) and Jackie from their daughter Deborah (Mott) Valentine (1624-1684), wife of Richard Valentine of, apparently, Hampstead, Long Island, New York.

I clicked on Deborah (Mott) Valentine to see her profile:

This profile indicates that she was born in 1624 in Hampstead, Livingston County, New York.  Um, probably not!

I looked at the pages I have from the book:

Robert Charles Anderson, George E. Sanborn, Jr., Melinde Lutz Sanborn, The Great Migration, Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635 (Boston Mass. : New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2000-2011), Volume V, M-P, pages 181-185, Adam Mott sketch.

That work, which I consider to be authoritative and carefully researched, is available in many genealogical libraries and online on Ancestry.com and AmericanAncestors.org.

It does not list a Deborah as a daughter of this Adam Mott (1596-1661).  The will of Adam Mott of Portsmouth, Rhode Island in 1661 does not bequeath property to a daughter Deborah or a wife of Richard Valentine.

I looked at the Geni.com profile for Adam Mott (1596-1661) and read the "About" information.  Here are two screens for this profile:

The last line of the profile for Adam Mott (1596-1661) is:

"He should not be confused with the Adam Mott who came to Newbury, MA and later migrated to Long Island."

It seems to me that whoever connected Deborah (Mott) Valentine to Adam Mott (1596-1661) picked the wrong Adam Mott.

I saw a paragraph on the Wikipedia entry for Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis that says:

"Jackie's paternal grandfather John Vernou Bouvier Jr. fabricated a more noble ancestry for his family in his vanity family history book, Our Forebears. Recent scholarship and the research done by Jackie's cousin John Hagy Davis in his book, The Bouviers: Portrait of an American Family,[10] have disproved most of these fantasy lineages."

All of which means that I'm not related to Jacqueline (Bouvier) (Kennedy) Onassis by this line (hope springs eternal - there may be another line!).  Too bad, my New England cousins would have loved knowing this!

I haven't done any real research to determine the correct parents of Deborah (Mott) Valentine.  I'll leave that to her descendants.  If someone knows the correct parentage, and wants to write about it in comments or in email, please do, and I'll try to get this corrected in Geni.com.

The URL for this post is:  http://www.geneamusings.com/2014/06/genicom-says-im-related-to-jacqueline.html

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver


T said...

There seems to be a lot of bandwidth devoted to connecting us common folk to someone famous. I would be interested in a passing way, much as I am interested in all my Mayflower ancestors. The only time I bring any of them into the conversation is when I tell the story of them killing their 14 year old servant boy. I suppose if I traveled in genealogical circles it would be more important to me to be related to someone famous. AND able to prove it!

Randy Schoenberg said...

Read my Answers to Geni Skeptics. http://schoenblog.com/?p=471

Erin Spiceland said...

It does appear this error has been fixed on Geni.com.

Ashley said...

Quick fix -- excellent! The beauty of Geni's collaborative nature on display again.

Of course, you will still have a valid connection to her somewhere else along the way. :) Might be fun to try to find it.

For what it's worth, I have found that the Geni Anglo-American tree in general is very strong, particularly in New England. You sometimes get those annoying location errors due to either input errors from old GEDCOMs or well-meaning users who are trying to use it as an "of" field. Thankfully, it only takes a second to fix, as opposed to static trees out there where the bad info just sits forever and keeps infecting other trees.

You wouldn't want to use Geni as your *only* tree, but I get better leads there than anywhere else. Even though profiles tell me once in a while that an ancestor was born in Boston in the 16th C. :)