Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Am I Related to Winston Churchill?

Last week, I read an article about Prince Harry's fiancee, Meghan Markle, and that she was related to William Shakespeare and Winston Churchill.  I know my grandchildren (and maybe a cousin or two) will be amazed by this, so I wondered if perhaps I, and they, were also related to Shakespeare and Churchill also, and therefore are cousins of Meghan Markle.  for the record, we've already determined that we are related to Prince Harry through British Royals.

1)  I started with, which told me, yes, you are related to Winston Churchill:

So it looks like Winston Churchill (1874-1965) is my 7th cousin 2 times removed.  My line goes back to Robert Gifford (1660-1730) and Sarah Wing (1659-1720), through their daughter Rebecca Gifford (1689-1747), and cousin Winston's line is through their son Benjamin Gifford (1685-1754).  NOTE: this is through my Richmond/White line.

2)  What about WikiTree?  

The closest relationship found on WikiTree was that cousin Winston and I are 8th cousins 2times removed.  The common ancestors 12 generations back are my 9 great-grandparents John Tripp (1611-1678) and Mary Paine (1611-1687).   There are other, more distant, relationships, but not the relationship found by  NOTE: this is also through my Richmond/White line.

3)  What about FamilySearch Family Tree?  

The closest relationship found on FamilySearch Family Tree was that cousin Winston and I are 9th cousins 2 times removed.  The common ancestors 11 generations back are my 8th great-grandparents Nathaniel Tompkins (1650-1724) and Elizabeth Allen (1651-1714).   NOTE: this is also through my Richmond/White line.

4)  So the answer is PROBABLY.  Three different online family trees, three different answers.  Why do the three programs provide three different answers?  There are several reasons why:

* provides only one ancestral relationship - the closest one that they found.  They may have the other two, more distant relationships in their world tree.  

*  FamilySearch Family Tree also provides only one ancestral relationship - the closest one that they found.   I haven't fully matched my ancestors in FamilySearch Family Tree, and there may be errors in the FSFT for the other closer line (or in!).

*  I have not fully populated my or WikiTree lines, and so it is possible that WikiTree would provide the same line as and FamilySearch Family Tree if I had added more of my ancestral lines to WikiTree. 

I will have to look into the lines on all three sites and determine if they have my lines, and cousin Winston's lines above, in their world tree.  It's difficult to add a lot of information to the Geni and FamilySearch collaborative trees because they don't accept GEDCOM files.  WikiTree does accept GEDCOM files, but not big files, and I haven't added all of my ancestral families there.
Are you related to Winston Churchill?  And therefore to Meghan Markle?  It appears that I am much closer related to Meghan Markle than Prince Harry is!

But this was a fun genea-diversion on a sunny day here in the genea-cave in Chula Vista.


Copyright (c) 2017, Randall J. Seaver

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