Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Dear Grandpa: Are We Related To Any Famous Authors?

My daughters and grandchildren know that I "do" genealogy and that we are related to many famous persons, but that we're not descended from many of them.  They understand "cousins."

Several years ago, my granddaughter asked "Are we related to any famous authors?"

I figured that I could use, or, or FamilySearch Family Tree to find out, but which authors should I consider?  The low hanging fruit is New England authors, because there are many generations of ancestors available for persons with New England ancestry stretching back into England.

I decided to use, since they have a fairly large collaborative family tree with curators for famous persons like authors.  I have up added many of my New England ancestors to Geni, so it's a pretty good possibility of a match.

Off the top of my head, I chose the following to see if I (we!) was related to them:

1)  Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864):

Nathnaiel Hawthorne is my 6th cousin 5 times removed.  The common ancestors are David Stone (1540-1625) and wife Ursula LNU (1545-????) of Great Bromley, Essex, England.

2)  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882):

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is my 7th cousin 3 times removed.  The common ancestors are William Collier (1580-1671) and Jane Clark (1590-1666) of Duxbury, Mass..  However, Geni has a different line for me than my line - they have Ruth Collier being the mother of Ruth Cole, who married John Young.  My research has not identified Ruth Collier as being them other of Ruth Cole, nor being the daughter of William Collier.  However, I do have Mary Collier (1612-1658) in my ancestry, and she is the daughter of William and Jane (Clark) Collier.  So the relationship is correct, but Geni has my line different from my research.

3)  Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882):

Ralph Waldo Emerson is my 7th cousin 4 times removed.  The common ancestors are Henry Howland (1568-1635) and Margaret LNU (1564-1629) of Fenstanton, Huntingdonshire, England.

4)  Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862):

Henry David Thoreau is my 5th cousin 5 times removed.  The common ancestors are Richard Church (1608-1668) and Elizabeth Warren (1616-1670) of Dedham and Hingham, Mass.  .

5)  What other New England ancestored authors should I also look at?

6)  These are all fairly distant cousins, but we are related to all four of them.  Of course, my grandchildren are removed two times more than I am.  Of course, my daughters are removed only one time more than I am.  I know my granddaughter was overjoyed to hear this!


I have a complimentary subscription to which I appreciate and use almost every day to check on things like this!

Copyright (c) 2019, Randall J. Seaver

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