Thursday, August 15, 2019

Are You Related to a U.S. President? HistoryLink and Geni Can Tell You!

I was asked by E. Randol Schoenberg to review a new "app" that uses to find the relationship of a person with the U.S. Presidents.  It worked for me, and Randy said I could write a blog post about it.

Obviously, this only works if the user (in this case, me) has added their ancestral lines to the Geni World Tree so that Geni can find relationships with, in this case, Presidents.

The app can be found on the HistoryLink website at  There, I see:

The page says:

"The Geni World Family Tree is a unique collaborative, largely public collection of connected family trees. The path to user tool calculates the shortest path between two geni profiles in a readable format.

"Please note that the Path-to-User tool may be limited by privacy settings or by anomalies in the Geni database."

The user needs to click on the green "Continue" button to see:

The user has to authorize the application to access their Geni profile by clicking on the blue "Authorize" button.  Then the "Path to User Utility" screen shows several tabs:

By clicking on the "U.S. Presidents" tab on the screen above, the user has to enter their email address, as shown below:

After entering the email address, the user needs to click on the gray "Submit" button.  An email will be sent with the list of Presidents and the user's relationship to them.  I received the email within minutes.

Here is a view of the first 9 (out of 45) Presidents and my relationship to each of them:

By clicking on the Relationship, the user can see the path from themself back to the common ancestor and the path to the selected President.

I clicked on the link for John Quincy Adams which said "fourth cousin 7 times removed" and the relationship page appeared:

Note that the common ancestors are not named - my line is from Elizabeth Boylston and John Adams line is back to her sister, Sarah Boylston.  Elizabeth and Sarah Boylston are daughters of Thomas Boylston (1615-1653) and Sarah Gilbert (1617-1704), who are the common ancestors in this relationship.

On the screen with the "U.S. Presidents" tab, there is another tab for "Monarchs" which provides the user's link to many world historical monarchs - even back to King David!  

Note that the HistoryLink page says:

"Disclaimer: HistoryLink uses the Geni API but is not endorsed, operated, or sponsored by Geni, Inc."

This app can be very helpful to users who want to know if they are related to famous persons.  Of course, the user has to be in the Geni World Tree with their ancestral lines, and the lines from the user and the famous persons back to other historical persons have to be correct.

Are all of these relationships correct?  I don't know for sure.  I am confident that my ancestral lines back to the immigrant ancestors are correct, but I have not researched the European connections or the ancestral lines of the famous persons.  So I accept these relationships with "a grain of salt" and won't add them to my own family tree without reviewing authoritative sources or performing significant additional research.

My thanks to Randy Schoenberg and for using me as a beta tester and permitting me to blog about it today.


Disclosure:  I have a complimentary subscription to and have used it extensively to find links to famous historical persons, and have written about some of the connections.  My children, grandchildren, brothers and cousins enjoy learning about their famous cousins.

Copyright (c) 2019, Randall J. Seaver

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1 comment:

Fax said...

Wikitree has a great tool for this and much more...

Doris Wheeler