Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Are You Related to Anyone Famous?

I just learned about a very cool tool provided by Family Search. It's called Relative Finder. It will tell you about any famous people, living or from history, and tell you your relationship to them, such as fifth cousin, once removed etc. This uses the Family Search Family Tree so you are relying on the research of others. Still, I believe this can be used like any other online family tree, as a clue. Once you find the information on Family Search Family Tree, you can then research the original records and prove this. You can only run this tool on the person you are logged in as and that has a Family Search Family Tree entry.

First, if you don't have one already, create a free Family Search account at https://www.familysearch.org. Go to Family Tree and add the individuals necessary to connect your family into the tree. So much research has already been done, you likely will only need to add your ancestors that are still alive, since you won't be able to find them in the tree. Living individuals can only be seen by the person who added them. Once this is done, go to https://www.relativefinder.org and sign in using your Family Search account.

Doing this, I found that I am related to German playwright Bertolt Brecht, Earnest Hemingway and President Harry Truman through my German Schach relations on my dad's Miller family line around Esslingen, Baden, Germany. I'm also related to actor Bill Paxton through the Schindler family in the same group of villages near the Black Forest of Germany that my Panther relations are from.

Then I created a Family Search account for my wife, added her and her parents to the tree (which can only be seen through her account), and ran the tool for her. I knew she was connected to several famous Americans including President James Garfield but I was not prepared for what I saw. While my list contained four famous people I'm related to, my wife's list was comprised of 338 people. This includes 25 US Presidents, including James Garfield, Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, plus Elvis Presley, Johnny Depp, Louisa May Alcott and, the most important person on her list in my opinion, George Abbott, Mayflower passenger. She is not a descendant of George Abbott, just a cousin, so she does not qualify to join the Mayflower Society.


Here is a sampling of people my wife is related to:
Ambrose Bierce
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Louisa May Alcott
John Ernst Steinbeck
L. Frank Baum
Emily Dickinson
Oliver Wendell Holmes
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Ernest Hemingway
C.S. Lewis
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
F. Scott Fitzgerald
John Hancock
John Adams
Samuel Adams
Elvis Presley
Janis Joplin
Buddy Holly
Jim Morrison
Karen Carpenter
John Denver
David Bowie
Amelia Earhart
Susan B. Anthony
Walt Disney
Robert E. Lee
Dr. Samuel Mudd
Wyatt Earp
Charles Lindbergh
John Dillinger
Brigham Young
Walt Disney
Vincent Price
Lucille Ball
Humphrey Bogart
Katharine Hepburn
Buster Keaton
Carrie Fisher
Judy Garland
Bing Crosby
Mickey Rooney
Steve McQueen
Andy Griffith
Chris Pratt
Farrah Fawcett
Johnny Depp
Charlton Heston
Julia Roberts
Rita Hayworth
Samuel Morse

US Presidents:
James Garfield
John Calvin Coolidge Jr.
Stephen Grover Cleveland
Hiram Ulysses S. Grant
George Washington
William Henry Harrison
Benjamin W. Harrison
Rutherford B. Hayes
John Adams
John Tyler
Millard Fillmore
Gerald  Ford
John Quincy Adams
Chester Arthur
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Herbert Hoover
Zachary Taylor
Harry S Truman
George H. W. Bush
Richard Milhous Nixon
Abraham Lincoln
John F. Kennedy
George W. Bush
Warren G. Harding
William  Taft
Lyndon Baines Johnson

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