Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Are You Related To Somebody Famous?

Welcome to September!  It's a brand new month and a great time to take a fresh look at your family history project and come up with a plan to make some progress going forward.  Linda and I have some great educational programs coming up - as well as a few projects that will help you get organized. We also have a "Genealogy Social" planned for later in the month which we hope will bring in some new members, help us re-connect with our current members, have some fun and, hopefully, get us excited again about finding our roots.

So let's start out with something fun.  Randy Seaver recently posted about how he found out he was Hillary Rodham Clinton's 18th cousin.  I found our this past spring that Hillary and I are 9th cousins (sharing an 8th great-grandfather).  Let's face it, if we go back far enough and shake our tree hard enough, someone famous is bound to fall out.

If you have uploaded your GEDCOM to WikiTree (the world-wide family tree initiative) then you can wander around and see if you can find a connection to a famous, or maybe notorious, ancestor. If you have not as yet added  your tree to WikiTree, you can find out about it at www.wikitree.com and can learn how to upload your GEDCOM here.  This is not a difficult process, but once your tree has been uploaded, be prepared to spend some time sorting through the matches the upload will generate.

If you have already integrated your family tree into WikiTree, sign in, and look around for some famous people (using the search box).  Click on your find and then click on "Relationship To Me" (under the person's name, next to "My Wikitree").  If there is a connection, you will be rewarded with a detailed relationship chart.  I tested this out and discovered that Celine Dion and I are 8th cousins, sharing a 7th great-grandfather.

These connections are, of course, only as good as the information in the related trees, but it is a lot of fun, and might inspire you to explore the ancestors you share with your famous-person-of-choice. Who knows, you may discover some new and interesting details about your family.

All of us are busy people, engaged people.  It is easy to put our family history research on the back burner with the promise that, "I'll get to it later".  Make September a time to come up with a plan and start digging into your roots!

Happy Hunting!

-- submitted by Denise Doyon

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