Saturday, May 29, 2010

SNGF: Relationship Calculator

This week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun mission:
1) Open up the genealogy software program of your choice.
2) Think about two special people in your family tree (your parents? your spouse? a famous person? a distant cousin? yourself?).
3) Use the Relationship Calculator in the software to determine the relationship between the two special people. If you don't know where to find the Relationship Calculator, go to the Help button and find out. Follow the directions!
I was going to plot the relationship between my maternal grandmother, Myrtle Van Every (who chose to follow Christian Science) and Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science.  I hadn't entered Mary Baker Eddy into my database, but I figured perhaps I would.  First step was to actually see if a quick internet search turned up any possible holes in Ancestry Family Tree's relationship chart.

Ancestry Family Trees has their relationship as 7th cousins, once removed.  (Link is a list of all the notable individuals to whom they claim my grandmother is related.  You can then follow the links it provides to the relationship charts.  Some of them are more likely than others.)

I had high hopes for Mary Baker Eddy, but even quick research suggests Ancestry may have it wrong.

Gary Boyd Roberts, Senior Research Scholar Emeritus at the New England Historic Genealogical Society has an article including some of Eddy's ancestry.  In his notes he states that an earlier work [The Ancestry of Mary Baker Eddy (1924)] is flawed on the Pikes, Ambroses and Lovejoys.  However, the ancestors he lists matches Ancestry's for the first three generations of Ambroses, and one generation of Hoyts.  That's where his list ends.  [Even though his stated goal was to go five generations, where possible, so it seems he isn't sure of the next generation.] In his sources he lists: [A Genealogical History of the Hoyt, Haight and Hight Families (1871, reprint 1984)] which I found in Google Books.

Even though Gary Boyd Roberts doesn't appear sure of Hannah's parents, Ancestry trees says Hannah Hoyt's grandfather, Thomas Hoyt married a Mary Brown, daughter of Richard Brown and Hannah King.

The Hoyt, Haight and Hight Families says that Thomas Hoyt married a Mary Brown, daughter of "William and Elisabeth Brown of Salisbury."  Putting this link in doubt, unfortunately puts my grandmother's relationship to her 'spiritual leader' in doubt.

Here's a post I wrote last year on how I and Patrick Swayze are seventh cousins.  That relationship is much more likely.  Though, interestingly, Ancestry Trees doesn't know about it. [Patrick, for some reason, doesn't appear in OneWorldTree, which I think is a requirement for someone to be listed under 'famous relatives'.]

Sometimes I think to myself, "You should just accept everything you see on the internet; it's much more fun that way."  Unfortunately, I have an interest in the truth.

1 comment:

Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...

My grandmother and great-aunt were Christian Scientists as was I, for a short time. It never occurred to me that perhaps there was a distant relationship. It's possible that we have a relationship through the Hoyt line and interesting to think about. The one World Tree famous relatives does not list her and it would probably take me a very long time to nail it down.