Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Degrees of Separation - Genealogical

Benedict Cumberbatch and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle are related researchers recently announced.
Common Ancestor: John of Gaunt (1340-1399).
16th cousins, twice removed. 18 degrees of separation.

Media have reported John of Gaunt relationships before.
For example: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are 19th cousins.
If you have to go back to pre-Colonial aristocracy to find a common ancestor, the connection isn't noteworthy, in my opinion. 
Here are the fifty-one celebrities Ancestry’s We're Related app has currently alleged are related to me, sorted by degree of relationship. While I don't know for certain if it's true for everyone, for me at least, the app hasn't indicated any cousin relationship greater than 10th cousins, which limits cousins with a degree higher than 11 to mostly historical figures. (If a limit is coded for either cousin and/or times removed, 10 is psychologically a very likely choice.)

14 degrees (1)
• George Washington (6th cousin, 8x removed)

13 degrees (1)
• Benjamin Franklin (4th cousin, 9x removed)
• Jane Austen (7th cousin, 6x removed)

11 degrees (17)
• John Brown (4th cousin, 7x removed)
• Zachary Taylor (5th cousin, 6x removed)
• Helen Keller (8th cousin, 3x removed)
• Henry David Thoreau (8th cousin, 3x removed)
• Walt Disney (8th cousin, 3x removed)
• Ann Coulter (9th cousin, 2x removed)
• Avril Lavigne (9th cousin, 2x removed)
• Bill Clinton (9th cousin, 2x removed)
• Britney Spears (9th cousin, 2x removed)
• Carrie Underwood (9th cousin, 2x removed)
• Elon Musk (9th cousin, 2x removed)
• Jake Gyllenhaal (9th cousin, 2x removed)
• Johnny Depp (9th cousin, 2x removed)
• Kate Upton (9th cousin, 2x removed)
• Meghan Trainor (9th cousin, 2x removed)
• Peyton Manning (9th cousin, 2x removed)
• Willie Nelson (9th cousin, 2x removed)

10 degrees (19)
• Ralph Waldo Emerson (6th cousin, 4x removed)
• Rutherford B Hayes (6th cousin, 4x removed)
• Thomas Edison (7th cousin, 3x removed)
• Abraham Lincoln (8th cousin, 2x removed)
• Johnny Cash (8th cousin, 2x removed)
• Warren Buffet (8th cousin, 2x removed)
• Bill Gates (9th cousin, 1x removed)
• Harry S Truman (9th cousin, 1x removed)
• Matt Damon (9th cousin, 1x removed)
• Sarah Palin (9th cousin, 1x removed)
• Virgil Grissom (9th cousin, 1x removed)
• Christina Aguilera (10th cousin)
• Elvis Presley (10th Cousin)
• Harry Reid (10th Cousin)
• Jessica Simpson (10th cousin)
• Lady Gaga (10th cousin)
• Mitch McConnell (10th cousin)
• Ronald Reagan (10th cousin)
• Stephen King (10th cousin)

9 degrees (8)
• Mark Twain (6th cousin, 3x removed)
• Edgar Allan Poe (7th cousin, 2x removed)
• Barack Obama (8th cousin, 1x removed)
• Dolly Parton (8th cousin, 1x removed)
• George HW Bush (8th cousin, 1x removed)
• Mitt Romney (8th cousin, 1x removed)
• John Kerry (9th cousin)
• Marilyn Monroe (9th cousin)
• Meryl Streep (9th cousin)

8 degrees (1)
• Kevin Bacon

I do find it somewhat ironic that the celebrity of the closest degree of separation for me is Kevin Bacon. The We're Related app appears to lean slightly towards living celebrities. However, Patrick Swayze, if he gets added to the database, will be a 7th-degree relationship for me. (7th cousins)

While he wrote the screenplays for Murders in the Rue Morgue and Captains Courageous, among others, Dale Van Every may not quite have the celebrity status necessary to appear in this database. If he did, he'd only be five degrees separated. (3rd cousins, twice removed) It's possible my grandmother met her third cousin, but that's a different post.

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