Sunday, March 7, 2010

My Own Grandma

My tagline, "I'm So New England, I'm Related to Myself" is no idle boast.

For years, I have calculated in my head that my parents are cousins, all 4 of my grandparents are related, and I figured at least 5 of my 8 great-grandparents were related.

For the fun of it, I took a little time with my Legacy software to find out how true this statement (which I have made to others) is.

It turns out, I was wrong about one thing.  Seven (7) of my 8 great-grandparents are related.  Here are the results of the relationship calculations:

1.  Myself and my husband - 209 common ancestors.  Closest relationship - 8th cousin, once removed

2.  My parents - 195 common ancestors.  Closest relationship - 8th cousins, once removed

3.  My paternal grandparents - 42 common ancestors.  Closest relationship - 7th cousins, once removed.

4.  My paternal and maternal grandfathers - 42 common ancestors.  Closest relationship - 7th cousins, once removed.

5.  My paternal grandfather and maternal grandmother - 47 common ancestors.  Closest relationship - 8th cousins, once removed.

6.  My paternal grandmother and maternal grandfather - 59 common ancestors.  Closest relationship - 8th cousins, once removed.

7.  My paternal and maternal grandmothers - 50 common ancestors.  Closest relationship - 8th cousins, once removed.

8.  My maternal grandparents - 166 common ancestors.  Closest relationship - 5th cousins, once removed.

At this point, thank goodness I can say that ONE of my great-grandparents shook up the gene pool.  My maternal great-grandmother, Lia Galfre, is the daughter of Italian immigrants.  Therefore, while both sets of paternal great-grandparents are related, only one set of maternal great-grandparents shares common ancestors.

9.  Lewis Wood and Ruth Wood (paternal great-grandparents) - 1 common ancestor; 7th cousins, 2 times removed.  "Wood" is my great-grandmother's maiden name, yes.  However, her father was an immigrant from Manchester, England.  No relationship there...  That we know of yet!

10.  Lewis Wood and Harrison Shaw - 25 common ancestors; 6th cousins, once removed.

11.  Lewis Wood and Nina Blake - 16 common ancestors; 9th cousins, once removed.

12.  Lewis Wood and Herbert Haley - 22 common ancestors; 6th cousins, once removed.

13.  Lewis Wood and Mildred Burrell - 37 common ancestors; 7th cousins, once removed.

14.  Lewis Wood and Basil Bartlett - 45 common ancestors; 7th cousins, once removed.

15.  Ruth Wood and Harrison Shaw - 1 common ancestor; 8th cousins.

16.  Ruth Wood and Nina Blake - 1 common ancestor; 7th cousins.

17.  Ruth Wood and Herbert Haley - 3 common ancestors; 7th cousins, once removed.

18.  Ruth Wood and Mildred Burrell - 1 common ancestor; 8th cousins, once removed.

19.  Ruth Wood and Basil Bartlett - 1 common ancestor; 8th cousins, twice removed.

20.  Harrison Shaw and Nina Blake (paternal great-grandparents) - 4 common ancestors; 7th cousins, once removed.

21.  Harrison Shaw and Herbert Haley - 27 common ancestors; 7th cousins, once removed.

22.  Harrison Shaw and Mildred Burrell - 10 common ancestors; 7th cousins, once removed.

23.  Harrison Shaw and Basil Bartlett - 33 common ancestors; 7th cousins, once removed.

24.  Nina Blake and Herbert Haley - 31 common ancestors; 9th cousins, once removed.

25.  Nina Blake and Mildred Burrell - 15 common ancestors; 8th cousins.

26.  Nina Blake and Basil Bartlett - 16 common ancestors; 7th cousins, once removed.

27.  Herbert Haley and Mildred Burrell (maternal great-grandparents) - 12 common ancestors; 7th cousins, twice removed.

28.  Herbert Haley and Basil Bartlett - 40 common ancestors; 7th cousins.

29.  Mildred Burrell and Basil Bartlett - 127 common ancestors; 4th cousins, once removed.

I was rather surprised to find that my Haley great-grandfather was related to each of my other great-grandparents (with the exception of Lia, of course).  His immigrant ancestor arrived only a few generations prior.

Considering genealogy is an ongoing process, these numbers are only likely to increase.  With my 58 Mayflower lines (done the old way; from the male passengers), I'm already obviously descended from many siblings.  Not that they married each other, of course (!), but through many marriages between second cousins.

Now my husband is playing "My Own Grandpa" for me.  Thanks, husband.  I don't enjoy country music as it is, and now you choose to mock me?

Hmm...  I should probably be put in a test tube and studied.


  1. Very interesting, love it.

  2. I just posted very interesting, it's Gale, not anonymous.

  3. I've calculated relationships in my tree and included people that I wasn't related to just to see how my cousins were related to each other. So far though I've found that only my grandparents were related to each other - 1st cousins, which by family law I must state "but it's OK 'cause Anna was adopted!" The fact that I don't have more New England ancestors who were related is equally fascinating. I'll have to go back and check again sometime, not sure my current software will do it easily.

  4. LOL - thanks Aunt Gale!

    Apple, it is amazing to me to find New Englanders who are not related to one another! It seems we go back to the 1600's, and almost everybody in the family tree is interconnected. It has its good and its bad, doesn't it? All of those inter-relationships make it easier to create reports, and there are less names to research...

    Then again, it is a little weird to say to people, "Um, yeah, we're all cousins. It's just the way it happened." People usually look at me askance.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Wendy, I'm also amazed, you are a clone of yourself. My parents are related several times, but I haven't checked anybody else. Not sure how to do it on FTM or RM4. But, I bet nobody can beat your tree!

  6. Yes, I'm curious how your Legacy software can do that! I can figure out kinships with FTM, but it's kind of interesting to see the numbers of common ancestors. I have one line where I am descended of one ancestor more than ten ways, which concerns me somewhat! Of course, my parents are also related many ways, and I just found out that my mtDNA haplogroup is H, and so is my mother-in-law. That means that me (with colonial New England ancestry) and my husband (first generation American from Spain) are related, but probably WAY back.

  7. Thanks all! It was a fun way to pass some time yesterday. :)

    I used the Relationship Calculator in Legacy. I selected the 2 people to compare, and set it to its highest limit of relationships (999), then let it do all the work.

    Heather, I know what you mean! My mtDNA is also haplogroup H. H1 and the furthest back I can go is 1874 in Italy. Someday, I hope to figure out the rest.

    Isn't it funny how DNA matches can bring up such interesting questions?

  8. Hello, I'm new to these kind of post. I went into google alert and typed in genealogy italian and have gotten some interesting sites and people to chat with. I'm orginally a New Englander and also use Legacy for my genealogy. I love that software. It's so easy. We have a genealogy club here in town so it keeps me motivated. Most of my family lived in Mass and Ct.