So I'm chatting via email with bloggy sister Corrie, and she tells me about this nifty function Ancestry.com (formerly known as The Devil) provides. You upload your family tree, you click on a family member's name, and then click on "famous people" and it'll show all the people you MIGHT be related to through that person. So far, Elvis Presley, Judy Garland, Princess Grace, Helen Keller, James Dean, Marlon Brando, a Mayflower passenger, Signers of the Declaration of Independence, and numerous U.S. Presidents and First Ladies have popped up as possible relatives.
Of course, the accuracy of these links is iffy - the information is only as correct as the genealogists who contributed to OneWorldTree have made it. So, you know, we can take most of it with a grain of salt (I've already seen one blaring mistake, where the child was born before the mother). But it's still fun, and has spurred me on to check these connections out. I'd love to have a Mayflower ancestor, and Elvis being my cousin is actually looking pretty possible.
As most of these family ties involve colonial families, I spent some quality time this evening messing around with my "older" names - the names I've had forever but haven't done much with. Shock of all shocks, I have grandparents, aunts and uncles with only a BIRTH DATE. Neglectful me! I tried remedying that situation a little tonight. My aunt Daphne Proctor now has a husband and children.
Daphne got me started on my long-forgotten quest to become a member of NSDAR (National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution). My great grandmother, Alice Muriel Johnson Keen, a.k.a. "Alice Brown Eyes" at my house, was a member. Grandma Dot, her daughter, was most anxious for me to become a member. I was 24 at the time and not all that excited to join up with a bunch of blue-hairs who, I figured, would take one look at my youthful visage and say to each other, "New blood - GET HER!" Plus - this creeped me out - they all had to sign their names "Mrs. William Edgar Jones" (or whatever their husbands' names were) and at formal functions, they actually wore sequinned evening gowns and WHITE GLOVES. The horror!
Now that I'm considerably older, I figure, who cares? It would still be cool to be a member. All I'd have to do is order a copy of Alice's paperwork and prove my relationship to her, and I'm in like Flynn. (Who is Flynn?) I messed around on the DAR website for a while and filled out an online form to get on their call list.
Which prompted me to look up my patriot ancestors in the DAR Patriot Index. You only need one to join, but genealogically overachieving me - I think it would be fun to prove my relationship to ALL of them. Maybe by the time I'm 85, it'll be possible. Here's the list so far:
ARNDT: Abraham (1751-1825); Jacob (1725-1805); Jacob (1758-1831); John (1748-1814)
BATHRICK: Tillabee (1751-1831)
BURRUS: Thomas (1724-1788)
DANIEL: John (1751-1802)
DIMMICK: Timothy (1745-1807) - my possible Mayflower connection
DRAGOO: William (1747-1824)
DYER: Charles (1753-1845)
DYSART: James (1727-1781); James (1744-1818); John (1749-1842)
FOX: Abraham (1748-1777); Elijah (1758-1838); Joel (1754-1837)
GORTON: William (1750-1826)
JOLLIFFE: John (1751-1777)
LOCKE: James (1728-1808)
MCDANIEL: George (1722-1821); John (1751-1839)
MILLS: Nathaniel (1750-1815)
MORRISON: John (1729-1799)
PATTON: Robert (1747-1813)
PETTIGREW: George (1746-1818); James (1713-1784)
PHILLIPS: Caleb (1761-1829); Spencer (1755-1840), Thomas Jr. (1747-1829)
PROCTOR: James (1720-1790); Moses (1747-1805); Nathaniel Sr. (1723-1806); Nathaniel Jr. (1762-1855); Oliver (1745-1815); Peter (1735-1822)
REED: Jacob Sr. (1730-1820); Jacob Jr. (1762-1846)
RUCKER: Ambrose (1735-1807); Reuben (1755-1782)
SAYE: Richard (1740-1779)
SHOEMAKER: Jacob (1744-1810)
STRAIGHT: Jacob (1741-1796)
The great thing about finding them in the Index is all the missing information I scored in the process - a birth or death date here, a new marriage there. I probably have more, but I was only looking for grandfathers and uncles. Can you have an uncle or aunt as a patriot ancestor, or does it have to be a grandparent?
At any rate, the FHC was very fun this time - a most fruitful evening.