Sunday, November 23, 2014


I mentioned in a previous post how many of my ancestors were already
related before their marriages. These were my paternal ancestors, whose
families had been among the early settlers of New England, when the
population was small, and travel between different areas was harder.
After three or four generations many of the people in a town were
related to each other, but by the 19th century many of those blood ties
were probably unknown. In my Dad's family, his ancestors had moved
from Massachusetts up to western Maine, away from the towns like
Andover and Groton where their families had first met and mingled.
Here's just two instances on my Dad's side of the family, his parents and
paternal grandparents, using the relationship calculator function on RootsMagic 6:

Floyd Earl West and Cora Bertha Barker
1. Fifth cousin twice removed (common ancestor: John Spaulding & Mary Barrett)
2. Eighth cousin (common ancestor: William Sargent & Elizabeth Perkins)
3. Eighth cousin (common ancestor: Henry Herrick & Editha Laskin)
4. Seventh cousin once removed (common ancestor: Richard Barker & Joanna Unk)
6. Tenth cousin (common ancestor: Hugh Sargent & Margaret Gifford)
7. Ninth cousin once removed (common ancestor: John Maverick & Mary Gye)
8. Eighth cousin 3 times removed (common ancestor: Nathan Halstead & Isabel Denton)

Philip Jonathan West and Clara J. Ellingwood
1. Sixth cousin (common ancestor: Samuel Phelps & Sarah Chandler)
2. Seventh cousin once removed (common ancestor: John Emery & Alice Grantham)
3. Seventh cousin once removed (common ancestor: John Prescott & Mary Gawkroger (Platts))
4. Eighth cousin (common ancestor: William Chandler & Annis Agnes Bayford)
5. Eighth cousin (common ancestor: Michael Bacon & Mary Jobo)
6. Eighth cousin (common ancestor: Joan Blessing)
7. Eighth cousin once removed (common ancestor: Willam Lakin & Mary Laudin)
8. Ninth cousin (common ancestor: Henry Chandler)
9. Ninth cousin (common ancestor: Richard Towne & Anne Denton)
10. Tenth cousin (common ancestor: Richard Bayford & Joan Searle)
11. Eleventh cousin once removed (common ancestor: John Adams & Margery Squier)

You can see how distant the relationships are. Their common ancestors lived one
and two centuries before them. Unless there was someone around who'd been
researching their family trees, there was no way they could have know they were

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