I collect names into my tree for entertainment value. These folks are usually poorly sourced and I have no intention of tracking down and proving the relationships. I can here some of you gasping through my internet connection. Lighten up! It's ok to have some fun with your tree and you never know who may fall out.
When I first started working on my mother's genealogy she really wanted me to find her a pilgrim. Since there wasn't one to be had, I distracted her with Mary Towne Esty and Roger Conant. She was impressed - once I explained who they were. Edward I, King of England, now that got her attention. Was he really her 33rd great-grandfather? Neither of us care, it's just fun to think about. One tree I've found has Odin as my 57th great-grandfather. I'm a big SG-1 fan so this find was particularly fun. (Odin was the ruler of Asgard.)
Our family also has it's own stories of famous relatives. It turns out I'm not really a Princess but it's a fun story none the less.
Yesterday, TK had a post about her family's story that they are related to Zachary Taylor. As far as I know nobody in my family ever claimed a relationship to the president. I am a distant cousin of both the Bush's and Franklin Pierce. Just to check I searched One World Tree at ancestry for my grandfather's name, Daniel Michael Carlisle. Once I had his record I clicked on the "Find Famous Relatives" link. Zachary Taylor was not there.
I was very surprised at some of the names that did come up! I will be doing some research to see if Thomas More (1478-1535) is really my 12th great-grandfather. I hadn't taken the line back that far. (This one I will source ;-)
I copied down a list of some of our famous relatives so I could take it to Mom's today. Then, of course, I forgot to take it. She was a little blue today so I tossed out some of the names from memory. There was a Pilgrim - William Brewster was my 9th great-granduncle it seems. Mom was happy to have a pilgrim at last but still unimpressed. So I tried somebody more contemporary - Lucille Ball and was rewarded by a "You're kidding!"
I followed Lucy up with Amelia Earhart. The look on Mom's face was priceless!!! She moved to the edge of her chair and told me not to tease her. She is always interested in our genealogy but I don't think I have ever seen her this excited before. I did point out that she was a distant cousin, 7th, twice removed. Her reponse was that it didn't matter we're still related.
I did use the link, "Show Relationships" and found some errors due to a step relationship in my old tree that Ancestry used but for the most part the relationships seemed reasonable. They are not something that I'm going to spend a lot of time on.
Still, it is fun to think about the famous and in some cases infamous people we're related to. Here are my ten favorite from the list at Ancestry. What famous people are lurking about in your tree?
Eli Whitney, 1765-1825
Samuel Morse, 1791-1872
James "Wild Bill" Hickok, 1837-1836
Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957
Frank Lloyd Wright, 1867-1959
Amelia Earhart, 1897-1937
John Steinbeck, 1902-1968
George Orwell, 1903-1950
Lucille Ball, 1911-1989
Julia Child, 1912-2004