Sunday, 12 February 2012

Long distance relatives

The well known American genealogist Randy Seaver drew my attention with a blog post about what he calls 'Two degrees of separation'. In his blog he mentions that he read about two grandchildren of US President John Tyler (1790-1862) who are still alive (when Randy wrote his piece). There was also another blog on a similar subject and together it made him think how time flies. So he came up with the idea to challenge his readers to do a similar exersize based on their own genealogical data.
His question is as follows and to avoid misunderstandings I quote:
"Using your ancestral lines, how far back in time can you go with two degrees of separation?  That means "you knew an ancestor, who knew another ancestor."  When was that second ancestor born?"
And his second request is that your answer is published in your own blog or as a comment to his blog post. Well, here is my contribution.

My Miebies/Hoksteen line shows the following result: Me (born 1944) - my paternal grandfather Andreas Miebies (1883-1957, both in The Hague) - his maternal grandfather Johannes Hoksteen (1803-1885, both in Delft). Although I don't have solid evidence that the two ever met, it is very well possible. It is also likely that grandpa wanted to see his grandson. Their lives overlapped two years and they lived only a few miles apart.
My paternal grandfather Andreas Miebies, approx. 1895

Reflecting on Randy's question it is obvious that a male ancestor who became a father at a late age, is of help getting you back into the 18th century. Someone like Charlie Chaplin would be helpful. He was 73 years old when his son Christopher James was born.
Anyway, I'll be curious to see how far back people get.

Update Feb. 18, 2012 I mentioned that Charlie Chaplin was 73 years old when his youngest son was born. However, there seems to be some doubt about both his place and date of birth. Even MI5 is unable to provide conclusive evidence in the matter.

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