Genealogy Fun – Three Degrees of Separation

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun — Three Degrees of Separation idea by Randy Seaver at

This is actually my Sunday Afternoon Genealogy Fun!  This was an easy activity to determine how far back in time can you go with three degrees of separation.  That means “you knew an ancestor, who knew another ancestor, who knew another ancestor.”

So for Her:

– She met her maternal great-grandfather Harry Cecil Fetherkile (1884-1980) in the early 70’s.  Her family would travel most summers and visit Grandpa Fetherkile until his death.
– Grandpa F. lived in the same small Iowa town his entire life and knew his paternal grandfather Adam Henry Fetherkile (1812-1896) who moved to this same town in the early 1850’s.  Both grandfathers are buried in the Urbana Cemetery along with her maternal grandmother. 

Her maternal line goes back to 1812.

– She remembers meeting her paternal great-grandmother Mary Harriet (Hallie) Squires Marshall Gott Burton (1891-1974) in the late 60’s.  Grandma Burton also lived in Iowa about 3 hours drive from her Fetherkile relatives.  Mom and Dad met in California.
– Grandma B. had to have known her maternal grandmother Elizabeth Ruth Cross McCann (1823-1912) since we have a photo of Grandma McCann with Grandma B’s younger sisters.  Dad remembers Aunt Ruth who is buried just a few miles from us.

Her paternal line goes back to 1823.


So for Him:

– He met his maternal great-grandmother Lurena Dell (Lulu) Hill Farley (1881-1965) at birth!
– Grandma F. was born and raised in the same Nebraska town as her maternal grandparents Townsend Berkley Huff (1830-1904) and Nancy Talbert Huff (1834-1912).  

His maternal line goes back to 1830.

– His paternal line is not able to go to the third “separation”.  He met his paternal grandfather at birth and knows that he was an immigrant in 1907.  He never returned to his native country and we do not have names for any ancestors except his father at this time.  Hopefully soon!

US Presidents – How Many in a Lifetime??

Idea for this post courtesy of GeneaMusings Saturday Night Genealogy Fun.

“This week’s Genealogy Fun challenge is very timely since a new president was inaugurated yesterday. Here are the answers to the question – how many presidents have served during my lifetime, my parents and grandparents and how many generations back do I have to go to cover all 45 U.S. presidents?”

I put my data into a spreadsheet to answer the questions.  See spreadsheet below.

Her Lifetime: 11 (since Kennedy)                        His Lifetime: 12 (since Eisenhower)

Mom and Dad: 14 (since FD Roosevelt)                      Mom: 15 (since Hoover)
Dad: 14 (Hoover – Obama)

Grandparents: 13 (Taft – Carter)                                  Grandparents: 17 (Harrison-Carter)
14 (Wilson – GHW Bush)                                                15 (Cleveland-Ford)
11  (Taft – Nixon)                                                             11 (T Roosevelt-L Johnson)
17  (T Roosevelt – Clinton)                                             16 (Taft – Clinton)


Great-Grandparents: Range from 9 – 19 Presidents          and         12-18 Presidents

2x Great-Grandparents: Range from 14 – 21 Presidents    and        17-22 Presidents

3x Great-Grandparents: Range from 13 – 25 Presidents     and       8-24 Presidents

4x Great-Grandparents: Range from 8 – 21 Presidents      and        8-18 Presidents

This is the first generation to reach Washington for both of us.  She has 15 ancestors who were alive during Washington’s Presidency and He has 4!)

GP = Grandfather   GM = Grandmother    Number indicates how many greats.  Letters after indicate first letter of last name, in order of my Ahnentafel Report generated by Family Tree Maker.  I only included ancestors who lived part/all of their life in the US and I had dates of birth and death.  If it was a transition year, I used birth, death, inaugurations dates to determine if they lived during a particular President’s term.







Citing Sources: Remember Your Cousin in Santa Fe

Thank you for the reminder about citing sources!  Sharing this for all to remember proper format isn’t what’s important – make it easier for others to find it.

Taken from: Genealogy Tip of the Day by Michael John Neill

Remember Your Cousin in Santa Fe

Citing sources frustrates some researchers. They worry about format, style, and the appropriate placement of punctuation.


Don’t fret over such things. As we will see your concern should be over your cousin in Santa Fe.

If you put a date of an event in your genealogical database, include the reason. It could be

  • death certificate for John Q. Rampley in the Carthage, Hancock County, Illinois, courthouse
  • birth certificate for Susanna Rucker in the Orange County, Virginia, courthouse
  • family bible in possession of my aunt, Mrs. Donna Askme Questions
  • personal memory–he died after I graduated high school
  • personal memory–they married before we moved to Idaho

Purists will frown at these citations. Let the the frown lines be their own reward. Are there a few minor details missing? Yes. Is it better than no citation at all? Yes. Those who quibble over the precise comma placement will roll their eyes. Let them roll their eyes til their sockets wear out.

Your cousin from Santa Fe who encounters your file will be glad you went to the trouble.

Worry about your cousin in Santa Fe. The purists and the quibblers will always be with us and are difficult to please. Leave them to their frowning and eye rolling. Your cousin in Santa Fe will find your citations a cool breeze refreshing their research frustration.

Remember your cousin in Santa Fe.

Taylor and Fillmore not Related

Using my tree (which has about 20,000 people), it appears that Presidents Zachary Taylor and Millard Fillmore are not related.  Their lines don’t intersect until my great-great-grandparent Katherine Burrell.  They are 5th cousin 3x removed of husband of 2nd cousin 2x removed.  

That doesn’t mean they aren’t related through some other branches that I’ve not researched, but I’m satisfied with this result for today!  It sure would have made an interesting find if they were related!!

Happy Saturday everyone!

She’s Related to a President #5 (Taylor)

I downloaded the “We’re Related” app from Ancestry recently.  It showed a new president I might be related to!!

After too many hours of research to confirm the information found on the app, it is indeed true – I’m related to President Zachary Taylor – 5th cousin 7 times removed.   This information is the same that “We’re Related” predicted.

Now here is the weird thing – President Taylor had as his Vice President Millard Fillmore.  Yep, that’s the same Millard Fillmore I’m related too!  What are the odds that someone is related to the President and Vice President???

Here’s the spreadsheet showing the relationship.  Now I want to determine if Zachary Taylor and Millard Fillmore are related.

Ancestry’s “We’re Related” App

So is trying to entice more people to become more interested in genealogy by marketing this App.  I’m already interested so figured “What the heck do I have to lose?”  The App, once a day, gives you a “new” person you are related to and shows how you are related.

This is really interesting since the people they indicate are all “famous”.  Here is the list of potential people I’m related to and who our common ancestor is.  This gives me some new areas to focus my research on now that we know we are related! (Miley Cyrus and Winston Churchill)



Angry at!!

I hate when I decide to work on an ancestor born in 1598 and records I KNOW I DIDN’T ADD  from the 1700’s, 1800’s, and 1900’s seem to be linked to this person!!

Does it have something to do with linking to Family Tree Maker??

This isn’t the first time this happened but today it is really making me angry!!