We’re Related – My Possible Relatives – John Kerry, Luke Bryan, Carrie Fisher

 

Famous Friday
by Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.My second look at possible relatives using “We’re Related.”

I must have received an upgrade recently as the program wanted me to reconnect with all of my Facebook friends. I was not amused that I could not bypass the requirement. I really don’t want “We’re Related” sending messages to all of my friends asking them to install “We’re Related” on their devices. My grandkids don’t need messages like that from me.  Nor do many of my other friends.  Luckily, it is possible to uncheck friends from the invites. It is a pain to have to do that to a hundred or more individuals, but I was able to do so and launch the application again. The first three potential ancestors shown were John Kerry, Luck Bryan, and Carrie Fisher.

John Kerry

John Kerry is identified as a possible seventh cousin, four times removed on my Brown line.

  • Richard Earl Brown
  • Arthur Durwood Brown
  • Marian Sanford
  • Mary Electa Parsons
  • Deborah Buel Maben
  • Electra Rowley
  • Wicks Weeks Rowley
    • Hannah Phelps – Unknown to me. Needs further research.
    • Nathaniel Phelps 
    • Nathaniel Phelps
    • Timothy Phelps – Supposed Common Ancestor.

I do not know who Wicks Weeks Rowley’s mother was. I believe his father was Nathan Rowley, but have no clue regarding his mother. Definitely, this is an area for further research. My relationship with John Kerry is possible.

Luke Bryan (Thomas Luther Bryan)

I’ll admit it, when I saw his name I said, “Who?” I learned he is a country music musician and composer. Then I switched to a genealogical context and thought, Bryan, I have Bryan’s in my family tree, maybe this will be a quick positive match.  No such luck.

Luke Bryan is potentially a sixth cousin, twice removed, through

  • Hugh Eugene Roberts
  • Bert Allen Roberts
  • Hugh Ellis Roberts
  • Asa Ellis Roberts
  • Elizabeth Blackwell
    • David Blackwell – Unknown to me. Needs further research.
    • Samuel Blackwell – Supposed Common Ancestor.

I don’t know Elizabeth Blackwell’s parents nor grandparents, but with only two unknown ancestors involved, this is probably the closest to verification famous person I’ve encounter so far. Cousins with Luke Bryan is likely.

Carrie Fisher

The third famous individual I’m looking at this week is the late Carrie Fisher, a potential eighth cousin, twice removed. “We’re Related” say we are related through Anthony Steptoe on the following tree:

  • Hugh Eugene Roberts
  • Bert Allen Roberts
  • Hugh Ellis Roberts
  • Asa Ellis Roberts
  • Elizabeth Blackwell
    • David Blackwell – Unknown to me. Needs further research.
    • Elizabeth Steptoe
    • John Steptoe
    • Anthony Steptoe – Supposed Common Ancestor.

With two individuals whose possible relationship to me stops at Elizabeth Blackwell, it makes me want to investigate that ancestor more fully, next. In the meantime, it is likely I’m related to Princess Leia, umm, I mean Carrie Fisher.

Blaine Bettinger

Finally, among my Facebook friends, “We’re Related” suggests that I’m related to Blaine Bettinger and that we are ninth cousins along my Brown Line. Blaine is a professional genealogist who specializes in DNA. His blog, The Genetic Genealogist is one of my favorite blogs to follow. He is the author of several Genetic Genealogy books. I met Blaine at the Maine Genealogical Society Spring DNA Workshop last April and was lucky enough to share a table with him and get to know him a little bit.

  • Richard Earl Brown
  • Arthur Durwood Brown
  • Marian Sanford
  • Mary Electa Parsons
  • Chester Parsons
  • John Parsons
  • John Parsons
    • Abigail Smith
    • Jonathan Smith

So, it appears we are very close, only two ancestors away from finding a common ancestor (CA).  I just need to find out who the parents and grandparents of John Parsons (1736-1821) are. In the meantime, it is likely that Blaine and I are related.

Updated chart of Relationships to Famous People

Famous Person Relationship* To CA Comments
Luke Bryan Possible 2 Research Ancestors of Elizabeth Blackwell
Blaine Bettinger Possible 2 Research Ancestors of John Parsons
John Kerry Possible 4 Research Ancestors of Wicks Weeks Rowley
Carrie Fisher Possible 4 Research Ancestors of Elizabeth Blackwell
Walt Disney Possible 7 Research Ancestors of Mercy Eliza Taft
Stephen King Unlikely Not through Max Fisher
Randy Seaver Unlikely Not through Henry Mack Brown
Britney Spears Unlikely Not through Sarah J. Gavin

“We’re Related” is fun to look at possibilities. It makes me think about key relationships in my tree and has the potential of providing clues into further research.  I wonder if Ancestry has improved its algorithms.  None of the matches this time were unlikely or impossible.

In my normal research process of my Roberts line, Elizabeth Blackwell is sixth ancestor on my list to research in depth. So, I should get one generation closer on that line in the next few months. Researching her will also bring me one step closer to knowing if I’m related to Carrie Fisher as well.

John Parsons, Sr., is my ancestor #408. I have written about my 3rd great-grandmother, Mary E. Parsons previously, but I still need to document his father Chester Parsons, and his father, John Parsons, Jr., before researching John Parsons, Sr., in depth.


*Relationship Table

Unlikely = There is something in the family tree going up to the common ancestor that I disagree with.  There might be another path to a common ancestor; however, according to my research, the path “We’re Related” is suggesting is not possible.

Possible = “We’re Related” has added additional ancestors to my tree to reach a potential common ancestor.  I need to do more research to agree with the Common Ancestor.

Probable = “We’re Related” indicates a common ancestor that I agree is an ancestor of mine. I need to research the descendants of that ancestor to assure the connection.

Certain = Well as certain as you can get in Genealogy. “We’re Related” indicates a pathway up to a common ancestor and down to the famous person that I am in agreement with.

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