We’re Related – Fanning, Roosevelt, & Clemmens

We’re Related – A Third Look for my Wife

Famous Friday

by Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.It had been a while since I tried using “We’re Related,” so I thought I’d take another quick look at my wife’s closest matches. Among the latest matches is my wife’s closest match so far, a 4th cousin 3 times removed – Dakota Fanning.

There are still seven individuals who are supposed to be 9 degrees of separation cousins, but I decided to focus on Theodore Roosevelt (8th cousin once removed) and Samuel Langhorne Clemens (aka Mark Twain) a supposed 6th cousin 3 times removed.

Dakota Fanning

Dakota Fanning – Photo by Anthony Citrano

Hanna Dakota Fanning is an actress and model. She was born February 23, 1994, in Conyers, Georgia. At the age of eight, she was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild award for her work in “I Am Sam.” She is also known for her roles in “Coraline” (2009), “War of the Worlds” (2005) and the role of Jane in “The Twilight Saga” movie series.

The relationship with Dakota Fanning follows my wife’s Howell line:

 

The relationship From Thomas Pankey to Dakota is:

  • Thomas A Pankey (c. 1760 – 1829)
  • Nancy Branch Pankey (1797-1865)
    (I wrote about Nancy Branch Pankey, the sister of Caroline M. A. Pankey, previously)
  • Nancy Jane Pankey (1831-1898)
  • John Alva Covington (1862-1907)
  • Neil Covington (1889-1976) (Note: Neil is a female.)
  • Assumed Living Arrington
  • Rick Arrington (From My Heritage)[i]
  • Heather Joy Arrington (from IMDb)[ii]
  • Dakota Fanning

My previous research indicated that Nancy Jane Panky probably married Joseph L. Covington on 23 April 1861 in Henry Virginia. Readily available on-line resources provided Dakota’s parents and grandparents names. I readily accept the Ancestry trees that make the link from Covington to Arrington and am quite certain that Dakota Fanning is a fourth cousin three times removed to my wife.

Theodore Roosevelt

President Theodore Roosevelt Photo by Pach Brothers

The 26th President of the United States was a driving force for the Progressive Era. Famous for establishing the US Forest Service, he proclaimed 18 national monuments and placed over a quarter of a million acres of land under public protection.

The relationship with Teddy Roosevelt follows my wife’s Darling line:

John Munsell and Lydia Way were identified as ancestors on the way to a common ancestor with Winston Churchill. Both are on my future ancestor research list. However, I am not comfortable with John Munsell being born in 1690. My research found Timothy Munsell’s father John Munsell born in 1702. The Munsell family lived in and around Lyme, New London County Connecticut and there were several John Munsells. That said, I believe the relationship with Theodore Roosevelt is still possible, but with 4 generations of uncertainty, I’m unconvinced.

Mark Twain

Mark Twain – Photo By A.F. Bradley, New York [ [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Samuel Langhorne Clemens is better known by his pen name of Mark Twain. His novels The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn are among the greatest classics of American fiction.

You may have noticed that one tree suggests that Lydia Way was the mother of Timothy Munsell and the other tree suggests that Lydia Morrill was the mother of Timothy Munsell. There could be one Lydia who had two different surnames before she married a Munsell. However, there could also be two different Lydia’s one the mother of Timothy Munsell, one not

Again, researching the parents of Timothy Munsell is on my research plan. A relationship with Mark Twain is possible, but we are still 4 generations away from certainty. So, I’ll put the relationship with Mark Twain to be possible.

Conclusion

Yes, “We’re Related” is fun and can provide clear direction to famous cousins.  However, it can also provide questionable lineages. Its genealogical pathways should be taken as possible but never true without your own research to follow the tangled webs.


Endnotes

[i] Biographical Summaries of Notable People MyHeritage.com [online database]. Lehi, UT, USA: MyHeritage (USA) Inc. https://www.myheritage.com/research/collection-10182/biographical-summaries-of-notable-people  – Record: Heather Joy Arrington

[ii] IMDb – Entry for Dakota Fanning – http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0266824/bio

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