Saturday, April 3, 2010

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Degrees of Separation

It's Saturday night so that means Randy Seaver over at Genea-Musings has posted this week's mission for some Genealogy Fun:

Find an ancestral line that stretches back to the time of the US Revolutionary War (1775-1783), about 230 years. Define your person-to-person connection (the person actually met the next person on the list) back to a historical figure from that time.

1. I knew my great grandfather, John C. Taylor (1863-1953). Granted I was less than 2 years old when he died and I don't actually remember him but I'd lived in the same town where he lived since I was 6 months old so I definitely met him.

2. John C. Taylor (1863-1953) knew his father, James Francis Taylor (1830-1894).

3. James Francis Taylor (1830-1894) surely knew his grandfather, Thomas Ramsey, Sr. (abt. 1758-1843). Jim was 13 years old when his grandfather died. During his early childhood he had lived in the same county as his grandfather so Jim probably knew his grandfather pretty well.

4. Thomas Ramsey, Sr. (abt. 1758-1843) met George Washington. OK, I don't know for a fact that Thomas actually met Washington, chances are he didn't but it could have happened. Thomas served in the Revolutionary War. He enlisted in Essex County, Virginia on 15 Feb 1776 and served for two years in the 2nd Virginia Regiment under Col. Alexander Spotswood in the Company of Samuel Hawes. Thomas fought in the Battles of Brandywine and Germantown and was honorably discharged at Valley Forge in Feb 1778. Washington led the Continental Army in the Battles of Brandywine and Germantown and he was, of course, at Valley Forge so they were at least in close proximity. Surely Thomas at least caught a glimpse of General Washington at some point.

That's 3 degrees of separation from me to my 4th great-grandfather who could have met Washington and 4 degrees between me and Washington. "Genealogy Rumors" [read online trees] say that my 6th great-grandmother, Elizabeth Washington, was some sort of cousin to George but I don't have any proof of that and even if it was true there would be a few more degrees of separation in that path.

1 comment:

  1. Today I received the Ancestor Approved Award from Lori Shoemaker Hellmund of Genealogy and Me. I was to list 10 things I have learned about any of my ancestors that have surprise, humbled or enlightened me and then to pass the award along to 10 other bloggers. I have chosen you to receive this award. It may be picked up on my blog at