Six Degrees of Desperation.

You’re going to laugh now. I know you will. Last night I found a few minutes to spare…… See, I said you’d laugh. I’ve got a prison pallor from sitting at the computer so much answering emails and maybe a ten second stint on ebay buying a few coins. Anyhoo, with this few minutes I thought I’d take a look at the family tree again on ( The same as except for the accent). I’ve been making remarkable progress  working my way backwards. Julia’s went back to Adam and Eve and a certain apple seller but I’d been making good headway on a certain part of mine. It’s funny that sometimes things just fit together.

Some of you will no doubt be on the Ancestry site and will know that when you go on a person’s profile it allows you to check the relationship between you and that person. Please believe me when I say I used to have a very high IQ but I’m going to admit here and now I find certain relationship very confusing. For instance…..My great-grandmother had a sister. I could probably work out that she’d be my Great, Great Aunt? OK, with me so far?   So this person has a child who then becomes my grandmothers first cousin. What relationship is she to me? Well it seems she’s my first cousin two times removed????? And if that person has a child, what are they to me? Pass the aspirin please.



My Mum, whom I found to be first cousin once removed to half of Cooke County , Illinois.



Again with my Great Grandmother’s family. One or two of her sons who would be my first cousins  twice removed, then removed themselves from the UK and settled in the US. Everyone seems to have taken ship from Liverpool to Canada and then entered the US from there. They seem to have settled in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois. Judging by the success I’ve had these people seem to have married Swedes ( not the vegetable), people from Germany, Russia, the US itself and also some fellow Brits. They’re spreading out so much I think there’s a chance that Chicago may one day come back to the Commonwealth.

I’ve had one friend in my life and apart from a few minor hiccups we’ve known each other for about 36 years. He’s so close we say the same things at the same time, have been called an old married couple, the Brothers Grimm and probably a few other choice epithets as well. Because of our closeness we’ve often referred to each other as brothers. At my nieces today he got into a conversation about 6 degrees of separation, whereby if you speak to anyone, anywhere in the world, in 6 moves you’ll find something in common, or words to that effect. He said how strange it would be to find we’re actually related. He’s Jewish and his father’s family originated in Poland. A lot of the family were lost to the Concentration Camps during WWII and many records relating to the family were destroyed or lost when ‘Dad F’ had to flee Poland for his life. (OK don’t rush me, I’m getting to the point as quickly as I know how now). Mike wanted some help with a family tree, knowing he wouldn’t get too far but he wanted something for his children and grandchildren.  I created one for him on my Ancestry pages and set to work starting with him. It’s been difficult but fun in it’s own way. I watched one group of his family set up in Manchester quite close to where part of my family had a section of tree. Tonight he was cracking the whip a bit and  I came across a name that seemed to ring bells. I wasn’t sure why and while checking some new ‘Hints’ I Followed her to a marriage in the US. Would you believe it’ s in Chicago, Cooke County, Illinois. There are quite a few of his family there now. We had a laugh about it, I finished what I could ( I mean what I had patience for) and before signing out, just nipped back to my own family tree. There, I found a name so close to the one of his relative I was taken aback for a moment ( I’m not sure where to) it  was almost the same name as one of mine. No wonder it sounded familiar. He rolled on the bed laughing ( shame he didn’t roll off the bed but you can’t have everything and I want the lottery instead). It was true that we could almost have been related after all. Maybe this 6 degrees of separation is actually true.


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36 responses to “Six Degrees of Desperation.

  1. How fascinating…I agree, I just can’t get this second cousin once removed bit, which seems to mean that Hitler’s related to Prince Charles or my grandmother, sort of thing…
    and yes, aren’t the links fascinating especially now that the internet connects us all as well……..

    • So far I think I’ve established the first cousin bit. If it was a first cousin to my grandmother, then it’s first cousin once removed to my mother and twice removed to me. The first cousin status remains the same. I now have to figure out the second and even third cousin bits.( or just pretend it doesn’t matter).
      Thanks so much for dropping by and commenting Valerie. xx Hugs xxxx

  2. Oh what a great post, and a wonderful tip! I tried to search my family tree on, but never registered, don’t know why. But I am doing it right now! I’ve been trying to find my ancestors for a while, but it’s difficult because there are people from so many countries!

    All I know is that my Great Grandfather was a Hungarian sailor who left Hungary at the beginning of WWI (he didn’t want to fight, as history says…) met my Great Grandmother in the US (Ohio), and they ended up somehow (and extremely unfortunately) in Brazil… Her family was from Poland, and their daughter, my Grandma, married my Grandpa, a child of German and Native Brazilian people. So I can safely say that there were relatives of mine fighting one another during WWII. On the other side, Spanish immigrants gave me my last name (Barcelos). My Grandpa didn’t name their children Horvath like my Grandma, so I don’t have a name from my Hungarian heritage, which is a shame!

    I love history, and one of my plan when I win the lotery (that’s right, I say WHEN, not IF. It makes me feel better, so what?) is to hire some top notch researcher to find all my ancestors. Perhaps we two are somehow related too! 🙂


    • *plans. And oh, thank you WordPress for letting me Like David’s posts now. Yayy 😀

      (But it doesn’t let me answer to you Top Tenners post anymore, so let me say it here – I’ve heard the same rumors about Clark Gable, David. I also heard that he was not ashamed of that fact and used to make fun of it, with his teeth in his hand, saying “Here’s America’s Sweetheart”. I think it makes him even more lovely, if true.

      James Stweart wore a hairpiece and wasn’t at all ashamed of that either. In fact he did so because of Hollywood standards not his own. I think it takes a real man to be this comfortable with his own appearance. Or what do I know, maybe I’m just too attached to the charm of old times! 🙂

      • It’s possible for a man to be comfortable with his appearance but know that because of expectations no-one else will be. The audience can be a demanding lot. I should have added James Stewart to my list of greats.
        Funny thing…The actor Stewart Granger’s real name was James Stewart and had to change it….
        Hugs Sweetie xxxxxxx

    • Now that would be wonderful Renata. I too try to have confidnce and say ‘When’ rather than ‘If’ otherwise I’ll just be convinced I’m wasting my money. I was given a subscription to Ancestry as a gift originally and it was the national one with just UK and (Northern) Irish records available. It was good, but when I upgraded to International it made a huge difference being able to get at so much more. I don’t know how well it doe on the old Eastern block countries though. If you can get a 6 month subscription you might have a lot of fun.
      Meanwhile, if I come across any relatives in Brazil I’ll let you know.
      Huge Hugs to you and Maria xxxxxx

  3. There was a study done on the 6 degrees. It started as a game, but the mathmeticians got hold of it and it appears to be founded in mathmetical formulas. So a study was done (Yale?) where persons were mailed a letter and asked them to pass it on 6 times to persons they knew around the globe, with the 5th sending it to the professor doing the study. It worked. While this wasn’t genetics, it appears that the world isn’t as big as 6 billion sounds…. hugs….

    • Having been on holiday some years ago to Blackpool ( many thousands of people go there if not millions) only to bump into a friend on the sea front. I can well believe the world is a lot smaller than we imagine.
      I’m not sure if the fifth person was instructed to send the letter to the Professor but if so surely that would negate the experiment. If he was sent it by the fifth person as one of the 6 people he chose to send it to then it does prove the 6 degrees point. I wonder what would happen if I asked my facebook friends to do the same. How many times would a copy come back to me showing common links all over the world.
      Huge Hugs my friend xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  4. How amazing! Maybe if you keep digging you will find a family connection. If you do, we’ll all have to rethink that old saying about how you can pick your friends but you can’t pick your family. 😉

    Hugs to you both.

    • I suppose if we tried hard enough we could all show a link of some kind through a friend of a friend. Logically though, as we go backwards, each generation was smaller and had bigger families. Way back when the population was much smaller, those children must have joined families in marriage and then spread out with their own children doing the same. So we come from a small ‘breeding stock’ and it’s why they say all of us have a king in our family trees somewhere.
      Huge Hugs Andrea. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  5. I was born and raised in Cook County, Illinois.

    • Ha Ha, hello cousin. So far my Parr line seems to be linked to Sorensons, Swift’s, Duncan’s, Schenke’s, Elkington’s and Neff’s from marriages perhaps early in the 20th C, heaven only knows how many more family links after that through their children but I can see Messner’s and McDaris’s at least.
      Huge Hugs to you Virginia. xxxxxxx

  6. I hate to make things seem longer than they are , Bum, or was it Gum, Mum definitely NOT. Dum….. But i think you will find we have a Lum in our lives WAY longer than 36 years…. To others reading this comment it will make NO sense but then i am your GEN:-) or maybe your MAN!!!??…I’ll leave you to work that one out… Could be a story in this.. Hola xxxxxxx

    • Hola my special niece. I will no doubt get many questions about this that I can’t answer without a code book. I’m definitely not sharing BUM though.
      I wonder if he GEN is Great Eccentric Niece but I’d better watch my step since you’re driving tomorrow with me as a passenger…….. Maybe you’ll share the secrets with me on the journey.I’ll claim I meant Greatest Ever Niece of course.
      Massive Hugs xxxxxxxx

  7. Martine Kaufman

    And you meet all kinds of people on the way David. There must have been some great things going on in Cook County, and by the way I would love to be your cousin too, however many times removed !

  8. My youngest sister does the who is related to who best. It makes my head spin.
    Family history research turns up all sorts of things… I’m sure if I had the time and resources I could find 6 degrees or less of separation between the G.O. and myself, we both have English ancestors… 3 of his were sent to Australia as convicts and German-Prussian ancestors. Maybe I am even related to you somehow. I love watching Who Do You Think You Are? I’m also possibly related to my bestie Mrs S. as I noticed in one branch of Mum’s tree ancestors near where her Mum’s family come from.
    What a great thing to do, to research your bestie’ s ancestry. I hope you one day find that special person who’s related to you both.
    Oh, it’s all so interesting, I wish I had more time… one day 🙂

    • Oh, I don’t want you too far removed Martine since I love chatting with you. I don’t want to check too many Cook County records in case I find relatives called Al Capone or one of the other gangsters of the time who I claim were all innocent musicians who just happened to carry violin cases all the time.
      Hugs Galore Martine..Cuzz. xxxxxxxx lol

  9. That was a charming post, David. Before the days of the Internet, when it involved a lot of detective work, my aunt traced the family line from Scotland in 1692 when they came to the USA. She went to her local courthouse, searched public records, wrote letters, and to the amazement of her siblings, even made transatlantic phone calls. LOL. How much easier the Internet has made things! Anyhow, though she traced things back that far, the information I have has big gaps in the middle. I should follow your example and go to

    • Apart from Ancestry I joined the Irish site and also the Scottish one as I had a relative marry there and his children were born there.Both sites continually update as their records are digitalised. With those you buy credits to search rather than pay an annual fee. There’s always new information to find.
      It’s amazing what you can get from courthouses and parish church records if you can search. Some sites will find a local member to search for you if you can reciprocate by doing local searches for anyone outside the area.
      Hope you get more information.
      Hugs Galore xxxxxxxx

  10. My head is spinning from the cousin twice removed stuff, but I hear what you’re saying. I’ve often been tempted to check out the family tree on Haven’t yet, unsure where to begin. Happy relative hunting! ((hugs))

    • Once you start it’s hard to stop Jolyse. Go ahead,you’ll love it. Start with yourself adding your husband and your daughter ( she gets the job next) add you Moma and Dad and anyone else you know from that side taking info from old family bibles and anywhere else you can find it.Then do the same for your husbands side and his parents etc. You can always write to local Newspaper Offices for help if towns aren’t nearby, they usually have obituaries or local churches for births and marriages. By the time you have that on the fun starts. You’ll find that hints appear. They’ll lead you to where someone you have is included in another family tree, ot to where someone is recorded in a census. From the census form you can usually see who else id in the household which then gives you ages and tells you their relationship to the head of the house. You ofter pick up unknown brothers and sisters at this stage. Back far enough and you’ll find family from abroad appearing on ships or records of them entering via Canada. It’s fascinating work and you’ll get carried away.But what a history you’ll leave or the grandchildren one day.
      Huge Hugs xxxx

  11. Very entertaining, well written on a rather complex topic.

  12. I love connecting family to this and that, once removed and so on. A great aunt once connected us in a zig-zag to Queen Anne, and I’m not even sure who she was!

    • I love to see the connections but hate to try and work out the family relationships. It’s so very complicated. Queen Anne was the daughter of James II and ruled in the early 1700’s, for about ten years or so. She died before she was 50. I remember her husband was Danish and it was
      (I think) George I who succeeded her and started the Hanoverians. Anne was the last of the Stuarts. I’d say she’s best remembered for ‘Queen Anne legs ‘ on furniture. haa ha
      Sending Big Hugs xxx

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