I recently read an article about a new program developed by some BYU professors and students that takes your family history that has already been done and tells you now closely related you are to other people. It is called Relative Finder and it is a derivative of LDS Family Search, so if you already have a lot of genealogy done for you and an LDS Family Search account, Relative Finder should be easy for you to use. The concept is that you can be in a room full of people and not even know that you are distantly related but with enough information it is possible to find that out. Paul and I have always sort of laughed about this idea because both of our moms come from Robertson lines (Paul's grandma was a Robertson, as was my grandma). But we have never had the patience to trace both lines back to find the connection (since we knew it had to be distant).
So when I saw that all you have to do to use the program is log in using your LDS Family Search account I immediately signed on to finally figure out the connection. It seems like it is still in early stages and was a little tricky to figure out because I had to create a "group" and then log in separately as Paul to join the group, but once that was set up it was straightforward.
Surprisingly, our closest relationship was NOT through our Scottish ancestry like we had guessed, but instead is through our Danish lines. It is Paul's Grandma's line on his mom's side and my Grandpa's line on my mom's side that is our closest connection, making us officially 10th cousins, 1 time removed. Hilarious and fascinating, right? Now I want my in-laws (Deborah, Ryan H., etc.) and friends to log in and join the "group" I created so we can see whether there are any other connections! If you do go to the website to check it out, search for the group "Paul & Amy Nash" (with the ampersand, not the word "and") and the password is "paulandamy".
There are a bunch of other standard groups already created like famous americans, U.S. presidents, Mayflower members, famous writers, European royalty, etc. Like I learned that Thomas Jefferson is my 3rd cousin, 9 times removed and George Washington is my 4th cousin, 8 times removed. And Paul has direct connections to the Mayflower because Edward Doty AND Stephen Hopkins (both Mayflower passengers) are 11th great grandfathers of his. Benjamin Franklin is Paul's 4th cousin, 7 times removed. But most interesting of all (to me) is the Paul is related to Bing Crosby. BING CROSBY, people! Um, swoon. They are 7th cousins, 2 times removed, so not very close, but still... we are talking Mr. White Christmas, beautiful blue eyes, most incredible voice ever himself here. (Mr. Crosby and I are 14th cousins, for the record).
And here is an interesting tidbit I found on Wikipedia about Paul's Mayflower ancestor, Edward Doty, who was reputed to have a hot temper:
Doty's first problem with the law came just after the Pilgrims had begun constructing their settlement. The early eighteenth century notes of Thomas Prince describe an incident of June 18, 1621 when the first duel (with a sword and dagger) was fought in New England between two servants of Stephen Hopkins: Edward Doty and Edward Leister. The duel ended with one being wounded in the hand and one in the thigh. Their punishment was to be tied head and feet together for twenty-four hours without meat or drink. But soon their master Stephen Hopkins, apparently taking pity on their "great pains", made a "humble request, upon promise of a better carriage" and they were released by the governor.
So fascinating, right? Anyway, check it out and tell me if you do! I want to know if we are somehow related!