January 04, 2010

My Mayflower relatives

Genealogists estimate that 35 million Americans have at least one ancestor who came over on the Mayflower. Individual estimates include 1-4 million descendants for John Alden and 14 million descendants for Richard Warren. Clearly, anyone who has Mayflower ancestors like me is related to a whole lot of Americans.

Since I have more Mayflower ancestors than most, I'm probably related to most of those 35 million Americans. We're talking about 10-12% of all Americans and a higher percentage of those with English backgrounds. No doubt I'm related to a large number of upper-crust Americans: politicians, military leaders, businessmen, socialites, et al.

These relations are almost meaningless, but they're still fun to look at. So let's examine a couple of my relatives:

Sarah Palin's Ancestry Is Solid New EnglandPalin’s Mayflower ancestors include William Brewster, John Howland, Stephen Hopkins, Joan (Hurst) Rogers, John and Elizabeth Tilley, and Richard Warren. She also descends from Thomas Prence, an early governor of Plymouth Colony, and her pedigree is laden with numerous pre-1650 immigrants from England.Richard and Elizabeth Warren had five children. I'm descended from their daughters Elizabeth and Mary and Palin is descended from their sister Abigail.

If my calculations are correct, Palin is an eleventh cousin once removed. Can you see the resemblance?

Famous Descendants of Mayflower PassengersPresidents George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush. Descendants of John Howland, Elizabeth Tilley, and her parents John and Joan Tilley; and Francis Cooke. George W. Bush, through mother First Lady Barbara Bush, is also descended from Henry Samson.Bush and I are both descended from John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley. I'm descended from their son John and Bush is descended from their daughter Hope.

If my calculations are correct, Bush is a tenth cousin three times removed.

Incidentally, Palin is also descended from John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley through their daughter Desire, another of the Howlands' ten children. Through that connection, Palin is a tenth cousin once removed. So Bush and Palin are related too, and I'm genetically closer to Palin than to Bush.

I recently learned I'm related to William and Mary Brewster and their daughter Patience. So is Sarah Palin. Through that connect, Palin is a ninth cousin once removed. Wow, we're practically kissing cousins.

More relatives

Palin Descent from Pilgrim Richard Warren

The Mayflower Passenger with 14 Million DescendantsOther famous Richard Warren descendants include Presidents Ulysses S. Grant and Franklin D. Roosevelt, astronaut Alan Shepard, authors Laura Ingalls Wilder and Henry Thoreau, actor Richard Gere, talk show host Johnny Carson, and aviation pioneers Wilbur and Orville Wright and Amelia Earhart.From the same page, other famous descendants of my Mayflower ancestors include Presidents Zachary Taylor and James A. Garfield, Joseph Smith (founder of Mormonism), Ralph Waldo Emerson, Humphrey Bogart, Alec Baldwin and his brothers, and Dr. Benjamin Spock.

William Brewster--Notable descendants

Julia Child, Bing Crosby, Ted Danson, Howard Dean, John Foster Dulles, Richard Gere, Kathryn Hepburn, John Lithgow, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Seth MacFarlane, Samuel Eliot Morison, Sarah Palin, Matthew Perry, Thomas Pynchon, Bill Richardson, Cokie Roberts, Nelson Rockefeller, David Souter, Zachary Taylor.

For more on the subject, see Tallying My Pilgrim Ancestors and My Mayflower Ancestors.

Below:  Cousins George, Rob, and Sarah. Yes, I see a vague resemblance. I look more like these two than I do Mao Zedong, Mahatma Gandhi, or Sitting Bull.

1 comment:

dmarks said...

Nice to know at the end that there's some Vulcan lineage connected in there, too.