Friday, June 2, 2017

Friday's Faces of the Past

Benjamin Franklin
My 4th cousin, 7 times removed

Okay, so here is another connection (albeit distant) that I have to thank the We're Related phone app for. I have a blast with the app. I first downloaded for pure fun. But the one thing I wasn't expecting was that amongst all of the distant celebrity/political/famous "cousins" was that where the two lines converge, has allowed me to take my ancestry back, in some cases, ten or twenty generations! (Well, let's just say that the lines and documentation leading to and from the English throne are pretty easily discovered.) Still, I had no idea how many times I would ooh, and ahh, as I was able to prove the next ancestor back.

And this has all been in thanks to the little app I downloaded on my iPhone. In all I have 191 people with whom the app tells me I am related. Out of those, I've probably worked my way through around 16 or 17. I started doing the research to "disprove" how accurate the app really is. But what I discovered was that, in about 90% of those I've gone through finding evidence of relationship, the information has been totally spot on!

And so, for a good time at a party, I can blurt out, as though bragging, that someone like, for instance, Benjamin Franklin and I are related! (Well, we've all got to have some bragging rights in our family tree, correct? I have plenty to brag about without ever bringing up a famous name!) And isn't it fun to see how some people react when you can tell them that you're 4th cousins, 7 times removed with Benjamin Franklin?

Okay, so in the last 50 years or so, some rather scandalous information regarding old Ben has become public. Doesn't tarnish his accomplishments any, does it? And he did have a few more accomplishments than just tying that silly key to the kite string you know!

So, how are old Ben and I related?

Here's Ben's line: (for sake of simplicity, I present these just as they are from the app)

Common Ancestor:
Sir William Jones (1520-1560)
    Agnes Jane Jones (1540-1612)
        Agnes Jones (1575-1646)
           Thomas Franklin (1598-1681)
                Josiah Franklin (1657-1745)
                    Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

And now, the line coming to me:

Common Ancestor:
Sir William Jones (1520-1560)
    Griffith Jones (1560-1598)
        Morgan Jones (1590-1643)
            Thomas Jones (1620-1671)
                Ruth Jones (1645-1675)
                    Elizabeth Hayward/Howard (1678-1728)
                        John Perkins (1710-1763)
                            James Perkins (1741-1825)
                                Samuel Perkins (1778-1854)
                                    Margaret Smith Perkins (1826-1891)
                                       John Monroe Bean (1866-1954)
                                            Walter M. Beane (living)
                                               Cynthia A. Beane (living)

And there you have it. My relationship to Benjamin Franklin. Fun for parties, and bragging rights. But using the app has lead me to find my ancestors by trying to disprove the line from me to the common ancestor. And for that, I cannot thank Ancestry enough. Sometimes, it's simply given me a name, and I was able to go on from there. And like I said, about 10% of the trees sent have been totally wrong.

I've barely made a dent in the list so far. So, I am super stoked about working on even more!

*******Yesterday's "Those Places Thursday"
Were you able to figure out where this place was?
This photo is one I took at the Bluestone Dam, in Hinton, WV. I took the photo in 2015. I was standing on a fishing platform that is built conveniently near the dam itself, where I am told there have been some monster sized trout and catfish pulled from. This crosses the New River. Behind the Dam is Bluestone State Park, and it's many camping, hiking, fishing, and swimming areas. Great fun! My children used to fish from the primitive campgrounds, and we would fill up our cooler with fish they caught. Then cook them over an open campfire in the evening. We spent some wonderful times camping there! I highly recommend the area for a stop if you're coming through West Virginia. Just a few miles east of Beckley, and west of Lewisburg, just 10-miles off of I-64, there are many wonderful places to sight-see!

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