Imagine my delight when I discovered one of my cousins, a star in ABC’s Hawaiian-based hit series “Lost,” in the Family Forest®. That cousin is Jack, known in real life as Matthew Fox.
It was easy. All I had to do was to visually follow one of my own ancestral pathways in the Family Forest® by point-and-clicking back to an early Maryland immigrant ancestor, and then follow the other pathways that lead from him to some of his other descendants. And voila, there was Matthew Fox.
A television show is always more engaging when I see one of my known cousins in it, and I can bug my wife Kristine by saying “Hey, I share ancestors with that guy.” Even though in the larger scheme of things we are all related, it’s different to be able to actually see how we connect to another person through generation-by-generation family ties.
Although Matthew and I are relatively distant cousins, our connection is much closer than a Kevin Bacon (another distant cousin of mine) style six-degrees-of separation connection. Just travel up one line to one of my ancestors and down another line to Jack, only two degrees of separation.
The Family Forest® is now the best digital central source for generation-by-generation family ties leading to and from Hawaii, including to and from (but not limited to) most of the prominent early missionary families (Father Bond, Rev. Amos Starr Cooke, Rev. David Belden Lyman, Rev. William Cornelius Shipman, etc.). This unique network of family ties extends thousands of years into the past, as the “All Paths lead to Rome” blog entry illustrates, and reaches to all continents.
So it’s quite logical that many people here on the Big Island can connect to Hollywood stars in the Family Forest® through family ties by beginning with one of their own ancestors. Some examples can be found at our Pearl Harbor story and a recent
AP 2008 election story.
But using the Family Forest® to find Hollywood connections is only the tip of the iceberg. The Family Forest® is a fun and enriching digital edutainment resource to give people personal connections, through actual family ties, to many of the key people, places, and events throughout recorded human history.
Speaking from my own experiences, these personal connections can greatly enhance our understanding and appreciation for how all of us got here, and what lies ahead. My efforts to convey some of the excitement I discover while growing the Family Forest® can be found in the short stories at Your Future, Your Past.
Best wishes to my cousin Matthew and the rest of the cast for another exciting “Lost” season.