Kristine and I watched Damages and I turned to the Family Forest® to see if there were family ties connecting the two stars, Ted Danson and Glenn Close.
As often happens when I go exploring in the Family Forest®, I got sidetracked from the original mission. First I visited the Captain’s Log archives and rediscovered the interesting ancestral story relating to Cheers.
I also found that I had not yet done a story I had intended to do about Ted in his role as Lemuel Gulliver in the 1996 movie Gulliver’s Travels. I wonder if Ted knows that according to recorded history, he is a distant cousin of “Gulliver’s Travels” author Jonathan Swift?
Then I went looking for ancestors Ted Danson and Glenn Close may share. One potential common ancestor who caught my eye, probably because of my two recent
Bourne Ultimatum posts was Ted’s ancestor Thomas Bourne who came to Plymouth, MA in 1636 and was “the eldest of the Marshfield settlers.”
Glenn Close did not appear as one of Thomas Bourne’s descendants, but a number of other famous historical figures and Hollywood celebrities did show up as cousins of Ted.
Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, a hero in the War of 1812, is a 5th cousin four times removed. J.P. Morgan is a distant cousin, as are all of the Grosvenors of National Geographic fame.
Hollywood celebrity Bourne cousins of Ted Danson include Humphrey Bogart, Christopher Reeve, Richard Gere, and Hugh Heffner.
Could Thomas Bourne ever have imagined that four centuries into the future he would have descendants whose names would be recognized internationally?
After exploring the descendants of Bourne Ultimatum star Matt Damon’s Stebbins ancestors, I browsed again through the Family Forest® for some of Matt’s other 1600’s ancestors. This time I explored the descendants of his Leonard ancestors.
One noticeable difference to Matt’s Stebbins cousins was obvious. Matt’s only Stebbins cousin in the entertainment business (if we’re not counting politicians) I found in the Family Forest® is Clint Eastwood.
But Matt’s Family Forest® Leonard cousins must be genetically predisposed toward the entertainment business. They even include the Hollywood icon who has won more Oscars than any other actor or actress, Katharine Hepburn.
They also include Katharine Houghton, Lucille Ball, the Baldwin Brothers (Alec, William, Daniel, and Stephen), Anthony Perkins, Raquel Welch, Tahnee Welch, Johnny Carson, Harry Chapin, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and Gregory Peck.
Matt’s non-entertainment Family Forest® Leonard cousins are proportionally much less than his Stebbins cousins. They include Time-Life founder Henry Luce, First Lady Nancy Reagan, Marshall Field IV and V, and George Plimpton.
How many times might you have enjoyed a Hollywood motion picture, and not known that you actually share ancestors with the star? Certainly some.
How many cousins of The Bourne Ultimatum star Matt Damon will watch him when the movie premiers tomorrow, and have no idea they share ancestors with him? Probably plenty!
I browsed through the Family Forest® for cousins who share early 1600’s Stebbins ancestors (only one of a number of his early American immigrant families I could have used) with Matt.
Many common and not so common surnames appeared, such as Adams and Brown and Johnson and Jones and Smith, to Gerbode and Gildersleeve and Kleberg and Sheehan and Wurts.
A number of Matt’s famous and/or prominent Stebbins cousins from the past and present also appeared. They include Emily Dickinson and Ralph Waldo Emerson, all of the descendants of the founder of the King Ranch in Texas, President Rutherford B. Hayes, Vice-President Dick Cheney, presidential candidates Howard Dean and Mitt Romney, two-time baseball All-Star Ray Boone and his All-Star descendants, billionaire Warren Buffett, all of the descendants of Hawaiian missionaries Rev. Amos Starr Cooke and Rev. Samuel Chenery Damon, the owners of Kahua Ranch, and Hollywood icon Clint Eastwood.
How many times might you have enjoyed a Hollywood motion picture, and not known that you actually share ancestors with the celebrity star? Certainly some.
Inspired by a well-done tribute to early Hollywood legend Lillian Gish on YouTube, I explored a fun web of Kevin Bacon style six-degrees-of-separation connections.
A Family Forest® kinship report for Lillian Gish reveals mostly everyday people, including probably many who have been enjoying her movies for years without having any idea that they share ancestors with their famous cousin.
But among the list of Lillian’s relatives are a number of leaders most people will quickly recognize on the chart.
One of Lillian’s relatives is Glenn Close, and she can be seen starting this week in Damages.
Another interesting facet is the relevance of the Common Ancestor column on the chart. Millions of people should be able to quickly recognize one or more of them as their own ancestor.
This means that they are not only a cousin of Lillian Gish, but that they are also a cousin of the person Lillian shares that ancestor with.
So if you spot one of your own ancestors on the chart you will be connected by family ties to at least two of your famous cousins.
I predict that when you discover that you are actually a cousin of Lillian Gish, or Glenn Close, or Richard Gere, or Clint Eastwood, etc., you will also discover that you are magnetically drawn to their movies and/or TV series.
Cartographer: one who produces maps.
When ancient mariners returned from their voyages of discovery, they turned their records and logs over to monastic type individuals (map makers, cartographers) who would turn that data into maps which other mariners would use on subsequent journeys to the same regions.
When those mariners returned, they turned their new records and logs over to same monastic type individuals who would then use the new data to make corrections and improvements to those maps, and then produce new maps that other mariners would use on subsequent journeys to the same regions.
That’s similar to what I have been doing digitally with a vast wealth of professionally recorded history for over a decade.
Over the centuries many have journeyed to ancestral regions and brought back their findings. I am comparing and distilling those findings, digitally connecting the dots of recorded history according to where the experts say they should be connected, and producing new maps of generation-by-generation ancestral pathways that zigzag through thousands of years of recorded history through the lives of actual people.
Most of these maps have never been seen before, and visually following one’s curiosity through the world’s largest maps of human genetic migration can be truly fascinating and enriching.
By dictionary definition, I am a genealogist. In reality, I am not what one usually expects a genealogist to be.
By analogy, think of true genealogists as master chefs. Highly trained professional experts who start from scratch and create precision works.
Think of an ancestral history tour guide as similar to a person who reviews fine dining restaurants for guides such as Fodors, Frommers, or newspapers such as the New York Times, and directs readers to the best of the best to save them time, money, and aggravation.
That’s what I am doing, and have been doing for tens of thousands of hours already, with many hundreds of warehouses of professionally recorded history. I explore through the fine print of a vast wealth of ancestral history details that the experts have discovered and recorded over the centuries, and I leave a well-marked digital trail to the exact locations of just the best of the best.
This allows you and other Family Forest® explorers to quickly zoom into the most relevant ancestral history knowledge, the best of the best, without wading through hundreds or thousands of repetitions of information and misinformation (as is often necessary on the Internet).
This is the way I wanted to find my ancestry presented when I became curious; distilled to the best of the best of what the experts had already discovered.
Actually, isn’t this the way you hope to explore any topic which interests you?
Wouldn’t you rather start any research quest by first finding out what a reasonably intelligent person has discovered after filtering though all of the repetitions and misinformation while searching for the best of the best?
Everyone would, if they only knew. And we would like to give them this special experience via the
Family Forest® Project.
A couple of recent comments suggest that the distant past is irrelevant and there is no good reason for knowing who one’s early ancestors were.
These opinions can only be held by someone who has not yet seen any of their own ancestors portrayed in a Hollywood movie or someone who has never stood transfixed in a museum gazing at an ancestor captured on canvas at a pivotal moment in history.
Paraphrasing Thomas Aquinas, to him who has not yet experienced it, no explanation is possible. To him who has experienced it, no explanation is necessary.
Try to find these “Ah Ha!” experiences for yourself, and for your family. You and your family will be delighted you did.
Think about it. For centuries genealogy has been a subject that has been explored, figuratively speaking, through a microscope; small bits or segments of information are viewed in great detail.
This is a worthwhile and enriching perspective that will always be beneficial in genealogy, but this perspective is severely hobbled by the limitations of paper-based knowledge, and it lacks the ability to deliver the most exciting “Ah Ha!” experiences ancestral history is waiting to reveal.
With this approach, it is very easy to not even notice that there is a very much larger picture to see. And the picture of the ancestral heritage of each of us grows very big very quickly as we proceed into the past, as you can see on the two charts at our site.
The computer allows us new possibilities to explore a much more exciting perspective, the really Big Picture that literally relates to each of us personally, in various ways as we follow our curiosity.
The Big Picture of genealogy is a multi-continent multi-millennium view that computers allow us to explore visually, after centuries of paper-based ancestral history knowledge has been digitally indexed and lineage-linked as the Family Forest® Project has done.
When this vast wealth of professionally recorded ancestral history is filtered into
stage-three digital content, the world’s largest maps of human genetic migration
can be summoned with a few mouse-clicks.
These countless charts/maps provide fascinating and surprising views , of our ancestral heritage which are waiting to be explored for personal enrichment. Genealogy’s Big Picture is both fun and captivating.
I just came across an interesting entry in a lineage book of the National Society Daughters of Colonial Wars (NSDCW). It said that Richard Pace “PREVENTED THE ENTIRE COLONY OF JAMESTOWN FROM BEING ELIMINATED BY WARNING AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE OF THE INDIAN MASSACRE OF 22 MAR 1622.”
According to the ancestral history already digitally mapped out in the Family Forest®, Richard Pace is one of the 11th great-grandfathers of Britney Spears (Britney is another distant cousin of mine, through our Briquebec Castle ancestor).
According to recorded history, Richard Pace was warned of the impending massacre by the Indian who was assigned to kill Richard.
Richard used this knowledge to save the lives of people who became the ancestors of countless millions of people living today. Among the immediate beneficiaries of this warning was at least one of my own ancestors.
Also according to the ancestral history already digitally mapped out in the Family Forest®, Peter Montague, arrived in Jamestown in 1621. I am descended from Peter’s son, also named Peter, who was born in the 1630’s.
If Richard Pace had not survived his planned assassination and gone on to warn the Jamestown Colony, if Peter Montague had not survived the Indian massacre, if one of my 8th great-grandfathers had never been born, would I have never been born? Or would I have been born as someone else?
History pivots on small events. If one Indian had not disobeyed his Chief , there would be no Family Forest® today, and maybe no Britney Spears (her 10th great-grandfather George Pace was born well before the massacre, and may or may not have been at Jamestown at the time).
Ancestral History Tour Guide and Cartographer
There is a rule of thumb I use when estimating the number of descendants a person in the distant past may have today. It is based on a claim from The Mayflower Society which I have seen over the years.
It has been estimated that there are between 30 and 35 million living descendants from the 26 Mayflower families that left descendants. This would mean that on average, someone who lived four centuries ago could have between 1.15 and 1.34 million descendants today.
My rule of thumb for estimating is that one couple can have one million living descendants four centuries later. The patterns of human genetic migrations I see in the Family Forest® indicate that this number could be correct, and if not, one more century would certainly make it so.
If a couple who lived at the time of the Mayflower Pilgrims can have one million living descendants today, how many living descendants might there be today from a couple who lived four centuries before the Mayflower Pilgrims? Or eight centuries before the Mayflower Pilgrims?
What about four centuries into the future? Could it be possible that you will be an ancestor of one million people living in the 25th century?
Does anyone know of any reason why this one-million-in-four-centuries rule of thumb may be incorrect?