Sunday, August 24, 2014

Two Degrees of Separation - SNGF

This is my first time participating in Randy Seaver's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun at Genea-Musings.  (You might be able to guess why when you see that this is posted on Sunday evening, almost 24 hours late.)  But this kind of "research" -- making connections -- is irresistible to me.  My post, Overlapping Lives, touches on this topic but in a slightly different way. 

Randy's challenge:
1)  Using your ancestral lines, how far back in time can you go with two degrees of separation?  That means "you knew an ancestor, who knew another ancestor."  When was that second ancestor born?
2)  Tell us about it in a blog post of your own . . . .

I knew my father, Lee Doyle; my mother, Audrey (Meinzen) Doyle; and my grandmother, Emma (Bickerstaff) Meinzen.

My father, Lee Doyle, was born in February, 1913.   The oldest ancestors he knew are his
> paternal grandfather, William Doyle:  March 1863 - April 1941
> paternal g-grandmother, Catherine Saylor:  June 1844 - December 1928
> maternal g-grandfather, Fred Gerner:  September 1848 - March 1926

My mother, Audrey Doyle, was born in June, 1915.  She knew her
> grandfather, Henry Meinzen:  July 1837 - December 1925.

My maternal grandmother, Emma (Bickerstaff) Meinzen, was born in July, 1893.   The oldest ancestors she knew are her
> paternal grandfather, Ellis Bickerstaff:  April 1840 - June 1907
> paternal g-grandmother, Susanna (Holmes) Bickerstaff:  1811/1814 - Jan 1894
> maternal g-grandfather, Jacob Bell:  1824 - Feb 1915

My most distant relative known to someone I know is my great-great-great-grandmother, Susanna (Holmes) Bickerstaff, who was born between 1811 and 1814.  From then to now is 200 years or just slightly over.

The earliest ancestor with the least steps between him and me (and known to someone I know) is my great-grandfather, Henry Meinzen, who was born in 1837.

When I think of all the stories and historical knowledge that could have been passed down from an ancestor with just one person between us, I feel so sad that it wasn't.  What an education -- and possibly a source of inspiration -- I missed when these people I know told me nothing about the ancestors they knew.

Thanks for a fun challenge, Randy.


Copyright © 2014 Nancy Messier. All Rights Reserved.


  1. That's an interesting exercise and even more interesting observation about what it means.

    1. These are the kinds of analyses that are of so much interest to me -- who knew whom, what did they share, how often did they spend time together, etc. I have another post coming up as a follow-up to my last paragraph. One of these days....


I appreciate your comments and look forward to reading what you have to say. Thanks for stopping by.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...