Monday, September 4, 2023

Famous Ancestors

I got a fun email from FamilySearch about seeing who your famous ancestors are, and I had a good time playing around with it one evening this summer.

This was the cover e-mail that drew me in. Ben Franklin is one of my favorite people from history and I didn't know we were related!

Look at me and Ben, side by side!
I knew there was a reason I was drawn to go to Penn! It's the university that he founded. 😉

Discovering my connection to Jane Austen was also a delight! She's the author of the book of one of my favorite movies ever, Sense and Sensibility. And don't get me started on my years-long love affair with the six-hour BBC miniseries of Pride and Prejudice

I read Walt Disney's biography in high school and did a report on him because he was someone I admired. I didn't know at the time that we were related.

The boys got a kick out of this one.

Another favorite figure from U.S. history!

And another!

Muhammad Ali was a surprise! Our common ancestors were a literal lady and gentleman. 😊

And I like that it shows that you're not related to everyone...

This one was a shock given my impressive math and science skills. 😆

What the Dickens?! 😉

I played softball for six years and I still miss it!

Elvis is my ninth cousin with no removals! Our common ancestor with the last name of Noble is the same family line that the Noble of Barnes & Noble comes from. I didn't know that he was a descendant of that family as well.

And there are of course more, several that didn't come up that particular evening, including one of my favorite ancestors, my 11th great grandfather William Bradford of the Mayflower and first governor of Plymouth Colony. I love that guy. 

Making these connections with history and with family is so fun and really brings the "family" and the "history" together. Of course, all people matter, and we're all related to so many people throughout history who were never famous. They matter just as much as the famous ones do. But the famous ones make it all a bit more fun and interesting because you already know who they are, so it's easier in some ways to feel that connection to them and to their time and place in history as a result. I look forward to meeting and befriending so many of my ancestors someday. I sometimes get glimpses of that when I do work on their behalf in the temple. It really is an amazing work and wonder. 🤍