Saturday, January 23, 2016

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Two Degrees of Separation

This week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun is one of those where I tend to come up on the short end because of limited information about my family on one side and short lifespans on the other.

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, in a comment to this blog post, in a status line on Facebook or a stream post on Google+.

1.  Similar to one of Randy's connections, I have been told that I met my maternal great-grandmother, Sarah Libby (Brainin) Gordon, but I don't remember it.  My mother told me she flew with me from California to Florida shortly after I was born in 1962, when I was just a babe in arms, so that her grandmother could see me; my father remembers that it happened.  Unfortunately, my mother's father, who took photographs of everything else in the family, somehow didn't commemorate the four generations of women.  My great-grandmother was born about 1885 in the Russian Empire.  She was the daughter of Mendel Herz Brainin and Ruchel Dwojre Jaffe.  Based on the naming patterns in her family, it's likely that she knew at least one and probably most of her grandparents — Solomon and Yetta Brainin, and Joseph and Anna Jaffe — who would have been born at the latest about 1840 in the Russian Empire and possibly as early as the 1820's.

2.  I met my paternal grandmother, Anna (Gauntt) Stradling, more than once, while she was living in Florida (I think in Jacksonville?).  She was born in 1893, as I recently discovered, the daughter of Thomas Kirkland Gauntt and Jane Dunstan.  Because her family members lived close together in Burlington County, New Jersey, she almost definitely knew her paternal grandmother, Amelia (Gibson) Gauntt, who was born about 1831 and died in 1908.

3  I knew my paternal grandfather, Bertram Lynn Sellers, Sr., born in 1903, the son of Laura May Armstrong and Cornelius Elmer Sellers (if my grandfather was actually a Sellers, but that's still research in process).  He may have known his maternal grandfather, Joel Armstrong, who was born about 1849 and seems to have died about 1921 or so in Burlington County.  Grampa also probably knew his paternal grandmother, Catharine Fox (Owen) Sellers Moore, who was also born in 1849 and died in 1923.

So with two degrees of separation, I can reliably get back to a great-great-grandmother born about 1831.  That's 50 years shy of Randy.  Even accounting for the fact that Randy is 20 years older than I am, I feel kind of deficient.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments on this blog will be previewed by the author to prevent spammers and unkind visitors to the site. The blog is open to everyone, particularly those interested in family history and genealogy.