Saturday, January 13, 2018

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: How Many Degrees of Separation

This week for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun, Randy Seaver wants us to count in-person connections for our families back to the American Revolutionary.

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission:  Impossible! music), is:

(1) Find an ancestral line that atretches back to the time of the U.S. Revolutionary War (1775–1783), about 240 years.  Define your person-to-person connection (the person actually met the next person on the list) back to a historical figure from that time (doesn't have to be famous).

(2) Tell us about it on your blog, in a note or comment on Facebook, or in a comment on this post.

Instead of trying to determine the lowest number of connections, I just looked directly at my two ancestors with proven service in the Revolutionary War.  For three consecutive generations, however, I found grandparents who did not live long enough to meet the grandchildren from whom I am descended, so I had more degrees than I expected.

1.  I (1962– ) met my paternal grandmother, Anna Gauntt (1893–1986).

2.  Anna Gauntt knew her father, Thomas Kirkland Gauntt (1870–1951).

3.  Thomas Kirkland Gauntt knew his father, James Gauntt (1831–1889).

4.  James Gauntt knew his father, Hananiah Selah Gaunt (1795–1852).

5.  Hananiah Selah Gaunt likely knew his maternal grandfather, Moses Mulliner (1741–1821).

So I have four degrees of separation from a person documented in the Revolutionary War.  I have read Moses Mulliner's complete pension file, but I don't remember the details of his service, so I have no idea if he was anywhere near George Washington (or any other famous person) at any point.


  1. Hi Janice. I'm new to working on my ancestry. Moses Mulliner is also my grandfather down the line. My line follows the people you mentioned above as well. Very interesting.

    1. Thanks for writing, Nycole. If you want to contact me directly at, I would love to compare information we have about the family line.


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