Friday, July 18, 2014

Relative Finder

Brigham Young University (BYU) has a really nifty tool on their website called Relative Finder.  When you allow Relative Finder access to your Family Tree on FamilySearch it will then tell you which famous people you are related to.  They have different categories of famous people and you can select whichever groups you like.  I have to say that this is fun.  The best part is that they give you the exact path of how to get to that person.  I have 90 hits for the groups I chose.  Some are duplicates because Thomas Jefferson is in two different groups, he was a president and he was a signer of the Declaration of Independence.  By the way, he is my 7th cousin 6 times removed.  Knowing the exact path means you can then go back and do the research necessary to prove each connection.  Remember, most of what is on Family Tree is not sourced yet so you can’t just accept the information without further research.  There are some really cool people on my lists.  Here are the presidents I am related to:

Thomas Jefferson – 7th cousin, 6 times removed
Ulysses Grant – 12th cousin, twice removed
Zachary Taylor – 6th cousin, 8 times removed
Abraham Lincoln – 13th cousin, 6 times removed
Benjamin Harrison – 12th cousin 6 times removed
Franklin Pierce – 13th cousin, 7 times removed
Herbert Hoover – 8th cousin, 6 times removed
Millard Fillmore – 13th cousin, 3 times removed

Okay, so I am not closely related to any of them but still.  I am also related to 8 passengers of the Mayflower.

Edward Winslow – 11th cousin, 12 times removed
Francis Cook – 11th cousin, 16 times removed
Henry Sampson – 10th cousin, 11 times removed
John Alden – 8th cousin, 11 times removed
Richard Moore – 14th cousin, 8 times removed
Thomas Rogers – 9th cousin, 19 times removed
William Bradford – 12th cousin, 15 times removed
William Mullins – 7th cousin 13 times removed

Another cool category is famous writers (You knew I would be interested in this one).

Henry David Thoreau – 14th cousin 3 times removed
Samuel L. Clemens – 13th cousin, 5 times removed

Since this is put out by BYU many of the categories are LDS related.  I am not LDS but I was curious to see if I might be related to Brigham Young and I am (6th cousins, 7 times removed).  What is interesting about this one is that I have the line proved all the way up my side.  Assuming that the line back down to Brigham Young is also proved (and I am sure it is since his line has been studied extensively) I could put this one together in a flash.  I am also related to Lewis AND Clark which I thought was pretty neat.

I told you this was fun.  So who are my favorites?  The royals of course!  I have kings in my line from several countries.  I was hoping to see Henry VIII in my tree but no such luck.  I am a little disappointed with that. 

Here are two screenshots.  The first one shows just the two writers I am related to.  I picked this list because it was short enough that I could screenshot it with no problem.

RF1Screenshot taken from Relative Finder


The second screenshot is part of the chart that is generated when you click VIEW on the list.  I can’t get the entire chart on a screenshot.  I picked my relationship to Frances Lightfoot Lee (signer of the Declaration of Independence) because I have my line proved through Joshua Lee and Mary Woodard so I am pretty close. Our common ancestors are Richard Henry Lee and Anna Owen Constable. Frank (I can call him Frank because we are related) descends from Richard and Anna’s son Richard and I descend from their son John.  I am 9 more generations down on the right side.


rf2Screenshot taken from Relative Finder

I love new toys.


Copyright © 2014 Michele Simmons Lewis


  1. Michele,

    I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today's Fab Finds post at

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  2. I had to laugh because when I checked everyone, I was not related to anyone. I had never found any famous people so I guess it is true..

    1. You need to get more people linking in FamilyTree. You might find a famous person or two yet :)

  3. I would not be sure of any of the FT data unless it is verified by research. Relying on FT data can be more problematic than relying on Ancestry trees without verification. For example, some famous people have over 100 individual records in FT. How do you know which individual record is correct?

  4. Does it mess my tree up on family search?

    1. No, it wont affect your tree at all. The Relative Finder website extracts the data from FamilyTree but does not make any changes.

  5. I know I have some in my tree but it picks up nothing?

    1. Hmmmmmm, I am surprised that you aren't getting something.

  6. Having worked pretty extensively on many parts of my ancestry in Family Tree, I find this new tool to be a valuable aid in finding/correcting incorrect links, and knowing where the new sourcing features will be of most importance.

    1. They have added a couple more categories since I wrote this so I have been back on there recently to play some more. One of the things I want to do is to take a lineage to a specific person and go through and prove the links. Ah, if I ever get the time. The only I want to prove the most is my husband and I are showing as 13th cousins. Is that cool or what!

      It is fun but it is also a great tool to see where in the line proof is still needed.

  7. 12th cousin once removed - common ancestors Edward Bulkeley and Olive Irby!!!