Friday, July 17, 2015

For those that use BYU’s Relative Finder


If you don’t know what BYU’s Relative Finder is click HERE. Before we go any further, please know that this website is mostly for fun.  If you find a connection to someone that doesn’t mean you are actually related to them. There are many connections errors on FamilySearch so you will need to prove every relationship up the line and then back down to the person you are connected to. 

BYU’s Relative Finder

I have set up a new Group just for the Ancestoring blog readers.  You can see if you are related to me or to any other blog reader that has signed up.

Before you can do this you must have a FamilySearch login.  You also have to have yourself connected in FamilySearch’s Family Tree.

On the top menu bar go to Groups then Join.  Typing in Ancestoring in the Search box. Click Add. Type in the Password which is blog.  Now the group is added to the list of groups you can search. 

Go back to the home page.  Click Relatives on the top menu bar.  You will now see Ancestoring as one of the groups you can select on the left.

If you are related to me, let me know how in the comments.


Copyright © 2015 Michèle Simmons Lewis


  1. Michele,

    I agree the Relative Finder is a fun tool, but the results should be taken with a grain of salt. Besides finding out we are thirteenth cousins, my results show that I am kin to Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Henry VIII, Mayflower pasangers Declaration of Independence and Constitution signers............

    1. Those connections are not uncommon, and likely completely legitimate, especially if you can trace you ancestry into Britain. When you think about our connection to one another, think about this, if you go back just 10 generations, that would give you 2^10 direct ancestors at that generation. That's 1,024 direct ancestors just 10 generations back... and that's only about 250-300 years ago. Stretch another 10 generations and you are directly related to 1,048,576 (about 600-700 years ago), 10 more generations (900 - 1100 years ago) gives you over a billion direct ancestors. Thing is that the best world population estimates for 1,000 AD were only 300 million.

      That means that there was a great deal of inbreeding through the centuries. That makes sense since a large portion of the populations would never venture more than 20 miles from the place they were born. So indeed, you are probably related to all those historic figures. The challenge lies in finding the connection. If you have British ancestry, then it is much easier for you to find that connection due to the great deal of documentation and preservation of English names as people emigrated to the Americas.

  2. Michele. I signed in, but I don't see any menu or any tab that says "groups." I'm going to send you a screen shot.

  3. That should be Louis VIII, not Henry VIII. Michele, our common ancestor is supposedly John Boyse. Perhaps this blog would make a segue into a blog on "Gateway Ancestors"? To me Gateway Ancestors are a fascinating topic and one of the most difficult for me to prove.

  4. Michele, we are further away but we still tie in as 18th cousins. FYI, if your portion of the FamilySearch tree is relatively clean and accurate then you can be pretty confident about the older generations in Relative Finder. BYU spent exhausting years gathering historical evidence of these "older" generations based on recorded historical events and documents. If your portion of the tree has inaccuracies, then your relationship charges will be inaccurate.

  5. Michele, we are related through Thomas Anscell and Elizabeth Wheatley. That makes us 12th cousins 1 times removed. Whew!

  6. Michele, we are related through Thomas Anscell and Elizabeth Wheatley. That makes us 12th cousins 1 times removed. Whew!

  7. We are related in multiple ways -- 8th cousins to me through Henry Peregoy and 8th cousins to my husband through George Rasmussen.