Saturday, August 23, 2014

SNGF: Two Degrees of Separation

Tonight's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge from Randy Seaver's Genea-Musing blog is quite interesting:

Using your ancestral lines, how far back can you go with two degrees of separation? That means "you knew an ancestor, who knew another ancestor." When was that second ancestor born?

My results:
1. On my paternal side, I've never met anyone but him. Dad was born in 1917, so could conceivably have met his maternal great-grandfather (mother's mother's father), Herman Sonnen, who was born in 1833 in Germany and died in 1919 in Houston. His paternal great-grandparents died long before he was born and lived in Kansas.

2. On my maternal side, my grandfather's parents both died before I was born, and his paternal grandparents died before he was born. His maternal grandparents lived until he was in his teens and lived across the street, so I'm sure he saw a lot of them! They were born in 1828 (Squire Coffey) and 1833 (Drusilla Parker).

3. On my maternal side, my grandmother's father died a year before I was born, but my great-grandmother lived until two months before I graduated from high school. She was my idol and I absolutely adored her. Mammo, Nancy Jane Collins, was born in 1873. Her great-grandfather, Jacob Bartshe, died in 1874 in the same county, probably within 10 miles of where she was born. Chances are pretty good that they met. Jacob was born in 1801 in Pennsylvania.

So I can't make it to before 1800, though I was born in 1948. The span is still over 200 years, but I'm disappointed at not getting into the 1700s.


  1. Yes, I wanted to get to the 1700's, too. But, I only got to 1825! Not quite 200 years for me, but still amazing.

  2. Oh, well. Don't feel too bad about not getting to the 1700s. We really don't have any control over when people are born and die. It would be fun, though, to imagine touching hands with someone who touched hands with a person born before 1800. Kind of like passing on a hug or a handshake.

  3. Great blog post! I'm able to get to 1830. My paternal grandfather is in several photos with his great grandfather. He was born in Ireland in 1830 and died in 1928. My grandfather was born in 1924. I was born in 1982.