Can unrelated people share "famous relative" matches?
My adopted child and I have four "famous relatives" in common according to FamilySearch. When we look at the trees, the paths of those relationships differ. Is it possible or not that carrying the trees farther back in time would reveal a common ancestor?
For anyone who missed the update below: In this situation, a tool on Relative Finder was exactly what I needed. It compared my current tree with my child's current birth-tree. As far as I can evaluate the resulting charts are accurate. Anything I'm unsure of can be checked through other sites. As I said in the post below, I'm French-Canadian. When a F-C showed up in my child's birth-tree, I knew the likelihood that we had common ancestors had just gone way up. I don't care about the "famous people" matches in any serious way. It was just a thing that made me curious if we could have common ancestors. What the RF program did was sort through all the children and marriages of very large families to find our commonalities within the last 12 or so generations (which is pretty much where I've gotten to). There were quite a few of those zig-zagging matches. It was fun.
It is very possible that tracing back farther would reveal a common ancestor. In fact, statistically, every person living today with any European ancestry is related to Charlemagne as this fascinating article discusses: https://www.theguardian.com/science/commentisfree/2015/may/24/business-genetic-ancestry-charlemagne-adam-rutherford
We really are all just one big family.1
I am just another 'lowly' User/Patron ...
As 'Gordon' has already proffered ...
Short Answer: 'Yes', such may be possible; especially, if one's "Ancestral" Lines are extensive enough.
My Wife and I, born, in separate; and, almost, opposite sides of our country, but, both, from "British" Heritage, DO, have quite a few "Ancestors", from many generations back, in common.
As an aside ...
IF, the "Ancestral" Lines, of both, you; and, your adopted child, in "Family Tree" of 'FamilySearch', are extensive enough; THEN, one way that may reveal a common ancestor, is by using (BYU) "RelativeFinder".
Can I humbly suggest that a place where you should be able to 'See' your "Relationship" NOT only with, "Famous People"; and, many, "Others"; but, ALSO with "Living" Users/Patrons; PLUS, you can ALSO "Print" the connections/links between you and them is through (BYU) "RelativeFinder" ...
And, it is simple, just a matter of "Signing In", with the credentials of your 'FamilySearch' Account; accepting the "Conditions"; and, the "Connection" between "FamilySearch' and (BYU) "RelativeFinder"; which, then becomes a "Partner" Account, that is "Connect" to 'FamilySearch.
(BYU) "RelativeFinder" digs (pun intended) a lot DEEPER in "Family Tree" of 'FamilySearch', than 'FamilySearch' does.
(BYU) "RelativeFinder" is one of the "Third Party" Applications that "Certified" to work with "Family Tree" of 'FamilySearch'.
BYU = Brigham Young University, in Provo, Utah, USA (ie. the Church University).
From the "Family History Technology Laboratory", of the "Computer Science" Department.
Here is direct link to "RelativeFibder"
"RelativeFinder" has MANY 'Bells and Whistles', that you might find useful.
Apart from "Famous People" and "Others" ...
(BYU) "RelativeFinder" has some interesting options ...
There is an option to see if there is a 'Connection' between yourself and a "Deceased" individual/person in "Family Tree" of 'FamilySearch'.
There is an option to see if there is a 'Connection' between two (x2) "Deceased" individuals/person in "Family Tree" of 'FamilySearch'.
In your case ...
There is an option to see if there is a 'Connection' between ("Living" - Users/Patrons) Friends in "Family Tree" of 'FamilySearch'.
I hope this might help, somewhat.
It was exactly what I needed. We set up a group and both logged in. There were so many matches I thought there had been a mistake and my tree was being compared to my tree. However, examining the individual charts, we saw this was real. We share several common ancestors and we are cousins of various degrees.
This was more likely than average because I'm French-Canadian and he has one French-Canadian birth family ancestor. (When you marry someone from an island you marry the island is a saying that often applies among the relatively small F-C population with very large families.) Still, we adopted a bi-racial child from a different area of the US and had never even imagined a biological relationship of any degree so this was kind of astounding. And fun!
Many thanks for taking the time to direct me to Relative Finder. It's very unlikely I would have found these connections on my own because it would require me to know all the children of all the couples and all the spouses down through both families and then be able to sort it correctly. So, thank you. It was a gift.0
Dennis J Yancey ✭✭✭✭✭
if you share a common ancestor - your original phrase of "unrelated" (in your original post) almost becomes the wrong term.
you ARE related - is what you have found out.
As are also MOST of us related - if you go back far enough.
Can you share a common ancestor with a neighbor, an associate, a friend, a person not in your immediate family? - the answer is most definitely yes!
and if you go back far enough - it is not just possible - it becomes virtually CERTAIN that you are related.
(whether or not you believe in Adam and Eve of the bible our common parents of the bible)0
I am just so glad that I was able to be of some help/assistance.
That is what this "Community.FamilySearch" Forum was ORIGINALL all about ...
Users/Patrons, HELPING /ASSISTING, Users/Patrons ...
And, I am also so glad that (BYU) "RelativeFinder" suited you needs.
(BYU) "RelativeFinder" is a very useful 'Tool', in more ways than one ...
I am NOT associated in any way with (BYU) "RelativeFinder" ...
That Said ...
I have been constantly promulgating/promoting the use of (BYU) "RelativeFinder", here in this "Community.FamilySearch" Forum; because, it is so useful.
I did ask (Last Year), for the 'Creation', of a (New) 'Group', in this "Community.FamilySearch" Forum, pertaining to (BYU) "RelativeFinder" ...
Unfortunately, the 'Creation', of (New) 'Groups', in this Forum, was originally put on 'Hold', back in the latter half of Last Year, due to a "Change" in "Administrators"; and, that 'Hold' was (in fact) extended, with the "Change" to the NEW Platform (This Year) of the Forum, which seems to have perpetuated the whole matter.
Plus, of course, I am certain, that there is a "Backlog", of 'Requests' for the 'Creation', of (New) 'Groups', in the Forum.
Again, I am also so glad that (BYU) "RelativeFinder" suited you needs.
"Relative Finder" is only as good or bad as the research of those who contribute. A genealogy friend and I took an in-depth look a few days ago.
We are friends only - not related in any way and no shared DNA. We have verified that several times over through our research. Our roots come from completely different locations.
Yet - according to Relative Finder, we are both related to all the same US Presidents, signers of the Declaration, signers of the Constitution, baseball players, authors, poets, etc, etc, etc.
Relative Finder is really only a toy to entice newbies.0
I am sorry ...
That Said ...
You are so far, 'off base', with some of your thoughts and comments about (BYU) "RelativeFinder" ...
'Yes', just like ANY Programme, to do with "Genealogy", (BYU) "RelativeFinder", is ONLY as good and bad; as, the Research; and, in this case, the Work that is 'Family Tree" of 'FamilySearch'; because, that is where (BYU) "RelativeFinder" works its magic.
NO Programme is PERFECT; but, some are certainly more useful than others ...
I do not know about a ... few days ...
Whereas, I have been using (BYU) "RelativeFinder" for a number of YEARS ...
NOT everyone is DIRECTLY (or, even that closely) 'Related', that is a 'Given'...
You do not need to use (BYU) "RelativeFinder" to find that out ...
And, WHY so many, put so much stock, on DNA, I will never know ...
Many of those, that I have found, that I have a 'Connection' to ... "come from completely different locations" ... from all around the World.
IF, (BYU) "RelativeFinder", indicates, that one is 'Related' (more so, 'linked'/'connected'), to "Anyone" (eg, "Famous" or not); THEN, there MUST be, a link/connection, between one and that "Someone", in 'Family Tree" of 'FamilySearch'; and, most importantly, (BYU) "RelativeFinder" will show that actual link/connection, no matter how 'tenuous'.
How disappointing to 'hear' someone say (suggest) that "..Relative Finder is really only a toy to entice newbies..".
How wrong that comment is ...
I have been at Genealogy/Family History for 60+ Years ... although, I still consider, that I have a lot to learn.
I have shown (and, helped), MANY; Many; many, from all around the World, experience the USEFULNESS of (BYU) "RelativeFinder".
(BYU) "RelativeFinder" is a GREAT 'Tool', to assist one with their Genealogy/Family History.
Of course, I can certainly, NOT guarantee, that EVERY User/Patron, WILL, find links/connections, through (BYU) "RelativeFinder".
That Said ...
I can ATTEST, that, MANY; Many; many, Users/Patrons, from all around the World, WILL, find links/connections, through (BYU) "RelativeFinder".
That Said ...
The successfulness, of (BYU) "RelativeFinder", findings links/connections, is TOTALLY dependent upon how EXTENSIVE one's "Ancestral" Lines are in "Family Tree" of 'FamilySearch'.
[ In respect of the aforementioned, I am extremely 'blessed' ... ]
Please DO NOT denigrate, (BYU) "RelativeFinder", until you have used (BYU) "RelativeFinder" for some time.
Try helping/assisting others, find the 'joys', of using, (BYU) "RelativeFinder", then you may really appreciate it.
Not only have I found some SPECIAL links/connections to OTHER ("Living") Users/Patrons of "Family Tree" of 'FamilySearch' (and, ALSO the likes of, "Ancestry_com"; and, "MyHeritage"), from ALL around the World, using (BYU) "RelativeFinder", I have ALSO helped/assisted OTHERS do the same.
As usual ...
Just my thoughts.
Your opinion is not borne out by an in-depth look.0
My 'Comments', are 'Supported', by a number of Years of, use; and, results.0
Before this gets out of hand, may I offer a middle ground opinion based on at least some facts.
All tools are either beneficial or useless depending on what they were designed for, how well the user understand their limitations, and how they are being used. This includes Relative Finder and DNA.
- Relative Finder is designed to show relationships based on current Family Tree information.
- DNA testing is designed to precisely show close family relationships and vaguely show ancient history ethnicity estimates
- If there are incorrect relationships in Family Tree, the relationships information in Relative Finder will be incorrect. Relative Finder and the related Famous Relative activity in FamilySearch go back into the 1500s or earlier to find common ancestors. I suspect that the Famous Relative activity has the same 15 generation cut off that View My Relationship does. My impression is that the accuracy of family trees on all genealogy sites drops off dramatically at about 1700 whether by more experienced genealogist or less experienced genealogists due to lack of records and mythology enshrined as fact.
- For determining family relationships, DNA is useless past about eight generations. As this article: https://gcbias.org/2013/11/11/how-does-your-number-of-genetic-ancestors-grow-back-over-time/ explains, "we only have to go back ~9 generations until it is quite likely that a specific ancestor contributed zero of your autosomal material to you." The article includes fascinating fan charts that demonstrate that we have far more paper trail ancestors than we have DNA ancestors.
Combining the limitations of both Relative Finder and DNA means that if Relative Finder shows a common ancestor back 6 generations or so, DNA testing should be able to confirm that relationship if enough siblings and first cousins have been tested to account for the randomness of DNA inheritance. However, if the common ancestor shown by Relative Finder is 10 or more generations back, it is highly unlikely that DNA testing can ever confirm the relationship.
Proper Usage for Less Experienced Genealogists:
- Relative Finder and the Famous Relative FamilySearch Activity are fun introductions to that fact that we are all related. It underscores the fact that the Family Tree one-tree model is a highly useful, practical concept because we really are all working in the same tree. It also helps to counteract the annoyance with that other person who made changes to "my tree" since it underscores that that person is my cousin and we need to learn to communicate and work together.
- DNA is great for finding birth parents and long-lost 2nd cousins and to see in broad strokes the history of humanity
Proper Usage for More Experienced Genealogists:
- Relative Finder and the Famous Relative FamilySearch Activity can be fruitful sources of important research projects. Since they both show the theoretical descendancy from a theoretical common ancestor, they can show where work needs to be done to either confirm or refute the connection. If one has any concern for the integrity and accuracy of Family Tree, one should take on one of these famous relatives and either prove the relationship or find the spot in Family Tree where a step in the relationship cannot be supported by any documentation and cut the relationship with a full explanation of why the relationship cannot be proven and should be discarded.
- DNA can be used to help support the paper trail to a limited number of ancestors back many generations if sufficiently broad testing of family members has been done as long as it is used with the understanding that as close as 9 generations back one carries DNA from only a fraction of ones actual ancestors and the understanding that DNA can never be used to disprove a relationship when the common ancestor is 9 or more generations back.
So, Brett, continue to recommend Relative Finder as a fascinating way to see our common relationships as family and continue to include the disclaimer that the data there is only as good as the data in Family Tree. And MADonnelly, it sound like you and your friend have a lot of work to do to confirm or refute your relationships as shown by Relative Finder. It gives you both a clear trail to follow for these common ancestors so pick one and go to work and clean up Family Tree as you go. That fact that you two do not share DNA only means your most recent common ancestor is farther back than eight generations.2
No, my friend and I have no work to do.
And don't worry about trying to placate me, because I can't be bothered with this thread.0
So, IPeloquin, to summarize, as long as the data in Family Tree is pretty good, we will all share a lot of the common relatives listed. Keep in mind that neither Relative Finder nor FamilySearch's Famous Relatives are saying that you and your adopted child are both descended from any of the people listed, only that both of you and that person on the list are all descended from some common ancestor that could many generations farther back. For example, Famous Relatives claims that George Washington and I both go back to his great-great-great-great-grandfather.
Look at is this way, if you have any line that goes back to England or some other European country in the 1500's you have an extremely high probability of being related to everyone in Family Tree that has a line that reaches back just as far, because there are only a limited number of ways to get back there and at the time populations were relatively small.
It's a matter of statistics. Let me take a very simplistic model. Take a couple living 20 generations back. Say they had five children all of whom grew up, got married, and had five children and everyone escaped all the famines, wars and natural disasters of those 20 generations. Those five children would produce 25 grandchildren, who would produce 25*5 great grandchildren, who would produce 25*5*5 great-grand-children. The produces a series of gen1=5^1, gen2=5^2, gen3=5^3, ... gen20^5^20.
5^20 equals 95,367,431,640,625. Current world population is only 7,874,965,825, less than 1/10 of my model. So if you build into my model that 9/10 of this couple's possible modern descendants did not get born due to all the troubles of this world, that still would means that every single person in the world would be descended from that couple. It's these kinds of numbers that lead genetic researchers to conclude that everyone with any European connection at all is related to everyone living in Europe in the year 1000, and therefor, everyone with any European connection is related to everyone currently alive who also does.2