Monthly Archives: October 2012

It’s a Small World After All

You’ve all heard the phrase “six degrees of separation,” which basically means that everyone is approximately six steps away, by means of introduction, to anyone in the world. (Some say that Facebook has made the world now five degrees of separation, but I digress.)

I love what I do. I get to play detective and hunt for ancestors through all time periods, all over the world. While working on my latest book (for the family of a friend’s boyfriend), I made an amazing discovery. The family for whom I am writing this book is originally from Switzerland, and immigrated to America in 1732. After several years in Pennsylvania, the family moved to Virginia, where one of the immigrant’s male descendants married a Lionberger. To most people this would mean absolutely nothing, however, my husband is a descendant of a Lionberger. Curious, I pulled up the hubby’s family tree, went back six generations, and guess, what? Yep, a shared ancestor between my friend’s boyfriend and my hubby—six generations back in the tree! The sixth great-grandmother of my friend’s boyfriend is the sixth great-aunt of my husband—meaning that the two of them share the same seventh great-grandparents. To make the world an even smaller place, my hubby’s great-grandmother was an amazing genealogist. Ethel Athey McCalip Mulrine literally wrote the book on the Lionbergers. I have two of her books on my shelf, and used them as source citations for the book I am writing for my friend.

I know most people will not think this is very interesting, but to me, this is just one of the many rewards and wonders of genealogy. It IS a small world, and if you go back far enough, you might find your six degrees of separation, too!


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