Sunday, May 30, 2010

SNGF Challenge - Using the Relationship Calculator in Your Genealogy Software

Even though it is Sunday afternoon, I wanted to step up to the challenge issued over at Genea-Musings by Randy Seaver and his Saturday Night Genealogy Fun, SNGF for short.  His challenge is:

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (come on, don't be a party pooper...) is:

1) Open up the genealogy software program of your choice.
2) Think about two special people in your family tree (your parents? your spouse? a famous person? a distant cousin? yourself?).
3) Use the Relationship Calculator in the software to determine the relationship between the two special people. If you don't know where to find the Relationship Calculator, go to the Help button and find out. Follow the directions!
4) Tell us about it in a blog post on your own blog, in a comment to this post on my blog, or in a Note or comment on Facebook.

Like Randy, I used RootsMagic4 for this exercise.  I don't have too many people in my family tree who are "famous", however I did discover I am related the Bill Gates of Microsoft fame so I thought that would be a fun relationship to document.  Unfortunately, like John Newmark over at TransylvaniaDutch, I didn't have all the information in my database.  But what a great opportunity to do that so off I went to gather the online resources and put the pieces together.  I found a digital version on Google books of "Genealogies of Connecticut Families"  that has been extracted from The New England Historical and Genealogical Register by Genealogical Publishing in 1998.  I wasn't able to download the book but by using OneNote I was able to take snapshots of the pages I wanted relevent to the Gates family (my line and Bill's line) and then paste them into a word document. 

I then found a site showing Bill Gates' ancestry compiled by William Addams Reitwiesner and others with the caveat that "the following material on the immediate ancestry of Bill Gates should not be considered either exhaustive or authoritative, but rather as a first draft."  I was able to verify the older generations listed on this website by using the "Genealogies of Connecticut Families".

As it turns out Bill and I are related as 8th cousins 2 times removed.  Our MCRAs (most common recent ancestor) are Stephen Gates born ca 1600 in Hingham, England and his wife Ann Veare, born 1603 in England also.  They married  5 May 1628 in Hingham, England. (The American Genealogist, vol. 10, p. 199, April 1934) Stephen Gates was the immigrant ancestor and arrived in 1638 on the ship Diligent of Ipswich, John Martin, master.  The family settled in Hingham, MA

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