The thing about being related to famous or historically significant people

+7 votes
270 views
I really don't care about being related to famous people. How they lived their lives and what they achieved or in some cases the devastation and havoc they caused  is not  directly related to who I am, I am who I have made myself to be,, because I started this journey because of an obsessive drive to find out if genetics make us who we are or nurture. I have said before socio-economic s were my interest. But today I found I may be related to a person I have detested for years, Hundreds of years back. I wish I was not related to this person. But it explains alot about genetic traits. What a journey. Well.. I am interested in what people think of the relationships they have found on Wikitree. I find myself telling non wikitree-ers more about the current cousins I've found on Wikitree than those who are long past.
in The Tree House by Trudy Roach G2G6 Pilot (175k points)

2 Answers

+6 votes
 
Best answer
I still haven't found any connections to any profiles I have added to WikiTree, but I just can't wait to find the first one.

The only relationships I have found on WikiTree are to several of the really wonderful people I have interacted with in G2G.  I can't gush more about how thrilling it is to me to make these connections and it would give me a huge sense of pride if I ever find out that I am actually related to any of them.
by Gaile Connolly G2G6 Pilot (759k points)
selected by Dorothy Barry
Gaile it is fun to be related to bright , funny , talented people. Who can fix anything , smile in crisis.  And can find sources that hide in obscure places. And have basically put together the tree that helps you find them. It is also fun to not be related to people with the above qualities. I find myself reading miles of profiles , for fun. This site amazes me in its ability to bring  together the extensive relationships in a heartbeat. Talent abounds up this tree. To me it's more like intricate lace than a tree. But there's always a direction to go. What names do go look for?
Trudy,

I am totally loving everything you said about WikiTree being so exciting and so much fun.

My problem (at least what I think is my problem) is that I know very little about my ancestors.

My father's family name was Gordon, but that might have been something made up by whoever processed his father through Ellis Island, because his father came from Russia and Gordon doesn't sound very Russian to me.  On top of that, I don't even know what my grandfather's first name was.  He abandoned the family when my father was very young and nobody ever mentioned his name after that.  I have found what I believe is the immigration record for my paternal grandmother, who came alone from Russia when she was 13-15 years old.  She's listed on the ship manifest as Sore Brzeynik (again, probably someone else's interpretation).  She (and a few relatives I know about) used the name Bresnick in this country.

My mother's family name was Lichtman and I have made the most progress there.  I knew my maternal great-grandmother when I was young.  Her name was Deitel and I have managed to find her LNAB and her husband.  They came from Hungary with their 4 children,   I also know all about her children and their families - actually, I know quite a bit about the sideways family tree - it's just the backward part that seems to grow out of thin air!

Gaile,

If I recall correctly, Maggie N. put together a page of resources for researching Hungarian families. I just can't find it! You could send her a message to see if she has some links that might help you get beyond that immigration wall.

Wow, that sounds great!  Many THANX, Erin.  I'm going to concentrate on writing all the bios for the people I entered and then start what, to me, constitutes "deep" research, although using that word for my great-grandparents and 1 level past them sounds like a joke compated to talk I've seen here about 23 generations ... maybe more.
Take heart that a lot of WikiTreers are in the same boat (to Ellis Island?) A lot of my "deep" research would be the same as yours - both of my grandmothers were born to Ukrainian/Polish immigrants and going beyond that is going to be a huge undertaking, especially since they were farmers who left during a period of huge political upheaval. I can get as far back as my 3rd great grandparents on one of those lines - but only because they followed their daughter and her family to Canada.
Gaile when I got to this site my tree was already here to due to the diligent work of thousands of cousins. I am stuck on my mum's side. No further than my grandparents. Tip lipped Scots and stay out a my business English. They came from around Cheat Neck West Virginia all I know about them. I am going to get a computer instead of this tablet so I can do more things and maybe look into the voice typing thing. Could Gordan have been Jordan at one time. Or Hordan, Yordan. Somewhere I have  seen Yordan , in Poland maybe . I find alot of people by playing around with names in different spellings.
I find it exciting to find I am related to a notable even though I am who I am without knowing that information.  Most of it is through marriage but still it is exciting to see who is in your family tree.  That is what this is all about anyway!  That is what makes genealogy so exciting for me -- the surprises I find.  I love WikiTree!!!
I was proud to find out I was related to a Medal of Honor winner, a Governor of a State, several doctors, military personal and people in the ministry. It kinda gave me the feeling that my determination to serve our country came from the blood line of my ancestors. I hope others can find a connection with what they have become and what their ancestors achieved. Just thought I would share that. Dorothy Barry, a retired veteran.
+2 votes
Your not alone Trudy regarding surprise connections. I was none too thrilled to find out I was 4th cousins with Benedict Arnold & 5th cousins with Oliver Cromwell ( generations removed of course).
by Doug Lockwood G2G Astronaut (2.4m points)
Perhaps it's only because I don't have any connections (yet) to anyone outside my immediate family, but I think it would be neat to be related to colorful characters, even if infamous.

I find it kind of interesting that there were rumors in my family that one of my uncles was a friend of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg even though I have total abhorrence of their actions (they were executed in the 1940's or 1950's for having disclosed atomic secrets to Russia).
Good ole Ben is a cousin of mine too. But my grand dad's folks were all loyalist on mum's side.. So it's a matter of perspective. The relative that shows up as my 23rd great grandfather on my dad's side would make my mum's Scots side grab swords and fight. But this grand father I'm going to search really hard for mistakes in my tree and hope he ain't my grand pappy. I think I checked to see if we were cousins once. I didn't find a connection. We share some relatives. I can deal Arnold and Napoleon but this guy has given me the hee bee gee bee's all my life. Long before the possibility of any relationship came up let alone a directed one. This is the kind of thing that makes me believe in genetic memory.
Those two certainly qualify as infamous and very interesting. Russians seem hard to track to me. I was lucky , prolific ancestors. Easy. Are you looking for info on the east or west coasts of America? Gordon could be Russian, I just asked my Russian speaking friend. She works for the government.
I'm strictly an East coast kinda gal - born/raised in NYC and entire family on both sides has roots in the Lower East Side's jewish community from the time they arrived at Ellis Island.  I'm one of the ones that recognizes only 2 places in the world - NY City and "the other side of the Hudson River" (that notion is plagiarized from a famous New Yorker magazine cover).

For a moment, I was scared while reading your question ... my first thought was that you were trying to narrow down what part of Russia they're from and I am clueless.

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