Which Motown artist are you most closely connected to?

+13 votes
1.6k views

This week's Example Profile of the Week is Mary Wilson, founding member of the Motown group the Supremes, who passed away last week.

Featured alongside her are other Motown artists:

Who are you most closely connected to? If you're one of the 21,741,000 of us who are connected to each other on our big tree you can check with the Connection Finder.

You can also check for shared ancestors with the Relationship Finder. Are you a cousin to any of them? Your Relationship Finder Quick Links page (see your profile pull-down menu under "Relationships") has quick links for several notable groups.

Let us know below!

P.S. Help us choose and improve profiles for next week's feature: the Golden Globes.

WikiTree profile: Mary Wilson
in The Tree House by Abby Glann G2G6 Pilot (443k points)
reshown by Chris Whitten
Bobby Darin, 19 degrees.  I was surprised!
F.Y.I. ... Tina Marie is missing in the Connections section on our profiles.

18 Answers

+8 votes
I am most closely connected to Michael Jackson at 28 degrees.
by Samantha Thomson G2G6 Mach 8 (82.7k points)
+5 votes
19 degrees from Judy Russell
by Dave Shaffer G2G4 (4.2k points)
+6 votes
Bobby Darin was an uncertain 21st cousin 1 removed through my paternal side.
by Elizabeth Korf G2G1 (1.1k points)
+5 votes
18 degrees from Brad Stauf (10th cousins, 1x removed)
18 degrees from Marvin Gaye
19 degrees from Bobby Darin Cassotto (11th cousins, 1x removed)
20 degrees from Michael Jackson
23 degrees from Henry Louis Gates
25 degrees from Debbie Dean
29 degrees from Albert Finney
35 degrees from Mary Wilson
by Mike Wells G2G6 Mach 3 (38.0k points)
+5 votes

I am most closely connected to Michael Jackson, but what really makes it special and me especially happy, is that is through his connection with Elvis Presley, placing me at fourteen degrees with Elvis!

by Margaret Meredith G2G6 Mach 2 (20.9k points)
+3 votes

20 degrees from both Debbie Dean and Teena Marie Brockert (never heard of either of them).  Most of the featured artists are connected with one particular family member:  I wonder if they are cousins of each other?

by Kathy Rabenstein G2G6 Pilot (257k points)
+4 votes
Marvin Gaye, 26 degrees.
by Suzanne McClendon G2G Crew (570 points)
+3 votes
Debbie Dean — 18 degrees
by Barry Smith G2G6 Pilot (194k points)
+4 votes
[Only 2 by very distant blood, noted]:

34 degrees from Mary Wilson,

23 degrees from Bobby Darin Cassotto [16th cousin, 1x removed],

19 degrees from Debbie (Smith) Dean [14th cousin, 1x removed],

29 degrees from Albert Finney,

21 degrees from Marvin Gaye,

21 degrees from Michael Jackson...
by Fann Fann G2G6 Mach 5 (51.0k points)
+2 votes

Bobby Darin is a 24th cousin through MRCA Randle Thornton. 

Brad Stauf is an 11th cousin through MRCA George Hills. 

by Carol Baldwin G2G6 Pilot (439k points)
+3 votes
37 degrees from Mary Wilson

 23 degrees from Bobby Darin Cassotto, 21st cousins, MRCA Payne (Tuberville) de Tuberville, Tuberville-34

20 degrees from Debbie Dean, 17th cousins once removed, MRCA William Brereton, Brereton-51

26 degrees from Albert Finney

23 degrees from Marvin Gaye

22 degrees from Michael Jackson, his wife, her father, Elvis Presley, Presley-155, 17th cousins, MRCA Margery (Venables) de Bulkeley, Venables-1

19 degrees from Brad Stauf, 10th cousins once removed, MRCA Thomas Wheeler, Wheeler-2965

23 degrees from Henry Louis Gates

20 degrees from Teena Marie
by Mildred Gillett G2G6 Mach 1 (11.5k points)
+3 votes
14 degrees from Debbie Dean (6th cousins 1x removed)

15 degrees from Judy Russell (6th cousins 2x removed)
by Emily Holmberg G2G6 Pilot (104k points)
+3 votes

Like others, I confirm that Teena Marie (Brockert-14) does not appear among the connection anchors... which is a pity as she was a legit Motown artist. I am 23 degrees from her, going through the boring Obenour/Willson/Shotwell path, making her the closest in the lineup for me, in a tie with Debbie Dean (who I had never heard of) at 23 too, and a path also going through Obenour, but not Wilson. Most of my other connections in the lineup go through Obenour as well, this week.

I had been extremely curious to see this feature around Mary Wilson who is, by herself, a virtual unknown in France (her French Wikipedia article was just 4 lines long on the day of her death - it's been expanded since - though we know the Supremes, and we know another - still living - member of this group). So it was quite intriguing to find that she was big enough to upstage a previously planned feature. It is a rather unexpected lineup : at first I was sure that Albert Finney had been distracted and showed up for the Golden Globes one week early, but, yes, he actually made a Motown recording! Who knew? And for that matter, Stokely Carmichael and Martin Luther King could have been in this feature as well, as this article explains. Goldminemag has another, list of surprising names.

by Isabelle Martin G2G6 Pilot (422k points)
edited by Isabelle Martin
Yikes! Where did Teena go? I'll check with Chris on what happened. I also noticed you started doing some digging beyond the research I had done to connect Mary and she may need disconnected once the week's up as it looks like the connection runs into some shoddy research (not my own-whew. I am always worried I did something sloppy in my haste with these.).
Yes, indeed, I digged into the connection (it is still so hard to connect an African-American family, I have to look!). But that weak link has been there for years! The connection features really help uncovering those old errors.
+3 votes
I think that your post should say 26 million connections, not just 21 million.
by David Moore G2G2 (2.8k points)
+3 votes
32 degrees from Mary Wilson.

23 degrees from Bobby Darin Cassotto. 17th cousin. MRCA Thomas Gamage (abt 1404 - abt 1475)

17 degrees from Debbie Dean. 15th cousin. MRCA Walter Moyle (1403 - 1480)

27 degrees from Albert Finney.

20 degrees from Marvin Gaye.

19 degrees from Michael Jackson.

22 degrees from Brad Stauf. 10th cousin once removed. MRCA John Frame (1608 -1655)

23 degrees from Henry Louis Gates.

19 degrees from Judy Russell. 9th cousin. Uncertainty on her end. MRCA John Lewis Jr. (abt 1635 - abt 1689)

19 degrees from Teena Marie Brockert.
by Frank Blankenship G2G6 Mach 1 (19.8k points)
edited by Frank Blankenship
+3 votes
I have no musical talent whatsoever.

Nevertheless, Bobby Darin is my 10th cousin, one time removed. Our connection goes back to George Parkhurst 1589-1675. Debbie Dean is my 10th cousin, three times removed. Our connection goes back to Robert Kerrich, born 1505 Suffolk, England.
by Marilyn Kenyon G2G6 (8.6k points)

Debbie and Patty are 8th cousins twice removed

Debbie (Smith) Dean and Patty (Luker) LaPlante are both descendants of Henry White.

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