Which folk musician are you most closely connected to?

+17 votes

We're featuring folk musicians in the Connection Finder this week, Joe Hill, whose birthday is October 7th.

Featured alongside him are other folk musicians:

Who are you most closely connected to? If you're one of the 23,825,000 of us who are connected to each other on our big tree you can check with the Connection Finder.

You can 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.

New special feature: Check out how you're connected to other Folk Musicians by searching the Folk Musicians category and related categories like Songwriters and Fiddlers using the green MyConnections button in the upper right hand corner of the page.

Let us know how you're related below! If you want to share your connection on social media with cousins and friends, click the "get shareable image" below the results, e.g. Joe Hill and Joan Baez. Then just upload it along with the URL of your direct connection. (Please refrain from sharing your connection on the featured profiles themselves, though. It clutters conversations on research and collaboration. Thanks!)

Help us with next week's feature: Baseball Favorites!

WikiTree profile: Joe Hill
in The Tree House by Abby Glann G2G6 Pilot (614k points)
reshown by Chris Whitten
No Harry Chapin on the list?
No james edward thomas on this list either. He was one of the famous dulcimer makers her is my 2nd great grandpa. He was the creator of the Appalachian dulcimer. It doesn't get more folk than that.
Harry Chapin was on my list of suggestions, Marty, but there were a lot of ideas, so we couldn't have all of them up.
No worries. Just a big fan. By the way he does have a deep tree, and used to talk in interviews about his Chapin roots.
Harry Chapin and I are 28 degrees apart.

28 Answers

+9 votes
It's no big issue, but I'm curious if there's any particular reason why Joan Baez, rather than Joe Hill, is listed as first on the connection finder?

Anyway, my closest connection is Paul Simon at 17, followed by Woody, Pete & Hedy, a mighty-fine selection if I do say so meself, all at 20 degrees, & then Paul Robeson at 21. The only reason Paul Simon is as close as he is is because I'm a 7c1r with Carrie Fisher, who I'd completely forgot was married to him until just now.

Have no especially close genealogical relationships to the featured profiles; closest is 9c5r w/ Stan Rogers.
by Thomas Koehnline G2G6 Mach 7 (76.4k points)
edited by Thomas Koehnline
They are in alphabetical order by surname.
This is true, but I believe the standard layout is to have the main featured profile at the front of the list, the rest being in alphabetical order.
+8 votes
I am most closely connected to Pete Seeger at 23 degrees.
by Samantha Thomson G2G6 Pilot (194k points)
+7 votes
by Jennifer Robins G2G6 Pilot (176k points)
+8 votes
Connection Finder: 18 degrees from Paul Simon, Hedy West, and Woody Guthrie.

Relationship Finder: 11th cousin of Hedy West.
by Nelda Spires G2G6 Pilot (476k points)
+6 votes

I am most closely contact to Paul Simon at 19 degrees of separation.

Updated degrees of separation on 4 Apr 2022
by Tommy Buch G2G Astronaut (1.4m points)
edited by Tommy Buch
+14 votes

Woody Guthrie is my 4th cousin once removed. Moreover, I share 32 cM of DNA over 2 segments (Ancestry DNA) with his son Arlo Guthrie, my 5th cousin.

My direct kinship with Woody Guthrie calculates to 10 degrees of separation through brothers Alexander Kessinger and Miles Henry Kessinger, our respective ancestors in Kentucky.

I have been a huge fan of both father and son since I was a teenager. I have seen Arlo Guthrie and Pete Seeger in live performances many times over the years, long before I knew we were related.

by Bill Vincent G2G6 Pilot (158k points)
edited by Bill Vincent
You are my 6th cousin through William Logsdon (1743-1809) our 5th great grandfather.
+8 votes
17 degrees from Woody Guthrie. 19th cousin once removed. MRCA Richard FitzAlan de Arundel (abt 1314 - 1376).

18 degrees from Hedy West, 15th cousin. MRCA Margred (ferch Morgan) St John (abt 1462 - abt 1524,)

18 degrees from Paul Simon (his marriage to Carrie Fisher, of course.)

19 degrees from Paul Robeson.

21 degrees from Pete Seeger. 14th cousin. MRCA Margaret St John (abt 1480 - 1562,)

21 degrees from Stan Rogers. 16th cousin once removed. MRCA Elizabeth (FitzAlan) Usflete (abt 1371 - 1425,)

22 degrees from Joan Baez.

24 degrees from Malvina Reynolds.

25 degrees from Lionel Long.

26 degree from Emma Overd.

35 degrees from Joe Hill. 18th cousin 5 times removed. MRCA Mathilde (Arenberg) von Arberg (1278 - 1367,)

Remotely related trivia.

1. One of the earliest versions of John Henry attributed to a W. T. Blankenship.


2. "Ole Dan Tucker" was a great great etc. Uncle.

by Frank Blankenship G2G6 Mach 8 (86.0k points)
+7 votes
Closest connection is Stan Rogers at 15 degrees. We're also 9C2R.
by Val Falconer G2G4 (4.4k points)
+8 votes
18 degrees from Stan Rogers (8th cousins, 4x removed)
19 degrees from Pete Seeger (8th cousins, 5x removed)
20 degrees from Hedy West (16th cousins, 2x removed)
20 degrees from Woody Guthrie (19th cousins, 2x removed)
20 degrees from Paul Simon
21 degrees from Paul Robeson
22 degrees from Joan Baez
23 degrees from Malvina Reynolds
26 degrees from Lionel Long
28 degrees from Emma Overd
34 degrees from Joe Hill (22nd cousins, 2x removed)
by Mike Wells G2G6 Mach 9 (99.0k points)
edited by Mike Wells
+8 votes

I can have an ancestral folk sing-a-long:

18 degrees: Pete Seeger; 9th cousin via Elizabeth (Unknown) Carter AND Stan Rogers 12/1xr through Geoffrey Fiske

20 degrees: Woody Guthrie; 16/4xr through William Gascoigne

21 degrees: Hedy West;  17/2xr through Isabella (Herbert) Clifton

32 degrees: Joe Hill; 22nd cousin through Isabelle (Morialmes) de Bethune

by Carol Baldwin G2G6 Pilot (785k points)
+8 votes
I'm closest to Woody Guthrie at 13 degrees.  We are 5th cousins, 2x removed.
by Laurie Segers G2G6 Mach 2 (20.3k points)
+6 votes
24th Cousin to Woody Guthrie, 18 degrees.
by Mark Weinheimer G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
+6 votes
I am closest to Peter Seeger at 19 degrees, followed by Paul Robeson and Woody Guthrie at 20 degrees and Stan Rogers at 21 degrees.

The one that I really enjoyed the most was Joan Baez at 23 degrees.  I remember my father playing her records over and over in the 1960's and 1970's, particularly "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down."
by Roger Stong G2G6 Pilot (892k points)
+6 votes
I'm Pete Seeger and Woodie Gutherie's 16th cousin!
by Judi Stutz G2G6 Pilot (208k points)
+5 votes

This one interested me as my husband is a country preformer and we write songs together.  I know of closer relations that write as well that are related in some of these same lines.... must be in the DNA!

23 degrees from Joan Baez

18 degrees from Woody Guthrie, and 17th Cousin 1R

34 degrees from Joe Hill, 22 Cousins 1R

24 degrees from Lionel Long

26 degrees from Emma Overd

22 degrees from Malvina Reynolds

21 degrees from Stan Rogers, also 13th Cousin 1R

21 degrees from Paul Robeson

20 degrees from Pete Seeger, closest cousin at 12th Cousin 1R

17 degrees from Paul Simon, and 17th Cousin 1R

15 degrees from Hedy West, and 16th Cousin 1R

27 degrees from Rob Pavey

by Loretta Morrison G2G6 Pilot (160k points)
+5 votes
Woody Guthrie and I are 8th cousins once removed. Pete Seeger and I are 14th cousins once removed. It seems I am related to a few of them, but I don't have the time or patience to go through each and every one. Every time I use the relationship finder tool, I am AMAZED at just how small this world we live in truly is! And I am amazed that I am connected to so many people. I never knew it was possible until I joined Wikitree and started researching my family's history.

The singer that I am most familiar with out of this entire list is Joan Baez, of course. That's because I've always had an affinity for the hippie era, even though I wasn't old enough to be a part of that (not to mention that movement began before I was even born). Sadly, she and I are not related. :(
by Mary Leachman G2G6 Mach 1 (13.2k points)
+6 votes
Cousins with Pete Seeger and Stan Rogers and Hedy West
by Janice Sutherland G2G6 Mach 5 (58.9k points)
+5 votes

Closest match for me is Pete Seeger , 8th cousin once removed.

Our common ancestor is Nicholas Stillwell Jr. (bef.1606-1671), my 6th great-grandfather, and Pete's 7th great-grandfather.

Interesting that although Pete was born one year before my father, he is one generation "younger" than me.

Terry (Stillwell) Morse

by Terry Morse G2G2 (2.8k points)
+5 votes
15 degrees from Woody Guthrie, who is also my 7th cousin, once removed.

More cousins from this group:

Pete Seeger--8th cousins, twice removed

Stan Rogers--10th cousins, twice removed

Hedy West--12th cousins, twice removed

Joe Hill--22nd cousins, 3 times removed
by Cheryl Cruise G2G6 Pilot (152k points)
+5 votes
I am a 6th cousin, once removed with Woody Guthrie.

I am also a cousin to President Lyndon Baines Johnston, which is humorous to me since my dad knew him when LBJ was a senior at San Marcos State Teacher's College and dad was a freshman. After WWII was over dad wrote him a letter asking for help finding a job.
by Bill Matthews G2G Crew (740 points)

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