Connection Combat: Family History Face-Off II: Alex Haley vs Henry Louis Gates Jr.

+24 votes

Time for another Family History Face-Off! 

Alex Haley was a writer known for the book Roots: The Saga of an American Family  and TV mini-series that aired to a record-breaking 130 million viewers. It had great influence on increasing awareness of African-American history and inspired many to develop interest in genealogy and family history.

Henry Louis Gates, Jr., is a  historian, scholar and host of another popular show Finding Your Roots.  He, too, has inspired countless numbers of individuals to pursue their family history.

Alex Haley


Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Ready, set, CONNECT!

The rules and guidelines are here, and post in this thread once you've made a connection so we can declare a winner! 

Remember, the goal is to connect one of these individuals to the previous month's winner -  Mark Hamill .

If you need to be added to a Trusted List, let me know and I will add you.

The winning profile will be featured as one of our Special Connections (like AJ Jacobs and Kevin Bacon) so members can have a chance to see how they are connected.

WikiTree profile: Alex Haley
in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (1.6m points)
edited by Eowyn Walker
Good one!

The Roots Remake premieres Memorial Day.
I love this one! I wish I had time to work on it. :-/
A lot of work has been done on Henry Louis Gates from a previous challenge, so there's a good possibility that a connection exists not too far down the road if someone is diligent about checking every relative and chasing the lines a bit.

I don't believe much work has been started on Alex Haley yet, but he has some obviously decent documentation from his heritage and it seems likely that somewhere in his ancestry there's a connection.

So if you like one that's been started - check out Gates. Or if you like being the first to tackle a challenge - check out Haley.
Drat! I saw Scott's name and figured I could just stop by and see who had already been connected. :)  I look forward to seeing the connections grow!
Can I be added to the trusted list to Alex Haley? I have information on the family that I would like to add. :)
Done! :)
Thanks Eowyn. It still won't let me add parents. :(
I'm still adding relatives to Gates's family - downstream somewhere. Last ones added were Kent's and Cole's. Oh and a Fiddler.

I think the last time I tried to tackle Gates, I left a lot of loose ends in his relatives that might be worth following up on. The biggest issue I ran into with his family is that I don't have any relatives for his ex-wife, Sharon, and haven't been able to locate her parents. So pursuing his relatives is a bit of a broken record. Due to the Civil War and Emancipation situation, most of his family disappears around that timeframe so I haven't had much luck going too much further back than 1860-ish. So I keep branching to the next nearest family and bounce between 1860-1960 over and over. There's a connection with one of these families somewhere - I'm sure of it. But in the meantime, I'm mapping out a great deal of the West Virginia black population during that timeframe and I'm sure it will benefit someone at some point even if it doesn't draw out the connection I'm looking for.
Hey Scott,

This might help for Gates. I just found this and since you are close to the research, you might prove more value to it.

This documents Gates quest to find his genealogical background. Might be some info in it you can use.

4 Answers

+13 votes
Best answer
Yay! Alexander Murray Palmer Haley is 23 degrees from Kevin Bacon, 27 degrees from Frank Russell Capra, 29 degrees from Mark Hamill, 23 degrees from Al Jacobs and 26 degrees from Queen Elizabeth II. Woot woot. And so much history to his and his family story!!
by Dodie Bartlett G2G6 Mach 2 (25.5k points)
selected by Sharon Centanne
Wow! Awesome!!
Congratulations, Dodie!
Way to Go!
Thank you Ellen and Scott. :)

Way to go, Dodie! 

Let's go, Team Gates! I'm gonna queue up a Finding Your Roots marathon for inspiration.

Hahaha, love it. You guys are awesome.
Thank you, Dodie!

Thanks to your good work, Alex Haley is now featured on the home page, Connection Finder, and in the footer of eight million profiles.
Yay, thanks Dodie!
Now it's time for what I like to call "Do the Tighten Up." I like to view all the steps between Alex Haley and me to look for unsourced profiles, mistakes, or even a shortcut between Mr. Haley and me. I can add parents and children around each link in the chain to look for an even closer connection.

Feel free to listen to Archie Bell and the Drells "Tighten Up" while you work:

Everybody tighten up now!
Awesome! Congratulations Dodie!
Will some one please award Dodie a SuperStar badge? I wanted to do so, but it requires a Leader.

+9 votes
Still poking around at the branches for Gates - currently working on this guy's family if anyone wants to help.

I'll get to it later, but if someone wants to take the Census data and add in his children and spouse, it will help greatly. I think there's also some marriage data there for his children too. Who knows - one of these relationships might just lead to the connection that could be hiding someone where out there.
by Scott Fulkerson G2G6 Pilot (871k points)
Thank you, Scott!
+6 votes

Now that we have Alex Haley connected, does anyone want to help with connecting LeVar Burton, who played Kunta Kinte/Toby in Roots so we can see the steps between the two of them?

by Erin Breen G2G6 Pilot (224k points)
Found a record or two for his father, but not much else. Not sure why there isn't a clear 1940 Census record for him, but maybe someone else will have luck locating that.
+6 votes

Dr. Gates is seven degrees from Thomas Jefferson descendant Mary Elizabeth (Edmondson) Franklin. Happy dance!

by Karen Lowe G2G6 Pilot (122k points)
Nice connecting work, Karen!
Thanks! I felt bad for him losing out twice, and wanted to finally get him on the tree since he's done so much good work for others.
Awesome work, Karen!!!!!

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