12 October 2012

31 Days of Tree Climbing: Common Ancestor

When our oldest daughter was ten years old, she was diagnosed with Marfan's Syndrome. In the course of appointments that are a part of such a diagnosis, my husband and our daughter visited with a geneticist. This geneticist determined that, somewhere along the line, my husband and I share a common ancestor.

We had always suspected that there might be a connection somewhere, especially since both of our paternal grandmothers had "Fowler" as their maiden names. The jury is still out on whether we are connected through a Fowler ancestor or not, but I have found a connection through another branch in our tree.

According to information available through Ancestry.com, both David and myself are very distant cousins to Button Gwinnett. Our common connection is further up the tree. Button Gwinnett's tenth great-grandfather, David's eighteenth great-grandpa, and my eighteenth great-grandpa are one and the same: Walter Devereaux. David and Button actually share a closer relationship through a grandson of Walter Devereaux, Simon Milbourne. Simon is Button's eighth great-grandfather and David's sixteenth great-grandfather and is a collateral relative, not a direct line relative, of mine.

For years, I have been told stories that we are related to the infamous Frank and Jesse James. While I have yet to make that connection through my James' line, I was able to determine that the James boys are also related to the above mentioned Simon Milbourne. Simon is the thirteenth great-grandpa of Frank and Jesse James. So, again, David, Frank, Jesse, and I share a common ancestor (Walter Devereaux), but David and the James boys share Simon.

History has always been one of my favorite subjects in school. Making these discoveries is making history even more meaningful to me. I am really enjoying this.

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