Genealogy is full of surprises. It could be finding out that you are related to someone famous. I have also seen where two friends ended up being distantly related! There are all kinds of fun surprises and for the most part, that is what keeps a genealogist going.
What happens, though, when those surprises seem a little off-putting? What if you’re related to the biggest traitor in American history? (Yeah, let’s not talk about that one). What do you do if you find out your parents are related? Yep, this was my big surprise moment. What in the world do I do now? Does this explain why some of my joints a double-jointed?! Genealogy is just like life, you have to take the good with the bad.
*Cue the Facts of Life theme song here*
First of all, let me start by explaining that where my parents are connected is far enough down the line that it really doesn’t matter. They are somewhere in the arena of 8th cousins and many, many, many times removed.
I began this discovery by researching my maternal Baker line. My 2nd Great Grandmother was a Baker (Stella Alice Baker) and her line had me researching in the Eastern Kentucky area. I was curious to see where exactly this line would take me. I found Stella’s father John William Baker who lead me to his father John Baker and then to George Thompson Baker and on to Brice Baker. It was my discovery of Brice Baker that gave me a little pause.
It seems that Brice, my maternal 6x Great Grandfather, married a woman by the name of Mary Arthur. Wait a second, I thought, I’m an Arthur. Is it possible that I’m just related to Arthur surname on both sides of my family?! This wouldn’t be the first time. I have several surnames that appear on both my maternal and paternal side of may family. As I’m sure most who are doing their family research have discovered. So, just out of curiosity, I hopped over to Mary’s family to see what I could find out about her Arthur line.
I didn’t find a connection anywhere until I found Mary’s 2x Great Grandfather, Thomas Barnabus Arthur (1680-1715). When I attempted to enter Thomas’ information into my tree, it showed that he was already there. That was strange! When I looked at his children, it seemed that I was already related to his one son, John Arthur. After connecting the dots, John was my 8th Great Grandfather on my paternal side. That meant that Thomas Barnabus Arthur was the bridge that connected my maternal and paternal sides! Talk about mind being blown!
After sharing this information with my family, a new joke started. They like to tease me and say that if I keep researching, I’m going to be my own Grandma!