A few days ago, I got a note from Matthew Deighton announcing that a new program from Ancestry.com was available. It’s called We’re Related – and shows how you might be related to “famous folks.” Not that most of us care, but this kind of thing is attractive to the crowd out there who currently may have no interest in family history at all. If you can show them how they are related to Lady Gaga, then genealogy might hold an interest that wasn’t there before. Ancestry uses their public databases to assemble the trees to show the connection. The FamilySearch Discovery Center uses this same concept, compiling from the millions of name in their linked database.
The following is from Matthew:
The new We’re Related app is aimed at getting the next generation involved. The App will help your family members to discover what friends or famous people they may be related to! With about 2000 celebrities in the database, you’ll quickly begin seeing what celebrities you’re connected to.
As family historians, sharing our discoveries with family can be difficult. Now as the next generation downloads the app, they will start connecting with famous people and the app will show you how you are connected. It’s at this time that you can share who these people are and what you’ve learned about them.
· Don’t need an Ancestry account to sign up
· You will use your Facebook account to sign up, thus allowing anyone to use the app
· It will use your Facebook relationships to find you in the Ancestry system and allow you to connect with celebrities and friends
· If you don’t have a tree, you can start one or ask a family member to get it started for you
· Use the “Nearby” tool to see who is related to you within 500 ft. They must have the functionality on as well
· Share your new connections through social media
This is not a standalone research tool, but a fun and light-hearted way to get your family engaged in your family history work.
Following are connections it put together for me:
- Demi Lovato – 8th Cousin 2x Removed
- Lady Gaga – 7th Cousin 3x Removed
- Miley Cyrus – 6th Cousin
- Britney Spears – 8th Cousin 2x Removed
- Johnny Depp 8th Cousin 2x Removed
- Marilyn Monroe – 9th Cousin
Interesting… I can click on the tree symbol, and see exactly how a tree is made up relating me to any of the listed celebrities. I’ll admit that it’s pretty interesting. Having a lot of colonial ancestry, I figure I’m related to tens of millions of Americans – I just don’t know how. But with the continual building of these massive family trees, maybe one day my grandchildren will have the capability of knowing how they’re related to EVERYBODY.