Thursday, June 16, 2011

6 degrees of separation...

This is going to be an continuing project...

Apparently this interesting game based on six degrees of separation really took off when done in relation to Kevin Bacon (who and whose band I've seen perform live) but I've found another way to play, albeit a bit surprisingly.

My grandmother Janet's(1) godmother was Margaret Grote Elliman Henry(2).  Margaret (or Maghatan (sp?) as we heard her referred to) was married to James Buchanan Henry(3) (his third wife, m. 1904).  Buchanan (as he was called to discern him from his uncle) was the son of Harriet Buchanan Henry(4).  Harriet was a sister of President James Buchanan(5).  Buchanan was ward of and personal secretary to President Buchanan.

Also, Buchanan(3) attended a dinner given for Ignacy Jan Paderewski(4) by the Lotos Club on April 8, 1893 (it appears that Paderewski signed the menu!).  To how many people might connections be made through this single dinner?

I have to back up a bit to play six degrees of Kevin Bacon.  Kevin, wife Kyra, Kyra's ?XGreat-grandfather Judge Theodore Sedgwick, MY 3XGreat-grandfather Judge William Hathaway Van Cott (who named his oldest son after the noted jurist), me.  Do the genes count as one point of connection or do you have to allow for each intervening generation?

A further digression... Margaret Grote Elliman was a native of Annapolis, Maryland. She attended and graduated the Horace Mann School of Teachers College in May 1898 with my Great-Grandmother Eleanor Elizabeth Van Cott. She went on to Columbia University and graduated in 1902. In 1904 she married James Buchanan Henry. Buchanan died in 1915 in Florida (Margaret is mistakenly recorded in many genealogies to have died that same year) and she returned to New York. In 1939 she published "The doves of old Saint Paul's and other brief verses" and in 1947 published "L'Enfant and St. Paul's Chapel". She was active in church affairs. About 1962 she moved in with her God-daughter, my Grandmother Janet Crawford Brodie Flint and about 1964 or 1965 she died. Grandmother always referred to her as "Maghatan" and so it was quite some time before I could connect this woman with Grandmother's houseguest. She had a dog named "Blarney" who lived a couple of years longer. I remember having to share her former room with the dog when we visited.


Windy Wilson said...

That's always a neat game to play, if you know all the connections.
I'm only 6 degrees of separation from the founding fathers.
I met a man who portrays Charles Russell, the Montana artist (Raphael Cristy)(1) in a series of one-man shows based on Russell's extensive letters and stories. He (Cristy) met an old woman (2) who knew Russell in 1920's Great Falls, Montana. Charles Russell, (3), once met an old indian who, as an infant, was presented to Lewis (4) and Clark(4) when they passed through Montana on their expedition of discovery. Lewis, of course, was secretary to President Jefferson (5), who met virtually every Founding Father (6), including Washington, Adams, Monroe and Madison. I have to check on Patrick Henry, but since they were both members of the House of Burgesses the links probably go that far.

Hobie said...

I love it!