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This Week's Survey: Ancestral surname changes

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Lynn Betlock

Lynn Betlock

Last week’s survey asked if you have genealogical connections to American presidents. The results are:


34%, Yes, I have one to five connections.
31%, No.
25%, I’m not sure.
8%, Yes, I have six to fifteen connections.
2%, Yes, I have sixteen or more connections.


This week's survey asks whether any of your ancestral surnames were changed. Take the survey now!

Posted by Jean Powers at 02/29/2012 03:30:00 AM | 

This one was tough, because the exercise is trying to figure out whether you have a common ancestor with a president, not whether you descend from a president, or are a relatively close cousin of one, although that would certainly count.

Since I don't make a habit of comparing presidents' genealogy with my own, I had to think about how to approach solving this problem. I finally decided the only way to do it was to figure out a) which presidents descend from my 11th g-grandparents, Mayflower passengers John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley, and which ones are connected to my 25th g-grandfather, Henry III. Between those two sets of ancestors, I ended up with connections to many American presidents, but seriously, is that what you meant with this survey question?

Do people really keep track of whether they are the 1st cousin 20 times removed or the 8th cousin twice removed of a president?

While I was Googling to find lists of presidents descended from royalty, I was surprised by the number of articles showing outrage over so many presidents being "related" and descending from royalty, that they are somehow an elite class of people because of it. There must be tens of millions of Americans with these same "elite" bloodlines.
Posted by: ( Email ) at 2/29/2012 6:45 AM

RE: Name Change question. I have in Plymouth, Mass., my ancestor coming in to the states as Elizabeth DITMER in Oct 1850. By 1872 I have the following spellings in records sometimes with two spellings on one document.


The DITMAH is on a family coffin plaque in 1872.
One document states Elizabeth DITMER is the executrix for Valentine DITTMAN and that Frederick DITTMAR her son owes Valentint $95.00.
Also in the census the name changes from 1900 - 1920.
Posted by: Frederick M. Dittmar ( Email ) at 2/29/2012 9:22 AM

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