The World of Grandpa Don

Famous Cousins with a Mayflower Connection

My father's family line includes John Alden and Pricilla Alden.

My Mother's family includes Francis Cooke.

These ancestors who arrived in America on the Mayflower in 1620 have descendants who were or are prominent members of our society They are distant cousins.

This is as much of the story as we know.

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Our Famous Cousins

During an internet journey looking for something else, I discovered another web site about the Mayflower, Famous Descendants of Mayflower Passengers. From the list I was hoping to find a connection to the "automobile" Packard's but in failing to make that particular connection I found several others of interest. I refer you to the list of prominent men and women along with their genealogy found on  that  web site

.Plugging this information into my Family Tree Maker program and running the Relationship Calculator we arrive at the following;

On my father's side, through the Copeland line we find:
John and Ruth Alden were ancestors of my father. Some of their descendants also include ....

  • John Adams was my 2nd cousin 6 times removed.

  • John Quincy Adams was my 3rd cousin 5 times removed.

  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was my 5th cousin 4 times removed.

  • William Cullen Bryant was my 5th cousin 4 times removed

  • Orson Welles was my 9th cousin

  • Marilyn Monroe was my 9th cousin

On my Mother's side, through the Packard line we find:
Francis Cooke, Jane Cooke, and Elizabeth Mitchell were ancestors of my mother Some of their descendants also include ..

  • George H. W. Bush is  my 9th cousin

  • George W. Bush is  my 9th cousin once removed

  • Franklin D. Roosevelt was my 9th cousin 2 times removed

  • Grandma Moses was my 9th cousin 2 times removed

  • Richard Gere is  my 10th cousin once removed

Confused? So was I so I looked it up and this is what I found:

A system of degrees and removes is used to describe the relationship between the two cousins and the ancestor they have in common. The degree (first, second, third cousin, etc.) indicates the minimum number of generations between either cousin and the nearest common ancestor; the remove (once removed, twice removed, etc.) indicates the number of generations, if any, separating the two cousins from each other

For example, the child of one's aunt or uncle is one's first cousin, because there is one generation (unshared parents) between the cousins and their shared grandparents. The child of one's first cousin is one's first cousin once removed because the child belongs to the next generation following one's own.

John Adams is my second cousin because he is two generations from our nearest common ancestor, Ruth Alden. We are 6 generations apart and so, 6 times removed.  .

Politics aside, this is good company in which to be found. I am particularly happy to find a relationship, albeit very distant, to the likes of Orson Wells,  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and William Cullen Bryant. Of Norma Jean, I can just wonder if she is more infamous than famous.

And what does all this mean? According to There are millions of Mayflower descendants living today. It is not a very exclusive club. We all have potential and it is up to us to develop that potential. Fortunately no one has published a web page listing the most notorious descendants of Mayflower passengers ... or have they?


Famous Descendants of Mayflower Passengers
We are grateful to our distant cousin Caleb Johnson and his excellent web site in furthering the knowledge of our heritage.

Our Mayflower connections

The Packard - Mayflower Connection The Packard Family's Pilgrim Roots

The Copeland - Mayflower Connection The Copeland Family's Pilgrim Roots

Family Pages

The Copeland Family Includes Copeland, Thayer & Alden ancestors

The Packard Line Includes Cecora, Lossner & Packard ancestors

The Story of Lucie Lossner Includes Cecora, Lossner & Packard families

The Adoption Story of Harry Ronald Cecora

Grandpa Don Plefka
aka Harry Ronald Cecora
January 25, 2008

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My Family

Famous Cousins
with a Mayflower Connection

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