Okay. I’m not in general a huge fan of Facebook apps. So many of them turn out to be little more than free advertising for cheap companies and games. But I found one that I actually really enjoy and can whole-heartedly endorse (with a few caveats):
Using this handy app, I now know that Thomas Edison is my 7th cousin 5 times removed. Humphrey Bogart is my 8th cousin 5 times removed. Bing Crosby my 9th cousin 3 times removed. I’m related to the Presidents Bush, FDR, Ulysses Grant, John Adams. Four Mayflower passengers are my direct grandparents.
And I found all that out with a few simple clicks. Maybe this doesn’t excite you. In which case, go and say bah humbug and leave me alone, because I think this is awesome sauce on a chili cheese dog. Check it out right away, especially since–if you add the app and use it, we can then see how we’re related, too. (One of my English professors at BYU is also a distant cousin, for example. No wonder I got an A in his class.)
BUT you can only use this app right now IF
(And here come the caveats)
- You’re Mormon. Yup. The app is bigoted right now. Totally discriminatory. Why? Because you have to have an account in New FamilySearch, a church-run website that’s still in the beta stage, and is thus limited to church members only at the present. They’re working on broadening the reach, but it’ll take some time for that to happen.
- You or your family has done extensive family history work. Even if you’re Mormon, someone needs to have done the groundwork for the app to dig in and find connections. I benefit in this case from the hard work of tons of my family–grandparents on all sides have spent hours and hours doing family history research, which makes it possible for me to click a few things and see connections right off. If you don’t have this sort of system already built up, this app might not be nearly as cool for you.