Saturday, August 30, 2003

Calculating Relations

FAQ Number 1: Your connection to Norman Rockwell

By Ken Rockwell

(Published in Rockwell Family Foundation Newsletter #45 (Aug. 2003)

If you bear the surname Rockwell, it's practically certain that at some point someone will ask you if you're related to Norman Rockwell, by far the most well-known of the name. To answer
with anything other than "Who knows?", you need to know two things: Norman Rockwell's ancestry, and your own. The former has been available for a hundred years, as Norman's family made it i
nto James Boughton's Rockwell-Keeler genealogy, published in 1903. As longtime RFF Newsletter readers will immediately realize, this marks Norman as a John-liner. The line, going back in t
ime, is as follows:

1. Norman P. Rockwell, born 3 Feb. 1894, son of

2. Jarvis Waring Rockwell (b. 26 Dec. 1867, m. Anne M. Hill), son of

3. John William Rockwell (b. 26 Mar. 1838, m. Phebe B. Waring), son of

4. Samuel Darling Rockwell (1810-1888; m. Oril J. Sherman), son of

5. Runa Rockwell (1773-1864; m. Rachel Darling), son of

6. Abraham Rockwell (1749-1818 ; m. Esther Riggs), son of

7. John Rockwell (1706-1773; m. Elizabeth Keeler), son of

8. Jonathan Rockwell (born ca. 1765, d. 1732; m. Abigail Canfield), son of

9. John of Stamford.

For this discussion we will assume that this John is the 1641 settler, not a son thereof, as Boughton had it. Furthermore, let us use the current theory that John of Stamford is the son
of John of Windsor, brother of William of Windsor, as well the more tentative hypothesis that Josiah of Norwich is a nephew of William and John by their brother Richard. If these are true,
then anyone with confirmed links to one of the three Connecticut lines can calculate his/her exact relation to Norman Rockwell, as follows:

If you are of the John line, count back from yourself to the most recent common ancestor in the above pedigree. Say you're a descendant of one of Jonathan's brothers, then John of Stamfo
rd is the common ancestor. One labels the cousin relationship by taking the smaller number of generations in the two lines, subtracting one; then count the different numbers of generations
in each line. There are eight generations from Norman to John of Stamford, and probably more from you to John, say for example, ten. So you'd take Norman's eight generations and subtract o
ne, to say he's a "seventh-cousin;" then you take the difference in number of generations (2) and say you're "seventh cousins, two times removed."

For a William or Josiah descendant, according to our hypothetical assumptions about their relation to John of Stamford, the common ancestor is two more generations back, John Rockwell of
Fitzhead, the father of John and William of Windsor, and of Richard, presumed father of Josiah. This would make Norman a "ninth-cousin, x times removed," depending on the number of generati
ons of descent from John of Fitzhead to you.

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