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Finding a famous cousin – Who could it be?

finding a famous cousin text with person outline and 6th cousin 1x removed

One thing I always find amazing when researching my family tree, is how many cousins we have!

But then, I also wonder why I’m so surprised. If you go back just 10 generations, to your 8th great grandparents, you have 1024 of them. Even more if you go back further, you have a shocking 2048 9th great grandparents!

image showing how many grandparents you have
parents - 2
Grandparents - 4
great grandparents - 8
2nd  great grandparents - 16
3rd great grandparents - 32
4th great grandparents - 64
5th great grandparents - 128
6th great grandparents - 256
7th great grandparents - 512
8th great grandparents - 1,024
9th great grandparents - 2,048
10th great grandparents - 4,096
Wish I could have a £1 for every great grandparent I have!

In fact, if you go back far enough, you have more grandparents than there are people in the world. Cousins marrying cousins (distant and close) helps explain that. But do you know what that means? It means, if you go back far enough, you will find you are related to every single person on this planet!

This also means, theoretically, that I should have some famous relatives!

But, I never found any. Even with the aid of the, We’re Related App which is no longer used, all my famous relatives were proven to be false.

Until recently, when I found a connection! A surprising connection which would take me from the UK and across the ocean to America.

My Famous Cousin and our Most Recent Common Ancestor

My 6th Great Grandparents were Henry Canham born in London approx 1691 (286 years before me) who married 18-year-old Sarah Philips on the 6th November 1715 in Greenwich, London. They had at least 5 children that I know about, one of whom I’m descended through and the other my famous cousin.

My Line – From our MRCA to My grandparents

Henry and Sarah’s youngest son was my 5th great grandfather. His name was Joseph Canham, and he was born approximately 1729. He married a lady called Mary and they had at least one daughter. Her name was Charlotte Canham and she was born in Woolwich in 1762 and baptised on the 14th April 1761. Charlotte was my 4th great grandmother.

At the age of 23, Charlotte married William Champion on the 6th August 1785 in Woolwich, Kent. Together they had nine children. Their youngest was Sutherland Henry Champion.

Sutherland was my 3rd great grandfather and he was born on the 6th November 1801 in Woolwich, Kent. On the 18th January, he married Elizabeth Turney in Saint Mary, Newington, Surrey. Sadly, in 1831 Elizabeth passed away leaving Sutherland a widower with two young sons. On the 12th March 1832 in Lee, Kent, Sutherland married Ann Lydia Smith Riches.

Sutherland and Ann were my 3rd great grandparents. Together they had 10 children plus Sutherland’s two children from a previous marriage making it twelve.

Sutherland and Ann were blessed with a set of twins in 1839, but sadly the girl twin passed away shortly after her birth and her brother aged 4. After this set of twins, Ann conceived another set just two years later. Two boys, Josiah Riches Champion and Titus Riches Champion. Luckily both boys survived to adulthood and had families of their own. Josiah lived to the age of 50 and Titus aged 57. Two more children were born after Titus and Josiah.

Titus and Josiah were born on the 10th August 1841 and Titus is my 2nd great grandfather. In 1869, Titus married Eliza Lavinia Barber in Lewisham, London. Together they had five children, including a daughter who died at birth. Sadly, in 1880 Eliza died, leaving Titus a widower with four young children, the oldest aged just 7 and the youngest two. What happened next I can only speculate, but I think, to help him look after the children, Eliza’s niece arrived.

On the 2nd of January 1881, Titus married his second wife, Eliza’s niece, Emma Woodgate at Mile End Old Town, London. Together they had nine children. Titus died on the 24th February 1899 in Bromley, Kent.

One of my favourite pictures is this one of Emma and her children/step-children and their partners. To help identify them I added numbers using paint.

a group of adults with their mother and spouses
1 – Ernest George Champion 2 – Herbert Cook (Husband of Lillian Maud Champion) 3 – Charles Lettington (Husband of Olive Henrietta Champion) 4 – Olive Henrietta Champion 5 – Charles Clare (Husband of Gladys Florence.Champion) 6 – Gladys Florence Eva Champion 7 – Joseph Greenaway (Husband of Lynda Beatrice Champion) 8 – Lynda Beatrice Emily Champion 9 – Burley Titus Riches Champion 10 – Gwendolene Bessie Powell (Wife of Burley Titus Riches Champion) 11 – Frederick W Wood (Husband of Helen Agnes Champion) 12 – Annie Ousley (wife of Ernest George Champion) 13 – Lillian Maud Mary Champion 14 – James Sutherland Champion 15 – Emma Woodgate 16 – Thomas Henry Champion 17 – Emily E Waterton (Wife of Thomas Henry Champion) 18 – Helen Agnes Champion 19 – Lillian Aspinell

Titus and Emma’s first child was James Sutherland Champion born in 1881. James was my great grandfather. He is number 14 on the picture above with his wife number 19.

On the 21st May 1904 at St Peter and St Paul’s Church, Bromley, Kent James married Lillian Elizabeth Aspinell and together they had four children, the youngest is my nana.

My Cousin’s Line

Shooting back to Henry and Sarah Canham, my 6th great grandparents, we follow another line. The line of Henry Canham who was born on the 2nd of July 1721. My 6th great uncle.

On the 11th March 1759 at St Mary Magdalene Church in Woolwich, Henry married Freelove Cross. Together they had eight children. Their 7th born child, George Canham. George married Elizabeth White and they had two daughters, Elizabeth Ann and Nancy Ann.

Nancy Ann was born on the 12th December 1805 in Blackheath, Greenwich. She then had a son with George Osmond III (she didn’t marry him) and named her son George Osmond IV.

Any idea yet as to who my cousin is???

George Osmond IV, my 3rd cousin 4 times removed, was born on the 23rd May 1836 in Hackney, London. He then emigrated to America where he married Mary Georgina Huckvale in St Louis, Missouri. Together they had ten children. George then married Christiana Lovina Amelia Jacobsen and had another six children.

George and Christiana son Rulon “Roland” Osmond was born on the 17th August 1893 in Lincoln, Wyoming. He married Agnes La Verna Van Noy on the 8th October 1913 in Salt Lake City, Utah and they had four children but sadly he died as a young father, just four years later. A month after the birth of his youngest child, George Virl Osmond.

Any idea yet? Have you noticed a pattern???

George Virl Osmond, my 5th cousin twice removed, married Olive May Davis in Salt Lake City, Utah. They had nine children. Nine very famous children.

My 6th cousins once removed, or 6th cousins as I say for ease are:

  • Alan
  • Wayne
  • Merril
  • Jay
  • Tom
  • Virl
  • Donny
  • Jimmy
  • Marie

Also known as The Osmonds!!!

my famous cousins, the famous Osmonds and their parents
The Osmonds with their parents

Rootstech London, 24-26th October 2019

Even more exciting is that Donny is appearing at Rootstech next month in London as, just like me, he has a long-held interest in genealogy. I’m hoping I can go as I would love to go up to him and say “Hi Cuz!”

Donny Osmond picture with text saying Donny Osmond, Entertainer, 26th October at 11am

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