|About Six Degrees of Separation Family
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Six degrees of separation is the idea that all living things and everything else in the
world are Six or fewer steps away from each other so that a chain of "a friend of a friend"
statements can be made to connect any two people in a maximum of Six steps. It was originally set
out by Frigyes Karinthy in 1929 and popularized in an eponymous 1990 play written by John Guare.
I was able to link most of the main lines together and am working to show that in here. Just be
aware that the Dafoe, Trowbridge, Calkins, Briggs, Pratt lines link everyone else in here together
at some point in these particular lines. So be patient while I connect the dots.
On January 31, 1855, from his home in Austerlitz, New York,
Wade M. Calkins wrote this poem to his brother Charlie.
Forget thee? - if to dream by night, and must on
thee by day;
Forget thee? - bid the freest birds forget their
Forget thee? - bid the sea forget to swell beneath
- bid the thirsty flowers forget to drink the
e'er refreshing dew!
thyself forget thine 'own dear land,' and its
Prairies wild and blue;
Forget each old familiar face, each long remembered
When these things are forgot by thee,
Then thou shalt be forgot!
Keep, if thou wilt, thy sullen peace, still calm
and fancy free
For God forbid thy gladsome heart should grow
less glad for me;
If these preserved for patient years, at last avail
Forget me then; - but ne'er believe
canst be forgot.
*** from VOICES OF THE PRAIRIE LAND by Martin Litvin
Welcome to the family. Come along with me and meet my world and those in it. (By the way, Wade and
Charlie Calkins are cousins of mine and you will eventually meet the family within this tree. For
now just say 'hello' to them and and realize I will not let them ever be forgotten.
A note about the Shaklee surname. The spelling of said surname is varied and has mainly one thing in
common. It basically will sound the same when said. Shaklee, Shakles, Shackley, Shacklee, Sackley
all have been used by descendants of whoever the original Shaklee is. Most American Shaklee members,
however you spell the surname are related. And they originated from the first Peter Shaklee who
settled in America and fought in the Revolution and fought against the British. After the war with
his family he settled and died in Ohio. He has a lot of descendants. I am still locating them. Like
with the surname Calkins the individual spellings are slowing it down but I will get them. Margaret
Susan Shaklee is my great great grandmother and since the original Peter Shaklee was her grandfather
then he is my great great great great grandfather. Interesting and still a bit confusing overall.
Welcome to my world.
I Still Cry (Video)
There is 4 distinct genealogies included here and maybe even more when I am done. The main lines are
Briggs-Pratt, Kelly-Scanlon-Hill, Dafoe-McKool, Robinson-Gibler lines. It's not a case
of we all are related if you go back far enough, but rather we are all connected through the six
degrees of separation idea or theory. The biggest area of research is connected to the Briggs-Pratt
lineages and all the separate ancestors. The main focus of study in surnames are: Briggs, Pratt,
Goldsmith, Shaklee, Goodall, Cooksey, Dafoe, McKool, Raney, Robinson, Gibler, Ball, Kelly, Hill,
Castle, Eason, Scanlon, Calkins and Barrett. There are many others but these I am attempting to go
back on. DNA connects me to lineages and people that I would not otherwise know about and that I am
honored to know. I love the history.~
Remember always, a headstone is not a tribute to someone's death, but rather a tribute and honor to
a person who lived and loved. It is a reminder that no matter your station in life or your worldly
goods you made a difference. ~
About John Briggs
The earliest Briggs' surname appears to be those who farmed the land. Also those who served titled
folk in England. The bloodline actually though is traced back to one of the legendary Kings of
Ireland, so somewhere along the way a Briggs tilled the soil and worked and fought in the ancient
gaelic land. DNA testing of a current descendant of Richard Briggs of Taunton, Massachusetts
confirms the Irish ancestry of this Briggs' line.
The actual proof gets very sporadic and hard to find so we start with John Briggs and Johanna
Fluellen. One very well known Briggs' researcher is responsible for proving the lineage back this
far. This family and the next generation lived and died in England. It was their grandson John
Briggs who bravely crossed the Atlantic and settled in the colony of Massachusetts and eventually
made his way to Taunton. At the beginning in the town of Taunton, not one but four different Briggs'
One moved to Rhode Island and established a line there. They are not blood connected to the Briggs
who are documented in this volume, although they eventually saw some descendants marry into John
The third Briggs' was the Clement Briggs line, sometimes mistakenly thought to be this particular
John Briggs. However, he is not. He took his family and settled in Weymouth, Massachusetts and so
his story starts there in reality.
The other Briggs also moved and settled in the Rhode Island area. Subsequent DNA testing traces this
Briggs' lineage back to a Henry Briggs' of England (the Mathematician) and not much is known about
this line. They become a part of the story only by marriage and also later in future generations.
It is recorded that John had five children. What happened to the other two is lost in infinity and
history. No records beyond the mere fact they lived exist.
PEOPLE OF NOTE WITHIN THE TREE:
ARTHUR PRATT: Arthur was one of the more colorful members of the Pratt family. He served as a US
Marshal, warden of the Salt Lake City prison and Police chief of the Salt Lake City police force.
He was born in March 1853, only 6 years after Brigham Young brought the first pioneers into the Salt
Lake valley. Interestingly enough, the first person in Brigham Young’s party of 143 men, 3 women
and 2 children to enter Salt Lake Valley was none other than Arthur’s father, Orson Pratt. Orson
and another scout for the party, Erastus Snow, were 3 days ahead of Brigham on the trail. Erastus
was delayed a bit and so it was Orson who first entered the valley. Sarah and the children were in
Florence, Nebraska at the time. Sarah was expecting her sixth child, Laron, who was born 100 days
after Orson left and 11 days before Orson would enter the Salt Lake valley, 1,000 miles away. Sarah
had to endure the pain, joy and sorrow with that birth and also the death of her 18-month-old son
Vanson while Orson was gone. Vanson died the day after Orson entered the valley. In those days,
news could travel no faster than a horse could go and so Orson would not know of the birth or the
death of his sons until he returned, crossing the 1,000-mile plains again, this time going east.
CASPAR WARREN BRIGGS: Famous pioneer manufacturer of magic-lantern slides.
ANSEL BRIGGS: Ansel Briggs was an American pioneer who rose from a stagecoach driver to a
member of the Iowa Territorial House of Representatives and the first Governor of Iowa.
STEPHEN GROVER CLEVELAND: Stephen Grover Cleveland was an American politician and lawyer who
was the 22nd and 24th President of the United States, the only president in American history to
serve two non-consecutive terms in office.
PARLEY PARKER PRATT: Parley Parker Pratt Sr. was an early leader of the Latter-Day Saint
movement whose writings became a significant early nineteenth-century exposition of the Latter-Day
ORSON PRATT: Orson Pratt, Sr. was an American mathematician and religious leader who was an
original member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles of the Church of the Latter-Day Saints.
ORSON PRATT, JR.: Orson Pratt was the oldest son of the late Apostle Orson Pratt, one of the
early Church leaders and was born in Kirtland, Ohio, July 11, 1837, being, therefore, in his
sixty-seventh year. His early training in music he received in England, whither he journeyed with
his parents when a mere boy. His instructors were among the very best in Europe, and when he
returned home he engaged in his profession and soon became recognized as one of the leading men in
his line in this region. From him some of our present musicians received their first lessons in
piano and harmony. Prof. Pratt was also a student of art and literature and did much to raise the
prevailing standard in these lines.
HELAMAN PRATT: Helaman Pratt was an early leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints in the U.S. states of Nevada and Utah and later in Mexico.
DANIEL BRIGGS: (3rd Daniel in my direct line) He laid out the town of Oxford, Illinois and
Alpha, Illinois along with his cousin-in-law, Anson Calkins. He was born in Massachusetts but
relocated to the prairies of Illinois along with several family members. He was essential in
settling the county of Henry, Illinois.
ANSON CALKINS: Along with Daniel Briggs, he was a industrious man and hard working. He
helped Daniel lay out and settle Henry County, Illinois.
HOUSTON C. DEMORRIS: Well known and important doctor of the first colonies of Fulton and
McDonough counties of Illinois.
JAMES EARL CARTER: President of the United States.
SENATOR MICHAEL MCKOOL:: Senator of Texas
GOVERNOR BRUCE BABBITT: Governor of Arizona
JOHN DAVISON ROCKEFELLER II Banker and philanthropist
Come along with me and I will tell you a story...
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