finding your roots

Gee, I’m Related to Kyra Sedgwick, Too

Stephen Haynes April 10, 2012

Watching Louis Henry Gates’s “Finding Your Roots” show tonight provided a nice diversion. One of his guests was actress Kyra Sedgwick. “Wait a moment,” says I, “there’s a Sedgwick on our family tree. Maybe …”

It took a little sleuthing, but I think the relationship is pretty sound, if distant and via my 7th great grandmother having married twice. I had Kyra’s father’s name from the Web, and her 4th great grandfather’s (Theodore Sedgwick, a prominent lawyer and participant in the Revolution in 18th century Massachusetts) from the show, so the rest was filling in the gaps between us and Theodore (via his grandfather) and between Theodore and Kyra.

And all this because our 7th great grandfather David Whitney’s wife was recorded in our family tree as “Prudence Merrill Sedgwick,” erroneously it turns out, because Ebenezer Sedgwick was Prudence’s first husband. That error, now corrected, was all I needed to complete the track, which is illustrated in the image — sorry it’s so small, but that’s the site’s limitation.

Haynes-Sedgwick Relationship Chart


Submit Your Story


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


  • garth tuttle

    April 12, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    Re: Merrill: There is one known Merrill family from Old New England ; I am of that descent, as I believe are both prs. Bush and v.p. Channey – amongst numerous others. Most Old New England families have some relative in common, some have several (I, myself, am my own cousin )

  • B. F. Davis

    April 15, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    Having been very active for over thirty five years in genealogical research, I was hopeful about “Finding your Roots……” when 1st announced on PBS. However, I find that H. L. Gates, Jr.’s refernces to “slave owners” in guest’s ancestral trees more than a little disturbing. Surely there is more interesting information available on some of these long dead people and Mr. Gate’s way of presenting this to the unsuspecting places them in an unwarranted and embarrasing position, as they scramble to disown or denounce their forebears “evil’ in owning slaves. Shame on you Mr. Gates!

  • Jay

    April 16, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    I love how Dr. Gates takes from ordinary genealogies very profound overarching and universal themes, such as how slavery impacted the lives of the Nation, rich and poor alike, and turns it into a lesson. Each episode is like an exquisately cut gem. Profoundly beautiful work, Dr Gates.

  • Denise

    April 23, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    Congratulations on your connection…
    @B. F. Davis, referring to slave owners is a clue for African Americans researching our ancestry. We view the fact that “Who Do You Think You Are” omit mentioning obvious slave owners as a “shame on them”. Personally, I wish everyone who finds slave owners in they’re ancestry would mention it in some way.

  • Keith

    April 24, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    @ B.F. Davis i agree with you wholeheartedly and believe me you are not the only one who feels that way.

Buy the DVD

About the Series

The basic drive to discover who we are and where we come from is at the core of the new 10-part PBS series Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the 12th series from Professor Gates, the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University and director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research. Filmed on location across the United States, the series premieres nationally Sundays, March 25 – May 20 at 8 pm ET on PBS (check local listings).

Join the Community

close watch preview