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Logo: Who Do You Think You AreOne of the most interesting discoveries I’ve made recently came unexpectedly while watching Who Do You Think You Are. Tim McGraw’s episode to be specific.

My mom and I were watching the program and they mentioned the surname Chrisman. I told mom I had Chrisman ancestors on Dad’s side. While it surprised me to hear a familiar name I didn’t really think much of it; what are the odds of Tim McGraw and I having a common ancestor?

The next name mentioned from his lineage that stood out to me was Magdaline Hite. I was stunned. “Mom!” I said. “That’s my ancestor!”

As soon as a commercial started I ran to my research area and pulled out a stack of pedigree charts. The page on top was for Elizabeth Chrisman daughter of Magdaline Hite. I had information on Jost Hite and his wife Anna Maria Merckle and each of their parents too. I was amazed.

My 7th great grandmother, Elizabeth Chrisman, was sister to Tim McGraw’s 6th great grandfather, Isaac Chrisman. Their parents, Magdaline Hite and Jacob Chrisman, are my 8th great grandparents and his 7th. If I’ve done my calculations correctly, he and I are 6th cousins 3x removed. While I find that a bit exciting, I was more thrilled by the evidence the program provided about my ancestors.

George Washington is one of my all time favorite historical figures so you can imagine my pride in discovering he held my ancestors, the Hites, in such high regard. It amazes me to know my 9th great grandfather played such an instrumental role in settling the Shenandoah Valley. The history lesson on the Palatines was enlightening; my ancestors journeyed to this country – basically under false pretenses – to find a better life. With hard work they succeeded. Oh, and my ancestors sailed to the Americas with Elvis Presley’s ancestors. How cool is that?

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Who Do You Think You Are but it’s found a special place in my heart because of the episode about Tim McGraw and my ancestors.

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