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#BravoGenealogy: RHOSLC's Heather Gay and Whitney Rose's New RHOC Cousin

I know that I'm not the only one who has been deeply invested in how Real Housewives of Salt Lake City's Whitney Rose is related to castmate Heather Gay (and friend Angie Harrington).

As I outlined in a previous post, Whitney and Heather are third cousins related through their shared 2nd great-grandparents, William Edward Robinson (1866-1919) and Jane Chipman (1872-1942).

Heather and Whitney's Common Ancestry

A major perk to blogging and microblogging about family history is so-called "cousin bait." Unknown family members may find your research through a Google search, something that has definitely happened to me in my own family. Part of the fun of #BravoGenealogy is that cousin bait extends beyond my family tree to all the people I research and write about, and I've "met" a few Bravoleb relatives along the way. Because of my post on Heather and Whitney's relationship, Heather's aunt reached out to me and dropped the hint that there is Mayflower ancestry through John Howland in their tree. Of course, you know how I spent my Friday night.

Portrait of Captain John Howland. Credit: New Bedford Whaling Museum

If the name John Howland is new to you, he is known as the one who fell overboard on his Mayflower voyage. About the accident, William Bradford recorded in his Of Plimoth Plantation:

It pleased God that he [John Howland] caught hold of the topsail halyards which hung overboard and ran out at length. Yet he held his hold (though he was sundry fathoms under water) till he was hauled up by the same rope to the brim of the water, and then with a boat hook and other means got into the ship again and his life saved. And though he was something ill with it, yet he lived many years after and became a profitable member both in church and commonwealth.

After climbing Heather and Whitney's tree through their shared 2nd great-grandmother, Jane (Chipman) Robinson, I learned that their 9th great-grandfather, John Chipman (1614-1708) married 9th great-grandmother, Hope Howland (1629-1683), daughter of Mayflower passengers John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley, their 10th great-grandparents. Although I was also able to corroborate with records, actually has the book, The Chipman Family, a Genealogy of the Chipmans in America, 1631-1920, digitized into a searchable database, and it includes Heather and Whitney's entire Chipman line starting from their 3rd great-grandfather, William Henry Chipman (father of Jane Chipman Robinson).

If you've read my other #BravoGenealogy posts, perhaps you remember reading about John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley before? So, who are Heather and Whitney related to?

If you recall, former Real Housewife of Orange County, Tamra Judge, is also a descendant of John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley, through their daughter Lydia Howland (1633-1711) in her marriage to James Brown (1623-1710). Since they are also Tamra's 10th great-grandparents, that would make Heather and Whitney 11th cousins to Tamra.

Bravo really is just one big, happy family.


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