On August 6, 1911, one hundred and one years ago today, Lucille Désirée Ball (1911-1989), the “Queen of Comedy” and actress famous for her role on the hit television show I Love Lucy, was born in Jamestown, Chautauqua Co., New York the daughter of Henry D. Ball (1887-1915) and Desiree Hunt (1892-1977). Although I am not a descendant of a member of the Ball or Hunt families, I did discover while researching a branch of my ancestry that Lucille Ball and I share a common ancestor.
When I began researching my Stearns ancestry, which is a branch belonging to my 2nd great grandmother Maudena Elizabeth “Lizzie” (Stearns) Kernan (1885-1936), I discovered that one of Lizzie’s ancestors, and my 7th great grandfather, John Stearns (ca. 1692-1765), was married to a Deliverance Bigelow (1695-1762). Deliverance was the daughter of Samuel Bigelow (1653-1731) and Mary Flagg (1653-1720), my 8th great grandparents. As I began to look into the lives of Samuel and Mary, I discovered that Samuel was born in Watertown, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts, but his parents, John Bigelow (1617-1703) and Mary Warren (1624-1691), were among the early settlers of Watertown, having immigrated in about 1632 from Wrentham, Suffolk, England. As I dug deeper into their lives and the Bigelow family, I discovered research showing that Lucille Ball was also a descendant of Samuel Bigelow and Mary Flagg.
The following is a chart that shows the descent of Lucille Ball and my paternal grandfather, William Kernan, from Samuel Bigelow and Mary Flagg:
|Lucille Ball’s Line:||My Grandfather’s Line:|
|1||Samuel Bigelow (1653-1731) m. Mary Flagg (1657-1720)||
|Samuel Bigelow (1653-1731) m. Mary Flagg (1657-1720)|
|2||Sarah Bigelow (1681-1713) m. Josiah Howe (ca. 1678-1766)||
|Deliverance Bigelow (1695-1762) m. John Stearns (1692-1765)|
|3||Rachel Howe (1710-1779) m. Isaac Ball (ca. 1710-1789)||
|Samuel Stearns (1720-1776) m. Jemima Hoyt (1729-?)|
|4||Isaac Ball (1747-1790) m. Hannah Cummings (1757-?)||
|Samuel Stearns (1754-1840) m. Thankful Raymond (1758-1817)|
|5||Isaac Ball (1787-1865) m. Sarah Manross (1792-1843)||
|Lyman Stearns (1803-1879) m. Rebecca Hines (1816-1875)|
|6||Clinton M. Ball (1817-1893) m. Cynthia Dale (1823-1900)||
|Theodore F. Stearns (1844-1930) m. Anna E. Backer (1854-1919)|
|7||Jasper C. Ball (1852-1933) m. Nellie Durrell (1856-1935)||
|Maudena E. Stearns (1885-1936) m. George E. Kernan (1884-1960)|
|8||Henry D. Ball (1887-1915) m. Desiree Hunt (1892-1977)||
|Delmar C. Kernan (1908-1979) m. Maxine E. Davis (1912-1992)|
|9||Lucille Désirée Ball (1911-1989)||
|William Kernan (LIVING)|
Based on the generations of descent from Samuel Bigelow and Mary Flagg listed above, my paternal grandfather, William Kernan (LIVING), and Lucille Ball (1911-1989) are 7th cousins. This makes Lucille Ball my 7th cousin, 2x removed.
Discovering this ancestral connection to Lucille Ball was kind of nice because I, like so many, have always enjoyed I Love Lucy, and still enjoy watching it today.