Family trees and genealogy databases usually concern themselves with people sharing a common ancestry, through marriage or parentage. But another connection might be friends or persons originating from the same geographic area.
I grew up in Bridgewater, South Dakota, population less than one thousand. A famous native son we were all so proud of has died. Legendary baseball manager George “Sparky” Anderson was born in Bridgewater February 2, 1934 and died in Thousand Oaks, California on November 4, 2010. His family left South Dakota when he was quite young, and, while I never knew him personally, he was famous for his friendly manner and ability to connect with all kinds of people.
Sparky always remembered his humble origins and returned in later years when the local high school playing field was named in his honor.
While Sparky and I are not related, I can’t help feeling a loss in the family.
Rest in peace, Sparky, and “Batter up!”