Letter: They could be related

This letter sent to the Star was written by Syd Bullen, Sheffield, S20

By Syd Bullen
Thursday, 6th May 2021, 6:37 am
Joe Cocker at Sheffield Arena in 2007
Joe Cocker at Sheffield Arena in 2007

I noticed the article by columnist Jon Ball about Jarvis Cocker (Star, Wednesday, April 28), stated he and Joe Cocker are unrelated. Maybe Jon could tell us how he researched this information, or was he just repeating what he had previously heard or seen in print? I have seen this statement printed several times in The Star in recent years.

I wonder where this source of information originated because unless Jarvis and Joe had taken a DNA test, who has researched their respective families’ histories extensively enough to prove they are unrelated?

If we meet a stranger we don’t recognise or have never heard of before but has the same surname as ourselves we may think we are not related to that person, but usually only make this assumption by using our own living memories or those of our parents, grandparents or great-grandparents and their knowledge of our related family.

We may sometimes see a person’s surname next to our own in a phone directory thinking we are not related but could very well be, albeit distantly, especially if they were born in the same city and share an uncommon surname with us.

It’s surprising how quickly families, cousins, cousins-once-removed, second cousins and so on can lose touch in just a matter of a few generations. Contacts can be lost and ties severed when memories of related family fade over the years but research the family name back far enough and you may discover a few surprises!