Archive for the ‘Site referrals’ Category

This article is part of a series journaling my progress with what I call The Presidential Project. The first article was posted on 25 May, 2017 and can be found here: Back to the Blog and you can read forward from there to today.
Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Yesterday, I wrote about how I can claim kinship to at least 13 Signers of the Declaration of Independence. Yesterday and today I also saw how there were many Facebook posts about kinship to the Signers, so I thought it might be helpful to give a “how to” explanation of how I quickly identified those 13 brave Patriots.

I am using the website FamousKin.com as the resource to identify my relationships to various, well, Famous Kin. The key is to identify Gateway Ancestors. So let’s use the 3rd President of the United States, “TJ” Thomas Jefferson, as an example. And let’s do this as his role as a Signer of the Declaration of Independence rather than his Presidency.

Go to the website and click on the Signers button, the 7th one across near the top of the page. Up comes a list, not complete, of people who signed important historic documents. Find Thomas Jefferson in the list, the 17th one down, and click on the “famous kin” link next to his name. Up comes a page with a list of famous people from various walks of life that are related to TJ.

The first entries are famous people from which TJ is directly descended, followed by people who have a kinship to him. As you peruse the list, perhaps your Surname Alarm starts going off. Yes, you recognize a name from your family tree. By definition, if you are related to, say, William the Conqueror, and TJ is related to him as well, then you are, by definition, related to Thomas Jefferson.

So for yesterday’s blog post, I keyed in on two very famous ancestors of mine, William the Conqueror and King Edward I, my 27th and 21st great-grandfathers respectively. I then looked at the famous kin of each Signer, looking for those names in their list and that is how I developed my own list. Note that if you claim King Edward “Longshanks” I in your family tree, you too are related to those same 13 signers … and me! Hello Cousin.

Tomorrow I will get into how you determine the exact relationship between yourself and the Signer of the Declaration of Independence. But I must end with this caveat. The data on FamousKin.com does not contain source references. You need to treat it as you would data from Ancestry or the IGI, as a clue, not as fact. There are better, well sourced, genealogies of various famous people, especially the Presidents. It is there that you can bump up the confidence in claiming your relationship. Perhaps a reader or two will respond with a comment about those more definitive resources.

Next Installment: The Signers, explained, part 2

(c) 2017 Philip G Wright, all rights reserved

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Nutfield Genealogy

This article is part of a series journaling my progress with what I call The Presidential Project. The first article was posted on 25 May, 2017 and can be found here: Back to the Blog

I am a member of several genealogy-related groups on Facebook, among them New England Family Genealogy and History and New England Genealogy. Some of the members publish a blog and make posts in these groups of their content that we might find interesting. One post I always look forward to reading is by Heather Wilkinson Rojo from her Nutfield Genealogy blog.

Heather turns out to be a distant cousin, as I mentioned in yesterday’s post, my 9th cousin, 1x removed. We share Deacon John Wright (1601-1688) as our common ancestor, she descended from his youngest daughter Sarah, me from his second son Joseph. But kinship aside, I like her blog, and that’s why I chose to write about it today.

I like its structure, the scope of information presented, and her special day-of-the-week features: Tombstone Tuesday, Weathervane Wednesday, and Surname Saturday. Every Saturday I am looking in Family Beekeeper, my cellphone family tree app, to check out the featured surname and see if I am somehow related. If you are looking to get into genealogical blogging, Heather has a fantastic model for you to consider emulating.

I strongly recommend you add Nutfield Genealogy to your list of followed blogs and see what new content appears every day.

Next Installment: Succession Planning

(c) 2017 Philip G Wright, all rights reserved

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The Peerage

Back to the research story. I was chasing a big, fat genealogical rabbit at this point, looking to fill in the earlier family tree so I could match up Gateway Ancestors with the data I was collecting in my Famous kin spreadsheet. Little did I know at that point that I had a data feast awaiting me.

I don’t remember at this point which royal ancestor I searched via Google but it led me to an interesting web site called Tudor Place (http://www.tudorplace.com.ar/), a Web site run by Jorge H. Castelli in Argentina. Plenty of ancestors there but I did not see any sourcing. I had filled in a lot of my early tree from the data but a few name shifts had me thinking. So I did some name searching and landed on a Web site that answered all my sourcing questions and then some: The Peerage (http://www.thepeerage.com/index.htm).

The Peerage is a web site complied by Darryl Lundy out of Wellington, New Zealand. It boasts 695,232 people in a fully linked format with impeccable sourcing. Just what I was looking for! If you have ancestry going back to early colonial America, chances are you have some royal ancestry and this will prove to be an invaluable resource for you. A good deal of the sourcing is from the many flavors of Burke’s Peerage,

“the definitive guide to the genealogy and heraldry of the Peerage, Baronetage, Knightage and Landed Gentry of the United Kingdom, the historical families of Ireland and the Commonwealth of Nations, the Imperial, Royal and Mediatised families of Europe and Latin America, the Presidential and distinguished families of the United States, the ruling families of Africa and the Middle East and other prominent families worldwide.”

Well, that’s what they say about themselves at the official web site: http://www.burkespeerage.com/.

But I was most pleased with Mr. Lundy’s site and while it is a secondary source to Burke’s, I am pleased with the format, especially since it is mobile friendly. That let’s me do the lookups on the phone while updating Family Tree Maker on the laptop.

With such a rich data source, my methodology is pretty straight forward. I enter a male parent, enter all the facts available at the source, assign an Ahnentafel number, and enter the two parents. I continue following the male parentage, leaving the female data for later. I then backtrack back through the pages I retrieved and fill in the distaff side. I follow the same procedure, entering the woman’s two parents, and walk back the male then female lines. It is tedious but seems to be the best route to make sure no one is missed.

I will stress that it is important to look up the female in The Peerage and not be satisfied that the facts about her on the husband’s page are enough. On her page, you may find additional facts but more importantly, additional marriages! And therein lies a problem: intermarriages. I am finding many cases where a descendant from one line marries a descendant from another. But I’ll discuss that at another time.

What I have started doing is adding a custom fact that contains the person number assigned onn the web site. It should help me discern the difference between the same person entered twice given my methodology versus two distinct individuals sharing the same name.

I will close with a factoid that might give you reason to spend a great deal of time on The Peerage. If you have Isabel de Clare, 1st Countess of Pembroke and daughter of Richard de Clare and Aoife MacMurrough (aka Eva of Leinster), in your family tree, then (from Wikipedia),

“within a few generations their descendants included much of the nobility of Europe including all the monarchs of Scotland since Robert I (1274-1329) and all those of England, Great Britain and the United Kingdom since Henry IV (1367-1413); and, apart from Anne of Cleves, all the queen consorts of Henry VIII.[3]”

[3] Lundy, Darryl. “Robert I Bruce, King of Scotland”. The Peerage. Retrieved 12 Aug 2016.

See, even Wikipedia authors are citing The Peerage!

Tomorrow’s installment: New Facts and Family Tree Maker

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I can’t say for certain what started this quest to identify how my family is related to the past Presidents of the United States. Perhaps it was from looking up Mayflower Ancestors to compare with a classmate and I was reminded of the Delano line which, of course, brought FDR to mind. In the past I had identified our family ties to the Bushes: George Herbert Walker Bush is my 10th cousin which makes George Walker Bush my 10th cousin one time removed. But whatever the trigger, I started doing some digging and quickly found a wonderful web site that has led me back to writing again about family history and genealogy.

The web site is FamousKin.com, hosted by Rich Hall. Do read his about me page to see what prompted Rich to create such a great resource. I apologize in advance for the many hours you will spend rooting around there. What caught my eye about FamousKin was not the presidential genealogies themselves but rather the link for each President that showed a veritable Who’s Who of people past and present who are related to that President. Actors, actresses, poets, authors, scientists, signers of the Declaration of Independence, and on and on.

For each presidential relative, Mr. Hall lists the name, claim to fame (or notoriety), the relationship, and most importantly, the common ancestor. If you click the relative’s name, you are presented with a relationship chart that shows the lines of descent and how they are related. The nodes in the chart are themselves links to another page that shows details about the person, details such as dates of birth and death, parents and children, marriages, etc.

It soon dawned on me from looking at the kin page that certain names of the common ancestors sounded familiar and that set off what my fellow researchers will recognize as The Surname Alarm. And that will be my next installment.

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