Category Archives: education

Thanksgiving and the Mayflower

Knowledge can be enjoyably empowering, and for the last few years Thanksgiving has meant so much more to me. For most of my life I had no idea that I had any type of connection to the first Thanksgiving. I had almost no awareness beyond the generation before me and the generation after me. 

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that according to recorded history, I had an ancestor who came to America in the Mayflower. What’s more, he would have been present at the very first Thanksgiving. 

This newfound knowledge brings more meaning to this holiday for me, and it is my Thanksgiving wish that those who have not discovered their own personal connection to the first Thanksgiving find it soon. 

This wish relates to a really huge number of people. According to estimates I’ve seen, about 35 million people have Mayflower ancestry from one or more of the dozens of Mayflower Pilgrims. That’s about one in ten living Americans, and I’m betting that most of them do not yet know. You may be one of them. 

To help the discovery process along, we have just updated a number of our Mayflower ebooks, as well as many of our other ebook titles, from the new Family Forest® National Treasure Edition. These ebooks are like Fodor’s guides to ancestral history, leading you to the interesting people and places you should visit when you go there. 

Happy Thanksgiving from the folks at the Family Forest® Project.

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Filed under Ancestral History, ebooks, education, Family Forest, Family Forest National Treasure, Family Forest® Project, FamilyForest, Genealogy, history, Mayflower Pilgrims, Thanksgiving

“And that’s the way it is.”

Some of the voices and faces of those celebrities who have brought us over a century of impactful news through radio and television are indelibly etched in our memories. Now millions of us can see that we have actual family ties to some of those voices and faces.

 Family Forest® Ancestors-at-a-glance™ charts from the new National Treasure Edition have just been posted for some of the instantly recognizable people from broadcasting. 

These new free charts are for Walter Cronkite, Lowell Thomas, Katie Couric, Anderson Cooper, Pat Buchanan, Pat Robertson, G. Gordon Liddy, Maria Shriver, Don Imus and Mike Huckabee.


“And that’s the way it is.”

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Filed under Ancestral History, CBS, education, Family, Family Forest® Project, FamilyForest, Genealogy, history, Katie Couric, National Treasure, News, television, Walter Cronkite

Amelia Earhart

A new motion picture about America’s most beloved female aviator, Amelia, will be premiering at theatres on October 23, 2009. 

In advance of the release we have just posted a half-dozen related Ancestors-at-a-glance™ charts. 

One is for Amelia Earhart herself, one is for her husband, George “GP” Putnam, and one is for the famous Hollywood actor who will be portraying him, Richard Gere

In this role Richard will be portraying a cousin of California’s next Governor, Meg Whitman. Meg shares early New England Buckminster ancestors with “GP” Putnam. 

Another Buckminster cousin of Meg and GP is Bucky Fuller and he was a real life friend of Amelia. A video can be seen here of her in his futuristic Dymaxion car. 

And yet another Buckminster cousin is current US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner

If all of the cousins of the cast and characters of Amelia go to see it, this motion picture will be the largest box office hit ever.

The edutaining Family Forest® Project is Networking Family History with Hollywood™ and connecting audiences through actual family ties better than any other digital resource, either online or offline, as the new Family Forest® National Treasure Edition proves.

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Filed under A People-Centered Approach To History®, Ancestors, Ancestral History, education, Excellence, Family Forest, Family Forest® Project, Family Trees, FamilyForest, Genealogy, Golden Globes, history, Hollywood, National Treasure

Rand McNally of Ancestral History

I rediscovered a great quote while thumbing through one of my very many stacks of research materials. It accurately describes one of the foundation concepts steering the growth of the Family Forest® Project

The quote is from Andrew McNally IV, president of Rand McNally and great-grandson of one of its co-founders. Andrew said “Making the world around us more understandable is what map-making has always been about.” 

One of our goals for the Family Forest® is to become for ancestral history what Rand McNally is for geography. For 14 years now human intelligence has been digitally indexing , which translates to mapping visually, thousands of years of recorded human history

Another of our goals is to have a combination Google Earth/Second Life type interface for virtually exploring the world’s largest maps of human genetic migration, which are generated by the highest quality and most intricately interconnected web of networked family ties. 

Please stay tuned for the introduction of 200 or so selected Family Forest® Kinship Reports from the Family Forest® National Treasure Edition which will connect countless millions of living people, through their own generation-by-generation family ties, to more celebrities and historical figures than any other resource available anywhere, either on or off line.

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Filed under A People-Centered Approach To History®, Ancestral History, Ancestral Travel, education, Excellence, Family Forest, Family Forest® Project, FamilyForest, Genealogy, Google, internet, Maps, Travel, Virtual Reality

Big Picture Story from the Big Island

A new story just appeared, and we’re pleased that it doesn’t misleadingly try to squeeze our exciting leading-edge digital project into the genealogy pigeon-hole.

 

We do like stories that highlight some of the surprising family ties we’ve networked between famous people such as Brad Pitt and President Obama, and the Family Forest® does perform some amazing genealogy feats for everyday people that no other genealogy resource can, but the real picture of our digital project is so much bigger.

 

The Family Forest® Project is about so many more exciting possibilities than just plain vanilla genealogy, and the new story points to some of them.

 

Please continue to stay tuned here for enriching previews of the future of your own past.

 

Wordle: FamilyForest.com story

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Filed under A People-Centered Approach To History®, Ancestral History, Ancestral Travel, education, Family Forest, Family Forest® Project, Family Trees, FamilyForest, Genealogy, history, Hollywood, politics, Sarah Palin, Travel, Uncategorized, Virtual Reality

Happy Birthday Darwin and Lincoln

Watching PBS last night with my family, I learned that Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln were both born on the same day two hundred years ago today.

 

Kristine had been urging me to stop growing the Family Forest® long enough to write a new blog about Lincoln before his birthday passes. I had been considering comparing him to Benjamin “Don Benito” Wilson, another early American wilderness boy born about the same time who went on to greatness.

 

I had also been considering talking about the recent inaugural celebration concert at the Lincoln Memorial and the Family Forest® cousins I had noticed there in addition to the Obama and Biden families, like Pete Seeger, Tao Rodriquez-Seeger, George Lucas, James Taylor, Ashley Judd, and Tom Hanks. While channel surfing over the weekend, I stopped at Forrest Gump just in time to be reminded that Tom had already spoken in front of the Lincoln Memorial at least once before.

 

During the last few days Kristine had wanted me to watch a video about Darwin that relates to the Family Forest® Project. After watching the fascinating video over a cup of Kona coffee this morning, I couldn’t help but wonder what Darwin (and Lincoln) would think if he could visually explore the Family Forest® today.

 

Surely he would have found the world’s largest maps of human genetic migration thought provoking and helpful in his work, and I’d like to think he would have been amazed to discover what this single digital resource can do to ignite the curiosity and imagination of children.

 

Surely he would have been in awe to learn that it is has become possible to start with President Obama’s children, or Tom Hank’s children, and travel through their own generation-by-generation family ties to reach him and his family, plus

President Lincoln’s family, and to relate them personally to so many thousands of the most famous people, places, and events in human history.

 

While I don’t expect anyone will be remembering the 200th anniversary of my birth, I do like to think that 200 years from now I will still be giving people smiles from the Family Forest®.

 

P.S. Here’s an inspiring Lincoln/Obama story. 

 

 

lincoln

 

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Filed under A People-Centered Approach To History®, Ancestral History, education, Excellence, Family, Family Forest, Family Forest® Project, FamilyForest, Genealogy, history, life, Maps, Olympic Gold, Presidential Inauguration, Tom Hanks, Uncategorized

Free Money from Your Ancestors

Knowing your genealogy can actually be worth substantial money to you, and life-changing knowledge can be beyond priceless, truly of incalculable value.

 

For instance, having the knowledge I just discovered could have given a life-changing advantage of monumental value to one of your ancestors, to you, and to your descendants.

 

In fact, if one of your ancestors had discovered this key knowledge when they really needed it, you and your descendants would have been born into an entirely different and almost certainly much better socio-economic environment.

 

And you or one of your descendants may be standing at that very crossroads right now.

 

The amazing Google Book Search was the source of one key piece of knowledge that led me to the pleasing discovery that the Family Forest® contains an additional treasure trove of priceless knowledge that I was unaware of. 

 

This particular gem of knowledge was found in a book that has been in the Harvard College Library for over a century. This book is number 299 of a 300 edition printing of a 1905 genealogy book about the Kingsbury family. A sticker in the front of the book says:

 

“From the Bright Legacy. Descendants of Henry Bright, jr., who died at Watertown, Mass., in 1686, are entitled to hold scholarship in Harvard College, established in 1880 under the will of Jonathan Brown Bright of Waltham, Mass., with one half the income of this Legacy. Such descendants failing, other persons are eligible to the scholarships. The will requires that this announcement shall be made in every book added to the Library under its provisions.”

 

So a couple of quick mouse-clicks in the Family Forest® New World Edition

revealed that Henry Bright, Jr. had descendants with the surnames of Abbott, Adams, Ahrens, Alexander, Atkins, Baker, Baldwin, Barnes, Bentley, Bicknell, Bigelow, Bond, Booth, Bowman, Bright, Bryant, Brown, Burkholder, Carder, Carter, Chamberlin, Cheesman, Clark, Coffin, Cooledge, Coolidge, Crane, Cunningham, Cummings, Dalton, Dean, Deane, Dvojacki, Dewey, Dexter, Folsom, Fowle, Frary, Fuller, Gates, Gibson, Gilman, Goddard, Goodloe, Gould, Greenleaf, Greenwood, Grosvenor, Hanna, Harpole, Hastings, Higgins, Homans, Howell, Jackson, Kiblinger, Langan, Learned, Leavitt, Lipphart, Little, Livermore, Martin, Merriam, Miles, Miller, Mills, Morgan, Munroe, Niebell, Owsley, Paddock, Page, Passarella, Pearce, Perkins, Pleasants, Pratt, Pulsifer, Quincy, Ray, Raymond, Rentschler, Rice, Rodger, Rowland, Sargent, Shattuck, Shreve, Smallwood, Smith, Skillen, Stearns, Stetson, Stocker, Stone, Storer, Stratton, Strecker, Sweeney, Tatnall, Taylor, Temple, Tileston, Tufts, Walker, Waller, Washburn, Webber, Webster, Welch, Wheeler, White, Whiting, Wier, Wigglesworth, Woods, Woodward, and others.

 

One of these is the surname of a friend who was struggling last fall to find funds to give his daughter a good college education. A couple of them are names of members of my church congregation, one is one of Kristine’s ancestors, four are some of my ancestral surnames, and some are names and/or ancestral surnames of people we see regularly in the news.

 

How many people who are entitled to basically free money from their ancestors are completely unaware of it? How many people with unusual surnames such as Ahrens, Dvojacki, or Passarella, or common surnames such as Baker, Clark, or Smith, would know that they had ancestors with the surname of Bright, and that this knowledge can entitle members of their family to a life-changing advantage?

 

Which of course leads me back to the Family Forest®. If key knowledge can be priceless, what is a digital edutainment resource that leads you to that knowledge worth?

 

 

 

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Filed under A People-Centered Approach To History®, education, Excellence, Family Forest, Family Forest® Project, Genealogy, history, life