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Celebrating King Kamehameha Day

While you and your family are enjoying your tropical vacation here in Hawaii, there is a very good chance that you will see, or even meet, an actual descendant of King Kamehameha the Great.

Two centuries after he boldly united the Hawaiian Islands, according to recorded history his descendants have become quite numerous, and have now spread throughout the population here in Hawaii and elsewhere.

A Family Forest® kinship report, see question ten, of King Kamehameha I lists many of them, and it is available here for free .

In honor of the official State Holiday, for King Kamehameha Day 2011 we will give away a free National Treasure download to the first ten of King Kamehameha’s descendants from the kinship report who email us.

The Family Forest® National Treasure Edition is, among many other landmark claims, the best digital central source for generation-by-generation ancestral pathways leading to and from Hawaii.

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Filed under Ancestral History, Descendants, Family Forest National Treasure, Family Forest® Project, Genealogy, Hawaii, Hawaiian Ancestry, King Kamehameha, National Treasure, Royalty

Gunsmoke and James Arness

 It’s sad when a television star who was so prominent in ones childhood passes. With the passing of James Arness, it was doubly sad for me. 

Do you ever have a particular thought that whenever it pops to mind, an associated thought, sometimes seemingly unrelated, pops to mind with it? I have one that’s always triggered by Gunsmoke. It is memories of my Grandma Harrison. 

I remember fondly when I was a kid, for many reasons, it was always a treat to get to spend the weekend at Grandma’s. In addition to having more root beer, M&Ms, and Hershey kisses than I would ever get at home, one of my favorite reasons was getting to stay up late and watch Gunsmoke with Grandma. 

So for me, the sadness of James Arness’s death was accompanied by the sadness of missing Grandma, and wondering about the answers to questions I never asked her.  

What did she know about her family heritage? Her unfeminine middle name of Bryant appears to be a surname. Where did it come from? At least one of her children has a middle name that is known to be one of our family surnames. What about a couple of her other children? Where did their surname-sounding middle names come from?  

She appears to have been conscious of and knowledgeable about her family heritage. I wonder, from a Family Forest® perspective, would she have been surprised to learn that I now have her networked through generation-by-generation family ties to the Hollywood star who she welcomed into her living room as Marshall Matt Dillon for twenty years? I wish I could tell her. 

I’ll bet she would be surprised to learn that I have also networked James Arness and his brother Peter Graves to plenty of famous cousins they share though 1600′s ancestors, including Bill Gates, Benjamin “The Signer” Franklin, George Gilder, Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., Kurt Russell (also appeared in Gunsmoke), Sigourney Weaver, Tuesday Weld, George Plimpton, President John Quincy Adams, Ransom Eli Olds, Jennifer Aniston, both Presidents Bush, Christopher Reeve, Kyra Sedgwick, Edie Sedgwick, Montgomery Clift, Louisa May Alcott, Governor Howard Dean, Emily Dickinson, Hugh Hefner, Dennis Hopper (also appeared in Gunsmoke), Warren Buffett, Howard Hawks, Viggo Mortensen, Tom Mix, Governor Mitt Romney, Tennessee Williams, First Lady Bess Truman, Frederic Remington, President Rutherford B. Hayes, President Grover Cleveland, O. Henry, William “The Signer” Williams, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Pete Seeger, George Kennedy (also appeared in Gunsmoke), Governor Mike Huckabee, Erle Stanley Gardner, Princess Diana, Oliver Platt, Brooke Shields, Meg Whitman, Chase Utley, Governor Sarah Palin, Fred Gwynne, Vice-President Charles Curtis, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Chief Justice William Renhquist, Dick Clark, Dorothy and Lillian Gish, Orville and Wilbur Wright, Frederick Law Olmstead, John Foster Dulles, Spring Byington, Clint Eastwood, Vice-President Nelson Rockefeller, Ted Waitt, Richard Gere, Arne Duncan, Vincent Price, President Gerald Ford, Lee Remick, Archibald Cox, JonBenet Ramsey, and Marilyn Monroe.  

The Family Forest® Project is, among other objectives, Networking Family History with Hollywood™.

 

 

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Filed under Ancestry, Cousins, Family Forest National Treasure, Family Forest® Project, Genealogy, Gunsmoke, Hollywood, James Arness

Family Forest® Interview on Small Business Roundtable

 I’ve recently discovered a great resource called Small Business Roundtable, and I had the pleasure of being interviewed today by John Martin, one of my distant cousins (17C1R).

I hope you will enjoy my interview, as well as some of the other informative and inspirational interviews archived there, and I strongly recommend that you catch the upcoming Guy Kawasaki interview.

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Filed under A People-Centered Approach To History®, Family Forest National Treasure, Family Forest® Project, Genealogy, Guy Kawasaki, Hollywood, John Martin, National Treasure, Small Business Roundtable

Johnny Depp’s Famous Relatives

Two suspicious articles just appeared about Johnny Depp and Queen Elizabeth II being very distantly related.

One article calls them “cousins, 20 times removed.” This seems very unlikey, because to become any degree of cousins 20 times removed of anyone living at the same time requires the closest ancestral connection between the two to be at least thousands of years ago.

They are also called 20th cousins by “relying upon an unreported but widely known marriage in the 1600s” in another article. It is impossible to become 20th cousins of anyone within that relatively short time span.

The Family Forest® has not yet found a reliable connection between the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ star and the current British monarcy, but a Family Forest® kinship report last night for Johnny Depp did find some of his much closer famous relatives.

They are Major Reno of the Battle of the Little Big Horn fame (3C4R), current US Senators Mark Udall and Tom Udall (both 6C1R), Grammy award winning singer Taylor Swift (7C1R), actress and famous World War II pin-up girl Bettly Grable (9C1R), ‘Superman’ actor Christopher Reeve (10C), and TV newsman Anderson Cooper (10C).

These relationships are summaries representing the fully-sourced generation-by-generation family ties between Johnny Depp and each of these people in the Family Forest®.

The Family Forest Project® is Networking Family History with Hollywood™.

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Filed under A People-Centered Approach To History®, Ancestors, Ancestral History, Ancestry, Cousins, Family Forest National Treasure, Family Forest® Project, Genealogy, Hollywood, Johnny Depp, Queen Elizabeth II, Royalty

Lionel Richie on WDYTYA

One of my top two favorite episodes so far this season on ABC’s Who Do you Think You Are? series is available online here.

The part I like best is watching Lionel’s delight while giving his children the gift of knowledge about some of their own ancestral heritage.

I also like knowing that there is so much more to the story waiting for Lionel’s family.

I wonder how they will react when they discover that, according to recorded history, they are almost certainly descended from royalty and they actually share ancestors with recent WDYTYA subject Tim McGraw?

The program tells us that Lionel’s ancestor John Louis Brown was almost certainly either the son, or the grandson, of Dr. Morgan Brown. Dr. Brown is descended from Sir Anthony Browne, Viscount Montagu.

If you click on Viscount Montagu (PIN 27986 in the Family Forest National Treasure and ask for a ten generation ancestor view, you will see his generation-by-generation ancestral pathway leading to Edward I Longshanks, King of England (portrayed in Braveheart), through his grandson, Edward III.

You will also see another see another ancestral pathway leading to Longshanks through one of his granddaughters, Joan, the Fair Maid of Kent.

If you ask for a 20-generation descendant view of Viscount Montagu, you will see some lines of descent to some famous cousins of Lionel, including President FDR, Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau, Senator John Kerry and Senator John Edwards, Queen Elizabeth II, Sarah Ferguson, Cary Elwes, Winston Churchill, Princess Diana, and “The Thornbirds” star Rachel Ward.

If Lionel’s ancestor John Louis Brown was the son of Dr. Morgan Brown, you can click on Dr. Brown’s wife Elizabeth Little  (PIN 282063 in the Family Forest National Treasure and ask for a twenty generation ancestor view. You will see her generation-by-generation ancestral pathway leading to Robert I, King of Scotland (also portrayed in Braveheart).

If you like Who Do you Think You Are?, you will enjoy visually exploring the National Treasure to see what we mean when we say that the Family Forest Project is Networking Family History with Hollywood™.

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Filed under Ancestors, Ancestry, Braveheart, ebooks, Family Forest National Treasure, Family Forest® Project, Family History, Genealogy, King Edward III of England, King Robert I of Scotland, Lionel Richie, Who Do You Think You Are

Tim McGraw on WDYTYA

This is another worthwhile and well-done episode available online here from the team that creates the Who Do you Think You Are? program on NBC.

My favorite part is seeing how proudly people react to discovering and sharing with relatives that they have actual family ties to historical places, historical events, and real historical figures, and in this case, to two of Tim’s heroes.

It was interesting watching the story unfold leading up to being able to tell Tim that his hero George Washington knew Tim’s ancestors, and another one of Tim’s ancestors came to America with one of Elvis’ ancestors.

I wonder how Tim and his family will react when they discover that, according to recorded history, they actually share ancestors with George Washington, Elvis Presley, General Patton, Reese Witherspoon, and many other well-known people?

The Family Forest® is now capable of generating a huge number of relationship charts connecting Tim and his children through common ancestors to most of the key people, places, and events in human history, as well as to many of Tim’s entertainment collegues, and probably even more importantly, to Tim’s fans and potential fans.

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Filed under Ancestral History, Ancestry, Family Forest, Family Forest® Project, Family History, Genealogy, Tim McGraw, Uncategorized, Who Do You Think You Are

The Kindness of Strangers

A new Family Forest® customer wrote “Actually, I had no idea about that. Thank you so much! That’s fabulous! Most of my information is from census records and marriage records, which, as you know, are quite impersonal. I will definitely have to check out that book.” 

Elizabeth was writing about a story our ancestral history tour guide service discovered about one of her own ancestors. 

With two of his brothers and their father, young Samuel Boyd was in a skirmish in South Carolina in the American Revolution. He was left for dead after a musket ball passed through his temple and took out his right eye. An old colored woman found him and took care of him until he was able to get away. 

He did not have any children at the time, but after surviving a shot to the head, he went on to become an early pioneer settler in Kentucky and father of a large family of children who became the ancestors of many living people today. 

What if that kind old colored woman had not befriended Samuel at that critical time? Would his descendants have never been born? Or would they have been born as someone else? 

While we’ll never know the answer to that, we do know something else for certain. History pivots on small events, including the kindness of a stranger. 

The story about Samuel’s pivotal Revolutionary event and his ensuing full life begins on page 121 in the 1892 Autobiography and Sermons of Elder Elijah Martindale by Belle Stanford.

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Filed under Ancestors, Ancestral History, Family Forest National Treasure, Family Forest® Project, Genealogy, history

Presidents’ Day

 Do you know this about President George Washington and other presidential trivia?

Do you know how this day in history Washington’s Birthday became known as Presidents’ Day?

 Do you know why President Bush, Senator Kerry and FamilyForest.com were featured in USA Today?

 Do you know why CBS News did a story on President Bush that mentioned his connection to Hugh Hefner? 

Do you know why Walt Disney, President Bush and President Obama are mentioned in this NPR story? 

Do you know which ancestors of President Barack Obama link him to U.S. Presidents?

Do you know how to search for US Presidents in the Family Forest® National Treasure?

Do you know President Lincoln and Charles Darwin share birthdays? 

Do you know President Lincoln and President Obama share ancestors?

 Do you know what an Ancestors-at-a-glance fan chart looks like for President William Taft? 

Happy Presidents’ Day!

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Filed under Ancestral History, education, Family Forest National Treasure, Family Forest® Project, Genealogy, Presidents Day, U.S. Presidents

The 83rd Academy Awards

The Family Forest® Project is, among other objectives, Networking Family History with Hollywood™, and it can connect far more people personally, through their own family ties, to Hollywood content than any other digital resource.

For instance, take one of the five Oscar nominees for Best Actor in a Leading Role, Jeff Bridges. After running a Family Forest® kinship report I found some connections to the 83rd Academy Awards within Jeff’s almost 300,000 relatives.

They include two of his co-stars from “True Grit” Matt Damon (19C1R) and Josh Brolin (21C2R), King George VI (17C2R) from “The King’s Speech” who was portrayed by another one of the five Oscar nominees for Best Actor in a Leading Role, Colin Firth, and one of the five Oscar nominees for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Amy Adams (24C2R) for her role in “The Fighter.”

Jeff has many more family ties to previous Oscar winners. They include in order of distance Jane Fonda (6C1R), Bing Crosby (7C2R), Melvyn Douglas (7C2R), Jodie Foster (9C1R), Henry Fonda (9C2R), Katharine Hepburn (9C2R), Michael Douglas (10C), John Huston (10C), Robert Redford (10C), Humphrey Bogart (10C1R), Angelica Huston (10C1R), Jason Robards (10C1R), Joanne Woodward (10C1R), Tim Robbins (11C), Lee Marvin (12C3R), Olivia De Havilland (14C6R), Joan Fontaine (14C6R), Clint Eastwood (18C), Meryl Streep (18C1R), Bette Davis (19C1R), Robert Duvall (19C1R), Liza Minnelli (19C3R), Reese Witherspoon (20C1R), Tom Hanks (20C2R), Jack Nicholson (20C5R), Jane Wyman (21C1R), Audrey Hepburn (21C2R), Marlon Brando (26C4R), Elia Kazan (spouse of a 8C3R), Clark Gable (spouse of a 9C1R), Walter Huston (spouse of a 9C1R), Kim Basinger (spouse of a 10C), Catherine Zeta-Jones (spouse of a 10C), Paul Newman (spouse of a 10C1R), Susan Sarandon (spouse of an 11C), Cliff Robertson (spouse of a 13C5R), Carol Reed (spouse of a 13C4R), Anthony Quinn (spouse of a 15C3R), Nicholas Cage (spouse of a 16C1R), Elizabeth Taylor (spouse of a 16C3R), Grace Kelly (spouse of an 18C), David Niven (spouse of an 18C), Vincente Minnelli (spouse of an 18C4R), Angelina Jolie (spouse of a 19C2R), Spencer Tracy (spouse of a 19C3R), and Goldie Hawn (spouse of a 20C).

Just like Jeff Bridges, anyone who connects to the Royal Channel in the Family Forest® also has family ties to each of these Oscar winners, plus many other Hollywood stars.

Discover your family ties to Hollywood in the Family Forest® National Treasure Edition.

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Filed under 83rd Academy Awards, Ancestors, Colin Firth, Cousins, Family Forest National Treasure, Family Forest® Project, Genealogy, Hollywood, Jeff Bridges, Oscar nominee, The King's Speech, True Grit

It is Well with My Soul

Last Sunday we were treated to a captivating organ recital at church by our organist and choir director, Dwight Beacham. Before he played “It is Well with My Soul” he told us the poignant story behind the hymn.

Horatio Gates Spafford was a prominent lawyer in Chicago, IL who had suffered devastating losses as a prelude to writing this popular hymn. Two years after his family had lost all of their possessions in a fire in 1871, he was planning to take his wife and four young daughters, aged two to eleven, aboard the steamer “Ville de Havre” to visit Europe.

He was unable to leave with them and expected to catch up with them soon. Before he could, he received news of the sinking of the “Ville de Havre” in which 287 people perished. The terse telegram message from his wife Anna said only “Saved alone.”

Horatio wrote “It is Well with My Soul” while at sea passing over the site of that tragedy on his way to reach his wife.

So I came home and quickly discovered that Horatio Gates Spafford was not yet in the Family Forest and that I needed to do some research to connect him in (no one gets into the Family Forest until they are connected by birth, marriage or occassionally adoption to someone who is already in).

Before I found Horatio I found his father, also named Horatio Gates Spafford. He was mentioned in a book of letters written by Thomas Jefferson, who held Horatio, Sr. in high regard.

Last night I ran a Family Forest kinship report for Horatio the hymnist. It was relatively short as far as these reports go, 60 pages versus the normally 6,000 plus pages for anyone who has been connected into the royal channel, and I was expecting to see only a couple of recognizible names.

Instead, I found the person associated with the term “And You Were There,” Walter Cronkite (6C3R), playwright Tennesse Williams (also 6C3R), and seven US Presidents. They were President Arthur (6C), both Presidents Bush (6C4R and 6C5R), President Ford (6C4R), President Cleveland (husband of a 6C2R), President Garfield (6C1R), and President Hoover (4C4R).

I wonder if any of those presidents knew of their family ties to those four little girls who lost their lives to bring this hymn to so many people?

I wonder how many everyday people know of their family ties to this hymn and the story behind it?

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Filed under Ancestral History, Family Forest, Family Forest National Treasure, Family Forest® Project, Genealogy, history, Horatio Gates Spafford, Spafford, Ville de Havre