Category Archives: life

Lost Mad Men

What do the two hit TV series Lost and Mad Men have in common? 

One answer is Dwayne Shattuck. The other answer is networked family ties in the new Family Forest® National Treasure Edition. 

Hollywood director and producer Dwayne Shattuck and his sister, Hollywood actress and best-selling author Shari Shattuck are first cousins once removed of a good friend of mine here on the Big Island, and they are related to the Angel of the Battlefield and founder of the American Red Cross (ARC), Clara Barton. They also all share Shattuck ancestors with famous Hollywood actor Matt Damon

A recent character on Mad Men has been Conrad Hilton, great-grandfather of Paris Hilton Paris shares Duvall ancestors with Wallis Warfield, Duchess of Windsor, President Harry Truman, VP Dick Cheney, Lonesome Dove star Robert Duvall, and President Obama

Lost co-star Matthew Fox is a distant cousin of mine. He shares Willard ancestors with Hollywood actress Carole Lombard, and author John Steinbeck. He shares Hubbard ancestors with US Education Secretary Arne Duncan , presidential hopeful Sarah Palin and also famous Hollywood actor Matt Damon

Matthew Fox is also said to be a descendant of the victor of the Battle of Gettysburg in the Civil War, Major-General George Gordon Meade. 

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 will show you.

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Filed under Ancestral History, Family Forest, Family Forest National Treasure, Family Forest® Project, FamilyForest, Genealogy, Hollywood, Lost, Mad Men, National Treasure, television

Anniversary Celebration

A curious thing happened to me a year ago, and I’m still wondering about it. 

Between drifting into unconsciousness after being told there was a chance I would not survive the operation, and waking up to the very enjoyable realization that I was still alive, the only thing I remember was hearing a voice speaking just two words. 

Repeating over and over for what seemed like a very long time was “George Soule, George Soule, George Soule, …….” 

According to the recorded history mapped out in the Family Forest®, George Soule of the Mayflower is one of my ancestors. Whatever it might have meant hearing his name repeated (one nurse suggested it was my guardian angel speaking to me), I felt that I was brought through the heart attack and bypass surgery for the purpose of bringing the Family Forest® Project to life. 

This last year has been one of the very best years of my life, and not only because life is so much sweeter when one comes that close to losing it. I can say unequivocally that this past year has been the most productive and personally fulfilling year I have ever had. 

The proof will be abundantly clear soon when the National Treasure Edition is released. Red Letter Days almost never happened during the first dozen years when the extremely broad foundation was being laid and the very tall framework was being erected. During this last year, not only did a Red Letter Day happen almost every day, many days the quantity and magnitude of the connections and enhancements were so large that a single day was like the equivalent of two or more Red Letter Days. 

Coinciding with this cloud nine 1st anniversary is my blissful 17th wedding anniversary to my terrific wife Kristine. Life is very good!

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Filed under A People-Centered Approach To History®, Ancestral History, Family Forest, Family Forest® Project, FamilyForest, history, life

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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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

Bill Gates’ Misstatement

Bill Gates probably didn’t mean it exactly the way it sounded, but he did say on The Charlie Rose Show that “Everything is web-based.”

 

Everything is not web-based yet, and here’s one example that relates to cousin Bill personally, and quite possibly professionally.

 

Bill can give his children an enriching digital edutainment gift of potentially limitless value for just $50, and he cannot acquire anything similar to it now from Microsoft, or Google, at any price. This gift cannot be explored online – yet.

 

But offline, with just a few mouse-clicks in the Family Forest® Bill and Melinda Gates’ children can summon maps of their own ancestral pathways that lead directly from them and travel generation-by-generation to countless ancestral homes from many centuries ago, including some very prominent ones within the Gates family’s summer vacation destination, France.

 

Even with the basically unlimited resources of Microsoft, or Google, it seems that it will still be years before anyone can deliver the full functionality of even yesterday’s Family Forest® online (and that edition is basically only a concept sketch of the National Treasure Edition we are preparing to release next).

 

Two leading edge digital delivery companies have been trying to bring tiny slivers of Family Forest® output online.

 

Google has been working at it for over four months now, and they are not quite there yet (in fairness to Google, one is believed to be the world’s longest ebook). After having the same digital content for six months, in June 2008 ebrary estimated that it might be able to successfully make our rich content fully functional online within their system in the second half of 2009. And we’re only talking about slivers of stage-two digital content from where we were in 2005.

 

Some digital property, such as the Family Forest®, is beyond the capabilities of today’s Internet, but will be an integral part of the exciting future Internet that Bill talks about with Charlie Rose.

 

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John Adams on HBO portrayed by relative

Kristine and I have been very absorbed in an excellent HBO edutainment mini-series presentation of “John Adams” by the very captivating historian, author, and Medal of Freedom recipient, David McCullough.

 

Mr. McCullough clearly employs one of the two concepts behind MPC’s trademark A People-Centered Approach to History®, history as seen through the lives of the people who created it. The other concept behind the trademark is that individuals within the Family Forest® can instantly become a central hub, the starting point to spoke out and visually explore family ties generation by generation, very often for many centuries.

 

Family ties are already so extensively networked in the Family Forest® that Paul Giamatti, the Hollywood actor who so engagingly portrays John Adams, is actually lineage-linked to many of the key characters in the mini-series, including John Adams himself.

 

The list also includes Adams’ wife Abigail (Smith) Adams, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and many of the other signers of the Declaration of Independence, David McCullough, and the co-executive producer of “John Adams,” Tom Hanks.

 

But far more important than connecting celebrities and famous people to each other through family ties, the Family Forest® is the best digital central source for personally connecting many millions of everyday people to key historical figures and events.

 

While they may not yet be able to start in the Family Forest® with themselves or their children, as can Tom Hanks, Elvis Presley, Madonna, Crown Prince Pavlos of GreeceMartin Scorsese, Britney Spears, Barbra Streisand, Lucille Ball, Barack Obama, President Bush, Prince William and Prince Harry, etc., most of those countess millions of everyday people have one or more ancestors within the last few centuries who are already linked-in.

 

It’s one thing to abstractly say “We’re all related.” It’s quite another to visually explore the maps of generation-by-generation family ties in the Family Forest® which connect us personally (according to recorded history) to the historical characters and events we see on HBO and at the movies, in Vanity Fair and other people-centered magazines, and in our children’s text books.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Ancestral History, Boston Tea Party, education, Family, Family Genes, FamilyForest, Genealogy, history, life, politics, teaching, television, Tom Hanks, Uncategorized

Setting the Record Straight

Happy New Year!

 

Isn’t the beginning of a new year always a perfect time for a fresh start? I think so, and I’d like to take this opportunity to clear up some misconceptions about the Family Forest® Project.

 

Does the Family Forest® map out more of your own early ancestral history than you can see anywhere else? Almost certainly.

 

Will the Family Forest® help you find your grandmother? Probably not, there are many free Internet resources for that purpose.

 

Is the Family Forest® intended to be a replacement for, or competitor of, Ancestry.com, Rootsweb, One Great Family, MyHeritage, I-Family, Geni, 23andMe, NEHGS, the Genographics Project, etc.? Absolutely not, but it is the perfect companion resource for each and every one of them.

 

Can the Family Forest® really pull up ancestor charts with more than one million boxes filled in with names of ancestors? Yes, and probably for more than 50,000 individuals, including some who are quite likely to be your own ancestors.

 

Is the Family Forest® just about genealogy? Definitely not. It is a great genealogy resource, built upon a great wealth of knowledge that the experts have recorded over the centuries, but in the Family Forest® genealogy is only the starting portal into the larger and more captivating worlds of entertainment, history, and ancestral travel.

 

Is the Family Forest® the best digital central source for generation-by-generation ancestral pathways leading to and from the 2008 Presidential Election? Yes, absolutely. For proof, just pull up a 30-generation ancestor chart for the new Democratic front-runner Barack Obama. Or try any of his top three competitors, or Bill Richardson, or Mitt Romney, etc.

 

Some of the helpful links on our FAQ page should help clear up any remaining misconceptions about the Family Forest® Project.

 

The Family Forest® has been packed with virtually limitless delight and enrichment, and the stage is now set for you to visually follow your ancestral history curiosity.

 

Thank you for your interest in the Family Forest® Project. Kristine and I wish you and yours a very remarkable and prosperous 2008.

 

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