Category Archives: Uncategorized

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

Before there was a U.S.S. Spangler

We recently learned of the U.S.S. Spangler reunion which will be starting on Monday October 25, 2010 in San Antonio, TX.

Prompted by a great visit from Kristine’s cousin Jeannie, both nieces of the Purple Heart recipient the ship was named for, we began reading through a large stack of Uncle Donald’s letters and clippings that were still in the possession of his only living sibling and my outstanding father-in-law, nonagenarian Robert Kent Spangler.

Amid the sorrow of losing so much promise so early, what fun it was! New discoveries led to other new discoveries.

For instance, we found a letter written on the Fourth of July 1943 to Mr. and Mrs. Martin and Myrtle Elizabeth (Blue) Spangler (Donald’s mother, Mrs. Spangler christened the U.S.S. Spangler).

It was from Miss Velma V. Vogelman of Baltimore, MD who knew Donald from his Naval Academy days. She had just learned of his death through LIFE magazine, and she was writing on the anniversary of a significant day.

“On July 4, 1940 he came to Baltimore and spent the day with me and my parents. This day I shall always remember as one of the happiest in my life. He spoke often of his home and parents and how he would have enjoyed spending that particular day with you in Albion, Ind.”

We had never heard of a mention of Uncle Donald in LIFE. So we used Google Books and quickly found it in print in the July 5, 1943 issue on page 21.

We’re looking forward to following up on other discoveries from the letters and clippings. What other interesting insights to history are waiting to be found?

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Filed under Ancestors, Ancestral History, Cousins, Family Forest National Treasure, Family Forest® Project, Fourth of July, Genealogy, history, Independence Day, Reunion, Uncategorized, USS Spangler, Veterans Day, Women's History Month, World War II

Chelsea Clinton Family Forest Kinship

Being curious about Chelsea’s big wedding event this weekend, we wondered how many of her Family Forest relatives might be attending. So we ran a Family Forest kinship report to see who she is known to be related to so far, and we posted the celebrity-studded report at our website.

No surprise that the results include one US President and one US Senator, but the report also contains another US Senator, a US Secretary of the Treasury, a Canadian Prime Minister, and one member of the British Royal Family.

In addition there are one famous author, one famous economist, the Dionne quintuplets, two Grammy-winning singing stars and two other equally well-known performers, and a number of other Hollywood celebrities including two famous directors, one of the most famous Hollywood actresses today, three Oscar-winning actors, and a couple of other equally well-known actors.

We’re waiting to see how many of them attend the event at Astor Courts.

Best wishes to Chelsea on her special day.

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Filed under Ancestors, Ancestral History, Ancestry, Astor Courts, Chelsea Clinton, Family Forest, Genealogy, Hollywood, Uncategorized, wedding, White House

Twilight and the White House

Thanks to Tamura Jones for pointing out in his article The Dracula Connection about the Ancestry.com story that the Family Forest National Treasure does what Ancestry.com cannot.

Vlad the Impaler, the person some people believe the character of Count Dracula is based on, is in the Family Forest® (PIN 562175), and unlike the misleading chart Ancestry.com used to illustrate their story (it’s actually missing many generations), Vlad’s Family Forest® charts can be explored generation-by-generation.

Anyone with the National Treasure can click on him, and request a 20-generation descendant chart. What leaps out to me on this chart is that one of Vlad the Impaler’s descendants was born in the White House!

If you click on Vlad the Impaler’s father Vlad the Devil (PIN 562178) and request a 20-generation descendant chart, you can see ancestral pathways that leads to the British Royal Family, the White House, actress Sarah Miles, and one of the people Madonna will be directing in her new movie, without skipping generations as Ancestry.com does.

And you can click here to see Ancestors-at-at-glance™ charts of some of the people in the Ancestry.com story.

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Filed under Ancestral History, Ancestry, Family Forest, Family Forest National Treasure, Genealogy, Twilight, Uncategorized, White House

One of my favorite ancestral mothers

Maybe it’s because she was the first of my ancestors I saw portrayed in a movie (The Lion in Winter), and maybe it’s because she was portrayed by one of Hollywood’s most beloved icons (Katharine Hepburn), but at or very near the top of the list of my favorite ancestral mothers is Eleanor of Aquitaine. 

She was married to a king of France and a king of England, and was the mother of at least ten children, including two of history’s most remembered kings, Richard the Lionhearted, and King John who signed the Magna Charta. 

Eleanor is a very key gateway ancestor. Her ancestral pathways lead back thousands of years to and through exciting ancient worlds, some of which are already being re-created in 3-D virtual environments.

She is probably an ancestral mother of everyone who reads this. You can see Eleanor’s Ancestors-at-a-glance™ here

Moms have been making it all possible since before recorded history, and that’s why we are proud to emphasize them so strongly in the National Treasure. Happy Mother’s Day Mom!

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Filed under Ancestral History, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Family Forest National Treasure, Family Forest® Project, Genealogy, history, Hollywood, Mother's Day, National Treasure, Royalty, Uncategorized

Disappointment turns to delight

Customer experiences like this make my day.  Since similar delightful experiences are already preserved and waiting for millions of others, including quite likely you and your family, I’d like to share this quick story with you. 

I was teaching a new Family Forest® National Treasure customer how easy it is to pull up a 35-generation descendant chart for his ancestor and mine, Edward I, Longshanks, King of England (the English king from Braveheart). 

This is an enormous chart that you can’t get on the Internet. It fills in over 154,000 boxes with the names of Longshanks’ descendants and the people they married, and it spans from the 1200s to in a number of cases, present day. 

The customer displayed this chart on his computer (which by the way is only one of countless millions of charts the National Treasure can generate), and he was disappointed. The chart did not reach down to him, yet. The closest connection he could find in the National Treasure was a pair of his great-great-grandparents. 

So I quickly generated a Family Forest® kinship report from the National Treasure for his great-great-grandmother, Mrs. Sophie (Hale) Camp (PIN 103549 for those of you who would like to try this at home), and emailed him this 604-page PDF report of exactly how his ancestor is related to 43,431 different people and who their common ancestor is. 

These relatives of our new customer include four signers of the Declaration of Independence, ten U.S. Presidents, several famous Civil War generals, Ransom Eli Olds (Oldsmobile), Thomas Edison, the Wright Brothers, Marjorie Merriweather Post (the key person responsible for bringing frozen food to our supermarkets), short-story writer O. Henry, Bill Gates, Hollywood actors Humphrey Bogart, Robert Redford, Clint Eastwood, Peter Fonda, Kurt Russell, Christopher Reeve, Matt Damon, Matthew Perry, and Tim Robbins, as well as many other readily recognizable people from human history. 

Suddenly he was delighted with what the Family Forest® National Treasure can display about his own family’s ancestral heritage. Similar delight can be expected by the millions of others who have their own great-great-grandparents, or closer, already lineage-linked into the National Treasure. 

And by the way, this name is not cutesy marketing puffery. It is called the National Treasure Edition because it can link more Americans personally, through generation-by-generation family ties, to more people, places, and events in human history than any other resource. 

Also, this kinship report is another example of why we say that the Family Forest® is Networking Family History with Hollywood.™

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

National Treasure Hunt Begins in Texas

The new Family Forest® National Treasure Edition comes with a new beginning. It’s visual. Instead of opening to a boring list of names, it opens to a colorful chart.

It is an hourglass chart, with ancestors to the left and descendants to the right, and the person it centers on is Henrietta Marie Morse Chamberlain, Mrs. King Ranch. Her husband founded the world famous King Ranch of Texas, then passed away rather early, leaving her in charge for 40 years. 

When you right-click on any person in a chart you will be presented with a list of options that will let you move forward or backward in time from that person, look for additional facts about that person, ancestors, descendants, check sources, dates, etc. 

From that opening chart it is possible to zigzag through thousands of years of generation-by-generation family ties to reach Monticello, The White House, Bunker Hill, Hollywood, the Mayflower, the Alamo, the Lewis and Clark expedition, the moon landing, ancient Rome, The Bible, etc., etc., etc. In short, many of the key people, places, and events in human history. 

At the top of the screen in the National Treasure on the right are two pull-down menus. These will give you a wealth of information. 

The Help menu will show how to use Progeny’s software, create charts and reports and print. A video tutorial is available online from Progeny Genealogy. 

The National Treasure Info pull-down menu will explain how to navigate and search for nuggets of discovery. Please follow your curiosity in the Family Forest® for the delight and enrichment of you and your family.

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Filed under A People-Centered Approach To History®, Ancestral History, Family Forest, Family Forest National Treasure, Family Forest® Project, Genealogy, history, Mayflower Pilgrims, National Treasure, Thanksgiving, Uncategorized