Tag Archives: Ancestry

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Filed under Ancestors, Descendants, ebooks, Family Forest® Project, Genealogy, King Robert I of Scotland, Royalty

Theoretical Versus Actual

A very bright anthropology student from Michigan, with a personal interest in mathematics, statistics and probability theory, asked for my opinion on some of his interesting thoughts about where we all came from. Here is my reply.

I wish I had your knowledge of, and skills with, numbers so I could respond more intelligently to your thoughts and questions. Following are some of my thoughts based on what I’ve read, and what I see daily as I visually travel back and forth through the most extremely interconnected web of thousands of years of ancestral history (the Family Forest®), based on recorded history.

I believe that the theoretical estimate that an average person in 1500 has about 1.5 million offspring alive today is too low. Here’s why.

The Family Forest® is based on what actually did happen, according to recorded history, and not on what might happen, theoretically. Here are a few examples of what can happen in just one century.

Martha (Clarke) Willard (b. 1694, d. 1794) was said to have had 12 children, 90 grandchildren, 206 great-grandchildren, and 45 great-great-grandchildren when she died at the age of 100.

Catharine (Andrews) Shattuck (b. 2/16/1753 Ipswich, MA, d. 11/19/1845 Temple, NH) was said to have had 150 living descendants when she died, seven children, 51 grandchildren, 90 great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren when she died.

Esek Brown (b. 3/8/1678/9 Newport, RI, d. 12/4/1772 Swansea, MA) was said to have been survived by 11 children, 112 grandchildren, and 129 great-grandchildren.

As is explained in the third-from-the-bottom paragraph at http://www.familyforest.com/captainslog/36.html, from Mayflower Society estimates 1.5 million offspring appears more reasonable from 1600.

In addition, I believed I read that one of the foremost living genealogists, Gary Boyd Roberts, estimated that prominent Colonial ancestor Governor Thomas Dudley may have 10 million descendants.

So couple the three actual one-century examples from above with the 1600 estimates, and it seems that a reasonable estimate from a 1500 person is tens of millions of living descendants.

It would be difficult to factor in the overlap that would need to be subtracted, but certainly the number should be very large.

Considering how many boxes each of us would need to fill in to truly know a substantial part of our deep ancestry (http://familyforest.com/resources/51/ancestors-at-a-glance), it may seem reasonable to assume that going back 400-500 years ago, we most certainly had at least one Japanese or Chinese ancestor.

Visually exploring so many generation-by-generation ancestral pathways zig-zagging geographically over the millennia in the Family Forest®, according to recorded history, leads me to the following opinions.

My odds of having at least one Japanese or Chinese ancestor in the last 500 years is in the range of slim to none. During the last 1,000 years, the odds becomes quite possible. During the last 2,000 years, I believe it is almost certain.

I also believe that the reverse is true about Japanese or Chinese descendants having some European ancestors.

Hopefully this helps. Please stay tuned here for a free Family Forest® give-a-way that will be available in a couple of days. It will help illustrate genetic migration over centuries.

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Filed under Ancestors, Ancestral History, Ancestry, Descendants, Family Forest, Family Forest® Project, Genealogy, Genetic migration, mathematics

Genealogy and the 84th Academy Awards

Will genetics be a factor in bringing home an Oscar this year?

It appears that it may have been at the Golden Globes this year. Michelle Williams won for Best Actress for her portrayal of Marilyn Monroe.  Could her award-winning performance have been because they share ancestors?

When I ran a Family Forest kinship report [# 10] for Michelle, I discovered that according to the large web of ancestral history already mapped out in the Family Forest, Michelle and Marilyn are cousins.

According to recorded history, they are ninth cousins once removed through their Peabody/Paybody ancestors, and they both have a number of other entertainment cousins who are also descended from the early Peabody/Paybody family of Massachusetts.

Those cousins include Glenn Close (one of Michelle’s competitors at the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards this year), Kyra Sedgwick, Halle Berry, Racquel Welch, Grace Slick, Mark Wahlberg, David Hyde Pierce, Orson Welles, Robert Lansing, and if you consider the political arena to be entertaining, Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman.

Kristine and I will be tuning into ABC on Sunday Febraury 26th to watch the 84th Academy Awards and see if Michelle wins the Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of her cousin, Marilyn Monroe, or if one of her other cousins wins (Michelle is also a distant cousin of Meryl Streep).

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Filed under 84th Academy Awards, Ancestors, Ancestral History, Ancestry, Cousins, Family Forest National Treasure, Family Forest® Project, Family History, Genealogy, Golden Globes, Hollywood, Marilyn Monroe, Meryl Streep, Michelle Williams, Oscar nominee

The Personal Property of John Wayne

Highly desirable items from a time capsule of classic Hollywood and U.S. history are becoming available this Thursday and Friday at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, and online.


This auction caught my attention not only because I’m one of the millions of John Wayne fans, but also because our Family Forest® Project is Networking Family History with Hollywoodand U.S. history.

From my professional perspective, I wondered how many fans and bidders have family ties to John Wayne that they are still unaware of.

So I ran a Family Forest® kinship report for John Wayne to see how far the Family Forest has networked him through generation-by-generation pathways to his fans. You can see a summary of the results in this PDF report, and maybe spot a few of your own ancestors.

Does TV host Ellen Degeneres know that she shares ancestors with John Wayne?

Does radio host Don Imus know that he shares ancestors with John Wayne?

Does fellow cowboy actor Viggo Mortensen know that he shares ancestors with John Wayne?

Would some of John Wayne’s contemporaries, like Ernest Hemingway, Winston Churchill, and Marjorie Merriweather Post, have been surprised to discover that they are distant cousins of this towering Hollywood icon?

Will you be surprised to discover that you share ancestors with Hollywood actors and historical figures?

The Family Forest® National Treasure Edition is the best digital central source to lead you to both classic Hollywood connections, and U.S. history connections.

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Filed under Ancestral History, Auction, Family Forest, Family Forest National Treasure, Family Forest® Project, FamilyForest.com, Genealogy, Hollywood, John Wayne, National Treasure, True Grit

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

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

Assessing Potential Ancestors

According to Bishop Stapeldon of Exeter who was sent to inspect her, “The lady … has not uncomely hair, betwixt blue-black and brown. Her head is clean shaped; her forhead high and broad, and standing somewhat forward. Her face narrows between the eyes, and the lower part of her face is still more narrow and slender than her forhead. Her eyes are blackish-brown and deep. Her nose is fairly smooth and even, save that it is somewhat broad at the tip and flattened, yet it is no snub-nose. Her nostrils are also broad, her mouth fairly wide. Her lips somewhat full, and especially the lower lip. Her teeth which have fallen and grown again are white enough, but the rest are not so white. The lower teeth project a little beyond the upper; yet this is but little seen. Her ears and chin are comely enough. Her neck, shoulders, and all her body and lower limbs are reasonably well shapen; all her limbs are well set and unmaimed; and none is amiss so far as a man may see. Moreover, she is of brown skin all over, and much like her father; and in all things she is pleasant enough, as it seems to us.”

The Bishop also added she was neither too tall nor too short for her age, and that she was of fair carriage, and well taught in all that becometh her rank.

Philippa of Hainault was eight years old at the time of her assessment. She lived to become Queen of England and the ancestor of certainly hundreds of millions of people living today, including last year’s Oscar winner and this year’s Oscar nominee, Jeff Bridges, the focal point of the next blog.

The central framework of Philippa’s lines of descent to present day can be found in this eBook.

Anyone with a Family Forest® National Treasure Edition can easily pull up various size ancestor charts for Philippa, including a 10-generation chart with 838 boxes filled in, and a 60-generation chart with 764,590 boxes filled in.

This is one illustration of why we believe at least two billion living people have more of their early ancestry already assembled in the Family Forest® than they can see anywhere else.

P. S. The Bishop’s assessment can be found on page 81 of Debrett’s Kings and Queens of Britain by David Williamson.

See a short video about her descendants

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Filed under Ancestors, Ancestry, Debrett's Kings and Queens of Britain, Family Forest National Treasure, Family Genes, Family History, Genealogy, Jeff Bridges, King Edward III of England, National Treasure, Oscar nominee, Philippa, Queen of England