Tag Archives: history

FamilyForest.com on NPR

Since I frequently enjoy listening to NPR, I was very surprised to discover today that

Alex Cohen had been talking on NPR  about the highly praised

Family Forest® Project back in October.

 

The story discusses the celebrity family ties of President Bush, and refers to

Barack Obama, Dick Cheney, John Kerry, Brooke Shields, Clint Eastwood,

Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart, Marilyn Monroe, and Walt Disney.

 

Maybe what surprised me the most was finding out that the chief family historian

at the genealogy goliath Ancestry.com, Megan Smolenya said she was surprised

to find out that someone had actually found some of these family ties. This shouldn’t

still be a secret in the genealogy community, as we have been posting many of these

and other fascinating ancestral history findings from the Family Forest® for a number

of years at our website and at our blog. 

 

My crystal ball says that before the 2008 Presidential Election most researchers

and international journalists will discover how much fun and how helpful it is to look in

the Family Forest® New World Edition to see the visual illustrations behind

these types of political stories, as well as countless celebrity stories and

general history stories.

 

 

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Filed under Ancestral History, Family, Family Genes, Family Trees, FamilyForest, Genealogy, history, politics, television

The War, Veterans Day, and Uncle Donald

Ken Burns is a master at utilizing A People-Centered Approach to History® to stimulate people to do good, which is the goal we are also striving to attain with the Family Forest® Project.

After watching his excellent program on PBS called The War , Kristine was motivated to do further research about her Uncle Donald.

Lieutenant Donald Hays Spangler

 

Like many other young men and women in The War, Lieutenant Donald Hays Spangler was one of those who went off to serve his country, and never returned.

 

Kristine’s Uncle Donald, one of her father’s two brothers, was appointed midshipman at the US Naval Academy on July 8, 1938. After but a very brief naval career, he was killed in action on the USS Atlanta off Savo Island at Iron Bottom Sound, Guadalcanal, in the Solomon Islands on November 13, 1942.

 

His memory was perpetuated when the USS Spangler (DE-696) was named for him, and Kristine’s paternal grandmother, Myrtle Elizabeth (Blue) Spangler, was the person who christened the ship when it was launched.

 

Lieutenant Donald Hays Spangler’s memory now lives on in several other places on the Internet, as the niece he never knew has discovered, and is hereby passing on to her nieces, nephews, and cousins in this Veterans Day tribute.

 

Veterans Day

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Filed under Family, FamilyForest, film, Genealogy, history, television, Veterans Day

Consider the Source

ABC News recently came out with a story called “Surprising Family Trees!” 

The supposedly new findings were no surprise to us, as most of them were known by us years ago and can already be seen in the Family Forest® New World Edition.

 

The surprising part to us was the time lag and process of having new knowledge become worthy of acceptance.

 

For instance, our early announcements about Tom Hanks and his family ties to the Da Vinci Code, President Bush’s family ties to John Kerry and Hugh Hefner,

President Bush’s family ties to the British Royal Family and

Paris Hilton’s prison genes were virtually ignored.

 

Now that our findings have been repeated by a Harvard professor, and have been attributed to him, they have gained acceptance.

 

Funny how that works. Could these confirmations of our earlier findings  mean that our future discoveries from the Family Forest® Project will now begin gaining quicker acceptance?

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Filed under Ancestral History, Family, Family Genes, Family Trees, FamilyForest, Genealogy, history, life, politics, Tom Hanks

Please Don’t Shoot the Messenger

By shooting the credibility of the one who is delivering the message, members of the media are doing their readers and the public a disservice by casting aspersions on what close investigations will confirm is very high quality work.

 

The Family Forest® Project connects the dots of recorded history, and we are simply reporting on some of the surprising and counterintuitive pictures that are appearing. We are very conscientious about performing our service with integrity.

 

According to some very smart and well informed people, such as Mark Humphrys, King Solomon and everyone else from that time period would fall into one of only two possible categories. Each of those individuals is either an ancestor of no one alive today, or an ancestor of everyone alive today.

  

The Family Forest® New World Edition is the digital resource that allows users to follow this more informed thinking by visually exploring the thousands of years of recorded human history that have now been digitally indexed in lineage-linked format. 

 

Please follow your own curiosity, and decide for yourself.  

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Filed under Ancestral History, Family Genes, FamilyForest, Genealogy, history, Math, politics, Uncategorized

The King Maker

After a very productive morning of growing the Family Forest®, Kristine and I were aimlessly channel-surfing on our lunch break, until we were captured by a Travel Channel program about some famous castles in England and Scotland. Ever since I discovered that I have ancestors who lived in castles I’ve been captivated by the spellbinding magic of the type of stories and dramatic videography this program was so rich with.

 

Most of the key people in the stories surrounding many of the famous castles (like Warwick and Edinburgh) which were featured in this particular program, are already in the Family Forest® New World Edition and waiting for visual exploration of their multi-century generation-by-generation family ties.

 

The person who I was most curious to check on first was Earl Richard Neville, known to history as “The King Maker.” So I typed king maker into the search window of the Family Forest® and he instantly appeared, along with highlights of his life, including the quote that he was “probably the most potent noble in the whole range of English history.”

 

My curiosity continues with a number of questions. Where did he come from? What is known about his ancestors? Who is he related to? Who are some of his known descendants today?

 

So I started one of the explorations by bringing up a downstream view of a map of his known Family Forest® descendants, for just the first 20 generations. A number of instantly recognizable people quickly appeared, including of course the British Royal Family, as well as several of their spouses.

 

One of his Hollywood actor descendants who caught my eye was Rupert Everett who first came to my attention in “Boston Legal,” and later for his portrayal of King Charles II in “Stage Beauty.” Rupert has also portrayed other real historical figures, such as in “Shakespeare in Love” and in “The Madness of King George,” and he would be an excellent candidate for the actor to portray Earl Richard Neville (one of his own ancestors) whenever a movie is made about The King Maker.

 

At some point I expect Hollywood casting directors to discover what an excellent tool Hollywood the Family Forest® is for quickly discovering which actors and actresses are actually connected through family ties to real characters in historical films or programs that are being planned. I also expect that Hollywood PR directors will soon begin discovering the untapped potential of ancestral marketing.

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Filed under Family, Family Genes, FamilyForest, Genealogy, history, life, television, Travel, Uncategorized

Debunking 3 Big Myths about Your Genealogy

New and exciting discovery opportunities will open up for most people, probably including you, when these three emotionally-attached strongholds of common knowledge are exposed for the falsehoods they are.

 

Myth #1: Genealogy is all about your last name.

 

In any other field, anything that represents less than 1% of the whole is considered to be next to nothing. Yet in genealogy, where your last name represents less than 1% of your ancestry most people seem to think genealogy is all about their own surname.

 

The truth is, no matter whether your surname is very unusual or quite common, less than 1% of your own ancestors had your last name, and more than 99% of your own ancestors had different last names.

 

So if almost all of your own ancestors had different last names, this means almost all of your own cousins have different last names, and you may share some of the same ancestors with famous Hollywood actors and actresses, like maybe Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie. (see Myth #3 below)

 

Myth #2: All of your ancestors came from ……

 

Many people have grown up believing that all of their ancestors came from Ireland, or Italy, or Norway, or Greece, etc. This is simply not true, even if all four of your grandparents came from the same place.

 

The Big Picture of Genealogy shows that over the centuries your grandparents’ ancestors came from many places. No one has ever had ancestors from only one place, everyone has ancestors from many places, and no matter how geographically identified your surname is, this absolutely includes you.

 

Myth #3: You are not related to anyone famous.

 

You are absolutely related to some famous people, and some of your ancestors were very remarkable people. Some of them were there at key turning points in history, and some of your cousins can be seen on TV. 

 

Discover some of them and become inspired!

 

 P.S. Of course I recommend the Family Forest® New World Edition as the best place to beginning your journey of discovery.

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Filed under Family, Family Genes, FamilyForest, film, Genealogy, history

Britney Spears’ Jamestown Ancestor and Katharine Hepburn

Following up on Britney Spears’ Jamestown ancestor Richard Pace, I just discovered that we would have been deprived of one of the most loved Hollywood icons if  Richard had not done what he did. 

According to the ancestral history already digitally mapped out in the Family Forest®, Richard Pace is one of the 11th great-grandfathers of Britney Spears. 

According to recorded history, Edward Spalding or Spaulding of Chelmsford, MA and his family survived the Indian massacre at Jamestown before moving to Massachusetts. 

Also according to the ancestral history already digitally mapped out in the Family Forest®, Edward Spaulding’s son Benjamin was one of Katharine Hepburn’s 6th great-grandfathers. 

If Richard Pace had not survived his planned assassination and gone on to warn the Jamestown Colony, if Edward Spaulding had not survived the Indian massacre to become the father of Benjamin Spaulding, if one of Katharine Hepburn’s ancestors had never been born, would Katharine have never been born? Or would she have been born as someone else? 

We will never know. But we do know that Oscar-winner Katharine Hepburn portrayed another one of Britney Spears’ ancestors, Eleanor of Aquitaine, in The Lion in Winter

 Katharine Hepburn

See a movie clip at TCM from “The Lion in Winter”. 

So one ancestor of Britney Spears was responsible for saving the life on a man who would later become an ancestor of the most Oscar-winning Hollywood actresses of all times, and she would portray one of Britney’s (and also Katharine’s) ancestors. 

If one Indian had not disobeyed his Chief, there would have been no Katharine Hepburn, and maybe no Britney Spears (her 10th great-grandfather George Pace was born well before the massacre, and may or may not have been at Jamestown at the time). History pivots on small events.

 

 

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Family Ties to the The Bourne Ultimatum

 

How many cousins of The Bourne Ultimatum star Matt Damon will watch him when the movie premiers tomorrow, and have no idea they share ancestors with him? Probably plenty!

 

I browsed through the Family Forest® for cousins who share early 1600’s Stebbins ancestors (only one of a number of his early American immigrant families I could have used) with Matt.

 

Many common and not so common surnames appeared, such as Adams and Brown and Johnson and Jones and Smith, to Gerbode and Gildersleeve and Kleberg and Sheehan and Wurts.

 

A number of Matt’s famous and/or prominent Stebbins cousins from the past and present also appeared. They include Emily Dickinson and Ralph Waldo Emerson, all of the descendants of the founder of the King Ranch in Texas, President Rutherford B. Hayes, Vice-President Dick Cheney, presidential candidates Howard Dean and Mitt Romney, two-time baseball All-Star Ray Boone and his All-Star descendants, billionaire Warren Buffett, all of the descendants of Hawaiian missionaries Rev. Amos Starr Cooke and Rev. Samuel Chenery Damon, the owners of Kahua Ranch, and Hollywood icon Clint Eastwood.

 

How many times might you have enjoyed a Hollywood motion picture, and not known that you actually share ancestors with the celebrity star? Certainly some.

 

  

 

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Lillian Gish to Glenn Close

Inspired by a well-done tribute to early Hollywood legend Lillian Gish on YouTube, I explored a fun web of Kevin Bacon style six-degrees-of-separation connections.  

A Family Forest® kinship report for Lillian Gish reveals mostly everyday people, including probably many who have been enjoying her movies for years without having any idea that they share ancestors with their famous cousin.

 

But among the list of Lillian’s relatives are a number of leaders most people will quickly recognize on the chart. 

 

One of Lillian’s relatives is Glenn Close, and she can be seen starting this week in Damages.

 

Another interesting facet is the relevance of the Common Ancestor column on the chart. Millions of people should be able to quickly recognize one or more of them as their own ancestor.

 

This means that they are not only a cousin of Lillian Gish, but that they are also a cousin of the person Lillian shares that ancestor with.

 

So if you spot one of your own ancestors on the chart you will be connected by family ties to at least two of your famous cousins.

 

I predict that when you discover that you are actually a cousin of Lillian Gish, or Glenn Close, or Richard Gere, or Clint Eastwood, etc., you will also discover that you are magnetically drawn to their movies and/or TV series.

 

 

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Filed under Family, Family Genes, FamilyForest, film, Genealogy, history, Hollywood Silent Films

A Legendary Castle

 An opportunity like this may only come along once in a lifetime.

 

A truly legendary castle, Bran Castle, famous in history as Dracula’s Castle, is being offered for sale.

 

The patterns illustrated in world’s largest maps of human migration show that this sale and the future promotion of the castle is a perfect opportunity for ancestral marketing; marketing targeted to those with family ties.

 

Because it was built slightly more recently than Briquebec Castle there are probably not quite as many living people who can call Dracula’s Castle an ancestral home, but a reasonable estimate is that there are at least tens and probably hundreds of millions of descendants of Bran Castle scattered around the planet.

 

 Maybe Dracula’s Castle is one of your ancestral homes …

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