Tag Archives: history

A Red Letter Day

Whenever I experience a remarkable day in the Family Forest® similar to the one I just had, I call it a red letter day.

 

A Family Forest® red letter day is defined as a day when changes of extraordinary and enormous impact happen. These are changes that are vast and far reaching, changes that personally relate to at least tens if not hundreds of millions of living people, and changes that by themselves would justify a new release of the Family Forest®.

 

There is an ancestress in the Family Forest® New World Edition named Eleanor who was born in about 1405. By reasonable estimates more than 100,000,000 living people can call Eleanor grandmother, preceded by a number of “greats.”

 

Eleanor is lineage-linked to both parents, but her father is not lineage-linked to his parents. Eleanor’s mother however is extremely lineage-linked. A 40-generation Family Forest® ancestor chart for her fills in over 1.5 million boxes with the names of ancestors who Eleanor would call grandmother or grandfather, preceded by a number of “greats.”

 

But Eleanor’s father was entered twice in the Family Forest® New World Edition, once as a child of his parents, and once as the husband of Eleanor’s mother. Having just found the recorded history which identifies the two entries as the same person, a simple merge of the previously two individuals produced an enormous gain in the number of identified ancestors of Eleanor’s 100,000,000 or more living descendants.

 

Eleanor’s father’s 40-generation Family Forest® ancestor chart fills in over 560,000 additional boxes with the names of ancestors who Eleanor (and of course all of her descendants) would call grandmother or grandfather, preceded by a number of “greats.”

 

This is one more dramatic example of how less can be more, much more.

 

For me red letter days are always exciting, and still awesome, although they now happen quite frequently.

 

In the early years of the Family Forest® Project, while building the foundation and framework, they almost never happened. But during the last few years the connections have been happening at a surprising and accelerating rate, and there have been between one and two hundred true red letter days during the more than seven hundred days since the Family Forest® New World Edition was finalized.

  

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What is an Ancestral History Cartographer?

 Cartographer: one who produces maps.

When ancient mariners returned from their voyages of discovery, they turned their records and logs over to monastic type individuals (map makers, cartographers) who would turn that data into maps which other mariners would use on subsequent journeys to the same regions.

When those mariners returned, they turned their new records and logs over to same monastic type individuals who would then use the new data to make corrections and improvements to those maps, and then produce new maps that other mariners would use on subsequent journeys to the same regions.

That’s similar to what I have been doing digitally with a vast wealth of professionally recorded history for over a decade.

Over the centuries many have journeyed to ancestral regions and brought back their findings. I am comparing and distilling those findings, digitally connecting the dots of recorded history according to where the experts say they should be connected, and producing new maps of generation-by-generation ancestral pathways that zigzag through thousands of years of recorded history through the lives of actual people.

Most of these maps have never been seen before, and visually following one’s curiosity through the world’s largest maps of human genetic migration can be truly fascinating and enriching.

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What is an Ancestral History Tour Guide?

 

By dictionary definition, I am a genealogist. In reality, I am not what one usually expects a genealogist to be. 

 

By analogy, think of true genealogists as master chefs. Highly trained professional experts who start from scratch and create precision works.

 

Think of an ancestral history tour guide as similar to a person who reviews fine dining restaurants for guides such as Fodors, Frommers, or newspapers such as the New York Times, and directs readers to the best of the best to save them time, money, and aggravation.

That’s what I am doing, and have been doing for tens of thousands of hours already, with many hundreds of warehouses of professionally recorded history. I explore through the fine print of a vast wealth of ancestral history details that the experts have discovered and recorded over the centuries, and I leave a well-marked digital trail to the exact locations of just the best of the best.

 

This allows you and other Family Forest® explorers to quickly zoom into the most relevant ancestral history knowledge, the best of the best, without wading through hundreds or thousands of repetitions of information and misinformation (as is often necessary on the Internet).

 

This is the way I wanted to find my ancestry presented when I became curious; distilled to the best of the best of what the experts had already discovered.

 

Actually, isn’t this the way you hope to explore any topic which interests you?

 

Wouldn’t you rather start any research quest by first finding out what a reasonably intelligent person has discovered after filtering though all of the repetitions and misinformation while searching for the best of the best?

 

 

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So What, Who Cares?

Everyone would, if they only knew. And we would like to give them this special experience via the
Family Forest® Project
.

 

A couple of recent comments suggest that the distant past is irrelevant and there is no good reason for knowing who one’s early ancestors were.

 

These opinions can only be held by someone who has not yet seen any of their own ancestors portrayed in a Hollywood movie or someone who has never stood transfixed in a museum gazing at an ancestor captured on canvas at a pivotal moment in history.

 

Paraphrasing Thomas Aquinas, to him who has not yet experienced it, no explanation is possible. To him who has experienced it, no explanation is necessary.

Try to find these “Ah Ha!” experiences for yourself, and for your family. You and your family will be delighted you did.

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Genealogy’s Big Picture

 

Think about it. For centuries genealogy has been a subject that has been explored, figuratively speaking, through a microscope; small bits or segments of information are viewed in great detail.

 

This is a worthwhile and enriching perspective that will always be beneficial in genealogy, but this perspective is severely hobbled by the limitations of paper-based knowledge, and it lacks the ability to deliver the most exciting “Ah Ha!” experiences ancestral history is waiting to reveal.

 

With this approach, it is very easy to not even notice that there is a very much larger picture to see. And the picture of the ancestral heritage of each of us grows very big very quickly as we proceed into the past, as you can see on the two charts at our site.

 

The computer allows us new possibilities to explore a much more exciting perspective, the really Big Picture that literally relates to each of us personally, in various ways as we follow our curiosity.

 

The Big Picture of genealogy is a multi-continent multi-millennium view that computers allow us to explore visually, after centuries of paper-based ancestral history knowledge has been digitally indexed and lineage-linked as the Family Forest® Project has done.

 

When this vast wealth of professionally recorded ancestral history is filtered into

stage-three digital content, the world’s largest maps of human genetic migration

can be summoned with a few mouse-clicks.

 

These countless charts/maps provide fascinating and surprising views , of our ancestral heritage which are waiting to be explored for personal enrichment. Genealogy’s Big Picture is both fun and captivating.

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Britney Spears and a Pivotal Moment at Jamestown

I just came across an interesting entry in a lineage book of the National Society Daughters of Colonial Wars (NSDCW). It said that Richard Pace “PREVENTED THE ENTIRE COLONY OF JAMESTOWN FROM BEING ELIMINATED BY WARNING AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE OF THE INDIAN MASSACRE OF 22 MAR 1622.”

 

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 (Britney is another distant cousin of mine, through our Briquebec Castle ancestor).

 

According to recorded history, Richard Pace was warned of the impending massacre by the Indian who was assigned to kill Richard.

 

Richard used this knowledge to save the lives of people who became the ancestors of countless millions of people living today. Among the immediate beneficiaries of this warning was at least one of my own ancestors.

 

Also according to the ancestral history already digitally mapped out in the Family Forest®, Peter Montague, arrived in Jamestown in 1621. I am descended from Peter’s son, also named Peter, who was born in the 1630’s.

 

If Richard Pace had not survived his planned assassination and gone on to warn the Jamestown Colony, if Peter Montague had not survived the Indian massacre, if one of my 8th great-grandfathers had never been born, would I have never been born? Or would I have been born as someone else?

 

History pivots on small events. If one Indian had not disobeyed his Chief, there would be no Family Forest® today, 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).

 

Bruce Harrison

Ancestral History Tour Guide and Cartographer

 

 

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One Million in Four Centuries

There is a rule of thumb I use when estimating the number of descendants a person in the distant past may have today. It is based on a claim from The Mayflower Society which I have seen over the years.

It has been estimated that there are between 30 and 35 million living descendants from the 26 Mayflower families that left descendants. This would mean that on average, someone who lived four centuries ago could have between 1.15 and 1.34 million descendants today.

My rule of thumb for estimating is that one couple can have one million living descendants four centuries later. The patterns of human genetic migrations I see in the Family Forest® indicate that this number could be correct, and if not, one more century would certainly make it so.

If a couple who lived at the time of the Mayflower Pilgrims can have one million living descendants today, how many living descendants might there be today from a couple who lived four centuries before the Mayflower Pilgrims? Or eight centuries before the Mayflower Pilgrims?

What about four centuries into the future? Could it be possible that you will be an ancestor of one million people living in the 25th century?

Does anyone know of any reason why this one-million-in-four-centuries rule of thumb may be incorrect?

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Probably Your Castle

Or more precisely, I mean your ancestral home. It is in La Mancha, in Normandy, France and it is called either Briquebec or Bricquebec Castle.

Our research and development leads to the estimation that
quite possibly one in six people alive today have ancestral pathways,
that lead to the person who built  the castle.

Today, those descendants of Baron Anslech Turstain of Briquebec have the opportunity to actually stay in their ancestral castle.

The Family Forest® can show maps of the generation-by-generation lines of descent from the Baron leading to a long list of many well-known people It also shows those lines of descent leading to surnames ranging from Adams and Davis and Jones and Smith, to Achegma and Poniatowski and Schoff and Zirngiebel.

Briquebec/Bricquebec Castle is now high on my list of places
I must visit. Until recently, I had no idea that any of my ancestors lived in
castles, and I’ll bet that most of the Baron’s descendants who have toured the
castle in the last century had no idea that they were actually visiting one of their own ancestral homes.

Baron Anslech Turstain of Briquebec’s lines of descent are chronicled down to present day in the Family Forest® Descendants of Baron Anslech Turstain of Briquebec eBook.

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Misnomer: Information Age

The word information is so commonplace that most of us have never considered its roots, and what it was intended to mean.

World famous chef David Brown has a fascination with words, and he especially likes those words whose usage does not match their intended meaning. He gave me an enlightening new perspective on information.

 

If you break the word information into two parts, you get “in formation.” This term implies organized arrangement. Geese fly “in formation,” The Blue Angels fly “in formation,” a convoy travels “in formation,” armies march “in formation,” football teams face off “in formation,” etc.

 

The term Information Age is commonly used to describe something very different than “in formation.” In fact, the majority of data today in our Age is mostly “out of formation.” If data on the Internet were truly “in formation,” search engines such as Google and Yahoo wouldn’t exist because they wouldn’t be needed.

 

Thinking about this “in or out of formation” concept gave me an exciting new perspective on the Family Forest® Project. This digital indexing tour guide service has now become one of the most “in formation” data projects ever.

 

It is so “in formation” that software can data-mine this precisely and strategically arranged system of digital links to produce literally tens of billions of pages of ancestral history charts, reports, and eBooks, many of which have never existed before.

 

It will probably be at least decades before software can produce similar results by data-mining the “out of formation” data that is now scattered all over the Internet in disconnected bits and pieces as stage-one and stage-two digital content.

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Paris Hilton’s Prison Genes?

Can genetics be a factor in the likelihood of doing jail time?

I ran an abbreviated (only ten generations) Family Forest® kinship report of Paris Hilton and noticed several people in the report who also found themselves in a similar situation to the one Paris is in today.

One of the more famous ones of today is actress and celebrity Sari “Zsa Zsa” Gabor , who also received much media attention in 1989 when she went to jail for her altercation with a Beverly Hills police officer.

Another relative from today is radio talk show host G. Gordon Liddy, who had an illustrious FBI and public service career before going to prison for his role in Watergate.

From earlier times, Colonel Samuel Waples fought at the Battles of Brandywine and Germantown and spent time in prison in the American Revolution. He later received land from President Jefferson for his gallantry.

And there is another officer, a recognized hero, who shows up on the Family Forest® kinship report of Paris Hilton. General Henry “Light Horse Harry” Lee graduated from Princeton, served in the American Revolution under General George Washington, and was the Governor of Virginia from 1792 to 1795. He entered the Westmoreland County (VA) jail on April 24, 1809.

In the Family Forest®, it is possible to visually explore the incredible digital web of family ties connecting Paris Hilton to each of these inmates, plus hundreds of thousands of other people, including a number of the most well-known figures from recorded human history.

  

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