Tag Archives: internet

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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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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“The Tudors” on Showtime

The Tudors

When Kristine and I recently saw an episode of “The Tudors” on Showtime, we turned to the Family Forest® as a program.

 

In this application we used the Family Forest® not so much as a program in the software sense; it is similar to a digital version of a program one buys at a baseball game or receives at a Broadway Show. We use it to learn more about the characters, who they were and how they fit into the actual unfolding of history, so we receive more enjoyment from the performance.

 

Most of the key characters from “The Tudors” are already very extensively lineage-linked in the Family Forest®. This means they are connected to generation-by-generation lines of descent leading into the future, and/or generation-by-generation lines of ancestral pathways leading for a number of centuries into the past. Some of them are connected through family ties to hundreds of thousands of individual relatives from their future and their past.

 

We focused on a downstream view (from the past moving toward the future) of the father of the famous Anne Boleyn, Sir Thomas Boleyn Earl of Wiltshire and Ormond see what resulted from his life over the following centuries. A few mouse-clicks in the Family Forest® produce surprising counterintuitive results.

 

Although he was a relatively minor player in the court of King Henry VIII (other than being his father-in-law), his descendants spread far and wide over the centuries. Some became heir to the British throne, some settled in places like Fairmont, WV and Elkader, IA and Paris, AR, and some appear on TV.

 

Prince William and Prince Harry are descended from Sir Thomas Boleyn via their mother, Princess Diana, and via their paternal grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II. Their new step-mother, the Duchess of Cornwall, and their aunt, Sarah Ferguson, are also both descended from Sir Thomas Boleyn.

 

A number of Pocahontas’ descendants are also descended from Sir Thomas Boleyn, as are the children of Charles Lindberg, Governor Howard Dean, and President Teddy Roosevelt.

 

The founder of the great oil enterprise that eventually became Exxon, John Davison Rockefeller, Sr. is descended from Sir Thomas Boleyn, and so are Hollywood performers such as Rachel Ward of “The Thorn Birds” and Cary Elwes.

 

Whenever you are watching an episode of “The Tudors” on Showtime, I hope you will remember this post about just one of the many characters, and consider the very likely possibility that one or more of your own ancestors are being portrayed on the show.

 

 

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