Category Archives: Braveheart

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

The Heart of Bruce

No, this is not going to be a story about my own heart, but it is about a very memorable story, at least for me, concerning the heart of one of my ancestors. 

Almost every day I enter many facts into the Family Forest®. There are over 900,000 source citations in the National Treasure, so it’s safe to assume that I can’t remember many of them. But a few of them evoke a powerful visual image that stays with me. This is about one of them. 

Do you remember Robert I, also known as Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland [PIN 7910] from Braveheart? When he died, two of his companions in arms, Sir James Douglas, Lord of Galloway [PIN 29237] (known in Scotland as “the good Sir James Douglas” and in England as “the Black Douglas”) and William St. Clair, Lord of Rosslyn [PIN 29273] (remember Rosslyn Chapel from “The Da Vinci Code”?), set out on a mission to take the heart of Bruce to Jerusalem. 

This was a vivid image to me, reminiscent of Brad Pitt taking his brother’s heart home in Legends of the Fall, and Brooke Shields feeling the need to touch the container of her ancestor’s heart in Who Do You Think you Are? 

I wondered who these two great warriors were who would undertake such an unusual mission for their friend and king. So I clicked on “the Black Douglas” and asked for an 8-generation descendant view (the default setting) in the National Treasure. 

His descendant who caught my attention was Lord William Sinclair [PIN 29306] who died in 1570. I knew the surname Sinclair is a derivation of St. Clair, so I was curious to find out if this descendant of “the Black Douglas” was also a descendant of the companion of “the Black Douglas,” William St. Clair, Lord of Rosslyn.  

So I reversed direction by asking for a 10-generation ancestor view (the default setting). Sure enough, Lord William Sinclair is a descendant of both of them. More surprisingly, he is also a descendant in five different lines of Robert the Bruce.

So two centuries earlier two of his ancestors set out on a mission to take the heart of another one of his ancestors to Jerusalem. Who was this guy with the colorful ancestral heritage? 

I asked for a 20-generation descendant view (to reach down to present day) and I was really surprised this time. In one of the 941 boxes this chart filled in was my name! According to recorded history, it is one of my own ancestors who has this colorful ancestral heritage. He is also an ancestor of Princess Diana, Sarah Ferguson, Winston Churchill, Montgomery Clift, The Thornbirds star Rachel Ward, Admiral Dennis Cutler Blair, Prince Albert of Monaco, and Madonna’s son Rocco Ritchie. 

P.S. I hope I will be forgiven for not recognizing some of my own ancestors, as my own 40-generation ancestor view chart in the National Treasure fills in 3,074,306 boxes with the names of some of my ancestors.

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Filed under Ancestral History, Braveheart, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Family Forest, Family Forest National Treasure, Family Forest® Project, Genealogy, history, King Robert I of Scotland

Braveheart to Baseball

Besides Mel Gibson’s uncanny pitching abilities as William Wallace in Braveheart, how does the movie connect to baseball? Actually in a number of ways, as you can see in the new Family Forest® National Treasure. 

Isabella, daughter-in-law of Longshanks in Braveheart, was the mother of Edward III, who is the subject of one of the largest family history eBooks Millisecond Publishing has ever released. Recorded history is chock-full of stories about his descendants, and the Family Forest® can lead you generation-by-generation to tens of thousands of them. In The Family Forest® Descendants of King Edward III of England eBook you will be taken directly to a number of well-known people who were somehow involved with baseball.

The first person Adobe Reader locates for you in this book is the Hollywood actress who was known as “the First Lady of Baseball” while she was married to famous baseball player and manager Leo “the Lip” Durocher, Laraine Day. 

Next is President William Howard Taft, who became on April 14, 1910 the first U.S. President to pitch a ball to open the baseball season. Then comes Raymond Otis “Ray” or “Ike” Boone, baseball player and scout, and his son Robert Raymond “Bob” Boone, baseball player, coach, manager, and executive. 

Other descendants of Edward III are Nelson W. Doubleday, Jr., co-owner with Fred Wilpon of the New York Mets, Neil “Bing” Russell, an actor on Bonanza and owner of the Portland Mavericks Baseball Club, his son, famous Hollywood actor Kurt Russell who was a professional baseball player, and Bing’s grandson Matthew Neil “Matt” Franco, first baseman for the Atlanta Braves. 

Then there are their cousins George Thomas “Tom” Seaver, famous pitcher for the New York Mets, rocket-scientist Wehner Von Braun who threw the first pitch to open the Atlanta Crackers’ 1958 baseball season, actor Paul Giamatti’s father Angelo Bartlett Giamatti who became Commissioner of Baseball in 1989, and wrapping up the lineup is President George Walker Bush who owned the Texas Rangers. 

Many other Edward III descendants are probably looking forward to Opening Day, as I am. Batter up!

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Filed under A People-Centered Approach To History®, Ancestral History, Baseball, Braveheart, Family Forest National Treasure, Family Forest® Project, Genealogy, history, King Edward III of England, Royalty