Category Archives: Family Genes

The Other Boleyn Girl

The Other Boleyn Girl is an ancestral history movie just premiering this weekend. It focuses on Lady Mary Boleyn, the elder sister of Queen Anne Boleyn, and the aunt of Queen Elizabeth I.

 

The trailer looked compelling, and I followed up by checking the Family Forest® to see what we have already on Lady Mary Boleyn.

 

She had at least two children, and they are recorded in history as having the surname of Lady Mary’s husband, William Carey, Esq. Some historians disagree about their paternity, and claim their actual father is King Henry VIII. If so, their descendants are the only known descendants of Henry VIII.

A 20-generation descendant view of Lady Mary Boleyn in the Family Forest®shows many of her descendants with common surnames, and they include a sizable number of people who are also descendants of Princess Pocahontas.

Lady Mary also has a number of famous descendants, including John D. Rockefeller, Sr., Prince William and Prince Harry, Hollywood actor Cary Elwes, Sarah Ferguson, Winston Churchill, Charles Darwin, Anne Spencer (Morrow) Lindbergh, Governor Howard Dean, Rep. Mac Thornberry and Internet founder Tim Berners-Lee.

 

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Filed under Ancestral History, education, Family, Family Genes, Family Trees, FamilyForest, film, Genealogy, history, television, Uncategorized

George Washington’s Lower Part and Presidential Trivia

There is a great wealth of fascinating and enriching tidbits and historical trivia that has been squirreled away in old books over the centuries, and we have been digitally indexing as much of it as possible into the Family Forest®, to make those nuggets easy to discover. We thought it might be fun to point out a few of them for President’s Day.

 

For instance, most people probably do not know that our first commander-in-chief,

President George Washington had a body double. For the rest of the story see

George Washington’s Lower Part.

 

Do you know that many of the United States Presidents have Hollywood Connections?

 

Do you know that your ancestors may also be Presidential ancestors?

 

Do you know that President Bush and Senator John Kerry are related?

 

Do you know why Hugh Hefner invited both Bush and Kerry to his Playboy mansion in 2004?

 

Do you know that when Prince Charles visited the White House in 2005 he was actually visiting his cousin?

 

Do you know why NPR did a story about FamilyForest.com, Barack Obama, Walt Disney, Brooke Shields, Humphrey Bogart, and President Bush?

 

If you follow these links, the next time someone asks “Do you know ……

 

Happy President’s Day!

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Setting the Record Straight

Happy New Year!

 

Isn’t the beginning of a new year always a perfect time for a fresh start? I think so, and I’d like to take this opportunity to clear up some misconceptions about the Family Forest® Project.

 

Does the Family Forest® map out more of your own early ancestral history than you can see anywhere else? Almost certainly.

 

Will the Family Forest® help you find your grandmother? Probably not, there are many free Internet resources for that purpose.

 

Is the Family Forest® intended to be a replacement for, or competitor of, Ancestry.com, Rootsweb, One Great Family, MyHeritage, I-Family, Geni, 23andMe, NEHGS, the Genographics Project, etc.? Absolutely not, but it is the perfect companion resource for each and every one of them.

 

Can the Family Forest® really pull up ancestor charts with more than one million boxes filled in with names of ancestors? Yes, and probably for more than 50,000 individuals, including some who are quite likely to be your own ancestors.

 

Is the Family Forest® just about genealogy? Definitely not. It is a great genealogy resource, built upon a great wealth of knowledge that the experts have recorded over the centuries, but in the Family Forest® genealogy is only the starting portal into the larger and more captivating worlds of entertainment, history, and ancestral travel.

 

Is the Family Forest® the best digital central source for generation-by-generation ancestral pathways leading to and from the 2008 Presidential Election? Yes, absolutely. For proof, just pull up a 30-generation ancestor chart for the new Democratic front-runner Barack Obama. Or try any of his top three competitors, or Bill Richardson, or Mitt Romney, etc.

 

Some of the helpful links on our FAQ page should help clear up any remaining misconceptions about the Family Forest® Project.

 

The Family Forest® has been packed with virtually limitless delight and enrichment, and the stage is now set for you to visually follow your ancestral history curiosity.

 

Thank you for your interest in the Family Forest® Project. Kristine and I wish you and yours a very remarkable and prosperous 2008.

 

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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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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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Another Barack Obama Cousins Story

A news story began circulating Tuesday about Vice President Dick Cheney and presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama being distant cousins.

Anyone using the Family Forest® New World Edition from two years ago can instantly pull up a chart that illustrates, through generation-by-generation family ties, this supposedly new story.

The story fails to mention some of the other famous cousins Vice President Dick Cheney and presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama share through this common ancestor, early Maryland settler Mareen Duval.

Those other distant cousins include Harriet Miers (didn’t she receive special treatment from her cousin Dick Cheney’s boss earlier this year?), Wallis Warfield (the Duchess of Windsor), President Harry Truman, Paris Hilton, and Emmy award winning Hollywood actor Robert Duvall.

Second Lady Lynne Cheney does not mention that she is also a distant cousin of presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama, and that one of their common ancestors built and lived in a castle. This information can be seen by following the links in Probably Your Castle.

More of Senator Barack Obama’s family ties to the White House can be found in a story from early this year about his presidential genes.

Stories like these are much more interesting when you use the Family Forest® to explore the visual illustrations which are behind these stories. In addition to many other “best of” claims it deserves, the Family Forest® New World Edition is the best digital central source for generation-by-generation ancestral pathways leading to and from the White House, and the presidential 2008 Election.

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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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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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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