Category Archives: Family

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, 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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Filed under Ancestral History, education, Family, Family Genes, Family Trees, FamilyForest, Genealogy, history, internet, politics, Uncategorized

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

The Point of No Return

On this day in history 234 years ago an event occurred which impacted the life of everyone alive today.




The Boston Tea Party has been called the “point of no return” for the birth of democracy. The chain of events which was started by this act of civil disobedience on December 16, 1773 changed the future for the people in every nation on Earth today. This dramatic evening event has long been a target area in the growth of the Family Forest®.


There is a great site I recommend for learning about the Boston Tea Party itself. Then for a People-Centered Approach to History®, I recommend the best digital central source for generation-by-generation family ties leading to and from the Boston Tea Party, the Family Forest® New World Edition.


For instance, one of the participants married two of the daughters of Paul Revere, another one of the participants. You can follow their lines of descent to various families, including the Rockefellers.


Many Boston Tea Party descendants are scattered throughout the country today. Wouldn’t it be a great story to tell your grandchildren, if it turns out that you are one of them?


Filed under Ancestral History, Boston Tea Party, education, Family, FamilyForest, Genealogy, history, life, teaching, Travel 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, 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 Best Genealogy Charting Available


We’re glad that many others will now be discovering what Family Forest® explorers have known for years. The very talented folks at Progeny Software have created the very best genealogy charting, far better than any others either online or offline.


A recent article at Dick Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter talks about their new announcement, and actual examples can be seen at Progeny Software’s website. 


Speaking from personal experience, Progeny’s really top-notch Family Explorer® software is also the best software choice for performing high-quality ancestral history searching in large databases, such as the Family Forest®.


 Kudos to our friends at Progeny Software for their excellent work.

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Filed under Ancestral History, Family, FamilyForest, Genealogy

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


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?


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