Category Archives: history

Before there was a U.S.S. Spangler

We recently learned of the U.S.S. Spangler reunion which will be starting on Monday October 25, 2010 in San Antonio, TX.

Prompted by a great visit from Kristine’s cousin Jeannie, both nieces of the Purple Heart recipient the ship was named for, we began reading through a large stack of Uncle Donald’s letters and clippings that were still in the possession of his only living sibling and my outstanding father-in-law, nonagenarian Robert Kent Spangler.

Amid the sorrow of losing so much promise so early, what fun it was! New discoveries led to other new discoveries.

For instance, we found a letter written on the Fourth of July 1943 to Mr. and Mrs. Martin and Myrtle Elizabeth (Blue) Spangler (Donald’s mother, Mrs. Spangler christened the U.S.S. Spangler).

It was from Miss Velma V. Vogelman of Baltimore, MD who knew Donald from his Naval Academy days. She had just learned of his death through LIFE magazine, and she was writing on the anniversary of a significant day.

“On July 4, 1940 he came to Baltimore and spent the day with me and my parents. This day I shall always remember as one of the happiest in my life. He spoke often of his home and parents and how he would have enjoyed spending that particular day with you in Albion, Ind.”

We had never heard of a mention of Uncle Donald in LIFE. So we used Google Books and quickly found it in print in the July 5, 1943 issue on page 21.

We’re looking forward to following up on other discoveries from the letters and clippings. What other interesting insights to history are waiting to be found?

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Filed under Ancestors, Ancestral History, Cousins, Family Forest National Treasure, Family Forest® Project, Fourth of July, Genealogy, history, Independence Day, Reunion, Uncategorized, USS Spangler, Veterans Day, Women's History Month, World War II

The Power of Goal Setting Proven by a US Senator

Long before Napoleon Hill wrote “Think and Grow Rich” at least one person was actually demonstrating the power of goal setting.

Often when Ancestry.com announces some discovery they have just made, I look in the Family Forest® and find that we already have most or more of that same information already networked. This time we were lacking Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter.

So while searching for any ancestral history that links to Ann Coulter, I found an 1893 book titled Creoles of St. Louis.

The book starts with a young girl, Marie Therese Bourgeois, who was “Left an orphan at a tender age, was placed under the care of the Ursuline Nuns at New Orleans, La., where she married, in 1749, Rene Auguste Chouteau, a native of Bearn, France. He came to New Orleans in early youth and engaged in business, and at the time of his death was possessed of considerable means.”

Before I found out who the author was talking about, I ran into the following passage on page 118 about one of that young orphan girl’s descendants.

Upon his leaving home he left the following document with his mother: “St. Genevieve, Mo., Jan. 16, 1832. On this day I left home, under charge of Mr. William Shannon, an old friend of my father, to go to Kaskaskia to study law in the office of Judge Pope. My education is very limited, but with hard study I may overcome it; I am determined to try and my intention is to return to my native State to practice law if I can qualify myself, and while doing so to become U. S. Senator from my native State, and to work for this until I am sixty years of age. I will pray to God to give me the resolution to persevere in this intention. I have communicated this to my mother and given her this paper to keep, so help me God.” In January, 1873, he was elected U.S. Senator from Missouri, and in the April following he was sixty years of age.

That determined young man who actualized his goal was US Senator Louis Vital Bogy.

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Filed under Ancestral History, education, Family, Family Forest, Family Forest National Treasure, Family Forest® Project, Genealogy, Goal Setting, history, US Senator

Texas Heroes and Google Books

I’d like to share a fascinating ancestral history gem I discovered at Google Books this week. 

It involves early Texas heroes, and the essence of it has now been digitally lineage-linked in the Family Forest® to a more recent national hero from Texas. Literally millions of people, including probably you (I know I am one of them), relate to this story through their own family ties. 

Audie Murphy was a national hero from Texas, the most decorated American soldier in World War II. His biography, No Name on the Bullet, mentions that his family tree included such men as one of his great-grandfathers, John Berry, but gives no identifying details about John Berry or what he did. So I turned to Google Books in search of answers.

I found more than I was hoping for. It was hidden in a book from 1900 by A. W. Sowell titled Early Settlers and Indian Fighters of Southwest Texas. 

Within a six-page section about John Berry’s wife (titled Mrs. Hannah Berry) are details about who he was, what he did, and in particular the noteworthy service he performed for Davy Crockett shortly before the Alamo. But it was a statement about his wife, also an ancestor of Audie Murphy, which caught my attention. 

While she was still alive, Grandma Berry is said to have had “seventy-four grandchildren that she knows of, and one hundred and twenty-four great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren.” 

We now know what the author A. W. Sowell could not know; a half century later, Grandma Berry would become an ancestor of at least one Hollywood actor, the most decorated American soldier in World War II. 

How many thousands (tens of thousands?) of living descendants might Grandma Berry have now, a full century after she finished her historically eventful and productive life in Texas at the age of 91? How many of her descendants do not yet know of their own family ties to her, the Alamo, and Audie Murphy?

The National Treasure Hunt begins in Texas. See for yourself.

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Filed under A People-Centered Approach To History®, Ancestors, Ancestral History, Ancestry, Audie Murphy, Family Forest National Treasure, Family Forest® Project, Family Trees, Genealogy, Google, history, Hollywood, National Treasure, Texas, World War II

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

Civil War Hero to Receive Overdue Medal

Associated Press reported yesterday on an American heroism story that was 147 years in the making. It actually relates personally, literally, to many Americans. 

Alonzo Hereford Cushing has finally been approved to receive the Medal of Honor, 147 years after he fell in battle at Gettysburg. It’s been known for a long time that his actions were worthy of praise. 

Alonzo was the subject of a poem entitled “The Last Man At His Guns” that appeared in an 1895 book by Henry Stevenson Washburn called “The Vacant Chair and Other Poems.” 

I ran a Family Forest® kinship for Alonzo to see who he is known to be related to. There were over 37,000 people, including a very wide range of Americans, mostly everyday people, and some famous. 

They include President Abraham Lincoln (7C), Major-General John Sedgwick who was also at Gettysburg (6C), President U.S. Grant (6C2R), potential California governor Meg Whitman (6C3R), New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. (5C6R), Oscar-winning actress Jodie Foster (6C5R), baseball star Chase Utley (6C5R), Hollywood icon Raquel Welch (9C3R), astronaut Alan Shepard (6C4R), Admiral Dennis Blair (9C3R), Admiral George Dewey (7C2R), Vice President Aaron Burr (5C4R), both Presidents Bush (6C4R and 6C5R), President Grover Cleveland (6C), Vice President Charles Dawes (9C), President Millard Filmore (7C2R), President Gerald Ford (7C1R), President Herbert Hoover (6C3R), Orville and Wilbur Wright (6C2R), Admiral Richard Worsham Meade (6C), Samuel Holden Parsons who was a Major General in the American Revolution (Half 2C3R), other Revolutionary Generals Elisha Porter (3C5R) and Moses Porter (4C4R), and Civil War Generals Montgomery Cunningham Meigs (5C1R), Charles Edward Phelps (6C3R), Walter Cass Newberry (7C2R), Charles Jackson Paine (5C), Edward Porter Alexander (Half 5C), and William Tecumseh Sherman (6C1R). 

Kinship reports like these illustrate the fact that the Family Forest® can connect more families personally, through actual family ties, to more of the people, places, and events in American and Old World history than any other resource.

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Filed under Alonzo Hereford Cushing, Ancestors, Ancestral History, Civil War, Family Forest National Treasure, Genealogy, history, National Treasure

One of my favorite ancestral mothers

Maybe it’s because she was the first of my ancestors I saw portrayed in a movie (The Lion in Winter), and maybe it’s because she was portrayed by one of Hollywood’s most beloved icons (Katharine Hepburn), but at or very near the top of the list of my favorite ancestral mothers is Eleanor of Aquitaine. 

She was married to a king of France and a king of England, and was the mother of at least ten children, including two of history’s most remembered kings, Richard the Lionhearted, and King John who signed the Magna Charta. 

Eleanor is a very key gateway ancestor. Her ancestral pathways lead back thousands of years to and through exciting ancient worlds, some of which are already being re-created in 3-D virtual environments.

She is probably an ancestral mother of everyone who reads this. You can see Eleanor’s Ancestors-at-a-glance™ here

Moms have been making it all possible since before recorded history, and that’s why we are proud to emphasize them so strongly in the National Treasure. Happy Mother’s Day Mom!

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Filed under Ancestral History, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Family Forest National Treasure, Family Forest® Project, Genealogy, history, Hollywood, Mother's Day, National Treasure, Royalty, Uncategorized

Major Expansion of Family History eBook Library Underway

We have been having alot of fun creating these books for you. Here’s today’s press release announcing them. Enjoy the video snippets below to see the bigger picture!

Cyberspace April 12, 2010 

Family Forest® genealogy eBooks are digital tour guides to ancestral history. They will become a favorite part of the future of family history research. They lead readers to a wealth of essential best-of-the-best gems of their family heritage knowledge that are waiting to be discovered in previously recorded ancestral history. 

Almost every title relates personally to more that one million living people, and some titles relate personally to more that one billion living people. Almost every title lays out generation-by-generation family ties leading from the subject to mostly everyday people, as well as instantly recognizable historical figures and present day celebrities. 

Some of these titles have been already been submitted to the upcoming Google Editions program and many more are now available for downloading at familyforest.com

New editions of three hundred previous Family Forest® descendant series eBook titles created from the new Family Forest® National Treasure Edition, have just become available for instant download. Some of these titles have quadrupled in size from their earlier edition. 

Two hundred never-before-seen titles have already been created and will soon be available for instant download. Some are already available. Many more additional titles will be following. 

In addition to a number of other objectives, the Family Forest® Project is Networking Family History with Hollywood™ (video example 1 )and ( video example 2 ) better than any other resource, either online or offline, as can be seen in the new Family Forest® National Treasure Edition

Family Forest® ancestral history eBooks are priced from $5.95 to $49.95. 

Family Forest® is a registered trademark of Millisecond Publishing Company, Inc. 

Millisecond Publishing Company, Inc.

www.familyforest.com

www.familyforest.wordpress.com

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Filed under A People-Centered Approach To History®, Ancestral History, ebooks, Family Forest National Treasure, Family Forest® Project, Genealogy, Google, history, King Edward III of England, Mayflower Pilgrims

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

Disappointment turns to delight

Customer experiences like this make my day.  Since similar delightful experiences are already preserved and waiting for millions of others, including quite likely you and your family, I’d like to share this quick story with you. 

I was teaching a new Family Forest® National Treasure customer how easy it is to pull up a 35-generation descendant chart for his ancestor and mine, Edward I, Longshanks, King of England (the English king from Braveheart). 

This is an enormous chart that you can’t get on the Internet. It fills in over 154,000 boxes with the names of Longshanks’ descendants and the people they married, and it spans from the 1200s to in a number of cases, present day. 

The customer displayed this chart on his computer (which by the way is only one of countless millions of charts the National Treasure can generate), and he was disappointed. The chart did not reach down to him, yet. The closest connection he could find in the National Treasure was a pair of his great-great-grandparents. 

So I quickly generated a Family Forest® kinship report from the National Treasure for his great-great-grandmother, Mrs. Sophie (Hale) Camp (PIN 103549 for those of you who would like to try this at home), and emailed him this 604-page PDF report of exactly how his ancestor is related to 43,431 different people and who their common ancestor is. 

These relatives of our new customer include four signers of the Declaration of Independence, ten U.S. Presidents, several famous Civil War generals, Ransom Eli Olds (Oldsmobile), Thomas Edison, the Wright Brothers, Marjorie Merriweather Post (the key person responsible for bringing frozen food to our supermarkets), short-story writer O. Henry, Bill Gates, Hollywood actors Humphrey Bogart, Robert Redford, Clint Eastwood, Peter Fonda, Kurt Russell, Christopher Reeve, Matt Damon, Matthew Perry, and Tim Robbins, as well as many other readily recognizable people from human history. 

Suddenly he was delighted with what the Family Forest® National Treasure can display about his own family’s ancestral heritage. Similar delight can be expected by the millions of others who have their own great-great-grandparents, or closer, already lineage-linked into the National Treasure. 

And by the way, this name is not cutesy marketing puffery. It is called the National Treasure Edition because it can link more Americans personally, through generation-by-generation family ties, to more people, places, and events in human history than any other resource. 

Also, this kinship report is another example of why we say that the Family Forest® is Networking Family History with Hollywood.™

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Filed under Ancestral History, Family Forest, Family Forest National Treasure, Family Forest® Project, Genealogy, history, Hollywood, National Treasure, Uncategorized

Meryl Streep on PBS

 I am really looking forward to seeing the program about Meryl Streep’s ancestry on PBS later this month. With all of the resources at their disposal, will they reveal more of Meryl’s children’s illustrious ancestral heritage than the Family Forest® National Treasure Edition?

Will their 30-generation ancestor view of Meryl fill in more than 14,304 boxes with the names of people who, according to recorded history, her children would call grandmother or grandfather (preceded by some number of “greats”)? 

Will the program take her back to one of her ancestors that Katharine Hepburn portrayed

Will the program be able to connect her through family ties to one of her idols she did a TCM tribute to, Bette Davis?

Will the program be able to connect her through family ties to ancestors she shares with Julia Child, one of Meryl’s distant cousins she recently portrayed in Julie and Julia

Will the program be able to show any of her generation-by-generation pathways leading to the Emperor’s Palace in 320 A.D. Rome

As Jimmy Buffett so sagely says on Banana Wind, only time will tell.

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Filed under A People-Centered Approach To History®, Ancestors, Ancestral History, Family Forest National Treasure, Family Forest® Project, Genealogy, Julia Child, Julie and Julia, Meryl Streep, National Treasure, television