Category Archives: teaching

Bill Gates’ Misstatement

Bill Gates probably didn’t mean it exactly the way it sounded, but he did say on The Charlie Rose Show that “Everything is web-based.”

 

Everything is not web-based yet, and here’s one example that relates to cousin Bill personally, and quite possibly professionally.

 

Bill can give his children an enriching digital edutainment gift of potentially limitless value for just $50, and he cannot acquire anything similar to it now from Microsoft, or Google, at any price. This gift cannot be explored online – yet.

 

But offline, with just a few mouse-clicks in the Family Forest® Bill and Melinda Gates’ children can summon maps of their own ancestral pathways that lead directly from them and travel generation-by-generation to countless ancestral homes from many centuries ago, including some very prominent ones within the Gates family’s summer vacation destination, France.

 

Even with the basically unlimited resources of Microsoft, or Google, it seems that it will still be years before anyone can deliver the full functionality of even yesterday’s Family Forest® online (and that edition is basically only a concept sketch of the National Treasure Edition we are preparing to release next).

 

Two leading edge digital delivery companies have been trying to bring tiny slivers of Family Forest® output online.

 

Google has been working at it for over four months now, and they are not quite there yet (in fairness to Google, one is believed to be the world’s longest ebook). After having the same digital content for six months, in June 2008 ebrary estimated that it might be able to successfully make our rich content fully functional online within their system in the second half of 2009. And we’re only talking about slivers of stage-two digital content from where we were in 2005.

 

Some digital property, such as the Family Forest®, is beyond the capabilities of today’s Internet, but will be an integral part of the exciting future Internet that Bill talks about with Charlie Rose.

 

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National Treasure

This is the most exciting time ever for us as we finalize the Family Forest® for the latest, and by far the greatest, release in the thirteen and half year history of the

Family Forest® Project.

 

This release will be called the Family Forest® National Treasure Edition for several reasons, beginning with what we were told early in the project by a great American who is a former Speaker of the U. S. House of Representatives.

 

After looking at our work he said to us “You do a great service to our country by encouraging people to find out about their roots and engaging them personally in its history.”

 

We took this as a compliment for the work we had already completed, confirmation that we were on the right track, inspiration for moving forward, and concrete guidance steering the continuing future growth of the Family Forest® Project.

 

It has been my personal goal for quite some time now that one or more U.S. Presidents will publicly call the Family Forest® Project a national treasure, and after 

a number of great releases along the way we feel certain that this release truly deserves the title of National Treasure.

 

The Family Forest® can now connect far more people personally, through generation-by-generation family ties, to more people, places, and events in human history (including Sarah Palin and the 2008 Presidential Election) than any other single digital resource.

 

It is a unique supplemental edutainment resource to enhance the study of almost every facet of American history by students of all ages, and it is partisan-neutral.

 

As it says on almost all of our releases over the last decade “While the Family Forest® ……. Edition is very much about genealogy, it is primarily about U.S. history, and more than 3,500 years of Old World history leading up to the birth of the United States. It is a fun and very easy to use reference source that should be a valuable resource for every student of history, young or old.”

 

We are confident that our People-Centered Approach to History® has reached the magnitude and scope that deserves to be called a national treasure, and we receive delight from our belief that the Family Forest® Project will be helping to inspire future leaders to greatness.

 

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John Adams on HBO portrayed by relative

Kristine and I have been very absorbed in an excellent HBO edutainment mini-series presentation of “John Adams” by the very captivating historian, author, and Medal of Freedom recipient, David McCullough.

 

Mr. McCullough clearly employs one of the two concepts behind MPC’s trademark A People-Centered Approach to History®, history as seen through the lives of the people who created it. The other concept behind the trademark is that individuals within the Family Forest® can instantly become a central hub, the starting point to spoke out and visually explore family ties generation by generation, very often for many centuries.

 

Family ties are already so extensively networked in the Family Forest® that Paul Giamatti, the Hollywood actor who so engagingly portrays John Adams, is actually lineage-linked to many of the key characters in the mini-series, including John Adams himself.

 

The list also includes Adams’ wife Abigail (Smith) Adams, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and many of the other signers of the Declaration of Independence, David McCullough, and the co-executive producer of “John Adams,” Tom Hanks.

 

But far more important than connecting celebrities and famous people to each other through family ties, the Family Forest® is the best digital central source for personally connecting many millions of everyday people to key historical figures and events.

 

While they may not yet be able to start in the Family Forest® with themselves or their children, as can Tom Hanks, Elvis Presley, Madonna, Crown Prince Pavlos of GreeceMartin Scorsese, Britney Spears, Barbra Streisand, Lucille Ball, Barack Obama, President Bush, Prince William and Prince Harry, etc., most of those countess millions of everyday people have one or more ancestors within the last few centuries who are already linked-in.

 

It’s one thing to abstractly say “We’re all related.” It’s quite another to visually explore the maps of generation-by-generation family ties in the Family Forest® which connect us personally (according to recorded history) to the historical characters and events we see on HBO and at the movies, in Vanity Fair and other people-centered magazines, and in our children’s text books.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Point of No Return

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

 

boston-tea-party.gif

 

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?

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What is an Ancestral History Cartographer?

 Cartographer: one who produces maps.

When ancient mariners returned from their voyages of discovery, they turned their records and logs over to monastic type individuals (map makers, cartographers) who would turn that data into maps which other mariners would use on subsequent journeys to the same regions.

When those mariners returned, they turned their new records and logs over to same monastic type individuals who would then use the new data to make corrections and improvements to those maps, and then produce new maps that other mariners would use on subsequent journeys to the same regions.

That’s similar to what I have been doing digitally with a vast wealth of professionally recorded history for over a decade.

Over the centuries many have journeyed to ancestral regions and brought back their findings. I am comparing and distilling those findings, digitally connecting the dots of recorded history according to where the experts say they should be connected, and producing new maps of generation-by-generation ancestral pathways that zigzag through thousands of years of recorded history through the lives of actual people.

Most of these maps have never been seen before, and visually following one’s curiosity through the world’s largest maps of human genetic migration can be truly fascinating and enriching.

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What is an Ancestral History Tour Guide?

 

By dictionary definition, I am a genealogist. In reality, I am not what one usually expects a genealogist to be. 

 

By analogy, think of true genealogists as master chefs. Highly trained professional experts who start from scratch and create precision works.

 

Think of an ancestral history tour guide as similar to a person who reviews fine dining restaurants for guides such as Fodors, Frommers, or newspapers such as the New York Times, and directs readers to the best of the best to save them time, money, and aggravation.

That’s what I am doing, and have been doing for tens of thousands of hours already, with many hundreds of warehouses of professionally recorded history. I explore through the fine print of a vast wealth of ancestral history details that the experts have discovered and recorded over the centuries, and I leave a well-marked digital trail to the exact locations of just the best of the best.

 

This allows you and other Family Forest® explorers to quickly zoom into the most relevant ancestral history knowledge, the best of the best, without wading through hundreds or thousands of repetitions of information and misinformation (as is often necessary on the Internet).

 

This is the way I wanted to find my ancestry presented when I became curious; distilled to the best of the best of what the experts had already discovered.

 

Actually, isn’t this the way you hope to explore any topic which interests you?

 

Wouldn’t you rather start any research quest by first finding out what a reasonably intelligent person has discovered after filtering though all of the repetitions and misinformation while searching for the best of the best?

 

 

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So What, Who Cares?

Everyone would, if they only knew. And we would like to give them this special experience via the
Family Forest® Project
.

 

A couple of recent comments suggest that the distant past is irrelevant and there is no good reason for knowing who one’s early ancestors were.

 

These opinions can only be held by someone who has not yet seen any of their own ancestors portrayed in a Hollywood movie or someone who has never stood transfixed in a museum gazing at an ancestor captured on canvas at a pivotal moment in history.

 

Paraphrasing Thomas Aquinas, to him who has not yet experienced it, no explanation is possible. To him who has experienced it, no explanation is necessary.

Try to find these “Ah Ha!” experiences for yourself, and for your family. You and your family will be delighted you did.

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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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One Million in Four Centuries

There is a rule of thumb I use when estimating the number of descendants a person in the distant past may have today. It is based on a claim from The Mayflower Society which I have seen over the years.

It has been estimated that there are between 30 and 35 million living descendants from the 26 Mayflower families that left descendants. This would mean that on average, someone who lived four centuries ago could have between 1.15 and 1.34 million descendants today.

My rule of thumb for estimating is that one couple can have one million living descendants four centuries later. The patterns of human genetic migrations I see in the Family Forest® indicate that this number could be correct, and if not, one more century would certainly make it so.

If a couple who lived at the time of the Mayflower Pilgrims can have one million living descendants today, how many living descendants might there be today from a couple who lived four centuries before the Mayflower Pilgrims? Or eight centuries before the Mayflower Pilgrims?

What about four centuries into the future? Could it be possible that you will be an ancestor of one million people living in the 25th century?

Does anyone know of any reason why this one-million-in-four-centuries rule of thumb may be incorrect?

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Probably Your Castle

Or more precisely, I mean your ancestral home. It is in La Mancha, in Normandy, France and it is called either Briquebec or Bricquebec Castle.

Our research and development leads to the estimation that
quite possibly one in six people alive today have ancestral pathways,
that lead to the person who built  the castle.

Today, those descendants of Baron Anslech Turstain of Briquebec have the opportunity to actually stay in their ancestral castle.

The Family Forest® can show maps of the generation-by-generation lines of descent from the Baron leading to a long list of many well-known people It also shows those lines of descent leading to surnames ranging from Adams and Davis and Jones and Smith, to Achegma and Poniatowski and Schoff and Zirngiebel.

Briquebec/Bricquebec Castle is now high on my list of places
I must visit. Until recently, I had no idea that any of my ancestors lived in
castles, and I’ll bet that most of the Baron’s descendants who have toured the
castle in the last century had no idea that they were actually visiting one of their own ancestral homes.

Baron Anslech Turstain of Briquebec’s lines of descent are chronicled down to present day in the Family Forest® Descendants of Baron Anslech Turstain of Briquebec eBook.

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