Category Archives: Who Do You Think You Are

Google Plus Family Forest®

For a wealth of free history lessons for you or your children, here’s the simple search formula. Google “Family Forest” + __________  = engaging stories from A People-Centered Approach To History®.

Of course we believe that these stories are much more fun and enriching if you have full access to the Family Forest® National Treasure to follow the curiosity these stories are sure to generate, but these stories are great history starters on their own.

For instance, if you are looking for stories about a history event, like the 4th of July, try Googling “Family Forest” (in quotes) + signer. Or substitute in place of signer a word or phrase such as american revolution, or declaration, or independence, or tea party, or ticonderoga, or inventor.

Other history event suggestions are “Family Forest” (in quotes) + alamo, civil war, gettysburg, world war, world war II, pearl harbor, or flight.

As you can see in the previous examples, you can search for specific places. Try Googling “Family Forest” (in quotes) + a place such as hawaii, hi, texas, tx (or any of the other state names or their two-digit postal abbreviation), america, england, ireland, rome (or many other country names), jamestown, plymouth, big bear, boston, or many other key American and European cities.

You can search for specific historical figures. Try Googling “Family Forest” (in quotes) + constantine, charlemagne, milesius, solomon, longshanks, robert I, wright brothers, rockefeller, george washington, adams, jefferson, abraham lincoln, general grant, kaiulani, macarthur, patton, etc.

You can search for general themes. try Googling “Family Forest” (in quotes) + ancestors, ancestral, ancestry, ancestral history, maps, explore, genealogy, charts, cousins, progeny, heros, veterans, baseball, texas ranger, bible, senator, governor, mayflower, first lady, white house, celebrity, history, congress, obama, kerry, bush, sarah palin, royal, royalty, king, queen, prince william, kate middleton, bill gates, etc.

You can search for Hollywood and entertainment related history. Try Googling “Family Forest” (in quotes) + a word or name such as television, tv, radio, movie, gunsmoke, hollywood, oscar, golden globes, academy awards, saturday night live, tcm, brooke shields, sarah jessica parker, wdytya, ted danson, meryl streep, braveheart, star trek, john adams, tom hanks, tudors, ken burns, marilyn monroe, paris hilton, britney spears, kevin bacon, susan sarandon, julia child, madonna, buffett, etc.

There are also corporate starters to history. Try Googling “Family Forest” (in quotes) + google, yahoo, disney, microsoft, tnt, amazon.com, hbo, cbs, nbc, or imdb.

Every parent who wants to inspire their children to be smarter and do better in school should give them full access to the Family Forest® National Treasure.

The Family Forest® is also inspirational and enriching for the whole family. Here’s a link to some short videos to show some of the possibilities.

Hint: If you do not want to spend time searching use this page http://familyforest.com/archives.html as a starting point, then follow the links in these stories.

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Filed under A People-Centered Approach To History®, Alec Baldwin, American Revolution, Ancestors, Ancestral History, Ancestry, Audie Murphy, Baseball, Boston Tea Party, CBS, Civil War, Cousins, ebooks, education, Excellence, Family Forest National Treasure, Family Forest® Project, Family History, Fourth of July, Genealogy, Golden Globes, Google, Gunsmoke, Hawaii, HBO, history, Hollywood, IMDb, Independence Day, Jack Nicholson, James Arness, John Adams, Julia Child, Kate Middleton, King Robert I of Scotland, Maps, National Treasure, Pearl Harbor, Princess Kaiulani, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sarah Palin, SNL, Susan Sarandon, television, Texas, The Tudors, White House, Who Do You Think You Are, World War II

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

Tim McGraw on WDYTYA

This is another worthwhile and well-done episode available online here from the team that creates the Who Do you Think You Are? program on NBC.

My favorite part is seeing how proudly people react to discovering and sharing with relatives that they have actual family ties to historical places, historical events, and real historical figures, and in this case, to two of Tim’s heroes.

It was interesting watching the story unfold leading up to being able to tell Tim that his hero George Washington knew Tim’s ancestors, and another one of Tim’s ancestors came to America with one of Elvis’ ancestors.

I wonder how Tim and his family will react when they discover that, according to recorded history, they actually share ancestors with George Washington, Elvis Presley, General Patton, Reese Witherspoon, and many other well-known people?

The Family Forest® is now capable of generating a huge number of relationship charts connecting Tim and his children through common ancestors to most of the key people, places, and events in human history, as well as to many of Tim’s entertainment collegues, and probably even more importantly, to Tim’s fans and potential fans.

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Filed under Ancestral History, Ancestry, Family Forest, Family Forest® Project, Family History, Genealogy, Tim McGraw, Uncategorized, Who Do You Think You Are

Meg Whitman Narrowly Beats Rival in A Related Contest

After the Family Forest® Project revealed to me that California gubernatorial hopeful Meg Whitman is related to former Alaska Governor and possible 2012 Presidential candidate Sarah Palin (they are 8th cousins once removed through common ancestors Rev. Joseph and Elizabeth (Bulkeley) Emerson, who are also ancestors of Hollywood super star Matt Damon), just for fun I began comparing their kinship reports to see how closely the two of them are related to other politicians, celebrities, and historical figures.

The Family Forest® shows that in the overall results of a number of relationship comparisons I looked at, Meg Whitman narrowly wins over Sarah Palin.

By a very narrow margin, Palin does win against Whitman in their relationship to AC/360 host Anderson Cooper. Palin is an 8th cousin once removed of Cooper while Whitman is a 9th cousin of Cooper.

There is a similar win for Palin in the two politicians’ relationships to President Obama. Palin is a 10th cousin of the President, while Whitman is an 11th cousin of the President, and Palin also wins against Whitman in their relationship to New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr., 9C vs. 9C3R.

In their relationships to five other business moguls, Palin wins two of the five, one is a tie, while Whitman wins the other two.

Palin is a 9C3R of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates while Whitman is a 10C2R, and Palin is a 16C3R of Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos while Whitman is a 17C4R.

AOL founder Steve Case is the tie at 9C2R.

Whitman is a bit closer to Warren Buffett at 9C1R, while Palin is a 9C2R to the Sage of Omaha. Whitman is quite a bit closer to Walt Disney at 7C2R, while Palin is a 9C2R to the founder of the Disney kingdom.

There are a number of Hollywood ties, including TCM co-host Alec Baldwin (8C1R cousin once removed), “Seabiscuit” racing announcer William H. Macy (9C1R),  Oscar-winner Jeff Bridges (10C1R), rising star Amy Adams (10C1R), and documentary filmmaker Ken Burns (18C).

Palin beat Whitman in their relationships to Hollywood icon Katharine Hepburn (7C2R vs. 8C1R), “Hereafter” star Matt Damon (7C1R vs. 9C) and “Hereafter” director Clint Eastwood (10C vs. 10C1R), distant cousin Brad Pitt (16C1R vs. 17C), and very very distant cousin Keanu Reeves (47C5R vs. 47C6R).

Whitman wins most dramatically over Palin in many other relationships in the Hollywood arena. These are “I Love Lucy” star Lucille Ball (7C vs. 9C1R), Hollywood icon Humphrey Bogart (8C1R vs. 9C2R), Oscar-winner Jodie Foster (9C vs. 9C1R), President John Adams portrayer Paul Giamatti (9C vs. 10C), “True Grit” villain Josh Brolin (9C1R vs. 11C1R), “Who Do You Thinks You Are?” subjects Brooke Shields (910C1R vs. 10C1R) and Sarah Jessica Parker (9C3R vs. 18C3R), “24” star Keifer Sutherland (10C vs. 19C1R), Oscar-winner Meryl Streep (10C vs. 10C1R), “Big C” star Laura Linney (11C3R vs. 14C1R), singer/actress Hilary Duff (11C2R vs. 14C), and distant cousins and “How Do You Know” co-stars Reese Witherspoon (19C3R vs. 20C3R cousin) and Jack Nicholson  (17C3R vs. 18C4R), and Oscar-winner Tom Hanks (19C vs. 20C).

Whitman scores 1-1 with Palin against two CBS news anchors, Walter Cronkite (11C1R vs. 9C1R) and Katie Couric (11C2R vs. 14C).

The two politicians’ relationships also tied against Prince William and Prince Harry at 9th cousin once removed.

Whitman beat Palin again against Mark Twain (6C3R vs. 10C4R) and Julia Child (7C1R vs. 8C2R).

All of these results were computer-generated on October 19, 2010 from the vast network of generation-by-generation family ties assembled in the Family Forest®.

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Filed under 2010 Election, 2012 Presidential candidate, Cousins, Family Forest National Treasure, Family Forest® Project, Family Trees, Genealogy, Hollywood, Meg Whitman, News, Sarah Palin, Walter Cronkite, Who Do You Think You Are

Did You Hear About the Morgans?

After enjoying watching Sarah Jessica Parker and Hugh Grant in this movie, we tried one of the really cool features of our new Roots Magic program. We asked if it could create a Relationship Chart in the Family Forest® between the two co-stars. 

Almost instantly a chart appeared showing generation-by-generation exactly how Sarah Jessica Parker and Hugh Grant are distant cousins. They share ancestors in the Family Forest®. Who would have guessed? (Well, maybe those who read our last Sarah Jessica Parker blog.

And there are other surprising family ties from “Did You Hear About the Morgans?” as well. Although Mary Steenburgen’s ancestry is not in the Family Forest® yet, the ancestry of her husband Ted Danson (subject of my favorite ancestral coincidences [or not?] story is. So through marriage, Mary is related to both Hugh and Sarah Jessica.  

But the bigger and better story than how these three stars are related is about how so many individual fans are related to one or more of them through their own family ties. 

We’re looking forward to sharing these fun connections with more Family Forest® customers personally.

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Filed under Ancestry, Family Forest National Treasure, Family Forest® Project, Genealogy, Hollywood, Mary Steenburgen, National Treasure, Sarah Jessica Parker, Ted Danson, Who Do You Think You Are

Susan Sarandon on Who Do You Think You Are?

Kristine and I are eagerly awaiting the return of our new favorite program. We are very curious to find out where Susan Sarandon’s ancestral pathways lead. 

Anyone can now click on Susan’s sons in the Family Forest® National Treasure Edition and visually explore their paternal generation-by-generation ancestral pathways for thousands of years. 

In fact, her sons’ ancestral pathways lead to some of the same ancestors as another famous Hollywood actress who has previously portrayed Susan’s daughter, Who Do You Think You Are? co-star Brooke Shields. 

If you like Who Do You Think You Are?, you’ll love exploring in the Family Forest® National Treasure Edition. For some of the episodes (please see previous blog posts about Sarah Jessica Parker and Brooke Shields), it continues on well beyond where the program leaves off.

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Filed under Ancestral History, Family Forest National Treasure, Family Forest® Project, Genealogy, National Treasure, Sarah Jessica Parker, Susan Sarandon, Who Do You Think You Are

Brooke Shields on Who Do You Think You Are

Thank you cousin Brooke. This was my favorite episode yet. And it was just like an infomercial for the Family Forest® Project, as those of you who explore the Family Forest® already know. 

If you liked this show, you’ll love the Family Forest® National Treasure Edition. It continues on well beyond where the show leaves off. 

In fact, if you click on Brooke in the National Treasure and ask for a 50-generation ancestor view, you will get a chart with 760,723 boxes filled in. Not only will you see many more kings and Saints on the chart, you will also see at least one Pope. 

As impressed as Brooke seemed when she discovered that her ancestor was the official banker to the Vatican, I hope she will be delighted to discover that another of her ancestors actually ran the Vatican. 

My favorite quote from this episode was when Brooke said “Being able to find your place in the grand scheme of things, there’s something empowering about it.” That sums up exactly what we are delivering to customers, personal empowerment, by showing the one and only place our individual ancestors fit in the unfolding of history. 

Many of Brooke’s ancestral pathways, including the one through King Henry IV of France, lead to Rome. 

Potential celebrity avatars for the Rome game, those who already link to ancient Rome through generation-by-generation ancestral pathways in the Family Forest®, are so numerous that they will be a dime-a-dozen in the virtual world. But the celebrity hostess avatar to the game, someone whose own ancestors lived in the Emperor’s Palace, could be omnipresent in the game. 

If you know Brooke’s agent, please pass along this blog. He or she will be glad you alerted them to the celebrity hostess avatar opportunity, and will be in a much better position to land Brooke a rewarding role portraying one of her own ancestors, as her cousin Katharine Hepburn has already done.

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Filed under Ancestors, Ancestral History, Ancestral Travel, Family Forest National Treasure, Family Forest® Project, Genealogy, Rome, Who Do You Think You Are

Woman-Centered Genealogy

Before Women’s History Month ends, please let me remind you that I believe the Family Forest® Project is the most woman-centered genealogy resource available, intentionally by design. 

There was a telling scene in the excellent Faces of America program where Meryl Streep tells Prof. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. that basically, she is not nearly as interested in the lives of her male ancestors as she is in the women who stood with them. 

Wow, that sums up the direction I have been steering the Family Forest® Project in for 15 years. Wouldn’t cousin Meryl be the perfect celebrity spokesperson we need? 

Countless choices appear before me each day as I perform my tour-guide service to of strategically growing the amazingly interconnected digital system of links we call the Family Forest®. I spend my days journeying through the nooks and crannies of thousands of years of human history and I leave a well-marked trail of everywhere I visit. The problem is that time does not allow me to enter nearly as much as I see. 

So when faced with decisions about the most important parts I should tell you about, I have almost always chosen to follow the lines of the mothers and daughters. This deliberate intention consistently applied over the last 15 years has grown the Family Forest® into the most woman-centered genealogy resource available. 

A number of examples of Family Forest® woman-centered genealogy can be downloaded free. They include some well-known and currently topical women such as Amelia Earhart, Julia Child, Sarah Jessica Parker, Meryl Streep, Brooke Shields, and Sarah Palin.

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Filed under Ancestral History, Family Forest, Family Forest National Treasure, Family Forest® Project, Genealogy, Meryl Streep, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sarah Palin, Who Do You Think You Are, Women's History Month

Sarah Jessica Parker on Who Do You Think You Are?

I highly recommend this great program for everyone. It gives an excellent preview of the positive life enriching discoveries waiting to be found by each person who seeks to know about the bigger picture of where we came from. 

More importantly from a Family Forest® perspective, if you liked this show, you’ll love the Family Forest® National Treasure Edition. It picks up where the show leaves off. 

For instance, consider just one of the intersections in Sarah Jessica Parker’s ancestry which was discussed in the program. His name is Samuel Elwell and he is PIN 327364 in the National Treasure. 

Not only is he one of Sarah Jessica Parker’s ancestors, but according to the  recorded history already mapped out in the National Treasure, he is one of the 5th-great-grandfathers of Norman Rockwell. 

As much as Sarah Jessica Parker seemed to enjoy the feeling of being American that she gained from her ancestral discoveries, she should be elated to know that she shares Elwell ancestors with the person who personified Americans for decades, Norman Rockwell. 

A much bigger surprise still awaits Sarah Jessica Parker and her Mom (Will someone please let them know?). According to recorded history, the wife of their Samuel Elwell is Mary Jones, daughter of Isaac and Deborah (Clark or Clarke) Jones. 

Mary’s 20-generation ancestor view in the National Treasure pulls up a chart that anyone should be proud to claim as their own. I know, I’m speaking from personal experience, as parts of her ancestor chart I recognize as also my own. 

This one map of some of the ancestral pathways of Sarah Jessica Parker covers some extremely interesting human history that Hollywood has been making great films of for decades. These include some of her ancestors in Braveheart and The Lion in Winter, one of which was portrayed by our Oscar-winning cousin. 

Sarah Jessica Parker and her Mom can now watch a famous movie of our cousin portraying our ancestor. This is an example of why we say that the Family Forest® is Networking Family History with Hollywood.™ 

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Filed under Ancestral History, Family, Family Forest, Family Forest® Project, Genealogy, Hollywood, National Treasure, Norman Rockwell, Sarah Jessica Parker, television, Who Do You Think You Are