Tag Archives: Family Forest Project

Explaining the Unbelievable

On his 84th birthday I ran a Family Forest® kinship report for my Dad. How do I explain that amazing report? It shows results that a lifetime of learning has taught all of us to believe is impossible.

The software searched through the entire system of digital links I’ve spent tens of thousands of hours assembling. It was looking for every person in the Family Forest® who, according to recorded history, is related to my father through either birth or marriage.

It took 5,823 pages to display the results. The report shows that my father has family ties to over a quarter million different relatives over thousands of years, and they include most of the key people who were at most of the pivotal places and events in human history, as well as many of the Hollywood celebrities who have portrayed much of that history on film.

For instance, there are 27 signers of the Declaration of Independence on this report. That’s only one person short of half of the heroic men who signed. How can this be?

Well the simple explanation is that anyone who is connected into the Royal Channel in the Family Forest® is instantly networked through family ties to every other person who has already been connected into the Royal Channel.

Although my Dad is unique and very special to me, sociologically and genealogically speaking, he is an average everyday guy. With over a million boxes to fill in on their pedigree charts for just their first 20 generations, over time all average everyday people are descended from a number of the same ancestors famous people are descended from.

This is a message I have to deliver. It sounds simple, even though it runs contrary to common knowledge and it still seems unbelievable.

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Filed under Ancestral History, education, Family, Family Forest, Family Forest National Treasure, Family Forest® Project, Genealogy

Jack Nicholson’s Cousins and the Emmy Awards

Jack Nicholson has some known cousins who have been nominated for an Emmy at the 62nd Emmy Awards, according to his Family Forest® relationship report.

These Emmy nominees include Glenn Close, Ted Danson, John Lithgow, Sissy Spacek, Alec Baldwin, and Georgia O’Keeffe (although she’s not up for an Emmy, the movie Georgia O’Keeffe is).

Certainly you will find Jack’s Family Forest® relationship report quite fascinating. After tens of thousands of hours of connecting the dots of recorded history, I can ask the computer for a list of all of the people that Jack has been linked to and Voila! (after a couple of hours of calulation and formating), a 5,715-page report appears with the names of over a quarter of a million different people from the last few thousands years of human history who are related to Jack.

Finding President Obama, myself, and over 1,200 knights that Jack is descended from or related to seems amazing enough, but you may be more interested in his family ties to the Hollywood community, both past and present.

Within this one computer-generated report, which spokes out with Jack at the hub, are thousands of well-known people who have profile pages at IMDb.com, and a surprising number of them have worked with him during his career on many popular films.

I found the main star from his upcoming film How Do You Know, one of the main stars from Something’s Gotta Give, two stars from The Departed, two stars from Mars Attacks!, China Kantner from The Evening Star, his co-star from Ironweed, a co-star from The Witches of Eastwick, the producer of The Shining, the author of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, and both of the co-stars from Easy Rider.

The Family Forest® Project is, among other objectives, Networking Family History with Hollywood (TM).

Are you or any of your ancestors, or some of your favorite Hollywood stars, already networked to Jack Nicholson in the Family Forest? You can find out now.

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Filed under 62nd Emmy Awards, Cousins, Emmy Awards, Family Forest, Family Forest® Project, Genealogy, Hollywood, Jack Nicholson, Ted Danson

Virkus Clarification and Correction

Those of you who are unfamiliar with Virkus’ The Abridged Compendium of American Genealogy (later The Compendium of American Genealogy) should know what it is and what it isn’t, what’s wrong with it, and if there are any redeeming qualities.

In short, you should know the truth about it, and far more importantly, what’s been done to it recently since it was published more than a half century ago. 

This massive work in seven volumes, published over a decade and a half between the 1920’s and the 1940’s, maps out verbally an enormously large swath of generation-by-generation American family history over basically a three century period. 

Despite the potential ancestral history value that promises, and the fact that it is the one genealogy resource that can be found in most libraries, conventional wisdom these days says that it should be avoided like the plague. 

It has been known for a long time that it contains many errors, but I’ve never seen anyone quantify that statement. Is it 30% errors? 40%? 50%? The much lower answer may surprise you. 

But what if the correct answer was that it contains 50% errors? That would mean that one out of every two statements or dates is wrong. 

The glass-half-empty thinkers will say this massive genealogy resource is useless. The glass-half-full thinkers will say “Wow! Wouldn’t it be great if we knew which half of this massive genealogy resource is correct?” 

Highly respected genealogist Donald Lines Jacobus said about it “because of the high proportion of known errors, conscientious genealogists do not use statements in this work without verification.” 

“It is often a useful reference work for those who know how to use it properly” he went on to say. 

Suppose a conscientious person with Mensa-level intelligence spent 15 years digitally indexing, in lineage-linked format, the Virkus collection along with hundreds of other books and periodicals, filtering out annoying and confusing duplication, error checking each entry against everything else that had been previously entered, and connecting them to each other wherever appropriate? 

There’s no need to imagine the enormous upgrade in quality and usability that has already happened to Virkus’ massive work (as well as to hundreds of other books and periodicals, including many from NEHGS and NYGBR). Just explore for yourself in the National Treasure.

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Filed under Ancestors, Ancestral History, Compendium of American Genealogy, Family Forest National Treasure, Family Forest® Project, Genealogy, National Treasure

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

Lost Cousin links to Ancestral Mother

I pulled up a 30-generation ancestor chart last night for my “Lost” cousin, Matthew Fox, to see if he has ancestral pathways into the new Robin Hood movie, and indeed he does. 

Right away I saw one of his ancestral pathways to one of my favorite ancestral mothers, who is portrayed in Robin Hood. Then I saw another, and another, and another. By the time I finished counting, I found that Matthew has at least 48 different ancestral pathways to Eleanor of Aquitaine in the Family Forest® National Treasure. 

There are 16 through King John (son of Eleanor by King Henry II), 30 through Eleanor (daughter of Eleanor by King Henry II), and two through Mary (daughter of Eleanor by King Louis VII of France). 

Seeing these types of connections all the time does not keep me from being surprised by new ones I am continually discovering in the Family Forest®. 

The Family Forest® Project is Networking Family History with Hollywood™, as well as with American and Old World history.

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Filed under Ancestral History, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Family Forest, Family Forest National Treasure, Family Forest® Project, FamilyForest, film, Genealogy, Hollywood, Matthew Fox, Robin Hood

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

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

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

Ancestor of all the Irish

There is a fascinating monumental account of the origin of the Irish people which was written in the 1800’s. Genealogical Publishing Company calls it “the magnum opus of Irish Genealogy.” 

What happens when the essence of this enormous work is intelligently digitally indexed in lineage-linked format? Actually, never-before-seen views of thousands of years of Irish ancestry appear. 

One of them is the 916-page “The Family Forest® Descendants of Milesius of Spain for 84 Generations” eBook which has just gone live on Google Book Search. 

Milesius is said to be the ancestor of all Irish people, and this book presents in standard genealogical format his generation-by-generation descendants leading into Hollywood movies and standard history books. 

Much more exciting are the enormous charts that can be summoned from the Family Forest® National Treasure Edition. If you click on Milesius (PIN 5897690) and request a 110-generation descendant view, you can visually explore the ancestral pathways leading to this one man from more than 200 hundred thousand of his descendants, a number of whom you will instantly recognize. 

I feel certain that more than two billion living people have some ancestors on this chart. This includes Meryl Streep and Sarah Jessica Parker

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day.

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Filed under Ancestors, Ancestral History, Family Forest, Family Forest National Treasure, Family Forest® Project, Genealogy, Hollywood, Irish, Meryl Streep, Milesius, Sarah Jessica Parker, St. Patrick