Connection Excitement

An exciting event just happened to me, and I expect to enjoy a number of repeat performances in the future. It is typical of many exciting experiences that are waiting to be discovered by everyone with any European ancestry.

While sorting through some of the research I found at the Maryland Historical Society Library during my recent trip to Baltimore, I checked the American & European Family Forest and found that the sister of one of my ancestors was already there. With just a couple of mouse-clicks, I could instantly see a chart of 15 generations of people (52 new ancestors) who I reasonably believe are part of my own ancestry within the time frame of 1500 to the time of William the Conqueror.

A 16 generation Ancestor View of Margery Haute (PIN 34452 in Presidential) with “Include siblings” de-selected will show you what excited me.

Everyday I see more and more confirming evidence which supports my theory that everyone with any European ancestry will connect into the highly-interconnected lineage-linked ancestry in the A&E Family Forest in numerous places, when they follow some of their own ancestral paths into the past for several centuries.

Sally Hemings

Last Sunday I saw the first part of a television speculation about the paternal ancestry of Sally Hemings’ children.

expect that people will be arguing for decades about whether or not Thomas Jefferson was really the father of some or all of Sally Hemings’ children. What about the part of the story that isn’t being disputed?

From the little I know of the recent DNA tests, I believe they proved that some or all of her children were either grandchildren or great-grandchildren of Thomas Jefferson’s parents, Jane Randolph and Colonel Peter Jefferson.

This means that, according to the recorded history mapped out within the A&E Family Forest, Sally’s children were descended from a number of Saints, Magna Charta Sureties, Russian Grand Dukes, English Kings, French Kings, Spanish Kings, Scottish Kings, Danish Kings, Hungarian Kings, Italian Kings, Croatian Dukes, Austrian Dukes, German Emperors, and thousands of other historic characters.

To see all of the ancestral pathways that lead to those people, do a 30 generation ancestor view of President Thomas Jefferson (PIN 296 in Presidential on the A&E CD) with “Include siblings” de-selected. Everyone that appears on the chart will be (according to recorded history) ancestors of Sally Hemings’ children.

I imagine that in some circles, finding out that Sally Hemings’ descendants are descended from royalty is probably more upsetting than the possibility that her children were actually fathered by President Thomas Jefferson.

Peanuts and Smiles

Last weekend I was exploring the valuable resources of the Maryland Historical Society Library and I found some exciting articles from the early 1900’s by J. Hall Pleasants in the Virginia Historical Magazine. They were about a number of my own Gorsuch and Lovelace ancestors, and they made me smile. It seems I always smile when I find recorded history about my own ancestors.

I wonder if J. Hall Pleasants ever realized that what he was doing would deliver smiles to people a century into the future?

Later that weekend, I was watching several of the tribute programs showcasing the life and accomplishments of Peanuts creator Charles “Sparky” Schultz. If there were a way to count them, it is quite probable that he would hold the record for delivering the most smiles. How many centuries from now will Sparky still be delivering smiles to people?

As I peck away at my keyboard on this mountainside in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, it’s nice to think that maybe something that I entered into the A&E Family Forest today might deliver a smile to someone’s face centuries from now.

Maternal Surprises

Colonel Edwin Van Deusen Selden was an oil producer and refiner of Oil City, PA. He was born almost a century and a half ago, and was a member of the Order of Founders & Patriots of America. He was one of the people in the original edition of the F&P Family Forest, and of course he is on the new A&E disc.

A ten generation ancestor view of him fills in only 32 of his ancestors, meaning that there are far more dead ends than continuing lines. The line of his father’s father’s father’s father’s etc. travels the full ten generations, and leads back to early Connecticut, via Virginia.

But to which exciting places might many of those dead end maternal lines lead? Yesterday I discovered a few of those places.

One of Colonel Selden’s grandmothers was Louise Sophie Shattuck. She was a mystery (other than knowing that she married George Selden, had at least one son named George Shattuck Selden, and was the grandmother of Colonel Selden). No dates. No places. No other children. No Shattuck connections.

A reasonable guess, based on her surname, would be that she was probably born in New England. But that guess misses the mark by more than a thousand miles. She was born a world away from New England on April 24, 1801 on the island of St. Thomas in the Caribbean. Louise’s mother was the daughter of Alexander de Vincent, the governor of St. Thomas.

Yesterday morning Louise Sophie Shattuck was a mysterious dead end. Before noon, with the addition of only seven new people into the A&E Family Forest, she has become a wealth of exciting new possibilities. She is now connected to 28 ancestors with what are certain to be many interesting stories and places behind them. Surnames of those ancestors include Barnes, Barron, Cooledge, de Vincent, Hall, Palmer, Randall, Shattuck, Sherman, and Winship.

I wonder to how many exciting places and stories those new dead ends will soon lead?