The Perfect Storm

At the beginning of the movie, we are shown some of the names of the 10,000 Gloucester, MA mariners who were lost at sea since 1623. Naturally, I wondered how many of them I have already entered into the American & European Family Forest.

As soon as we arrived home I did a search in Place Contains for “gloucester ma” (without the quotes and without the comma after gloucester).

As I was scrolling through the long match list, I came to Susanna Warner. She lived in Gloucester two and a half centuries ago, and she kept a boarding house at the harbor. I wondered how similar, and how different, her life was compared to the woman who kept the boarding house in the movie. Except for high tech weather monitoring and almost instantaneous news via the television, I’ll bet the similarities out-weighed the differences.

As she bid farewell to some mariners who would never return, could she have possibly imagined that someone would be talking about her 250 years into the future?

What would she have thought if she could have known that one of her 4th great-grand-nephews was going to become Vice President of the United States (Charles Dawes), or for that matter, that there would even be a United States?

Other unique attributes of the one specific spot her life occupied in the unfolding of history include being a 2nd cousin twice removed of President John “The Signer”Adams, and a 2nd cousin three times removed of President John Quincy Adams.

Even if your life doesn’t seem like it could ever be of major historical importance, 250 years from now someone just might be talking about the one specific spot your life occupied in the unfolding of history.

Saints

When I heard it was All Saints Day I explored the American & European Family Forest to see what it contained concerning saints. I quickly found at least 76 of saints. Among them were 21 kings and emperors, a number of queens, and other lesser nobility.

Until I was several years into our Family Forest project, I would have bet that I had less of a chance of being descended from saints than being struck by lightening or winning the lottery. From the little I knew about saints, I didn’t even picture them having children.

But it now appears that I am descended from at least a baker’s dozen of saints. A 50 generation ancestor view of immigrant ancestor Anne Lovelace, who I believe is my ancestor as well as the ancestor of millions of other Americans, shows that according to recorded history she was descended (usually in multiple lines) from King David I the Saint of Scotland, Saint Margaret Atheling, Duke Leopold III the Saint of Austria, King Saint Olave II of Norway, Saint Matilda of Ringleheim, King Saint Olave III of Sweden, Princess Saint Elgiva, Saint Olga, Saint Hermengild, Saint Clothilde of Burgundy, Saint Ode, King Ferdinand III the Saint of Castile & Leon, and Bishop Saint Arnolph of Metz.

A 60 generation ancestor view of Governor George W. Bush shows that according to recorded history he was descended (usually in multiple lines) from King David I the Saint of Scotland, Saint Margaret Atheling, King Saint Canute the Pious of Wendon, Saint Matilda of Ringleheim, King Saint Olave III of Sweden, Princess Saint Elgiva, Saint Olga, Saint Hermengild, Saint Clothilde of Burgundy, Saint Ode, and Bishop Saint Arnolph of Metz.

Tens of thousands of other people in the A&E Family Forest, people who are the ancestors of countless millions of people living today, have ancestor views that will also show this many or more saints.

The next time you are in a museum looking at a painting of a saint, consider the possibility that you are looking at someone you would have called grandmother or grandfather (preceded by some number of “greats”).