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.

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.

Civil War Hero to Receive Overdue Medal

Alonzo Hereford Cushing has finally been approved to receive the Medal of Honor, 147 years after he fell in battle at Gettysburg. It’s been known for a long time that his actions were worthy of praise.
I ran a Family Forest® kinship for Alonzo to see who he is known to be related to. There were over 37,000 people, including a very wide range of Americans, mostly everyday people, and some famous.

Associated Press reported yesterday on an American heroism story that was 147 years in the making. It actually relates personally, literally, to many Americans. 

Alonzo Hereford Cushing has finally been approved to receive the Medal of Honor, 147 years after he fell in battle at Gettysburg. It’s been known for a long time that his actions were worthy of praise. 

Alonzo was the subject of a poem entitled “The Last Man At His Guns” that appeared in an 1895 book by Henry Stevenson Washburn called “The Vacant Chair and Other Poems.” 

I ran a Family Forest® kinship for Alonzo to see who he is known to be related to. There were over 37,000 people, including a very wide range of Americans, mostly everyday people, and some famous. 

They include President Abraham Lincoln (7C), Major-General John Sedgwick who was also at Gettysburg (6C), President U.S. Grant (6C2R), potential California governor Meg Whitman (6C3R), New York Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. (5C6R), Oscar-winning actress Jodie Foster (6C5R), baseball star Chase Utley (6C5R), Hollywood icon Raquel Welch (9C3R), astronaut Alan Shepard (6C4R), Admiral Dennis Blair (9C3R), Admiral George Dewey (7C2R), Vice President Aaron Burr (5C4R), both Presidents Bush (6C4R and 6C5R), President Grover Cleveland (6C), Vice President Charles Dawes (9C), President Millard Filmore (7C2R), President Gerald Ford (7C1R), President Herbert Hoover (6C3R), Orville and Wilbur Wright (6C2R), Admiral Richard Worsham Meade (6C), Samuel Holden Parsons who was a Major General in the American Revolution (Half 2C3R), other Revolutionary Generals Elisha Porter (3C5R) and Moses Porter (4C4R), and Civil War Generals Montgomery Cunningham Meigs (5C1R), Charles Edward Phelps (6C3R), Walter Cass Newberry (7C2R), Charles Jackson Paine (5C), Edward Porter Alexander (Half 5C), and William Tecumseh Sherman (6C1R). 

Kinship reports like these illustrate the fact that the Family Forest® can connect more families personally, through actual family ties, to more of the people, places, and events in American and Old World history than any other resource.

Getting to Robin Hood via eBay

So we’re announcing our Personal Connection Service to Hollywood this week and introducing it via an eBay auction.

The Family Forest® Project is, among other objectives, Networking Family History with Hollywood™, and

An old friend asked me to call a friend of his in Atlanta early last week. Something about frustration with his experience at Ancestry.com, and wondering if I could help him. 

Within two hours, I was able to email John a PIN of one of his ancestors in the National Treasure who has a generation-by-generation ancestral pathway to Katharine Hepburn’s character in The Lion in Winter. 

That same character, Eleanor of Aquitaine, is also portrayed in Russell Crowe’s Robin Hood. So John can take his kids to the movies this week to see their own ancestors portrayed larger than life on the silver screen. Cool, huh? 

Maybe we don’t actually make joy, as BMW does, but we certainly enjoy spreading joy. So we’re announcing our Personal Connection Service to Hollywood this week and introducing it via an eBay auction.

The Family Forest® Project is, among other objectives, Networking Family History with Hollywood™, and we’re trying to make it as easy as possible for you to connect your children personally to history, and to ignite their interest in life time learning.

Tom Berenger at the Big Island Film Festival

We were sitting front and center at a tropical paradise venue (The Shops at Mauna Lani) while Tom Berenger received the 2010 Golden Honu Award for Acting at the Big Island Film Festival.
I wanted to know about how it was for Tom to work with one of my top four Hollywood icons who have portrayed one of my ancestors. So I asked him “How was it to work with Charlton Heston?”

Kristine and I had an outstanding evening yesterday. We were sitting front and center at a tropical paradise venue (The Shops at Mauna Lani) while Tom Berenger received the 2010 Golden Honu Award for Acting at the Big Island Film Festival

We thoroughly enjoyed discovering that in addition to being a great actor, Tom is also a captivating storyteller. And I was fortunate enough to be able to ask him a question that I can only ask a relatively few people. In fact, I’ve never asked this question to anyone before, and actually, I’ve never asked a Hollywood star anything (other than my friend Leon Rippy, who I knew before he was a star). 

I wanted to know about how it was for Tom to work with one of my top four Hollywood icons who have portrayed one of my ancestors. So I asked him “How was it to work with Charlton Heston?” 

Tom gave a great answer. It confirmed my perception of Charlton Heston, pleased the crowd, and conveyed insights about why we always enjoy Tom’s performances. 

Life is great here in paradise!

The First Family has Family Forest® family ties to the Princess Kaiulani movie

The First Family has Family Forest® family ties to the Princess Kauilani movie

Here  is a screen capture from the National Treasure to help illustrate the story that just appeared at Hawaii 24/7

Lena Horne, A tribute

Lena Horne died on May 9, 2010. In tribute to Lena Horne Time online wrote about her as more than a very talented woman and incredible entertainer of her day.

She is one of the many Hollywood connections in our Family Forest® National Treasure.

As a Family Forest® Tribute to Lena Horne here is her hourglass chart.

Brooke Shields on Who Do You Think You Are

Brooke Shields on Who Do You Think You Are
If you liked this show, you’ll love the Family Forest® National Treasure Edition. It continues on well beyond where the show leaves off.

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.

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.

Ancestor of all the Irish

Ancestor of all the Irish

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.

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.

Meryl Streep on PBS

Seeing the program about Meryl Streep’s ancestry on PBS later this month. With all of the resources at their disposal, will they reveal more of Meryl’s children’s illustrious ancestral heritage than the Family Forest® National Treasure Edition?

 I am really looking forward to seeing the program about Meryl Streep’s ancestry on PBS later this month. With all of the resources at their disposal, will they reveal more of Meryl’s children’s illustrious ancestral heritage than the Family Forest® National Treasure Edition?

Will their 30-generation ancestor view of Meryl fill in more than 14,304 boxes with the names of people who, according to recorded history, her children would call grandmother or grandfather (preceded by some number of “greats”)? 

Will the program take her back to one of her ancestors that Katharine Hepburn portrayed

Will the program be able to connect her through family ties to one of her idols she did a TCM tribute to, Bette Davis?

Will the program be able to connect her through family ties to ancestors she shares with Julia Child, one of Meryl’s distant cousins she recently portrayed in Julie and Julia

Will the program be able to show any of her generation-by-generation pathways leading to the Emperor’s Palace in 320 A.D. Rome

As Jimmy Buffett so sagely says on Banana Wind, only time will tell.

Tudors descendants in the audience. Are you one of them?

Tudors descendants in the audience. Are you one of them?

I once read somewhere that the real purpose of reading is to trap the mind into thinking. 

Well it just happened to me while I was reading the new Family Forest® Descendants of Earl Sir Thomas Boleyn ebook. He is a man who has been portrayed by Nick Dunning in 20 episodes of Showtime’s hugely popular series The Tudors. My thinking drifted to the fans of The Tudors, and the fact that millions of them are actually watching portrayals of their own ancestors. Most of them probably haven’t made this AhHa! discovery yet, and you may quite likely be one of them. 

For instance consider just one good possibility of a person who may be one of your own ancestors. Thomas Boleyn’s genes began appearing in America at least a decade before the Mayflower arrived, at Jamestown, VA. His genes also appeared in Boston and other parts of MA in the 1600s. 

According to the ancestral pathways already networked into the Family Forest® National Treasure Edition, Thomas Boleyn’s genes have been born into many locations around the globe, including such diverse places in America such as Reidsville, NC, Jarratt, VA, Topeka, KS, Atlantic City, NJ, Red Rock and Fort Dodge, IA, Vienna Crossroads and Toledo, OH, Buffalo and Brooklyn, NY, Portland, OR, Rock Island, IL, Olympia, WA, Bryn Mawr, PA, Newburyport, MA, Houston, TX, Sulphur, OK, Morley, MO, and many more. 

Some of his famous descendants include Charles Darwin, Tim Berners-Lee, John D. Rockefeller, Howard Dean, Princess Diana and her two sons, Prince Harry and Prince William, Admiral Dennis Blair, Rachel Ward, Cary Elwes, Hilary Duff, and Skandar Keynes. Many of Thomas’ known descendants are also Pocahontas descendants. Most of his descendants are everyday people.

His royally-descended genes are known to have already spread into families with surnames of Abbott, Adams, Alexander, Allen, Ames, Anderson, Arms, Armstrong, Atkinson, Avery, Baker, Bannister, Barnard, Marnes, Barton, Batchelder, Beekman, Bell, Bennett, Bigelow, Bingham, Bishop, Blood, Bolling, Bowen, Bowers, Boyle, Bradlee, Breed, Brent, Brett, Brooks, Bryant, Buchanan, Burke, Burwell, Butler, Butts, Campbell, Carlton, Chandler, Chase, Church, Churchill, Claiborne, Clark, Clement, Cleveland, Cobb, Cocke, Coffin, Colby, Cole, Collins, Corbin, Cox, Creilly, Crump, Culbertson, Cunningham, Currier, Cushman, Dalton, Dandridge, Davis, Devereux, Dodge, Drummond, Dunlap, Dunlop, Edwards, Emery, Evans, Ferguson, Fleming, Folger, Fontaine, Fowler, Freeman, Gage, Garnsey, Gault, Goodale, Goode, Gorham, Graham, Grant, Griffin, Guest, Hale, Hall, Harrison, Haseltine, Hazeltine, Henry, Herrick, Hills, Hinckley, Hitchcock, Holloway, Hopkins, Houghton, Howard, Howe, Hunter, Huntington, Hussey, Ingalls, James, Johnson, Jones, Kennedy, Kerr, Kimball, Leavitt, Lee, Lewis, Lincoln, Lindbergh, Logan, Lott, Lynn, Macy, Marston, Mason, Mather, McCall, Merrill, Metcalf, Meyers, Miller, Moore, Morgan, Morrison, Morrow, Morse, Moses, Mott, Moulton, Muir, Newton, Oliver, O’Neill, O’Reilly, Paget, Paine, Parker, Parks, Payne, Peabody, Pelham, Perkins, Perry, Pinkham, Porter, Preston, Quincy, Raines, Rich, Rindge, Roberts, Robertson, Rockefeller, Regers, Roosevelt, Rose, Ross, Rothschild, Royce, Russell, Safford, Saltonstall, Sargent, Savage, Severance, Seymour, Shannon, Shaw, Shelden, Shepard, Singleton, Smith, Snow, Spencer, Stanton, Starbuck, Starr, Stebbins, Stetson, Stickney, Stone, Tarbox, Telford, Thompson, Thornberry, Toler, Traxler, Vail, Wade, Walden, Wall, Warfield, Warren, Washington, Waterhouse, Watkins, Watts, Wayland, Webster, Wendell, Wentworth, West, Wheeler, Wilcox, Williams, Willis, Wilson, Wingo, Winslow, Winston, Woodman, Worth, and probably thousands of additional surnames, including quite possibly yours.

Some historians believe that all of these descendants in the new Family Forest® Descendants of Earl Sir Thomas Boleyn are also descended from King Henry VIII.

There are many other named characters in The Tudors you may be descended from. We have just posted 15 free Tudors Ancestors-at-a-glance™ charts for fans of The Tudors, history buffs, and descendants. You can see them here

The edutaining Family Forest® Project is Networking Family History with Hollywood™ and connecting audiences through actual family ties better than any other digital resource, either online or offline, as the new Family Forest® National Treasure Edition can easily show you.