Twilight and the White House

Vlad the Impaler, the person some people believe the character of Count Dracula is based on, is in the Family Forest® (PIN 562175), and unlike the misleading chart Ancestry.com used to illustrate their story (it’s actually missing many generations), Vlad’s Family Forest® charts can be explored generation-by-generation.

Thanks to Tamura Jones for pointing out in his article The Dracula Connection about the Ancestry.com story that the Family Forest National Treasure does what Ancestry.com cannot.

Vlad the Impaler, the person some people believe the character of Count Dracula is based on, is in the Family Forest® (PIN 562175), and unlike the misleading chart Ancestry.com used to illustrate their story (it’s actually missing many generations), Vlad’s Family Forest® charts can be explored generation-by-generation.

Anyone with the National Treasure can click on him, and request a 20-generation descendant chart. What leaps out to me on this chart is that one of Vlad the Impaler’s descendants was born in the White House!

If you click on Vlad the Impaler’s father Vlad the Devil (PIN 562178) and request a 20-generation descendant chart, you can see ancestral pathways that leads to the British Royal Family, the White House, actress Sarah Miles, and one of the people Madonna will be directing in her new movie, without skipping generations as Ancestry.com does.

And you can click here to see Ancestors-at-at-glance™ charts of some of the people in the Ancestry.com story.

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.

The Heart of 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?

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.

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.

Ancestral Movie Premiers

I just discovered that one of my favorite ancestral mothers is being portrayed in Russell Crowe’s Robin Hood.
It’s exciting to see someone portrayed at the movies who documented human history says is one of your own ancestors. It’s a much more powerful attraction than just seeing one’s cousins acting in the movies.

I just discovered that one of my favorite ancestral mothers is being portrayed in Russell Crowe’s Robin Hood

It’s exciting to see someone portrayed at the movies who documented human history says is one of your own ancestors. It’s a much more powerful attraction than just seeing one’s cousins acting in the movies. Maybe because distant cousins appear so frequently, while portrayals of actual ancestors only happen occasionally. 

From personal experience, one seems to naturally develop an affinity for a Hollywood star who has portrayed one’s own ancestor. For me, the top four so far are Katharine Hepburn (who also portrayed President Obama’s ancestor and is mentioned in the new Hawaii 24/7 article about him, Peter O’Toole, Charlton Heston, and Sophia Loren. 

I’m having a lot of fun with our Family Forest® Project while Networking Family History with Hollywood™, and I’m looking forward to seeing a new Hollywood blockbuster visually illustrating our digital system of family links. 

Most people who read this posting have ancestral pathways that lead directly to one or more characters in Robin Hood.

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.

Susan Sarandon on Who Do You Think You Are?

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.

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.

Major Expansion of Family History eBook Library Underway

Family Forest® genealogy eBooks are digital tour guides to ancestral history. They will become a favorite part of the future of family history research. They lead readers to a wealth of essential best-of-the-best gems of their family heritage knowledge that are waiting to be discovered in previously recorded ancestral history.

We have been having alot of fun creating these books for you. Here’s today’s press release announcing them. Enjoy the video snippets below to see the bigger picture!

Cyberspace April 12, 2010 

Family Forest® genealogy eBooks are digital tour guides to ancestral history. They will become a favorite part of the future of family history research. They lead readers to a wealth of essential best-of-the-best gems of their family heritage knowledge that are waiting to be discovered in previously recorded ancestral history. 

Almost every title relates personally to more that one million living people, and some titles relate personally to more that one billion living people. Almost every title lays out generation-by-generation family ties leading from the subject to mostly everyday people, as well as instantly recognizable historical figures and present day celebrities. 

Some of these titles have been already been submitted to the upcoming Google Editions program and many more are now available for downloading at familyforest.com

New editions of three hundred previous Family Forest® descendant series eBook titles created from the new Family Forest® National Treasure Edition, have just become available for instant download. Some of these titles have quadrupled in size from their earlier edition. 

Two hundred never-before-seen titles have already been created and will soon be available for instant download. Some are already available. Many more additional titles will be following. 

In addition to a number of other objectives, the Family Forest® Project is Networking Family History with Hollywood™ (video example 1 )and ( video example 2 ) better than any other resource, either online or offline, as can be seen in the new Family Forest® National Treasure Edition

Family Forest® ancestral history eBooks are priced from $5.95 to $49.95. 

Family Forest® is a registered trademark of Millisecond Publishing Company, Inc. 

Millisecond Publishing Company, Inc.

www.familyforest.com

www.familyforest.com/blog

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.

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.

Many other Edward III descendants are probably looking forward to Opening Day, as I am. Batter up!

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!