Once upon a time I had about 7000 names in my database and thought "Wow! what have I done?" Twelve years ago I had about 75,000 names and a fan sent me e-mail rooting for me to make it all the way to 100,000! I wrote back, laughing, and said "No, that won't happen." Recently I got a comment at the Guestbook: "My head hurts just trying to visualize the amount of work you have done." You don't know the half of it.
Now I am up to 275,854 pedigree pages. (Subtract about 30,000 trivial pages omitted to save space.) Latest additions include pedigrees for some famous actors I was missing: Jimmy Stewart, Joan Crawford, Dick van Dyke, Jamie Lee Curtis; a few famous Americans like General Creighton W. Abrams and Governor Ross S. Sterling; and the usual minor people, e.g. Priscilla DeVol, just to link up with more pedigrees. For other living creatures I added carnation flower, tsetse fly and the deadly pathogen the tsetse fly carries! Version Ninety-One! 91 is the luckiest number (7) multiplied by the unluckiest (13). I think I'll stop now.
Do all people with English blood descend from King Henry II, the first Plantagenet King? Maybe, but proving it is another matter. At last, thanks to Ricardo Canedo, a specific link from Henry II to me has been identified in which every single link passes expert scrutiny. My grandfather, who had the same name as me, remembers his Grandma Annie (here's some info about ther and her father); a fellow genealogist showed me that she was the granddaughter of Mahlon Chamberlain HOLDEN, whose middle name helps confirm that he was great-grandson of Lewis CHAMBERLAIN (a Judge). Lewis was in exactly the right place and time to be the son of Rebecca Chamberlain nee Morris but there seems to be no specific documentary proof that he was her son. But her father was Lewis Morris; she named her son after his grandfather. Links have been approved by the experts on much flimsier grounds than this.
From Rebecca Morris the descent from King Henry II can be found easily on the best Internet sites. Rebecca's grandfather was Christopher ALMY, whose grandfather was Stafford BARLOW, whose grandfather was Humphrey STAFFORD, whose grandfather was another Humphrey STAFFORD. This Humphrey was executed in 1486 for taking the wrong side in the War of Roses, but crimes do not invalidate genetic linkage! Anyway this Humphrey was the son of another Humphrey STAFFORD who was slain while leading the King's Army against the rebel Jack Cade; that Humphrey was the son of yet another Humphrey STAFFORD, the son of Maud HASTINGS, daughter of Maud TRUSSELL, daughter of Maud de ST. PHILIBERT, daughter of Ada BOTETOURT, daughter of Maud FitzTHOMAS, daughter of Beatrice BEAUCHAMP, granddaughter of William LONGESPEE. And William Longespee, the Earl of Salisbury was the son of the slightly mysterious Countess Ida and her lover ... King Henry II of the English, grandson of King Henry I.
Yay! I am a Plantagenet!
While looking at my Plantagent descent I happened to notice that Elizabeth Almy was a distant cousin of William Ellery, a Signer of the Declaration of Independence I was missing. I had to add him! Wiipedia reported that he was the ancestor of several famous Americans (though none I'd incorporated into my database) so I decided to add 2 or 3 of them, including Edith Minturn Sedgwick, Andy Warhol's "It Girl." I found a HUGE pedigree for Sedgwick with many colonial American lines, and even medieval English lines, I was missing. Yippee!! Kyra Sedgwick is another famous descendant; her husband Kevin Bacon was already on my To_Do list; so I added both of them.
The brief summary of additions I give in this newsletter for each new version belies the extent of the changes. Adding the singer Krist Kristofferson was a major change for Version 90, but I also made a huge number of other additions, and alternate pedigrees, for medieval England, France, Germany, etc. I had a lot of links to the famous suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton, so I added her. The I added three other famous suffragists (Pankhurst, Mott, Blackwell) to keep her company.
I had to add the present Countess of Airlie when I saw a Youtube of her shaking President Trump's hand! Her grandfather was one of America's 56 wealthiest ever -- one I was missing from that list. Version 90 additions also include three U.S. Senators (Barry Goldwater, Elizabeth Warren, Charles Sumner) and two famous Texas politicans (Preston E. Smith, and Marion Price Daniels).
More additions to ancient Greek pedigrees from Manuel Pacheco Jiménez' excellent database.
I added some DNA clades, and biologic species. I added Cicero, the influential Orator; filling in the gaps between Cicero's cousin and some of their descendants already in my database. Among many other additions to ancient pedigrees of Persia etc., I added Tomyris, the Central Asian queen who was presented after battle with the head of Persia's Cyrus the Great. I added John Bartlett of Bartlett's Quotations, who descends from many colonial immigrants. Jake Gyllenhaal has a huge pedigree with many ancient Scandinavian lines, so I added him. And added several other Kings and commoners as well.
I worked on my index entries. Several explorers were in the database, but not under the Explorer index heading. I made a large number of additions associated with Witchcraft at Salem.
I normally don't add people unless they connect to people in my database. But the daughter-in-law of William Goodsell ROCKEFELLER is apparently a descendant of Paul Revere, so I added her to get to him!
I've given up on making my write-up on the purely agnatic descent of King James I from Homo heidelbergensis a piece de resistance! :-( But please look at it and tell me how to improve it.
Increased coverage of Y-haplogroup tree (especially T and R1b-P312 portions), adding 200+ new nodes. I made a huge number of additions to the ancient Greek pedigrees, thanks to Manuel Pacheco Jiménez. Added coverage of Baroncelli, Brougham, Dalston, Doughty, Wilberforce, Wyvill families, etc.
As the Y-haplogroup tree becomes better and better known, interesting discoveries are made. For example, the Y-dna closeness of Cotton and Singleton families can be tracd to Richard Singleton (d. 1246+) who purchased land in Cottam and changed his surname.
Mere days after uploading V86, I decided to add Richard Burton, the famous explorer. He descends from the Smythe Baronets (as does King George IV's wife, who I also was missing). Sounds pretty simple, right? No! This led me to a huge plethora of lines I was missing, along with alternates for the lines I already had. ... Just when I thought I was almost done. :-) I also added a pedigree for Gregory Peck. And increased coverage of Y-haplogorups; especiall the T haplogroup.
I added several pedigrees of descendants of Bounty mutineers: it seemed interesting to show some of the inter-marriages on secluded Pitcairn Island. Of course this also led to medieval pedigrees for families like Christian, Skillicorne, Senhouse. I added pedigrees for David Crosby, the famous singer; Sumner Welles, the famous diplomat; Arthur Balfour, Prime Minister of U.K; Oxylus from Greek myth; etc ... and the usual miscellaneous additions and corrections. I greatly expanded my coverage of Y-chromosome haplogroups, particularlyshowing clusters of Allens and McDonalds.
I uploaded Version 84, and the very next day checked on my Index entry for Copley Medal winners ... and added four more Medalists! A Cavendish father-son pair were the son and grandson of a couple already in my database; Edward Delaval's parents were also in the database; and Lord Rayleigh himself was already in -- I'd noted his Nobel Prize but not his Copley Medal. I added Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife -- there is a large pedigree for Shriver.
And ... the very same day I uploaded V84, I noticed that I had one line shown twice: I'd failed to note that OWTRED and UGHTRED are different spellings of the same surname. (I'm sure there are many duplicated people still in the database.) And more additions. And more corrections. The Errata list has dwindled to almost nothing!
As I write, less than two weeks after releasing V 84, I notice that my database already has 600 additional or revised individual records since the V84 upload. So much for those accusing me of sloth!
'Better' cannot wait for 'Best'! I'm rushing a new version with known errors to make it in time for the New Year!
The present database has 265,099 individuals. It is now so large (and so full of errors :-( ) that I can't even keep up with the corrections and suggestions from friends and cousins who consult the FabPedigree. I have added a list of pending corrections that I haven't had time to get to yet. If you see something that looks wrong, please check to see if it's already on the Errata List.
Except for corrections and additions to my DNA pages, the first addition for this version was Edmund FitzGerald. His pedigree isn't too interesting -- I just wanted to link to the Gordon Lightfoot song!
As usual I made a variety of additions, e.g. Adolf Hitler and Marco Polo. Neither Hitler nor Polo have extensive pedigrees, but one source shows Niccolo Machiavelli marrying a descendant of Marco Polo. Seems unlikely ... but I show all the "allegations" I find! I added Wyatt Earp; he also led to some other missing lines, like Claypoole. The Elizabeth Parry ancestral to several famous Americans (including Judy Garland, Britney Spears and President Kennedy) has a large pedigree.
I often add ancient pedigrees even when they don't connect to royalty or famous Americans. I stumbled on a huge number of medieval low-nobility Germans I was missing so I added the pedigree of Adam von Podewils (1747-1808) -- a HUGE addition. During this process I discovered that some of these new names did have a descendant already in my database: the wife of Otto von Bismarck! Otto von Bismarck was already one of the notable descendants I show near the top of pedigree pages; becuase of the huge pedigree for Otto's wife, I replaced him with his son Wilhelm von Bismarck.
For Version 83 I focused especially on expanding my coverage of Y-dna clading. I show several surname clusters (mostly R1b), and show much of the detailed clading. The Y-haplogroup structure coming into view as surveys and research continues maps directly to campaigns and conquests. Particular royal castes (descended from earlier royal castes) enjoyed enormous procreative advantage. This is such a big topic I'll discuss it in late August after I get Version 83 rushed out. Errata: I'll work on this page in 2018.
Ricardo Canedo deserves a big Thank You for this version. He has been helping identify the errors in my medieval pedigrees for several years. but put in overtime recently to help clean up Version 83. Thank you, Ricardo! Ricardo, like me, is an amateur genealogist but he has the talent and time to survey best research and glean expert knowledge. By now, Ricardo has identified at least 250 errors in my database. That seems like a very big number and might make me ashamed of my data quality. But since the database has over 250,000 names, I prefer to think that, with Ricardo's help, my database improved from 99.8% to 99.9% correct! :-)
Two famous Americans I'd avoided including are Will Rogers and Rex Tillerson. The problem was that their pedigrees did not seem to connect to other famous Americans, so were uninteresting. But Tillerson and Rogers are distant cousins of each other! Will Rogers, Mr. Secretary -- welcome aboard! Please send me corrections for either Roger's pedigree or Tillerson's. I'm especially interested in Will Rogers' Native American ancestors. Which were these exactly? Were they all Cherokee, or were other tribes represented?
Added a pedigree for Charles d'Artagnan, Captain of Musketeers; this led me to many medieval French I was missing. I also added some ancient Arab lines I was missing.
Scotland's Clan McFarlane has a prominent Y-Chromosome cluster. So I added some Chiefs of McFarlane. (Do they have descents to English Earls or famous Americans?)
Because of poor database design choices long ago, it is often very time-consuming for me to remove faulty connections. However, I have colored about 200 alternate pedigree pages red and added notes reminding users that these are the correct parents for their alleged children. And -- this is so sad -- the sorry software makes the coloring ever-or-never; the person is shown in red everywhere, not just in the charts where he/she is shown as "prob"able parent. :-(
A reminder: Some of my choices are whimsical. For example, the index entry for surname of the WEST includes mainly Roman Emperors, but also includes Dale Evans, `Queen of the West.' I'm sorry if my whimsy annoys some people.
After several years with my Guestbook disabled, I've started a new one, using the convenient Quick Topic website. Please sign-in and post your comments!