Again I must thank all the correspondents who have helped, over the years, to build this pedigree. Richard Stueber gets the "award" for the final corrections to make it in to Version 15. (One of these was particularly embarrassing: I showed Queen Victoria's son Leopold Duke of Albany as Victoria's grandson.)
Version 15 incorporates a wide variety of miscellaneous corrections and additions compared with Version 14, including
Because of various system and software problems, it now takes three days from starting to "turn the crank" until I have a new website ready for upload. When this process was almost done for Version 15, a correspondent informed me of two errors: Leopold Duke of Albany (1853-1884) was the son of Queen Victoria not grandson. The mother of Frederica von Schomberg (1688-1751) was Karoline, half-sister of the mother I had showed. It was too late to consider restarting the whole process; instead I added the three new individuals required for the changes and regenerated the 1700 or so pedigree pages affected by the changes. (The "17-great grandmother of Queen Beatrix" remarks mean that many pages will be affected by a minor change.) I'm sure that the new changes won't be completely reflected.
Version 15 takes me up to 100,205 total pedigree pages. I said I'd "never" reach the 100,000 mark and I still really haven't: The total includes 720 "abstract" entities, including new ones like haplotypes and a "pedigree" for housefly. I am stopping now (much more than this won't fit on a CD anyway).
Nikolai Scheuring provided us with a chart showing the Most Recent Common Ancestor of today's European Monarchs.
I've made some more additions, including a pedigree for Abraham Lincoln. During this addition noticed I was still missing the ancestry of Scotland's de Maure family. The changes after Version 12 were so minor, I was reluctant to announce a "Version 13", but by now the quantity of the additions has grown to the point where "Version 14" seemed appropriate.
I take information from wherever I find it. As the computer was cranking out Version 14, I read an article in the Art section of my newspaper describing Ferrara's golden era and giving historical facts about the sons of Nikolaus III von ESTE-FERRARA. Hey! He's in my database and I didn't even mention that he had his youngest wife and oldest son executed for adultery! I scurried to add these notes; they appear on Nikolaus' pedigree page but not in the index where you'd expect it -- it was literally a "stop the presses" job.
The website had many people who are mentioned without a clickable link. For examples,
I've tried to add some links or pages to allow you to click on some of these children or wives. I've barely made a dent in the total number of these cases, but have tried to do a few of the more "important" ones -- those involving Kings or the 16th-century people of most interest to readers tracing their own pedigrees.
In the examples above, I could "kill two birds with one stone." I added Henry Fitzroy and his wife; and since George Villiers (1st Duke of Buckingham) married the daughter of Francis Manners (6th Earl of Rutland), I added those people as well.
Many of the giant genealogical databases are grown
wholesale by merging Gedcom's but, although I do borrow
extensively from large Gedcoms, my database has been grown by
me manually one name at a time.
This has made it an interesting and educational experience for me.
Recently a correspondent asked me to add his ancestor John Witherspoon (1722 - 1794) to my database. I was happy to oblige, adding enough of Witherspoon's pedigree to show his descent from James II King of Scots. The addition of this Signer of the Declaration of Independence led me to add the Author of the Declaration, President Thomas Jefferson. I took data from three different databases to assemble a largish pedigree for Jefferson. Jefferson has several descents from England's King Edward III, including one involving his 5-g grandmother Anne Tanfield. Tanfield's husband was Clement Vincent, but none of these sources showed a pedigree for him.
I decided to check Flank's database. It's not as large as others, but seems relatively reliable and has some interesting lines others don't have. Flank showed a large pedigree for Clement Vincent (I marked it as "poss." for now) including a descent from William Grimsby. This was the first Grimsby in my database; I checked in the giant Ballard database to see who Grimsby's other descendants were. The name German Pole showed up! He's Lady Diana's 12-Great Grandfather, but I was missing the pedigrees of him and his wife. I marked German's parents and wife as "poss." but still got to add a number of people.
German's ancestors included a Henry Braylesford. No Braylesford's in my database but I checked to be sure: yes there he was, spelled Braylsford, already an ancestor of Lady Di and Churchill. And on and on ...
As well as additions, there are sometimes deletions. Balderic the Teuton was in the database more than once, as was his alleged daughter Gunnora d' Aunou, her husband Gilbert Crespin, and several other relatives. I'm afraid I've got a big mixup there (were there two unrelated Gilbert Crispin's ?) but at least I've gotten rid of the obvious duplications.
From time to time, I examine Michael Hart's List of the 100 Most Influential People to see if there are any it would be appropriate to add to my database. For example I recently added a pedigree for Sir Isaac Newton showing him to be a distant descendant of King Edward I. Imagine my surprise when I stumbled on the fact that Hernando Cortes, the famous Conquistodore, is an ancestor of Belgium's King Albert I ! (And this is an "expert-approved" connection, not one of the many speculative connections which unfortunately have made their way into my database.)
In the process of adding the connection to Cortes, I filled in many of the other gaps among the Spaniards in my database, so just in the few weeks between Version 12 and Version 12.1 my database size has jumped by more than 2%.
And that was after announcing I was going to stop work on this project!
Help ! Help! Help! Does anyone have a phone number for Genealogy Compileaholics Anonymous?
Just a few days ago, I wrote ``Version 12 will be the last version for a long while,'' but I suddenly felt ashamed for not displaying the pedigree of Sir Isaac Newton, greatest scientist who ever lived. Adding him wouldn't have been so bad, but somehow during that effort I stumbled across the fact that I was missing the pedigree of Lady Diana's 5-Great Grandmother Penelope BOWYER. So I incorporated her pedigree ... and then kept finding other lineages I was missing. The upshot is that now I've uploaded a Version 12.1 less than a month after uploading Version 12.
Now I will ... Stop! ... Really!
(Has anyone found that phone number for me yet?)
Let me remind everyone again that my data is not consistent. If you see Henri III de Lorraine, son of Heinrich II von Lothringen, son of Henry I of Lorraine, don't assume this family kept changing languages every generation ! I obtain data from several sources and it seems simplest (and educational) to keep the names I find. I'd be afraid of introducing errors if I tried to "fix" them, especially for people in places like Lorraine or Bohemia where it wouldn't be obvious to me what language they used.
I'm also inconsistent with German noble names. Almost all the Germans in my database are descended from landowners, so almost all would have names like Hermann Graf von Lobdeburg, in the German system, whether they were the title-holder (land-owner) or not. This seemed repetitious, so I decided to drop the "Graf", etc. except for the actual title-holder. Unfortunately I lack the time and knowledge to do this properly, so many Germans shown with a title were not the actual holder, and vice versa.
Version 12 shows pedigrees for more famous people, including both Presidents named Adams, both Presidents named Roosevelt, Pres. James Madison, and Manfred `Red Baron' von Richthofen. Version 12.1 contains 93,197 pedigree pages, and completes many of the loose ends among medieval ancestors of present European royals -- the number of loose-end indicators ("pedigree at WorldConnect") has shrunk from 1092 in Version 9 to 214 in Version 12.
In addition to the pedigrees I show (for six Presidents, Alexander Hamilton, etc.) I mention a few other famous Americans (Hemingway, Longfellow, Humphrey Bogart, etc.) in places where their pedigrees intersect my database. For example, in the page for F.D.R.'s famous ancestor, Anne Marbury Hutchinson, I mention her daughter "Bridget (m. John Sanford : mother of Gov. Peleg Sanford & 7-g grandmother of Marilyn Monroe)." These mentions are, of course, not exhaustive.
In the process of identifying these intersection ancestors, I found it convenient to show pedigrees for a few people who otherwise wouldn't have been in the database. These included a few Pilgrim founders. The ones who signed the Mayflower Compact now have their own index heading.
Version 12 will be the last version for a long while: I need to concentrate on another major project: my Connect-Four book.
One addition in Version 11 was to extend the Grimaldi family (of Monaco) back to their 12th century progenitor Grimaldo Canella. I don't know, however, how to trace them back to their alleged progenitor, Desiderio, last King of the Lombards.
Does anyone know of another major family I'm missing?
The Fabulous Pedigree is available on-line at My New Website, fabpedigree.com, or in CD-Rom. For anyone who purchased a CD-Rom before Version 14, write me and I will mail you a free copy of the Version 14 CD.
(For even older news, Click here.)
Nikolai Scheuring recently provided us with a chart showing the Most Recent Common Ancestor of today's European Monarchs.
The lists of spouses/partners are more complete now; unfortunately this means they are more misleading as well. If a pedigree page appears to show that someone married two closely related people, it's probably due to conflicting sources: only one of the two is right, but I don't know which one.
(Sorry, but my database format has severe problems I've had to work around. I sure wish I'd used GEDCOM but it would be far too much work to change now. Anyway, GEDCOM doesn't handle uncertainty about parentage very well either.)
I often get asked, by people who have traced their ancestry to someone shown at my site, if there's an error: why doesn't the page show the child from whom they trace descent?
Most children are not shown, unless they are ancestral to someone in my database. (I sometimes make exceptions for children with high titles or whom I know are ancestral to a U.S. President.)
Lists of spouses are not complete either. In Version 7 (or earlier), even the spouses shown as possible parent's of an indicated child are sometimes omitted. I've fixed this in Version 8, so that part of the pages will be more complete. (Spouses not ancestral to a child in the database will still usually be omitted.)
Buried on one of the pages at this site was a puzzle, and an offer of a small cash prize to the first reader who solved the puzzle. Congratulations to Nikolai Scheuring, who won the prize!!
Version 8 (and 11*) added a few people in the Lists of Famous Descendants, compared with Version 7:
(Recently I corrected an inconsistency in the display of the two Emperors above.)
(I don't know if Maj. Gen. Pierpont Hamilton is particularly famous, but he was 2-great grandson of Alexander `Twenty Dollar Bill' Hamilton and grandson of John P. `Monopoly King' Morgan, and it seemed good to show their pedigrees.)