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Istigkeit
Sunday, October 21st, 2007, 01:04 PM
Since some members study their own genealogies, I figured it would be interesting to ask what famous ancestors any of you have uncovered.

Æmeric
Sunday, October 21st, 2007, 06:12 PM
One of my 10 x greatgrandfathers was Edward Fuller, a signer of the Mayflower Compact. I'm a very distant cousin of George H.W. Bush & Dubya, (about 8th cousins). And I'm a 21 x greatgrandson of King Edward III of England.

Seeing how so many of my ancestoral lines go back to New England, I bet me & Allenson are distance cousins. ;)

Alice
Sunday, October 21st, 2007, 06:21 PM
While my mother is English, my father's side of the family (while mostly English) is also part German. My great-great-great grandmother and H.L. Mencken's grandfather were sister and brother. Pretty distant, really.

Istigkeit
Sunday, October 21st, 2007, 07:28 PM
And I'm a 21 x greatgrandson of King Edward III of England.


That seems a little strange. I'm (supposedly) a 17x-great granddaughter of Geoffrey Chaucer, and he and Edward III lived in the same time period. Perhaps my ancestors just weren't as fertile as yours. :P

Flash Voyager
Sunday, October 21st, 2007, 08:11 PM
I don't have any individual names but a few from my father's side are descendant from a tribe by the name of "Bergsætt" which played quite an important role in history during the age of settlement. The rest are peasants whose roots are obscure.

Viriathus
Sunday, October 21st, 2007, 09:29 PM
My Aunt had traced my father's side family till the early 17th Century. A distant grandfather of me was a noble adventurer and governor under portuguese crown. He was not so really famous but it is possible to see the periods of his life on some history books and also on Wikipedia. ;)

Æmeric
Sunday, October 21st, 2007, 09:38 PM
That seems a little strange. I'm (supposedly) a 17x-great granddaughter of Geoffrey Chaucer, and he and Edward III lived in the same time period. Perhaps my ancestors just weren't as fertile as yours. :PEdward III was born in 1312, nearly 700-years ago, so a difference of 4 generations is not that great.

I have two lines of descent from Edward, one through his 5th & youngest surviving son Thomas, Duke of Gloucester. The other is via his 3rd surviving son John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster & John's mistress (later wife) Katherine Swynford. Katherine's sister, Philippa, was married to Geoffrey Chaucer, so that makes us cousins.:)



I have a more nearer relative who was famous in the 80s. He's an actor & was a teen idol during the 80s, appearing on several magazine covers. Now he is a c-list celebrity. We have the same last name so I can't name him. My grandfather & his great-grandfather were brothers.

Sigurd
Sunday, October 21st, 2007, 10:09 PM
The furthest back ancestor I have been able to track so far was a femalevon Thülen (and as far as I am aware, the last surviving offspring of that clan) . The von Thülen clan was a Westphalian Rittergeschlecht. Medium to higher nobility that is. The Thülenturm is still a landmark in Korbach, Hessen.

I am not-so-distantly related to Johanna Spyri (who wrote Heidi). She was a cousin of one of my direct lines. (That's where being partially Swiss-German pays off :D), which means that either my great-great-great-great-great-grandparents, or my great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparents are the ancestor I share with her. :p

I am also related to Ernst Welteke, former president of the German Bundesbank. He is actually a fairly close relation, so I won't say on which side, nor how I am related to him, as again that could pinpoint my identity down. ;)

A third uncle of mine invented an insulation material after they turned him down for university, as at age 16 they deemed him too young.

I am a direct descendant of Ignaz Rojacher, the last owner of the Rauris Gold Mine. Safe to name him, since he had uncountable bastards, and my great-great-grandfather was one of them. :D

I am also a direct descendant of an over-regionally known poet & drawer/painter. Because he is my great-grandfather and hence a pretty recent relation, I wish not to state his name, because it'd be fairly easy to track my identity down. ;)

I am semi-distantly related to a Southern Tyrolese physical anthropologist, Mr. Tappeiner. He was the one who found out that both the largest and smallest cranial volume of the world was found in Tyrol. :D

I am also related not-so-distantly to one of the contemporarily most famous doctors of Austria, however I will not state his name here, because he shares the same surname as I, and I would not wish to share my full name, for obvious reasons. My forename and middle name are well known on the board, and that is enough. ;)

I am directly related to a lesser-known Bavarian actor-dynasty. Again, too closely related to give the name. :p

Then my paternal grandfather's name is regionally known as well, but if I mention the role he had in my hometown, I would be revealing his identity, and ultimately give people a 1-in-24 chance to give away my own.

And one of my direct ancestors in Swabia owned a brewery. :p

My step-aunt is married to a leading researcher when it comes to treatments for all kinds of cancer, especially leukemia.

PS: And on different notes, both my mother and father used to have relationships with semi-famous persons. My father once courted a somewhat known German actress, and my mother once upon a time dated the son of the owner of a well-known manufacturer of fruit juices. :D

Janus
Monday, October 22nd, 2007, 12:05 AM
My ancestors were entirely peasants so there's absolutely nothing famous in them.

Soten
Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007, 04:22 AM
I'm still trying to figure out a lot of my genealogy but I do know that I am related to Francis Cooke from the Mayflower, he also signed the Mayflower Compact.

Also, a guy by the name of William Bassett III who was the marshall of Plymouth Colony for a while (I hope I am remembering his name correctly).

Gabriel Legget. I think he was one of the first Englishmen to own the land that is now the Bronx. Actually, I think it was a colonizing effort on behalf of the English to Anglicize New Amsterdam.

I'm also related to a lot of Dutch families (Van Loon, Hallenbeck, Klauw, Van Dyck, Evertsen) who lived in New Amsterdam. They tended to marry their cousins to keep their wealth and land in the family so that may not be such a great thing.

A certain French Huguenot by the name of Lamoreaux. He had a book written about him so I figure he's famous enough. Terrible book though.

Other than that its mostly farmers, butchers, whiskey distillers, bootleggers, and coal miners...with not a few soldiers from every war from the Seven Years War to the American Revolution to WWII.

Dr. Solar Wolff
Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007, 06:50 AM
One of my ancestors was Aaron Burr, an early American Vice President. He shot Alexander Hamilton in a duel. Afterward, he seems to have drifted off to Mexico in an attempt to subvert that country which evidently failed. We have a small picture of "Granny Burr" which we call the ugliest woman who ever lived.

Once I worked with a guy of Irish ancestry, Pat. He had some Gaelic last name from his mother's side. Another guy I worked with pretended to look up this name in a Gaelic dictionary. He came back the next day and announced that Pat's Gaelic name meant "horse thief in a boat". This whole ruse was kept up for years and years and it was brought up at least once an month at Pat's expense.

Rhydderch
Friday, October 26th, 2007, 03:18 PM
My great great great great grandfather's paternal uncle was Andrew Mott, First Lieutenant on the HMS Bellerophon, to whom Napoleon surrendered. Mr Mott went out on a barge and brought Napoleon from his own ship to the Bellerophon; the latter ship then proceeded to England.

I suppose he's not exactly famous, but there you go.

A line of my 4x great grandfather's (who migrated to Australia) side of the family claim they still have Napoleon's pistols.

IlluSionSxxx
Friday, October 26th, 2007, 03:24 PM
My ancestors were entirely peasants so there's absolutely nothing famous in them.

Same here. My girlfriend descends from a liquor industrialist family and the former major of a fairly important city in my area, but my own family is as plain and common as one can possibly imagine :p

Boche
Monday, October 29th, 2007, 12:47 PM
One of my remote relatives was this gentleman:



Gruß,
Boche

IlluSionSxxx
Monday, October 29th, 2007, 02:26 PM
One of my remote relatives was this gentleman:

[B]

It looks like you have quite a legacy to defend here... I hope you'll prove worthy to carry the same bloodline as this remarkable gentleman. ;)

Boche
Monday, October 29th, 2007, 02:34 PM
It looks like you have quite a legacy to defend here... I hope you'll prove worthy to carry the same bloodline as this remarkable gentleman. ;)

That's not the only one who i consider "hero" in my remote relative-archive and in my family, and in my family blood and family is very important So you don't have to worry. I don't have to prove anything.




Gruß,
Boche

IlluSionSxxx
Monday, October 29th, 2007, 02:43 PM
That's not the only one who i consider "hero" in my remote relative-archive and in my family, and in my family blood and family is very important So you don't have to worry. I don't have to prove anything.

Call yourself lucky. I wish I had such a legacy to defend :p

Hermelin
Saturday, November 24th, 2007, 11:49 PM
I am a descendant of Selma Lagerlöf, 1909 Nobel Prize for literature, author of (among others) "Nils Holgerssons underbara resa genom Sverige (http://runeberg.org/nilsholg/)" (The Wonderful Adventures of Nils) :).

æþeling
Sunday, November 25th, 2007, 12:03 AM
Through my great grandmother I am a descendent of Guy De Dampierre 1226-1304 who was Count of Flanders.

Brynhild
Sunday, November 25th, 2007, 12:11 AM
This wouldn't be fame on a big scale by any means, but when my great-great grandfather - James Howison - emigrated from Midlothian in Scotland, he was already a brewer.

During the gold rush years in Australia, he and his wife (along with an ever growing family of about 7 or 8 kids) moved about, and opened up two breweries.

The first one opened was the Lachlan Brewery in Forbes NSW in 1879, before he moved on to Temora and opened one there (I have the article but my scanner isn't working properly at the moment :mad:).

I thought, how fitting for a Scotsman to be a brewer!! :D

Loyalist
Sunday, November 25th, 2007, 12:24 AM
I have lines of descent from King John I, King Edward III, Rhys ap Gruffydd (King of Deheubarth, Wales), Rollo (Duke of Normandy), and King Donnchad and King Malcolm VI of Scotland. Through the Scottish royals, I'm also descended from Earls of Angus and Northumbria.

I am a descendant of the mother of Catherine Parr, Henry VIII's sixth wife, through my paternal grandmother. On the same side, my great-great-great grandfather was the Lord Mayor of Bridgnorth, England. The family also held a manor and estate near Helmsley in Yorkshire, which is still standing.

Another was an Anglican bishop in 16th century England.

There are some other knights, politicians, soldiers, clergymen, and so on present on both sides of my family, but the aforementioned are the particularily notable.

Brynhild
Sunday, November 25th, 2007, 12:42 AM
I would like to know how it can truly be proven that such ancestry lies in one's family. In Ireland, records are scarce. The only proof for me lies in the location of my ancestors, the barony and provinces. There is only speculation as to whom my possible ancestors could be if I were able to trace it back to a particular time.

There was a web group that was trying to trace one particular bloodline of which I belong, back to Brian Boru - one of the High Kings of Tara in Ireland. It would be interesting to see how that pans out, as I believe there is a very deep history with my family in County Clare. I get info sometimes from the Clare based group but nothing connects to me thus far.

Another snag to my investigations is the lack of funds to find somebody reputable in that field. Oh well, that can be my retirement plan! :D

Loyalist
Sunday, November 25th, 2007, 12:52 AM
I would like to know how it can truly be proven that such ancestry lies in one's family. In Ireland, records are scarce. The only proof for me lies in the location of my ancestors, the barony and provinces. There is only speculation as to whom my possible ancestors could be if I were able to trace it back to a particular time.

There was a web group that was trying to trace one particular bloodline of which I belong, back to Brian Boru - one of the High Kings of Tara in Ireland. It would be interesting to see how that pans out, as I believe there is a very deep history with my family in County Clare. I get info sometimes from the Clare based group but nothing connects to me thus far.

Another snag to my investigations is the lack of funds to find somebody reputable in that field. Oh well, that can be my retirement plan! :D

Tracing Irish genealogy is torture; records are vague or non-existent. It is largely based off of surnames and locations. My grandfather was from an Ulster-Scots family in Monaghan, and I cannot get farther than his great-grandparents. The only clues to his origins was the fact that they were all Presbyterians from Ulster with Scottish surnames. I would suggest, if possible, head to Ireland on your own and go through government and church records. Furthermore, if you're collaborating with others, then maybe you could consider a DNA test?

Brynhild
Sunday, November 25th, 2007, 01:07 AM
Tracing Irish genealogy is torture; records are vague or non-existent. It is largely based off of surnames and locations. My grandfather was from an Ulster-Scots family in Monaghan, and I cannot get farther than his great-grandparents. The only clues to his origins was the fact that they were all Presbyterians from Ulster with Scottish surnames. I would suggest, if possible, head to Ireland on your own and go through government and church records. Furthermore, if you're collaborating with others, then maybe you could consider a DNA test?

That has, indeed, been a dream of mine for many years. I intend to do it too. The subject of DNA testing has come up of late in a few different discussions amongst my friends. I would consider that as well.

Thusnelda
Sunday, November 25th, 2007, 01:25 AM
Well, what means "famous"? I think it´s meant in a more regional/local context.

If so, then I have also a "famous" ancestor - or should I say a notorious one? :D

My great-grandfather, like many of my ancestors, came from a poor family from the rural region of Eastern-Bavaria (99% forest and low mountains). He worked as a daytaller and had to feed his family. I think I dont have to say that the money wasn´t enough all the time. So, when he was 25, in the year 1908, he decided to get more to eat for his family the illegal way. Whats the nearest thing to do in the middle of deep forests? Right, it´s becoming a poacher/illegal hunter. :D
He had a friend who was already a poacher, and so they decided to hunt together one day.

Some hours after they begun the hunt, an official huntsman encountered them while hunting down a deer. Well, the official huntsman wasn´t a noname, he was a very influencal count(!) of this region - and this forest-areal belonged to him. The count (I dont tell the name, because otherwise it would be possible to investigate the case trough the Internet - and that´d possibly unmask my personal family-line - and so myself) opened the fire with his shotgun instantly on them (without warning!!) at sight, and he hit the friend of my great-grandfather in the back from around 13 meters mortally. My great-grandfather instantly returned the fire and some bullets of his shotgun struck the count. The count was wounded, felt to the ground and my great-grandfather ran away. The count came to the hospital. Since the friend of my great-grandfather was dead, it was easy for the police to unmask the identity of my great-grandfather. It was a big scandal in the local press. A poacher wounded one of the most famous persons of the region.

So the case came eventually to the court, in a big local spotlight. The verdicts were, of course, very unfair: The count had to pay quite less money for killing the friend of my great-grandfather without warning, but my great-grandfather had to go to jail for 5 years for injuring the count in clear self-defense and for illegal hunting.

Irony of this story: After my great-grandfather was released from jail, he became an official hunter by himself and was able to shoot his own deers and Co. until his death in the early 50ies. :D

So my ancestors may not have been dukes, kings or famous scientists, but they kicked ass the other way! *g* :p

AlbionMP
Sunday, November 25th, 2007, 01:52 AM
I think one of my ancestors (landed aristocracy), raised and led a regiment in defense of the King in the English civil war.

Oswiu
Sunday, November 25th, 2007, 02:16 AM
So my ancestors may not have been dukes, kings or famous scientists, but they kicked ass the other way! *g* :p
Brilliant! :)

When the 1905 Census was published on the net, I instantly checked for my rather uncommon Irish surname. There's a James in about that generation, so I entered that. The results gave a James xxx in London, which greatly surprised me. On further investigation, turns out that he was merely in prison there. :rolleyes:

None of my ancestors are famous, as far as I can tell. I can't take it back more than five generations at most, and most people covered were factory workers or labourers. :)

The best thing I found so far, and only through my American cousins who have put some effort into this unlike myself, is my Great Great Grandad's personal signature in the Census of 18-summat. He misspelt his forename as "Hennery". :p I'm seriously tempted to call a son by this same misspelling... :D

My direct male line is difficult to trace (incidentally I also suffer from the lack of Irish records - we can thank the IRA for this, who by burning the Dublin archives office did a GREAT DISSERVICE to the Irish people that can never be reversed :mad:), but I occasionally find people with the surname in various places. Some did well for themselves in America, including a general in Vietnam.

Fafner
Sunday, November 25th, 2007, 02:33 AM
The origins of both my paternal and maternal ancestors are pretty dark but an uncle of mine have traced an ancestor (from my paternal grandfather's side) who was a general of Julius Caesar in the Centre-North of Italy. He also has found an ancestor called Barthelamo Vecchio, who was the official doctor in the court of the Médici :).

I have also some Basque/Navarrese blood from my paternal grandmother's line, and I know that my ancestors came with the first Spanish settlements to Argentina durig the 1500's

By the maternal grandfather's side of my mum I believe that my Austrian ancestor were probably peasants (they were from the South Tyrol region) and also very poor.

There is also some blood of the region Nord-Pas de Calais in France and perhaps some Norman (from France) blood running.

I do also have Calabrese and Castilian blood, both families of peasants.

But I'm very proud of my ancestors because although they were generals or peasants, I know they gave everything for their sons and their country!! :)

æþeling
Sunday, November 25th, 2007, 01:28 PM
Originally Posted by brynhild
That has, indeed, been a dream of mine for many years. I intend to do it too. The subject of DNA testing has come up of late in a few different discussions amongst my friends. I would consider that as well.

DNA testing can be worth it. I am pretty fortunate/cursed in that both my paternal and maternal ancestral markers are very rare.

My paternal marker has no exact haplogroup. There is only one other exact match in the British Isles and that is a chap in the Orkney Islands, who I am trying to contact, since the chances of being related are somewhat higher given the rarity of our marker, at the very least he might have studied his family tree and can give me some insight. The allele marker that stands out the most is DYS390 at 22. It is found in small frequencies from Norway down to the Netherlands, that and my surname Stevenson, which is common in areas of Scandinavian settlement like the Orkneys, Western Isles and south-west Scotland, points to a probable Norwegian origin.

My maternal marker is haplogroup J but again is extremely rare. There are only two matches in the British Isles one in the Scottish Highlands and one in East Anglia as well as only one other that I know of in Germany.

Leof
Sunday, November 25th, 2007, 03:42 PM
A senator in North Dakota prior to the great depression.

One relative in North Carolina who allegedly was a psychic healer. He is mentioned in a series of books. I think it was the foxfire book series.

One aunt who is a respected lawyer in her district and has recieved praise in the local newspapers.

BeornWulfWer
Sunday, November 25th, 2007, 04:53 PM
My ancestors were entirely peasants so there's absolutely nothing famous in them.


You know them, so that makes them more famous than the others mentioned.

Psychonaut
Thursday, January 10th, 2008, 03:41 AM
My ancestors were mainly Norman and Frankish aristocrats. One Norman line traces to Rollo, the First Duke of Normandy. One of the Frankish lines traces directly to Louis IX (1214-1270) and thus to the Capetian line that preceded him. Through the wives of the Capetian Kings, I'm descended from a whole host of early medieval kings.

Northern Paladin
Thursday, January 10th, 2008, 03:57 AM
I'm descended from William the Conqueror via my fathers side. On my mother side I'm not sure. Maybe there is Royality in their somewhere but chances are most of her ancestors were just Serfs.

RedBeard
Friday, January 18th, 2008, 12:46 AM
I'm related to William Brewster who was the spiritual leader on the mayflower.

Bridie
Friday, January 18th, 2008, 04:10 AM
My Mum's Aunt (so I suppose she's my "Great Aunt") is a writer... not incredibly famous I don't think... but known well enough I suppose. :p

Deary
Friday, January 18th, 2008, 04:21 AM
John Proctor is a member of the family by marriage. He's a great uncle of mine from my mother's side. I haven't researched the family tree enough to have found others yet, but I've read my last name might be linked to royalty.

Northern Paladin
Friday, January 18th, 2008, 04:25 AM
Royality is over rated if you ask me. The common man has it best. Heck there's nothing like being alone with your computer. A common misconception is that you'll find meaning in a relationship. That's not true IMHO.

Æmeric
Friday, January 18th, 2008, 04:32 AM
I have a second cousin once removed (his great-grandfather & my grandfather were brothers) who was a "teen idol" back in the 80s. Can't name him since we have the same last name. Unfortunately his career didn't turn out the same way as Tom Cruise's, but he's still a working actor.

Blood_Axis
Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008, 10:37 AM
I am very content because with the help of a friend, I (finally) managed to detangle my family's Phanariotes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phanariotes) history (father's side).

Sooooooooo........

Here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caradja) is my family.

Here's our Coat of Arms:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/2/2a/Caradja_Coat_of_arms.gif

And here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ioan_Gheorghe_Caragea) is my great-great-great-great-great grandfather !!! :) :) :)

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d8/Ion_Vod%C4%83_Caragea.jpg/180px-Ion_Vod%C4%83_Caragea.jpg

We even got the same nose! :D

Skarpherdin
Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008, 12:17 PM
your relation has a great beard

Brynhild
Saturday, February 2nd, 2008, 07:17 AM
DNA testing can be worth it. I am pretty fortunate/cursed in that both my paternal and maternal ancestral markers are very rare.

As it so happens, I came across a DNA book for order through the Genealogical Society in Victoria.

http://www.familyhistorybookshop.org.au/index.htm

I am hopeful that once I've put through this order, I will find out more of my ancestry - both maternal and paternal.

Alice
Wednesday, February 6th, 2008, 01:48 PM
Ewald Flügel
(1863-1914)

http://i30.tinypic.com/2s9vlmb.jpg


EWALD FLÜGEL(1863-1914), a German-born philologist with a Ph.D. from the University of Leipzig,who was descended from a family of lexicographers, came to Stanford in 1892. Flügel spent two decades working on an immense Chaucer concordance and dictionary, planned for publication in seven volumes, but had only gotten to the letter “H” when he died at 51 at his Palo Alto home. Colleagues and former students raised funds to honor him with a bronze bust forthe library. Completed in 1917, it has been missing for many decades.

http://histsoc.stanford.edu/pdfST/ST26no1.pdf

Information in German:

Ewald Flügel wurde 1863 als Sohn einer anglophilen Gelehrtenfamilie in Leipzig geboren. Sein Großvater Johann Gottfried Flügel (1788-1855) war Lector publicus des Englischen an der Universität Leipzig gewesen. Hier begann er die Arbeit an einem deutsch-englischen Wörterbuch und war auch als amerikanischer Konsul tätig. Beide Aufgaben führte sein Sohn Karl Alfred Felix Flügel (1820-1904) erfolgreich fort. Er war mit der Amerikanerin Pauline Mencke, einer Urenkelin des Leipziger Historikers Johann Burchard Mencke, verheiratet. Schon als Kind kam Ewald Flügel also intensiv mit amerikanischem Englisch in Berührung. Das relativ neue Universitätsfach Anglistik studierte er in Freiburg und Leipzig, wo er 1881 bei dem hiesigen Lehrstuhlbegründer Richard Wülker (1845-1910) promoviert wurde. Als einflussreicher Vertreter des wachsenden Fachs konnte dieser seinen Schülern nicht nur an deutschen Universitäten gute Karrierechancen bieten...


http://www.uni-leipzig.de/journal/gesichter/0703.html

Imperator X
Thursday, March 6th, 2008, 07:53 PM
I am related to Park Benjamin, a poet and contemporary of Edgar Allan Poe, who was praised by the latter as a great poet. He faded into obscurity because of his overly romantic and classical style.

One of my relatives was married to Enrico Caruso, the famous opera singer... I also have a rich English noble who owned a castle in my family line. When one considers not too far back I would've been related to thousands of people, I'm sure I have overlooked plenty.

Those are the only ones I can think of at the moment.

Soten
Sunday, May 4th, 2008, 09:41 AM
I'm fairly certain that I am related to the pilgrim John Howland (as well as Francis Cooke) now. I was doing a little research and kinda stumbled into it. The Mayflower Society seems to have become quite interested in my line of descent because it all checks out up until the man who left Mass. for PA who I am positive that I am directly related to. They want me to prove my descent from this man so that they can add to their ever-growing database of pilgrim descendants.

From Wikipedia:


John Howland (c. 1599 – 1673) was one of the settlers who travelled from England to North America on the Mayflower and helped found the Plymouth Colony.

Howland was born in Fenstanton, Huntingdonshire, England. At the age of twenty-one, he was employed by John Carver, a Puritan minister who joined with William Bradford in bringing his congregation from Leiden, Netherlands to the New World. Howland, formally considered a servant, was in fact Carver's assistant in managing the migration.

Although he had arrived on the Mayflower as a servant to the Carver family, Howland was a young man determined to make his mark in the new world, arriving as neither a "stranger", nor a "saint" as the Pilgrims termed themselves. The arduous voyage very nearly ended his life as he was thrown overboard, due to turbulent seas, but managed to grab a topsail halyard that was trailing in the water and was hauled back aboard.

The Carver family with whom John lived, survived the terrible sickness of the first winter, during which many Pilgrims died. But the following spring, on an unusually hot day in April, Governor Carver, according to William Bradford, came out of his cornfield feeling ill. He passed into a coma and "never spake more". His wife, Kathrine, died soon after her husband. The Carvers had no children. For this reason, Howland is thought to have inherited their estate. It has been said that he immediately "bought his freedom" but no record has survived.

In 1623/24, Howland married Elizabeth Tilley, by then a young lady of seventeen and the daughter of John Tilley and his wife Joan (Hurst) Rogers. Her parents had died the first winter and she had become the foster daughter of Governor Carver and his wife who were childless. By then he had prospered enough to also bring his brothers Arthur and Edward to the colony as well, solidly establishing the Howland family in the New World.

The following year Howland joined with Edward Winslow exploring the Kennebec River, looking for possible trading sites and natural resources that the colony could exploit. The year after that he was asked to participate in buying out the businessmen who had bankrolled the settlement of Plymouth ("Merchant Adventurers" was the term used at the time) so the colony could pursue its own goals without the pressure to remit profits back to England.

Then in 1626 the governor, William Bradford selected him to lead a team building a trading station on the Kennebec river and in 1628, Howland was elevated to the post of Assistant Governor.

Finally, in 1633 Howland, then thirty-four, was admitted as a freeman of Plymouth. He and Elizabeth had by then acquired significant landholdings around Plymouth and after his being declared a freeman they diligently acquired more. Howland served at various times as Assistant Governor, Deputy to the General Court, Selectman, Surveyor of Highways and member of the Fur Committee.

John and his wife Elizabeth had ten children, all of whom lived and had descendants. Their four sons were officers of the Plymouth Colony Militia, and served in other capacities.

Howland died on 23 February 1673, and was "with honour interred". This was accorded only to the leaders of the Colony, and meant that a squad of soldiers fired a volley over his grave. He is described in the records as a "godly man and an ardent professor in the ways of Christ."

John Howland is pretty interesting because he literally fell out of the Mayflower into the ocean in the middle of the journey from England. Here's what a fellow passenger said about the incident:

'A lusty young man (called John Howland) coming upon some occasion above the grating was with a seele (Sail) of the ship thrown into the sea, but it pleased God that he caught hold of the topsail halyards which hung overboard, an ran out at length, yet he held his hold (though he was sundry fathoms under water) till he was hauled up by the same rope to the brim of the water, and then with a boat hook and other means got into the ship again.'

A good friend of mine is related to Robert E. Lee. Lee happens to be descended from John Howland. I'll have to tell my friend that we are distant cousins. :)

Here is John Howland's tombstone. The top reads "Here ended the pilgrimage of John Howland...he married Elizabeth daughter of John Tilley who came with him in the Mayflower Dec. 1620 From them are descended numerous posterity." The text at the very bottom reads: "Hee was a Godly man and an ancient professor in the wayes of Christ. Hee was one of the first comers into this land and was the last man that was left of those that came over in the Shipp called the Mayflower and lived in Plymouth." Plymouth Records

Cuchulain
Tuesday, May 6th, 2008, 06:58 PM
To the dismay of my father, the left wing radical, we are directly decended from Edmund Burke.

Brynhild
Sunday, June 8th, 2008, 02:18 AM
Well, after some family research that one of my cousins had done, and I've stumbled upon, it would appear that on my father's side, we have a direct line to King Charles II of England, Scotland and Ireland (by way of one of his many mistresses)!

Ye Gods, that's a shock!

Aragorn
Wednesday, June 11th, 2008, 11:05 AM
From Mothersside Iam a descendent of an Aristocratic family fromFrance, but prior to those days'' banned, illigal, unwanted child )Landlord and the maiden, go figure).

In my mothersfamily the story runs that we are descendent from the famous Dutch warhero Piet Hein :http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piet_Pieterszoon_Hein

Aswell Iam direct descendent of the Saxon tribes, occupied the Northern German, eastern Dutch areas.

Snow Bunny
Tuesday, June 17th, 2008, 01:16 AM
I have an ongoing interest in genealogy, and am researching my family, mostly on my mother's side. I have at least 2 royal lines lines through early immigrants Elizabeth St.John and Robert Abell. Both of these lines are well documented and go back to William the Conqueror, and even further. I also have lines back to several Mayflower passengers: William Brewster, William Bradford, Stephen Hopkins, Richard Warren and Henry Sam(p)son. The thing I like the most is learning about these people and their histories. Some of my other ancestors are fairly famous, and I have links to both John Kerry (8th cousin) & the George Bush's(13th cousins) through E. St.John. One of my favorite ancestors is Isaac Johnson, who was a member of the Ancient & Honorable Artillary Co, in MA. He was killed in Narragansett RI, fighting the indians during the 'Great Swamp Fight', which is well documented.

" It is easy to be proud of your ancestors, but the question is... would they be proud of you?"

Loyalist
Saturday, February 27th, 2010, 03:09 AM
I will resurrect this thread as I have just discovered that I am related to Dick Cheney. Cheney's family tree, which can be found here (http://www.wargs.com/political/cheney.html), states that his 8 x great-grandfather was John Hoyt, born 1613 in Upwey, Dorset, England. John's father was Simon Hoyt, who was also the father of Nicholas, and the latter is my ancestor. I am not sure what degree of cousins this makes us, but nontheless, this is a huge bragging point as far as I am concernced. :D

IvyLeaguer
Monday, April 5th, 2010, 07:55 AM
Robert the Bruce (and the entire succession thereafter)
Andrew Marvell

Ralf
Monday, April 5th, 2010, 09:13 AM
My great grandfathers brother was an artist of high regard who was often commissioned by Queen Victoria.

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y72/Nambocttr/dhm161.jpg

Axewolf
Monday, April 5th, 2010, 05:46 PM
Supposedly my father's side traces back through many Viking raiders which included Ragnar Lodbrok. It was documented in a book that was published on the family history. As for proof/evidence, I really don't know. It could just be romantic conjecture as was common practice in those days to provide the family with some sort of heroic or noble connection.

Arditi
Tuesday, July 6th, 2010, 11:46 PM
Well, my maternal grandfather's family dates from the 10th century, and I'm a descendent of many people who were important in the history of Genoa. Also, I descend from the genovese general who served in Spain, Ambrogio Spinola, Marquis of the Balbases, who was son of Filippo Spinola, Marquis of Sesto and Benafro. Amongst my relatives from other branches of the family, is also the former portuguese president Antonio de Spinola and the first portuguese-american in USA to me a member of the House of Representatives, Francis Barretto Spinola.

I'm from the original branch of the family, the genovese one though, yet the most famous Spinola, Ambrogio, is my distant ancestor.

BTW, the Spinola family originated from a germanic nobleman who settled in Genoa in the 10th century, his son went to the crusades and brought home one of the thorns from Christ's crown. Hence the name Spinola, who is a derrivative of Spina, italian word for thorn.

Pictus
Wednesday, July 7th, 2010, 12:26 AM
My Germanic side of the family is mostly from Van Brabant, I think that speaks for itself... as the family even as card decks with it's members being sold in Belgium and the Netherlands.

Matthieu Borg
Sunday, July 29th, 2012, 05:30 AM
I am a descendant of Selma Lagerlöf, 1909 Nobel Prize for literature, author of (among others) "Nils Holgerssons underbara resa genom Sverige (http://runeberg.org/nilsholg/)" (The Wonderful Adventures of Nils) :).

How so? O_o AFAIK she had no children.

Elessar
Sunday, July 29th, 2012, 08:15 AM
I'm a distant cousin of Jesse James (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesse_James), on my father's mother's side.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a7/Jesse_James.jpg/170px-Jesse_James.jpg

Flag-Soil
Sunday, July 31st, 2016, 11:32 AM
William Shakespeare was a family friend of my ancestors, and he spent much of his time at their house on the outskirts of Stratford Upon Avon

Sir Francis Bacon
My ancestors were also close to the family of philosopher and Lord Chancellor Sir Francis Bacon (http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/bacon_francis.shtml), and the families are interred next to each other. Francis Bacon argued for an empirical, inductive approach, known as the scientific method, which is the foundation of modern scientific inquiry.

Shadow
Sunday, July 31st, 2016, 07:34 PM
My ancestor Aaron Burr shot Alexander Hamilton in a duel.

Loyalist
Sunday, August 7th, 2016, 04:11 PM
Since the site went down, I discovered I'm distantly related to Kurt Cobain through one of his Canadian-born ancestors.

Hammish
Sunday, August 7th, 2016, 11:30 PM
I've done quite a bit of genealogy and can report that I have found no famous ancestors.

Oh well...