Monday, January 24, 2011

Any Famous Ancestors??? Maybe.... Maybe Not!

Everyone loves to brag about their famous ancestor . .  old 'what's his name.'  Well, I don't have proven lineage back to most of these FAMOUS suggestions, near-relations and maybes....

Here are a few...

A few posts back I mentioned a possible relationship with PAUL REVERE [see Wednesday, November 24, 2010 post] where Paul Revere and I possible share an ancestor - Thomas Dexter.  I am descended from his son William and Revere is supposed descended from his daughter Francis.  If the connection is correct, Paul Revere would be my third cousin six times removed.


Next is PRESIDENT GROVER CLEVELAND, by marriage - Francis Folsom Cleveland (21 Jul 1864), is my sixth cousin two times removed.  We both share an ancestor, Ephraim Tilson (b. 1636 in Plymouth Massachusetts - my eighth great-grandfather and Francis' fifth great-grandfather).


THOMAS JEFFERSON could possibly be my first cousin six times removed.  My sixth great grandfather, Isham Randolph (b. Jan 1685) is Thomas Jefferson's maternal grandfather.


Most people will have heard of STETSON hats, but it is not widely known that the Stetson family originally came from Modbury, England. Cornet Robert Stetson, progenitor of the Stetson Kindred of America Inc., was born in Modbury and baptised in St. George’s Church in 1615. He married Honour Tucker of Plymouth and they emigrated to Massachusetts. Eight children were born to them, and their descendants still send generous donations towards the upkeep of the Church where the Stetson family records are deposited.

As early as 1634, Robert Stetson had a grant of land on the North River near Scituate, Massachusetts, where he later built a house. In 1643 he was on a list of those able to bear arms in Plymouth Colony. It was serving as cornet of the troop of horse in 1638, though, that he gained his moniker. Constable at Duxbury in 1642 and elected a deputy to the court in 1653, he represented Scitutate in the general court from 1654 to 1678. Serving in the countil of war from 1661 to 1681, he was active in King Philip's war and guilty, in 1668, of buying Indian titles of land for the land on which the towns of Hanover and Abingdon were established. In 1865, a many times great-grandson, John B. Stetson, took $100, rented a small room, bought a few tools, and established a hat company.

Robert Stetson is my eighth paternal great-grandfather.

Others mention while I researched my ancestors were Pocahantes, Andrew Jackson, Gutenburg, but I've not yet proved any of these and have pretty much ruled them all out.  

A feature of the family trees you build on is the button you can push that will show possible famous ancestors.  Most of these are highly suspect and dependent upon the reliability of others' posted family trees.  Some that I found belonging to myself and my parents are:

my father's line - Mayflower passengers Stephen Hopkins, George Soule, Edward Winslow, John Allerton, James Chilton and Francis Cooke; Daniel Wesson, Shirley Temple, 'Wild Bill' Hickok, 

Laura Ingalls Wilder, Marlon Brando, Theodore Roosevelt, Samuel Adams, 
Samuel Adams

Julia Childs and George HW Bush. 
Julia Childs

my mother's line - Willa Cather, George Eliot, Zachary Taylor, Jimmy Carter, 
President Jimmy Carter
 Lady Bird Johnson, Gore Vidal, Emily Dickenson,

 Clyde Barrow, Amelia Earhart, Hillary Clinton, and Sam Walton. 

So I guess you might say I possibly have some famous relatives (not many that are direct ancestor - only the Mayflower connections have been proven and are direct), but when you consider that 10 generations back we have over 4000 grandparents, you've got to figure that most people are going to be connected to someone famous.

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