Scott_J on FamilyTreeCircles - journals

Scott_J on Family Tree Circles

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Thrice Wedded?Once Bedded

Thrice Wedded?Once Bedded

In the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries marriage amongst the Upper and Middle classes was not so much a matter of personal attraction but more a matter of ownership of property and of money. When Joceline Percy, 11th Earl of Northumberland, died his only child, Elizabeth, became the most desirable heiress in the Kingdom. Elizabeth's mother had scant influence in her upbringing which was taken over by her grandmother, the formidable and well-connected, Elizabeth Howard. A marriage was arranged between the 13 year old Elizabeth Percy and Henry Cavendish, Earl of Ogle, who was two years older. The marriage was not consummated and the couple were immediately parted to await the time that they had reached a degree of maturity. It was never to be as the young earl was soon to die.

Elizabeth's grandmother lost little time in assessing the ranks for a likely second husband for the girl who was now 15 years of age. The selected groom was the very rich Thomas Thynne of Longleat, "Tom o' Ten Thousand." When the pair met for the first time at the home of a Major Brett on 14th July 1681, they were straight away married by special licence. Once again before the marriage was consummated, Elizabeth was whisked away, this time to the Netherlands by Lady Dorothy, the wife of Sir William Temple, who was ambassador to the Hague. Sir William's secretary was a distant relation, Jonathan Swift.

Europe was in its usual state of ferment and was a place of opportunity for soldiers of fortune. One such of these was John Philip K?nigsmark, a Swedish subject. A look at the K?nigsmark family will outline their place in European history. John Philip's older brother was accused of an intrigue with Sophia Dorothea, wife of George, the Elector of Hanover and future King of England. She was divorced and locked up in the castle at Zelle. One of John Philip's sisters, Aurora, became the mistress of Augustus II, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland. He was reputed to have had 350 children. Hisson by Aurora became the famous Marshal Saxe. Aurora was made abbess of the convent at Quedlingburgh, in Austria.

John Philip, although penniless, had some idea of gaining the hand and fortune of Elizabeth Percy Thynne. The fly in the ointment was Tom o' Ten Thousand. Konigsmark recruited three desperadoes to assassinate Tom and this was accomplished by discharging a musketoon?a sort of blunderbuss?into his carriage as they waylaid it in Pall Mall. Tom was mortally wounded and died the next morning.

The three villains were soon arrested and K?nigsmark was apprehended trying to leave the country. Arraigned as an accessory, he was acquitted by the intervention of the King of Sweden. The other three were hanged in Pall Mall at the scene of the crime.

There is a memorial depicting the murder in Westminster Abbey. A mock epitaph appeared in the London coffee houses:

"Here lies Tom Thynne of Longleat Hall
Who never would have miscarried,
Had he married the woman he lay withal
Or lain with the woman he married."

Elizabeth's third marriage was to Charles Seymour, 6th Duke of Somerset. She was appointed Mistress of the Robes to Queen Anne and had great influence at Court.
Swift throwing caution to the winds and in his cynical and satirical manner, wrote the following:

"And dear England if aught I understand
Beware of carrots from Northumberland;
Carrots sown Thynne a deep root might set
If so they be in Somer set,
There Conyngs mark thou; for I have been told
They assassinate when young, poison when old."

This seems to implicate Elizabeth and he was in the Hague and in a position to know. Elizabeth wrought her revenge on Swift by using her influence with Queen Anne to deny him the bishop's mitre he so much wanted. He remained Dean of St Patricks, Dublin, until his death.

The Northumberland succession passed to the 7th Duke of Somerset, son of the 6th Duke and Elizabeth.

Family Bee: Genealogy App for Android phones

How many times have you been out visiting family and end up in a discussion about your family tree? It doesn't take too many generations back for the details of who's who to become fuzzy and if you're like my family, you end up spending more time trying to recreate the tree in your heads than having some more productive discussion around family history.

In any case, I like to have my family research with me wherever I am as I never know when I'll need it.

iPhone owners have been blessed with a plethora of GEDCOM-viewing apps that have been available for years now.

Though if you've got an Android-based smartphone (like the Motorola Droid or the Google Nexus One) and have been feeling left out, there's now a nifty application available that allows you to store and view one or more GEDCOM files, called Family Bee, available from Beekeeper Labs.

Family Bee is a simple GEDCOM viewer (not editor), which means you can store your GEDCOM file(s) in your Android phone and view any of the people in your tree in many different ways (more on that below). But you cannot edit and make changes. This is fine with me, as I'd prefer to be able to carefully make edits to my family tree information at the comfort of my computer keyboard.

Set up


After purchasing it from the Android Marketplace and installing it, you're prompted with three ways to import your GEDCOM file:

  1. Download directly from the web
  2. Email as an attachment
  3. Copy from the computer via USB

I chose the third option as it seemed the simplest, and it was. I copied my largest (and most bloated with inaccuracies) GEDCOM file downloaded fresh from into the /familybee folder on my phone's SD card.


Once this was done, Family Bee quickly loaded the file and displayed the list of people in my tree.

Using Family Bee

The first thing you see when loading Family Bee is a list of people in the GEDCOM. You can scroll through this list or search. Here I searched for the name SLADE.

family bee people

Once you choose a person, here Coralinn SLADE, you're presented with the Family View.

family bee 3.jpg

Next you can drill down to the details on a specific person in the Detail View


And finally you can get in to the very specific details on any record such as Residence data, birth, death, etc. Virtually all information included in the GEDCOM source and notes fields are accessible.


And for any person, you can view their list of descendants, here switching to someone way back with a big list, Abigail ADAMS.


Switching to Tree View, you can navigate the entire tree by touching each box. Touching boxes on the right will move the tree to the right. Touching a box on the left will prompt you with a list of children to choose from.

NewImage.jpg NewImage.jpg

Family Bee should with with any Android phone. I scrolled through the comments in the marketplace and didn't see any major issues with specific phones. It currently has a 4.5 star rating and virtually nothing but great reviews.

All in all, this is a very function GEDCOM viewer for the Android OS, and well worth the $10 price tag to always have my family tree in my pocket.

New Features: User Search, etc.

Here's a quick update on some changes I've made to Family Tree Circles recently...

  1. User Search - I've added a user search section to the search results page. So if you're looking for a user whose username you can't quite remember, put a partial name in the search box. Like this search for "ally" turns up our favorite FTC editor Allycat, and 74 others.

  2. Email Address protection. We can warn and warn and warn, and people still put their email addresses in journals. This is a bad idea in general because spammers scan the web for email addresses to send horrible email to. I've coded things up so that if you're not logged into FTC, you won't see the email address. Just some indication that there's an email address there and that you must log in to read it. It is too much trouble for spammers to create an account just to get a few email addresses, so it should be effective.

  3. Disappearing Newsletter Signup Box. You've probably noticed me experimenting with lots of different newsletter signup form designs in the right margin of the site in the past month. I've now set it up so if you have ever subscribed to the newsletter (and even subsequently unsubscribed), the form no longer shows on every page of FamilyTreeCircles (except on the blog).

If you have signed up for the newsletter, thanks! If not, and you'd like to, there's a signup box right over there to the right. And you won't have to look at that form any more on FamilyTreeCircles. :)

Happy Mothers Day -- My Umbilical Line

On this Mother's Day I thought it would be fun to post our matrilineal lines, in other words, our lines up through our mothers, and their mothers, and so on.

In the genealogy blogosphere, there's a meme going on this weekend to post about our maternal line, like Randy Seaver has done here.

This, by the way, is where we get our mitochondrial DNA, or mtDNA, which is passed in its entirety from a mother to her children. It just so happens that I purchased a DNA test from a few weeks ago when they had their $99 special. Though as I stare at this test kit to spit into, I admit I'm getting cold feet.

Have you had a DNA test of any type for genealogy purposes?

Anyway, here's my line, that I've also posted as a journal here on FamilyTreeCircles.

  • Scott JANGRO (that's me)
  • [living] BAKER m. [living] JANGRO
  • Dora Helen MCILWRAITH (1915-1982) m. Robert Slade BAKER
  • Margaret HOURIHAN (1890-1931) m. Robert MCILWRAITH
  • Frances Mary LYNCH (????) m. Thomas HOURIHAN

That's it! It ends quickly with the jump to Ireland, which is where the line ends. I don't even have documentation on Frances and Thomas.

This is where I get my Irish and Scottish blood. I wish we had more. Someday I'll make a trip to Ireland

Happy Mother's Day to all you moms out there!

If you'd like to post your own matrilineal line as a journal, just start here.

My Maternal Line, HOURIHAN, MCILWRAITH, LYNCH of Ireland

Happy Mother's Day to all you mom's out there. I though it would be fun to post my maternal line (however short it is!)

- Scott JANGRO (that's me)
- [living] BAKER m. [living] JANGRO
- Dora Helen MCILWRAITH (1915-1982) m. Robert Slade BAKER
- Margaret HOURIHAN (1890-1931) m. Robert MCILWRAITH
- Frances Mary LYNCH (????) m. Thomas HOURIHAN

I've omitted my parents first names for their own privacy's sake since they're still with us. Though I'm pretty certain that's not difficult information to locate.

My matrilineal line ends very quickly as soon as we make the jump to Ireland (Cork county, I believe). I've got a cousin who's been more vigorously researching this line and he has not uncovered much, unfortunately.

Researching Irish surnames can be quite a challenge. There are a LOT of them here in Boston!

Mayflower Project: The Application Process

As I mentioned in my previous post, I'll be sharing the details of the application process to get my kids into the Massachusetts Mayflower Society. I assume this process is similar for other state Mayflower Societies.

I've got one line documented and approved for my membership, through Stephen Hopkins. There's a person in that line that is a "freebie" to William Brewster, Abigail DOANE. Her father (Israel DOANE) goes to Stephen Hopkins and her mother (Ruth FREEMAN) goes to William Brewster.

Back eight years ago I decided to make the second line to William Brewster official at the same time as getting my daughter Sarah inducted.

When you apply to the Mayflower Society, you're provided with a worksheet like the ones pictured below with the documentation that they have and the documentation that they are missing (and require).

Here's first few pages of the application worksheet that was given to me back in 2002. The historian's note indicated that the Society was now requiring more primary documentation, and she marked each required document with a star.

(later generations omitted to protect the living)

What I thought was going to be merely a formality of updating the latest documents for my daughter turned into having to get death certificates for ancestors back 7 generations well into the 18th century. I also knew from my grandparents research that the town records for Orleans, MA were destroyed in a fire.

My fortitude wasn't enough to take on a project that seemed like I was set up for failure right from the start and I gave up.

Trying Again

Eight years later, much has changed. Hopefully more records have turned up in the Society's library, and if not, at least the amount of information available both offline and online has expanded greatly. So I contacted the Mayflower Society again to inquire about requirements for documenting my Mayflower lines.

The current historian explained to me that they acknowledged that it was just unrealistic to get primary documentation all the way back to the Pilgrims. What they "want" for documentation is not the same as what they will "accept". However, they do require full documentation for the last three generations, including spouses.

He put together a new worksheet for me. Note this one is for Stephen Hopkins and the above one is for William Brewster, but they are the same since generation 7 and 6 respectively.

(later generations omitted to protect the living)

Note that they do now seem to have some additional information for Abigail SNOW, Benoni BAKER, and Vickery BAKER, and he's not asking for the missing death records for Elnatan SNOW and Phebe SPARROW. (phew!)

The wildcards here will be Priscilla WALKER and Joseph BAKER up in Northfield and Brookfield, Vermont. I don't have full confidence in the availability of these records, but this certainly feels more doable.

It looks like a roadtrip to Vermont is in my near future. Fortunately, Northfield is only a three hour drive from my home in MA.

1 comment(s), latest 9 years, 1 month ago

Getting into the Mayflower Society

Mass Mayflower Society.png
About 25 years ago, my grandfather purchased Massachusetts Mayflower Society Life memberships for my mother, my sister and me (having himself been accepted into the Mayflower Society about ten years prior).

If I remember the process correctly, there was little to do for my mother who actually took care of the correspondence. My grandfather was in and all we needed to do was provide some easily accessible birth certificates. It took a bit over a year for the actual approval process (I'm not sure why), but there wasn't any pushback that I recall. Just a lot of waiting.

Now I've got children of my own and I'd like to continue the tradition. About 8 years ago I embarked on the same process, (a) to get my daughter (my only child at the time) inducted, and (b) to document a second lineage to the Mayflower passenger William Brewster.

I provided the appropriate birth certificates and submitted the application with the $100 processing fee.

It was rejected!

It turns out that after 20 years, the Mayflower Society has become much more strict in their documentation requirements. The historian returned my William Brewster lineage papers all marked up with red stars where I was missing information. Further, even with my currently documented line to Stephen Hopkins, they cannot be admitted without further documentation.

They require all Birth, Marriage, Death and Divorce records for each person in the line. A tall order.

This was information not required for my Grandfather to get himself and two subsequent generations in. Now I've got three children, and more than ever I want to give them the same gift that my Grandfather gave to us.

It seems that I've got some work to do. And I know from personal experience, and listening to stories, that there are some pretty tough cases in the mix here.

Time has passed, and technology has advanced. We'll see if I can't get the holes filled. Maybe with a little help from my friends here on FamilyTreeCircles, Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere.

Will you follow along with me on this personal project?

I'll be documenting in detail what I am going through. Please follow along and see if you can't help me get through some brick walls as I attempt to complete the documentation of my lines to William Brewster and Stephen Hopkins.

At the very least, wish me luck!

Continue reading about my "Mayflower Project" here: The Mayflower Society application process...

3 comment(s), latest 9 years, 6 months ago

Spike Lee on Who Do You Think You Are?

Who Do You Think You Are - Crazy History - Video - you're in the U.S., did you watch this season's last episode of "Who Do You Think You Are?" I haven't watched all the episodes yet, but this one, to me, was the most powerful. I guess that's why the saved it for last.

Film-maker and outspoken black-rights advocate, Spike Lee went on a journey to Atlanta, Georgia to learn about his slave roots on his mother's side.

As he uncovered his family history, he was confronted with some very powerful facts and ideas.

His GGrandfather Mars Jackson was a major land-owner after the emancipation, owning over 80 acres. He did not learn of why or how he lost that land.

His GGGrandfather worked in a Cotton Gin that was converted into a pistol factory. He was making pistols that were used against those who were fighting for his freedom.

That same GGGrandfather was taken by none other than General Sherman's army as they razed that town and pistol factory, and likely never heard from again.

His GGGrandmother was "Mulato" and likely the product of her mother being raped by their slave-owner.

He met his current, likely third cousin (twice removed), in real life and they had an emotional moment together on her sofa where they together faced the truths about the things that their ancestors did and lived through.

Thankfully, as far as I know, all of my ancestors were from New England and fought for the Union. I can only imagine how it must feel for genealogy researchers who have roots in the south to deal with the idea that their ancestors, not very long ago, had slaves and in many cases treated and traded them like objects.

As I watched this episode, I couldn't help but sing this verse of Ben Folds' "Rockin' the Suburbs" in my head.

     In a haze these days 
     I pull up to the stoplight 
     I can feel that something's not right 
     I can feel that someone's blasting me 
     With hate and bass 
     Sending dirty vibes my way 
     'Cause my great great great great granddad      
     Made someone's great great great great grandaddy slaves 
     It wasn't my idea 
     It wasn't my idea 
     It never was my idea 
     I just drove to the store 
     For some Preparation H

This episode of "Who Do You Think You Are?" and the others can be seen on

Starting Over with Reunion for the Mac

Today, I decided to start fresh with my family tree and create a new one that contains only sourced records. I've got a tree that I've been building over the past 20 years that has over 1000 people in it. Big deal, because it is filled with the early mistakes that any newbie family tree researcher makes which is to merge trees from other researchers without regard for accuracy.

With that, I've created a new tree in my genealogy software and I'll be adding people slowly and deliberately, citing sources along the way as I pull the information from the old tree.

50E0F4A6-36CB-4D68-B7D2-770A6C1CFEF8.jpgI've also purchased a license of Reunion 9 for the Mac (I've switched to a Mac since I've been working on my tree in earnest). It figures, because just announced FTM for the Mac after all these years.

Literally decades have passed without FTM on the Mac. I purchase software and merely hours later, Ancestry makes that announcement. The story of my life.

That's ok, as a Mac user I'm used to spending lots of money.

1 comment(s), latest 10 years, 11 months ago

New Design

Thanks again for everyone who voted in the logo survey. I liked them all, but my favorite came in third place. Shows what I know!

I took the opportunity to clean up the design here on FTC. Back to basics with a cleaner look and a focus on the content. No competing colors.

I hope you like it. Please feel free to comment below.

4 comment(s), latest 10 years, 11 months ago