The story of our family...for my sons

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus

Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus was born in Naissus (modern Niš, Serbia) in the province of Moesia Superior on 27 February ca. 280 to Roman general and later Western Roman Emperor Constantius Chlorus, and his first wife St. Helena. Helena, who played a very influential role throughout her son's life, was of modest background; Ambrose writes that she worked in an inn. His father left his mother around 292 to marry Flavia Maximiana Theodora, daughter (or step-daughter) of the Western Roman Emperor Maximian, although Constantine fully reinstated his mother, St. Helena, as "Augusta, mother of Caesar" after his father's death. Theodora would give birth to six half-siblings of Constantine, including Julius Constantius.

Young Constantine received a formidable education, became a fluent speaker of Greek, and was adept in philosophy. He served at the court of Diocletian in Nicomedia, after the appointment of his father as one of the two caesares (junior emperors) of the Tetrarchy in 293. In 305, both augusti (senior emperors), Diocletian and Maximian, abdicated, and Constantius succeeded to Maximian's position of western augustus. Although two legitimate sons of emperors were available (Constantine and Maxentius, the son of Maximian), both of them were ignored in the transition of power. Instead, Severus and Maximinus Daia were made caesares. Constantine subsequently left Nicomedia to join his father in the Roman Gaul; however, Constantius fell sick during an expedition against the Picts of Caledonia, and died on July 25, 306 in Eboracum (York). The general Chrocus, of Alamannic descent, and the troops loyal to Constantius' memory immediately proclaimed Constantine an augustus. Under the Tetrarchy, Constantine's succession was of dubious legitimacy. While Constantius as senior emperor could "create" a new caesar, Constantine's (or, his troops') claim to the title of augustus ignored the system of succession established in 305. Accordingly, Constantine asked Galerius, the eastern augustus, to be recognized as heir to his father's throne. Galerius granted him the title of caesar, confirming Constantine's rule over his father's territories, and promoted Severus to augustus of the West.

Constantine is perhaps best known for being the first Christian Roman Emperor. His reign was a turning point for the Christian Church. In 313 Constantine announced toleration of Christianity in the Edict of Milan, which removed penalties for professing Christianity (under which many had been martyred in previous persecutions of Christians) and returned confiscated Church property. Though a similar edict had been issued in 311 by Galerius, then senior emperor of the Tetrarchy, Constantine's lengthy rule, conversion, and patronage of the Church redefined the status of Christianity in the empire.

Scholars debate whether Constantine adopted his mother St. Helena's Christianity in his youth, or whether he adopted it gradually over the course of his life. Constantine was over 40 when he finally declared himself a Christian. Writing to Christians, Constantine made clear that he believed he owed his successes to the protection of the Christian High God alone. Throughout his rule, Constantine supported the Church financially, built various basilicas, granted privileges (e.g. exemption from certain taxes) to clergy, promoted Christians to high ranking offices, and returned property confiscated during the Great Persecution of Diocletian. His most famous building projects include the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and Old Saint Peter's Basilica.

The reign of Constantine established a precedent for the position of the Christian Emperor in the Church; Constantine considered himself responsible to God for the spiritual health of his subjects, and thus he had a duty to maintain orthodoxy. For Constantine, the emperor did not decide doctrine - that was the responsibility of the bishops - rather his role was to enforce doctrine, root out heresy, and uphold ecclesiastical unity. The emperor ensured that God was properly worshipped in his empire; what proper worship consisted of was for the Church to determine.

In 316, Constantine acted as a judge in a North African dispute concerning the heresy of Donatism. More significantly, in 325 he summoned the Council of Nicaea, effectively the first Ecumenical Council (unless the Council of Jerusalem is so classified), to deal mostly with the heresy of Arianism.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sir Richard Rich, Baron of Leighs

Richard Rich, 1st Baron Rich (1496/7 - June 12, 1567), was Lord Chancellor during the reign of King Edward VI of England. He was the founder of Felsted School in Essex in 1564. Many people will know of him from the play and film A Man for All Seasons, although there is some dispute about whether this was entirely fair in its treatment of Richard. In the film he was played by John Hurt.

Thomas More told Rich at the time of More's trial that he was reputed light of his tongue, a great dicer and gamester, and not of any commendable fame; but he was a commissioner of the peace in Hertfordshire in 1528, and in the next autumn became reader at the Middle Temple.

He may have studied at Cambridge before 1516. In 1516 he entered the Middle Temple as a lawyer and at some point between 1520 and 1525 he was a reader at the New Inn. By 1528 we know that Rich was in search of a patron and wrote to Cardinal Wolsey, in 1529, Thomas Audley succeeded in helping him get elected as an MP. As Audley's career advanced in the early 1530s so did Rich's through a variety of legal posts, before he became truly prominent in the mid-1530s.

Other preferments followed, and in 1533 he was knighted and became solicitor-general, in which capacity he was to act under Thomas Cromwell as a "lesser hammer" for the demolition of the monasteries, and to secure the operation of Henry VIII's Act of Supremacy. He had an odious share in the trials of More and Bishop John Fisher. In both cases his evidence against the prisoner included admissions made in friendly conversation, and in More's case the words were given a misconstruction that could hardly be other than wilful. More expressed his opinion of the witness in open court with a candour that might well have dismayed Rich. In an irony, Rich would also play a major part in the fall of Cromwell, whom he despised, using similarly dubious methods.

Rich became the first chancellor (April 19, 1536) of the Court of Augmentations established for the disposal of the monastic revenues. His own share of the spoil, acquired either by grant or purchase, included Leez (Leighs) Priory and about a hundred manors in Essex. Rich also acquired -- and destroyed -- the real estate and holdings of the Priory of St Bartholomew-the-Great in Smithfield. He built the Tudor-style gatehouse still surviving in London as the upper portion of the Smithfield Gate. He was Speaker of the House of Commons in the same year, and advocated the king's policy. In spite of the share he had taken in the suppression of the monasteries, and of the part he was to play under Edward VI, his religious convictions remained Roman Catholic. His testimony helped the conviction of Cromwell, and he was a willing agent in the Catholic reaction which followed. Anne Askew stated that the Chancellor Wriothesley and Rich screwed the rack at her torture with their own hands.

Indian Massacre on the Frontier

We are related to quit a few of the early families of America, especially in the Jamestown, VA area, and Boston area. Another side of the Hudson family showed up in the Woodstock area of what is now Connecticut. Check out the story of the Johnson Massacre: It happened on August 25, 1696 and was caused by those sneaky French Canadians and Jesuits who wanted North America to themselves. They liquored up the local Nipmuch Indians and set them on the warpath...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Swimmin' in the Pool

Only 39 generations apart...Malcolm I, also called Malcolm MacDonald of Alba(died 954), King of the Picts and Scots. Malcolm succeeded to the crown when his cousin Constantine II entered a monastery (943). He annexed Moray to the kingdom for the first time. After driving the Danes from York, the English king Edmund turned Cumbria over to Malcolm, apparently as a fief or seal of alliance. Later, when Norsemen again invaded the land, the Scots sent raids against the English, and in 954 the West Saxon king Eadred reunited the northern counties to his dominions. Malcolm was slain the same year during a rebellion by the men of Morne.

Monday, September 19, 2011

From the "Log Splitter" to the "Skull Splitter"

Here's a trip back to our viking past. I love this line because we go back to a Viking king, Thorfinn "The Skull Splitter" Einarsson...ODIN!

Ronald "Log Splitter" Mason 1945 – California, USA
Dwight Stewart (Mason) 1913 – 1989 Nebraska, USA
Edna Iva Mahannah 1890 – 1949 Illinois, USA
Sarah Nettie Cothern 1867 – Illinois, USA
Benjamin Cothern 1833 – 1900 Kentucky, USA
Nancy Henderson 1802 – 1878 Maryland, USA
Samuel Henderson 1764 – 1841 Maryland, USA
Samuel Henderson 1740 – 1782 Tennessee, USA
William Barton Henderson 1720 – 1870 Tennessee, USA
William Henderson 1699 – 1770 Virginia, USA
Capt. William Henderson 1676 – 1755 Dunfermline, Scotland
Sir William, 2nd Baronet Henderson 1676 – 1755 Fordell, Scotland
John Henderson 1626 – 1683 Fordell, Scotland
Sir John, 5th Baron Henderson 1605 – 1649 Fordell, Scotland
Sir John, 4th Baron Henderson 1565 – 1617 Fordell, Scotland
James Henderson 1544 – 1612 Fordell, Scotland
Elizabeth Scott 1519 – 1547 Buccieuch, Scotland
Alexander, 2nd Laird Fingask Scott 1497 – 1539 Balweane, Scotland – Killed in Battle
William of Balweane Scott 1470 – 1498 Ashford, England
Alexander, 1st Laird Fingask Scott 1442 – 1529 Balweane, Scotland
Sir William Scott 1405 – 1498 Balweane, Scotland
Sir Michael Balweane Scott 1375 – 1440 Balweane, Scotland
Sir William 5th Baron of Balweane Scott 1345 – 1406 Balweane, Scotland
Sir Andrew 4th Baron of Balweane Scott 1315 – 1355 Balweane, Scotland
Sir Henry 3rd Baron of Balweane Scott 1275 - 1328 Balweane, Scotland
Sir Michael 2nd Baron of Balweane Scott 1255 - 1304 Balweane, Scotland – The Wizard
Sir Michael 1st Baron of Balweane Scott 1230 - 1294 Balweane, Scotland
Duncan Scott 1185 – 1214 Dunfermline, Scotland
Michael Scott 1162 – 1231 Dunfermline, Scotland
Richard Scott 1115 – 1168 Dunfermline, Scotland
Uchtredus Duncan Scott 1090 – 1130 Dunfermline, Scotland
Duncan Canmore of Scotland (Scott) 1059 – 1094 Orkney, Scotland – Killed in Battle
Malcolm III Canmore of Scotland 1031 – 1093 Atholl, Scotland – Killed in Battle
King Duncan I Canmore Dunkeld 1001 – 1040 Atholl, Scotland
Bethoc MacKenneth of Scotland 984 – 1023 Perth, Scotland
Hvarflad Queen of Scotland Hlodversdatter 968 - Orkney, Scotland
Hlodvir Jarl of Orkney Thorfinnsson 924 – 988 Orkney, Scotland
Thorfinn I “Skull Splitter” Einarsson 890 – 977 Orkney, Scotland
Einar Jarl of Orkney Rognvaldsson 865 – 910 Orkney, Scotland/Norway
Rognvald Jarl of More Eysteinsson 830 – 890 Maer, Norway
Eystein Jarl of the Uplands Ivarsson 800 – 832 Maer, Norway
Ivar I Jarl of the Uplands Halfdansson 770 – 824 Maer, Norway
Halfdan Sveidasson 700 – Maer, Norway

Sunday, September 18, 2011

13th Century Sorceror/Alchemist

Once called "the most renowned and feared sorceror and alchemist of the 13th Century", Michael Scott was born in the borders in 1175. His life is the stuff of legend . He's features in Dante's Inferno as one "who knew how the game of magic fraud was played." He also featured in Boccaccio's writing as one of "the greatest masters of necromancy." More recently Walter Scott featured him prominently in the 'Lay of the Last Minstrel.' Michael Scott is reputed to have split the Eildon Hills, ridden the back of a sea monster and, most helpfully, rid the land of plague by shutting the disease up in a secret room in Glenluce Castle.

The truth seems to be that he dabbled seriously in the occult and in areas of "light and suggestion"(hypnosis? ) but as a sideline. He was in fact a brilliant scholar. He studied in Oxford before going to the Sorbonne in Paris where he became known as Michael the Mathematician. He then travelled to Padua where one of his pupils was reputed to be Fibonacci, and then to Toledo where he learned to read Arabic and came into contact with the brilliant scholars of the Muslim world as well as writings of key figures like Aristotle which had been translated into Arabic but were still largely unknown to Christian Europeans.

In Palermo he became Astrologer Royal in the Court of King Frederick 11 with whom he had a great friendship. Before leaving Palermo he predicted the date, time, place and manner of the Emperor's death, details which were later said to have been entirely accurate. After a few years in Germany he then returned to England and then to, it is said, one of the Cistercian monasteries of southern Scotland, possibly Melrose where the turbaned statue beside the tomb above is said to depict him.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Brother of Braveheart

Sir John "Laird of Elderslie" Wallace was the brother of William "Braveheart" Wallace, who like his brother was executed in London 2 years after his brother. Thankfully before he was executed he married and had a son with Mary Almour the year he was executed. I love my family!

Henry Sinclair to North America in 1393

Henry Sinclair married Jean Haliburton and became the 1st Earl of Orkney. In 1393, Henry sent a Venetian admiral, Nicolo Zeno, to carry out a survey of Greenland, in preparation for their journey to the New World. Before embarking on what was considered a risky endeavor, Sinclair made provisions for transferring some of his lands to his brothers and eldest daughter. He then took to the sea with 12 vessels, Zeno navigating, and 200-300 fellow voyagers, made up of monks and fugitive Templars. They set foot on American soil on June 2, 1398.

Eminent historians have corroborated the saga of their voyage from Zeno's ship's log-"Zeno's Narrative"-which documented the exploration of Nova Scotia during the next year. The explorers then supposedly traveled to Cape D'Or and Advocate and built a ship there. There is evidence that they erected a small castle in New Ross, near Oak Island. In fact, today, a 14th-century cannon in Louisburg Harbor dates back to Henry's time and a stone wall near Halifax, which also dates back to the 14th century, has a distinctly Scottish design to it.

Later, Zeno returned to Orkney while Sinclair continued to explore the coastline of Massachusetts. One evening, upon seeing smoke, the explorers traveled inland for a better view. Along the way, Sir James Gunn, lifelong friend to Sinclair, died. In honor of his memory, they carved his effigy on a horizontal stone ledge in Westford, MA which depicts the helm of a medieval knight, a shield bearing the coat of arms of the Gunn family, a sword with a break in the blade (indicating the death of a knight), a falcon, and a rosette, which served as a lance rest. The carving is comprised of various sized holes punched into the stone by a sharp tool, driven by a mallet. Archaeologists have confirmed that the holes were punched into the rock 600 years ago and the effigy contains elements known only by northern Europeans.

Located in the basement of the library in Westford, MA is an oval-shaped "boat" stone, measuring about 2 feet in diameter. Carved into its surface is the image of a 14th-century ship, an arrow, and the numbers 184, presumably indicating the distance to where a campsite was located.

A construction crew discovered the boat stone over 30 years ago when a road was being built; the stone was subsequently moved to someone's garage, until it was recently donated to the library. Archaeological evidence indicates these images were probably carved at the same time as the Westford Knight carving, most probably by the same voyagers.

Researchers believe that the Sinclair expedition then sailed southward to the Rhode Island coast, where they built the Newport Tower as part of a settlement. Prince Henry was familiar with the style of architecture of the the Tower, which is similar to European strongholds built by the Knights Templar in both the Orkney Islands and in Scandinavia.

Certainly, the number of Norse and Gaelic words in the languages of the Algonquin tribes indicates that trade had been taking place between Europe and America before the time of Columbus. Micmac indians of the 14th century tell legends of a blond haired, blue eyed god who they called "Glooscap," whose friendly manner won the hearts of the natives. He treated them fairly and taught them to fish with nets. Indeed, fishing was a natural pastime for Sinclair's companions. According to a Micmac Legend, "[Glooscap] built himself an island, planted trees on it, and sailed away in his stone canoe." They also spoke of the men who built Newport Tower as "fire-haired men with green eyes."

Prince Henry Sinclair's historic voyage of 1398 is even indelibly hewn in stone at the Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland, where there are stone carvings of Indian maize and American aloe cacti, which were carved before Columbus was born and were native only to the Americas.

So what was the ultimate purpose of such a long journey? Speculation as to the purpose of their voyage has ranged from exploration and settlement to a mission to move the Templar's treasure to safer ground. Certainly Oak Island's "money pit" may someday prove the reason behind their voyage.

It seems that a complex hole in the ground was discovered a few hundred years ago. Before the original treasure hunters were able to find the treasure, the pit was flooded (a safety feature which had been built into the pit by its original builders). Since then, the only clues to have been found are scraps of parchment and some gold dust. However, many treasure hunters are certain that what lays still buried within the money pit is the Templar's lost treasure, buried for safekeeping by Henry Sinclair and his shipmates 600 years ago this year! Anybody want to go with me to find it?

Another battle, another Stewart widow

Archibald Douglas who married Margaret Stewart in 1390 was killed in The Battle of Verneuil, a battle of the Hundred Years' War, fought on 17 August 1424 near Verneuil in Normandy and was a significant English victory. We lost many of our relatives during this battle and at Agincourt also...but we still survive.

France had scarcely recovered from the disaster at Agincourt, and most of the northern provinces were in the hands of the English following Henry V's conquest of Normandy. The civil war between the factions of Armagnac and Burgundy showed no sign of ending. The Dauphin was recognised in the south of the country as Charles VII, following the death of his father Charles VI in 1422, but he remained uncrowned. The death of Henry V in the same year as Charles VI brought little relief as the continuing English war effort was effectively managed by John, Duke of Bedford, acting for the infant Henry VI. France desperately needed soldiers, and looked to Scotland, her old ally, to provide essential military aid.

The army of ScotlandThe first large contingent of Scots troops came to France in the autumn of 1419, some 6000 men under the command of John Stewart, 2nd Earl of Buchan. These men, supplemented from time-to-time with fresh volunteers, soon became an integral part of the French war effort; and by the summer of 1420 the 'Army of Scotland' was a distinct force in the French royal service. They proved their worth the following year, playing a large part in the victory the Battle of Baugé, the first serious setback experienced by the English. The mood of optimism this engendered collapsed in 1423, when many of Buchan's men fell at the Battle of Cravant.

Buchan returnsAt the beginning of 1424 Buchan arrived back, bringing with him a further 6500 men. He was accompanied by Archibald Douglas, 4th Earl of Douglas, arguably the most powerful nobleman in Scotland. On 24 April 1424 the army, comprising 2500 men at arms and 4000 archers, entered the Dauphin's headquarters at Bourges, helping to raise Charles' spirits.

March to VerneuilIn August the new army made ready to march into action to relieve the castle of Ivry near Le Mans, under siege by the Duke of Bedford. Douglas (the newly created Duke of Touraine), and Buchan left Tours on 4 August to link with the French commanders, the duke of Alençon and the viscounts of Narbonne and Aumale. But before the army could arrive Ivry surrendered to the English. Uncertain what to do the allied commanders held a council of war. The Scots and some of the younger French officers were eager for battle; but Narbonne and the senior nobility had not forgotten Agincourt, and were reluctant to take the risk. As a compromise it was agreed to attack the English strongholds on the Norman border, beginning with Verneuil in the west. The town was taken by a simple trick: a group of Scots, leading some of their fellow countrymen as prisoners, pretended to be English, and claimed that Bedford had defeated the allies in battle, whereupon the gates were opened.

Bedford comesOn 15 August Bedford received news that Verneuil was in French hands and resolved to make his way there as quickly as he could. As he neared the town two days later the Scots persuaded their French comrades to make a stand, Douglas apparently having forgotten the lessons of Homildon Hill. He is said to have received a message from Bedford that he had come to drink with him and prayed for an early meeting. Douglas replied that having failed to find the duke in England he had come to seek him in France.

The army then deployed a mile north of Verneuil on an open plain astride the road leading out of the Forest of Piseux. Narbonne and the French division was situated on the left of the road, supported by a wing of French cavalry, while Douglas and Buchan were on the right supported by a similar wing of Lombard cavalry, recruited in northern Italy. Aumale was given overall command; but this heterogeneous army defied all attempts at co-ordinated direction. On emerging from the Forest Bedford drew up his men in two divisions to match the disposition of the enemy, with the usual distribution of men-at-arms in the centre and archers on the wings. He also took the precaution of posting a strong reserve of 2000 archers to the rear to guard the baggage. Bedford commanded the division facing the French, and Thomas Montague, Earl of Salisbury, that facing the Scots.

A bloody day. At about 4pm, as if by some pre-arranged signal, the two hosts advanced simultaneously. Once Bedford had taken his troops within arrow range he ordered a halt and the archers started to drive their stakes into the ground, a simple but effective device for snaring cavalry. The ground had been baked hard by the summer sun, and the stakes could be forced in only with difficulty. Seeing an opportunity the French began an immediate charge out of synchrony with the Scots division. The archers on Bedford's extreme right were caught off balance (the tough armour worn by the Lombards may also have compounded the threat), allowing the French cavalry to break through their ranks, leaving that flank dangerously exposed. The opportunity was lost when the cavalry failed to wheel round. They continued their charge away towards the baggage train to the north, while the men-at-arms in Bedford's division began a spirited attack on the French infantry to their front. Unable to withstand the onslaught, Narbonne's division broke and was chased back to Verneuil, where many, including Aumale, were drowned in the moat.

Having disposed of the French, Bedford called a halt to the pursuit and returned to the battlefield, where Salisbury was closely engaged with the Scots, now standing alone. The Lombard cavalry, anxious that their French counterparts were poised to take all the spoils, charged round the English left flank towards the baggage. By the time they arrived the French had been driven off by Bedford's reserve, soon to be followed by the Lombards. Having tasted blood the reserve decided on their own initiative to enter the main battle, advancing on the unsupported Scottish right wing. The Battle of Verneuil reached its closing stages when Bedford returned from the south to take the Scots in the rear. Now almost completely surrounded, the Scots made a ferocious last stand.

A high priceVerneuil was one of the bloodiest battles of the Hundred Years War, described by the English as a second Agincourt. Altogether some 6000 allied troops were killed, including 4000 Scots. The English lost 1600 men, an unusually high figure for them, far greater than their losses at Agincourt, indicating the ferocity of the fight. The Earl of Douglas fought on the losing side for the last time, joined in death by the Earl of Buchan. The Army of Scotland had been severely mauled; but it was not yet ready to march out of history. Greatly saddened by the catastrophe at Verneuil, Charles continued to honour the survivors, one of whom, John Carmichael of Douglasdale, the chaplain of the dead Douglas, was created Bishop of Orléans.

Lets speak "Frankly"

Theuderic III (or Theuderich, Theoderic, or Theodoric; in French, Thierry) (654–691) was the king of Neustria (including Burgundy) on two occasions (673 and 675–691) and king of Austrasia from 679 to his death in 691. Thus, he was the king of all the Franks from 679. The son of Clovis II and Balthild, he has been described as a puppet — a roi fainéant — of Mayor of the Palace Ebroin, who may have even appointed him without the support of the nobles. He succeeded his brother Clotaire III in Neustria in 673, but Childeric II of Austrasia displaced him soon thereafter until he died in 675 and Theuderic retook his throne. When Dagobert II died in 679, he received Austrasia as well and became king of the whole Frankish realm.

He and the Neustrian mayor of the palace, Waratton, made peace with Pepin of Heristal, mayor of the palace of Austrasia, in 681. However, on Waratton's death in 686, the new mayor, Berthar, made war with Austrasia and Pepin vanquished the Burgundo-Neustrian army under Berthar and Theuderic (a Neustrian) at the Battle of Tertry in 687, thus paving the way for Austrasian dominance of the Frankish state

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Henry Hudson and Hudson Bay

Tripping back 15 generations we come to Henry Hudson (c. 1560 – 1611?) an English sea explorer and navigator in the early 17th century. Hudson made two attempts on behalf of English merchants to find a prospective Northeast Passage to Cathay (today's China) via route above the Artic Circle. Hudson explored the region around modern New York metropolitan area while looking for a western route to Asia under the auspices of the Dutch East India Company. He explored the river which eventually was named for him, and laid thereby the foundation for Dutch colonization of the region.

Hudson discovered a strait and immense bay on his final expedition while searching for the Northwest Passage. In 1611, after wintering on the shore of James Bay, Hudson wanted to press on to the west, but most of his crew mutinied. The mutineers cast Hudson, his son and others adrift; the Hudsons, and those cast off at their side, were never seen again.

The Gene Pool in 1635 Virginia

10 generations back from me, through my great grandmother on the Stewart side, Edna Iva Mahannah, we see 4 married couples all coming from England to the Virginia Colony (Jamestown area) and starting new lives as some of the first "Americans". At the same time we also had relatives going to The Massachusettes Bay Colony. Here are the 8 souls that made the voyage to Virginia:

Thomas Wilkerson 1612 - 1698
Elizabeth Lydall 1613 - 1687
Joseph Royall 1600 - 1655
Katherine Banks 1627 - 1686
Thomas Elam 1598 - 1687
Mary Shirecliff 1616 - 1695
Thomas Perrin 1610 - 1689
Elizabeth Chalford 1614 - 1657

The Virginia Colony

The Colony of Virginia (also known frequently as the Virginia Colony, the Province of Virginia, and occasionally as the Dominion and Colony of Virginia) was the English colony in North America that existed briefly during the 16th century, and then continuously from 1607 until the American Revolution (as a British colony after 1707). The name Virginia was first applied by Sir Walter Raleigh and Queen Elizabeth I in 1584. After the English Civil War in the mid 17th century, the Virginia Colony was nicknamed "The Old Dominion" by King Charles II for its perceived loyalty to the English monarchy during the era of the Commonwealth of England.

After independence from Great Britain in 1783 (Treaty of Paris), a southeastern portion of the original Virginia Colony became the Commonwealth of Virginia, one of the original thirteen states of the United States, adopting as its official slogan "The Old Dominion". After the United States was formed, the entire states of West Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois, and portions of Ohio were all later created from the territory encompassed earlier by the Colony of Virginia

Other events of 1635

The Great Colonial Hurricane of 1635 was a severe hurricane that hit the Virginia Colony at Jamestown and the Massachusetts Bay Colony during August 1635.

John West (governor) (1590–1659), colonial Governor of Virginia from 1635 to 1637Joseph West (Governor)

Thomas Graves, (ca 1580 - 1635) gentleman, arrived in Virginia in October of 1608 on the ship "Mary and Margaret" with Captain Christopher Newport's second supply. He paid 25 pounds for two shares in the London Company of Virginia and thereby was entitled to 200 acres (0.81 km2). Thomas Graves was one of the original Adventurers (stockholders) of the Virginia Company of London, and one of the very early Planters (settlers) who founded Jamestown, Virginia, the first permanent English settlement in North America.

Peregrine Bland (c. 1596 – June 11, 1647[1]) was an early settler of the Virginia Colony and a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses.

Bland was born in England and entered Emmanuel College on February 26, 1613 In about 1635 he was transported to Virginia. He was elected a Burgess to represent Charles River county for 1639 to 1640 term

Monday, September 12, 2011

Thorkils and The Battle of Swold 1000AD

I love stories about my relatives, especially the Vikings and this one is a saga. Thorkils Sparkalagg "Prince of Sweden" Styrbjornsson fighting on the side of the Swedes was killed in this batlle. The Battle of Swold or “Svold,” is the most famous of the sea-fights of the ancient Norsemen. It took place on September 9th of 1000 CE. The place cannot be identified now because the formation of the Baltic Coast has changed in the course of subsequent centuries, partly by the gradual silting up of the sea, and partly by the storms of the 14th century. Swold was an island probably on the North German coast, near Rügen. The battle was fought between Olaf I Tryggvessön (sometimes Olav), King of Norway, and a coalition of his enemies, Eric Hakonson, his cousin and rival, Olaf the King of Sweden, and Sweyn Forkbeard the King of Denmark. The poets, and the poetically minded authors of the sagas, who are the only authorities, have told the story with many circumstances of romance. But when the picturesque details, which also have no doubt at least a foundation of truth, are taken at their true value, the account of the battle still presents a very trustworthy picture of the sea-fighting of the Norsemen.

During the summer that Olaf had been in the eastern Baltic his allies waited for him at the island of Swold on his way home. The Norse king had with him seventy-one vessels, but part of them belonged to an associate, Sigwald, a chief of the Jomsburg Vikings, who was an agent of his enemies, and who deserted him. Olaf’s own ships went past the anchorage of Eric Hakonson and his allies in a long column without order, since no attack was expected. The king was in the rear of all of his best vessels. The allies allowed the bulk of the Norse ships to pass, and then stood out to attack Olaf. He might have run past them by the use of sail and oar to escape, but with the true spirit of a Norse warrior he refused to flee, and turned to give battle with the eleven ships around him. The disposition adopted was one which is found recurring in many sea-fights of the Middle Ages where a fleet had to fight on the defensive.

Olaf lashed his ships side to side, his own ship, the "Long Serpent," the finest-war-vessel as yet built in the north, being in the middle of the line, where her bows projected beyond the others. The advantage of this arrangement was that it left all hands free to fight, a barrier could be formed with the oars and yards, and the enemy’s chance of making use of his superior numbers to attack on both sides would be limited, a great point when all fighting was with the sword, or with such feeble missile weapons such as bows and javelins. The Norse long ships were high in the bulwark. Olaf turned his eleven ships into a floating fort.

The Norse writers, who are the only authorities, gave all the credit to their own countrymen, and according to them all the intelligence of Olaf’s enemies, and most of their valor, were to be found in Eric Hakonson. They say that the Danes and Swedes rushed at the front of Olaf’s line without success. Eric Hakonson attacked the flank. His vessel, the “Iron Ram,” was “bearded,” that is to say it strengthened across the bows by bands of iron, and he forced her between the last and last but one of Olaf’s line. In this way the Norse ships were carried one by one, till the "Long Serpent" alone was left. At last she too was overpowered. Olaf leapt into the sea holding his shield edgeways, so that he sank at once and the weight of his hauberk dragged him down. A legend of later days has it that at the last moment a sudden blaze of light surrounded the king, and when it cleared away he had disappeared. King Olaf is one of the same company as Charlemagne, King Arthur and Sebastian of Portugal, the legendary heroic figures in whose death the people would not believe, and whose return was looked for.

Building "The Long Serpent"

"The ship was a dragon...but this ship was far larger, and more carefully put together in all her parts. The king called this ship the Long Serpent... The Long Serpent had thirty-four benches for rowers. The head and the arched tail were both gilt, and the bulwarks were as high as in sea-going ships. This ship was the best and most costly ship ever made in Norway."

Snorri Sturluson, Heimskringla

In AD 998, near Trondheim Fjord on the west coast of Norway, King Olaf Tryggvason ordered the construction of the Long Serpent, the most splendid of the dragon (drakar or dreki "dragon-head") longships. The keel alone, of a single piece of oak, was said to have been one hundred and twenty-eight feet long (Snorri writes that the ship's slipway still was to be seen in his own time, more than two hundred years later). It was built by the prow-wright Thorberg, who was responsible for laying the keel and constructing the stempost and sternpost that determined the lines of the ship. But he was away when the overlapping planks were fitted to the keel to form the curved hull. When he returned, the work had been completed, and "everyone said that never was seen so large and so beautiful a ship of war."

The next morning, however, when the king went again to admire his longship, there were deep notches hacked into the planking all along one side. The ship was ruined, and Olaf swore an oath, promising that the man who had done this would die and offering to reward whoever revealed his name.

Thorberg said that he had done it.

Unless the ship was restored as before, Thorberg would forfeit his life. The prow-wright then took his axe and proceeded to plane the wood until even the deepest notches were smooth. "The king and all present declared that the ship was much handsomer on the side of the hull which Thorberg had chipped, and bade him shape the other side in the same way, and gave him great thanks for the improvement." So pleased was the king that Thorberg was appointed master builder for the entire ship and known thereafter as Thorberg Skafhogg, "Smoothing Stroke."

What the prow-wright had realized was that the thick planks were too heavy. Thinner ones would permit a lighter, more supple ship, one that would ride higher in the water and flex more in rough seas. (To provide extra strength, the planks were cut radially, split lengthwise along the grain like the spokes of a wheel.) The Gokstad ship, for example, has sixteen planks, or strakes, on each side, ranging in thickness from one inch below the waterline to one-and three-quarter inches at the waterline and only one-half inch at the gunwale. Such a ship drew only three feet of water, which made it well suited to navigate rivers and tidal estuaries. It also was fast and, in front of a stiff wind, could make as much as eleven knots and several hundred miles a day. A replica of the Gokstad ship, in fact, constructed a dozen years after its discovery, crossed the Atlantic from Norway to Newfoundland in only twenty-seven days.

Viking ships were built by first laying the keel and securing the stempost and sternpost (as Thorberg had done). Working up from the keel, the strakes were attached, each overlapping the other and fastened together by hundreds of iron rivets in what is called clinker construction. When the sides reached the waterline, the ribs were fitted and lashed to the bottom of the hull. Crossbeams then were placed over each rib to provide support for the deck, the boards of which remained loose so that they could be removed for storage. At either end were wooden knees to which the strakes were attached by pegs (trenails). Such construction permitted an exceptionally strong and flexible ship, one that was seaworthy enough to be propelled by a large sail on the ocean but with a draft shallow enough to allow it to be shelved on a beach or navigated far upstream by oar.

Snorri relates an anecdote about the king and his favorite ship, one that is evocative of them both. He writes that "King Olaf could run across the oars outside of the vessel while his men were rowing the Serpent."

Ranulph DeGlanville's Death in Jerusalem

He was born c.1112 at Stratford in Suffolk but there is little information about his early life. He is first heard of as Sheriff of Yorkshire, Warwickshire and Leicestershire from 1163 to 1170 when, along with the majority of High Sheriffs, he was removed from office for corruption. However, in 1173 he had been appointed Sheriff of Lancashire and custodian of the honour of Richmond. In 1174, when he was Sheriff of Westmorland, he was one of the English leaders at the Battle of Alnwick, and it was to him that the king of Scotland, William the Lion, surrendered. In 1175 he was reappointed Sheriff of Yorkshire, in 1176 he became justice of the king's court and a justice itinerant in the northern circuit, and in 1180 Chief Justiciar (Justice) of England. It was with his assistance that Henry II completed his famous judicial reforms, though many had been carried out before he came into office. He became the king's right-hand man, and during Henry's frequent absences was in effect regent of England. In 1176 he was also made custodian of Queen Eleanor, who was confined to her quarters in Winchester castle.

After the death of Henry in 1189, Glanvill was removed from his office by Richard I on 17 September 1189 and imprisoned until he had paid a ransom, according to one authority, of £15,000. Shortly after obtaining his freedom he took the cross, and he died at the siege of Acre in 1190.

Ranulf had married Bertha de Valognes;they had several daughters. He founded two abbeys, both in Suffolk. Butley, for Black Canons, was founded in 1171, and Leiston, for White Canons, in 1183. He also built a leper hospital at Somerton, in Norfolk.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Clan Stewart (Stuart)

The surname Stewart (or Stuart) is derived from Steward, indicating an official in charge of a household and/or treasury- often of a king, but also of a notable earl, or bishop. It was from Walter fitz-Allen that the line of Stewart (or Stuart) kings descended. He was a Norman noble appointed to the post of hereditary High Steward of Scotland by King David I. Walter's influential family and descendents established various separate branches of Stewarts before their main line became a royal one. This transpired through Walter, the sixth High Steward, ho fought at Bannockburn and married King Robert Bruce's daughter, Marjory. Their son became Robert II, the first Stewart king.

Previous to 1371, Walter's uncel, Sir John Stewart of Bonkill who fel at Falkird in 1298) left seven sons. The first three founded respectively the Stewart earldoms of Angus, Lennox, and Galloway.


The beautiful Isle of Bute formed part of the domain of Walter, the first High Steward, and remained a Stewart possession except for a brief Norse occupation. But only after 1385 did a family branch become established there, when Sir John Stewart, a son of King Robert II, was appointed hereditary Sheriff of Bute and Arran. His descendants still hold the marquisate of Bute.

The spelling ‘Stuart’ originated with some Stewarts living in France where the alphabet has no ‘w’. Adopted there also by Mary Queen of Scots, it became fashionable when she continued using it on her return. Steuart was a compromise between the two forms.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Roman Emperor Trajan 53AD - 117AD

Marcus Ulpius Nerva Traianus, commonly known as Trajan (September 18, 53 – August 9, 117), was a Roman Emperor who reigned from 98 until his death in 117. Born Marcus Ulpius Traianus into a nonpatrician family in the Hispania Baetica province (modern day Spain), Trajan rose to prominence during the reign of emperor Domitian, serving as a general in the Roman army along the German frontier, and successfully crushing the revolt of Antonius Saturninus in 89. On September 18, 96, Domitian was succeeded by Marcus Cocceius Nerva, an old and childless senator who proved to be unpopular with the army. After a brief and tumultuous year in power, a revolt by members of the Praetorian Guard compelled him to adopt the more popular Trajan as his heir and successor. Nerva died on January 27, 98, and was succeeded by his adopted son without incident.

As a civilian administrator, Trajan is best known for his extensive public building program, which reshaped the city of Rome and left multiple enduring landmarks such as Trajan's Forum, Trajan's Market and Trajan's Column. It was as a military commander however that Trajan celebrated his greatest triumphs. In 101, he launched a punitive expedition into the kingdom of Dacia against king Decebalus, defeating the Dacian army near Tapae in 102, and finally conquering Dacia completely in 106. In 107, Trajan pushed further east and conquered Nabatea, gaining the short-lived province of Arabia Petraea. After a period of relative peace within the Empire, he launched his final campaign in 113 against Parthia, advancing as far as the city of Susa in 116, and expanding the Roman Empire to its greatest extent. During this campaign Trajan was struck by illness, and late in 117, while sailing back to Rome, he died of stroke on August 9, in the city of Selinus. He was deified by the Senate and his ashes were laid to rest in the Mausoleum of Augustus. He was succeeded by his first cousin once removed Publius Aelius Hadrianus—commonly known as Hadrian.

As an emperor, Trajan's reputation has endured throughout history. Every new emperor after him was honored by the Senate with the prayer felicior Augusto, melior Traiano, meaning "may he be luckier than Augustus and better than Trajan". Contrary to many lauded rulers in history, this reputation survived nearly undiminished for over nineteen centuries. Among medieval Christian theologians, Trajan was considered a virtuous pagan, while the 18th century historian Edward Gibbon popularized the notion of the Five Good Emperors, of which Trajan was the second.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Transylvania Colony

Transylvania, or the Transylvania Colony, was a short-lived, extra-legal colony founded in 1775 by Richard Henderson, who controlled the North Carolina based Transylvania Company, which had reached an agreement to purchase the land from the Cherokee in the "Treaty of Sycamore Shoals". This area was claimed at the time by the Province of Virginia —especially following Lord Dunmore's War —and North Carolina. It is primarily located in what is now the central and western parts of the State of Kentucky. American pioneer Daniel Boone was hired by Henderson to establish the Wilderness Road going through the Cumberland Gap into central "Kentuckee", where he founded Boonesborough, the designated capitol of the Transylvania colony. Transylvania officially ceased to exist after the Virginia General Assembly invalidated the Transylvania Company's purchase in 1776.

Samuel Henderson

Thos. Henderson, of Jamestown, Va., 1607,. was born in Scotland, a son Richard, married Polly Washer, and lived in Hanover Co. Samuel, one of several children (b 1700), married a little Welsh girl, Elizabeth Williams, aged about thirteen. He settled in Granville Co., N. C, and founded a very large and prominent branch of the family. His son, bearing the same name, removed to Kentucky at an early day where he assisted in the rescue of Jemima Boone and Elizabeth Callaway from the Indians and on the following day (7, Aug. 1776) he and Elizabeth Callaway were married. Their daughter, Fanny, b 29, May 1777, was the first white child born in the State of Kentucky, of parents married in that State. Another son of Samuel Henderson, Sr., was Judge Richard, who was appointed one of the two Associate Judges of North Carolina in 1768 by Gov. Tryon. Judge Henderson was President of the Transylvania Company, which, with Daniel Boone, Messrs. Hart and others, he organized. It was one of the greatest land companies ever in operation and comprised nearly the whole of Kentucky.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Tripping with Ralph Blankenship

The first mention of Ralph Blankinship was in 1690 Henrico Court when Richard Kennon
petitioned for 8,000 acres of land. Ralph's name was listed along with 90
white persons and 70 negroes imported in 1686 and 1687. (Henrico OB
1678-1793:362) A Ralph Blankship was named as headright of Capt. Henry
Harrison & Philip Ludwell for land in Surry and Isle of Wright on June 16,
1714. (Pat. 10:165). Both Surry and the Isle of Wright are villages to the
southeast of where Ralph Blankinship homesteaded on Swift Creek just south
of the James River northwestern extension. Both Surry and Isle of Wright are
near Jamestown, VA

There also is a slightly different history regarding Ralph Blankinship, the
immigrant ancestor, who in about 1686/87 arrived in Virginia. He also has
been mentioned among 160 persons as headrights for a Mr Richard Kennon's
land patent application in 1690. There is an excellent discussion of this by
Lloyd Bockstruck in "The Blankenship Family of Virginia," The American
Genealogist, XXXII (1976) p.240 and by Gayle King Blankenship in her book,
Blankenship Ancestors, p.45. Both Mr. Bockstruck and Mrs. Blankenship
provide thorough reference to the court records of Virginia.

In the article below, "The Blankenship Family of Virginia," The American
Genealogist, XXXII (1976) pg. 240, Lloyd Bockstruck comments as follows on
his primary source of information:

Ralph Blankenship came to the colony of Virginia as an indentured servant in
1686 or 1687 and settled in Henrico County. On 1 April 1690 Mr. Richard
Kennon of Henrico County came into court and made application for a patent
of 8000 acres for importing 90 people and 70 Negroes. Kennon named as
headrights the following individuals . . . Ralph Blankinship . . et al.

It should be noted that Ralph Blankinship was "imported" to Virginia. This
is a legal term of that era which meant someone else paid his passage from
Europe to America. In Quarter Court 18 November 1618, The Virginia Company
passed laws to encourage immigration commonly called "The Great Charter of
privileges, orders and laws".' One of them, called a headright, was provided
the right to receive 50 acres of land for anyone settling (or paying for
someone who settled) in Virginia. The Privy council ordered on 22 July 1634
that patents for headrights be issued after the Virginia Company dissolved,
and the May 1779 session set a limit to claim or forfeit headrights to
twelve months.The patent didn't always name the same person who immigrated
or paid for the immigration of a settler, because a headright could be
bought or sold. Sometimes a long period of time lapsed between claiming the
headright and the patent. There was downright fraud to obtain patents, two
claimants for the same immigrant, others would claim a headright every time
they returned from abroad. It was easy to get more than you were entitled
to, and large tracts could be accumulated.

Documentation for Ralph Blankinship in existence in Virginia in 1690 may
also be found in Henrico Co. VA Order Book 1678-1793 page 362, by Gayle

There was a legal deposition made to the Henrico Court on 2 Apr. 1695 which
stated that Ralph Blankinship was about 33 years of age; Henrico Wills &
Deeds 1688-97, p. 577 (prev. sub. by Karen. King Turner). Wills & Deeds,
1710-14 ; inventory of Ralph Blankenship by court order of 5 Apr. 1714;
value L26/00/6; by James Aiken, Robert Hudson, and William Ligon [Also see
Henrico co Order Book, April 15, 1714 p 277, cited by BLANKINSHIP ROOTS,
HISTORY, c1978. So, if Ralph BLANKINSHIP was 33 years old in 1695, then he
was probably born in 1662.

We often observe in BLANKENSHIP genealogy publications that the year of
Ralph Blankinship's arrival in America was 1686/7. Sometimes this date is
ambiguously noted, as in Lloyd Bockstruct's reference where he cites Ralph's
arrival date as 1686 "or" 1687. The date written as 1686/7 indicates he
arrived between 1 January and 25 March 1686. I've always found this a bit
strange because these winter months are dangerous times for Atlantic sea
passage. I therefore do not believe he made his Atlantic transit between 1
January and 25 March. However, because of his arrival in Virginia between 1
January and 25 March I assume that the ship which Ralph came on actually
departed from Barbados in the Caribbean, which was the most common transit
point from England and was the customary route for English ships. People
often spent time resting on Barbados island before continuing their travel
onward to the English colonies in America. In fact some who spent too much
time on Barbados got tagged with an indecent nickname because of the wicked
temptations that existed there. Before 1752 (in Britain) the new year began
on March 25th (Lady Day). Dates between January 1st and March 24th were
therefore at the end of the year rather than the beginning. To avoid
confusion, dates in this range are marked with an asterisk e.g. 12 Feb
1686*. Such dates are sometimes seen in the form 12 Feb 1686/7. So it is my
assumption that Ralph BLANKENSHIP, if he did actually arrive in Virginia in
1686/7, probably departed England during the summer or early fall of 1685
such that he would arrive in Barbados in late 1685. These suppositions for
places and dates are assumptions based on my knowledge of history but cannot
be confirmed. Furthermore, if he departed from England, it is most likely
that the port of departure was one of the southern English ports. This is
based upon identified sailing routes for that particular period in time.

There is no mention whatever from any source to suggest that Ralph
Blankinship was married when he arrived in Virginia. His age upon arrival in
1687 was 24 so, if he was like many others from England and Ireland at that
time, he had not yet established himself financially and probably was not
ready to make himself available as a suitor. In fact, we know that someone
else paid for Ralph's ship passage so we can assume, as does Lloyd
Bockstruck, that Ralph was a poor boy, an indentured servant as it were.
However, he didn't wait too long after his arrival to wed Martha. His first
son Richard is believed to have been born in 1692, some six years after his
arrival in Virginia when Ralph was then 30.

In 1619 a law was passed in Jamestown, Virginia Colony, which required farmers to grow hemp. Marijuana also became a major trade item between Central and South Asia during this time.

The First Dip in the Pool

Aaron Mathew Mason Joshua Malichi Mason
14 Jun 1970 19 Jul 1971
Ronald Richard Mason (Stewart) Melody Sue Bengston
29 Mar 1945 30 Dec 1950
Dwight Stewart (Mason) Helen Marie Skogerson
23 Jan 1913 13 Aug 1917
Fred Uriah Stewart Edna Iva Mahannah
Jan 1889 12 Sep 1890
George Mahannah Sarah Nettie Cothran
Jun 1866 1867
Benjamin Cothren Neoma Burnet(t)
1833 1837
Samuel Cothern Nancy Henderson
1799 1802
Thomas Cothern Obedience Blankenship
8 Apr 1760 1770
Hudson Blankenship Edith Wilkinson
1729 1733
John Buck Blankenship Elizabeth Hudson
1695 16 Jul 1704
Ralph Blankenship Martha U. Stanley
22 Jul 1623 1634
Christopher Stanley Susannah Aspinwall
23 Sep 1603 1599
John Stanley Susan Lancocke
9 Mar 1571 1574
Peter Stanley Joane Masterson
1539 1543
Thomas Stanley Anne Hastings
1515 1485
Sir William de Stanley VI Agnes Harrington
1473 1478
Sir William de Stanley V Lady Anne Grosvenor
1433 1435
Sir Robert Grosvenor Lady Janet de Chedell
1410 1409
Sir Thomas Grosvenor Lady Joan Venebles
1377 1384
Sir Robert le Grosvenor Lady Joan de Pulford
1347 1348
Robert de Pulford Jane (de Pulford)
1322 1324
Robert de Pulford Katherine Dutton
1300 1300
Hugh de Dutton Isabella Massey
8 Dec 1276 1280
Hamon Massey Alice de Beauchamp
1242 1246
Hamon Massey V Alice Whitney
1212 1206
Hamon Massey IV Margaret Mainwaring
1163 1163
Hamon, Baron Durham Massey Agatha de Theray
1129 1125
Hamon Massey Eleanor Beaumont
1100 1100
Hamon Massey Margaret Sacie
1076 1077
William de la Ferte (Hamon’s) Muriel de Conteville
1042 1041
Guillaume de Alencon Hildeburge de Beaumont
995 995
Guillaume de Alencon I Mathilde de Ganelon
963 969
Ives de Belleme Godchilde de Ponthieu
940 944
Guillaume de Ponthieu Maud de St. Pol Therouanne
914 915
Herlouin de Ponthieu Helissende de Ramerupt
865 858
Helguad de Ponthieu Unknown
816 ---
Nithard de Ponthieu Unknown
795 ---
Angilbert de Ponthieu Bertreda Von Aachen
776 775
Charlemagne Hildegarde Swabia, Empress
2 Apr 742 757
Pepin “The Short” King of France Bertrada, Countess of Laon, Empress
714 720
Claribert I, Count of Laon Bertrada, Countess of Laon
3 May 690 695
Count Martin de Laon Countess Bertrada Von Prum
640 676
Duke Ansgise St Beggue de Austrasia
602 613
Pepin I Old Itta de Nivelles
585 591
King Carolman de Landen of Belgium Gertrude I of Bavaria D’Agilofinges de Landen
550 555
Sigebert I Austrasia Brunhilda of the Visigoths, Queen of Austrasia
535 535
Clotaire I Meroving Ingund Von Thuringia
497 499
Clovis I of France Clotilde de Burgundy
481 475
Childeric I of Franks Basina Andovera of Thuringia
440 439
Merovech of Salian Franks Chlodeswinthe of Salic Franks
411 418
Clodius “Long Hair” of Salic Franks Queen Basina of Theuringia of the West Franks
398 398

First Generation

Why do a blog of the Stewart/Mason (my father changed his name prior to marriage, but the reason is unclear) family? Because no one else is. I will attempt to leave an epic saga of our gene pool or just a good story. The very first thing I found is that it's not easy, but once you get on the family line you find history to the max. I will also attempt to document the way people lived, relaxed and died. Sit back and enjoy the trip.