Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Queen's Bloomers - And Other Nonsense

The BBC reported yesterday that Queen Victoria's bloomers were auctioned off for an incredible 4500 British pounds. The incredible undies had a whopping 50" waistline! They had been kept by the Queen's Lady In Waiting ad passed down in that family until now. [They date from about 1890.] [Check it out here:

Okay folks, Levi's that sell for nearly $40,000 and now Queen's undies! What's the world coming to?

Well, yesterday the Associated Press ran with the story that Presidential Candidate Barak Obama mentioned in a speech that he "might" be related [distantly] to Wild Bill Hickock. Chris Child at the New England Historical Genealogical Society ran with it!

Within 30 minutes Chris Childs posted the following:

From the New England Historic Genealogical Society:

Boston Genealogical Society Confirms Obama and “Wild Bill” Hickok are Cousins
Obama Family lore talks of distant relationship to “Wild Bill” Hickok.

Boston, MA – July 30, 2008 – New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston has confirmed what Presidential candidate Barack Obama mentioned today in a Springfield Missouri speech.

During the speech, Senator Obama said, “If Senator McCain wants a debate about taxes in this campaign, I’m ready. Wild Bill Hickok had his first duel in the town square here. And the family legend is that he is a distant cousin of mine.”

Obama spoke of a family lore that tells of his being a distant cousin to legendary American west lawman, gambler, and gunfighter “Wild Bill” Hickok. NEHGS Staff genealogist Chris Child was quickly able to track down the information and confirm that it is indeed, true.

Obama and Hickok are sixth cousins, six-times removed. Their common ancestor is Thomas Blossom, who came to Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1629 from Leiden, Holland. Obama’s 4th great-grandfather, Jacob Dunham, was 6th cousins with Wild Bill. Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann, is also a Dunham.

“The ancestry of Wild Bill Hickok was published by NEHGS some years back, which showed he descended from the Blossom family of Cape Cod, an early family written up in one of our scholarly publications,” said Child. He added, “Since we had also recently done the ancestry of Senator Obama, finding this connection was a little easier.”

[About NEHGS Founded in 1845, New England Historic Genealogical Society is the country's oldest and largest non-profit genealogical organization. Located in Boston, NEHGS collects, preserves, and interprets materials that help make accessible the histories of families in America. The NEHGS research library, one of the most respected genealogical libraries in the field, is home to millions books, journals, manuscripts, photographs, microfilms, documents, records, and artifacts that date back more than four centuries. The award-winning web site offers access to more than 110 million names in 2,400 searchable databases. NEHGS has more than 23,000 members nationally. ]

It's not so much that Obama is related to Wild Bill that amazes everyone out there. It's the SPEED with which Chris Childs was able to put together a legible and correct connection!

Hey, Chris! I've got a case right now I could use your help on! And I'm sure about a thousand of my colleagues could use a little "speedy" help as well!

Till next time, keep your lamps full of oil, and your wicks trimmed, for all those midnight forays into the stacks of genealogical digging!



No comments: