Friday, March 31, 2017

Friday's Faces From The Past

Emily Dickinson
(The only VERIFIED photograph of the poet and author.)
My 6th cousin 3x removed.

Emily Dickinson and I share a grandfather (way back there). His name was Henry Brooks (1592-1683).

Let's look at how I fit in with old Henry.

Henry Brooks (1592-1683)
  Martha Brooks (1634-1665
    John Bateman (1687-1726)
      John Bateman (1687-1765
        Henry Bateman (1740-1791)
          Elizabeth Bateman (1762-1842)
            Rachel Wiseman (1790-1856)
              William Bean (1832-1890)
                  John Bean (1866-1954)
                    Walter Beane (1937)
                       Cynthia Beane

And now we'll look at Emily's descent from Henry:

Henry Brooks (1592-1683)
  Mary Brooks (1628-1672)
    Richard Norcross (1660-1745)
      William Norcross (1715-1747)
          William Norcross (1745-1803)
            Joel Norcross (1776-1846)
              Emily Norcross  (1804-1882)
                Emily Elizabeth Dickinson (1830-1886)

I have been asked how there can possibly be so many well known people in our family tree, and I will explain that once again.

Many of my paternal lines can be traced back to the very first English settlement in Jamestown, Virginia. If someone can trace their American ancestors back to that small group, or say to the time of the Mayflower even, there were a minimal choice of spouses for them to choose from. Which means that 10-15 generations ago, if a "famous" person can also trace their ancestry to that small beginning, then there is a higher chance of your being related somewhere in that tree than that of someone who immigrated say in the 1850's.

As a country, America grew in leaps and bounds. But it started with a couple of very small groups who dared to cross the ocean and settle upon its shores.  It would be much more difficult if all of my ancestors came from Ireland or England or Scotland, to find that I was related in some small way, to someone of fame.  But they didn't. My paternal ancestry is quite varied, as DNA tests have proven.

I can trace those little branches all the way back to before the Plantagenet's. But to go past my great-great-grandfather Bean, well, we may never solve that little mystery! Still I plug on, and hope one day I will be matched with someone who can shed some light upon him. So for now, it is fun to find the little branches, and wait for that big one!

****UPDATE: Did you get where the Those Thursday Places was from? No? It's Schloss Drachenburg in Germany. Or Dragon's Castle. It's a beautiful place!

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