John Winthrop, Massachusetts, Charles Banks

Genealogist, Charles Banks

Master Works of Charles Edward Banks: A Great Great Man and a Gifted Genealogist

Students of New England genealogy recognize Charles E. Banks (1854-1931) as one of the patriarchs of genealogical scholarship. During his lifetime, he was widely acknowledged to be one of the leading authorities on northern New England families. His two-volume History of York, Maine (a third volume was in preparation at the time of his death) is still the starting point on its subject. Though removed from his primary geographical area of expertise, Dr. Banks’ three-volume history of Martha’s Vineyard is also a model local history.

Notwithstanding his fame as a genealogist, Banks’ first calling was as a physician and surgeon. A graduate of Dartmouth Medical School, Charles Banks enjoyed a distinguished 40-year career in the U.S. Public Health Service. Dr. Banks was involved in many activities, including early efforts to thwart polio and to enforce sanitary laws. He achieved the position of assistant surgeon-general of the USPHS, retiring with the rank of lieutenant-colonel.

Besides his interests in genealogy and history, Banks was a skillful artist. His drawings adorn several of his publications. He is also reckoned to have been gracious, kindly, and un-self-serving. He was never reluctant to share the fruits of his research with friends and colleagues. Continue reading…

Anne Hutchinson

Notable Ancestors & Descendants of Anne Hutchinson and Katherine Scott

Notable Ancestors & Descendants of Anne Hutchinson and Katherine Scott Anne (Marbury) Hutchinson & Katherine (Marbury) Scott

Anne (Marbury) Hutchinson, the 17th-century Puritan heretic and cofounder of Rhode Island, died in an Indian attack with several of her children only nine years after she arrived in America. Her surviving four children and the children of her sister Katherine (Marbury) Scott produced many descendants with royal or noble ancestors. For example, their American descendants are in the line of King Edward I of England (d. 1307). Through the Marbury connection to Sancha de Ayala, Marbury descendants are related to Ferdinand of Aragon, who with his wife, Isabella of Castille, completed the reunification of Spain in the late 15th century and sponsored the expeditions of Christopher Columbus. All of the later Kings of Spain, Holy Roman and Austrian emperors, kings of Prussia, and Russian czars starting with Alexander I are distant cousins as well, as are most of the later English and French kings. The Marburys are also related to John Dryden, Jonathan Swift, Horace Walpole, and the wives of the poet Edmund Spencer and the diarist Samuel Pepys. Notable 18th-century American descendants of the Marburys include Mrs. John Singleton Copley, wife of the great American portrait painter; Thomas Hutchinson, Jr., the last colonial governor of Massachusetts; Nicholas Gilman, Jr., a signer of the Constitution; and Nicholas Brown, Jr., whose family founded Brown University.

Researchers will find these relationships explained in Royal Families: Americans of Royal and Noble Ancestry. Volume 2–Reverend Francis Marbury and Five Generations of His Descendants Through Anne (Marbury) Hutchinson and Katherine (Marbury) Scott. Compiled by Marston Watson, Royal Families is a series of royal and noble descendancies starting with the immigrant ancestor of the line.

The second edition of the first volume of Royal Families concerns five generations of descendants of Massachusetts Governor Thomas Dudley. It contains nearly 900 new Dudley descendants through the sixth generation. It is likely that several million Americans can prove their descent from this noted governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Americans linked to Governor Thomas Dudley will find near or distant cousins in actor Humphrey Bogart, astronaut Alan Shepard, Jr., Ella Botts Rice (first wife of entrepreneur and movie mogul Howard Hughes), Mary Storer Potter (first wife of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow), and many more notable kin.

Volume thee of Royal Families discusses the thousands of Americans are direct descendants of Samuel Appleton (1586-1670) of Ipswich, Massachusetts, who had royal and noble connections to William the Conqueror, and of his wife Judith Everard, whose ancestors included William’s sister Adelaide, as well as Louis IV, King of the Franks. The books covers five generations (with their sixth generation children) of Samuel and Judith Appleton descendants, carrying them up to the period of the Revolutionary War and beyond. Where possible, the identity of the parents of each known spouse is also provided, along with relevant biographical, genealogical, and historical details.

Americans linked to Samuel and Judith Appleton will find near or distant cousins among such distinguished individuals as President Franklin Pierce, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte, Jr. Other descendants include “signer” William Whipple, Jr., Mrs. John Singleton Copley, James Russell Lowell, Francis Parkman, Jr., Phillips Brooks, Josiah Quincy, Jr., and poet Robert Frost.

Those of you who are interested in lineage societies will find a Lineage Society Index in Volume Three which lists ancestors through whom descendants can claim eligibility for hereditary societies that honor Mayflower passengers, Revolutionary War soldiers, colonial governors, and physicians.

Image credit: Anne Hutchinson on Trial, by Edwin Austin Abbey [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

 

 

Lineage Societies, DAR

Membership in Lineage Societies

Editor’s Note: Nancy Mahone Miller is the author of this post on lineage society membership, which originally appeared in 2011. Ms. Nancy Mahone Miller is the Collection Development Librarian for the Local History/Genealogy collection at Virginia Beach Public Library, Virginia Beach, Virginia. She is a past chapter regent of the Lynnhaven Parish Chapter, DAR (Virginia Beach) and a long-time DAR member who has mentored many prospective applicants through the process. She has established nine Revolutionary Patriots in her ancestry and at the time of this writing, had two more pending approval.

Pursuing the goal of lineage society membership often provides the impetus for seriously delving into one’s ancestry. To join a lineage society, a researcher must prove descent from a specific ancestor. The qualifications are usually based on a strict variety of credentials. For example, the prospective member must have an ancestor that arrived on a specific passenger ship such as the Mayflower, possess an early ancestor in a specific geographic area (e.g., Minnesota Territorial Pioneers), have a precise ethnic or religious background such as Huguenot, or relationship to a President of the United States (Presidential Families of America). The common thread in all lineage societies is that the members must document ancestry to a person who fits the organization’s criteria. Most societies, moreover, require sponsorship for membership by another member. Almost endless possibilities exist for membership in such a group.

Joining a lineage society affords the member a number of advantages, including the opportunity to connect with other genealogists who share a common interest and access to the organization’s library and/or membership records – or it simply may provide a way to meet some new cousins. Continue reading…

"Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor," by William Halsall, 1882 at Pilgrim Hall Museum, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Resources for Mayflower Research

This article was originally posted by the late Carolyn Barkley. We’re bringing it back with minor edits in honor of the Thanksgiving season. As mentioned, the author’s own roots are tied to the Thanksgiving story, making her knowledge that much more relevant.

Thanksgiving is around the corner. In addition to the turkey and trimmings, the approaching holiday is inextricably linked to the voyage of the Mayflower and its landing at Plymouth on the coast of Massachusetts. My primary purpose is to share information about the wealth of resources available about the voyage and its passengers, but first, as a native of Massachusetts and a thirty-seven year resident of Virginia, I’m obliged to muse momentarily on the origins of the thanksgiving event.

Growing up in Massachusetts, every school child’s attention is focused on the Mayflower passengers and their feast of thanksgiving held in 1621. The New England tradition, of course, flies in the face of Virginia’s claim to the first Thanksgiving, let alone that of St. Augustine, Florida, where a Thanksgiving celebration was held in September 1565! In 1619, a group of settlers left Bristol, England, and landed three months later at the present-day site of Berkeley plantation on the James River in Virginia. The tradition is that immediately after reaching sold ground, they fell to their knees and thanked God for their safe arrival. A rivalry about whether the Virginia event in 1619 or the Massachusetts event in 1621 represents the “real” Thanksgiving continues today. Both are re-enacted annually and I would suggest that they can coexist as different types of Thanksgiving events, although neither of them is the “first” in the New World. The Massachusetts event was a harvest festival in which the settlers gave thanks for the summer’s crops and their survival through the harsh first winter. They were joined by Wampanoag Chief Massasoit and about ninety of his men who brought venison and turkey. The Virginia event was a religious service of thanksgiving at which a meager meal of bacon, peas, cornmeal cakes and cinnamon water was served. (It is interesting to note that at the time of the Mayflower’s arrival, Massachusetts was considered to be a northern part of Virginia.) Thanksgiving proclamations were made by American presidents beginning with George Washington. In 1863, Abraham Lincoln formally designated Thanksgiving as a national holiday to be held on the final Thursday of November.

Who, then, were the individuals feasting and giving thanks in Massachusetts in 1621? Continue reading…