RECENT UPDATES - An ongoing log of updates to my genealogy research. See tabs at bottom of page for links to earlier updates.

30 May 2022:  The past two weeks I have been using Ancetry's "Hints" to add detail and some new individuals (the the 1st or 2nd cousin level) to my HART. VAUT/VAUGHT and PRATT family lines. These Hints have begun to identify 1950 census materials for 20th century individuals, but also some items that I had overlooked in the past. It is a very fruitful exercise and i have several more weeks of work to continue with my major ancestral lines.

11 May 2022: I have begun working on my NICKS line and related families and will be uploading new information on this line periodically. This is the NICKS family ofearly Talbot Co., MD.

3 May 2022 (revised 4 May 2022): On 1 May 2022, I began making several important changes in my TODD family line. There were a number of different TODD families who settled in the American colonies, coming from the United Kingdom. A group of TODD family researchers, with results published by Richard McMurtry [2013] [2022], have built an ancestry with a William TOD as the progenitor of my line.

I have found that I have two lines of descent from Joseph TODD (c1748-1810) and his wife Anna Maria CROUSE/GROSE (c1750-bef 1810), my 4th great grandparents. The first line is from their son, Isaiah TODD (1772-1840) and his first wife, Prudence ALEXANDER (1776-1852). The second line of descent is through their daughter, Nancy TODD (c1790-aft 1870) and her second husband, Armstrong HART (c1776-1829).

My earlier version (v.A) of the ancestry of Joseph TODD (c1748-1810) was as follows (in Ahnentafel form):

Version A

1 Joseph TODD (c1748-1810)

2 Thomas TODD (1723-1777)

3 Elizabeth CUMMINS (unk-1772)

4 Joshua TODD (1681-1719)

6 Richard CUMMINS (1670-1729)

7 Sarah PARSONS (unk-unk)

8 Joseph TODD (1645-1699)

9 Joane SWIFT (1650-unk)

16 John TODD (1594-1677)

17 Elizabeth MALLORY (unk-unk)

32 (FNU) TODD (unk-unk)

My current revisions (v.B), based on the work published by McMurtry, now shows:

Version B

1 Joseph TODD (c1748-1810) - same as v.A

2 Thomas TODD (1723-1777) - same as v.A

3 Elizabeth CUMMINS (unk-1772) - same as v.A

4 Caleb TODD (1686-unk) - brother of no. 4 (Joshua) in v.A

6 Richard CUMMINS (1670-1729) - same as v.A

7 Sarah PARSONS (unk-unk) - same as v.A

8 Joseph TODD (1645-1699) - same as v.A

9 Joane SWIFT (1650-unk) - same as v.A

16 William TOD (c1624-unk) - replaces no. 16 in v.A

My earlier work was based on a combination of earlier version (pre-2012) of McMurtry's work and a number of other pedigrees published on various websites and published research (e.g., Paxton [1897:129]. One source of early errors (corrected by McMurtry's later publications) was the confusion of two different men named Thomas TODD who lived at the beginning of the Revolutionary war. In McMurtry's words: "The misleading information about there being two Thomas TODDs in Rowan County came from a DAR record which erroneously identified the Thomas Todd who died while serving in the Revolutionary War as the Thomas of Rowan County."

Much of McMurtry's later published TODD family genealogy is based on some rather extensive DNA analyses of samples from hundreds of Todd family descendants and a much more extensive review of early records. This work helped to pinpoint Caleb TODD (1686-unk) as the probable father of Thomas TODD (1723-1777), rather than Caleb's brother, Joshua (1689-1719), as I had earlier shown. DNA analyses have also led to the reassignment of a number of individuals to different parents than researchers had originally hypothesized.

Three other charateristics that make this TODD family lineage a bit difficult are 1) the extreme number of inter-marriages of first and second cousins; 2) the prevalence of large numbers of off-spring in a family (8 or more children is common); and 3) the use and reuse of the same given names.

12 April 2022: As I mentioned in the prior update, I have been working on my YOUNG ancestors. I am descended from two first cousins who married circa 1799 - Nathaniel and Jemima (Young) Young and who were first cousins. They were my 5th great grandparents on my mother’s side. The most valuable resource I have found for research on this YOUNG family has been the work originally authored by John E. Young and published in 1986, and republished with additions and corrections in 2011 and 2013 as The Young Families of Early Giles County, Tennessee. Two Volumes, 2nd Edition with 2013 Updates. The entire book is available for download at This incredible guide has helped me find all kinds of new evidence on the ancestors of my Nathaniel and Jemima. I continue to work on updates for this family line.

One significant change I have just made is to remove the link between my 7th great grandfather, William Young, Sr. (#71585, b bef 1730 - d ca Mar 1787), from another William Young. The latest edition of Young [2011] clarifies that my William was not the son of the older William (#71590). So my line is currently one generation shorter. There may have been a link between my Young line and that of this William Young, but I have not identified it yet.

25 October 2021:  Clean up of data and some work on the early TODD family lines.

15 October 2021:  I am building out the descendants of Epenetus and Mary (ARMSTRONG) HART in an effort to identify more living male HART descendants of this line to participate in a DNA project to see if we can link Epenetus to some other HART family in the American colonies or in the UK/Europe.

21 Sept. 2021: Continued clean up and small additions to the database. The biggest development was finding the administration packet for the estate of Jonathan HART (1784-1816), Son of Epenetus and Mary (ARMSTRONG) HART, who died intestate in Canandaigua, Ontario Co., NY. These documents confirmed the identification of his wife’s name as Susan MNU and support the other information I had gathered on her from the 1820 and 1830 censuses. The inventory of his estate contains numerous items of ladies’ headwear, indicating that he may have been in the hat business, possibly with his brother, Armstrong HART.

7 Sept. 2021: I have been doing a lot of clean-up work and additional research on a number of lines, and have broken a few connections that on further consideration (20 years after I made the original link) are no long defensible. For example, the Woodward and West families of early Maryland.

11 August 2011: I have not yet sent the 2nd edition of Such Live As These… to the publisher, but a PDF version is now available for free download at:

6 July 2021: I reviewed the evidence that my cousin Randy Hudson has send me indicating a marriage between our HUDSON and PRATT lines. I accept the evidence that the wife of David Hudson (d. 1836 in Warren Co., MO) was Ann PRATT. Her maiden name is clear in her widow’s application for a pension based on David’s War of 1812 service (it was rejected because they married after the end of his service). Hopefully, this will help bring around all of those who have repeatedly asserted (without proof) that her maiden name was CASWELL.

12 June 2021: What I can say? An expected two month re-writing and editing assignment has turned into eight months of additional research, in addition to far more writing and editing that I had ever expected. Yes, I’m still working on Such Lives As These (2nd edition). I’ve expanded what I had on the Five Families by at least 25%, with the addition of the fourth generations and much more material. I have just today started on the fifth (and final) family, the HOWARDs. I will expect to complete this during the summer though.

28 April 2021: About 2/3 of the re-write of the TRIMMER family chapter is complete. The first edition really ignored the fourth generation of the family. I have now added all of the fourth generation descendants I could find of Anthony (II) and Sarah (HOWARD) TRIMMER that I have been able to identify. I have still only included the first two generations of Anthony (II);s brother, Paul TRIMMER. Much of this line covered in various published work on the ancestors of the late President Richard Milhous Nixon and I didn’t feel that it would be particularly helpful to simply regurgitate that information. Completion of the revised and expanded edition of Such Lives As These… is still on target for this summer.

8 April 2021: A first draft of the update of the McLEAN Family Chapter with the great grandchildren of John S.1 and Sarah2 (ARMSTRONG) McLEAN is finished. There is a real conundrum involving James3 McLean (William2) (John S.1 ). He seems to have died once in 1852 in Wayne County , NY, and then again forty years later in White Co., IN. Please check out his web page and if anyone has any insights, please contact me. I am starting to update the TRIMMER family chapter now. This is the last chapter. After that will be a major proof reading and copy edit. Hopefully, the final version will be published ca July 2021.

27 March 2021: My work has continued on building out the fourth generation of the five families in my book Such Lives As These… I am about halfway through the work on revising the McLEAN family chapter, with the TRIMMER chapter remaining after that. As a parallel task on the McLEAN family, I am trying to sort out which members of the grandchildren of John S. and Sarah (Armstrong) McLEAN moved to Indiana from New York, and when. The rewrite of the last chapter (on the TRIMMMER family) will complete the major revisions of the book. Following that will be a period of proof-reading and fact checking. Publication of the 2nd edition is still targeted for this summer. Thanks to those of you who have contacted me to express an interest in the new edition and who have collaborated with new details.

15 March 2021: I have finished the major work of revising the HOWARD family chapter of the 2nd edition of my book, which includes the addition of a number of descendants from Thomas and Elizabeth (ARMSTRONG) HOWARD of Fermanagh, PA, Benton, NY and Wood Co., OH. Now I have begun revision of the McLEAN chapter.

5 March 2021: In recent weeks, I have made a large number of corrections and added significant new material on the descendants of Thomas1 and Sarah2 (ARMSTRONG) HOWARD, greatly improving the accuracy and amount of detail I have on this line. This is as a result of the new research I am doing for the second edition of my book Such Lives as These… The new edition will be a significant improvement over the 1st edition. For the moment, the work on the HOWARD descendants continues. As soon as I complete the chapter on the HOWARD family, I will move reviewing and revising the chapters on the McLEAN and TRIMMER families. I expect to complete the second edition in a few months ceteris paribus.

20 Jan. 2021: The process of preparing the second edition of Such Lives as These… has resulted in a number of new genealogical finds and a fair number of corrections. So far, my revisions have covered the ARMSTRONG and HART families. I am uploading those additions/changes, several times a week. Soon I’ll be starting on the three remaining families: HOWARD, MCLEAN and TRIMMER. I will continue the updates with the same frequency.

7 Jan. 2021: I am working on the second edition of my book Such Lives as These…, originally published in 2016. I am adding new material on a number of issues, as well as expanding the information on the descendants of the five families. I am also correcting errors in the first edition and updating the facts based on new sources and materials. This work will take me until sometime in the Spring of 2021. I plan to make the new edition freely available. I will be regularly updating this website to reflect the new genealogical information. However, most of the historical information will appear in the second edition, and not here. Part of the new edition is the work I was doing for the draft monograph Pioneers and Patriots: Building the Ties that Bound the Five Families During their Pioneer Days in Pennsylvania and the Revolutionary War. I have now decided to not publish that as a stand-alone, but rather to incorporate it into the expanded and revised second edition of Such Lives as These…

13 Dec 2020: After some consideration, I have severed the relationship I had between Michael HOLLAND (unk-1746; m. Judith LNU) and John HOLLAND (1628-1710) and Elizabeth Mary OUDELANT (c1637-c1737), as Michael’s parents. I can find no evidence to support such a relationship other than completely unsupported family trees online. I find the research of Wiley Julian Holland, Jr. rather convincing. Holland states, “There is not a single known record of [Michael’s] existence before … 1724 ... and no evidence to show that he was the son of John.” This has resulted in the severing of links in my line to a number of medieval ancestors of John HOLLAND.

6 Nov 2020: My work cleaning up my database continues. I continue to re-examine my supposed links to European royalty and sever those that I now find to be indefensible. This work continues in parallel with my research on the PA families. I will continue to post updates here and to update my family tree on this website. Check back often if you have an interest in something I’m working on.

6 Nov 2020: My work cleaning up my database continues. I continue to re-examine my supposed links to European royalty and sever those that I now find to be indefensible. This work continues in parallel with my research on the PA families. I will continue to post updates here and to update my family tree on this website. Check back often if you have an interest in something I’m working on.

24 October 2020: I have a couple of major updates to my database:

  1. First of all, after new research, I have severed another connection to a commonly, but mistakenly believed major lineage back to European nobility (through English noble families). I am in the ongoing process of critically re-examining the pre-immigration ancestries I have for all of my Gateway Ancestors (see my update not for 7 Octoboer 2020). I have now discovered convincing evidence that the Virginia immigrant, Col. Richard Henry Lee (c1618-1664) does not have a proven descent from the Lee family of Coton Hall, Shropshire. Many earlier 20th century writers were in error on this. My evidence is spelled out on Richard’s webpage. This is re-examination of Gateway Ancestors’ lineages is an ongoing research project for me.
  2. Thanks to the help of Rachel Potter (author of the Parker Wood Family Tree on and a distant cousin), I have expanded and reorganized my information regarding Malvina Banks (Hudson) (Jennings) (Parker) Clevenger, her three marriages and her children. Thanks, Rachel!

7 October 2020: I have made some major changes in my database. During the past week I have severed three main lineages that I had linking Gateway ancestors (first arrivals in the American colonies) to English families because I now believe those links to have been fallacious inventions by genealogists who let hope and enthusiasm trump the real facts. One of the most important (and most frequently repeated) of these errors involves the immigrant Gabriel HOLLAND (VA early 1600’s) and a possible link from him back to the noble English HOLLAND/DE HOLLAND family. I now believe that not only is this proposed link false, there is in fact no solid evidence of any American descendants from this Gabriel HOLLAND (read the notes on my site for more on this.). As a result of this and other similar deletions I have pruned more than 400 direct ancestors from my family tree.

13 August 2020: I continue to work my way through our Medieval ancestors, adding information, correcting mistakes, and explaining conflicts between various sources. For me, this is an invaluable exercise in historical and prosopographical research. I have deleted clearly invested portions of some lineages and made important connections in others. I hope you find the information helpful to your own research.

July 8, 2020: The massive clean-up of the medieval generations of my database continues. I have now brought the count of individuals still to be edited down from 6,009 on June 6, to 5,300 as of today. I have removed some older (probably mythical) generations of a few lines, cleared up some inconsistencies, corrected mistakes, and extended a few lines. This work will probably continue for the rest of this year.

June 10, 2020: If you have a direct descendancy from any one of several British noble families, there’s a good probability that you tie back into the d‘Estouteville/de Stuteville family somewhere (See for example those family entries in Weis [1992] or 2004 and in Weis [1999]. I just spent several days cleaning up my own family lines for this. Partly because the same first names re-occur over multiple generations (e.g., Robert, Nicolas, and Osmond), I had made a mishmash of the research that I found years ago, incorrectly linking husbands and wives and children and parents. I’ve made significant progress on this thanks to recent (post 2000) research by Rosie Bevans and John Ravilious, among others.

Weis [1992]: Frederick Lewis Weis. Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America before 1700: The Lineage of Alfred the Great, Charlemagne, Malcolm of Scotland, Robert the Strong, and Some of Their Descendants, 7th edition. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., Baltimore, 1992.

Weis [1999]: Frederick Lewis Weis, with additions and corrections by Walter Lee Sheppard Jr. and William R. Beall. The Magna Charta Sureties, 1215 : The Barons Named in the Magna Charta, 1215 and Some of Their Descendants Who Settled in America During the Early Colonial Years, 5th Edition. Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, 1999.

Weis [2004]: Frederick Lewis Weis. Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America before 1700: The Lineage of Alfred the Great, Charlemagne, Malcolm of Scotland, Robert the Strong, and Some of Their Descendants, 8th ed. w/ additions by Wm R. and Kaleen E. Beall. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc.[1]Baltimore, 1992.

June 6, 2020: For about three months I have been meticulously going through our direct ancestors from the Medieval age (born after 0900 or died before 1500) Cleaning them up and adding additional information. In some cases I have completely changed certain lines based on new information that I’ve found. I started with about 7,300 ancestors who fit this group and have slowly whittled that down to 6,009 to go as of today. Back to work…

May 31, 2020: I have continued my work on my medieval European ancestors (roughly 900-1400). As before, I have to particularly laud the Foundation for Medieval Genealogy and its Medieval Lands project (now over 4,400 citations in my data). For those fortunate to read French or other languages, I would also like to highlight the value I have found in other language versions of Wikipedia. The French, Spanish, German, and Polish editions, for example, oftem have much more detail and better sources when dealing with (respectively) French, Spanish, German or Polish individuals.

I have particularly enjoyed fleshing out the historical Danes and Saxons that appear in the Saxon Tales series of novels of one of my favorite authors, Bernard Cornwell, and who have turned out in many cases to be direct ancestors.

April 21, 2020: Since the last update noted here (Jan. 20, 2020), I have continued my work on my medieval European ancestors (roughly 900-1400). This has allowed me to not only add considerable detail and discover some new lines, but also to identify and correct several mistakes that I had incorporated in years past. As I studied these lines, I learned of many controversies that make a definitive identification of an individual’s ancestors problematic. I now try to be more deliberate in discussing those controversies when I come across them, and, more specifically, in clearly identifying which line of reasoning I may have chosen to follow. Amazingly, new research continues to be done that is helping to clarify some of these controversies. Unfortunately, this ongoing research sometimes leads to confusion between even some of the more authoritative secondary sources. As before, I have to particularly laud the Foundation for Medieval Genealogy and its Medieval Lands project (now nearly 4,200 citations in my data). For those fortunate to read French, I would also like to highlight the value I have found in Wikipédia (the French edition of Wikipedia). The French edition is sometimes much better researched with better citations of sources.

A good example of my current work has been my effort to sort out the children of Roger I, Count of Sicily. Roger and his three wives somewhere around seventeen children and Roger may have had one or two illegitimate children, as well. At least two of the daughters were named Mathilda. His children married into noble families all over southern Europe. I still haven’t resolved all of this to my satisfaction.

January 20, 2020: Happy New Year! I continue to update my medieval ancestors with new data from Genealogics, Med Lands and Wikipedia. Lots of intersting new connections and corrections have been posted over the past three months. I'm currently working on my Polish ancestors from 900-1400 C.E.

See other tabs for 2016 - 2018 Updates