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

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 Ancestry.com 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