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Category Archives: Connections

William King (1595-1650), Religious Rebel, Progenitor of Presidents

William King and Dorothy Hayne are the 10th great-grandparents of Richard, James, Gary, Lisa, Carl, Jane, Bruce, Cathy, Ron, Stacey, Matt and Sandy; and 11th great-grandparents of Asher, Owen, Caitlyn, Becky, Emily, Jack, Jill, Jordan, Mike and Brian.

William King is believed to have been born in England in 1595. His parentage is unconfirmed, although he may have been the son of William King (1565-1625) and Ann Bowditch (1573-c1625) of Weymouth, Dorset. William married Dorothy Hayne in Sherbourne Abbey Church of Saint Mary in Sherbourne, Dorset, on February 17, 1617.

Found among the records of the Hull Company as passengers aboard the “Abigail” sailing for Salem in the Massachusetts Bay Colony on March 20, 1635, are the following:

60.  William Kinge, aged 40 years.
61.  Dorothy, his wife, aged 34 years.
62.  Mary Kinge, his daughter, aged 12 years.
63.  Katheryne Kinge, his daughter, aged 10 years.
64.  William Kinge, his son, aged 8 years.
65.  Hanna Kinge, his daughter, aged 6 years.

Another child, Samuel, who would have been two in 1635, is absent from this list, but appears later in Salem. William and Dorothy had three additional children in Salem: Mehitable (1636), John (1638) and Deliverance (1641).

William was a member of the First Church at Salem but joined the Antinomians in 1637. Antinomianism literally means being “against or opposed to the law”, and was a term used by critics of those Massachusetts colonists who advocated the preaching of “free grace” (i.e.  the belief that divine grace, and not earthly deeds, is the only means to salvation) as opposed to “legal” preaching. Antinomians were also called Anabaptists and Familists, and were considered seriously heretic in early New England. William was ordered by the authorities in Salem to sever his connections with the Antinomians but he refused and was forced to surrender his gun.

These Antinomians are scathingly depicted by a contemporary Puritan critic as engaging in such "sinful" acts as enjoying food and music, dancing naked and "loving" one another's buttocks.

These Antinomians are scathingly depicted by a contemporary Puritan critic as engaging in such “sinful” acts as enjoying food and music, dancing naked and “loving” one another’s buttocks.

Sometime later William was banished temporarily from Salem for sheltering persecuted Quakers. One of William and Dorothy’s children, Katherine, married a staunch Quaker, John Swezey.

William died in 1650 in Salem, after which his widow and children left Salem for the more religiously tolerant Southold, Long Island. Dorothy died at Southold in 1684.

Curiously, not one but two of William and Dorothy’s daughters are our direct ancestors. Hannah (1629-1688), who married Richard Brown (c1629-c1687) in Salem in 1650, is 9th great-grandmother to Richard, et al. Deliverance (1641-1689), who married John Tuthill (1635-1717) in Southold in 1657, is another 9th great-grandmother. Hannah’s and Richard’s granddaughter, Elizabeth Brown, married her first cousin, John Tuthill, grandson of Deliverance and John, in 1707.

Another of Deliverance’s and John’s children, Henry, would become the great-grandfather of Anna Tuthill Symmes, First Lady of the United States and wife of President William Henry Harrison. Anna’s grandson, Benjamin, also became President of the United States.

One of Hannah’s and Richard’s children, Hannah, would become the 4th great-grandmother of President Warren Harding.

Not to be outdone by his siblings, John King, brother to Hannah and Deliverance, is the 5th great-grandfather of President William Howard Taft.

Presidential family reunion

Presidential family reunion

 

Connection: HRH Prince George of Cambridge

Are we related to HRH Prince George of Cambridge, the world’s most publicized baby? But of course.

Actually, the Prince’s family and ours have many intertwined ancestral lines, but our most recent connection is through the family of Prince George’s paternal grandmother, HRH Diana, Princess of Wales (1961-1997), born Diana Spencer.

Lady Diana’s 16th great-grandfather, John Spencer, Esquire (c1418-c1477) of Hodnell, Warwickshire, is also the 16th great-grandfather of Robert, Warren and Elizabeth Riis and Judith Henken. John and his wife, whose surname was Wardell but whose first name is unknown, had four known sons: Henry, Thomas, John and William. Diana and her grandson George are descendants of William; our line descends from John.

The American branch of the Spencer family tree springs from Garrard Spencer, who was born April 25, 1614, in Stotfold, Bedfordshire, England, and came to America in 1630. After living in Cambridge Town, Massachusetts, he moved to Lynn with his brother Michael in 1638 and ran a ferry from Lynn to Saugus. In 1661 Garrard was one of the 28 purchasers of the town of Haddam, Connecticut, where he died on September 3, 1685.

Diana Spencer was 17th cousin to Robert, Warren, Betty and Judy, and 17th cousin once removed to Richard, James, Gary, Lisa, Carl, Jane, Bruce, Cathy, Ron, Stacey, Matt and Sandy.

HRH William, Prince of Wales, is 18th cousin to Richard and his generation, while Prince George is 18th cousin once removed.

 

Connection: President Barack Obama

Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States, is the 10th great-grandson of Quaker Edward FitzRandolph, born July 5, 1607, in Sutton-In-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, England, and his wife, Elizabeth Blossom, born to expatriate English parents in Leiden, Holland, in 1620.

Edward and Elizabeth were married in Scituate, Massachusetts, in 1637. After 30 years in the Massachusetts Colony, Edward and his family moved to Piscataway, New Jersey. Edward’s and Elizabeth’s son, Nathaniel (1642-1713), settled in Woodbridge, New Jersey, with his wife, Mary Holley (or Holloway; 1638-1703). Of Nathaniel’s and Mary’s four children, one, Samuel (1668-1754), is the 8th great-grandfather of Barack Obama, while another, Edward (c1671-1760), is the 8th great-grandfather of Robert, Warren and Elizabeth Riis and Judith Henken.

President Obama is 10th cousin to Robert, Warren, Betty and Judy; and 10th cousin once removed to Richard, James, Gary, Lisa, Carl, Jane, Bruce, Cathy, Ron, Stacey, Matt and Sandy.

Less closely related, Samuel and Edward’s first cousin, Nathaniel FitzRandolph, was the founder of Princeton University.

 

Connections: Two Governors Griswold of Connecticut

Matthew Griswold is buried in the Duck River Cemetery in Old Lyme, CT

Matthew Griswold is buried in the Duck River Cemetery in Old Lyme, CT

Matthew Griswold (1714-1799) served as Governor of Connecticut from 1784 to 1786. In 1788, as delegate from Lyme, he was elected president of Connecticut’s convention to ratify the United States Constitution.

Griswold’s mother, Hannah Lee (1765-1773), was the sister of Stephen Lee (1698-1783), 8th great-grandfather to Richard, James, Gary, Lisa, Carl, Jane, Bruce, Cathy, Ron, Stacey, Matt and Sandy, making Governor Griswold the first cousin to our 7th great-grandmother, Hannah Lee Lay (1720-1784). Their mutual grandparents: Thomas Lee (1641-1704) and Mary DeWolf (1656-1724).

Matthew Griswold’s son Roger (1762-1812) was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and  Governor of Connecticut from 1811 to 1812.

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2013 in Connections

 

Thomas L. Riis (1930- ), Musicologist

Thomas is the great-grandson of Hans Christian Riis’ brother Jens Hansen Riis, and the 3rd cousin of Richard, James, Gary, Lisa, Carl, Jane, Bruce, James, Anne, Bonnie, Wendy, Pamela, Gail and Paul.

Riis,%20TomDr. Thomas Laurence Riis, the Joseph Negler Professor of Musicology and the Director of the American Music Research Center at the University of Colorado – Boulder’s College of Music, was born in New Hampshire on October 6, 1950, the son of Laurence and Ruth Riis. He earned degrees from Oberlin College (1973) and the University of Michigan (1976, 1981).

Thomas is a specialist in Musical Theater and writes and lectures frequently on many topics in 19th and 20th-century American music. His book Just Before Jazz, devoted to African American Broadway and minstrel shows, received an ASCAP-Deems Taylor Award in 1995. In 2002, Tom served as a period musical consultant for the Martin Scorsese film, Gangs of New York. He taught as a Fulbright Senior Scholar in Lüneburg, Germany, in 2005-2006. Tom’s most recent book, Frank Loesser, the fifth volume in the Yale Broadway Masters series, was published in 2008. That same year he gave the Rey Longyear Memorial Lecture at the University of Kentucky’s American Music Center and was elected to the presidency of the Society for American Music for 2009-2010.

Tom’s other interests include medieval song and historical performance practice. He is active as a choral singer, viol player, and cellist.

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2013 in Biographies, Connections

 

Connections: Unexpected Family

The Schoelermanns

The Schoelermanns

A few years ago a coworker, Karen Schoelermann, asked me to look into a family legend of her own, that her grandmother, a Boone, may have been a descendant of frontiersman Daniel Boone. The Boone connection was quickly disproved, but researching Karen’s family tree turned up something potentially even more interesting: her great-great grandmother had been one Henrietta Huyck of Chatham, New York. Huyck is a surname found in my own family tree. I shifted my attention from the Boones to the Huycks, and it wasn’t long before I had made a connection: Karen’s 8th great-grandparents, Andries Hanse Huyck (c1645-1707) and  Catrijn Lambertse Van Valkenburg (c1655-c1705) of Kinderhook, New York, were also my 9th great-grandparents.

Welcome to the family, cousin!

Karen Schoelermann is the 8th cousin once removed of Richard, James, Gary, Lisa, Carl, Jane, Bruce, Cathy, Ron, Stacey, Matt, and Sandy.

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2013 in Connections

 

Connections: The Fondas

fondas

Adam Hendrickse Vrooman (1649-1730) – 8th great-grandfather of Richard, James, Gary, Lisa, Carl, Jane, Bruce, Cathy, Ron, Stacey, Matt and Sandy; and 9th great-grandfather of Asher, Owen, Caitlyn, Becky, Emily, Jack, Jill, Jordan, Mike and Brian – is also the 5th great grandfather of Tony- and Academy Award-winning actor Henry Fonda.

Adam was born in Leiden, Holland, and came to America c1670, where he was among the first settlers of the Schenectady, New York, area. Adam’s daughter Marytje (1699-?) married Douw Jellis Fonda (1700-1780), another settler of Dutch ancestry. Henry Fonda, his daughter, Jane, son Peter, and Peter’s daughter, Bridget, are all distant cousins of ours, by way of Douw’s and Marytje’s son, Adam (1736-1808).

But wait, there’s a double connection: Douw Jellis Fonda’s mother, Rachel Winne, was the daughter of our 9th great-grandfather Pieter Winne (1609-c1690), making Pieter the 6th great-grandfather of Henry Fonda.

 
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Posted by on October 21, 2013 in Connections

 
 
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