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The Genealogical and Scholarly Significance of Royal Descents of 900 Immigrants, by Gary Boyd Roberts

The Genealogical and Scholarly Significance of Royal Descents of 900 Immigrants

The Royal Descents 900 Immigrants to the American Colonies, Quebec, or the United States(RD 900), genealogist Gary Boyd Roberts’ magnum opus, identifies an awe-inspiring number of historical figures from Continental Europe, the British Isles, or the United States who are related to millions of Americans. Anyone descended from an immigrant in this work can plot kinships, often much closer than might be expected to the following (or their wives, listed with a W below):

  1. Jane Austen
  2. Sir Francis Bacon
  3. (Queen) Anne Boleyn
  4. James Boswell
  5. Tycho Brahe
  6. Werner von Braun (and his wife)
  7. George Gordon, Lord Byron
  8. Sir Winston Churchill
  9. Hernan Cortes (W)
  10. Charles Robert Darwin (W)
  11. Jefferson Davis (W)
  12. John Dryden
  13. Henry Fielding
  14. Jean-Luc Godard (W)
  15. Dag Hammarskjold
  16. Patrick Henry
  17. Audrey Hepburn
  18. David Hume
  19. Francis Scott Key
  20. Marquis de Lafayette (and his wife)
  21. Robert E. Lee (W)
  22. John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough
  23. Karl Marx (W)
  24. Jacqueline (Bouvier) (Kennedy) Onassis
  25. Ezra Pound (W)
  26. Peter Paul Rubens
  27. Bertrand (3rd Earl) Russell
  28. The Marquis de Sade
  29. Percy Bysshe Shelley
  30. Edmund Spenser (W)
  31. Jonathan Swift
  32. Henry David Thoreau
  33. Leo, Count Tolstoy
  34. Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
  35. Sir Christopher Wren (W)

In addition to the above, researchers who study RD 900 can establish their connections to many of the most illustrious political figures in history. Among U.S. presidents, or their wives, RD 900 traces the descents of Washington, John Adams (W), Jefferson, Madison, Theodore Roosevelt, both wives of Woodrow Wilson, F.D. Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower (W), Kennedy (W), Reagan (W), and Obama. Queens themselves of royal descent, and nearly related to one or more of the 900, include Elizabeth I, Catherine and Marie de’Medici, Catherine the Great, Victoria, Josephine and Eugenie (wives of Napoleon I and III), and Geraldine of Albania (wife of King Zog). Among current British royals, readers will find Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother and her descendants, Diana, Camilla, Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle, and Mark Phillips.

Compared with Mr. Roberts’ earlier RD 600, originally published in 2004, RD 900 includes 75 new colonial immigrants of royal descent. The following fifteen have many thousands—and in some cases doubtless millions–of descendants:

  1. Mrs. Rebecca Ward Allen
  2. Mrs. Mary Ward Cutting
  3. William Markham (1-3, Mass.)
  4. Leonard Chester
  5. Henry Gregory (4-5 Conn.)
  6. Rev. Gregory Dexter of R.I.
  7. Mrs. Katherine Duncanson Glen
  8. Mrs. Margaret Duncanson Teller
  9. Edward Howell of L.I. (7-9, N.Y.)
  10. Mrs. Mary Jones Lloyd of Penn.
  11. Mrs. Anne Talbot Darnall
  12. Mrs. Anne Fielder Gantt (Wight)
  13. Mrs. Margaret Domville Hatton (Banks) (11-13, Md.)
  14. Theophilus Hone of Va.
  15. Ralph Izard of S.C.

At least as significant as Mr. Roberts’ large collection of  new findings, is his remarkable distillation of 150 years of royal descent scholarship. RD 900 incorporates research by 255 scholars/contributors, as found in monographs, journal articles, new genealogies, and compendia. Roberts’ principal sources include the recent multi-volume works by Douglas Richardson, series by Jacques Arnold, and Detlev Schwennicke, (this latter for German and Russian immigrants especially); the many contributions of John C. Brandon and John Anderson Brayton on U.S. and British royal lines; the improved and new Continental lines developed by John Blythe Dobson;  and much more.

Finally, the French Canadian section of RD 900 represents the first attempt at a published compendium of Quebec royal descents; much of it is derived from Memoires (especially articles by Roland-Yves Gagne) and Michigan’s Habitant Heritage (especially articles by Diane Wolford Sheppard). Highlights of the the new Canadian section include:

1/ 22 immigrants from France to Quebec

2/ 23 immigrants from Quebec to the U.S.

3) Almost ur-ancestors Catherine Baillon (married Jacques Miville) and Anne Couvent (married Philippe Amiot)

4) Couvent, and/or Baillon, plus a few other French-Canadian immigrants in RD 900, to Pierre and Justin Trudeau, and “near ancestors” of Jean Chretien, Jack Kerouac, Mike Gravel, Robert Goulet, Angelina Jolie (married Brad Pitt), Madonna, Mark and Donnie Wahlberg, Anna Paquin, Chloe Sevigny and Beyonce (Knowles, married to “Jay Z”, rapper). Notable RD immigrants themselves include Celine Dion, Alanis Morrisette, Ryan Gosling, and Justin Bieber.

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