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):
- Jane Austen
- Sir Francis Bacon
- (Queen) Anne Boleyn
- James Boswell
- Tycho Brahe
- Werner von Braun (and his wife)
- George Gordon, Lord Byron
- Sir Winston Churchill
- Hernan Cortes (W)
- Charles Robert Darwin (W)
- Jefferson Davis (W)
- John Dryden
- Henry Fielding
- Jean-Luc Godard (W)
- Dag Hammarskjold
- Patrick Henry
- Audrey Hepburn
- David Hume
- Francis Scott Key
- Marquis de Lafayette (and his wife)
- Robert E. Lee (W)
- John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough
- Karl Marx (W)
- Jacqueline (Bouvier) (Kennedy) Onassis
- Ezra Pound (W)
- Peter Paul Rubens
- Bertrand (3rd Earl) Russell
- The Marquis de Sade
- Percy Bysshe Shelley
- Edmund Spenser (W)
- Jonathan Swift
- Henry David Thoreau
- Leo, Count Tolstoy
- Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
- 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:
- Mrs. Rebecca Ward Allen
- Mrs. Mary Ward Cutting
- William Markham (1-3, Mass.)
- Leonard Chester
- Henry Gregory (4-5 Conn.)
- Rev. Gregory Dexter of R.I.
- Mrs. Katherine Duncanson Glen
- Mrs. Margaret Duncanson Teller
- Edward Howell of L.I. (7-9, N.Y.)
- Mrs. Mary Jones Lloyd of Penn.
- Mrs. Anne Talbot Darnall
- Mrs. Anne Fielder Gantt (Wight)
- Mrs. Margaret Domville Hatton (Banks) (11-13, Md.)
- Theophilus Hone of Va.
- 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.