Monday, September 19, 2011

Famous Flemings

From select surnames website:
Select Fleming Names

Sir Thomas Fleming was the Lord Chief Justice who sentenced Guy Fawkes and the gunpowder plotters in 1605.
Thomas Fleming
was the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin in the early 17th century.
Michael Fleming, a Catholic bishop, was regarded as the most influential Irish immigrant to have come to Newfoundland in the 19th century.
Sir Sandford Fleming was a Scots-born Canadian engineer and the creator of Standard Time.
Robert Fleming was a Scots financier from Dundee who founded the merchant bank Robert Fleming & Co.
Sir Alexander Fleming was the discoverer of penicillin in 1929, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize for medicine in 1945.
Victor Fleming was the director of two classic American films, Gone With The Wind and The Wizard of Oz.
Ian Fleming was the novelist and creator of James Bond.

Tommy Fleming from Sligo is one of Ireland's top singers.

Select Flemings Today
  • 28,000 in the UK (most numerous in Lanarkshire)
  • 28,000 in America (most numerous in Texas)
  • 35,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada).

Possible Royal Kinship

While Squire John Fleming is as far back as I have been able to get in our Fleming family tree, there is evidence that he descends from Scottish royalty. Here is a citation to make the argument:

From Linn's County History of Clinton, Pennsylvania

Prominent among the early settlers of the West Branch Valley was John Fleming, he was a descendant of the Earl of Wigton, a Scottish nobleman. The families descended from him still prize and use the earl's coat of arms. This very year (the year, John McCormick came to the neighborhood) he entered into the possession of the large track of land lying between the Susquehanna River and the Bald Eagle Creek, on which the city of Lockhaven now stands and part of the borough of Flemington, which he had purchased of the Rev. Dr. Francis Allison. After his demise which occurred in 1777, his land containing over 1600 acres was divided among his five sons and three daughters. John Mc Cormick, who had married his daughter Elizabeth, subsequently purchased the part that fell to her brother Joseph.That was the part commonly known as the "point" lying immediately west of the junction of the Susquehanna with the Bald Eagle.

The royal connections for the Earl of Wigton are well documented. The Earl of Wigton was descended from King James V of Scotland. If you climb his tree further you will find a daughter of the famous rebel Robert The Bruce who married James I of Scotland.

While this is a citation, it is far from complete. It indicates this lineage but we do not know what the exact family tree was and, therefore, still must look for proof.

This is not the only royal connection to the Flemings. The Bartlett family is said to descend from William the Conqueror. the first Norman King of England, pictured above. He lived from 1028 to 1090, about. While this is a very long time ago, it is not that far fetched. The Bartlett family had a chapel on their property in England within which was a bible recording the previous 300 years of baptisms, marriages and deaths. This would take us back from 1600 to 1300, and someone as famous as this would be remembered for that long.

Goodeth Gilman is said to be related to royals and Mary Stearns is said to descend from the last queen of Albania. I have listed these ladies in my lineage previously.

But, in all of these cases, we have to look much further for definitive proof.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Squire John Fleming

Pictured here is the current view from John Fleming's land on the Susquehanna River near Lock Haven Pennsylvania. As you will see from his will he owned quite a large tract of land. He and his wife Mary had eight children. His son David is the one from which I descend. One of his children, John, went on to become a judge. Flemington, Pennsylvania is named after him.

His will was written May 1, 1777. He died a few days later, May 6, 1777. It remains on file in the county records of Northumberland County located in Sunbury, Pennsylvania.

In the name of God Amen, I, John Fleming, of Bald Eagle township, in the county of Northumberland and the state of Pennsylvania, farmer, being sound in mind and memory, thanks be to Almighty God for his mercies. but at the same time knowing the uncertainty of this fleeting and transitory life, and do make and publish this my last will and testament in manner following, that is to say;

First: I recommend my soul to God that gave it, and my body I commit to the grave; I desire that after my decease, that my just debts be paid, and I give and bequeath until my well beloved son Robert Fleming the place whereon William Reed now lives of two hundred acres, and to my well beloved son Joseph Fleming two hundred acres at his choice, except the place I live on; and to my well beloved daughter Rosana Jameson, one hundred acres of land or one hundred pounds as soon as conscience will admit, and to my well beloved daughter Elizabeth Fleming one hundred acres of land or one hundred pounds in money aforesaid,

And to my well beloved son John Fleming two hundred acres of land, and to my well beloved daughter Mary Fleming one Hundred acres of land or one hundred pounds to be paid in manner aforesaid. and to my well beloved son Ezekiel Fleming two hundred acres of land and to my well beloved son David Fleming the place whereon I now live, and the stock to be divided in equality among them, that are of age, and the aforesaid land to them their heirs and assigns forever, and I do order and appoint my BROTHER Robert Fleming Executor, together with my sons Robert Fleming and Joseph Fleming Executors, of this my last Will and Testament, hereby revoking all former Wills by me made, and do declare this to be my last will and testament. In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal, this first day of May 1777 John Fleming signed in presence of us, John McCormick, William Reed, John Fleming (Seal)

His will was probated on June 13, 1777. There was no mention of any provisions for his wife, Mary, so she is presumed to have deceased before this time.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

More Presidential Kinships

Completing my research on the advice of Gary Boyd Roberts to look at the Perkins family, I have discovered several more presidential kinship worthy of mention.
Thomas Perkins was born in England in 1525. Through the chart below, he became my tenth great grandfather. He is also connected to a number of U. S. Presidents.
Thomas Perkins is the 10th great grandfather of Calvin Coolidge(30), the ninth great grandfather of Franklin Delano Roosevelt(32) and Richard Nixon(37), and the eighth great grandfather of Millard Fillmore(13).
Here is the line of descent into the Fleming family;
My tenth great grandparents: Thomas Perkins = Alice Kebble
My ninth great grandparents: Henry Perkins = Elizabeth Sawbridge
My eighth great grandparents: John Perkins = Judith Gater
My seventh great grandparents: Rev. Thomas Wells = Mary Perkins
My sixth great grandparents: Moses Chase Jr. = Elizabeth Wells
My fifth great grandparents: Seth Chase = Elizabeth Bartlett
My fourth great grandparents: Rebecca Chase = John Bartlett
My third great grandparents: Silas Leland = Lucina Bartlett
My second great grandparents: Robert King Fleming = Lucina Leland
My great grandparents: Thomas H. B. Fleming = Ellen Giblin
My grandparents: John Leland Fleming = Margaret Finnegan

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Our Connections to various Presidents

Once again, thanks to the help I received at the New England Historical and Genealogical Association from Gary Boyd Roberts, I discovered a number of Presidents of the United States which we have kinship to. Gary Boyd Roberts has literally written the book(s) on the ancestry of the United States Presidents. Each time a new President is elected, Gary updates and publishes another book. His most recent publication was in 2009 after President Obama was elected. He has also done research on various royal family lines and published those works. When Gary advised the group he would work with each of us for two hours, we were sure to learn some interesting things. Here is a little background on Gary. He grew up in Texas, went to Yale and has worked in genealogy his whole adult life. Gary has a great memory for names and history. He has a few beliefs that are quirky. He refuses to use computers, ATM machines, cell phones or credit cards. When Gary was tearing my Fleming family tree apart, and ran into the name Aquila Chase, he told me we had kinship with a number of presidents. Below is my line back to Aquila Chase and his wife Anne Wheeler.

My ninth great grandparents : John Wheeler - Agnes Yeomans
My eighth great grandparents: Aquila Chase - Anne Wheeler
My seventh great grandparents : Moses Chase - Anne Follansbee
My sixth great grandparents : Moses Chase Jr. - Elizabeth Wells
My fifth great grandparents : Elizabeth Bartlett - Seth Chase
My fourth great grandparents : Rebecca Chase - John Bartlett (cousins)
My third great grandparents : Lucina Bartlett - Silas Leland
My second great grandparents : Robert King Fleming - Lucina Leland
My great grandparents : Ellen Giblin - Thomas Hart Benton Fleming
My grandparents: John Leland Fleming - Margaret Finnegan

John Wheeler is the ninth great grandfather of:
1) Leslie Lynch King, Jr., whose name was legally changed to Gerald Rudolph Ford, Jr.,the 38th U. S. President,
2) George Herbert Walker Bush, 41st U. S. President and
3) Herbert Clark Hoover, 31st U. S. President.
He was also the tenth great grandfather of George Walker Bush, 43rd U.S. President, and the sixth great grandfather of James Abram Garfield, 20th U. S. President. All of this is straight out of Gary Boyd Roberts book "Ancestors of American Presidents" 2009 Edition.
There is another line that may connect us to a few more Presidents: Nixon, Coolidge, Fillmore and FDR. I have a little research to do on this line.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Salem Witchcraft Trials 1692

One of the things that I was most surprised to learn was of our familial connection with the Salem Witchcraft Trials of 1692. This had never been mentioned by my mother as a possibility. However, once you trace your ancestry to families living in Massachusetts before 1700, pretty much anything is possible. There just were not that many people living in Massachusetts that early.
Once Gary Boyd Roberts had noticed the family name of Towne in our Fleming and Leland lines, he focused on this possibility.
There were three Towne sisters who were convicted of Witchcraft. They were all married: Sarah Towne Cloyse, Rebecca Towne Nurse and Mary Towne Estey(Esty). Mary and Rebecca were executed and Sarah was condemned but never executed. In referring to these three sisters, it should be noted that the state of Massachusetts paid the families a settlement less than twenty years after their death, for wrongful death. They were clearly the victims of some Puritan hysteria.
What Gary discovered for me is that Jacob Towne, brother to these three, was my 8th great grandfather. His father William Towne, father of the three, was my 9th great grandfather. This makes Mary, Rebecca and Sarah my eighth great grand aunts.
According to "The Towne Family" by Lois Payne Hoover,William Towne, son of John Towne and Elizabeth Clarke, was baptized March 18, 1598/99 at St. Nicholas Church, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England, and died before July 24, 1673 in Topsfield, Essex, Massachusetts. He married Joanna Blessing April 25, 1620, also at St. Nicholas Church. Joanna had been baptized June 22, 1595 at Holy Trinity Church, Caister-on-Sea, Norfolk, England. Her parents were John Blessing and Jone. Joanna died before January 17, 1682/3, in Topsfield. Neither William nor Joanna lived to see their daughters accused of witchcraft. Much of this research was attributed to the Parish Register of St. Nicholas Church. This register also confirms the baptisms of the first six Towne children and the burial of child Susan.
There is a Towne Family Association that has verified these facts over the years. The Towne family is now holding an annual family reunion. Next year, 2012, they will meet for a tour of the various locations in England where the family lived.
On September 26, 1635, William and Joanna were cited for failing to appear for communion at St. Nicholas Church, and were labeled "Separatists, William and Joanna Towne, his wife" according to the Norwich Consistory & Archdeaconry Visitation Records. The term Separatists meant that they were no longer attending church but did not mean they had left England.
William Towne is first seen in Massachusetts records in 1640 when he was granted ten acres of land in the Northfields area of Salem.

Here by generation is the Towne family in relation to me:

My ninth great grandparents: William Towne = Joanna Blessing

My eighth great grandparents: Jacob Towne = Catherine Symonds

My seventh great grandparents: John Towne = Mary Smith

My sixth great grandparents: Isaac Towne = Susannah Haven

My fifth great grandparents: John Haven = Susanna Towne

My fourth great grandparents: Lois Haven = Solomon Leland

My third great grandparents: Silas Leland = Lucina Bartlett

My Second great grandparents: Robert King Fleming = Lucina Leland

My great grandparents: Thomas H B Fleming = Ellen Giblin

My grandparents: John Leland Fleming = Margaret Finnegan