The Church of Latter Day Saints has always been a big part of American genealogy records. It has one of the very largest collection of records and is always adding to this. The Church's website, familysearch.org is an integral part of any genealogy project that one undertakes to complete. It came as no surprise to me when, this spring the website was completely redesigned. The purpose was to make searching easier.
One area in particular that had been lacking in comparison to other services like ancestry.com, was the ability to search other peoples family trees. There is a way to submit your family tree. You start with yourself, your spouse and parents. After you enter some information, you can do a search for the same people in other user-submitted family trees. So I began this process one day last week.
As I entered the Fleming family information on my mother's father's side, I had a lot of matching trees. So I added the people that were suggested. These were people I knew were the next in line from the work I had done and I was confident that I was only selecting the right people.
What I did not realize immediately was that when I added my mothers father from another user's family tree, I was also getting all of his ancestors from that tree.
So, here then are the people that can be found on familysearch.org in the Fleming tree. The particular branch that was the most interesting was the ancestors of Eleanor King who married David Fleming, my third great grandfather. Eleanor's mother was Elizabeth McCullough, and it is through this family that the tree goes back, according to the other user, some 2000 years.
If that isn't amazing enough, here are the people who can be found lurking in the branches along the way:
Governor John West, Governor of the Virginia Colony then called Jamestown (1590-1659)
Barons, Knights, Ladies, Earls, Princes, Counts, Countesses, Viscounts, Dukes and yes Kings and Queens too. King Phillippe III of France (1245-1285) makes an appearance as does King Carlo II of Naples (1254-1309) when their children married. And here is an interesting development. We all know from our history books that royals did a lot of strategic marrying. We also know that we are here today because someone back then was our ancestor. Once you find a royal line, there's probably more.
So I looked and here are some more:
King Louis IX of France (1214-1270), for whom Saint Louis, Missouri was named,
King Louis XIII of France (1187-1226),
James I, King of Aragon (1207-1276),
Andrew II, King of Hungary (1176-1235),
King Phillippe II of France (1165-1223),
King Louis XII of France (1120-1180),
King Louis VI of France (1079-1137),
Bertha de Holland, Queen of France (1055-1094)
Hugh Capet, King of France (939-996)
King Robert I of France (866-923)
King Henry I of England (1065-1135)
King Fulk V of Jerusalem (1092-1143)
Queen Margaret Atheling of Scotland (1047-1093)
Robert II The Pious King of France (972-1031)
Charlemagne, King of France (742-814)
Yes, THE Charlemagne.
But that is not all. Continuing further back we find several Roman Emperors in these lines as well.
So what do we make of all this? The Church has a phone number to call for help. I called and asked how correct is this information known to be. I got the answer I expected, back to 1600 or so, its probably pretty good, before that doubtful. Still, it only takes one person to have made a connections from 1600 to 1300 when the royals show up. I would say that this is very doubtful, but also very interesting as a new avenue to research further.
Who knows what might show up?