Falsely Pretending to be Related to Someone Famous

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Lusty Murfax

Sergeant
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
Location
Northwest Missouri
A few years ago, one of the CWT moderators ‘Chellers’ (I’m pretty sure that it was Chellers) happened to mentioned that she had an ancestor whom had been found guilty of witchcraft during the Salem witch trials, I thought then as I do now that I wish that I had an interesting character like that in my family tree. I expect that if I were to trace my family tree back to the 1600s it would be full of poachers, peasants and tax evaders...which was pretty much how the vast majority of people survived back then.
One of my Great Grandmothers was born in up-State New York. I traced several of her branches back to mid-17th century Massachusetts. Her 6th GGPa, George Soule came over on the Mayflower. I don't recall the specific names now, but one or two of her direct ancestors were witnesses or accusers during the Salem Witch Trials. Their names are listed on the WikiPedia page for the SWT, so I assume their participation was documented in the history books.
 

Mark F. Jenkins

Colonel
Member of the Year
Joined
Mar 31, 2012
Location
Central Ohio
I've never really understood the idea that one somehow inherits 'credit' from ancestors (e.g. the whole DAR thing). Who our ancestors are is just a repeated flip of the genetic coin. What they did can certainly be very interesting and might have affected how we ended up being where we are but it doesn't reflect on our character. We all have to earn our own way. I find ancestor worship unattractive.
I think it gets wrapped up in the question of identity... I'm from such-and-such a place, so therefore I acquire the qualities that I or others associate with that place; my father was so-and-so, so therefore I acquire qualities from him-- and him from his father, and so forth, so that one's sense of identity can be redefined backward to include one's family and ancestors. It doesn't bear close scrutiny, but I think it's a very common feeling.
 

John Winn

Captain
Joined
Mar 13, 2014
Location
State of Jefferson
I think it gets wrapped up in the question of identity... I'm from such-and-such a place, so therefore I acquire the qualities that I or others associate with that place; my father was so-and-so, so therefore I acquire qualities from him-- and him from his father, and so forth, so that one's sense of identity can be redefined backward to include one's family and ancestors. It doesn't bear close scrutiny, but I think it's a very common feeling.
Yes, I agree it's common. To be clear, I certainly do admire some of my ancestors and honor some and recognize their accomplishments, challenges, and perseverance. What I don't do is claim that I am in any way better or entitled because I just happen to descend from them.

When visiting family places (e.g. old houses, cemeteries) I often do reflect on their lives and how I've been affected (i.e. how it is I ended up being born where I was and such) so I do share a bit of a feeling of roots in a place. That's still different than feeling that I acquired any attributes from my ancestors. I'll admit I'm partly who I am because of certain advantages I had because of who my parents were but my character and my achievements are the result of what I did in my lifetime, not who they were.

Those who somehow feel entitled or better than others because of their ancestry are unattractive to me. In truth, I'm probably unattractive to them, too. Ain't that grand.
 
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Joined
Mar 19, 2019
Location
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
No Booths in my family but we do have Garretts from Virginia and I remember my dad saying we were related to the Garretts who owned the farm where John W. was killed. Turns out we're not related to those Garretts (that line has been well documented). Oh well. But hey - several of our guys were friends and neighbors of Thomas Jefferson. Almost as good.:D

I've never really understood the idea that one somehow inherits 'credit' from ancestors (e.g. the whole DAR thing). Who our ancestors are is just a repeated flip of the genetic coin. What they did can certainly be very interesting and might have affected how we ended up being where we are but it doesn't reflect on our character. We all have to earn our own way. I find ancestor worship unattractive.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the DAR thing because I learned a few years ago that I am eligible to join the DAR through my paternal grandfather’s side of the family. I love history, so it might possibly be interesting.

However, my late mom and both of my grandmothers wouldn’t be eligible to join.

I am not judging anyone who belongs. It just does not personally feel right for me to join a hereditary organization wouldn’t be open to my own mom and grandmothers.
 

DixieRifles

Captain
Joined
Mar 22, 2009
Location
Collierville, TN
I knew a guy in my Army Reserve unit who said he was descended from Edwin Booth (John's older brother). Is that a possibility?
Nein. I have the Booth tree.
It might be possible to have descended from JWB’s uncle or other distant kin. JWB’s father immigrated from England so that would take some research.
I dont remember the details but I believe the males disappeared 1 generation after JWB & siblings.
 
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DixieRifles

Captain
Joined
Mar 22, 2009
Location
Collierville, TN
I knew a guy in my Army Reserve unit who said he was descended from Edwin Booth (John's older brother). Is that a possibility?
But. . . .

Maybe he is related to Major Lionel F. Booth who was the commander of Fort Pillow on 12 April 1864.

You can tell where my mind gravitates to. I'm currently working on another PowerPoint presentation for an SCV Chapter where I will account for all Union officers in that battle.
 

Mark F. Jenkins

Colonel
Member of the Year
Joined
Mar 31, 2012
Location
Central Ohio
But. . . .

Maybe he is related to Major Lionel F. Booth who was the commander of Fort Pillow on 12 April 1864.

You can tell where my mind gravitates to. I'm currently working on another PowerPoint presentation for an SCV Chapter where I will account for all Union officers in that battle.
No, I'm sure it was Edwin, because I'd never heard of the guy before he told me about him. (Error, of course, is not impossible.)
 
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TomP

Sergeant
Joined
Sep 29, 2015
Location
Corinth, MS
Did you know John Wilkes Booth is really buried in Guntown, Mississippi? Such was the claim of a local family who believe he survived and made his way to the Magnolia State. It is only six miles from the Brice's Crossroads battlefield so check it out on your next visit.
Booth.jpg
 

TomP

Sergeant
Joined
Sep 29, 2015
Location
Corinth, MS
One of my Great Grandmothers was born in up-State New York. I traced several of her branches back to mid-17th century Massachusetts. Her 6th GGPa, George Soule came over on the Mayflower. I don't recall the specific names now, but one or two of her direct ancestors were witnesses or accusers during the Salem Witch Trials. Their names are listed on the WikiPedia page for the SWT, so I assume their participation was documented in the history books.
I also had an ancestor of the Mayflower, Richard Warren, my 11th-great-grandfather. Because of my connection to him I am also related to Ulysses S. Grant (3rd cousin) and a whole bunch of other famous folks. On the down side I have a connection to a magistrate who presided in the witch trials.
 

Mark F. Jenkins

Colonel
Member of the Year
Joined
Mar 31, 2012
Location
Central Ohio
I guess I need to clarify. He could be a descendant but not a BOOTH. Their BOOTH name ended with the last male descendant but they did have daughters.
I gotta find that Booth tree. You might find this info on FamousKin.com.
Oh, his name was Booth, all right. But as I said, there's nothing that says his information was correct; it's just what he told me.

It's sort of like my grandmother telling me that Agnes Moorehead ("Endora" on Bewitched) was a cousin through her Moorehead relatives, but I've been through that tree and it doesn't appear to be so. May just have been an assumption on Grandma's part (though she did know a LOT of her relatives)...
 
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Mark F. Jenkins

Colonel
Member of the Year
Joined
Mar 31, 2012
Location
Central Ohio
I believe that gets double points.
I was actually a little disappointed to find out I could trace to some "minorly famous" people, because it makes it tough for me to just say my ancestors were all farmers and laborers. Of course, the ones I can trace to are not really anybody to brag about-- like Franklin Pierce. :laugh: (But that's a correlative branch, not an ancestor.)
 

Lusty Murfax

Sergeant
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
Location
Northwest Missouri
I also had an ancestor of the Mayflower, Richard Warren, my 11th-great-grandfather. Because of my connection to him I am also related to Ulysses S. Grant (3rd cousin) and a whole bunch of other famous folks. On the down side I have a connection to a magistrate who presided in the witch trials.
I believe my 9th GGPa Soule was brought over with the Winslow family, as a teacher for the children. He was also among the survivors of the first winter at the Plymouth Colony and was a signer of the Mayflower compact. http://mayflowerhistory.com/soule/
 
Joined
Mar 19, 2019
Location
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
I was actually a little disappointed to find out I could trace to some "minorly famous" people, because it makes it tough for me to just say my ancestors were all farmers and laborers. Of course, the ones I can trace to are not really anybody to brag about-- like Franklin Pierce. :laugh: (But that's a correlative branch, not an ancestor.)
Well, Barbara Pierce Bush was distantly related to Franklin Pierce.
 
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Waterloo50

Major
Forum Host
Silver Patron
Joined
Jul 7, 2015
Location
Blighty.
Inspired by all of this talk about well known relatives, I decided to do some more work on my family tree, I’m exploring the maternal side of my family the ‘McNeills’, fortunately I was contacted by a family member who can trace the McNeill family tree back to the 1600’s and I’m currently waiting to see if the name John Hanson McNeill pops up. family legend has it that he’s a relative of mine, meanwhile, whilst I’m awaiting the email that contains the McNeill family tree, I think ill go and do some bushwhacking.
 

Zella

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
May 23, 2018
Nein. I have the Booth tree.
It might be possible to have descended from JWB’s uncle or other distant kin. JWB’s father immigrated from England so that would take some research.
I dont remember the details but I believe the males disappeared 1 generation after JWB & siblings.
John Wilkes Booth's father also had a family he abandoned in England before immigrating over with his mistress (who was the mother of John Wilkes and his siblings.) I think one of the sons from the first relationship survived into adulthood, but I have no clue if he had children himself.
 
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