Born 30 November 1874, Sir Winston Churchill was a British politician who became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. Winston Churchill is regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the 20th century.  He is the only British Prime Minister to have won the Nobel Prize in Literature and was the first person to be made an honorary citizen of the United States. (1)

Because his father died young, Sir Winston held the belief that he too would die young, so he better be quick about making his mark on the world. He certainly did that!  His other achievements include painting, writing, public speaker, historian, Army officer, plus holding various governmental positions over a period of 50 years. Some of his positions included: First Lord of the Admiralty, Home Secretary, President of the Board of Trade and Secretary of the State of War. (2)

Winston Churchill brought inspiration and the light of hope to the British people in some of their darkest days during World War II, with words such as: ““Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves, that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, ‘This was their finest hours.’”

On this day, 24 April,  in 1953, Winston Churchill was knighted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.   The Queen had offered to create him Duke of London but Churchill declined, due to objections from his son Randolph, who would have inherited the title after Churchill’s death.

View the full WikiTree profile of Sir Winston Churchill.

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{{Editor’s Note: Mary is a very active on WikiTree as a Greeter, Mentor and Integrator.  She also participates regularly in our G2G Forum and has done some wonderful work in our U.S. Presidents project!}}

Hi WikiTreers,

Welcome to our  eleventh installment of “Meet our Members”! It’s time to get to know another awesome person who is part of our outstanding community. Meet Mary:

Surnames you are researching: Hammond, Sweet, Montgomery

Locations you are researching: New York, Michigan, Utah

When and how did you get interested in genealogy and family history?

Many years ago. I was interested in finding out about my family history and it has led me down many roads.

Mary Todd Lincoln

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

This lady is not exactly an ancestor, but she was the wife of one of our American Presidents. Her name is Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of Abraham Lincoln. I feel she was treated unfairly during her time in the White House. She as many others had family split up in their beliefs because of the civil war. She faced sadness with the assassination of her husband and the deaths of her two sons. Depression was a major part of her life with the many trials she faced.

If you could pick one person in history to be related to, who would it be and why?

That would be Mary Todd Lincoln. She was a faithful companion to her husband. Always there to listen and advise.

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

I enjoy travelling, reading historic and mystery novels, listening to soft music, enjoying “Antique Roadshow” ,“The American Experience” and “Downton Abbey” on PBS.

How long have you been on WikiTree and how active are you?

I have been a member since 2012 and have joined projects for Greeters, Mentors, Integrators, Profile of the Week, Scottish Clans, and the New Netherland Settler’s Project. As I am retired, I am usually online during certain hours of the day.

 What are some of the features/aspects of WikiTree that you love/don’t love as much?

I love the ease it takes to create new profiles, the shortcuts to the helpful links we need to get around quickly and smoothly on WikiTree. What I don’t like is doing constant merging and editing of profiles that have no documentation . Many of the merges are of duplicate profiles.

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Try to show proof of documentation as to where you found your sources. A link to ancestry doesn’t help especially when there are no sources to prove your information. When you create a profile, make sure that the profile has no duplicates. Check the dates, location, spouses, and children. Keep in mind that our primary vision is to build a collaborative tree with just one profile per person. Use the G2G feed for questions you have and if you have problems or if you need some guidance, contact the mentors. They are a group of friendly people willing to help in any situation.

If you could leave one message for your descendants, what would it be?

If there are photographs, letters , or elder members of the family, try to find out where the photograph was taken, the year and location, and who the people were. Letters, find out who the people mentioned in the letter were, the dates and again the locations. The older generation, especially the WW II , the Korean Conflict and the Vietnam Veterans are all leaving us. Their stories are worth keeping. Sit down with them and listen to them and try to make sure you have a verbal or written copy of their memories.

Post Author: Eowyn the Forest Elf

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Born 23 April 1897, Lester Bowles Pearson was a Canadian professor, historian, statesman, diplomat and politician.  He won the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1957 for organizing the United Nations Emergency Force to resolve the Suez Canal Crisis. He was the 14th Prime Minister of Canada from 22 April 1963 to 20 April 1968.

How he got the nickname Mike:

When World War I  broke out in 1914, Pearson volunteered for service as a medical orderly with the University of Toronto Hospital Unit. In 1915, he entered overseas service with the Canadian Army Medical Corps as a stretcher bearer with the rank of private, and was later commissioned as a lieutenant. During this period of service he spent two years in Egypt and in Greece. He also spent time in the Serbian Army as a corporal and a medical orderly.In 1917, Pearson transferred to the Royal Flying Corps, since the Royal Canadian Air Force did not exist at that time, where he served as a flying officer until being sent home with injuries from two accidents. Pearson learned to fly at an air training school in Hendon, England. He survived an aeroplane crash during his first flight.

In 1918, Pearson was hit by a bus in London during a citywide blackout and he was sent home to recuperate, but then he was discharged from the service. It was as a pilot that he received the nickname of “Mike”, given to him by a flight instructor who felt that “Lester” was too mild a name for an airman. Thereafter, Pearson would use the name “Lester” on official documents and in public life, but was always addressed as “Mike” by friends and family. (1)


View Lester Pearson’s full WikiTree profile.

Lester Pearson’s profile is part of our Canadian History Project.

Post Author: Eowyn, the Forest Elf

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{{Editor’s Note: The authors of this post are Terry Wright and Eric Daly, two of the project leaders.}}

The Bushranger Project is a both a Heritage and a Historical Project from a relatively new nation but also an educational Project that will hopefully encourage members from other parts of the world to learn more about our Australian Bushranger.

There were more than 2000 Bushrangers that roamed the Australian countryside. Australia’s bushranging period spanned over 100 years, beginning with the convict bolters, from 1790 to the 1860s, through to the outlawed bushrangers of the 1860s and 1870s who were shot on sight, and drawing to a close after the shooting of Ned Kelly and the Kelly Gang at their last stand at Glenrowan.  New South Wales, Tasmania and Victoria are where most Bushrangers were known to originate with West Australia and South Australian only having a few notables. Bushrangers are part of Australia’s Heritage, with quite a few regarded as Heroes of Australian culture and folklore.

Ned Kelly's Wanted Poster

The most famous Australian Bushranger was Ned Kelly. He led the infamous Kelly Gang, comprised of himself, his brother Daniel (Dan) Kelly, Steve Hart and Joseph (Joe )Byrne.

The Frank Gardiner and Ben Hall Gang  roamed New South Wales in the 1860′s but before all these Bushrangers we had the convict bolters. These were convicts sent to Australia who then escaped and became Bushrangers – convicts like Alexander Pearce, the Bushranger who resorted to cannibalism to survive while he was on the run.

Eric Daly, another of this project’s leaders, emigrated from England with his parents in May 1967. His Grandfather was a Scot whose surname was Duffy. During his early education he was taught about famous Bushrangers. He became quite influenced in Australian culture and has followed Australian traits all his life despite being British by birth. He regards himself as Australian and being a member of WikiTree’s Bushranger Project allows him to show how proud of being an Aussie he is.

Captain Thunderbolt

There are a number of profiles on WikiTree for Bushrangers. From a personal standpoint Captain Thunderbolt aka Frederick Ward was my 4x great Uncle. His wife Mary Ann Bugg was one of only 3 Australian female Bushrangers! This is one of the reasons we have added all the Bushranger profiles to WikiTree.  I am interested in their lives, what they were like, how they lived and what drove them to become Bushrangers.

To learn more about the project or to join it, visit the Bushrangers Project page!

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Image Credit: Wikipedia

Born 22 April 1451, Isabella I, also known as Isabella the Catholic, was queen of Castile and León .  She and her husband, Ferdinand II of Aragon, brought stability to the kingdoms that lead to the political unification of Spain under their grandson, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. After struggling to claim her right to the throne, Queen Isabella reorganized the governmental system, brought the crime rate to the lowest it had been in years, and relieved the kingdom of the massive debt her brother had left behind. These reforms had a reach and influence that extended far beyond the borders of their kingdoms. Isabella and Ferdinand are known for supporting and financing Christopher Columbus‘ voyage to the New World.  Queen Isabella was granted the title Servant of God by  Catholic Church in 1974.

Her contemporaries described her as such:

  • Fernández de Oviedo: “To see her speak was divine.”
  • Andrés Bernáldez: “She was an endeavored woman, very powerful, very prudent, wise, very honest, chaste, devout, discreet, truthful, clear, without deceit. Who could count the excellences of this very Catholic and happy Queen, always very worthy of praises.”
  • Hernando del Pulgar: “She was very inclined to justice, so much so that she was reputed to follow more the path of rigor than that of mercy, and did so to remedy the great corruption of crimes that she found in the kingdom when she succeeded to the throne.”

View Isabella’s full WikiTree profile.  Can you add to it?

View other events that occurred on April 22.

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