Hi WikiTreers,

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

Surnames you are researching: 

Brown, Coy, Evans, Giles, Hawley, Lewis, Little, Mayes, Morgan, Meador, Paddock, Zachary

Locations you are researching: 

Portland, Oregon; Denton County, Texas; McAlester, Oklahoma; Scandia, Kansas; Oneida, New York; Logan County and Sebastian County, Arkansas; Plymouth, Massachusetts

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

Haha, it started on a dare. Back in 2011, there was this news story about a little girl who had traced all of the presidents except one back to a common ancestor, who just happened to be King John “Lackland” Plantagenet. I had a friend at the time who was very into conspiracy theories, who was convinced that this was somehow proof of the Illuminati or New World Order lizard people or something. I tried to reason with her that King John was king so long ago (1199-1216!), he had thousands, if not millions of descendants. “Heck,” I said, “I’m probably related to him.”

She basically replied, “I’ll bet you’re not, and you probably can’t even prove it if you are.”

Well, that’s how it started. Within 6 months, I found the connection, proving that I was, in fact, directly descended from King John.

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why? 

John Thomas Mayes

Ooo, good question. I have a couple that really stand out, but I think the one that means the most to me is my great-great grandfather, John Thomas Mayes. He was a carpenter, and a mason. He and his family came over from Texas to Oregon in the late 1880s, and building a house in St. Johns (now Portland). I was born in Portland, and my grandfather was born just across the river in Vancouver, Washington.

I feel very connected to Portland area anyway, and the entire Willamette Valley, and the Mayes family settled all over that area. I actually have a photograph of John, his mother Pernetta (my ggg-grandmother), his daughter Bessie (my gg-aunt), and Bessie’s daughter, Ari, circa 1905 in Portland, OR. He’s sort of my Oregon Trail ancestor, even though he came over after the railroad had been constructed, his family actually came over by wagon.

Tell us about the brick wall you most want to tear down. 

I’ve never conclusively found out who the parents of my great-grandfather, James Arthur Morgan, are. Both my mother and I have worked on this for years. He was born in the tiny town of Scandia, Kansas in 1891. However, Kansas did not require birth records until 1911. He was an orphan, and living with his aunt and sister by 1900. Due to the destruction of the 1890 census, I have no record of his parents.

There are a couple of Morgans in Scandia in the 1885 and 1895 Kansas State Census, but I can’t determine if they are the right people. I’ve made an educated guess on who I think his parents are, based on James’ sister’s death certificate, but I know virtually nothing about them, where they come from, etc.

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

Bonnie Parker (of Bonnie and Clyde fame)! My father’s family swore that we were related to her for years and years, and I’ve got most of my dad’s family in my tree now, and I’ve found absolutely no connection to her. It’s so frustrating to think you are related to someone that you’re not.

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy? 

I collect dolls, and build dollhouses, as well as construct miniature furniture. I’ve even started making miniature food out of polymer clay, but not well enough that I’m ready to show that to anyone yet. I’m currently in college, working toward an Associates in Applied Sciences, and I hope to eventually earn a degree in Veterinary Medicine.

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

I’ve been a fan of WikiTree since the day I stumbled upon it in 2011, while trying to find a good way to compile and publish my family tree research. I’ve always found WikiTree to be very easy to learn and use. WikiTree has also given me the opportunity to meet dozens of distant cousins, share information and photographs, and learn more about my family. I also really love the collaborative aspect of WikiTree.

As far as aspects that I don’t love as much…that’s tougher. The development team of WikiTree is making improvements every day, and is incredibly responsive to feedback. Any time I’ve brought up a concern, or the Leaders have requested features, those requests usually become a reality in very short order.

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree? 

The key to working in a collaborative family tree site is cooperation. Listen, cooperate, respect, compromise…and document!!!. Citations are everything, and the reliability of a source can mean the difference between a good family tree and a fanciful one.

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

It’s better to do what’s right, even if it means doing it alone, than to do what’s wrong with 100 other people.

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Happy Monday WikiTreers!  See what you missed from WikiTree and around the genealogy community!

From the Community Abroad

From The Tree

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by Bob Fields

On October 19:

Martha Jefferson (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

Charles Merrill (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

Jack Anderson (Image Credit: Wikipedia)









1748 – Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson, wife of US President Thomas Jefferson (d. 1782).
1862 – Auguste Lumière, French director and producer, patented the cinematograph (d. 1954).
1885 – Charles Merrill*, American banker, co-founded Merrill Lynch Wealth Management (d. 1956).
1901 – Arleigh Burke*, American WW2 admiral (d. 1996).
1922 – Jack Anderson*, American journalist, syndicated columnist, and author. 1972 Pulitzer Prize winner (d. 2005).
1931 – John le Carré*, English intelligence officer and author (The Spy Who Came in from the Cold).
1932 – Robert Reed*, American stage, film and television actor and television director. (d. 1992) (The Brady Bunch).
1945 – John Lithgow*, American actor, musician, and author (The World According to Garp, Terms of Endearment, Footloose, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Dexter).
1969 – Trey Parker*, American actor, animator, producer, and screenwriter (South Park, The Book of Mormon).
1969 – John Edward*, American psychic and author (Crossing Over).


King John I (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

Jonathan Swift (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

Ernest Rutherford (Image Credit: Wikipedia)









1216 – John, King of England, who signed the Magna Carta (b. 1167).
1745 – Jonathan Swift*, Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer (b. 1667) (Gulliver’s Travels).
1937 – Ernest Rutherford*, New Zealand-English physicist and chemist, Nobel Prize in Chemistry laureate, the father of nuclear physics (b. 1871).
1978 – Gig Young*, American actor (b. 1913) (They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?).

Other Events:

Surrender at Yorktown (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

John Jay (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

Napoleon's Retreat From Moscow (Image Credit: Wikipedia)








202 BC -Battle of Zama: Roman legions under Scipio Africanus defeat Hannibal Barca, ending the Second Punic War. Carthage never again recovers supremacy.
1781 – At Yorktown, Virginia, British commander Lord Cornwallis surrenders to George Washington and the comte de Rochambeau*, effectively ending the American Revolution. The British bands played the song “The World Turned Upside Down.” Two years later, a formal treaty was signed.
1789 – John Jay is sworn in as the first Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court.
1796 – Alexander Hamilton, using a pseudonym in the Gazette of the United States, accuses widowed Thomas Jefferson of having an affair with his slave Sally Hemings. DNA evidence later shows this to likely be true.
1812 – Napoleon Bonaparte retreats from Moscow, one month after occupying the city. The Grande Armée lost over 480,000 out of 615,000 men during the Russian invasion.
1864 – Battle of Cedar CreekUnion Army under Philip Sheridan* destroys a Confederate Army under Jubal Early*. The final Confederate invasion of the North was effectively ended.
1914 – The First Battle of Ypres begins. The battle completed the entrenchments of the “race to the sea” and inaugurated the static western front.
1933 – Germany withdraws from the League of Nations.
1935 – The League of Nations places deliberately ineffectual economic sanctions on fascist Italy for its invasion of Ethiopia.
1950 – The People’s Republic of China joins the Korean War by sending thousands of troops across the Yalu River to fight United Nations forces. United Nations forces entered the North Korean capital of Pyongyang on the same day.
1960 – Cold War: The US imposes a trade embargo against Cuba, which remains in effect today, in response to Cuba’s seizure of U.S. properties and alignment with the Soviet Union.
2005 – Saddam Hussein* goes on trial in Baghdad for crimes against humanity.

The individuals marked with “*” don’t have a profile on WikiTree yet. Please help grow our tree.

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by Bob Fields

On October 18:

Edward Winslow (Image Credit: WikiTree)

Pierre Trudeau (Image Credit: WikiTree)

George C. Scott (Image Credit: Wikipedia)










1595 – Edward Winslow, Mayflower passenger, 3rd Governor of Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts (d. 1655).
1919 – Pierre Trudeau, Canadian lawyer, academic, and politician, 15th Prime Minister of Canada (d. 2000).
1926 – Chuck Berry*, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (“Johnny B. Goode“).
1927 – George C. Scott*, American actor and director (d. 1999) (Patton, Dr. Strangelove).
1935 – Peter Boyle*, American actor (d. 2006) (Young Frankenstein, Everybody Loves Raymond).
1960 – Jean-Claude Van Damme*, Belgian martial artist, actor, and director (Universal Soldier).
1961 – Wynton Marsalis*, American trumpet player, composer, and educator, Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center in NYC, Grammy and Pulitzer Prize winner.


Margaret Tudor (Image Credit: WikiTree)

Thomas Edison (Image Credit: WikiTree)

Bess Truman (Image Credit: Wikipedia)









1541 – Margaret Tudor, English wife of James IV of Scotland, elder sister of Henry VIII (b. 1489).
1871 – Charles Babbage*, English mathematician and engineer, invented the mechanical computer (b. 1791).
1931 – Thomas Edison, American inventor and businessman, invented the light bulb and phonograph (b. 1847).
1973 – Walt Kelly*, American comic illustrator and animator (b. 1913) (Pogo).
1982 – Bess Truman, wife of Harry S. Truman, 40th First Lady of the US (b. 1885).

Other Events:

Ferdinand and Isabella (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

DNA Structure (Image Credit: Wikipedia)











1469 – Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon are married, uniting the Spanish empire. They ordered the expulsion of all Jews and Muslims, established the Spanish Inquisition, and authorized the expeditions of Christopher Columbus.
1685 – King Louis XIV of France revokes the Edict of Nantes, which had established the legal toleration the Protestant Huguenots, driving an exodus and increasing the hostility of Protestant nations bordering France.
1767 – Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon* complete their survey of the boundary between Pennsylvania and Maryland, creating the  Mason-Dixon line. It served as a demarcation line for the legality of slavery.
1851 – Herman Melville‘s Moby-Dick is first published.
1867 – The US takes possession of Alaska after purchasing it from Russia for $7.2 million, negotiated by Secretary of State William H. Seward (1801-72).
1898 – The US takes possession of Puerto Rico after the Spanish-American War.
1922 – The British Broadcasting Company (BBC) is founded.
1942 – Vice. Adm. William F. Halsey replaces Vice Adm. Robert L. Ghormley* as commander, South Pacific.
1944 – World War II: Soviet Union begins the liberation of Czechoslovakia from Nazi Germany.
1945 – Argentine military officer and President Juan Perón marries actress Eva “Evita” Duarte*.
1962 – Francis Crick* and James D. Watson are awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine for determining the double-helix molecular structure of DNA.
1968 – The U.S. Olympic Committee suspends Tommie Smith* and John Carlos* for giving a “Black Power” salute during a victory ceremony at the Mexico City Olympics.
2007 – Karachi bombing: Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto* ends eight years of self-imposed exile. A suicide attack on her motorcade kills 139 and wounds 450. Bhutto is uninjured.

The individuals marked with “*” don’t have a profile on WikiTree yet. Please help grow our tree.

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