by Bob Fields

On December 14:

Nostradamus (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

Tycho Brahe (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

King George VI (Image Credit: WikiTree)










1503 – Michel de Nostradamus, French astrologer, physician, and predictor of the future (d. 1566).
1546 – Tycho Brahe*, Danish astronomer and chemist, known for his accurate and comprehensive astronomical and planetary observations (d. 1601).
1895 – George VI of the United Kingdom, the “reluctant king” during /WW2. He was the last Emperor of India and the first Head of the Commonwealth. (d. 1952).
1896 – Jimmy Doolittle, American pilot and general, Medal of Honor recipient for the Doolittle Raid on Japan (d. 1993).
1897 – Margaret Chase Smith*, American educator and politician, the first woman to serve in both houses of the US Congress (d. 1995).
1911 – Spike Jones*, American singer, actor, and bandleader, who performed satirical arrangements of popular songs (d. 1965).
1935 – Lee Remick*, American actress (d. 1991) (Days of Wine and Roses, The Omen).
1946 – Patty Duke*, American actress and singer (The Miracle Worker, The Patty Duke Show, Screen Actors Guild  president).


James V (Image Credit: WikiTree)

George Washington (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

Prince Albert (IMage Credit: WikiTree)









1542 – James V of Scotland, son of King James IV of Scotland and his queen Margaret Tudor, a daughter of Henry VII of England. His daughter Mary Stuart becomes Mary, Queen of Scots (b. 1512).
1591 – Saint John of the Cross*, Spanish priest, a major figure of the Counter-Reformation (b. 1542). December 14 is his Christian feast day.
1799 – George Washington, American Revolution general and politician, 1st US President, after bloodletting to treat a throat inflammation caused him to lose half his blood volume (b. 1732).
1861 – Albert, Prince Consort, German husband of British Queen Victoria (b. 1819).
1902 – Julia Grant, wife of US President Ulysses S. Grant (b. 1826).
1943 – John Harvey Kellogg, American physician and businessman, co-invented corn flakes (b. 1852).
1947 – Stanley Baldwin, English Conservative politician, 3 time Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (b. 1867).
1953 – Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, American Pulitzer Prize author and academic (b. 1896) (The Yearling).
2013 – Peter O’Toole, Irish-English actor, holds the record for the most Academy Award acting nominations without a win (b. 1932) (Lawrence of Arabia, Becket, The Lion in Winter).

Other Events:

Max Planck (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

The Wright Flyer (Image Credit: Wikpedia)

Roald Amundsen (Image Credit: Wikipedia)









1812- The French invasion of Russia comes to an end as the remnants of the Grande Armée are expelled from Russia.
1900 – The birth of Quantum mechanics: Max Planck* presents a theoretical derivation of his black-body radiation law.
1903 – Orville and Wilbur Wright make their first attempt with the Wright Flyer at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, with minor damage. Repairs take 3 days, after which they successfully fly.
1911 – Roald Amundsen*’s Norwegian team becomes the first to reach the South Pole.
1918 – Friedrich Karl von Hessen*, brother-in-law of Kaiser Wilhelm, a German prince elected by the Parliament to become King Väinö I, renounces the Finnish throne, a year after declaring independence from Russia and shortly after Germany’s defeat in WW1.
1939 – Winter War: The Soviet Union is expelled from the League of Nations for invading Finland.
1946 – The United Nations General Assembly votes to establish its headquarters in New York City.
1981 – Arab-Israeli conflict: Israel annexes the Golan Heights, seized from Syria in 1967.
1995 – The Dayton Agreement is signed in Paris by the leaders of the Yugoslavia, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, putting an end to the 3 12-year-long Bosnian War.

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 December 13:

Mary Todd Lincoln (Image Credit: WikiTree)

Dick Van Dyke (Image Credit: WikiTree)

Christopher Plummer (Image Credit: Wikipedia)









1818 – Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of US President Abraham Lincoln (d. 1882).
1887 – Sergeant Alvin C. York, Medal of Honor recipient and pacifist in WW1 (d. 1964).
1920 – George P. Shultz*, American economist and politician, 60th US Secretary of State.
1925 – Dick Van Dyke, American actor, singer, and producer (Mary Poppins, The Dick Van Dyke Show).
1929 – Christopher Plummer, Canadian actor, singer, and producer. The oldest actor and person to win an Academy Award (The Sound of Music, The Thorn Birds, Beginners).
1934 – Richard D. Zanuck*, American film producer (d. 2012) (Driving Miss Daisy).
1948 – Ted Nugent*, American rock singer-songwriter (“Cat Scratch Fever“).
1967 – Jamie Foxx, American actor, singer, producer, and screenwriter (Ray, Django Unchained).


Emperor Frederick II (Image Credit: WikiTree)

Grandma Moses (Image Credit: WikiTree)

Admiral Spruance (Image Credit: Wikipedia)










558 – Childebert I, Frankish king of the Merovingian dynasty, who had many expeditions against Burgundy and the Visigoths (b. 496).
838 – Pepin I [Carolingian] King of Aquitaine (b. 797).
1250 – Frederick II, one of the most powerful Holy Roman Emperors of the Middle Ages and head of the House of Hohenstaufen (b. 1194).
1466 – Donatello, early Renaissance Florentine painter and sculptor (b. 1386).
1924 – Samuel Gompers, founded the American Federation of Labor (AFL) (b. 1850).
1961 – Grandma Moses, American folk artist who began painting in earnest at the age of 78 (b. 1860).
1969 -Raymond A. Spruance, American WW2 admiral and diplomat, commanded US naval forces during most of the significant naval battles that took place in the Pacific theater (b. 1886).

Other Events:

Battle of Fredricksburg (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

Nanking Massacre Victims (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

Capture of Saddam Hussein (Image Credit: Wikipedia)







1545 – The Council of Trent begins. Prompted by the Protestant Reformation, it has been described as the embodiment of the Counter-Reformation.
1577 – Sir Francis Drake sets sail from Plymouth, England, on his round-the-world voyage.
1642 – Abel Tasman* reaches New Zealand.
1862 – American Civil War: Battle of Fredericksburg: The futile frontal attacks of Union General Ambrose Burnside against entrenched Confederate defenders of Robert E. Lee on the heights behind the city is one of the most one-sided battles of the war.
1918 – Woodrow Wilson arrives at Brest, France, and travels to Versailles. He heads the American delegation to the peace conference for World War I. The first official visit by a U.S. president to Europe.
1937 – Sino-Japanese War: Battle of Nanking – The city falls to the Japanese, who rape and murder hundreds of thousands of civilians in the subsequent 6 week Rape of Nanking.
1972 – Apollo program: Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt “Moonwalk” of Apollo 17. They are the last humans to set foot on the Moon.
1981 – General Wojciech Jaruzelski declares martial law in Poland to prevent dismantling of the communist system by Solidarity.
2000 – Vice President Al Gore* reluctantly concedes defeat to Texas Governor George W. Bush in his bid for the presidency, following weeks of legal battles over the recounting of votes in Florida.
2003 – Iraq War: Operation Red Dawn – Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein* is captured near his home town of Tikrit.

 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 December 7, Pearl Harbor Day:

Lord Darnley (Image Credit: WikiTree)

Gian Lorenzo Bernini (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

Eli Wallach (Image Credit: Wikipedia)








1545 – Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley, English-Scottish king-consort to Mary, Queen of Scots, until his murder in 1567. Father of King James VI of Scotland and England.
1598 – Gian Lorenzo Bernini*, Italian sculptor and painter, created the Baroque style of sculpture (d. 1680).
1863 – Richard Warren Sears, American businessman, co-founded Sears Roebuck (d. 1914).
1873 – Willa Cather*, American frontier Pulitzer Prize author and poet (d. 1947) (One of Ours).
1860 – Sir Joseph Cook, founding member of the Australian Labor Party, 6th Prime Minister of Australia (d. 1947).
1888 – Hamilton Fish III*, US House of Representatives: prominent opponent of intervention in foreign affairs, and a critic of President Franklin D. Roosevelt  (d. 1991).
1915 – Eli Wallach*, American actor (d. 2014) (The Magnificent Seven, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly).
1923 – Ted Knight*, American actor (d. 1986) (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Caddyshack).
1928 – Noam Chomsky*, American philosopher, scientist, the “father of modern linguistics”.
1932 – Ellen Burstyn*, American actress (The Last Picture Show, The Exorcist , Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore).
1942 – Harry Chapin, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (d. 1981) (“Cat’s in the Cradle“).
1956 – Larry Bird*, basketball player and coach, 12-time NBA All-Star and 3 time League MVP.
1979 – Sara Bareilles*, American singer-songwriter and pianist (“Love Song“, The Sing-Off).
Eve of the Immaculate Conception.


Cicero (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

William Bligh (Image Credit: WikiTree)

Isaac C. Kidd (Image Credit: WikiTree)










43 BC – Marcus Tullius Cicero: Following Julius Caesar‘s death, Cicero became an enemy of Mark Antony in the ensuing power struggle. He was proscribedas an enemy of the state and assassinated.
983 – Otto II, Holy Roman Emperor, the youngest and sole surviving son of Otto the Great. He was succeeded by his three-year old son Otto III, plunging the Empire into a political crisis (b. 955).
1815 – Marshal Michel Ney, German-French general under Napoleon (b. 1769).
1817 – William Bligh, English admiral and politician, 4th Governor of New South Wales (b. 1754) (HMS Bounty).
1902 – Thomas Nast, German-American cartoonist (b. 1840).
1941 – Isaac C. Kidd, American admiral, Medal of Honor recipient, on the bridge of the USS Arizona (b. 1884).
1970 – Rube Goldberg*, American cartoonist, sculptor, and author (b. 1883) (Rube Goldberg machine).
1975 – Thornton Wilder, American author and playwright (b. 1897) (The Bridge of San Luis Rey,, Our Town).
1985 – Potter Stewart*, American soldier and US Supreme Court Justice (b. 1915).
2006 – Jeane Kirkpatrick*, American diplomat, the first female US Ambassador to the UN (b. 1926).
2011 – Harry Morgan*, American actor and director (b. 1915) (Dragnet , M*A*S*H ).

Other Events:

Marquis de Lafayette (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

David Lloyd George (Image Credit: WikiTree)

USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor (Image Credit: Wikipedia)











1776 – Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, arranges to enter the American military as a major general.
1787 – Delaware ratifies the US Constitution, becoming the first state.
1869 – American outlaw Jesse James commits his first confirmed bank robbery in Gallatin, Missouri.
1916David Lloyd George becomes prime minister of Britain, beginning the Wartime Coalition Government (1916-22).
1917 – World War I: The United States declares war on Austria-Hungary.
1941 – World War II: Attack on Pearl Harbor Hawaii – In a surprise attack on the US Pacific Fleet, 360 Imperial Japanese Navy warplanes from six aircraft carriers kill 2403 Americans, 1177 on the USS Arizona.
1963 – Videotaped instant replay was used for the first time in a live sports telecast during the Army-Navy football game on CBS.
1972 – Apollo 17, the last Apollo moon mission, is launched.
1982 – Charles Brooks, Jr.* is the first person to be executed by lethal injection in the US, in Texas.
2004 – Hamid Karzai* was sworn in as Afghanistan’s first popularly elected president.

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 December 6:

Henry VI of England (Image Credit: WikiTree)

Joyce Kilmer (Image Credit: WikiTree)

Ira Gershwin (Image Credit: WikiTree)









1421 – Henry VI, King of England 1422-61 and 1480-71. The Wars of the Roses commenced during his reign. (d. 1471).
1805 - Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin*, French magician, who inspired Houdini (d. 1861).
1833 - John S. Mosby, Confederate American colonel (d. 1916).
1886 - Joyce Kilmer, American soldier, author, and poet (d. 1918 in WW1) (“Trees“).
1896 - Ira Gershwin, American songwriter (d. 1983) (“I Got Rhythm“, “Someone to Watch Over Me“, Porgy and Bess).
1898 - Alfred Eisenstaedt*, German-American photographer and journalist (d. 1995) (V-J Day celebration in New York City).
1900 - Agnes Moorehead*, American radio, stage, film, and television actress (d. 1974) (Bewitched).
1920 - Dave Brubeck*, American jazz pianist and composer (d. 2012) (“Take Five“).
1924 - Wally Cox*, American actor (d. 1973) (Underdog).
1948 - JoBeth Williams*, American actress and director (PoltergeistThe Big Chill).
1953 - Tom Hulce*, American actor and producer (Amadeus, Animal House, The Hunchback of Notre Dame).
1967 - Judd Apatow*, American director, producer, and screenwriter (The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Bridesmaids).
Christian feast day: Nicholas of Myra: St Nicholas Day


St. Nick (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

Afonso I of Portugal (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

Jefferson Davis (Image Credit: WikiTree)










343 - Saint Nicholas* of Myra, Greek bishop and saint (b. 270) (Santa Claus).
1185 - Afonso I*, “the Fonder”,  the first King of Portugal (b. 1109).
1352 - Pope Clement VI*, who granted remission of sins to all who died of the Black Death (b. 1291).
1889 - Jefferson Davis, American general and politician, President of the Confederate States of America (b. 1808).
1892 - Werner von Siemens*, German businessman, founded the Siemens Company (b. 1816).
1949 - Lead Belly*, American folk and blues singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1888).
1988 - Roy Orbison*, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (Traveling Wilburys) (b. 1936) (“Only the Lonely“, “Crying“, “Pretty Woman“).
1993 - Don Ameche, American actor, voice artist, and comedian (b. 1908) (Heaven Can Wait, Cocoon).

Other Events:

Washington Monument (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

Edison's Phonograph (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

Gerald Ford (Image Credit: Wikipedia)








1492 – Columbus discovered Hispaniola (now Haiti and the Dominican Republic).
1865 – The Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution is ratified, banning slavery.
1877 – Thomas Edison demonstrated the first phonograph, with a recording of himself reciting “Mary Had a Little Lamb”.
1884 – The Washington Monument in Washington, D.C., is completed.
1907 – A coal mine explosion at Monongah, West Virginia, kills 362 workers.
1917 – Halifax Explosion: A munitions explosion in Nova Scotia kills more than 1,900 people, the largest artificial explosion up to that time.
1917 – Finland declares independence from Russia.
1922 - One year after the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty, the Irish Free State comes into existence.
1923 – Calvin Coolidge broadcasts the first a presidential radio address, during a joint session of Congress.
1969 - Meredith Hunter* is killed by Hells Angels during a Rolling Stones concert at the Altamont Speedway in California.
1973 – House minority leader Gerald R. Ford was sworn in as US Vice President, succeeding Spiro T. Agnew, who resigned after pleading no contest to income tax evasion.
1978 - Spain approves its latest constitution in a referendum to end years of dictatorship.
2003 – Army becomes the first team to finish 0-13 in major college football history, after a 34-6 loss to Navy (my Alma Mater).

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

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Hi WikiTreers,

Welcome to  another installment of “Meet our Members.” It’s time to get to know another awesome member of our community. Meet Peter:

Peter with his autosomal DNA admixture painting showing a full display of his 22 chromosomes

Peter is one of our wonderful WikiTree Leaders. He leads our Bahamas Project. He’s also been instrumental in many of the great advances we’ve made incorporating DNA features into WikiTree.

Surnames you are researching: Albury, Archer, Barnett, Bell, Bethel, Dekle, Driggers, Hull, Manning, Mercer, Miller, Moore, O’Conner, Pinder, Roundtree, Strode, Summerlin, Trapnell, Roberts, Russell, Rustin, Sawyer, Sasser, Williams.

Locations you are researching: Bahamas, Bermuda, Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia.

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

In the early 1970’s my mother shared her father’s collection of publications related to family reunions for descendants of our 18th century German immigrant John Dekle.  These descendant charts, family stories, and photographs of my mother’s family got me interested in my father’s ancestry from the Bahamas.  I was able to interview my father’s paternal Aunt Louise shortly before she died in 1978. Roberts is one of the most common surnames in the Bahamas so I was surprised to hear her state that our Roberts family is unrelated to the others.  I thought this was preposterous, but when I completed Y-DNA testing in 2004, I was able to confirm our Roberts line was indeed unrelated to all those remaining in the Bahamas.

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

Benjamin E. Roberts

My grandfather Benjamin E. Roberts is currently my favorite ancestor because I’ve been able to use WikiTree DNA features to confirm his direct paternal and maternal ancestral lines.  WikiTree’s profile feature also provided the opportunity for me to write his biography, and include his autograph and links to free-space profiles for his home that he personally constructed and the schooner he then used to transport his family from one island to another.

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

I inherited my mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from my mother who got hers from her mother, etc.; back all the way to Mary O’Connor. The family story is that her ancestry was from County Cork, Ireland. I recently discovered her father’s name when I was adding some of my old notes to WikiTree.  Mary’s mother is one of my most recent unknown ancestors and I’ve been trying to track her down for about 40 years.

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

From genetic genealogy I have learned that we are indeed all cousins of each other to some degree.  So everyone is related to everyone else.  The quest is to find what traditional genealogical records exist to help reveal HOW some of us are related.  I was very pleased to discover that Clara Barton is my 12th cousin 5 times removed. I greatly admire her pioneering work in nursing as well as her support of the women’s suffrage movement.

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

Philately, travel, and museums.

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

I’ve been active since July 2013.  Contributing to WikiTree is currently how I like to spend much of my personal free time.

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Check to verify that the person you are adding is not already in WikiTree.  Think in terms of “our” relatives rather than “my” relatives.  Find a project that interests you and volunteer to make contributions.

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

Be proactive in preserving our digital family history (photos, database information, stories, DNA test results, etc.) for your descendants as a way of honoring the great sacrifices your ancestors made which have contributed to your fortunate circumstances.

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

I love that WikiTree is the only crowd-sourced worldwide ancestral tree that associates your genetics with your genealogy.  The DNA features and the G2G forum are outstanding.  I’m disappointed when WikiTreers say they have been Y-DNA or mtDNA tested but don’t put their results in YSearch or MitoSearch and keep their family tree private so their Y-DNA and mtDNA results are not associated with their ancestry.  WikiTree is so easy to use on an iPad and it would be a huge mistake if future changes made iPad use more difficult.  I don’t care for the discourtesy and vandalism that sometimes occurs.  So far WikiTree has been a truly outstanding joy for me.  It is an exceedingly special world, and I hope it lasts the rest of my life.

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