by Bob Fields

On May 24:

Jean-Paul Marat (Image Credit: WikiTree)

Queen Victoria (Image Credit: WikiTree)

Bob Dylan (Image Credit: Wikipedia)










15 BC - Julius Caesar Germanicus, Roman commander (d. 19 AD).
1686 - Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit*, Polish-German physicist and engineer, developed the Fahrenheit scale (d. 1736).
1743 - Jean-Paul Marat, France, revolutionist (d. 1793).
1816 - Emanuel Leutze, US, painter (Washington Crossing the Delaware) (d. 1868).
1819 - Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom (d. 1901).
1854 - Louis Mountbatten, Prince of Battenberg, British Admiral (WW I) (d. 1921).
1941 - Bob Dylan, [Robert Zimmerman], singer/songwriter (“Blowin’ in the Wind“).
1945 - Priscilla Presley [Priscilla Ann Wagner], American actress (DallasNaked Gun), wife of Elvis Presley.
1955 - Rosanne Cash, country singer (Seven Year Ache, I Wonder). Wife of Johnny Cash.


David I of Scotland (Image Credit: WikiTree)

Copernicus (Image Credit: WikiTree)

William Lloyd Garrison (Image Credit: WikiTree)









1153 - David I of Scotland (b. 1083) (“Davidian Revolution“).
1543 - Nicolas Copernicus [Mikołaj Kopernik], astronomer, dies in Poland (b. 1473).
1879 - William Lloyd Garrison, abolitionist, newspaper editor (b. 1805) (The Liberator).
1941 – World War II: Battle of the Atlantic: the German Battleship Bismarck sinks the HMS Hood, killing 1415 men, all but three aboard.
1959 - John Foster Dulles, American soldier, lawyer, and politician, 52nd U.S. Secretary of State (b. 1888).
1974 - Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington, American pianist and composer, dies of cancer (b. 1899).
1995 - Harold Wilson*, British PM 1964-70 and 74-76 (b. 1916).

Other Events:

Peter Minuit (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

Simon Bolivar (Image Credit: WikiTree)

Samuel Morse (Image Credit: Wikipedia)











1626 - Peter Minuit* (1594-1638) buys Manhattan Island from the Indians for 60 Guilders ($1060 in current dollars).
1738 - John Wesley (1703 - 1791) is converted, launching the Methodist movement; celebrated annually by Methodists as Aldersgate Day.
1813 – South American leader Simón Bolívar  invades Venezuela, and is proclaimed El Libertador (“The Liberator”).
1818 - General Andrew Jackson captures Pensacola Florida.
1844 - Samuel Morse taps out “What hath God wrought”, the first telegraph message.
1846 - Gen Zachary Taylor (1784-1850) captures Monterrey in Mexican-American War.
1861 - Maj Gen Benjamin Butler (1818 – 1893) declares slaves “contraband of war”.
1883 - Brooklyn Bridge opened by President Arthur & Governor Cleveland after 14 years of construction.
1940 - Igor Sikorsky (1889-1972) performs the first successful single-rotor helicopter flight.
1943 – The Holocaust: Josef Mengele* (1911-1972) becomes chief medical officer of the Auschwitz concentration camp.

The individuals marked with “*” don’t have a profile on WikiTree yet. They can be added as part of the Notables Project.

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by Bob Fields 

On May 23:

Carl Linnaeus (Image Credit: WikiTree)

Franz Mesmer (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

John Bardeen (Image Credit: WikiTree)










1707 - Carl Linnaeus, Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, the father of modern taxonomy and ecology (d. 1778).
1734 - Franz Mesmer*, Austrian physician, developed use of hypnosis (d. 1815).
1810 – Margaret Fuller, American journalist, critic, and women’s rights advocate associated with the American transcendentalism movement (d. 1850).
1824 - Ambrose Burnside, American Union general, 30th Governor of Rhode Island (d. 1881).
1875 - Alfred P. Sloan*, American philanthropist, CEO of General Motors Corporation (d. 1966).
1883 - Douglas Fairbanks, American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter (d. 1939).
1908 - John Bardeen, American physicist and engineer, the only person to have won the Nobel Prize in Physics twice (d. 1991).
1910 - Margaret Wise Brown*, American children’s book author (d. 1952) (Goodnight Moon).
1910 - Scatman Crothers*, American actor singer, dancer, voiceover artist, and guitarist (d. 1986) (The ShiningThe Aristocats).
1933 - Joan Collins*, English actress, singer, and author (Dynasty).
1951 - Anatoly Karpov*, Russian chess player.
1958 - Drew Carey*, American actor and game show host (The Drew Carey Show).


Captain Kidd (Image Credit: WikiTree)

Bonnie and Clyde (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

John D. Rockefeller (Image Credit: WikiTree)










1125 - Henry V, Holy Roman Emperor (b. 1081).
1701 – Capt. William Kidd, Scottish pirate, is hanged in London, England (b. 1645).
1906 - Henrik Ibsen, Norwegian director, playwright, and poet (b. 1828) (Peer Gynt).
1934 – The American bank robbers Bonnie [Parker] and Clyde [Barrow] are ambushed by police and killed in Bienville Parish, Louisiana.
1937 - John D. Rockefeller, American businessman and philanthropist, founded the Standard Oil Company (b. 1839).
1945 – World War II: Heinrich Himmler*, the head of the Schutzstaffel [SS], commits suicide while in Allied custody (b. 1900).
1949 – The Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) is established.

Other Events:

Joan of Arc (Image Credit: WikiTree)

Catherine of Aragon (Image Credit: WikiTree)

Sgt. William Carney (Image Credit: WikiTree)











1430 - Siege of CompiègneJoan of Arc is captured by the Burgundians while leading an army to relieve Compiègne, handed over to the English, put on trial, burned at the stake, and canonized.

1533 – The marriage of King Henry VIII to Catherine of Aragon is declared null and void.
1568 – Dutch rebels defeat the Spanish Army in the Battle of Heiligerlee, opening the Eighty Years’ War.
1618 – The Second Defenestration of Prague precipitates the Thirty Years’ War, one of the longest, most destructive conflicts in European history.
1873 – The Canadian Parliament establishes the North-West Mounted Police, the forerunner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
1900 – American Civil War: Sergeant William Harvey Carney* of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry is awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism in the Assault on the Battery Wagnerin 1863, the first African American to receive this medal.
1915 – World War I: Italy joins the Allies after declaring war on Austria-Hungary.

The individuals marked with “*” don’t have a profile on WikiTree yet. They can be added as part of the Notables Project.

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Hi WikiTreers,

Welcome to a new installment of “Meet our Members.” It’s time to get to know another awesome member of our community. Meet Kitty.  She’s one of our wonderful WikiTree Leaders and heads up our DNA Project as well as our 1776 Project among other things.

Name:  Kitty Cooper-1 Smith

Surnames you are researching:  Cooper, Carroll, Moore, Hicks, Kieef, Perkins, Edwards, Smith, Siegfried, Bunnell, Pennepacker, Hayden, Day, White, Powell, Johnson, Hollis, Clary, Cargill, Thomas, Jones, etc. and

Locations you are researching:  Stratford Upon Avon, New England, Tennessee, Texas, California

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

My mother was our family historian.  In the 1950s & 60s, I spent many more afternoon picnics in old, quaint little cemeteries than I ever did at the local park.  We would go looking for old family gravestones and information. When mom passed in 2000, I thought I would post her research on the internet (Rootsweb).  From there, I expanded her research with the help of internet books and information.  Then came yDNA tests and I got totally wrapped up in finding family men to yDNA test for my research.  Then I became an administrator for a couple of FamilyTreeDNA projects, and finally today, I am completely enthralled with WikiTree and sourcing the unsupported profiles I encounter.  I know a profile will never be complete or finished, but I try to leave them in better shape than when I found them.  Kind of like that forest camping mantra, “Leave a campsite better than you found it.”

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

This week it is Christopher Smith-27264, my newest discovered immigrant ancestor discussed in the following brick wall section.

Tell us about a brick wall you were able to break down.

This is a very recent, huge WikiTree discovery. Collaboration makes all the difference!

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

Captain John Smyth-536, of Jamestown, Pocahontas Powhatan-3 and New England exploration fame.  Captain John is pretty much the holy grail of Smith family research.  Everyone wants to be related to him, but he had no children that we know of, so it is pretty hard to prove his family descendants. He remains the unreachable star in the Smith universe.

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

There is something other than genealogy?  I am a member of the DAR, but that is just genealogy in a different package.  I like traveling, but it usually involves genealogy research in some new library.  I love WikiTree and DNA research, but that is just genealogy, so I guess I don’t have any interests outside of genealogy.

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

I don’t know.  Three years?  I am very active on WikiTree, after all, I have no outside interests apart from genealogy (how sad is that!?!)

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

I love:

  • the Honor Code and refer to it often.
  • the flexible approach to the development and improvement of the profiles.
  • finding sources for forgotten, unsupported profiles.
  • successful collaboration.
  • meeting WikiTreers at RootsTech in Salt Lake City.

Don’t love as much?  ”Regrets, . . . I’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention.”

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Thank you for any donations of your time, energy and research to the profiles on our one world family tree. Start small and work slowly.  Start with your own profile.  Then create your parents and add sources to their profiles.  Then create your grandparents and add sources to their profiles.  Work on profiles from about 1700 to today.  Leave the ancient profiles alone until you understand the collaborative nature of WikiTree.  When you do add a pre-1700 profile, make sure you are not creating a duplicate with a different spelling of the surname.  And have fun!  Welcome to the WikiTree!

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

I can’t even imagine what my descendants might face.  Maybe, “Don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today, because if you enjoy it today you can do it again tomorrow.”  James Michener

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by Bob Fields

On May 17:

Edward Jenner (Image Credit: Wikipedia)


Alfonso XIII (Image Credit: WikiTree)


Dennis Hopper (Image Credit: Wikipedia)









1749 – Edward Jenner*, English physician and microbiologist, pioneer of smallpox vaccine (d. 1823).
1866 – Erik Satie*, French pianist and composer (d. 1925) (Gymnopédies).
1868 – Horace Elgin Dodge, American businessman, co-founded Dodge (d. 1920).
1886 – Alfonso XIII of Spain, who lost his throne in the Spanish Civil War (d. 1941).
1911 – Maureen O’Sullivan, Irish-American actress (d. 1998) (Jane in the Tarzan series).
1936 – Dennis Hopper, American actor and director (d. 2010) (Easy Rider).
1955 – Bill Paxton, American actor and director (Apollo 13Hatfields & McCoys).
1956 – Sugar Ray Leonard*, American boxer and actor.


Catherine I (Image Credit: Wikipedia)


John Jay (Image Credit: WikiTree)


John C Breckenridge (Image Credit: Wikipedia)









1510 – Sandro Botticelli*, Italian painter (b. 1445).
1536 – George Boleyn, 2nd Viscount Rochford is executed for incest with his sister Anne. The annulment of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn’s marriage occurs on the same day. (b. 1503).
1590 – Anne of Denmark is crowned Queen of Scotland.
1727 – Catherine I* of Russia, wife of Peter the Great, the first woman to rule Imperial Russia (b. 1684).
1829 – John Jay, American politician and diplomat, 1st Chief Justice of the United States (b. 1745)
1873 - Dorothy Richardson*, British author, one of the earliest modernist novelists to use stream of consciousness as a narrative technique (d. 1957).
1875 – John C. Breckinridge, American lawyer and politician, 14th Vice President 1857-61, only Senator convicted of treason, for joining the Confederate Army (b. 1821).
1992 – Lawrence Welk*, American accordion player and bandleader (b. 1903).
2004 – Tony Randall*, American actor, director, and producer (b. 1920) (The Odd Couple).
2012 – Donna Summer*, American singer-songwriter, the “queen of disco” (b. 1948).

Other Events:

Marquette and Jolliet (Image Credit: Wikipedia)


Supreme Court (Image Credit: Wikipedia)


Patty Hearst (Image Credit: Wikipedia)









1673 – Louis Jolliet and Jacques Marquette* begin exploring the Mississippi River.
1869 – Imperial Japanese forces defeat the  Tokugawa shogunate in the Battle of Hakodate, marking the end of the old feudal regime in Japan, and the end of armed resistance to the Meiji restoration.
1875 – Aristides wins the first Kentucky Derby.
1900 – Second Boer War: British troops relieve the siege of Mafeking, a decisive victory.
1940 – World War II: Germany occupies Brussels, Belgium.
1943 – World War II: the RAF Dambuster Raids on German dams.
1954 – The U.S. Supreme Court hands down a unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education, ruling that racial segregation in public educational facilities is unconstitutional.
1973 – Watergate scandal: Televised hearings begin in the U.S. Senate.
1974 – Police in Los Angeles raid the Symbionese Liberation Army‘s headquarters, killing six members. The SLA kidnapped Patty Hearst*.
1987 – An Iraqi fighter jet attacks the USS Stark, killing 37 and injuring 21 of her crew.

The individuals marked with “*” don’t have a profile on WikiTree yet. They can be added as part of the Notables Project.


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