Researching the Churchill Family

+12 votes

I have spent 15 + years researching the Churchill, and associated family names, of North America. I specialize in Nova Scotia Churchill research. I would be pleased to assist anyone with interest in North American Churchills, as well as share my research. I have a large data base of 23000+ names in many cases taking the genealogy to the start of the 20th. century.

George R Churchill

WikiTree profile: George Churchill
in The Tree House by George Churchill G2G6 Mach 8 (86.2k points)
retagged by Maggie N.
Thank you for the offer George.
My name is Samuel Raleigh Churchill and I'd love to find out if I was related to Winston. Thanks!

Good afternoon Sam:

I have posted a reply to G2G so that everyone can see the answer. It is a great question.


Hi Sam !: What a great question. I assume, by the question, that you are not a direct descendant of Prime Minister Winston Churchill. The short answer would then be, that anyone with the surname Churchill is likely very very distantly related to Sir Winston. The connection is so slim because, believe it or not Sir Winston's last name is not Churchill. It is technically Spencer-Churchill a hyphenated name. Somewhere along the line he and a few others in the family dropped the hyphen. The long story is that back in 1801 Sir Winstons's 2nd Great Grandfather, George Spencer petitioned the English Crown to change his surname to Spencer-Churchill from Spencer. This likely was done to gain family prestige from the Churchill name or perhaps secure ownership of financial and real property assets. Two generations further back to Charles Spencer, Sir Winston's 5th. Great Grandfather, who married Ann B Churchill; that is the connection to the Churchill Family. Ann was the daughter of John Churchill The First Duke of Marlborough. To get back to your question; if you can trace your paternal line back perhaps as far as the 15th. century in England and connect with a common ancestor with John Churchill the Duke, then the exact calculation to Sir Winston, the British Prime Minister can be determined. I am sure you can now see why I said very very distant relationship. This relationship is so distant it would be quite a stretch to put Sir Winston in your family tree. Thanks for the question. Please feel free to contact me at anytime. George R Churchill



2 Answers

+2 votes
Hey George.  We are 22 nd cousins. We share a 21 st grandfather.
by Trudy Roach G2G6 Pilot (183k points)
+2 votes

I am also interested in the Churchills. In fact, when we visited the old cemetery in Plympton to check out the Bryants, there are lots of gravestones of Churchills all in the same general area since there were multiple marriages between the families.

In fact, we are 9th cousins once removed. My maternal grandmother was a Bryant, and she goes all the way back to Stephen Bryant who came to Plymouth Colony on the Handmaid in 1630. He is our common ancestor as my 8th great grandfather and your 9th great grandfather.

His oldest daughter Abigail (b.1647) who married John Bryant was my ancestor, and her younger sister Mary (b.1654) who married Eleazer Churchill was your ancestor. Another even younger sister Lydia (b.1662) married William Pontus Churchill Sr. This probably accounts for so many Bryants and Churchills buried together.

See the relationship trail I requested between you and I with the results at

I noticed that the biography for Stephen Bryant needs some updating since it indicates that his daughter Mary and Sarah died young since there were no other records for them, but in fact the profile now show them both as married with many children. So perhaps the biography was not corrected after some merges occurred. That Mary was one of your ancestors.

William Cullen Bryant (Bryant-2989, b.1794), the famous romantic poet, journalist, and long-time editor of New York Evening Post, was a descendent of Stephen Bryant as well, although that does not seem to be reflected in WikiTree. He was my 3rd cousin 6 times removed. His grandfather, Ichabod Bryant (b.1699), was another son of Stephen Bryant, and brother of Abigail, Mary, and Lydia.

Doug Warren (Warren-4338)
by Doug Warren G2G1 (1.4k points)

Hi! Doug:

It is so nice to hear from you. I have always wondered about the Bryant and Warren families of Plymouth. William Churchill was born in Plymouth but lived most of his life in Plympton. He did however remain a member of the Church in Plymouth. There are Churchills in the old Burial Grounds at Plymouth as well. While researching my published genealogy, The Nova Scotia Churchill's, I had come across about 30 Bryants and Warrens. They are a key part of the history of the Plymouth Colony. Williams father John Churchill arrived in Plymouth abt. 1640-42 and married Hannah Pontus at Plymouth. A great deal of research has been done in an effort to locate his English father. It appears it is a Thomas Churchill of Ottery Saint Mary, Devonshire, b. abt. 1570, who married an Isolte Granger-Woolsay. I am 95.% assured, from a large pile of coincidental facts, that this is correct, but it is still one step away from being a pedigree. I have done some research in the English archives and a fair number of Warrens appear to come from the Cornwall area. Do you know your English ancestors? It was nice to hear from you. Please feel free to contact me at any time, if you have questions. Family history does tend to show us how small the world actually is.  

Regards: George Churchill

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