July 2017 - Notables Monthly

+19 votes

Not wanting to step on your toes or anything, Scott, but I thought you had a good idea there, and I'd like to see it carry on. So, here's a thread for the Notables Project for this month:

Hear ye, hear ye! If you are interested in people who are famous, infamous, notable, noted, significant, important, historic, heroic, or otherwise fascinating, then the Notables Project might be for you!

This month's theme is actors and musicians (sometimes both).

Here are 10 notable people who do not yet have profiles on WikiTree:

  1. Leonard Bernstein - Connected!
  2. Beverly Sills - Connected!
  3. Donald Crisp - Connected!
  4. Hal David - Profile created
  5. Cleavon Little - Profile created
  6. Thomas Henry Sargent (Max Miller) - Connected!
  7. Ralph David Richardson - Connected!
  8. Jo Van Fleet - Connected!
  9. Haing S Ngor

Here are 10 notable people who have WikiTree profiles, but aren't connected to the main tree yet:

  1. Alan Arkin
  2. John Bonham - Connected!
  3. Yul Brynner - Connected!
  4. Karen Carpenter - Connected!
  5. Eva Cassidy - Connected!
  6. Ronald Colman - Connected!
  7. Ruth Elder - Connected!
  8. Freddie Mercury
  9. Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini
  10. Henry Purcell

And here are some notables who were in the news recently:

  1. Bill Underwood taught Canadian soldiers hand-to-hand combat during World War II
  2. George Hunter prolific Canadian photographer
  3. Charles Thacker co-developer of the first modern personal computer
  4. Jerry Nelson pioneer of large segmented optical telescopes
  5. Michael Bond creator of Paddington Bear (another story here)

in The Tree House by Greg Slade G2G6 Pilot (314k points)
edited by Greg Slade
All good - Greg! And Thanks!

Greg - here is Leonard Bernstein's profile (created 2014 ??)

Thank you for catching that, Isabelle. I had checked the profiles listed on the Notables Project page, but the difference in the first names through me off. Clearly, I should have dug more deeply. I have edited the project page to add a link to his profile.

Got him by navigating from profiles mentioned by Karen below. Not sure I would have found him without that, there are lots of Bernsteins. Thanks for updating the project page!
Speaking of Notables, has any one created a profile for the rock singer Chris Cornell?

It appears that he has a profile already.
Ralph Richardson should be showing as connected tomorrow, I also added a few notable Forbes-Robertsons to his wife's side, so they ought to be connected tomorrow as well.

I am in the process of moving those notables who have had profiles created from the https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Project:Notables#People_In_Need_of_a_WikiTree_Profile section down to the https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Project:Notables#Notable_Profiles_in_need_of_Improvement section. (I'll leave it up to somebody else to decide which profiles are good enough to be moved from the https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Project:Notables#Notable_Profiles_in_need_of_Improvement down to the https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Project:Notables#Notable_Profiles_-_Connected.21 section.) So that should make it easier to identify those notables who aren't yet on WIkiTree at all.
Sir Ralph David Richardson is now connected, Yippee!


Umm, you can add connected to #7 Ralph David Richardson now, as I connected him 6 days ago.


Sorry for the delay, Gillian. I've been busy.

11 Answers

+9 votes
Can I add one of my notables to this list for a challenge as well?

Actor Richard Dean Anderson. I joined the trust list for RDA but have not been able to continue.


Thank you.
by Robynne Lozier G2G6 Pilot (719k points)
Side note: he's one of my favorite actors.
I think I've got him connected through the Hall family.
Thank you so much Karen!!!!
RDA is descended from Jonathan Brewster of the Mayflower. Is there a template for being a Mayflower descendant? This also makes him 9th cousins with Ashley Judd. Thank you again so much!!

Robynne, I don't think templates like userboxes are used on non-members. I don't see a template for all descendants on our Mayflower project, just for the actual passengers and their immediate families. So many people would qualify that perhaps we decided not to use these.

I have added Richard Dean Anderson to the Notables Project page.

And, yes, I should say that if anyone has a notable profile that they want help with (sourcing, connecting, biography, wikidata, etc.) go ahead and post about it in this thread.
+7 votes
Nice Greg, thanks for posting this!
by Eowyn Langholf G2G Astronaut (1.5m points)
+7 votes
I added a very basic profile for Beverly Sills to get that one started and hope to come back to it later today but anyone who wishes feel free to add to that one.
by Dale Byers G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)

Just in case anyone needs the link...
Thanks Scott, I am still on my first cup of Tea so not quite awake yet.  I also added her parents and hope that I did the mother correctly with the names for her.
I will confess - I'm a Mountain Dew morning person. So drinking the unofficial "rocket fuel for humans" in the morning gives me a bit of ZING.
I added her husband and in the process I discovered that he was notable and they lived in the neighboring county to me for a time.  Small World.

One connection chain that others has made goes like this:
Louisa Warfield Brown (1799-1868), daughter of 

Sarah Gassaway (1776 - ) and Capt. John Riggs Brown (1775 - ), with Sarah daughter of 

Brice John Gassaway (1755 - 1806), son of Nicholas Gassaway (1719-1775 and probably not our Gassaway-181) and Catherine Worthington (1720-1788) 

Thank you for doing that, Dale. I have added a link to her new profile to the Notables Project page.

+6 votes

For Leonard Bernstein, other unsourced trees have this bit:

Elijah Case (1809 - ), son of 

Elijah Case (1776 - 1826), son of 

Elijah Case (1753 - ) and Silence Potter (1753 - ), Elijah is son of 

Alexander Case (1710 - 1790 Rhode Island)

and Silence granddaughter of Thomas Potter (1663 - 1728 Rhode Island)

I started linking this up and realized I was on a slippery, unsourced slope. Where would we find sources to back any of this up? I'm not an expert in colonial times unless we have good church and town records.


by Karen Lowe G2G6 Pilot (119k points)
I've added links to the 1920, 1930 and 1940 as they provide at least estimated dates for his parents and sibling(s).
+8 votes

Thanks for posting, Greg !

Here's a run-down (not necessarily comprehensive) of "my" shamefully franco-centric rogue's gallery:

- Bad news ! But no surprise there: Louis Braille still is not connected. (He's a tough one. His family is extremely modest and France quite under-represented. There are simply not enough profiles of ordinary people in his geographical area to get him a connection - yet).

- Created a profile for René Descartes (he was on a list of people who needed a profile, just here). He has a bit of family added, and he's "connectable" through a great-nephew who married a Du Guesclin descendant, but I haven't got around to it. Our friends from the Dutch Roots projects provided great source for Descartes's daughter (was kind of hoping they would have something on the little girl's mother? Maybe there is a possible connection on that side?)

- Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec's ancestry has been expanded and he is now connected (yay !). This is kind of my pet project and I enjoy the detective work of finding sources. He does need a LNAB change. Could the Project Protection be temporarily removed ? And I'd like to thank all the people who previously worked on Henri and his father and especially added the lovely pictures. I only adopted those two and added ancestors.

- Looking at Michel de Montaigne's family, I really should focus on getting a bio and better presented sources for a few of them ! His family was expanded and his connection fixed a few weeks ago.

- I'd like to work on French Presidents (or rather, Présidents de la République Française). Right now the project is limited to the category with a whopping 5 Presidents in it. I'm trying to get access to the profile of a fifth one. Of these, three are connected: Napoléon III, VGE (private) and Patrice de Mac Mahon. Casimir Perier is my next target.

- As if I did not have enough to do with the 42 unconnected notables on my error report. (Some of them share a family group, fortunately, so that's a bit less than 42 connections needed).

- I have adopted Josephine Baker (help needed !!! for her family, which is quite difficult to trace with only access to FamilySearch. Can anyone provide more?), and focus on the family of her husband, Jo Bouillon.

- Also created a profile for trail-blazing author Marguerite Yourcenar.

- Special thanks to Susan Tye for creating Simone Veil as soon  as her death was in the news !

by Isabelle Martin G2G6 Pilot (330k points)
edited by Isabelle Martin
I remember when we made that attempt to connect Louis Braille. He's still on my most unconnected watchlist, but I was at a dead end for him with the limited resources I have for those areas of France. I do recall that you were able to come up some additional connections, which I was very happy to see and became very hopeful that they might lead to other cousins - but unfortunately, it was not to be.

I still remain hopeful that as more information comes to light, we'll find a way to get his family line connected.

The best bet is probably to start exploring the in-laws - husbands of his sisters, aunts, cousins, and who their siblings married - and see where that leads. The Seine-et-Marne archives website is, unfortunately, excruciatingly slow. Tried adding a few guys hoping it might lead to another department, but no luck !

The Casimir-Perier family is now connected (through the Mosselmans, who are also ancestors of Queen Paola).

Moving on to the Poincaré family, with Poincaré-1 (Raymond Poincaré) as starting point.

+5 votes
I'll blame Abby on this one, but she got me focused on connecting Duke Ellington, and I hate to say it but I love a challenge. Unfortunately, I'm still on the hunt, have created numerous new profiles connected to him - but so far, nothing to connect him to the global tree.


Any help would be greatly appreciated. I have most recently stumbled upon a family that appears to have had some research done, so I'm hoping that something might shake loose from them.


Starting with him and working through his descendants, I've found a number of potential families to work with - including Napier, Riffe, Crawford, Vardiman, Stewart, Oldham, Green (or Gunn), Wilkinson, Carpenter, and I'm sure several others. I'm sure if I keep poking into these families, a connection will shake loose, but it just hasn't emerged as of yet.
by Scott Fulkerson G2G6 Pilot (776k points)
Duke Ellington is connected - announced in another thread.

I moved on to a recent passing - John Heard (father from Home Alone series) - he should be connected tomorrow.

Don't forget the Data Doctor "Notable Error Fix" thing that's going on - feel free to participate if you want to help clear up errors on Notables profiles.
+4 votes

I'm still slowly working on getting actor Ron Glass (Barney Miller & Serenity) connected. Scott is the PM on Ron, but I'm the PM on what's been found of his family so far. I've taken his paternal line as far as I can right now. I'll try making some progress on his maternal line this month.

by Debi Hoag G2G6 Pilot (257k points)
"A man can live on packaged food from here 'til Judgement Day if he has enough rosemary."
No luck making a connection yet but I did find obituaries for two of his siblings and created their profiles. His sister's obituary also reported that all her siblings except Ron had pre-deceased her, so included their names in the obituary abstracts.
+6 votes
I should have Yul Brynner connected through his ex-wife Jacqueline de Croisset and some French notables to the Polish house of Ludomirski.
by Karen Lowe G2G6 Pilot (119k points)
That's great news, Karen! Thanks!!!
+2 votes
We had two recent Notables who passed away over the weekend.

Martin Landau, famous for Mission Impossible, Space 1999, and a number of films, including his Academy Award Winning performance in Ed Wood.

George Romero, father of the modern horror genre - especially for his groundbreaking Night of the Living Dead.

Neither had a profile, but I did create a starter profile for Martin.

by Scott Fulkerson G2G6 Pilot (776k points)
Also Maryam Mirzakhani, first woman to ever receive the Fields medal, passed away this Saturday. She was only 40.

She'd be tough to connect though. I understand she was married to a Cezch born researcher.
I have Martin's parents and grandparents entered. Unless one of them married into a lucky connection, it might be a bit of a hunt to get him connected.
I had no idea that Martin had passed until I read this just now.

Can't believe I missed the original announcement last week!!

RIP Martin.
Martin Landau and Barbara Bain's families are created, to the best of my research so far, and no connection. Neither one appear to have large families or families that connect far outside their circles (both Jewish families), and the only connections I could find were to each other. Maybe someone will have better luck. I think they're only 2nd or 3rd generation US from Russia, and I've had very limited luck with trying to source into Russia.
+4 votes
I'm working on Ralph Richardson
Just a profile so far.
by Gillian Causier G2G6 Pilot (216k points)
edited by Gillian Causier
He should now be connected.
Great! Thanks, Gillian!!!
Thank you :)
The route I took through his wife's paternal line was hard slog so I came back to Sir Ralph and connected him in just 3 steps, up his mother's side.
+2 votes
I have connected Charles Dance


and Sir Peter Blake (from NZ which is why most people have never heard of him)


 and I am currently working on Karen Carpenter
by Robynne Lozier G2G6 Pilot (719k points)

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