Christopher Childs
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Christopher Childs

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Signed 6 Nov 2016 | 21,559 contributions | 1,602 thank-yous | 2,031 connections
Christopher Childs
Born 1940s.
Ancestors ancestors
Brother of , [private brother (1930s - unknown)], [private brother (1940s - unknown)] and [private sister (1940s - unknown)]
[children unknown]
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Profile last modified | Created 2 Oct 2016 | Last significant change: 1 Jun 2023
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Christopher Childs is a writer/activist, and a sometime actor who has specialized in historically-based theatre, television, and film. He is the former National Speaker for the U.S. branch of Greenpeace, and is the author of The Spirit's Terrain: Creativity, Activism, and Transformation (Beacon Press, Boston); he served as a volunteer leader for the North Star Chapter of the Sierra Club in Minnesota, and for the Minnesota Renewable Energy Society, between 2003 and 2010. He has toured nationally both for Greenpeace, and with the one-man show Clear Sky, Pure Light: an Evening with Henry David Thoreau, whose source material was published as a book by Penmaen Press in 1978. While he has been aware since childhood of the history of various branches of his ancestry – most notably, of his Quaker paternal ancestress Mary (Barrett) Dyer, and of his family's maternal Mayflower and Great Migration forebears – only in recent years has he delved seriously into the genealogical details.

A past thespian credit of his that may be of interest to genealogists with a particular focus on Salem and its infamous 1692 trials – especially those who have forebears who were victims of those proceedings – is his appearance in the mid-1980s PBS miniseries, Three Sovereigns for Sarah, which starred Vanessa Redgrave and vividly recreated the trials; he played the somewhat memorable, if appalling, Rev. Nicholas Noyes (see Noyes-531) of Salem Town. He was, perhaps fortunately, unaware at the time that he was a descendant of Susannah (North) Martin (see North-25), who was among those accused... and executed.

Now largely retired, in an average week, he devotes several-score hours to work on WikiTree, and is a member of the PGM Project Research crew.

Note: Christopher should not be confused with his near-namesake Christopher Child (no "s"), a well-known professional genealogist with the famous New England Historic and Genealogical Society. While Christopher Childs is a member of NEHGS, and aspires to meet professional standards in the results he logs on WikiTree, he does not think of his work as comparable to that of Mr. Child.

(It is however a curious irony that NEHGS is literally just up Boston's Newbury Street from Childs Gallery, the art gallery founded by Christopher Childs's father, Charles Dyer Childs, in 1937.)

Christopher Childs is a descendant of Mayflower Passenger Richard Warren.

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DNA Connections
It may be possible to confirm family relationships by comparing test results with Christopher or other carriers of his ancestors' Y-chromosome or mitochondrial DNA. Y-chromosome DNA test-takers in his direct paternal line on WikiTree:
  • Christopher Childs: Family Tree DNA Y-DNA Test 111 markers, haplogroup J-M172, FTDNA kit #636396
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Comments: 40

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Chris - I created a False Lines to Notables Project: Thought it might be something you would be interested in. Chase
posted by Chase Ashley
I know dupes are still possible so I sometimes do a search on the name to see if there might be one.
posted by Glenn Kittredge
Hello, Christopher

I have only just learned about the Southwicks, and am engrossed and appalled. My link to them is through the Hutchins, known to me for some time.

I am inspired to look into my Sawyer family's move from Lancaster to Connecticut, then up the Connecticut River to Vermont. I was never told about this specifically (like many, I waited for both parents' deaths before investigating!) but I assume they were not fervent Puritans.

My maternal grandmother was adopted by Mayflower descendants--she was the abandoned daughter of a domestic servant in their family. The father of my cousin, however, was descended from Alden and Mullins.

Perhaps it was sour grapes, but I know my Puritan family always felt superior to the rebellious Pilgrims...

Best, Margaret Shirley

posted by Margaret Shirley
The thing I was quite amazed to learn about Lawrence & Cassandra -- who, as you may know, died within three days of one another in the late spring of 1660 -- was that in their last days, at the home of Quaker sympathizer Nathaniel Sylvester on Shelter Island, NY (off the east end of Long Island), they would have shared the place with Mary (Barrett) Dyer, who stopped there for some period before returning to the mainland... and thence to Boston, where she faced certain execution at the hands of Gov. John Endecott. The Southwicks had made their way, a year earlier, from Massachusetts to the Island, exiled by Endecott; my understanding is that they suffered severely from exposure, and that although they survived for a year, that is what ultimately led to their deaths. Mary was trained by Anne Hutchinson as a midwife, and surely would have used her nursing skills to help care for the Southwicks while she was with them.

What we don't know (because we don't have exact dates) is whether she left Nathaniel Sylvester's house before or after the Southwicks' deaths. Whether or no, it seems reasonable to me -- though it is clearly conjectural -- to think that their plight, and/or their deaths, my have weighed in her decision to return to Boston and confront Endecott one more time. In my imagining, I can envision that she might well have been more greatly angered by Endecott's treatment of the older couple than by his harshness toward her. But, again, we do not actually know the details.

What we do know is that my maternal and paternal Quaker ancestors met and, to whatever degree, got to know each other... 270 years before my parents met... in Boston. And I find this early connection both rather striking, and heartwarming.

More later....

Cheers, Christopher

posted by Christopher Childs
Hello Christopher,

Jean Barto here. I checked things on my end and revised the birthdate, marriage info, and death location for the William Williams profile (Williams-56194) we discussed last week. I have Zilpah Wilder as the only wife for William Williams. Please continue to do what you are doing on the profile. Are you certain about the parents for Williams-56194? I looked at William Williams/Miriam Tyler but did not revise anything. I have the same in my tree on Ancestry and on my iMac, but with our previous discussions I wonder if it is accurate. I hope my reaching out again today is helpful.

posted by Jean (Stratton) Barto
Hi Christopher!

Thanks for contributing to Puritan Great Migration profiles over the last six months. Every little bit helps, so please keep those edits coming!

Like all WikiTree projects we check in with team members twice per year and it's that time again. Please respond within the next two weeks to let me know:

  1. If you'd like to continue as a PGM project team member
  2. If you're happy with the team you're on (Research and/or Profile Improvement) or if you'd like to make a change
  3. Optionally, what you like since the reboot back in May or what you think could be improved. This could be something about Discord, or Google Groups, or managed profile spreadsheets, or challenge participation or really anything. If you like everything the way it is, you can let me know that too :)

If you'd like to tell me about a particular project or family you're working on, I'd love to hear about that as well.

Please respond to this message by posting a reply below or sending me a private message on WikiTree. I look forward to hearing from you.

Many thanks!

Brad Stauf, PGM membership coordinator

posted by Brad Stauf
Hi, Brad -- thanks for the check-in,

Yes! -- I’m happy to continue as a member of the PGM Research crew.

I’m still spending anywhere from, say, 20-80 hours per week on WikiTree, but I’m afraid not much of it is visible to PGM folk. A lot of it (like the tree I’ve been immersed in for the last few weeks) consists in trying to connect downstream lines-of-interest far enough back upstream so they’re connected to PGM ancestors.

[The latest effort involves the tree of the wonderful, once-famous Maine author Louise Dickinson Rich (Dickinson-4598) -- a distant cousin of my Dickinson spouse, and an acquaintance of my own Maine-author aunt -- and her husband Ralph Rich (Rich-6214) -- a distant cousin of mine -- and I am now so far out in the branches that I’m not sure I remember how to get back to the trunk.  :oP  :o) ]

Discord, I’m afraid, just left me cold, and I haven’t checked in over there for more than three months. For slow-reading (and -writing) me, it was just one more chore to go to the site and try to sort out wheat from chaff. I’m much happier communicating via email (as in the reply note I just sent to Ken Nagel -- the fellow who just inquired about the rationale behind Solomon Keyes’s (Keyes-29) PGM status -- and copied to a pair of PGM group addresses, tho’ I’m not entirely sure whether both are functional, post-Discord). ... I at least skim every comment-related email I get via PGM, and save the ones that relate to profiles of particular interest. And once in a blue moon, respond.

That's the latest from out here in the T.C. (Minnesotan for Twin Cities). Still at it, even if my visible PGM appearances are limited.

Cheers, Christopher

posted by Christopher Childs
Thanks for your reply Christopher and thanks for sticking with the PGM team! 20-80 hours per week on WikiTree? Wow! Hopefully you're getting a good salary ;) Everything that helps our shared genealogy is a good contribution so thanks from all of us.

Thank you for the feedback on Discord, some people enjoy it and are using it frequently and others are in your same boat, which is fine. The Google Groups are still active and used on a daily basis so we want to keep all communication channels running, we don't want to "force" people onto a particular platform. I like email too and use it as often as possible but I understand a lot of folks don't like spreading their email around since the spammers will always find a way to grab it. Oh well, the internet is a blessing and a curse.

Thanks again and have a good day! Brad

posted by Brad Stauf
Hi Christopher, we are 5th cousins 2x removed. I am seeking digital copies of records for John Gilbert Jr.|Gilbert-7 and his son George, Gilbert-4770. If you have anything you can share I would greatly appreciate it!! Thank you!
That is a great and almost unbelievable story. It smacks of a Hollywood movie script. Actually, it's better than most current movie plots. Thanks for sharing it with me. dusty
posted by [Living Boren]
Hi again Christopher,

I have an Anna Anna Nichols on my tree and she has a bunch of ancestors. Just in case you haven't already checked them out. Good Luck, dusty

posted by [Living Boren]
Hi Christopher,

I replied to your message, I guess you didn't get it (yet)? I have too many profiles, about 2500. I would really appreciate it if you would take over as manager of any of the Nichol's profiles on your tree. Thanks, dusty

posted by [Living Boren]
Hey Christopher. your comment on Thomas Burnham-34 regarding Capt. Robert Andrews... see here: Andrews-1159.

states that the master of Angel Gabriel was unknown. If you know otherwise, it would be great if you corrected the record (uncle to Burnham bros.) I have read about the ill-fated Angel Gabriel and would like to know the answer. Thanks.

Ok, I think I got Samuel Tilton taken care of. I hope!
posted by Vickie Weber
Thank you for the heads up about Mary Tilton Chase's ancestry. I don't know why wikitree had William listed when I had the correct parents for her in my database on my computer.
posted by Vickie Weber
Thank you for the the info on Mary Chase.!
posted by Vickie Weber
It is a lovely home.
Thanks for your correction on the actuarial dates for Susannah (Mansfield) Breed. Regarding her parents, if she was "a daughter of Robert and Mary (Rand) Mansfield" do you have sufficient data on them to create their profiles and link them to her? Regards,


posted by John French Ph.D.
Hi Christopher,

Saw your recent comment at the Fuller-682 profile. I'm wondering if you're particularly familiar some of the early Fuller lines from colonial Massachusetts Bay. There are three Sarah Fullers on my mother's of whom is a total mystery. Perhaps born in Plainfield, CT around 1780. This may be too far along. Just curious. I have more background if interested. Thanks. Dave Jenkins

posted by Dave Jenkins

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