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John French Ph.D.

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Signed 26 Feb 2018 | 78,261 contributions | 2,924 thank-yous | 872 connections
John R. French Ph.D.
Born 1940s.
Ancestors ancestors
Brother of and [private brother (1950s - unknown)]
[children unknown]
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Profile last modified | Created 26 Feb 2018 | Last significant change: 1 Jun 2023
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John Robert French was born 16 Sep 1949 in Syracuse, New York, the first child of Geraldine Frederica (Breed) French and Robert Howard French, of Clay, New York.

He was educated in the North Syracuse public schools, then at the State University of New York College of [Environmental Science and] Forestry, B.S. 1971, M.S. 1973; then at Michigan State University, Ph.D. 1976, with a dual degree in Botany and Plant Pathology.

Dr. French is a professional plant pathologist, initially trained in diseases of forest species. He centered his career upon supporting agriculture, reflecting his upbringing from an agriculturally focused family history.


  • First hand information from the profile creator John R. French Ph.D..
  • Breed Family Association archives, letter from Fred O. Breed to Miriam C. Nichols, December 21, 1967

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Perhaps You can share with Us Napier researchers Your proof of Judy Burk as a wife of Patrick Napier Sr? The burden of proof is on the Judy Burk people and they have no proof that marriage ever took place. I can proof most of His daughters are named after His wife Ann Franklin's family and His eldest son Edmund is named after His wife's father Edmund Franklin . While Ann Franklin and Patrick Napier sr were raising their family in Bedford Co in June 1767 and giving birth to their youngest son Patrick Napier Jr, Judy Burk was listed in a deed in Augusta in June 1767 as Judy Burk. Judith Burk is not listed in any other records after that 1767 deed abstract. Patrick Napier Sr was never in Augusta Co, and in fact after He left Bedford after the death of Edmund Franklin in Nov 1771 He moved back to where His napier family were from in Albermarle Co, Virginia and stayed there. In Dec of 1777 that area became Fluvanna Co, Virginia. They lived North of the Hardware River. Patrick Napier Sr and His family along with John Hammon sold out and moved out of Fluvanna in August of 1782 to Montgomery Co, Virginia where for the first time were in the same county as the Burk family. At this time all of Patrick Napier Sr's children were born to Ann Franklin. Not one document was ever found showing Judy Burk as a 2nd wife or any document found showing Patrick Napier Sr tied to the The Burk family. From what I understand if You add a family member You must include a source , so where is the source of Judy Burk as a wife or where is the proof. I appreciate Your efforts but I have studied this family for 25 years years and have found many new records that disproved Judy Burk as the mother of His children . There are not any records or supporting evidence to suggest He ever had a second wife. Until I see proof or evidence of this marriage to Patrick Napier Sr I removed Her as a 2nd spouse, because Oral tradition and hearsay is not sound research.
posted by Greg Napier
edited by Greg Napier

Not disagreeing with you, but you might want to address the FAG site at your earliest convenience. It’s cited as a key reference in the Patrick Napier profile here in Wikitree. Likewise the Familysearch database where this particular Patrick Napier is listed as spouse of Mary Judith Burke, with about 8 or 9 children resulting (some of their “12” are obvious duplicates). As you may know, the FSearch system operates pretty much the same as Wikitree, where you (or anyone else with an account) can make changes…hopefully supported by sources that you can identify. You must admit that the Napier-734 profile (on which you are a manager) itself is misleading because it cites the Familysearch database as a key source. So you might want to change that, either by deleting FSearch altogether or significantly upgrading the FSearch profile itself by detaching Mary Judith Burke (not Burk) and attaching “her” kids to Ann Franklin….of course by citing the more reliable sources that you might favor….

If contributors to the Wikitree system are confused, it probably derives from those situations where others have attached folks that may not belong. As I recall, this current situation came about as an outfall of a recent merge, so probably that’s how they all got “related” some way or another.

posted by John French Ph.D.
It's not a good idea to use the "family trees" in familysearch because they often are a mess. So often I see a "source" for an exact birth date and location but the "source" is a census giving only estimated birth and state.

I would suggest sticking to primary sources. That is use the Record Search function to find birth records, marriage records, census etc. and avoid "family trees". I do use them for clues but they are unreliable.

posted by Kim Williams
Again, not disagreeing with you either, just pointing out that the data in the other genealogical systems should be addressed, particularly since they are the only two sources being used to support the Napier-734 profile. Thus, whereas the initial post on this comment thread can say that Patrick Napier didn't marry Mary Judith Burk(e), both of the sources on his profile assert that he did. I might suggest an edit to the profile that would replace the current sentence "He was never married to Judith Burk aka Judy Burk." with something such as "No evidence has yet been put forth to substantiate that he was ever married to 'Judith Burk' or 'Judy Burk', or to anyone except Ann Franklin." As I previously recommended, someone should edit the FSearch profile accordingly, which is not difficult to do, and might save a lot of confusion.

As for FSearch, I use it the same way you do, to find potential traces. It is more useful than Wikitree for some purposes, though, because it does contain images of key documents (birth, marriage, death, etc.) which are in fact "primary". In contrast, Wikitree contains paltry few images, about which consistently has been my recommendation to others to be providing image files (jpg or pdf) for any profiles with which I am engaged. One thing that would be extremely helpful for Wikitree to do is to find some way of linking those image files so that users of this system could access them more expediently. As it is, we have to channel through FSearch, which to me is inexcusable if we might expect Wikitree to function well on its own in perpetuity.

posted by John French Ph.D.

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