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John French Ph.D.

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Signed 26 Feb 2018 | 50670 contributions | 1668 thank-yous
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: 15 Jun 2021
01:21: Ken Schatz posted a comment on the page for John French Ph.D. [Thank Ken for this]
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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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Comments: 44

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John, Thanks for spotting the matche between John Knapp (Knapp-5824) and John Knapp (Knapp-1615). I have been wondering where my tree would merge into the larger tree on the Knapp side. I'm just not active enough to make discoveries like this. Good eyes. Again, thanks.
posted by Ken Schatz
John, I am in a muddle and I hope you can help me. I am trying to figure out my Brown family. Jedediah Brown(My 5th gr grandfather) Stonington, Conn, and wife Anna Holmes b 1733.

Ephraim Brown 1770 - 1830 m Deborah Brown. their dau, Lydia Brown b 1796 - 1854 in Stonington, Conn. Lydia married Ira Spear Frary .Do you know if I have the correct info? We must be cousins! Elaine

posted by Elaine (Gosser) Dodd
Hi Elaine, thanks for contacting me. From other "backchatter" on this Wikitree system I have gathered that there is a considerable degree of confusion about the ancestry, spousal relationships, and descendancy relationships of two different Ephraim Brown(s) who coincidentally were living about the same time, and in adjacent geography. Per the only published record on Lydia (the Brown volume II anthology which was published in 1915) Lydia was the fourth child of the Ephraim who married Deborah Brown (they were cousins). In turn, Lydia married her cousin Shepherd Brown. Her father, "our" Ephraim Brown (1770-1830) probably was a different person than the other Ephraim Brown (1768-1860), and who (perhaps, I don't know) married Mary Campbell. Perhaps he also married a Deborah too, however I have no way to corroborate that because I have no published records on that other Ephraim. He seems to have led most of his life in western and northwestern Connecticut, whereas "our" Ephraim spent his whole life in eastern and east central Connecticut. He never even left Stonington until the final 3 years of his life, dying in Columbia, in Tolland County.

It seems that a certain other contributor to this Wikitree system has uploaded some images of family tree type printouts that somehow connects them, however the validity of those postings has been questioned as probably specious (not necessarily real). Apparently the Wikitree data managers have been trying to sort out the situation, so at this time I'm taking a fairly hands-off approach and letting them do their work. In any case, I do not know of any published record that links "our" Lydia Brown with any husband other than Shepherd Brown; so therefore I would not necessarily accept or believe any representations to that effect. Frankly, there were other Lydia Browns living in Connecticut during this same time period, so I would in no way assume that a Lydia who may have married Ira Spear Frary was the same Lydia who married Shepherd Brown.

Sorry that I can't be of more help in linking us with certainty, but I must agree that we are cousins somehow. From my experience with genealogy databases, I've found that I'm cousins with just about everybody else(!). I guess that's the take-away for all of us who contribute to the 'tree. Keep up your good work and interest in keeping good records on our mutual family. Best regards, John

posted by John French Ph.D.
John, I'm still working on writing up the biographies in the Billings/Hewitt situation, but 1) Based on the will I found for Jonas, plus other things found, (with some help), Comfort was NOT married to Samuel...and since I have not been working out of History of Stonington until just this second, I need to point out that the children listed for #72 on page 423, are not the correct children...actually glad I didn't see that before because it would have added to the insanity that already was. Jonas did marry Temperance (Smith) Holmes and they did have 2 (two) children: John Smith Hewitt, b. about 1785 and Olive Hewitt, b. about 1784. (Children's names and who the daughters married is in the 2nd page of his will, which I attached as a .pdf.) If you know who the children listed actually belong to, I'd appreciate it if you would let me know. He also married 3rd Mary Palmer, who married somebody , then she married Jonas.
posted by T Counce
Happy to know that you concur with my comment on Comfort Billings probably not being married to Samuel Hewitt. I presume that you will now detach Billings-328 from him, then merge it with Billings-258.

I don't know where the 5 children of Jonas Hewitt listed on Wheeler p. 423 actually belong, or even if they truly existed. They do not appear in my database.

Good luck finding Jonas's 3rd wife. If her maiden surname truly was Palmer, you might investigate Mary (Palmer) Grant (abt.1753-1840), whose husband Noah Grant died about 40 years before she did.

posted by John French Ph.D.
Comfort has been disconnected, his profile and biography have been updated, including date of death, with a note that more research is needed of military records, to see if a location can be determined...not a priority for me at the moment, as I'm still working on the Holmes issue and the rest of Comfort Billings children, as well as Jonas's spouse. Mary was married to Isaiah Cook before she married Jonas. I'm also working on that. Plus I have another 4 profiles that I am working on...all concurrently...and I'm a bit overwhelmed at the moment.
posted by T Counce
I believe I found Temperance Smith in the Smith Family Reference, while it does not carry her forward, I believe that she married Thomas Holmes (#49, pg 437, History of Stonington)
posted by T Counce
Jedediah Holmes (Holmes-2227) has been updated, including his date and location of death, along with his story. I altered your information about the error in History of Stonington slightly. That was an education about Stonington, to a degree, as well. Thank you for bringing all of that to my attention. Working on the wife and children next, though wife is mostly done, just needs a little tweaking. Edited to add, by the way, his sister Mary is mentioned in his biography as well. I'm not 100% certain (yet) but I think the Lucy Holmes that is buried in the same cemetery, may be another of his sisters. I'm hoping the book I have arriving in the mail on Wed will tell me more. Also, wonder if you are related to the author of one of the references???? Have an awesome day.
posted by T Counce
edited by T Counce
Thanks for your good work, T. Things obviously weren't so "nice" for the Quakers back then, so your biographical sketch of Jed and his family are educational for me as well. Thanks for his death data, and for building profiles for their 2 kids. I didn't feel adequate about doing that, so your superior investigative skills are appreciated.

As far as I know, I don't have a John Homer French in my 'tree, however now that you inquired, I'll have to see where he came from. Who knows, probably all of us in Wikiland have a common ancestor somewhere(!). Thanks again.

posted by John French Ph.D.
I know you left your comment on Fish-60 ages ago, and I moved it from the biography to the comment section....and after two months of working on the research, insanity and biography of that profile, it's as finished as I am going to get it....but the answer to your comment is in there. And I don't know if the info in the biography will make any difference to your database, but just in case it does I wanted to draw your attention to it. No need to respond to me about this comment or anything in the biography...I am so done with that mess...don't even want to ever think about it again.
posted by T Counce
Thanks for your effort, T. I'm sure the Connecticut Project appreciates your input. Also thanks for your concern about my database, but no, the data in it match what currently appears in the Fish-60 profile, thus nothing has changed. Fortunately the advisory note that I originally posted will remain in the changes history in perpetuity (also in the comments section where you put it), allowing all future profile managers of Fish-60 to heed it. I always try to keep in mind that popular publications (magazines, pamphlets, and the like) from centuries ago often painted people's behaviors unfairly. Historical elevation of one's "stature" in society frequently was contrasted with intentional debasement of others'; hence I try to avoid terminology such as "in fact" within these profiles that we attempt to manage for our short tenure in the Wikitree process. I'm hopeful that these profiles will outlive all of us who contribute in the relatively dim light of today.
posted by John French Ph.D.
Hi John,

I am curious as to why you removed the inline citation (Pg 1087 Supplement) in this edit?



posted by William Foster Jr
As I recall, when I did the merge a few hours ago there were 2 identical references in the sources section, so I took out one. The supplement that you mentioned is still there as an in-line reference. So, at this point I don't see the source of your question.
posted by John French Ph.D.
edited by John French Ph.D.
I recovered the lost source information as part of this edit.
posted by William Foster Jr
edited by William Foster Jr
Because I don't know if you get the responses to the comments you leave on profiles, see Denison-331, for my response to your question.
posted by T Counce
Yes, I did. Thanks for sorting her out.
posted by John French Ph.D.
You're welcome. Thank you for giving me an easy one this time :)
posted by T Counce
Because you added yourself as the manager AFTER you proposed the merge, you have to go back and approve the merge of Denison-1826. I didn't know that until today, and I had to ask someone what happened, because when I approved it, it said it was waiting on your approval which I found rather odd since you are showing as the manager and you proposed the merge. Also, thank you for the opportunity to learn something new.
posted by T Counce
Follow up comment to what I said on Holmes-2227 in response to your query: Holmes-2227 is #2 on my profiles to come back to when I finish the nightmare of Fish-60 (There was a reason I walked away from the John Fish biography back in 2017...while I know more now than I did then, I still am having a really hard time with it because there is so much missing information between all of the references).
posted by T Counce
Denison-270, Did you mean that Jonathan Denison took on wife's name when they married or did you mean to type Jonathan Denison instead of Jonathan Williams?
posted by T Counce

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