When I was 16, I used Burke's Landed Gentry to demonstrate that the published ancestry of my ancestor William Wallace, back to the brother of the Scottish national hero, was a fabrication. I've been sniffing out bogus medieval pedigrees ever since.
Spending two weeks at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, I learned to read the old German script as I found a wealth of records for my Schmeeckle ancestors.
I discovered the European origin of my Amish Zimmerman ancestors; that led to an article published in Mennonite Family History. More recently, I traced my mother's mother's mother's (etc.) lineage back to Cornish miners, and beyond that, if I've arranged the puzzle pieces correctly, to the Prideaux family, with connections to several Magna Carta barons and their counterpart, King John.
I have a Master's Degree in History. While in graduate school, I stumbled across the official 1776 definition of "happiness," as used in the Declaration of Independence. In my master's thesis, I trace the 2000-year-old "family tree" of the Declaration. A summary is here.
DNA testing shows that my Amish Zimmermann ancestors (19th-century immigrants to the mid-west) are from the same Amish Zimmermann family from Steffisburg, canton Bern, that settled in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
William Clark, representative to the Connecticut General Assembly 1705-18, member of the Governor's Council 1719 and 1721, representative again in 1723 (Speaker of the House) and 1724 .
Peter Burkhalter, delegate to the Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention 1776, member of the Pennsylvania Assembly 1776-77 and 1784-88.
Prince Tobey, delegate to the Massacusetts General Court in 1782, 1783 and 1785.
William Hoagland, "Governor" of the squatter communities west of the Ohio River in the 1780s.
David Deshler, member of the Committee of Observation of Northampton Co., Penn. (the county's effective government with the dissolution of royal authority) 1774-76, delegate to the 1787 Pennsylvania convention that ratified the U.S. Constitution.
People Who Did Bad Things
Everybody's family tree contains stories that we aren't proud of. I think it's healthy to acknowledge the bad as well as the good in our family heritage, and perhaps it's good to keep in mind that those who are remembered for their misdeeds probably had their good points.
Thomas Pope couldn't get along with his neighbors; he finally left Plymouth after being fined for "vilifying the ministry."
John Schmeeckle's DNA has been tested for genealogical purposes. It may be possible to confirm family relationships by comparing test results with John or other carriers of his ancestors' Y-chromosome or mitochondrial DNA.
Y-chromosome DNA test-takers in his direct paternal line on WikiTree:
Family Tree DNA Y-DNA Test 37 markers, haplogroup R-M269, Ysearch JRZQN, FTDNA kit #231202
Mitochondrial DNA test-takers in the direct maternal line:
Family Tree DNA mtDNA Test Full Sequence, haplogroup H3b1b1, Mitosearch JRZQN, FTDNA kit #231202
It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with John:
Hi John, thanks for reaching out. My lineage is thru Johannes Otterbach (brother to Johann Herman) then son Henry -> Jacob -> Benjamin -> William W. You've done a great job on the profiles of these early settlers! I've enjoyed my time here on WikiTree.