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:
John, thanks for looking at William Norwood as a possible Gateway Ancestor. I think upgrading his profile and that of his possible father Richard would be a good way for me to get a hands-on start into getting a profile up to Magna Carta Project Standards. I may have questions along the way, but looking forward to it.
Thank you John with helping on the Boscawen. I can always use the help on any of my family. Again ty Cousin. I really like how you did your biography on your front page. Wish i was that smart and creative :). Again ty John
John that ASSUMPTION that James was indicated as the husband of Margaret in error was made for some reason and it should be investigated until the question is resolved. The information puts the ASSUMED marriage of Margaret to James in question as well. And unfortuntely the Randy McConnell information does not nail anything down since he does not seem to have cited any sources. If primary records exist I will find them so this issue can be put to rest.
By the way John Randy McConnell posts this disclaimer at the beginning of his post. I'm sure you saw it ?
NOTE: I do not trace ancestors in Europe because a) I have no independent means of verifying the relationships and b) the lines drawn by many “researchers” are so thread-bare as to lack credibility. However, the Scottish Johnston/Johnstones were of noble rank, and their lineages were maintained in royal records.
The record that you state bases the marriage of Margaret to John as a mis-record cites St Nicholas Kirk parish records as it's source which would make it more than an assumption that the marriage to James was mis-recorded. I am not going to re-add Faith as the mother at this point. I'm also not going to add Margaret as 2nd wife as the evidence at this point does not support doing so. I'm looking for better sources including the parish records cited.
By the way, thanks for including the link to the Randy McConnell post. All those folks mentioned the Johns(t)on,s Allens and Masseys are connected to my line (for the moment anyway). Unfortunately this blog ? post is largely unsourced so is not a source that we are going to be able to refer to with much confidence.
I am following up on the question of who James Johnston married. Although you indicated that James married (1st) Margaret Anderson, (no sources added) there is at least two sources that indicate James's brother, John Johnston of Bishopstown in Newhills, born in Dyce, in 1649, married, in 1672, Margaret, daughter and co-heiress of John Alexander, Genealogical account of the family of Johnston of that Ilk, formerly of Caskieben, in the shire of Aberdeen, and of its principal branches Pg. 17. Of particular interest is the note at the bottom of the page regarding James Johnston. Also refer to : Davidson, John. 1878. Inverurie and the earldom of the Garioch a topographical and historical account of the Garioch from the earliest times to the revolution settlement, with a genealogical appendix of Garioch families flourishing at the period of the revolution settlement and still represented. Edinburgh: David Douglas. p.450, which also states that it was John Johnsotn that married Margaret Alexander. More research is needed however if this is the case then James Johnston did not marry Margaret and as such she was not his first wife. This may indicate that Faith Leith may have been his only wife and therefore mother of his children.