Sunday, October 7, 2012

Cousins in Common, featuring Nathaniel Bartlett

One of the reasons I became interested in tracing my family tree was to see if David and I were somehow related by blood. I mean, the chance that sometime, somewhere, our lines intersected isn’t all that remote, is it?

Well, after a couple years of wide-ranging research on both our parts, I haven’t come up with a clear common ancestor for both of us.

I found connections between David’s line and mine by marriage, usually several marriages. For instance, we are each connected by chains of marriage both to Yankee General (and later US president) Ulysses S. Grant and to Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

Although I have not yet come across a common ancestor for both David and me, I did find a branch of relatives common to us both. A member of each of our families married each other and had a child who had descendants. David’s cousin Ebenezer Bartlett, Jr. (1694-1781), and my cousin Mary Rider Bartlett (1694-after 1723) married in 1718 in Duxbury, Plymouth, Massachusetts, where their son, Nathaniel Bartlett (1722-1802), was born. David and I are both related to Nathaniel Bartlett and all of his descendants.

Nathaniel Bartlett's mother was my cousin Mary Rider Bartlett. Mary's paternal grandparents were Samuel Rider (about 1601-1679) and Anne Gamlett Rider (abt 1605-1695). Samuel and Anne Rider immigrated to North America from Northampton, England, between 1636 and 1638. They settled in Yarmouth in the Massachusetts colony. They are my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparents. That’s nine greats.

Gravestone of "Deacon" Benjamin Rider (1761-1854), my great-great-great-great-great-grandfather, in the line between Nathaniel Bartlett and me. Rider Cemetery, Chardon, Geauga County, Ohio.
And that makes Nathaniel Bartlett my second cousin, eight times removed.

Nathaniel Bartlett’s father was David's cousin Ebenezer Bartlett, Jr. (1694-1781).  Ebenezer’s twenty-two times great-grandfather was Waltheof, Earl of Northumbria (1050-1076). Waltheof is David Maxine’s twenty-five times great-grandfather.

On the left: Anderson Kirkpatrick (1808-1887), David's great-great-great-grandfather, in the line between Nathaniel Bartlett and him.
Twenty-five greats is an estimate—there could be a few more greats in there. David’s Kirkpatrick line of ancestry, which connects him to Waltheof, has a blank period, so the exact number of generations between Alexander Kirkpatrick (1685-1758) and his purported ancestor Roger Kirkpatrick (abt 1410-?), husband of Margaret Somerville, is currently unknown.

Despite the Kirkpatrick lacuna, that makes Nathaniel Bartlett David’s estimated twenty-third cousin, three times removed.

David has at least two other potential blood connections to Nathaniel Bartlett.

His second potential common ancestor with Nathaniel Bartlett is Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou and father of King Henry II of England. Geoffrey is possibly David’s twenty-six times great-grandfather and Nathaniel’s nineteen times great-grandfather. But the line of ascent from David to Geoffrey Plantagenet has at least one doubtful connection, the parentage of Mary Grisselle Gibbone. I don’t necessarily dismiss this connection, but I find it questionable.

Geoffrey Plantagenet has been claimed as David’s twenty-six times great-grandfather through another line, too. This claim relies on the parents of Mary Stanley being George de Stanley and Joan le Strange. That parentage seems to have been fabricated by John S. Wurts, a twentieth century genealogist whose work is not up to current genealogical standards. So I’m afraid I don’t accept this family connection between David and Nathaniel Bartlett.

Waltheof, Earl of Northumbria, or rather, a fifteenth century statue identified as Waltheof, from the west front of Croyland Abbey in Crowland, Lincolnshire, UK.
But David’s descent from Waltheof, Earl of Northumbria, seems solid. Many of Waltheof’s descendants in both David’s and Nathaniel Bartlett’s lines have connections with the royal families of England and Scotland. And many are also connected with Northampton, England, the place, as I noted above, where my common ancestors with Nathaniel Bartlett, Samuel and Anne Rider, lived before emigrating.

How about some more connections among Nathaniel, David, and me?

Nathaniel Bartlett’s great-great-great-grandfather was Richard Warren (abt 1580-1628), who arrived at Plymouth Rock in 1620 aboard the Mayflower with the Pilgrims. He was one of the ten people in the landing party with Myles Standish. Richard Warren wasn’t himself a Pilgrim, but a merchant from London. His wife Elizabeth Walker Warren (abt 1583-1673) and their daughters followed Richard from England to the Massachusetts colony later on the ship Anne. Richard Warren’s previous ancestry is unknown, but that hasn’t stopped a lot of people from fabricating pedigrees for him, some back to the English royal family and beyond. If there’s a grain of truth to Richard Warren being related to English royalty, then that’s another family connection to David’s line.

I have two other family connections to Richard Warren myself, not by blood but by marriage. First, Richard Warren’s granddaughter Sarah Bartlett (abt 1636-before 1680) married Samuel Rider (abt 1632-1715), a son of Samuel and Anne Rider, my common ancestors with Nathaniel Bartlett. And second, Richard Warren’s nine times great-granddaughter, Helene Thelma Stafford Grant Waste (1902-1985) married Charles Elwood Grant (1900-1945), her first husband, who was my second cousin, twice removed.

This is, I suspect, Charles Elwood Grant, four years old in this detail from a 1904 Grant family photograph. The identifications of children in the larger photo are confused.
Nathaniel Bartlett’s direct descendants have been traced down to today. I’d like to show you a couple of them. Nathaniel’s great-great-granddaughter was Elizabeth Ricker Robinson (1859-1942), whose photograph you can see here.

Elizabeth Ricker Robinson (1859-1942), great-great-granddaughter of Nathaniel Bartlett. Used with permission of John Hurlin Robinson.
Elizabeth and her husband, Walter Franklin Robinson (1855-1940), had a daughter named Helen Franklin Robinson (1885-1967), whose wedding photograph is posted below. Helen and her husband Don Hurlin Robinson (1889-1950) had one son who is still alive and who is the father of several children, including John Hurlin Robinson (b. 1951), and grandfather to several grandchildren.

Wedding picture of Helen Franklin Robinson (1885-1967), great-great-great-granddaughter of Nathaniel Bartlett. Used with permission of John Hurlin Robinson.
John Hurlin Robinson is my ninth cousin, once removed. He's David's estimated twenty-sixth cousin, four times removed. John has his own genealogical website, which you can see by clicking here. I thank John for allowing me to post photographs of his grandmother and great-grandmother. If you want to see photos of some of David’s and my living Robinson relatives, visit John’s site. Their ancestral line joins both David’s and mine at Nathaniel Bartlett, making all of us relatives.

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