Thanksgiving Invites–Anyone Dead or Alive

Who’s On Your Guest List?

How many times in life have you been asked; “If you could invite anyone dead or alive to dinner, who would be your quests?”  And sometimes this question has a follow-up or two: “Why?” And, “What would you say to them?”

My Honored Guest List:

I would first invite Jesus Christ who has always been there for me and my family in good times and bad. He would lead us in a prayer of thanksgiving for our food and this special time together. He also would keep the conversations focused on what’s truly important in this life and impart a special message to us just before our time together ended.

For entertainment, I would invite the truly unique talent and voice of  Elvis Presley with his Jordanaire backup band. Elvis was more than a pop or rock n roll artist. His early love of music came from his spiritual and gospel beginnings.  In fact, I’d ask Elvis to sing “How Great Thou Art.”  “How Great Thou Art” appeared on the title track of Presley’s 1967 gospel album which won him his first Grammy. And then his live performance of it earned him yet another Grammy in 1974.

Mamma, Roy, and Uncle Johnny Mixing It Up with Family

And sitting around the table with today’s extended family would be my maternal grandparents, Roy and Loretta, and their son, my uncle, Johnny.  These are the people who loved and cared for me in my formative years.  These are the family members that taught me the importance of family and what it means to be a part of a nurturing environment.  I was so very blessed to have them in my life.  As I wrote in several of my posts over the past two years they all had qualities that made them larger than life in my eyes and my heart.

I recognize that my invite to them this Thanksgiving is solely selfish yet, they still could bestow their wisdom and guidance on those family members who followed after their passings and I would love for everyone to get to know these ancestors.

My grandfather, Roy, exemplified what it was to be “man of the house,” family provider, and strong in his silence rather than speak anything derogatory about others.  And, Roy could enlighten my brothers and other male family members about his days’ times and how extended families flocked together during hard times to more than just “weather through.”  Instead, families received their greatest gifts of quality times and fighting the good fights in trying times of survival mode.  Our son, Bobby, who says that Thanksgiving is his favorite holiday because of time spent with family would truly enjoy conversing with Roy.

I truly believe ’til this day that Mamma Loretta is my spiritual guide.  And, I talk with her nearly daily. I believe granddaughter Kylie and other female family members would thrive around Mamma and be in awe of some of the stories she could share from her past. Meanwhile, our daughter Jennifer and mamma could compare notes about women’s schedules of yesteryear vs. today’s women’s roles and responsibilities. Please believe me when I say my mamma was well ahead of her times and was a self-made female who shared her zest for life and confidence in going for it with me.

Uncle Johnny lived his life to the fullest in his short 37 years on this earth. He was always upbeat and full of energy.  Johnny had an overall great aura, if you will.  Everybody loved him and loved being around him because he added fun into our lives.  I just know our son and Johnny would get along famously because Jeff is so much like how I remember him.

A Line from Shapespeare…

Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow That I shall say good night till it be morrow?

Unlike today’s thanksgivings when we so look forward to having the long day of preparation, hosting, clean up, and travel home come to a close, the end of this day would be the absolute hardest despite and because of all the good times with lost loved ones and reflections of memories now past.  Here’s where we rely on our faith to get us through it.–knowing that we will all be together again some day.

It’s All About That “Baste”

To lighten this somewhat solemn and somber ending to this post, I thought I’d share this clever parody of Meghan Trainor’s It’s All About That Bass:

And, now I’m asking you–”Who would be on your guest list?”

Have a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!


What’s on the Thanksgiving Table in your Home State?

My Blog’s Second Year Anniversary

Two years ago this week I wrote my first blog post.  My purpose was to collect, clarify, authenticate, preserve, and publish all relevant genealogical information intended as a legacy to my family.  I want to leave them with as complete and accurate an accounting of our family’s past; to honor those who came before us; to remember loved ones who have passed on; and, to spiritually ground me through a greater sense of ancestral identity and history.

On this my blog’s second year anniversary, with nearly 200 posts behind me, and hopefully many more to follow, I thought I’d go back to my second post Our First Thanksgiving in Plymouth and bring it full circle to how we celebrate Thanksgiving with our families today.  As it would happen, just as I was preparing to sit down to write, a New York Times Facebook post appeared on my Facebook page “The United States of Thanksgiving: 50 states (and D.C. and Puerto Rico), 52 recipes.”  The narratives include historic information about the people and foods of the area and the interactive displays include a drop down so readers can easily navigate to their favorite state to see what’s hot for Thanksgiving there without weeding or scrolling through all of the recipes.  The recipe windows are initially displayed in their minimized form, but when you click on the + sign the recipe window expands to include a picture and a link to the New York Times Cooking section that includes their article’s full narrative for that selected state and the recipe section’s full tools and options.  So I concluded, what better way to include my family’s cultures in our traditional Thanksgiving celebrations than to highlight The Times narratives and recipes for the primary states of our ancestors origin!

Colonial Settlements of My Immigrating Ancestors

Of my nearly 11,000 documentedImmigration to America ancestors, the first ones immigrated primarily from Great Britain, Ireland, and Europe West. Upon their arrivals, they settled primarily in five of the first 13 colonies: i.,e., Jamestown, VA; Plymouth and Boston, MA; New Haven CT; Raleigh, Wake County,NC and Southern MD.  So, I will provide links to each state’s recipe page that I discovered in The Times Facebook post.

  1. Virginia:  Corn Pudding
  2. Massachusetts:  Clam and Chouriço Dressing
  3. Connecticut:  Quince with Cipollini Onions and Bacon
  4. North Carolina:  Sweet Potato Cornbread
  5. Maryland:  Sauerkraut and Apples

I believe my favorites would be Maryland’s Sauerkraut and Apples and North Carolina’s Sweet Potato Cornbread.  I’m going to give them a try for this Thanksgiving with our extended family of about 30.  I’ll let you know how well they are or aren’t accepted.  You know, most everyone is at least somewhat reticent to change–but I’m gonna give it “the old college try”.

Our Ancestors’ Periods of Sleep Differed from Ours – Are We Doing It Wrong?

Familial Sleeping Disorders

Our daughter and I have sleeping disorders which prevent us from getting a full night’s rest filled sleep.  One of the best benefits of leaving my career job a few years ago was finding time to take a nap in the afternoons (not recommended, by the way) when life’s activities permit.  But, daughter continues to suffer through ongoing sleep deprivation while being a full time wife, mother of two young teens, church volunteer, and holding down an extremely demanding supervisory job that often consumes more than 50 hours a week in commute and projects.

Sleep deprivation in and of itself is unhealthy for us.  But, I notice that we tend to hold onto or fail to close our minds to life’s pressures and to enjoy life in the moment. Proper rest helps us put our life situations into perspective.  Sleep allows our brains to help us let go of and to effectively cope with life’s emotional baggage.

So, this past year our daughter stepped up her game.  She had a physical, which showed nothing apparent that would interfere with her sleep.  She did a body cleanse, switched to clean eating and proper hydration.  She probably lost about 20 pounds (which put her at a very healthy weight ).  She maintains a steady physical exercise program (where she is the class instructor).  And she works out  strenuously about six times a week.  This year’s new addition also included adding the sport of bicycling at least once a week with a team of church friends.  Each outing includes a mostly rural ride of about 25 miles.  Now that’s a full schedule if I ever saw one.  Yet–her mind doesn’t close off the day’s activities and she dozes at best most of the night.

Well, I came upon Collective Evolution’s article today that includes scientific and historical evidence to suggest the way in which most of us sleep might not actually be good for us.  Could, in fact, daughter’s mind and body be trying to tell her there’s a better way?  See what you think and let me know.

Below is Collective Evolution’s article in its entirety:

Our Ancestors Didn’t Sleep Like We Do – Are We Doing It Wrong?
October 2, 2014 by

Evidence continues to emerge, both scientific and historical, suggesting that the way in which the majority of us currently sleep may not actually be good for us.

In 2001, historian Roger Ekirch of Virginia Tech published a paper that included over 15 years of research. It revealed an overwhelming amount of historical evidence that humans used to in fact sleep in two different chunks. (1)

In 2005, he published a book titled “At Day’s Close: Night in Times Past,” that included more than 500 references to a disjointed sleeping pattern. It included diaries, medical books, literature and more taken from various sources which include Homer’s Odyssey all the way to modern tribes in Nigeria and more.

“It’s not just the number of references – it is the way they refer to it, as if it was common knowledge.” –Ekrich (source)

What Was Found In The Research

Ekirch’s research found that we didn’t always sleep for an average of 8 hours straight. Instead we would sleep in two shorter periods throughout the night. All sleep would occur within a 12 hour time frame that started with 3 or 4 hours of sleep, followed by being awake for 3 hours or so and then sleeping again until the morning.

There was also some research done in the early 1990’s by psychiatrist Thomas Wehr. He conducted an experiment where 14 people were put into complete darkness for 14 hours a day for an entire month. By the fourth week the participants were able to settle into a very distinct sleeping pattern. The pattern was the same as Ekirch suggested of how we were meant to sleep; the subjects slept for approximately 4 hours, woke for another few and then went back to sleep until morning. (2)

“Ekirch found that references to the first and second sleep started to disappear during the late 17th Century. This started among the urban upper classes in northern Europe and over the course of the next 200 years filtered down to the rest of Western society. By the 1920’s the idea of a first and second sleep had receded entirely from our social consciousness.” (source)


Possible Reasons As To Why It Was Like This

One reason could be that this type of segmented sleep is what really comes natural to the human body, at least that’s what Wehr’s experiment suggests, but there are other theories.

Historian Craig Koslofsky suggests:

“Associations with night before the 17th Century were not good.  The night was a place populated by people of disrepute – criminals, prostitutes and drunks. Even the wealthy, who could afford candlelight, had better things to spend their money on. There was no prestige or social value associated with staying up all night.”(source)

Things changed, however, in 1667 when Paris became the first city in the world to light its streets, and eventually throughout Europe staying up at night became the social norm, and then the industrial revolution happened:

“People were becoming increasingly time-conscious and sensitive to efficiency, certainly before the 19th Century, but the industrial revolution intensified that attitude by leaps and bounds.” (source)

Eventually, we got to the point where parents were forcing their children to sleep at a certain time, and forced them out of the segmented sleeping pattern that was more dominant.

Many Sleeping Problems May Have Roots In The Human Body’s Natural Preference For Segmented Sleep

Ekirch believes that many modern day sleeping problems have roots in the human body’s natural preference for segmented sleep. He believes that our historical sleeping patterns could be the reason why many people suffer from a condition called “sleep maintenance insomnia,” where individuals wake in the middle of the night and have trouble getting back to sleep. This type of condition first appeared at the end of the 19th century, approximately the same time segmented sleep began to die off.

For most of evolution we slept a certain way. Waking up during the night is part of normal human physiology.The idea that we must sleep in a consolidated block could be damaging, he says, if it makes people who wake up at night anxious, as this anxiety can itself prohibit sleep and is likely to seep into waking life too.”  – Psychologist Greg Jacobs (source)

According to Russell Foster, a professor of circadian [body clock] neuroscience at Oxford:

Many people wake up at night and panic. I tell them that what they are experiencing is a throwback to the bi-modal sleep pattern. But the majority of doctors still fail to acknowledge that a consolidated eight-hour sleep may be unnatural. Over 30% of the medical problems that doctors are faced with stem directly or indirectly from sleep. But sleep has been ignored in medical training and there are very few centers where sleep is studied.” (source)

As far as what people did during this in between time of wakefulness, Ekirch’s research suggests that they primarily used the time to meditate on their dreams, read, pray or partake in spiritual practices.

Related CE Articles:

The Best and Worst Sleeping Positions and How They Affect Your Health 

Alternative Sleep Cycles: 7 – 10 Hours Are Not Needed

How Cumulative Sleep Debt Is Impacting Your Brain Functioning and Alertness





Rated BP-14

This Post contains some material that many parents would find unsuitable for children under 14 years of age

When both your parents have Alzheimer’s dementia you often live your life in the midst of turmoil with only an occasional few moments of reprieve from strife, unrest, anxiety, confusion, and other medical maladies.  That pretty much describes my yesterday. And then, after spending the night and regulating blood pressures, blood sugars, and personalities, there comes a totally unexpected moment that returns love and laughter to the family mix.

Does this happen with your family during mealtime? Or, is it just a phenomenon in ours?

It happened while at the lunch table and the parents “quite normally” started discussing/comparing bodily fluids and functions.  So, our family’s octogenarian patriarch adds a recitation to the conversation, as follows:
man on toilet

Now I’m sitting in all my bliss,

Listening to the trickling piss,

Every once in a while a fart is heard

Which gives the warning of a coming turd! –AHHHH

All of us–mom, dad and me–belly laughed. Here I am in my 60′s, and never before have I heard my dad come out with this little rhyme. But it will always be one of those funny moments not soon forgotten and one that I quickly shared with the rest of the fam via instant messaging!

And for those of you interested in the poem’s author–I couldn’t find one when I searched online.  Gheez, could it be a dad original?  He does remain a man of unfiltered communication, one of quick wit and also one on occasion who has been known to be full of it.  With my forever love and respect, I share this my readers in hopes those in similar situations who need a laugh found one in this post.

D’ya Ever Attend a “Reveal” Party?

  As 60 Minutes nonagenarian reporter Andy Rooney used to say; “D’ya ever…”


Well, I’m saying it now; “D’ya ever attend a “reveal” party?”  I would bet Andy in all his 92 years never did.  Reveal parties are a new 21st century phenomenon that began in the United States, possibly on the Today Show  in 2010 when TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting reality TV persons Josh and Anna Duggar cut into a cake that was dyed pink inside to learn that they were expecting a baby girl.

Yes, some expectant parents are inviting family and friends to share their reactions to their “boy or girl” news — a trend that some have called “presumptuous” and “narcissistic,” while a growing number of expectant parents are embracing the excuse to party before delivery!  So, when family called for a celebratory occasion, I kept an open mind and looked at the reveal party as another life experience opportunity–and, to do life with family.

How does it work?

My grandchildren had their ultra-sound doctor write down the baby’s gender and seal the news in an envelope. Vowing not to peek, they gave the envelope to a friend who made the color filled cake (pink or blue) based on the ultra-sound results.

Boy or girlWhen we arrived we were given our choice to wear a pink or blue beaded necklace to display our personal gender prediction.  I chose blue.  They also had a large gift-wrapped box that was taken outdoors to open.  When the expectant parents unwrapped it, a bouquet of gender appropriate balloons floated up to the sky.

Then, we all sat down to a great spaghetti dinner prepared by our party’s host–our daughter-in-law.


But, what about party gifts?

Nope.  I researched for proper gender reveal party etiquette.  No baby gifts!  We did however choose to take a bottle of wine for our hosts, as you would for other dinner invitations.  We just knew that after the event had ended and all the clean up was done, that the grand parents to be could surely use a nice relaxing sip or two.

All in all, it was a fun time and another opportunity for the two families and friends united by their children’s relationship to meet and greet and share good times before the big event.

Oh, did I forget to mention?

It’s a boy!



Blessed Assurance

“Blessed Assurance” is a well-known Christian hymn. Fanny J. Crosby, famed blind hymn writer wrote the lyrics in 1873 to the music written by Phoebe Palmer Knapp, (both were members of the St. John’s Methodist Church in New York City).

It may have been blind Miss Crosby’s example that encouraged Phoebe Palmer Knapp (1839-1908) to write the tunes for more than 500 hymns.

As the story goes, Fanny was visiting her friend Phoebe at her family’s home in Brooklyn when a large pipe organ was being installed.  So, Phoebe played a new melody she had just composed on a piano. When Knapp asked Crosby, “What do you think the tune says?”, Crosby replied, “Blessed assurance; Jesus is mine.”

The hymn appeared in the July 1873 issue of Palmer’s Guide to Holiness and Revival Miscellany, a magazine printed by Phoebe’s parents, Dr. and Mrs. W. C. Palmer, of 14 Bible House, New York City. It appeared on page 36 (the last page) with complete text and piano score, and indicated it had been copyrighted by Crosby that year. It is not certain that this was the first printing of the hymn, but it certainly helped popularize one of the most beloved hymns of all time.

As to Fanny’s inspiration for the lyrics, it is believed that she may have derived them from Hebrews 10:22 “let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings…;” or, Philippians 1:21  “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

Well, it just so happens that the Arts Director at our church is named Daniel  C. Palmer. Daniel is a graphic artist, song writer, singer, keyboardist, guitarist originally from Texas–whether there is an ancestral connection to Phoebe Palmer Knapp, I’m not sure).  But, our video rendition over 140 years later of Fanny and Phoebe’s Blessed Assurance song below (recorded at our church on August 3, 2014), is my way of sharing my love for this ever growing community.  Here, we believe you will see we are more than ministries and sermons–we are devoted to doing life together through our love of Jesus Christ.  Daniel Palmer is lead keyboardist and backup singer, Dana Robinson is lead vocalist; and, Chesapeake Church’s very own Reverend Robert Hahn, plays lead guitar on this occasion in Huntingtown, MD.

I hope you enjoy this old-time hymn that I recorded from my camera phone from our auditorium that is now being renovated to make room for others to join us. If you’re in our neighborhood, I hope you will check us out.

‘Great Surprise’—Native Americans Have West Eurasian Origins

November is National Native American Heritage Month.  In honor of this occasion, below I share with you National Geographic’s article from November 2013:

“Great Surprise”—Native Americans Have West Eurasian Origins

Photo of a Native American mounted on his horse.

Native Americans may have a more complicated heritage than previously believed.


Brian Handwerk

National Geographic


Nearly one-third of Native American genes come from west Eurasian people linked to the Middle East and Europe, rather than entirely from East Asians as previously thought, according to a newly sequenced genome.

Based on the arm bone of a 24,000-year-old Siberian youth, the research could uncover new origins for America’s indigenous peoples, as well as stir up fresh debate on Native American identities, experts say.

The study authors believe the new study could also help resolve some long-standing puzzles on the peopling of the New World, which include genetic oddities and archaeological inconsistencies. (Explore an atlas of the human journey.)

“These results were a great surprise to us,” said study co-author and ancient-DNA specialist Eske Willerslev, of the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

“I hadn’t expected anything like this. A genome related to present-day western Eurasian populations and modern Native Americans as well was really puzzling in the beginning. How could this happen?”

So what’s new?

The arm bone of a three-year-old boy from the Mal’ta site near the shores of Lake Baikal in south-central Siberia (map) yielded what may be the oldest genome of modern humans ever sequenced.

DNA from the remains revealed genes found today in western Eurasians in the Middle East and Europe, as well as other aspects unique to Native Americans, but no evidence of any relation to modern East Asians. (Related: “Is This Russian Landscape the Birthplace of Native Americans?”)

A second individual genome sequenced from material found at the site and dated to 17,000 years ago revealed a similar genetic structure.

It also provided evidence that humans occupied this region of Siberia throughout the entire brutally cold period of the Last Glacial Maximum, which ended about 13,000 years ago.

Why is it important?

Prevailing theories suggest that Native Americans are descended from a group of East Asians who crossed the Bering Sea via a land bridge perhaps 16,500 years ago, though some sites may evidence an earlier arrival. (See “Siberian, Native American Languages Linked—A First [2008].”)

“This study changes this idea because it shows that a significant minority of Native American ancestry actually derives not from East Asia but from a people related to present-day western Eurasians,” Willerslev said.

“It’s approximately one-third of the genome, and that is a lot,” he added. “So in that regard I think it’s changing quite a bit of the history.”

While the land bridge still formed the gateway to America, the study now portrays Native Americans as a group derived from the meeting of two different populations, one ancestral to East Asians and the other related to western Eurasians, explained Willerslev, whose research was published in the November 20 edition of the journal Nature.

“The meeting of those two groups is what formed Native Americans as we know them.” (Learn more about National Geographic’s Genographic Project.)

What does this mean?

Willerslev believes the discovery provides simpler and more likely explanations to long-standing controversies related to the peopling of the Americas.

“Although we know that North Americans are related to East Asians, it’s striking that no contemporary East Asian populations really resemble Native Americans,” he said.

“It’s not like you can say that they are really closely related to Japanese, Chinese, or Koreans, so there seems to be something missing. But this result makes a lot of sense regarding why they don’t fit so well genetically with contemporary East Asians—because one-third of their genome is derived from another population.”

The findings could also allow reinterpretation of archaeological and anthropological evidence, like the famed Kennewick Man, whose remains don’t look much like modern-day Native American or East Asian populations, according to some interpretations.

“Maybe, if he looks like something else, it’s because a third of his ancestry isn’t coming from East Asia but from something like the western Eurasians.” (Read about history’s great migration mysteries.)

What’s next?

Many questions remain unanswered, including where and when the mixing of west Eurasian and East Asian populations occurred.

“It could have been somewhere in Siberia or potentially in the New World,” Willerslev said.

“I think it’s much more likely that it occurred in the Old World. But the only way to address that question would be to sequence more ancient skeletons of Native Americans and also Siberians.”

Intriguing questions also exist about the nature of the advanced Upper Paleolithic Mal’ta society that now appears to figure in Native American genomes.

The Siberian child “was found buried with all kinds of cultural items, including Venus figurines, which have been found from Lake Baikal west all the way to Europe.

“So now we know that the individual represented with this culture is a western Eurasian, even though he was found very far east. It’s an interesting question how closely related this individual might have been to the individuals carving these figurines at the same time in Europe and elsewhere.”

Historically and Genetically Speaking, I Guess I’m Naturally Frank

Germanic KingdomsMy dad’s name is Frank.  I wonder from whom/where his name came?  Well, it might have been from some of our earliest ancestors who just happened to be a bunch of King and Queens who ruled “the territory of the Franks.”

The Sicambri, also known as the Sugambri or Sicambrians, were a Germanic people who during Roman times lived on the right bank of the Rhine river, in what is now Germany, near the border with the Netherlands. They were first reported by Julius Caesar.  Whether or not the Sicambri spoke a Germanic or Celtic language, or something else, is not certain, because they lived in the so-called Nordwestblock zone where these two language families came into contact and were both influential.

By the 3rd century that region became part of the territory of the Franks, which was a new name that possibly represented a new alliance of older tribes, possibly including the Sicambri.  This area became known as Gaul, and is today France and lower Germany from farther east.

Members of the Merovingian Dynasty

Merovinginian DynastyIf we were to believe the writings about the Merovingian Dynasty by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln in their controversial and international best seller, The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail first publishing in 1982, (which became the basis for Dan Brown’s The DaVinci Code)  ipso facto we would also believe that the Sicambrians are a remnant of the Benjamites, the Tribe of Benjamin, one of the lost tribes of Israel.

Below is the believed descent of the Sicambrian-Franks from Abraham to King Clovis I. And, highlighted in red you will find some of my paternal great grandfathers that date back into the first century.  For example, Clodius III is my 61st paternal great grandfather in my family tree.  This is not to say, however, that I have to buy into the Merovingian mythology.

Sicambrian-Franks Descent from Abraham to Clovis I

Abraham (Abram/(Ibrahim) = Sarah/Sarai daughter of Haran, Princess
Isaac son of  Abraham = Rebekah daughter of Bethuel
Jacob (Israel) son of isaac, King of Goshen = Leah daughter of Laban
Juda (Judas) son of Jacob = Tamur
Zarah (Zehrah, Zarah) ben Judah = Electra
Dara/Dardanus, King of Arcadia = Batea “Basia Asia” of Teucri
Erichthonius, King of Arcadia = Astyoche of Arcadia
Tros (Trois) of Arcadia, King of Troy = Callirhoe
Illus (Illyus), King of Troy = Eurydice (Eruidike) of Troy
Laomedan, King of Troy = Placia of Troy
Priam Podarces, High King of Troy = Hecuba (Hecabe) of Phrygia
Helenus of Troy, King of the Scythians
Genger of the Scythians
Franco of the Scythians
Esdron Trojan
Gelio (Gelso Zelis), Trojan
Bosabiliano, Basebelian I, Trojan
Plaserio, Plaserius I, Trojan
Eliacor, the Trojan
Gaberiano (Zaberian) the Trojan
Plaserius II, the Trojan
Antenor I, the Trojan
Priam II Trianus, the Trojan
Helenus II Trojan, King of Troy
Plesron II Trojan, King of Troy
Basebelian II Trojan, King of Troy
Alexandre Trojan, King of Troy
Priam III, King of the Cimmerians
Gentilanor of the Cimmerians
Almadius, King of the Cimmerians
Dilulius I, King of the Cimmerians
Helenus III, King of the Cimmerians
Plaserius III, King of the Cimmerians
Dilulius II (Dilugio), King of the Cimmerians
Marcomir, King of the Cimmerians
Priam IV, King of the Cimmerians
Helenus IV (V), King of the Cimmerians
Antenor I, Prince of the Cimmerians
Marcomir I, King of the Sicambri
Antenor II of the Sicambri, King of the Cimmerians = Cambra
Priamus, King of the Sicambri
Helenus V, King of the Sicambri
Diocles of the Sicambri
Bassanus Magnus, King of the Sicambri
Clodomir I , King of the Sicambri
Nicanor I, King of the Sicambri
Marcomir II, King of the Sicambri
Clodius I, King of the Sicambri
Antenor III, King of the Sicambri
Clodomir II, King of the Sicambri
Merodochus, King of the Sicambri
Cassander of the Sicambri
Anthanius, King of the Sicambri
Francus/Francios, King of the West Franks
Clodius II, King of the Franks
Marcomir III, King of the Franks
Clodomir III, King of the Franks
Antenor IV, King of the Franks
Ratherius, King of the Franks = Grotte, Queen of the Franks
Richemir I, King of the Franks = Ascyla of the Franks
Odomir, King of the Franks
Marcomir of Franks
Clodomir IV, King of the Franks = Athildis, Princess of the Camulod/Britains, daughter
of Coel I of Camulod (Colchester), Prince of Siluria, whose connection to Abraham is shown elsewhere in this Weblet.
Farabert/Pharibert/Faribert of the Franks
Sunno (Huano, Hunno), King of the Franks
Childeric (Hilderic), King of the Franks
Bartherus, King of the Franks
Clodius III, King of the East Franks
Walter/Gautier, King of the Franks
Dagobert I, King of the East Franks
Clodomir IV of the Franks
Richemir, King of the Franks = Nastila/Hestila
Theodomir, King of the Franks
Clodius V of the Franks
Dagobert of the Salic Franks
Genebald/Genobaud of the Salic Franks
Argotta of the Sicambri, Princess of the East = Pharamond, 1st King of all the Franks
Clodion “the Long-haired” of Tournai, King of the Salic Franks = Basina I of Thuringia
Merovee = Siegse
Merovee/Meroveus “The Young,” (436 CE – 481 CE), King of the Salian Franks = Meira?Childeric I, King of the Salian Franks = Basina II Andovera, Queen of Thuringia
Clovis I “the Great,” King of the Franks (abt 467 CE – 511 CE) = Clotilde, daughter of Chilperic II, King of Burgundy

I leave you with just a few bytes about King Clovis I.

More Than a Few Names or Mere Numbers

As an addendum to this week’s post What’s InTop 50 Family Surnames a Name?, I revised my Surname Report in Family Tree Maker™. This report shows that our family’s tree (including my spouse’s family) has 10,772 persons in it.  Of those persons (living and dead), 52 percent of them are male; making my database’s percentage of males three percentage points higher than the gender ratio in the 2010 U.S.Census of Population and Housing.  And, those 10,772 persons are related within the 2,170 surnames.

Largest Family Based Upon Surname

The largest number of families within the surname report originated within my maternal grandmother’s family.  The majority of  this family branch spelled their name as “Lathrop.”  Although, there were two other variations of this surname spelling (“Lothrop” and “Lathrope”) presented among the various data collections included in our tree of facts.  There were, in fact, 478 Lathrop families; 53 percent of these family members were male.  The Lathrop family name spans the years:  1450-1929 in our family’s history.

Similarly, the “Bowling” name, or the other 12 versions of its spelling dated from as early as 890 AD in France, where the family was known as the DeBoulogne’s.  Our most recent family members who spelled their name “DeBoulogne” date back to 1863.  This spelling spanned the years 891 AD – 1863:  972 years–just shy of a century!  The other spelling variations included among our tree of facts:   Baroling, Billung, Bolding, Boling, Boleine, Bollyng, Boulding, Bouldinge; Boulogne,  Bowlding, Deboulogne, and De Bolling.

Earliest and Newest People

The earliest entries of people in this report date back to 8 A.D. to Charlemagne (my 43rd great grandfather) and his son Louis the Pious of France (my 43rd great uncle).  The newest member of our family, Alaina Hazel, part of the Dickinson clan, blessed us with her appearance in April 2014–our third great grandchild.

Getting Past the Mere Numbers

Getting past the discussion of mere numbers, my somewhat random method for subject posts suddenly gets very logical. That is, my nearly 200 posts to date have focused on surnames that appear within the Top 50 Family Surnames in my word cloud, above.  [To create the word cloud I used (advanced) with some simple word ratios (exported from my Family Tree Surname report into Excel).]

Estimated Ethnicity

Based upon my DNA testing, a map of today shown below, displays the countries from which my families migrated: Great Britain, Ireland, Europe West, and West Asia.

DNA Estimated Ethnicity

However, if we look back at a map of nearly 1,000 years ago to where many of my ancestors were before they migrated, we find ourselves near the end of the High Middle Ages (967 – 1050).   The world was divided into Kingdoms, Territories, Empires, and Dominions,Europe 1050 AD crusades abounded, and the Catholic Church in Europe was expanding its power base.  Here’s where the real stories first began.

For a detailed timeline that includes European history with interactive maps, I encourage you to visit


What’s In a Name?

In Act II, Scene II  of Shakespeare’s 1597 play, Romeo and Juliet,  Juliet says in reference to Romeo’s surname, Montague, the following which would imply that his name means nothing and therefore they should be together…


O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.


[Aside] Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?


‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What’s Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo called,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.


I take thee at thy word:
Call me but love, and I’ll be new baptized;
Henceforth I never will be Romeo.

Map: Six Decades of the Most Popular Names for Girls, State-by-State

I love infographics (graphic visual representations of information, data, or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly).  And today, I came upon the following map infographic at the site  What interested me most was the name Jennifer (my daughter’s name) which  first appeared in 1970 and remained the most popular name for 15 years before disappearing from the map altogether in 1984. Upon further research, I discovered that the name Jennifer was mostly used in Cornwall, England, before the 20th century (where most of my ancestors came from according to my DNA and my ancestry research). It became popular in all English-speaking countries, first in UK in the 1950s, and then in US as the top name for women born in 1970-1984.

Map: Six Decades of the Most Popular Names for Girls, State-by-State

Top Given Names Over the Last 100 Years

Likewise, in the Social Security Administration’s Annual Tally of Given Names, the name Jennifer was the third most popular given female name over the past one hundred years in the United States. Similarly, our eldest son is named Robert, and his name, too, was the third most popular given male name over the hundred year period.  And, looking for our youngest son’s name, Jeffrey, we find that his name also made the list at #29 over the hundred-year period.

My family today actually has more than our share of Brandon’s (#41 on the list).  We have one grandson, one great grandson, and one nephew all named Brandon and spanning three generations.  As I look over the lists of both males and females, though, I can find possibly only one name from each list that doesn’t seem within my family tree:  name #100 on both sides: Shawn and Crystal.  I guess that makes my family absolutely average, as far as naming conventions go.

So, below is the Social Security Administration’s table that shows the 100 most popular given names for male and female babies born 1914-2013. For each rank and sex, the table shows the name and the number of occurrences of that name. These time-tested popular names were taken from a universe that includes 169,233,019 male births and 165,941,917 female births.

Popular names for births in 1914-2013
Males Females
Rank Name Number Name Number
1 James 4,866,619 Mary 3,611,970
2 John 4,739,937 Patricia 1,566,673
3 Robert 4,663,044 Jennifer 1,461,186
4 Michael 4,274,035 Elizabeth 1,460,714
5 William 3,749,398 Linda 1,447,270
6 David 3,532,745 Barbara 1,419,954
7 Richard 2,514,061 Susan 1,107,871
8 Joseph 2,429,076 Margaret 1,075,828
9 Charles 2,202,425 Jessica 1,038,248
10 Thomas 2,189,914 Dorothy 1,009,728
11 Christopher 1,981,942 Sarah 996,176
12 Daniel 1,833,861 Karen 982,864
13 Matthew 1,535,504 Nancy 980,659
14 Donald 1,392,452 Betty 978,903
15 Anthony 1,374,826 Lisa 963,461
16 Paul 1,338,796 Sandra 871,935
17 Mark 1,337,781 Helen 839,049
18 George 1,279,176 Ashley 831,126
19 Steven 1,269,104 Donna 827,839
20 Kenneth 1,250,728 Kimberly 825,188
21 Andrew 1,220,464 Carol 813,104
22 Edward 1,183,885 Michelle 802,726
23 Joshua 1,162,595 Emily 776,588
24 Brian 1,155,378 Amanda 769,412
25 Kevin 1,147,194 Melissa 746,598
26 Ronald 1,073,055 Deborah 738,182
27 Timothy 1,055,093 Laura 737,287
28 Jason 1,008,367 Stephanie 732,475
29 Jeffrey 968,779 Rebecca 727,122
30 Gary 897,536 Sharon 720,198
31 Ryan 891,166 Cynthia 703,977
32 Nicholas 866,148 Kathleen 700,446
33 Eric 861,720 Ruth 690,702
34 Jacob 848,038 Anna 688,230
35 Stephen 842,384 Shirley 680,162
36 Jonathan 803,785 Amy 673,299
37 Larry 801,570 Angela 653,815
38 Frank 792,425 Virginia 605,681
39 Scott 766,917 Brenda 605,336
40 Justin 758,002 Pamela 593,379
41 Brandon 734,956 Catherine 589,636
42 Raymond 730,505 Katherine 584,301
43 Gregory 702,296 Nicole 577,390
44 Samuel 673,653 Christine 571,921
45 Benjamin 660,859 Janet 550,377
46 Patrick 654,333 Debra 550,114
47 Jack 624,651 Samantha 549,656
48 Dennis 611,088 Carolyn 547,182
49 Jerry 604,399 Rachel 543,294
50 Alexander 596,167 Heather 523,369
51 Tyler 564,635 Maria 520,013
52 Henry 552,764 Diane 517,239
53 Douglas 552,541 Frances 507,194
54 Peter 549,126 Joyce 503,943
55 Aaron 542,328 Julie 503,658
56 Walter 539,969 Emma 482,694
57 Jose 535,132 Evelyn 477,717
58 Adam 524,872 Martha 477,345
59 Zachary 513,121 Joan 477,063
60 Harold 510,935 Kelly 468,441
61 Nathan 503,723 Christina 468,006
62 Kyle 468,806 Lauren 456,337
63 Carl 467,691 Judith 449,584
64 Arthur 459,623 Alice 446,529
65 Gerald 440,160 Victoria 446,019
66 Roger 434,033 Doris 441,420
67 Lawrence 432,407 Ann 441,101
68 Keith 430,907 Jean 440,900
69 Albert 426,595 Cheryl 438,916
70 Jeremy 425,094 Marie 438,758
71 Terry 420,348 Megan 433,186
72 Joe 415,584 Kathryn 423,415
73 Sean 409,292 Andrea 420,518
74 Willie 401,244 Jacqueline 415,334
75 Jesse 387,718 Gloria 407,880
76 Austin 382,419 Teresa 406,116
77 Christian 381,911 Janice 403,901
78 Ralph 380,721 Sara 402,166
79 Billy 380,571 Rose 393,573
80 Bruce 376,305 Hannah 393,208
81 Bryan 369,632 Julia 392,864
82 Roy 366,779 Theresa 384,281
83 Eugene 357,110 Judy 380,857
84 Ethan 355,803 Grace 378,602
85 Louis 351,563 Beverly 375,754
86 Wayne 346,862 Denise 370,776
87 Jordan 345,140 Marilyn 367,206
88 Harry 342,952 Mildred 366,723
89 Russell 336,600 Amber 365,710
90 Alan 335,720 Danielle 362,010
91 Juan 328,239 Brittany 355,762
92 Philip 325,446 Olivia 352,263
93 Randy 325,386 Diana 351,810
94 Dylan 321,319 Jane 349,812
95 Howard 316,046 Lori 340,265
96 Vincent 315,590 Madison 336,143
97 Bobby 311,783 Tiffany 333,625
98 Johnny 305,004 Kathy 332,976
99 Phillip 300,279 Tammy 331,500
100 Shawn 298,043 Crystal 326,726
Source: 100% sample based on Social Security card application data as of the end of February 2014. See the limitations of this data source.

Least Popular Names Given 1880-1932

Then, I looked a little further for least popular names given and found this list on


Year Boy (Rank) Girl (Rank)
1880 Handy (970) Parthenia (914)
1881 Okey (972) Erie (1000)
1882 Ab (943) Dove (944)
1883 Commodore (925) Lovey (992)
1884 Spurgeon (958) Kathern (974)
1885 Fount (989) Icy (977)
1886 Squire (953) Texie (987)
1887 Bliss (946) Lockie (907)
1888 Boss (930) Indiana (989)
1889 Starling (962) Easter (967)
1890 Lawyer (999) Pinkey (918)
1891 Manley (962) Chestina (974)
1892 Little (914) Odell (1000)
1893 Orange (1000) Leafy (933)
1894 Flem (1000) Ova (986)
1895 Toy (969) Sister (974)
1896 Josephine (937)* Clifford (935)*
1897 Henery (1000) Florance (1000)
1898 Pleasant (973) Tiny (915)
1899 Fate (972) Cuba (884)
1900 Gorge (935) Electa (948)
1901 Joesph (999) Buelah (923)
1902 Rolla (917) Bama (942)
1903 Ples (992) Capitola (982)
1904 Council (989) Pearly (993)
1905 Son (912) Wava (967)
1906 Virgle (999) Carry (971)
1907 Geo (956) Arizona (949)
1908 Lillian (992) Lilyan (991)
1909 Murl (1000) Flonnie (1000)
1910 Lemon (964) Classie (994)
1911 Wash (978) Lavada (806)
1912 Christ (940) Almeta (940)
1913 Louise (982) Louis (974)
1914 Stephan (1000) Vella (1000)
1915 Mayo (990) Dimple (980)
1916 Green (929) Golden (908)
1917 Elza (968) Loyce (984)
1918 Curley (998) Ivory (979)
1919 Metro (982) Louvenia (993)
1920 Berry (941) Merry (934)
1921 Reno (969) Glendora (976)
1922 Author (950) Gaynell (981)
1923 Burley (994) Dorathy (995)
1924 Dorman (954) Mardell (982)
1925 Buddie (973) Bobbye (990)
1926 Wardell (929) Willodean (941)
1927 Estel (914) Gregoria (970)
1928 Gust (996) Hildred (998)
1929 Vester (984) Jettie (953)
1930 Otho (972) Charlsie (951)
1931 Early (1000) Ferne (1000)
1932 Dock (928) Jack (992)

But the most interesting piece of information I found was the following abstract of research by Jack Dikian, an Australian born Clinical Consultant whose interests include: developmental disability, mood disorders, cognitive neuropsychology and Quantum Psychology.

The Impact Of A Name On Personality by Jack Dikian, April 2010:

Looking at yourself in the mirror – seeing the person you know so well. Better than anyone – this person called Kate, Kelly, or David. Would you feel the same way about yourself if you had a different given name? Would you still see the person you know so well…

Many of us at some point in our lives have wondered what we would be like if we were given a different name. If we went through school with a different name, if our work mates knew met us with a different name. Some of us may even feel that we are more of a Jennifer instead of a Jenny, or a Sarah with a “h” rather than a Sara.

Not only do some of us have strong perceptions about first names and associate them with success, luck and attractiveness, many people walk around with stereotypes in their heads that can influence all sorts of decisions, yet don’t even realise it, however with very real consequences in everyday life.

This is particularly true in some cultures. For example, in the Jewish culture it is accepted that a name does indeed determine someone’s destiny and health in general. Not only does a Jewish person feel that the given name characterizes the person who possesses it, he feels that when he/she gives a newborn son or daughter their given name, that offspring’s basic personality and traits are being defined, and in a sense, his entire approach to life is mapped out for him in advance.

Having a rare name or a very common one must be a very different experience to live with. With a rare name, one may feel a little more special or even unique. With a common name, one is more likely to have friends (or foes) with the same name, which could only change our ego perception associated with our name.

More importantly, living with a name that we like or one that we dislike does have serious consequences on self-confidence, happiness or the way we relate to others in society. For example, what would it be like if you didn’t always get asked to special your name, or even explain your name when meeting people you don’t know.

According Dr Martin Skinner, a social psychologist at Warwick University-England, people by at large make the most of their given name. Dr Skinner says that efforts can overwhelm the impact of a name. The real consequence is not in the actual name itself, but in the intentions behind it,” says Dr Martin Skinner, a social psychologist at Warwick University.

“Names usually reflect parental aspirations, so someone who wants their child to be taken seriously will give them a name that has weight and is not frivolous – whatever class they are.”

A name certainly plays more of a part than we think, according to Dr Wiseman. While many factors influence how we view a name – from liking a successful actor to disliking your boss – these perception can have a very real impact.

Research has shown that such perceptions can become self-fulfilling prophesies, with teachers giving higher marks to children with attractive names and employers being more likely to promote those who sound successful, he says.

George Clooney regularly tops “gorgeous man” polls, yet his is the first name least associated with attractiveness, and luck in love according to studies, as is for Brian and Helen.

According to Wiseman, who, through his research asked more than 6,000 people about their perceptions of the most popular first names in the UK, observed some strong trends. Elizabeth and James are considered the most successful sounding first names, Lucy and Jack the luckiest and Sophie and Ryan the most attractive.

The author is particularly interested in the impact of given names in an ever-shrinking world. Names such as Elizabeth or a James that may be associated with success in the UK, might carry very different perceptions should Elizabeth or James decide to immigrate.



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