My Family Tree

My Family Tree

Family Tree Mural of Unknown Family

Actually “My Family Tree” is a bit of a misnomer. The tree should actually be called “Our Family Tree” as the tree is a combination of mine and my wife’s family ancestors and descendants.

Actually, if I was to start over I would probably plant and grow two family trees, one of my ancestors and one of my wife’s ancestors. Working with a combined tree is a bit bulky because of the number of individuals in the file but is not a major problem with the use of the PC. I never imagined 25 or so years ago that the tree would grow as large as it has.

My Methods

Currently there are 58,569 individuals in the tree. This consists of ancestors, our children and their spouses and in-laws and their children, our grand-children. It also includes some of our children’s spouses and some of their ancestors.

In order to concentrate more on our family history rather than just on an endless list of names, dates and locations I only include our parents and their siblings (our aunts and uncles) and first cousins and their spouses and their spouses parents. I include spouse’s parents mainly for identification purposes.

If I get two persons with the same or similar names and same or similar Dates of Birth and/or Dates of Death I can many times tell one from the other by who their parents were. For example, you may end up with 20 or more “John Smiths” or “Joan Smiths” in your tree file and with two or three with Dates of Birth or Death that are close and with spouses with the same or similar Given name and similar Surnames. To determine which “John Smith” or “Joan Smith” is the one you are looking for they can usually be identified by the parents’ names.

In addition to including our parents, aunts, uncles and cousins I also include only grand-parents and their siblings (our great-aunts and uncles) and their children (our first cousins’ whatever number of times “removed”). I will try to explain the “removed” term elsewhere on By limiting our relationship to the individuals in the tree I don’t get bogged down with a list of distant cousins whose history I’m not really interested in.

There are exceptions to this self-imposed rule. If I run across a distant cousin who was notable for some reason I will sometimes include them and their lineage linking them to our tree. Also, if I run across a distant cousin who is also engaged in researching their tree and we have common ancestors I will usually include them largely for a means of maintaining contact information with them.

Results Of My Research – Statistics

In addition to the 58,569 individuals in the file we have recorded 31,334 marriages, 9,568 surnames and 97 generations and we’re adding more all the time. The average life span of all the 58,569 individuals is 60 years 7 months and one individual on my wife’s side, Baine ingen Sqaile (meaning “Baine daughter of Sqaile”), was born about the year 100 in England, then a Roman Province, and died about 145 in Ireland, also under Roman rule at that time.

Results Of My Research – Relationships

Between our two families we have confirmed relationships to George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, several English and French kings, Gen. George Armstrong Custer, Native American Comanche chief Quana Parker and many other notable people.

John and Catherine Croyle Home, Bedford Co., PA


My ancestors were mainly from German speaking Switzerland and Germany and then Pennsylvania. My 4xGreat-grandparents were on the first ship, the “Charming Nancy”, of entirely Amish immigrants to come to America in 1737. A scattering of Amish who emigrated from Switzerland due to religious persecution had preceded them.

A first cousin, 7x-removed, was the first Treasurer of the United States under George Washington, who was my 2nd cousin, 8x removed. (George and Martha had no children therefore no one can claim to be a direct descendant of theirs.) Gen. George Armstrong Custer, famous Civil War general who died at the Battle of the Little Big Horn, and I are 4th cousins, 4x-removed. A 3rd cousin, 3x-removed was the founder of the Statler Hotel chain which was sold to the Hilton Hotel chain in 1954.

Watson and Cassandra Owens home, Dickenson Co., VA

My wife’s ancestors were mainly from England, France and Ireland and then Virginia. She is partially descended from several English and French kings and other European royalty and from many members of the Knights Templar. She also has Viking ancestors. She was also a 2nd cousin, 8x removed of George Washington, as am I which makes us somehow related although I have never taken the time to check that out.

Although John Rolfe and his wife Pocahontas appear in my wife’s ancestral history due to their connection with the English settlement of Jamestown, Virginia, they are not related to my wife. She is however a 3rd cousin, 4x removed of Native American Comanche chief Quanah Parker. Chief Quanah Parker was the son of Cynthia Ann Parker, a 2nd cousin, 5x removed of my wife, and Peta Nacona, also a Native American Comanche chief.

These relationships and I expect more to come, were unknown prior to our researching our family history. So as you can see you can develop many relationships with past famous, and infamous, figures in history when you begin your family history research.


These relationships were unknown prior to our researching our family history. So, as you can see, you can develop many relationships with past famous, and infamous, figures in history when you begin your family history research.

So, you can see that starting with a couple of dozen immediate family members we have come quite a ways working in our spare time for the past 25 years or so. You can have the same or more success working on your own family history so why not start now?

Your Friendly Family History Source,

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