Welcome to Our Family Tree
Click on the links below to go to the actual trees:
I (Lenore) started working on my family tree in 1985, after my first child was born. I made up my own questionnaire and asked family members to answer the basic questions on it. I asked about their parents, grandparents, and other relatives. In addition, my father wrote his memoirs with a separate chapter on his relatives, and my mother also wrote a paper on her memories of her family members.
I am largely of Scottish, English, French and Dutch descent on my Mother’s side, and Jewish Russian, Polish, and Lithuanian descent on my Father’s side.
A distant cousin of my father, Alex Friedlander, is a genealogist and did extensive research on one branch of the family for the book, Eliyahu’s Branches, The Decendants of the Vilna Gaon and his Family by Chaim Freedman. The Vilna Gaon was a famous Rabbi in the 1700’s, that we are direct decendants of. The book gave me quite a bit of information on that branch.
And for the past few years, I have been greatly expanding the tree with the use of research on Ancestry.com and MyHeritage.com This has led to contact with additional family members that I had never met before, and even more family information.
In addition to the Vilna Gaon, I have also found that I am related to the famous pianist Oscar Levant – he was my paternal grandfather’s 1st cousin. I am also related, distantly, to Wild Bill Hickock, King Edward IV of England, and many original settlers of several Connecticut towns and cities, all through my maternal grandfather’s side.
I also started asking my husband’s family for information and have expanded his tree with the help of Ancestry.com. His family is almost all Hungarian. It is not nearly as extensive as my side, but hopefully will expand as I connect with his family members.
Notable People In (Or Not In) This Tree
Rabbi Eliyahu, Gaon of Vilna, a famous Rabbi and Scholar was my 7x paternal Great-Grandfather through the Mehr-Bardin-Vilner Branch.
King Edward IV of England (and the Kings before him) was my 15x maternal Great Grandfather through his illegitimate daughter, Elizabeth Plantagenet, from his affair with Elizabeth Lucy (aka Elizabeth Wayte). This connection is through the Broadhurst/Lockwood/Creswell branch.
Wild Bill Hickok, the famous gunfighter and lawman, was my 6th cousin 5x removed related through the Broadhurst-Slauson-Bouton Branch.
We have some important historical figures of Norwalk, Milford, and Greenwich, CT in our tree, who are listed on monuments in their respective towns:
Nathaniel Hayes was my 10x maternal Great- Grandfather through the Broadhurst-Slauson-Bouton families and a founding settler of Norwalk, CT. He was a signor of the treaty with the Norwalke Indians in 1655.
Matthew Marvin, Sr, also my 10x maternal Great- Grandfather through the Broadhurst-Slauson-Bouton families, was also a founding settler of Norwalk, CT. He served as a deputy of the General Court of the Colony of Connecticut from Norwalk in 1654. He also served as magistrate in 1659.
Matthias St. John, another 10x maternal Great Grandfather through the Broadhurst-Slauson-Raymond families, was also a founding settler of Norwalk, CT after he was a founding settler of Dorchester, MA, and Windsor, CT.
Richard Miles, my 9x maternal Great Grandfather through the Broadhurst-Raymond- Hanford families was an original settler of Milford, CT;
Gershom Lockwood, my 10x Great Grandfather through the same line was an original settler of Greenwich, CT.
Isaac DeForest, my 10x maternal Great Grandfather through the Broadhurst-DeForest-Jones line, was the original settler of the area of New Amsterdam, New Netherlands, that later became Harlem, NY. The parents of his wife, Sarah DuTrieux were among the first settlers of the area that later became Manhatten, and Sarah is likely the first child to be born in that new settlement.
Elizabeth Periment Clason, my 10x maternal Great Grandmother through the Broadhurst-DeForest-Jones families was accused of witchcraft in 1692 in Stamford, CT. She was the last person ever tried as a witch there, and found not-guilty.
Oscar Levant was a famous pianist in the early to mid 1900’s and is actually my 1st cousin 2x removed. He was a first cousin to my grandfather, Joseph Mehr. Joseph’s mother, Vera Levant Mehr, and Oscar’s father, Max Levant were brother and sister. My father had believed that his father’s family lived with the Levants in Pittsburgh while Joseph was in college there. According to the US Census, Joseph’s family did live in Pittsburgh in 1910 and so did the Levants, but they were not living together, not even on the same street.
There is a huge coincidence, though, that I found in my research. Oscar Levant’s second wife was June Gale. She was part of a vaudeville act and was in movies together with her three sisters, Jane, Jean, and Joan, called the Gale Sisters. They were billed as quadruplets, but were, in fact, two sets of twins just 14 months apart in age. They changed their names when they went into show business – the older set of twins, who became Jane and June Gale, were born as Helen and Doris Gilmartin. And the younger set, who became Jean and Joan Gale, were originally named Lenore and Lorraine Gilmartin. Jean, being my mother’s name, and Lorraine being my sister’s name, although her name is spelled Laraine.
Queen Elizabeth II– present Queen of England – Even though our grandmother, Margaret McWhirter claimed that her biological mother’s side of the family is related to Queen Elizabeth, I can find no connection whatsoever through the McWhirter Family. Queen Elizabeth is distantly related to King Edward IV, but he is a distant, many times over, great-uncle, not a direct ancestor. So, that makes us related, but very distantly, only through the Broadhursts, not the McWhirters.