Gary Boyd Roberts has done it again. That is, he has produced a voluminous work crammed with more facts and citations per square inch of printed text than almost any other book I have seen. This new book contains 861 pages of documented source citations listing all known information about tens of thousands of descendants of European royalty, namely the descendants that moved to the New World in Colonial days.
The new book, The Royal Descents of 600 Immigrants to the American Colonies or the United States, is an update of the book Roberts published three years ago: The Royal Descents of 500 Immigrants. As the title suggests, the new volume contains information about the royal ancestry of another 100 immigrants not listed in the earlier edition. It also disproves some lines of descent that had been published earlier as "authentic."
Quoting from the book's description on the publisher's web site:
A new indexed Addendum and a Coda outline descents from kings for nineteen additional immigrants, improves the lines of eighteen more, lowers the descent for eight others, fully disproves one, and suggests disproof for a further seven. The nineteen new immigrants include the following colonial figures who left thousands, perhaps millions, of descendants: Mrs. Elizabeth Bullock Clement(s) and Mrs. Judith Knapp Hubbard of Mass.; Mrs. Dorothy Beresford Broadnax, Mrs. Abigail Smith Burwell, and Mrs. Frances Baldwin Townshend Jones Williams of VA; and James Blount of NC. Colonial governors or other early notables, or immigrants with relatively few descendants include Thomas Boone (NJ and SC), Mrs. Mary Woodcock Bridges of Mass., Henry Hamilton Cox of PA, Lady Elizabeth Tate Hardy (NY), Thomas Jernegan and Thomas Law of VA, James William Maitland of NY (from the 2004 Addendum, a great-great-grandfather of Howard Dean), Mrs. Millicent Kate McLaughlin Rose of NY (forebear of some of the Hearsts of CA), and Seth Southill of NC. Twentieth-century figures include the wife of United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the husbands of Beatrice Lillie and rock music icon Madonna. A final immigrant is Anders Leonard Gyllenhaal of Chicago, great-great-grandfather of actors Jake and Maggie. Mrs. Clement(s) and Mrs. Brodnax are ancestors of the two presidents Bush, and Mrs. Clement(s) is the second American immigrant RD forebear of Sir Winston Churchill.
Most of the individuals listed in this book lived in the 1600s or earlier although there are numerous exceptions when historical figures are involved. Roberts frequently lists the ancestry of notable people of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
The book title may say, "600 Immigrants," but the book lists thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, of individuals within its 861 pages. If you have traced your ancestry back to colonial New England, New York, New Jersey, the Mid-Atlantic States, or Virginia, you stand an excellent chance of finding ancestors in this book. Even better, every single listing includes source citations as to where the data was found.
Perhaps just as important, The Royal Descents of 600 Immigrants also lists many individuals originally thought to have royal ancestry, claims that later were disproven. Again, source citations are given to the information that refutes the earlier claims. If you think you have already proven your royal ancestry, I'd suggest that you verify the information in this new book by Gary "Oh, that's been disproven" Boyd Roberts.
By the way, I did not invent nickname of "Oh, that's been disproven" for my former co-worker, Gary Boyd Roberts. I first heard it from a person who had just finished a consultation with Gary. While a bit humorous, I think that nickname speaks volumes about Gary Boyd Roberts' knowledge and his reputation within the genealogy community. This guy knows his stuff!
Of course, Gary also has excellent academic credentials above and beyond the admiring comments from his customers and co-workers. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Yale and holds an M.A. from the University of Chicago. He also attended the University of California at Berkeley. He is the author of several books (including The American Ancestors and Cousins of the Princess of Wales) and is the editor of another twenty. Beyond all this, Gary's lifetime work, a twenty-three volume manuscript called "The Mowbray Connection," is subtitled "An Analysis of the Genealogical Evolution of British, American, and Continental Nobilities, Gentries, and Upper Classes Since the End of the Middle Ages." Copies of this manuscript exist at the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS), the New York Public Library, and the Society of Genealogists in London.
Gary Boyd Roberts worked at NEHGS from 1974 until his semi-retirement in 2005. His last position there was Senior Research Scholar. Gary also is a frequent genealogy consultant to the media and is frequently quoted on the topics of U.S. presidential ancestry as well as on royal ancestry.
So the question remains: do you have royal ancestry? If you think that you might, you should check this book to find out. Start by comparing your list of ancestors with the huge index in this book. You may be royally surprised.
Royal Descents of 600 Immigrants is available for $75.00 plus postage and taxes, if any, from its publisher, Genealogical Publishing Company, at http://www.genealogical.com/item_detail.asp?ID=4963. You can also order the book from any bookstore if you specify ISBN 0806317450.