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RIP William Addams Reitwiesner (1954–2010)

(Obituaries, Stories of Interest) Permanent link
Michael J. Leclerc

Michael J. Leclerc
Director of Special Projects

William Addams Reitwiesner of Washington, D.C., died from complications of cancer on Friday, November 12, 2010. Bill’s survivors include his mother, Homé McAllister Reitwiesner, brothers Andrew McAllister, John Stevens and Henry Pfister Reitwiesner and sister Dorothy Billopp Reitwiesner. Survivors also include his nieces and nephews, Robert, Daniel, Justin, Becky, Theodore and Thomas Reitwiesner.


After graduating from high school in 1972, Bill went to work at the Library of Congress. This was the only job he ever held. The main reason he worked there was to have access to the wealth of information stored therein.


Bill’s true passion was genealogy and he was well known for researching the ancestry of royals and other famous persons. With Gary Boyd Roberts, he wrote and published American Ancestors and Cousins of The Princess of Wales. His genealogies of American politicians were used in popular media usually without proper attribution to him. Much of Bill’s genealogical research can be found on his website,


Bill had a deep love of music. He was a long-time participant and member of the board of the Friday night Contra Dance at the Spanish Ballroom in Glen Echo. He played bass for many years in an amateur bar band in the Annapolis area.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to the New England Historic Genealogical Society (

Posted by Michael Leclerc at 11/29/2010 02:40:01 PM | 

I have loved Bill's website for years. I'm concerned that now he has passed away, so will the website. The internet hasn't been around long enough for folks to think about who will maintain their websites (a real legacy) after they pass away. Do you know what/who will take over maintaining his site, so it doesn't disappear?
Posted by: Heather Wilkinson Rojo ( Email | Visit ) at 11/30/2010 3:37 PM

Dear Heather -
I also enjoyed Bill's website and collaborated with him on many endeavors over the years. Bill appointed me his "literary executor" for his papers both online and offline, so his work will be preserved, and currently everything remains on his website of


Chris Child, NEHGS
Posted by: Chris Child ( Email | Visit ) at 11/30/2010 5:25 PM

Mr. Child, I like that "literary executor"! Something to think about when deciding what to do with all my research, website and blog for the future. I'm sure my family won't want to deal with it. I hope other genealogists take note.
Posted by: Heather Wilkinson Rojo ( Email | Visit ) at 12/1/2010 10:41 AM

Hi All;
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