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  • #77 Royal Descents, Notable Kin, and Printed Sources: An Assortment of Famous Actors

    Gary Boyd Roberts

    Published Date : December 17, 2004
    At the end of column #73, before treating the ancestry of Richard Gere and Grace Slick, I listed various actors whom I, my longtime colleague William Addams Reitwiesner, former Biography columnist and new NEHGS librarian Rhonda McClure, George Larson, Rob Martindale, or NEHGS librarian and Newbury Street Press researcher Christopher C. Child had recently traced. To this list of scholars and enthusiasts of “celebrity genealogy” we can add Australian genealogist Leo van der Pas and Robert Battle, author of the Derehaugh monograph in the Register, who frequently e-mails the results of his work to Bill Reitwiesner. Of the actors and actresses therein named I can note that the Swedish royal descent of Maggie and Jake Gyllenhaal appears in the 2006 and 2008 editions of The Royal Descents of 600 Immigrants. Additionally, I can now report on the New England RD, Southern RD, or other ancestry of interest for Judy Garland, Liza Minnelli, Thomas J. “Tom” Hanks, [Eldred] Gregory Peck, Elizabeth Taylor, Keanu Reeves, Henry Fonda, William Holden [William Franklin Beedle, Jr.], Vincent [Leonard] Price [Jr.] (one of only a handful of great horror actors), and Christopher Reeve (for both acting and humanitarian achievements).

    Since Garland and Hanks are distant kinsmen, and their ancestry is Southern, I shall group them together and begin with actress and singer Judy Garland (1922-1969), born Frances Ethel Gumm, daughter of Francis Avent Gumm and Ethel Marian Milne, and granddaughter of William Tecumseh Gumm and Elizabeth Baugh, all of Murfreesboro, Tenn. Elizabeth was the daughter of John Aldridge Baugh and Mary Ann Marable (a descent I first learned from Rhonda McClure’s Finding Your Famous and Infamous Ancestors [2004]). As I first noted from an Internet chart probably by Larson or Martindale, John Aldridge Baugh was a son of Richard Baugh and Elizabeth Hartwell, and a grandson of James Baugh (see the DAR Patriot Index) and Agnes Batte. Agnes was in turn the daughter of William Batte, Jr. (and Agnes [Burchett?]), granddaughter of William Batte and Mary Stratton, and great-granddaughter of RD immigrant Henry Batte and Mary Lounds. By director Vincent Minnelli, Judy Garland was, of course, the mother of actress and singer Liza Minnelli (b. 1946). Previously I was skeptical of this line, per the older version of this column, but Agnes (Batte) Baugh appears in the Stratton chapter in the 2006 third volume, 4th ed., of John Frederick Dorman’s Adventurers of Purse and Person. Abstracts by Katherine B. Elliott of wills and marriages for Mecklenburg Co., Virginia, Aldridge Records, vol. 1 (1966), p. 151, E.L. Whitley’s abstracts of marriages in Rutherford Co., Tennessee, mention of John and Mary Baugh as the singer’s great-grandparents in Gerald Clark’s Get Happy: The Life of Judy Garland (2000)—plus Baugh and Gumm entries in the 1860, 1880, and 1900 censuses of Rutherford Co., Tennessee—cover the Baugh generations. M.M. Hoffman’s Leaves from the Gum Tree (1984) is only modestly helpful.

    Another RD immigrant to Virginia, a first cousin of Henry Batte, was Capt. Roger Mallory. His daughter (by an unknown wife), Jane Mallory, married John Quarles, and was the mother of Moses Quarles, father by ____ Linton of Jane Quarles, wife of William Tandy, who died in Kentucky. Jane’s son John Tandy married Mary Louise Rowland and had Sarah Tandy, wife of Thomas Hanks. Thomas Hanks, Jr., their son, was the father, by Rachel Rayburn Call, of Daniel Boone Hanks (1847-1921) of Kentucky and California. D. B. Hanks, by Mary Catherine Mefford, was the father of Ernest Buel Hanks, husband in turn of Gladys Hilda Ball, born in Iowa. Their son Amos Mefford Hanks was the father, by Janet Marylyn Frager, of Thomas Jeffrey “Tom” Hanks, the actor (b. 1956), who appears on pp. 475-76 of the 2004 Hanks Family of Virginia and Westward. W. K. Averitt, Tandy Kinsmen (1988), pp. 8-9, 11 (-15), 17-29, 287-88, covers Jane Quarles through Thomas Hanks (III), but for ____ Linton, the parentage of Jane Quarles, and Mary Louise as the first names of John Tandy’s Rowland wife I depend on Internet research by George Larson (and I believe there are Quarles sources not at NEHGS).

    Actor Gregory Peck has no royal, Mayflower, or Salem witch descent, but he does have a fair amount of New England ancestry. His mother, Bernice Mary Ayers, wife of Gregory Pearl Peck, was a daughter of John Daggett Ayers II and Kathryn Elizabeth Force. J. D. Ayers was the son of William Henry Ayers and Elizabeth Maria Daggett, whose father John Dickinson Daggett was born in Attleboro, Mass. in 1793, moved to Missouri, and married Sarah Sparks. Standard genealogies then cover much of the traceable New England ancestry. J. D. Daggett was a son of Benjamin Daggett and Mary Guild and grandson of Daniel Daggett (and Margaret Woodcock) and Daniel Guild (and Phebe Dickerson, whom I cannot further trace). Surnames in the next generation are Daggett, Stanley, Woodcock, White, Guild, and Mann; and in the next generation, Daggett, Biven, Stanley, Guild, Woodcock, Williams, White, Leonard (the Saugus ironworks family), Guild (again), Fisher, Mann, and Hawes. The 1894 Doggett-Daggett genealogy notes the migration of John Dickinson Daggett to Missouri but does not carry the family forward.

    The actress Elizabeth Taylor (b. 1932), wife of actors Michael Wilding and Richard Burton, director Mike Todd, singer Eddie Fisher, and U.S. Senator John W. Warner, has only a sliver of New England ancestry, but it is finally traceable due to a history of Warrick Co., Indiana, unfortunately not at NEHGS, and the 1998 Compendium of Hinman Genealogies. Taylor’s parents were Francis Lenn Taylor and Sara Viola Warmbrodt; her grandparents Francis Marion Taylor and Elizabeth Mary Rosemund; and great-grandparents Peter Taylor and Margaret Jane Perigo, both of Warrick Co. Margaret Jane was the daughter of Jonathan Perigo and Isabella McGill, and granddaughter of Romey Perigo and Rhoda Hinman. Rhoda was the daughter of Asahel Hinman and his certain cousin Mary Harris Hinman, whose ancestry, however, cannot be traced. Asahel Hinman, who died in Warrick Co., was a son of Jonas/Jonah Hinman (b. 1700 in Stratford, Conn.) and Elizabeth Ward, of the New Jersey family (a line much studied by Michael J. Wood of London). Jonas was the son of Edward Hinman, Jr., and Hannah Burroughs, and the grandson of Edward Hinman, Hannah Stiles, Edward Burroughs, and Mary Higby. Taylor’s New England ancestry will double if the origins of Mary Harris Hinman are somehow found.

    I include Keanu Reeves in this column partly as a personal indulgence – we are sixth cousins. Keanu Charles Reeves (b. 1964 in Beirut, Lebanon) is half-English, three-eighths Hawaiian, and one-eighth Southern U.S. His father, Samuel Nowlin Reeves, Jr., husband of Patricia Taylor, is the son of an earlier Samuel Nowlin Reeves and Sarah Monilani Victor of Hawaii. The elder S. N. Reeves was the son of Charles Armistead Reeves of White Co., Tenn. and Honolulu, and Rose Lakalia Miguel, the latter half-Portuguese and half-Hawaiian. Charles Armistead Reeves was the son of a Sampson W. Reeves and Mary Virginia Armistead Nowlin, treated in the weak but still useful Nowlin-Stone genealogy. The parents of Mary Virginia were Armistead Shelton Nowlin and Mary E. Lanier (as in poet Sidney Lanier). Armistead Nowlin was the son of Richard Wade Nowlin and Celia Shelton, and grandson of my own forebears twice over, Bryan Ward Nowlin and Lucy Wade of Pittsylvania Co., Virginia. Elizabeth Nowlin, daughter of Bryan and Lucy, married Joseph Devin. Their children William and Lucy married, respectively, Elizabeth Croff and Richard B. Beck; and children of these last, James A. Devin and Massy F. Beck, married each other. Lucy Elizabeth Devin, daughter of James and Massy, married Willis Petree Fry, who moved from Tennessee to Texas. Mary Louise Fry, their youngest child, married John Christopher Roberts and was the mother of Jack Carl Roberts, my father (by Mary Elizabeth Boyd).

    Henry Fonda (1905-1982) was the son of Dutch-descended William Brace Fonda and Herberta Jaynes and grandson of Henry Silas Jaynes and Elma Lampher. The parents of Henry Silas, Henry C[linton] Jaynes and Almira L. Jacobs, appear on p. 108 of the 1900 Bemis genealogy. Almira L. was the daughter of Silas Jacobs of Croydon, N.H. (1785-1839) and Lydia Pike, daughter of John Pike and Beulah Bemis. John was the son of another John Pike (and Mehitable Howard/Hayward) of Sturbridge, who appear to be not further traceable. Beulah’s parents were Abijah Bemis and Dinah Hagar; her grandparents were John Bemis, Jr. and Anna Livermore, and William Hagar 3rd and Mary Flagg. Once again, there is no royal, Mayflower or Salem witch descent, but families of some historical importance among the forebears of Anna Livermore include Danforth and Sherman. The mother of William Hagar 3rd was a Benjamin, and the mother of Mary Flagg was a Bigelow.

    The actor William Holden [William Franklin Beedle, Jr.] (1918-1981) was a son of William Franklin Beedle and Mary Blanche Ball, and a grandson of Henry Samuel Ball and Emma Louise Sloman. Emma was a daughter of John Sloman and Sarah Caroline Lamb, treated in the fine 1993 Lamb genealogy. Sarah Caroline was the daughter of John J. Lamb and Sarah Noble; granddaughter of Israel Lamb and Amanda Beach, and Henry Noble and Mary Swazey; and great-granddaughter of Thomas Lamb and Deborah Brown, Caleb Beach, Jr. and Lois Preston, an unknown Noble and his wife, and Richard Swazey, Jr. and Hannah Budd. Further back is a descent via Betts and Chamberlayne from Elizabeth (Stoughton) (Scudder) Chamberlayne, whose noted progeny is treated in my earlier website column on the Scudders of Mass. and L.I; William King and Dorothy Dibble, ancestors very probably of Harding, Benjamin Harrison, and Taft; and Hortons and Terrys, also in the ancestry of Benjamin Harrison.

    Unlike several of the actors treated above, Vincent [Leonard] Price [Jr.] (1911-1993) and Christopher Reeve have royal and Mayflower descents, and Price, a Salem witch descent and kinship to the late Diana, Princess of Wales, plus lines to leading families in colonial Massachusetts. Price’s and Reeve’s ancestry can perhaps both best be treated in traditional “Notable Kin” format:

    1. Vincent [Leonard] Price [Jr.], 1911-1993; Vincent Leonard Price & Daisy Cobb Willcox; Vincent Clarence Price & Harriet Elizabeth White, Henry Cole Willcox & Harriet Louise Cobb; Russell Jesse White & Helena Anne Boynton, Eben North Willcox & Mary Louise Cole; Aaron White, Jr. & Mary Bigelow, Charles Wilcox & Almira Rood, Henry Stephen Cole & Victorie Desnoyers; Aaron White & Ruhamah Thayer, Thomas Bigelow & Hannah Chase, John Wilcox (III) & Margaret Kelsey, Luther Cole & Mary Gould; John Thayer & Ruhamah Smith, Jedediah Bigelow & Tamasin/Thomasine Nurse, Silas Kelsey & Lydia Wellman, Joseph Cole & Betsey Southworth; Pelatiah Smith & Jane Harris, Benjamin Nurse, Jr. & Elizabeth Haven, Gideon Wellman & Concurrence Hull, Constant Southworth & Martha Keith; Isaac Harris & Mercy Latham, Benjamin Nurse & Tamasin/Thomasine Smith, William Wellman, Jr. & Elizabeth ____, Edward Southworth & Bridget Bosworth, Joseph Keith & Elizabeth Fobes; Robert Latham & Susanna Winslow, Francis Nurse & Salem witchcraft victim Rebecca Towne, William Wellman & Elizabeth Spencer, Nathaniel Southworth & Desire Gray, Edward Fobes & Elizabeth Howard; John Winslow & Mary Chilton (parents of Susanna and Mary), William Spencer & Agnes Harris (RD), Constant Southworth (poss. RD) & Elizabeth Collier, Edward Gray & Mary Winslow, em>John Fobes (PW) & Constant Mitchell (PW); James Chilton (MP) & ____ ____.

    2. Christopher D’Olier Reeve, 1952-2004; Franklin D’Olier Reeve & Barbara Pitney Lamb; Richard Henry Reeve & Anne Conrad D’Olier, Horace Rand Lamb & Beatrice Louise Pitney; Augustus Henry Reeve & Margaretta Willis Baldwin, Burt Israel Lamb & Harriet Davis; Richard Henry Reeve & Sarah Wyatt Carpenter, Henry Baldwin 3rd & Katherine Irving Dayton, Charles Christian Lamb & Elizabeth Annette Russell; Samuel Preston Carpenter & Hannah H. Acton, Henry Baldwin, Jr. & Mary Flora Dickson, Aaron Ogden Dayton & Mary B. Tuft, Ebenezer Ripley Lamb & Sarah Gaylord; William Carpenter & Mary Redman, Henry Baldwin & Marana Norton, Elias Bailey Dayton & Elizabeth Catherine Chandler, Gad Lamb & Jerusha Ripley; Preston Carpenter & Hannah Smith, Michael Baldwin & Theodosia Wolcott, Nathaniel Norton & Patty Beebe, Thomas Bradbury Chandler & Jane Emott, Ebenezer Ripley & Mehitable Burbank; Samuel Carpenter & Hannah Preston, Timothy Baldwin & Bathsheba Stone, Ebenezer Norton & Elizabeth Baldwin, William Chandler & Jemima Bradbury, Joshua Ripley & Mary Backus; Samuel Preston & Rachel Lloyd, Samuel Baldwin & Abigail Baldwin (parents of Timothy and Nathaniel), Nathaniel Baldwin & Elizabeth Parmelee, Thomas Bradbury & Mary Hilton, John Ripley & Hannah Bradford; Thomas Lloyd, Dep. Gov. of Pa. (RD) & Mary Jones (RD), John Baldwin & Mary Bruen (parents of Abigail), William Bradbury & Rebecca Wheelwright, Edward Hilton & Anna Dudley, William Bradford, Jr. & Alice Richards; Obadiah Bruen (RD) & Mary ____, Thomas Bradbury (RD) & Mary Perkins, Rev. Samuel Dudley & Mary Winthrop, Gov. William Bradford (MP) & Alice Carpenter; Gov. Thomas Dudley (RD) & Dorothy Yorke.

    Sources for Vincent Price include the 1897 Boynton genealogy (pp. 142-43), the 1986 Bigelow genealogy (1534-15349.1), the 1990 Wilcox/Wilcoxson and 1928 Kelsey genealogies (plus TAG 37 [1961]: 7-9, on the Wellmans), the Desnoyers entry in Father Christian Denissen, Genealogies of the French Families of the Detroit River Region, Cole research by George Larson of Reno, Nevada, the Chilton MF volume, the Nurse chapter in Massachusetts and Maine Families in the Ancestry of Walter Goodwin Davis, and 1976 Fobes and 1997 Keith genealogies I have several times cited in covering noted distant American relatives of the late Diana, Princess of Wales. 

    Sources for Christopher Reeve, researched by Robert Battle, include the National Cyclopaedia of American Biography (60:315) and the 1993 Lamb genealogy mentioned above, vol. 3 of C.W. Bowen’s Genealogies of Woodstock Families (from William Chandler, husband of Jemima Bradbury, to R.H. Reeve [II]), the often erroneous 1881 Baldwin genealogy, Edward Carpenter’s Samuel Carpenter and his Descendants (from Gov. and Mary [Jones] Lloyd to A.H. Reeve) plus the Lloyd and Preston sections of Provincial Councilors of Pennsylvania, the 1890 Bradbury genealogy, the 2004 Dudley volume by Marston Watson, and MF, vol. 22 (Bradford).

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