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  • #54 Royal Descents, Notable Kin, and Printed Sources: Harvard, Its Presidents, and Kings

    Gary Boyd Roberts

    Published Date : January 17, 2001
    For over 315 years, through 1953, Harvard College and University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the country's oldest and premier institution of higher learning, was led by 23 presidents, 16 of whom were of royal descent or at some time married to women descended from kings. Seven presidents - Chauncey, Willard, Kirkland, Quincy, Eliot, Lowell, and Conant - were of such descent themselves. Nine - Hoar, Rogers, Leverett, Holyoke, Everett, Sparks, Walker, Felton, and Hill - were spouses of women with such descents. Chauncey and Mrs. Hoar were themselves immigrants and the lines for Eliot and for first cousins Mrs. Everett and Mrs. Walker have in effect already appeared in this column under their maternal grandfather, U.S. Constitution signer Nathaniel Gorham, Jr., and Mrs. Everett's nephews, historians Henry and Brooks Adams. Eliot appeared as a descendant of Mrs. Anne Marbury Hutchinson, Mrs. Hoar via Berkeleys was a cousin of the Lygon clan also featured in earlier columns (NEXUS, 16:5, 6 [1999]; New England Ancestors , 1:1-3 [2000]), and Chauncey's nearest immigrant kinsman outside his own children was Mrs. Mabel Harlakenden Haynes (Eaton) of Massachusetts and Connecticut, prominently mentioned in part one of the series on Yale presidents (New England Ancestors , 1:4).

    Rogers and Leverett married respectively a granddaughter and (her daughter) great-granddaughter of Governor Thomas Dudley. Holyoke married a great-great-granddaughter of Governor Dudley (a granddaughter of Mrs. Rogers and niece of Mrs. Leverett) who was also a great-granddaughter of Samuel and Judith (Everard) Appleton. Joseph Willard was a great-grandson of Harvard vice president Samuel Willard (de facto president under Increase Mather), who married a daughter of Mrs. Mary Launce Sherman.

    John Thornton Kirkland, son-in-law of Hartford Convention president George Cabot, was a son of missionary Samuel Kirkland, a descendant of Mrs. Alice Freeman Thompson Parke, and the brother of a great-grandfather of Frances Louise Tracy, second wife of financier and art collector John Pierpont Morgan. Quincy, son of Revolutionary patriot Josiah Quincy, Jr., was a descendant of Edward Bromfield and Mrs. Elizabeth Mansfield Wilson (see the January 2001 Register), as well as again Samuel and Judith (Everard) Appleton. Everett married Saltonstall and Maverick descendant Charlotte Gray Brooks, sister of Mrs. Charles Francis Adams and first cousin of James Walker's wife, Maverick descendant Catherine Bartlett.

    Sparks's wife was of New Jersey and New York royal descent, via respectively Mrs. Euphan Scott Johnstone and Robert Sinclair. The second wife of Cornelius Conway Felton was a sister of Radcliffe College founder Mrs. Elizabeth Cabot Cary Agassiz, second wife of naturalist Jean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz, and a descendant of Increase Nowell and possible RD immigrant John Winslow, husband of Mary Chilton of the Mayflower. Thomas Hill married a descendant of Mrs. Elizabeth St. John Whiting.

    The last three presidents I wish to consider (printed sources are weak for the ancestry of Nathan Marsh Pusey and Derek Bok, and they and their successors seem to have little or no New England ancestry) are themselves descendants of kings and led Harvard for over 80 years. I dealt with Charles William Eliot and Mrs. Abbott Lawrence Lowell (Anna Parker Lowell) in my column on noted progeny of Mrs. Anne Marbury Hutchinson and so below outline only A.A. Lowell's descent from Percival Lowell, for whom Douglas Richardson recently discovered an unpublished RD. Of A.A. Lowell's immediate kin, astronomer Percival Lowell was a brother, poet Amy Lowell was a sister, and another sister, Mrs. Elizabeth Lowell Putnam, was the maternal grandmother of foreign affairs experts McGeorge and William Bundy. Lastly, below I outline the descent of James Bryant Conant from Woodstock, Connecticut ur-ancestors Griffith and Margaret (Fleming) Bowen.

    Above and below, then, is a brief Harvard counterpart to my series on Yale presidents. As per this column's usual format, outlined below are the descents of 14 Harvard presidents (immigrants Chauncey and Mrs. Hoar are simply listed) from the RD immigrants mentioned above. Following the president's name, birth and death years, and years of his presidency, plus parentheses and the name of a wife whenever the treated ancestry is hers, are his or her parents, a set of grandparents, great-grandparents, etc., back to the italicized RD immigrant. As always, semi-colons separate generations and commas separate couples in the same generation back from the president or his wife. Via Gov. Dudley, I might add, Mrs. Rogers, Mrs. Leverett, Mrs. Holyoke, and Eliot were descended probably from Edward III, King of England (d. 1377) and certainly from King John (d. 1216) or, for Eliot, Edward I (d. 1307). Other Edward III descendants in this group were Willard (via Mrs. Sherman), Quincy (via Mrs. Wilson), Mrs. Leverett (via both Saltonstalls), Mrs. Sparks (via Robert Sinclair's alleged descent from James V, King of Scots [d. 1542]), and possibly Mrs. Felton (via the proposed Winslow descent). Mrs. Hoar and Lowell, moreover, were descendants of Edward I, and Mrs. Walker, via Mrs. Maverick, was a descendant of Henry III (d. 1272). Mrs. Hill was descended, via Mrs. Whiting, from Henry II of England (d. 1189); Conant, via Bowens, from Henry I of England (d. 1135); Chauncey from Henry I, King of France (d. 1060); and Kirkland, via Mrs. Parke, from Ethelred II, King of England (d. 1016).

    1. Charles Chauncey, 1592-1671/2, 2nd president, 1654-72
    2. Leonard Hoar, ca. 1630-1675, 3rd president, 1672-75 (wife, Bridget Lisle [RD])
    3. John Rogers, ca. 1630-1684, 5th president, 1682-84 (wife, Elizabeth Denison; Daniel Denison & Patience Dudley; Gov. Thomas Dudley & Dorothy York).
    4. John Leverett, Jr., 1662-1724, 7th president, 1708-24 (1st wife, Margaret Rogers; John Rogers, #3 above, & Elizabeth Denison)
    5. Edward Holyoke, 1689-1769, 9th president, 1737-70 (2nd wife, Margaret Appleton; John Appleton, Jr. & Elizabeth Rogers; John Appleton & Priscilla Glover, John Rogers, #3 above, & Elizabeth Denison; Samuel Appleton & Judith Everard)
    6. Joseph Willard, 1738-1804, 12th president, 1781-1806; Samuel Willard & Abigail Wright; John Willard & Frances Sherburne, Samuel Willard, q.v., & Abigail Sherman; John Sherman & Mary Launce.
    7. John Thornton Kirkland, 1770-1840, 14th president, 1810-28; Samuel Kirkland & Jerusha Bingham; Daniel Kirkland & Mary Perkins; Joseph Perkins & Martha Morgan; Joseph Morgan & Dorothy Parke; Thomas Parke & Dorothy Thompson; John Thompson & Alice Freeman.
    8. Josiah Quincy (III), 1772-1862, 15th president, 1828-41; Josiah Quincy, Jr. & Abigail Phillips; Wiliam Phillips & Abigail Bromfield; Samuel Phillips (III) & Hannah White, Edward Bromfield, Jr. & Abigail Coney; Samuel Phillips, Jr. & Mary Emerson; Edward Bromfield & Mary Danforth; Samuel Phillips & Sarah Appleton, Samuel Danforth & Mary Wilson; Samuel Appleton & Judith Everard, John Wilson & Elizabeth Mansfield.
    9. Edward Everett, 1794-1865, 16th president, 1846-49 (wife, Charlotte Gray Brooks; Peter Chardon Brooks, q.v., & Anne Gorham; as per Henry and Brooks Adams, historians, Charlotte's nephews, see NK1, p. 192). P.C. Brooks was a descendant of Richard and Muriel(Gurdon) Saltonstall; and Anne Gorham, of Mrs. Mary Gye Maverick.
    10. Jared Sparks, 1789-1866, 17th president, 1849-53 (wife, Frances Anne Allen; William Allen & Maria Cornelia Ver Planck; John Allen & Mary Johnstone, Gulian Ver Planck, Jr. & Cornelia Johnstone; David Johnstone & Magdalena Walton [parents of Mary and Cornelia], Gulian Ver Planck & Mary Crommelin; John Johnstone, Jr. & Elizabeth Jamison, Charles Crommelin & Anna Sinclair; John Johnstone & Euphan Scott, Robert Sinclair [likely RD] & Maria Duyckinck).
    11. James Walker, 1794-1874, 18th president, 1853-1860 (wife, Catherine Bartlett; George Bartlett & Mary Gorham, sister of Mrs. Peter Chardon Brooks, aunt of Mrs. Edward Everett and descendant of Mrs. Mary Gye Maverick)
    12. Cornelius Conway Felton, 1807-1862, 19th president, 1860-62 (2nd wife, Mary Louisa Cary; Thomas Graves Cary & Mary Perkins; Samuel Cary (III) & Sarah Gray; Samuel Cary, Jr. & Margaret Graves; Samuel Cary & Mary Foster; Richard Foster & Parnell Winslow; Isaac Winslow & Mary Nowell; John Winslow [possible RD] & Mary Chilton; Increase Nowell & Parnell Gray).
    13. Thomas Hill, 1818-1891, 20th president, 1862-69 (wife, Anne Foster Bellows; Josiah Bellows & Rebecca Sparhawk; Thomas Sparhawk, Jr. & Rebecca Stearns; Thomas Sparhawk & Mary Oliver; Samuel Sparhawk & Sarah Whiting; Joseph Whiting & Sarah Danforth; Samuel Whiting & Elizabeth St. John).
    14. Charles William Eliot, 1834-1926, 21st president, 1869-1909; as per NK2, p. 209, a descendant of Gov. Thomas and Katherine (Deighton) (Hackburne) Dudley and of Mrs. Anne Marbury Hutchinson.
    15. Abbott Lawrence Lowell, 1856-1943, 22nd president, 1909-1933; Augustus Lowell & Katharine Bigelow Lawrence; John Amory Lowell & Elizabeth Cabot Putnam; John Lowell (III) & Rebecca Amory; John Lowell, Jr. & Sarah Champney; Ebenezer Lowell & Elizabeth Shailer; John Lowell, Jr. & Naomi Sylvester; John Lowell & ---- ----; Percival Lowell & Rebecca ----.
    16. James Bryant Conant, 1890-1976, 23rd president, 1933-1953; James Scott Conant & Jennett Orr Bryant; Thomas Conant & Esther Chedel; David Chedel & Abigail Harding; Timothy Harding & Levina Perrin; Ezra Perrin & Anna Perrin; Abraham Perrin & Mary Morse (parents of Anna); Samuel Perrin & Mehitable Child; Benjamin Child & Mary Bowen; Griffith Bowen & Margaret Fleming.



    3-4. Mrs. Rogers, Mrs. Leverett: Dean Dudley, The History of the Dudley Family (1886-1894), pp. 276, 892.
    5. Mrs. Holyoke: Dean Dudley, op. cit., pp. 648, 892, 276; and W.S. Appleton, A Genealogy of the Appleton Family (1874), pp. 5-7.
    6. Willard: C.H. Pope, Willard Genealogy (1915), pp. 15-18, 27, 45-46, 92-94; T.T. Sherman, Sherman Genealogy (1920), pp. 108-11.
    7. Kirkland: E.A. Kraege, The Kirtland, Kirkland Families (1979), pages for Daniel and Samuel Kirkland; G.A. Perkins, The Family of John Perkins of Ipswich, Mass. (1889), part III, pp. 12-13, 17-18; and R.P. Anderson, Parke Scrapbook, Number 2 (1966), pp. 24-26, 30, 51.
    8. Quincy: E.E. Salisbury, Family Memorials (1885), passim, esp. Quincy, Phillips, and Bromfield (and Abigail Salisbury Phillips) charts.
    9. Mrs. Everett: As per Notable Kin 1(1998), p. 194.
    10. Mrs. Sparks: C.P. Keith, The Provincial Councillors of Pennsylvania (1883, repr. 1997), pp. 145-46 (Allen); Rev. W.N. Jones, The History of St. Peter's Church in Perth Amboy (1924), pp. 310-12 (Johnstone); NYGBR 24 (1893): 42, 44 (Ver Planck), 50 (1919): 46-48 (Crommelin, Sinclair).
    11. Mrs. Walker: T.B. Wyman, The Genealogies and Estates of Charlestown (1879, repr. 1982), pp. 65-66; Henry S. Gorham, The Gorham Family, vol. 5 (1932), p. 203 and vol. 10 (1934), p. 278; as per NK1, p. 192.
    12. Mrs. Felton: M.C. Crawford, Famous Families of Massachusetts, vol. 1 (1930), pp. 212-32, esp. 212-14, 219 (Cary); Wyman, op. cit., pp. 179-80; R.M. Sherman, R.S. Wakefield, et al., Mayflower Families through Five Generations, vol. 15 (Chilton-More) (1997), pp. 5-7, 18-19, 51-52, 144-45; R.C. Anderson, The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633, vol. 2 (1995), pp. 1342-46 (Nowell).
    13. Mrs. Hill: T.B. Peck, The Bellows Genealogy (1898), pp. 106-14, 195-99; C.H.C. Howard, Materials for a Genealogy of the Sparhawk Family of New England (1892), pp. 7, 12, 26, 50; E.A. Bowen, Lineage of the Bowens of Woodstock, Connecticut (1897), pp. 229-31 (Sparhawk, Whiting).
    14. Eliot: As per NK2, p. 209.
    15. Lowell: D.R. Lowell, The Historic Genealogy of the Lowells of America from 1639 to 1899 (1899), pp. 1-7, 12, 17-18, 22-23, 34-35, 58, 117, 218-20, 282-83; and W.G. Davis, Massachusetts and Maine Families in the Ancestry of Walter Goodwin Davis (1996), vol. 2, pp. 503-20.
    16. Conant: F.O. Conant, A History and Genealogy of the Conant Family (1887), pp. 330, 427; H.H. Vail, Pomfret, Vermont, vol. 2 (1930), p. 461; C.W. Bowen, The History of Woodstock, Connecticut: Genealogies of Woodstock Families (henceforth GWF), vol. 6 (1935), p. 651 (Harding); S.E. Perrin, The John Perrin Family of Rehoboth, Massachusetts (1974), pp. 7, 12-13, 19; GWF, vol. 3 (1930), pp. 472-73 (Child), vol. 2 (1930), pp. 572-3 (Bowen)
    17. General : The royal descents (RDs) of Chauncey, Mrs. Hoar, Gov. Dudley, Samuel and Judith (Everard) Appleton, Mrs. Sherman, Mrs. Parke, Bromfield, Mrs. Wilson, Richard and Muriel (Gurdon) Saltonstall, Mrs. Maverick, Mrs. Johnstone, Sinclair, possibly John Winslow, Nowell, Mrs. Whiting, Mrs. Katherine Deighton Hackburne Dudley, Mrs. Anne Marbury Hutchinson, and Griffith and Margaret (Fleming) Bowen have been published. See David Faris, Plantagenet Ancestry of Seventeenth-Century Colonists, 2nd ed. (1999) for Dudley, Mrs. Sherman, the Saltonstalls, Mrs. Maverick, Mrs. Dudley and Mrs. Hutchinson; and G.B. Roberts, The Royal Descents of 500 Colonists (1993, repr. with additions, 2001), for Chauncey, Mrs. Hoar, the Appletons, Mrs. Parke, Bromfield, Mrs. Johnstone, Sinclair, Mrs. Whiting (plus NEXUS 13 [1996]: 128) and the Bowens. For the proposed John Winslow and Mrs. Wilson see Register 154 (2000): 78-108, 155 (201): 3-35. For Nowell see RD500, pp. 330-33 and H.D. Bull, The Family of Stephen Bull (1961), p. 92. Additions to this last by Jerome E. Anderson and the Percival Lowell line both remain unpublished.

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