Friday, August 12, 2011

My Family Tree

Thomas Stone. Signer of the American Declarati...Image via WikipediaSeveral years ago, my mother gave me a family tree that one of her relatives had been working on.  They were able to trace my mother's side of the family all the way back to Isaac Burton, Sr. (my 5th great grandfather) who was born in 1788.  He married Keturah Brown Duvall in 1812.  One of my relatives had married a woman named Caroline Skaggs.  It made me wonder if she was a part of the Skaggs family that settled in what is called Skaggsville, MD.

I found it interesting to go through the tree and see all the connections that led to where the family is today.  I can not recall if my wife and I had already bought the Family Tree Maker software or if we bought it as a result of getting that family tree from my mother.  Either way, I loaded that tree in to the program and started trying to do some of my own research.  The CD-ROMs that came with the software did not provide much more info, so after a while I put the search on hold.  While I was interested in finding out more info, I never wanted to plop down the money for a subscription to

Still, in the back of my mind, I often wondered about tracing back my father's side of the family.  Our last name is Stone, and as far as I can find, we have always been rooted in the state of Maryland.  I think I was probably in elementary school when I learned that one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence was Thomas Stone, and he signed as a representative from Maryland.  Naturally, I have always wondered if we were in any way related to him.  Now, we may (or may not) have the answer.

Last weekend, I was fiddling around on Facebook, when I saw that my brother had posted a reply on his wall from one of his in-laws.  He had asked my brother if he knew how we were related to Thomas Stone.  He had researched our family tree on and had us connected to Capt. William Stone who was born in 1603 and was the third provincial governor of Maryland.  We were connected to one of his sons and another of his sons was connected to Thomas Stone which would have made Thomas Stone my 3rd cousin seven times removed.

This set off a fury of internet searches by my brother and I.  We discovered several interesting facts about different prominent members of the Stone clan.  One of William Stone's brothers was a bit of a rogue and had been called a pirate.  He was killed by the Pequot Indians setting off the Pequot War.  There had been other members of the family who had served in Congress and another governor of Maryland.   Some had fought in the American Revolution.

Unfortunately, during some of the searching, my brother found a discrepancy in the tree around 1666 in William Stone, my 7th great grandfather.  It turns out that there are records for two William Stones born in 1666, one in St. Mary's County and one from Charles County.  Our William Stone is from St. Mary's County and the one descended from Capt. William Stone is from Charles County.  My brother emailed a person who is an expert of St. Mary's County genealogy who said that nobody has been able to connect the Stones of the two counties.

Alas, it appears that I can not say with any certitude that I am related to Thomas Stone in any way.  We may still be connected in some way further up the family tree, but for now we just don't have that connection.  While that is a bit of a disappointment, it was still fun to look into it.  At the very least, we now have connections going back to 1666 on my father's side of the tree.

When I thought for sure that we were related to Thomas Stone and Captain William Stone, I was going to do a series of post about some of the more famous and colorful members of my family tree.  Now that we are probably not related, I have put that idea on the shelf.  Though I have to admit, it might still be a little fun to do.

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