My wife Karen forwarded to me the other day Gizmodo’s story on a dry nook in the middle of a pond in Vöcklabruck, Austria, and it is certainly an eye-catching and amusing architectural gimmick.
The interesting coincidence is the location.
Vöcklabruck, in Upper Austria is my family’s ancestral home.
They were first recorded under the surname “Buchhaim,” which later became corrupted into Puchhaim and finally Pöchner. (Zienkiewicz came later.)
Über die Heimat der Pöchner ist nichts verlässliches bekannt. Während einige dieselben aus Schottland stammen lassen, wieder andere Steiermark als ihre Heimat nennen, kommen selbe zu Anfang des. 12. Jahrhunderts bereits in Salzburg vor, von wo sie sich nach Oberöstereich in die Gegend von Vöcklabruck wandten.
Concerning the homeland of the Pöchners there is no reliable information. According to some they originally emigrated from Scotland, but different sources call the Steiermark their homeland. From the beginning of the 12th Century onward they were in Salzburg, from whence they went to Upper Austria to the vicinity of Vöcklabruck.
The theory proposed by the former sources is that Buchhaim-Puchhaim-Pöchner surname comes actually from the Scottish Buchan, and that some Comyns related to the Norman Comyns who inherited via a Celtic maternal line the Scottish Earldom of Buchan moved to Austria.
This would be a plausible story if the emigration occurred in the years between 1306 and 1314 when the Comyns lost the struggle for power and the throne of Scotland to the Bruces, but the Pöchners are already in Austria two centuries earlier.
Below is the Pöchner coat of arms, which the heraldically-knowledgeable will perceive at once represents a simple reversal of the tinctures of the arms of Austria, i.e. of the Babbenburg Dukes of Austria, acquired by Leopold V (“Luitpold der Tugendhafte,” Leopold the Virtuous) in the course of the 1191 Siege of Acre.
Leopold’s arms consisted of “Gules, a fess Argent” because in the course of the fighting his tunic had become completely covered with blood except for a white band which had been covered by his belt.
The issue of Edward IV’s legitimacy was revived, after more than 500 years, by a British television documentary, titled Britain’s Real Monarch, which aired in 2004 and which produced documentation from Rouen Cathedral to Richard Plantagenet’s absence during the relevant period.
Theoreticians of this sort of thing exclude female claimants from the hypothetical Clarentian Succession, as the possibility of female succession was a creation by Henry VIII, who by this theory was never king anyway. By their calculations, Michael Abney-Hastings, 14th Earl of Loudoun, who passed away recently in Australia, was the 19th successor to the British throne in descent from George I, former Duke of Clarence.
The 14th Earl of Loudoun and Jerilderie councillor Michael Abney-Hastings died on Saturday morning at the age of 69.
Mr Abney-Hastings is well known in the Jerilderie Shire but is most famous for the 2004 documentary Britain’s Real Monarch, which suggests he should be the King of England in place of Queen Elizabeth II. Mr Abney-Hastings had been battling a debilitating illness and had been in and out of hospital in the lead-up to his death.
But he continued to serve Jerilderie Shire Council to the end and council general manager Craig Moffitt yesterday paid tribute to the “much-loved guy”.
“It is very sad,” Mr Moffitt said.
“He was quite a character around the town.”
Mr Abney-Hastings was born in Sussex in 1942 and attended a private school in Yorkshire before moving to Jerilderie with his family.
His parents were Captain Walter Strickland Lord and the 13th Countess of Loudoun Barbara Abney-Hastings, making him the 14th Earl of Loudoun.
He made world headlines in 2004 when Britain’s Real Monarch explained King Edward IV was conceived illegitimately, and therefore as the direct descendant of the 1st Duke of Clarence he should be the rightful King.
But Mr Abney-Hastings was voted onto Jerilderie council that same year and decided to focus his energy on that.
“He didn’t take his royal position too seriously, at least here in Jerilderie,” Mr Moffitt said.
“He would go over to England for royal ceremonies which he took seriously, but he always found it quite funny.”
Michael Edward Abney-Hastings, 14th Earl of Loudoun (22 July 1942 – 30 June 2012)
The Melungeons are an ethnic group, commonly described as a “tri-racial isolate,” resident in the Cumberland Gap neighborhood of Eastern Tennesee, Southwest Virginia, and Eastern Kentucky. The Melungeons’ comparatively dark complexions and other exotic characteristics have been attributed to mixed Amerindian and Spanish or Portuguese descent. Other alleged origins included shipwrecked Turkish slaves or descent from Gypsies. One legendary account claims that they descend from a native people resident before the arrival of European colonists.
Recent research seems to offer a much simpler explanation: descent from African freedmen.
[A] new DNA study in the Journal of Genetic Genealogy [Not apparently yet available on-line] attempts to separate truth from oral tradition and wishful thinking. The study found the truth to be somewhat less exotic: Genetic evidence shows that the families historically called Melungeons are the offspring of sub-Saharan African men and white women of northern or central European origin.
Antoine-Jean Gros, Bonaparte sur le pont d’Arcole, c. 1801, Château de Versailles
It has become possible recently to identify Napoleon’s dna from samples taken from male descendants of his brothers. Napoleon’s dna is unusual and distinctive, and—interestingly—turns out to be an example of Haplogroup E1b1b1c1, a group of Levantine origin, which suggest that Napoleon Bonaparte’s ultimate male descent was from ancient Phoenecian traders, or Sephardic Jews, or possibly even from the Moors, which did not keep him having blond hair as young man (which later darkened) and grey-blue eyes.
The flag of Corsica features a Moor’s Head, referring to the island’s medieval invasion by the Saracens.
If your Y-dna is from Haplogroup E1b1b1c1, you will want to drop by the Napoleon DNA Project to compare your own results.
In “True Romance” (1993), written by Quentin Tarrantino, Dennis Hopper gallantly foils the Mafiosi determined to extract information about his son’s whereabouts by torture by insulting his Sicilian captors over their Moorish descent.
Randall Lee Gibson (above) was valedictorian of the Yale Class of 1853. He had been born a member of the planter aristocracy of Kentucky and Louisiana. He was a keen secessionist and fought for the Confederacy, serving first as an artillery captain then as colonel of the 13th Louisiana Volunteer Infantry Regiment.
Randall Gibson was the descendant on one Gideon Gibson, who arrived in the Colony of South Carolina in 1730 and who was “a skilled tradesman, had a white wife and … owned land and slaves in Virginia and North Carolina.” Gideon Gibson obtained land grants from the governor of South Carolina and he and his descendants married into the white planter class on the Western frontier. By the 1790s, the Gibson family had forgotten its African origin and ascribed a family tendency toward a dark complexion to Gypsy or Portuguese descent.
Randall Gibson fought at Shiloh. His regiment saw action with the Army of Tennessee at Chicamagua. Gibson ultimately made it all the way to the rank of Brigadier General in the Confederate Army. He fought in the Atlanta Campaign and ended the war defending the city of Mobile.
After the war and Reconstruction, Gibson was elected to Congress as a democrat from 1875 to 1883 and served as senator from 1883 to until his death in 1892. He was a trustee of Tulane and a hall at Tulane University is named for him.
Rogier van der Weyden. Philippe de Croy’s Coat of Arms, the reverse side of the Portrait of Philippe de Croy. c.1460. Oil on panel. Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp, Belgium.
The Cröys are one of the oldest families in Europe, and are ebenbürtig (“born on an equality”) with all the German Royalties. They therefore show no signs of respect to Archdukes and Archduchesses when they meet them. Although I cannot vouch personally for them, never having myself seen them, I am told that there are two pictures in the Cröy Palace at Brussels which reach the apogee of family pride. The first depicts Noah embarking on his ark. Although presumably anxious about the comfort of the extensive live-stock he has on board, Noah finds time to give a few parting instructions to his sons. On what is technically called a “bladder” issuing from his mouth are the words, “And whatever you do, don’t forget to bring with you the family papers of the Cröys.” (“Et surtout ayez soin de ne pas oublier les papiers de la Maison de Cröy!”) The other picture represents the Madonna and Child, with the then Duke of Cröy kneeling in adoration before them. Out of the Virgin Mary’s mouth comes a “bladder” with the words “But please put on your hat, dear cousin.” (“Mais couvrez vous donc, cher cousin.”)
—Lord Frederic Hamilton, The Vanished Pomps of Yesterday: Being Some Random Reminiscences of a British Diplomat (1921), p. 53.
The reference to cousinship with the Holy Family presumably alludes to a marriage of one of the Cröys with a female member of the Bagrationi dynasty of Georgia during the period of the Crusades. A number of such marriages to prominent Frankish crusaders are known to have occurred, and the royal family of Georgia traditionally did claim descent from the Biblical House of David.
The old Allied canard that Hitler was really Jewish may actually be true. The Telegraph report is vague and is clearly written by someone who does not really understand genealogical DNA testing or Y-chromosome Haplogroups.
Human gender is genetically determined by two chromosomes, X and Y. A pair of X chromosomes results in a female. X and Y produces a male.
Patrilineal descent can be determined by the specific markers inherited in male Y chromosomal dna. Haplogroups of typical Ydna markers have been identified, of which a little more than a dozen are characteristically found in European populations.
Saliva samples taken from 39 relatives of the Nazi leader show he may have had biological links to the “subhuman” races that he tried to exterminate during the Holocaust.
Jean-Paul Mulders, a Belgian journalist, and Marc Vermeeren, a historian, tracked down the Fuhrer’s relatives, including an Austrian farmer who was his cousin, earlier this year.
A chromosome called Haplogroup E1b1b1 which showed up in their samples is rare in Western Europe and is most commonly found in the Berbers of Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, as well as among Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews.
“One can from this postulate that Hitler was related to people whom he despised,” Mr Mulders wrote in the Belgian magazine, Knack.
Haplogroup E1b1b1, which accounts for approximately 18 to 20 per cent of Ashkenazi and 8.6 per cent to 30 per cent of Sephardic Y-chromosomes, appears to be one of the major founding lineages of the Jewish population. ...
“The affair is fascinating if one compares it with the conception of the world of the Nazis, in which race and blood was central.
“Hitler’s concern over his descent was not unjustified. He was apparently not “pure” or ‘Ayran’.”
It is not the first time that historians have suggested Hitler had Jewish ancestry.
His father, Alois, is thought to have been the illegitimate offspring of a maid called Maria Schickelgruber and a 19-year-old Jewish man called Frankenberger.
If the Belgian magazine really tested the Ydna of persons sharing patrilineal descent with Adolph Hitler and found the haplogroup he shared to have been E1b1b1, that means his paternal descent was typically Levantine and he probably really was of Jewish descent in the male line.
There were racial laws during the time he was alive in Germany that could have produced big problems for him.
A French genealogy site lists Obama’s descent from the Piast kings of Poland via the Plantagenet Kings of England.
Hat tip to Kaj Malachowski.
In addition to sharing ancestry with Dick Cheney and George W. Bush, Barack Obama shares ancestry with Juliette Gordon Low (founder of the Girl Scouts), British Prime Ministers Winston Churchill and Harold Macmillan, Lord George Curzon, US Presidents James Madison, Lyndon B. Johnson, Gerald Ford, and Jimmy Carter, General Robert E. Lee, Governors Howard Dean and Sarah Palin, Senators Birch Bayh and John Glenn, writers Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, and Ken Kesey, artist Georgia O’Keefe, cartoonist Charles Addams, movie stars Katherine Hepburn, Lon Chaney, Robert Duvall, Christopher Reeve, and Brad Pitt, singers Loudoun Wainwright and Justin Timberlake.
British newspapers report that living residents of Nienstedt, a village in the foothills of the Harz Mountains in Lower Saxony, have been found by DNA analysis to be relatives of 3000-year-old Bronze Age inhabitants of the same area interred in the nearby Lichtensteinhöhle cave.
The good news for two villagers in the Söse valley of Germany yesterday was that they have discovered their (127th times)-great grandparents.
The bad news is that their long-lost ancestors may have grilled and eaten other members of their clan.
Every family has its skeletons in the cave, though, so Manfred Hucht-hausen, 58, a teacher, and 48-year-old surveyor Uwe Lange remained in celebratory mood. Thanks to DNA testing of remarkably well-preserved Bronze Age bones, they can claim to have the longest proven family tree in the world. “I can trace my family back by name to 1550,” Mr Lange said. “Now I can go back 120 generations.”
Mr Lange comes from the village of Nienstedt, in Lower Saxony, in the foothills of the Harz mountain range. “We used to play in these caves as kids. If I’d known that there were 3,000-year-old relatives buried there I wouldn’t have set foot in the place.”
The cave, the Lichtensteinhöhle, is made up of five interlocked natural chambers. It stayed hidden from view until 1980 and was not researched properly until 1993. The archaeologist Stefan Flindt found 40 skeletons along with what appeared to be cult objects. ...
Analysis showed that all the bones were from the same family and the scientists speculated that it was a living area and a ceremonial burial place.
About 300 locals agreed to giving saliva swabs. Two of the cave family had a very rare genetic pattern – and a match was found.
The bones of 40 people were shielded from the elements by calcium deposits that formed a protective skin around the skeletons.
All the remains turned out to be from the same family group who had a distinctive – and rare – DNA pattern.
When people in the local area were tested with saliva swabs, two nearby residents turned out to have the same distinctive genetic characteristic.
Manfred Huchthausen, a 58-year-old teacher, and Uwe Lange, a 48-year-old surveyer, now believe they are even more local than either of them thought.
Inma Pazos at iGENEA Forum provides more specific information.
(translated & abridged)
DNA analysis really found that 15 of 22 skeletons were relatives, constituting several generations of a family clan. In 2007, about 300 DNA samples of today’s indigenous population in Osterode-am-Harz were collected and tested for possible affinity. Susann Hummel, a leading anthropologist, has identified eleven living persons as descendants of the cave burials.
Ten lines of mtDNA haplogroup H, four of haplogroup U, two of the haplogroup J and three of the haplogroup T were identified. A further breakdown in the sub-groups succeeded in identifying U5b, T2 and J1b1. In another case, membership in sub-group U2 was considered very likely.
Bryan Patrick Miller returns to the Emerald Isle in search of his mother’s family roots, and encounters more than one surprise.
I did finally arrive in Goleen, a tiny cluster of stucco homes with farmland on one side and the Atlantic Coast on the other. It’s literally a one-horse town; a gray mare stood tied to a post outside the pub. I figured my best option was to walk into the only store, which doubled as the post office, and ask the clerk to point me to the church, so I could look in the town records.
“The name’s Glavin,” I said, smiling. She recoiled, backing away with a hand to her face, and wouldn’t say another word.
By the time I made it to Goleen’s dimly lighted pub, word seemed to have spread that a Glavin was back. Gnarled farmers glowered at me over their Guinnesses. No one spoke to me. I swallowed my pint fast and walked out.
“This is such an amazing story,” Cheney said in an interview on MSNBC, “that one ancestor, a man that came to Maryland, could be responsible down the family line for lives that have taken such different and varied paths as Dick’s and Barack Obama’s.” Cristina Allegretto, Mrs. Cheney’s research and project manager at the American Enterprise Institute, said the vice president’s wife did an exhaustive genealogical search of her family while working on “Blue Skies, No Fences.” Her research led her to an early Cheney settler named Richard Cheney, whose granddaughter married Samuel Duvall, whose mother, Mareen Duvall, is distantly related to Obama. Lynne Mrs. Cheney read a story that said Obama was related to Mareen Duvall, and realized the link.
Obama, whose mother was white, did not immediately comment on the revelation. But his campaign made light of the tie, without confirming it. “Obviously, Dick Cheney is the black sheep of the family,” Obama spokesman Bill Burton said.
The professional genealogists, who work for Ancestry.com, found that Sharpton’s great-grandfather, Coleman Sharpton, was a slave owned by Julia Thurmond, whose grandfather was Strom Thurmond’s great-great-grandfather. Coleman Sharpton was later freed.
A retired engineer from Newcastle and a financial director from Berkshire emerge victorious today in a worldwide hunt to find alternative heirs to the English throne.
They were among 500 people who responded to an English Heritage appeal to identify those who might have been crowned King or Queen had William the Conqueror not defeated King Harold at the Battle of Hastings.
Claimants had to prove that they were linked to Edward the Confessor, whose death in 1066 led to a conflict over the rightful heir to the throne; Edgar the Aetheling, who was chosen as monarch but never crowned; or King Harold who was killed by the arrow in his eye.
They also had to provide the name of their most likely “gateway ancestor” — St Margaret of Scotland being the key player because as a direct descendant of Alfred the Great, she was related to both Edward the Confessor and Edgar the Aetheling. An advertisement placed in newspapers across the world asking people if they could trace their family tree back to 1066 prompted responses from America, Canada, France, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden, Australia and Britain.
Albert Turnbull, from Newcastle, provided some of the strongest documentary evidence supporting his lineage back to St Margaret, King Alfred and William the Conqueror.
The 70-year-old retired engineer, who started tracing his family tree 35 years ago, said it was by chance that he discovered he was 55 generations descended from King Cerdic — the first King of Wessex — who invaded Britain around 500AD.
“It was a complete fluke,” he said. “I was in the castle library and I was looking at findings of an old history society. In the index I was looking for Turnbull and saw Threlkeld. I saw the family tree and realised it was a famous line. It was pure luck. My father’s grandmother was called Threlkeld. When I traced that branch back it came from Cumbria and married into the barons of Westmorland. They married into the Royal Family. I’m descended from the 10th Baron.”
Asked what the Prince of Wales might think of his claim to the throne, Mr Turnbull replied: “He’s my 23rd cousin. He seems to have a sense of humour. I think he would take it in good fun. But there would have to be quite a lot wiped out until it came to me.”
Mark Golledge, from Berkshire, had access to the “Stemmata Chicheleana” historical documents, which were published in 1765 and record all the descendants of Archbishop Henry Chichele, the founder of All Souls College, Oxford.
With the Archbishop as one of his ancestors, Mr Golledge is not only entitled to Fellowship of the College, but can accurately trace his family back from Chichele to Alfred the Great.
Mr Golledge said: “My family and I are very proud of our ancestry and very fortunate to have such a unique reference to illustrate our heritage.”