Tuesday, May 24, 2016

STOP THE PRESSES! I'm from Yorkshire!!!


Let me explain.

From time to time I have done a bit of genealogical sleuthing to learn more about my roots, but I would not say I am obsessed with the subject. Mrs. RWP might disagree. Still, I have never plunked down one red cent to ancestry.com or any other search site for the privilege of seeing their data. I do remember that my father used to say that his mother told them they were related to U.S. President Grover Cleveland.

It was interesting and I was curious but never interested enough to pursue the subject.

This week I pursued it (but I still didn't spend any money).

It turns out that President Cleveland -- "old 22/24" -- and I are indeed related. To be specific, he and I are sixth cousins, three times removed. (I call him "old 22/24" because he served two terms as president of the United States but the terms were not consecutive. He was elected in both 1884 and 1892. If George H.W. Bush can be called "old 41" then I can call Grover "old 22/24".)

I already knew that my father's mother was Edith Lillian (Johnson) Brague (1877-1938) and that her mother was Bloomy Jane (Cleveland) Johnson (1840-1900), so I began tracing Bloomy Jane's ancestors this week and went back as far as an Edward Wynne who was born in Yorkshire in 1582 and died in Yorkshire in 1606, who may have been my tenth great-grandfather.

So I'm a Yorkshireman!!! (maybe).

I say maybe because it hinges on whether the Edward Wynne who was born in Yorkshire in 1582 and died in Yorkshire in 1606 was the father of an Edward Winn who was born in Suffolk in 1604 and died in Massachusetts in 1682; no one seems to know for certain. The Suffolk Edward had a daughter named Ann who became the wife of a Moses Cleveland who turned out to be my eighth great-grandfather and President Grover Cleveland's fifth-grandfather. Moses Cleveland and Ann (Winn) Cleveland eventually emigrated from England to America and died in Massachusetts (Ann in 1682 and Moses in 1702). I have more information about my ancestors but I won't bore you with it.

I may be other things too -- there are connections on the Cleveland side to Ipswich in Suffolk -- but once a Yorkshireman, always a Yorkshireman.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

[Editor's note. There seems to be a fly in the ointment in that my newly found long-lost cousin Peggy out on the West Coast tells me that she has a photograph of little Edith Lillian Johnson being held by her great-grandfather, Arthur Cleveland, and in my searchings this week I didn't find an Arthur Cleveland. So perhaps I have been barking up the wrong tree (pun intended) and more research is warranted. I hope it doesn't interfere with my being a Yorkshireman. --RWP]


  1. It may well be true, signs of inherited Yorkist traits are there. Not wanting to spend a red cent on Ancestry for example! (Why is a red coloured cent so worthless by the way?)

  2. Oh joy upon joy! After everything you have said in the past, you could actually be a Yorkshireman deep in the depths of your genetic recipe. If you are a Yorkshireman you will need to buy a flat cap and a whippet. You will also need to start talking like a Yorkshireman instead of a Texan ranch hand.
    Make a start with this video:-

  3. jo(e), all good wishes, tentative or otherwise, are accepted by a grateful blogger. I have never before met anyone whose name includes embedded parentheses, but I suppose there's a first time for everything.

    Shooting Parrots (Ian), I have always attributed my stinginess, er, thriftiness to being part Scottish and part Jewish but I will acquaint myself with Yorkish traits as well. My theory is that a cent is red from having been squeezed too hard.

    Yorkshire Pudding (Neil), I have always fancied a Greek fishermen's hat or a Russian fur. Are they close enough? Besides, my head is a bit pointed and a flat hat would probably rock like a seesaw. And I doubt whether I could keep up with the pace of a whippet. How about a nice tortoise on a leash? I may never qualify for my Yorkshire papers. Will you be my sponsor?

  4. Of course I will sponsor you but you will need to drop the fancy French surname. I have chosen a good old Yorkshire name for you instead - Burkinshaw - Bob Burkinshaw - and it doesn't rhyme with anything! By the way it HAS to be a flat cap.

  5. Yorkshire Pudding, all sorts of things rhyme with Burkinshaw: gherkin slaw, firkin law, merkin flaw....the flat cap is a deal breaker, however, unless I can substitute my graduating grandson's mortarboard.

    As ever,
    Tom Bombadil

  6. ...and as he continued in his search for his ancestral roots, Bob found that his actual name was Bob Beefgravy and Bob began to suspect that he had a long, lost twin. From Yorkshire...Whose name is Yorkshire Pudding. Wonder which one is the evil twin...

  7. Do you know what a hex is Hilly? ...Hee-hee-hee-hee! For I am the evil twin!

  8. I think you can count yourself lucky simply for having an ancestor named Bloomy Jane! :)

  9. Thank you, Hilltophomesteader and also LightExpectations, for your comments. I am late in responding, but some things cannot be helped! I fervently hope I am not Bob Beefgravy (ewww!) but I do enjoy very much having an ancestor named Bloomy Jane!