29 Million and Counting …

Across the pond in Messing and Shalford, Essex, England, we find two ancestors, Robert White (1561-1617) and Bridget Allgar White (1562-1623), with a unique claim on our ancestry.

Robert was born abt. 1561 in Messing, about 60 miles east of London. Bridget was baptized 11 Mar 1562 in Shalford, about 20 miles west of Messing. Robert and Bridget married on 24 Jun 1585 in Shalford, where they raised seven children. They apparently lived there until just before May 1617 when we find them living in Messing according to Robert’s will.

Robert was a yeoman, wealthy, but not a member of nobility. Oxford Dictionary defines yeoman as a “person qualified for certain duties and rights, such as to serve on juries and vote for the knight of the shire, by virtue of possessing free land of an annual value of 40 shillings.” [1] In his will, he leaves 40 shillings to each of “the poore people of Messinge”, “Mr. Richard Rogers preacher of gods word at Withersfield in Essex aforesaid; and to Bartholomew Scrivener Minister of the church of god in Messinge.” Rogers was a non-conformist, and Scrivener was a minister in the established church.

After Robert’s death, four of the children—John, Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna—immigrated to America early in the Puritan Great Migration with their spouses, and most or all of their children.

John White (1597-1684) departed England on the ship Lyon on 22 Jan 1632 with his wife Mary Levitt (1601-1666).

Elizabeth White (1591-1667) and her husband William Goodwin (1567-) accompanied John and Mary on the Lyon.

The Lyon arrived 16 Sep 1632 in Boston, Massachusetts Bay Colony, and they settled in Newtown, now Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1636, they removed to Hartford, Connecticut Colony, led by the Reverend Thomas Hooker, along with about 100 other Puritans.

John White and William Goodwin are listed on Founders Monument, Ancient Burying Ground in Hartford, Connecticut.

Mary White (1590-1652) and her spouse Joseph Loomis (1590-1658) followed in 1638 on the ship Susan and Ellen. They arrived in Boston on 17 Jul 1638, and settled in Windsor, Connecticut Colony.

Anna White (1600-1648) and her spouse John Porter (1594-1648) followed, perhaps on the Susan and Ellen in 1638 as well. They also settled in Windsor.

These four families had many children—John and Mary, 7 children; William and Elizabeth, 1 child ; Joseph and Mary, 8 children; John and Anna, 13 children. It appears most of their children accompanied them to America or were born there.

So they arrived in America early, the first of them just 22 years after permanent settlement of Jamestown, Virginia, in 1610, and 12 years after the arrival of the Mayflower to Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1620.

Where is this leading?

According to Mormon Pioneer Genealogy Library projections, the largest family in America today is the posterity of Robert White (b. ca. 1560) and Bridget Allgar, with a Mormon posterity of 430,000 and an American posterity of 29 million. [2]

Now, one generation after this projection was made, the family is even larger—including one MKS.

Robert White (1561-1617) and Bridget Allgar White (1562-1623) are 12th great-grandparents of MKS in the Knight branch.

Robert White (1561-1617) and Bridget Allgar White (1562-1623) are 12th great-grandparents of MKS in the Watne branch.

Mary White (1590-1652) and Joseph Loomis (1590-1658) are 11th great-grandparents of MKS in the Knight branch.

John White (1597-1684) and Mary Levitt (1601-1666) are 11th great-grandparents of MKS in the Watne branch.

Anna White (1600-1648) and John Porter (1594-1648) are 11th great-grandparents of MKS in the Knight branch.

There are at least nine lines in our family tree up to Robert and Bridget, and FamousKin.com lists many famous cousins including:

  • William Williams, signer of the Declaration of Independence
  • Four U.S. Presidents—Millard Filmore 13, Ulysses S. Grant 18, Grover Cleveland 22 and 24, and Gerald Ford 38
  • Inventors key to the settlement of the American West—Samuel Colt, inventor of the Colt revolver, and Joseph Glidden, inventor of barbed wire
  • Aviation pioneers Wilbur and Orville Wright, and Amelia Earhart
  • Poet Emily Dickinson and artist Norman Rockwell

[1] Yeoman definition, Oxford Dictionary, 1972.
[2] Mormon Pioneer Genealogy Library Acquired by NEHGS, June 1985.