Kinsearching March 28, 2010




Marleta Childs
P. O. Box 6825
LUBBOCK, TX 79493-6825

     Governor William Bradford of the Plymouth colony referred to the Pilgrims from Holland as “Saincts.” Many Americans whose lineage goes back to those religious dissenters may, therefore, claim descent from saints in New England. If your background does not extend back to settlers who came over on the Mayflower, do not despair—you may still have genealogical links to individuals who were considered “holy” or “blessed” in the Old World. For people interested in the possibility of ties to medieval Europe and early Christianity, Alan J. Koman has produced a unique new reference work: A WHO’S WHO OF YOUR ANCESTRAL SAINTS.

     Koman’s publication focuses on 275 early European saints and their relationship to twenty-four of the great men and women of medieval Europe. In concise but detailed and readable biographies, many of which are just as moving in the present as they were in their own era, the author tells about the lives of each holy person. At the end of every narrative, he furnishes the lineage connecting the individual to one or more of the famous men or women named in the book.

     While many of the saints are direct ancestors of the historical figures, others are aunts or uncles. Some saints who left offspring are Alfred the Great of England; Charlemagne and his wife Hildegarde; Queen Margaret of Scotland, wife of Malcolm III Canmore; Cadwalader, Welsh ruler; Harold III “Bluetooth”, Danish monarch; and Ladislas, King of Hungary. Interestingly, some of these pious people were descended from saints. Examples are St. David, son of St. Margaret of Scotland, and St. Alfred the Great, whose ancestor was St. Aethelbert I, King of Kent.

     Among the important personalities related to saints are kings of England (William the Conqueror, Edward I, and Henry II, for instance), rulers of Scotland (Robert the Bruce and Robert III Stewart), a French monarch (Louis IX), queens (Eleanor of Aquitaine, Eleanor of Castile, and William the Conqueror’s wife, Mathilde of Flanders, for example), and earls (Scotsman John Stewart of Balveny and Saher de Quincy, who was also a Magna Charta Surety). Today these twenty-four historical figures have millions of descendants living all over the world.

     Koman’s book does not try to bridge the gap between current generations and their roots in the Old World. As the author points out in his introduction, “that journey must begin in other books.” What he does attempt to do is to provide a scholarly volume showing the family links between well-known medieval personages and European saints. Whether you are interested in family history or not, A WHO’S WHO OF YOUR ANCESTRAL SAINTS supplies fascinating material for reading.

     Showcasing a medieval illustration on the front cover, the 457-page softbound publication has an informative introduction, a list of abbreviations used, and an eight-page bibliography of sources. Entries are arranged alphabetically. Documentation, often prolific, appears at the end of each biographical sketch. To the book's price of $34.95, buyers should add the cost for postage and handling charges. For U. S. postal mail, the cost is $5.50 for one book and $2.50 for each additional copy; for FedEx ground service, the cost is $7.50 for one copy and $2.50 for each additional book. The volume (item order 3260) may be purchased by check, money order, MasterCard, or Visa from Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 3600 Clipper Mill Rd., Suite 260, Baltimore, Maryland 21211-1953 (For phone orders, call toll free 1-800-296-6687; fax 1-410-752-8492; website

     Charles N. Ferguson, 811 S. Market, Shawnee, OK 74801 is seeking information on John G. MCCRACKEN, perhaps born in 1864, and Lou A. HARRIS, who was born in 1870. They married in July 1894 in Wise Co., TX. Ferguson cannot locate this couple on the Texas censuses for 1900, 1910, 1920, or 1930. The couple had one son and one daughter, but their names and birthdates are unknown.

Kinsearching Home Page