Genealogy Site of Leslie Nutbrown

Welcome. This site hosted by Rootsweb presents genealogical information on over 25,000 individuals from my own family tree. The main focus is in the New England area of the United States, England, and Quebec, Canada plus ancient lineages from the royal families of Europe.  


The name Nutbrown is a very old English name. Early references to it can be found as far back as 1172. The strength of the family is in Yorkshire, England where my ancestors lived near the town of Howden, for at least 300 years.The surname Nutbrown probably originated as a nickname for one who had a nut-brown hair colour or complexion. It is an uncommon name outside of Yorkshire, England, and the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. Despite this unique and charming old country name I know of two families (American) who have changed their name from "Nutbrown" to "Brown", one of the most common surnames in the English language.

My great-great-great-grandfather Thomas Nutbrown and his wife Ann Cottam and family emigrated from the town of Howden, Yorkshire England to Quebec, Canada in 1830. I have attempted to trace descendants (male and female lines) of this family and The Descendants of Thomas Nutbrown is the result of my work. This is a hard cover book of 283 pages and includes an all-name index, and the new Nutbrown arms which were granted by the Canadian government in June 2000. There are copies of the book still available. E-mail for details.


1. The Nutbrown World Family Tree is  online. I have over 8,500 names in this database but not all people will appear online as living persons are not included to protect privacy. This is a project undertaken by several researchers and I would like to acknowledge and thank the following for their contributions: Yvonne Clarke of Stillingfleet, Yorkshire, England; Norma Nutbrown Kenyon of Yorkshire, Carl Nutbrown of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, formerly from England.

2. Frank Nutbrown was born in Yorkshire, England, and after his death, his wife Rose Willis came to America and settled in Carnegie, Pennsylvania about fifty years after the above family.

3. George Nutbrown settled in Christchurch, New Zealand.

4. Yvonne Clarke, a Nutbrown descendant from Stillingfleet, Yorkshire, England is compiling records of British Nutbrowns. She also has a collection of Nutbrown wills with some dating to the 1600's.

5. One of the most popular Highland songs is The Nut Brown Maiden. (Ho-Ro Mo Nighean Donn Bhoidheach)

6. A beautiful Irish song, "The Star of the County Down" features Rose McCann, a maid with nut-brown hair.You can see the lyrics and listen to the song.

7. Country music star Shania Twain does NOT have Nutbrown ancestry. Her grandmother Regina Benson Edwards married Russell Nutbrown as her second husband but apparently Shania had nothing to do with her grandmother who died in 1997.

*Please note that if you find that you are related to me through a specific connection, this does not mean you are related to ALL the same people that I am. Therefore, if you are a Nutbrown, for example, please do not assume that you are related to the people mentioned below.


Be sure to see my Family Tree Maker website that has a growing number of family pictures.


I maintain a database of surnames from my family tree. This presently contains over 25,500 names. You can access any of these names from HERE . These and millions of other files are stored at Rootsweb. Please note that comments, sources, and notes for individuals have not been uploaded. I do not supply gedcoms. I believe in the old fashioned way of research by entering ancestor's names one at a time and trying to learn as much as possible about each individual rather than importing a complete file. Please feel free to contact me with specific questions and I will try to help if I can.

Cemeteries: Eastern Townships cemeteries are online here.


Photograph by Karsh for the Government of Canada (reprinted with permission)

The majority of my ancestors like most people were farmers, or labourers, and I am proud to be a descendant of them and still consider myself a farmer although I haven't lived on a farm since my youth. However, I have discovered that some of my ancestors were prominent and in fact were "Royal." For example, I am the 17th cousin to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Our common ancestors are Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York born in 1411, and his wife Cicely Neville. I am also a descendant of most of the Kings of England including Edward I, II, III, & William the Conqueror and his descendants, Henry I, II, III. This ancestry can be viewed from my surnames database above. I have linked to the royal families of Europe through two New England immigrant families: (Bradbury and Nelson) that have already been traced back to ancient times by other researchers. Note: This royal link is NOT through the Nutbrown family.

The late Princess Diana Spencer (1961-1997) is my 18th cousin. Our ancestry connects at Elizabeth Berkeley and Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick.

Sophie Rhys-Jones, the wife of Prince Edward of Windsor, is my 18th cousin as our ancestry connects at John de Mowbray & Elizabeth Segrave.

Here are some recommended links to royalty:

1. The official page of the British Monarchy.

2. The official page of HRH The Prince of Wales.

3. Directory of Royal Genealogical Data (from the University of Hull, Yorkshire, ENGLAND). Please use this database with caution as errors have been noted on the Medieval mailing list.

4. Monarchs of England.

5. Joan's Royal Favourites and Links Page.

American Presidents as Cousins

I am 10th cousin to George Walker Bush, former President of the United States. Our most recent common ancestor is John Wheeler of Newbury, Massachusetts. We are also 12th cousins descending from Richard Clapp and also Samuel Lathrop of early New England. I have 29 other U.S. presidents as cousins; most from New England ancestors and some from England and Ireland. Although this may seem impossible, this claim is true and not at all surprising if one remembers that all humanity is interrelated. The challenge lies in trying to show these relationships. I have been fortunate in this regard and with only a couple of exceptions have been able to trace nearly all my known ancestry. If you have ancestors from early New England, your chances are good that you will have one or more presidents as cousins. You can check my own Presidential Relationship Chart, to see if you spot a common ancestor. For more information see the book, Ancestors of American Presidents by Gary Boyd Roberts.

Former United States Vice President Richard Bruce Cheney is my 8th cousin as we both descend from Michael Emerson and Hannah Webster of Haverhill, Massachusetts. We also have a common COLBY lineage.


*Thank you to Gary Boyd Roberts of the New England Historic Genealogical Society who has published many of the family trees of notable folk which has enabled me to connect to them through a common ancestor.

Royal Descents of Famous People, by Mark Humphrys, has a growing list of people who have become famous and most are my provable cousins.

From Henry Scudder & Elizabeth _______ , I share a common ancestry with Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson, better known as The Beach Boys, famous for such musical hits in the 1960's as “Surfin’ U.S.A.,”  “I Get Around,” and “California Girls. (For detailed information see the website of NEHGS and the article by Gary Boyd Roberts and Michael Meggison at )

It is interesting to note that I have a common ancestry with both General Ulysses S. Grant and General Robert E. Lee, opposing Generals during the American Civil War.

Furthermore, I am a descendant of both William the Conqueror and King Harold II of England, the victor and the vanquished at the Battle of Hastings in 1066.

I am a descendant of Hannah Dustin, captured by Indians in Haverhill, Massachusetts in 1697 and for whom there is a statue in Haverhill and also on the island in the Merrimack River near Concord, New Hampshire.

Laura Ingalls Wilder author of Little House On the Prairie series of books is my 5th cousin through two branches: the COLBY and WORTHEN lineage.

Clint Eastwood, who played Rowdy Yates on the TV series Rawhide and who went on to become a famous Hollywood actor is my 8th cousin as our common ancestors are John Moss (1650-1717) and Martha Lothrup (1657-1719) of Wallingford, Connecticut. See The New England Historic Genealogical Society for more information. "Go ahead. Make my day." (classic line of Clint Eastwood as detective Dirty Harry Callahan, in the movie Sudden Impact.(1983)

Brooke Shields, actress, and Lewis Carroll author of Alice in Wonderland as well as Charles Darwin (1809-1882), evolutionary biologist who wrote The Origin of Species are cousins as we are all descended from King Edward III of England.

Superman actor Christopher Reeve and I have Thomas Bradbury & Mary Perkins as common ancestors (more on them below).

From John Perkins and Judith Gater of Hilmorton, England and Ipswich, Massachusetts, I share a common ancestry with Montgomery Clift, (1920-1966) Hollywood actor rated as one of the greatest stars of all time by Entertainment Weekly.

From Thomas Perkins of Hilmorton, England and his wife Alice______, and also from Rev. Stephen Bachiler, I share a common ancestry with James Dean (1931-1955) Hollywood actor who starred in the movie Rebel Without A Cause.

His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan is a cousin as our common ancestors are Sir Robert Constable & Catherine Manners.

From Anne Lloyd Yale Eaton, (daughter of George Lloyd, Bishop of Chester, and his wife Anne Wilkinson) and her husband Theophilus Eaton, I share a common ancestry with Nelson Rockefeller (1908-1978) Governor of NY and Vice President of the United States; Ernest Hemingway (1898-1961) novelist and short story writer is also descended from Anne Lloyd. See The New England Historic Genealogical Society for more information

Lady Godiva (a.k.a. Godgifu), wife of Leofric, Earl of Mercia is an ancestor of mine through the Mortimer lineage to Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York.

From John Otis and his wife Margaret _____of Glastonbury, Somerset, England and Weymouth, Massachusetts I share a common ancestry with Wilbur and Orville Wright, inventors who built and flew the first airplane in 1903 at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, and Elisha Otis, inventor who modified elevator construction with a braking system thus allowing skyscrapes to be built. The Otis name still appears on many elevators.

From Roger Eastman and Sarah Smith who came from Downton, Wiltshire, England to Salisbury, Massachusetts in 1638, I share a common ancestry (5th cousin) with George Eastman, (1854-1932) inventor of dry rolled film and founder of the Eastman Kodak Company.

From Reverend John Lathrop (who came to Plymouth Colony in 1636) his wife Hannah House, New England immigrants, I share a common ancestry with poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) -See Longfellow's "Tales of a Wayside Inn" - King Olaf's Christmas. in which he mentions Olaf the King drinking nutbrown ale), as well as Brigham Young (1807-1877) Mormon leader and colonizer of Utah, and Benedict Arnold (1741-1801) Revolutionary Patriot and traitor, and Canadian Prime Ministers Robert Borden (1854-1937) and John Diefenbaker (1895-1979) plus Nick and Aaron Carter, members of the rock group The Backstreet Boys.

From Nicholas Holt (1602-1685) and Elizabeth Short of Romsey, England and Andover, Massachusetts, I share a common ancestry with poet Robert Frost (1874-1963).

From Thomas Bradbury and Mary Perkins, New England immigrants (see below), I share a common ancestry with philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882).

From Dr. Joseph Peaslee and Ruth Barnard, of Amesbury and Haverhill, Massachusetts, I share a common ancestry with poet John Greenleaf Whittier (1825-1878).

I am 6th cousin to Nobel prize winning writer John Steinbeck (1902-1968), whose most famous works include "Of Mice and Men" and "The Grapes of Wrath". Our common ancestors are Christopher Sargent and Susannah Peaslee, granddaughter of Dr. Joseph Peaslee of Methuen, Massachusetts.

From John Moulton and Anne Green, New England immigrants originally from Ormesby, Norfolk, England, I share a common ancestry with Pulitzer prize winning playright Thomas Lanier Williams, known as Tennessee Williams. and famous for writing A Streetcar Named Desire.

From Elizabeth Stoughton and first husband John Scudder I share a common ancestry with poet Walt Whitman (1819-1892). From Elizabeth Stoughton and second husband Robert Chamberlain I share a common ancestry with Clement Moore, (1779-1863) author of A Visit from St Nicholas (The Night Before Christmas).

From William French, and Elizabeth ( _______), original settlers of Billerica, Massachusetts I share a common ancestry with Samuel Morse, (1791-1872) inventor of the telegraph, and Charles Goodyear, (1800-1860) discoverer of the vulcanization process for rubber.

From John Whitney and his wife Eleanor (_______), settlers of Watertown, Massachusetts in 1635, I share a common ancestry with Eli Whitney, (1765-1825) inventor of the cotton gin.

From Isaac Stearns and Mary Barker, early settlers of Watertown, Massachusetts I share a common ancestry with John Chapman, (1774-1845) better known as Johnny Appleseed.

From John de Beaufort, Earl of Somerset, I share a common ancestry with Daniel Boone, born in 1734, pioneer explorer of the American West.

From John of Gaunt, son of King Edward III of England, I share a common ancestry with Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of Great Britain during the Second World War.

From King Edward I of England, I share a common ancestry with Walt Disney, founder of Disney World and Disney Land. Walt's father was Irish-Canadian.  



The Bradbury family of early New England (Thomas Bradbury and Mary Perkins) has been traced through the Bradbury line all the way back to my 40th great grandfather, Charlemagne, King of the Franks, born in the year 742. For detailed information, see the book, The Ancestry of Thomas Bradbury and his wife Mary Perkins, by John Brooks Threlfall.

Thomas Bradbury was from Wicken Bonhunt, Essex, England, baptised in 1610/11, the son of Wymond Bradbury and Elizabeth Whitgift. He married Mary Perkins about 1636 and lived in Salisbury, Massachusetts. He was made a freeman in 1640. He was constable, schoolmaster, town clerk, Captain of the military, and a deputy to the general court for seven years. His graceful handwriting appears in many documents in the archives of Essex county, Massachusetts. His wife, Mary Perkins was accused of witchcraft in 1692 and in spite of testimonies to her excellent character, she was convicted at the age of 77, but she was not executed. For more information on the trial, check out Mary Bradbury's Trial. Thomas died in March 1694/95, and Mary died on Dec 20, 1700. Their daughter Jane Bradbury born in 1645 married Henry True, son of Henry True and Israil Pike. Their son William True b. 1670 married Eleanor Stevens. Their son Benjamin True b. 1693 married Judith Morrill. Their son Benjamin True b. 1725 married Mehitabel Osgood. Their son Captain Benjamin True b. 1762 married Mary Locke. Their daughter Hannah True b. 1784 married Isaac Worthen and they settled in Hatley, Stanstead County, Quebec. They are my 3rd great grandparents. More information on the TRUE surname can be found at this site: Bob Anderson's Colonial Massachusetts.


Dorothy Stapleton was born at Pannall, Yorkshire on Aug. 11, 1608. She was married to Thomas Nelson, Gentleman, of Cottingham, Yorkshire. She died in 1637 and is buried at Rowley, Yorkshire. He emigrated to New England the following year and settled in Rowley, Massachusetts. One of their sons was Captain Philip Nelson who married Sarah Jewett in 1657. Their daughter Mary Nelson married John Haseltine in 1682 in Haverhill, Massachusetts. Their son Philip Haseltine married Judith Webster in Haverhill in 1718. Their daughter Tryphena Haseltine married Nathaniel Dustin in 1742 in Haverhill. Their son Moses Dustin married Mary Buck in Haverhill. Moses Dustin was a soldier in the American Revolutionary War and was taken prisoner at Hubbardton, Vermont on July 7, 1777. Their son Jonathan Dustin was married three times and was the father of 24 children. He died in Stanstead, Quebec in 1848 and is buried in Brown's Hill Cemetery near Ayer's Cliff. The DUSTIN line continues through William Sargent Dustin and his son Ozro Dustin to my grandmother, Mary Ella (Dustin) Hartwell (1899-1999). See the surnames section above to see all other Dustins from this family. There is a Duston/Dustin Family Association which meets each year in Haverhill, Massachusetts.The next meeting/reunion will be the 105th and will be held in August 2010.

Dorothy Stapleton was the daughter of Philip Stapleton, gentleman, and his wife Dorothy Hill. Philip Stapleton was the son of Robert Stapleton and Katherine Constable. Katherine Constable was the daughter of Marmaduke Constable and Jane Conyers. Jane Conyers was a descendant of King Edward I. Marmaduke Constable was the son of Robert Constable and Katherine Manners. She was the daughter of George Manners and Anne Saint Leger. Anne was the daughter of Thomas Saint Leger and Anne Plantagenet. Anne was born at Fotheringay Castle on Aug. 10, 1439. She was the daughter of Richard of York (Plantagenet) and Cecily Neville. He was the son of Richard of York, 2nd Duke of York and Anne Mortimer who was the son of Edmund, Duke of York and Isabella of Castille. Edmund was the son of Edward III, King of England. For more information consult David Faris, Plantagenet Ancestry of Seventeenth-Century Colonists or Douglas Richardson's book, Plantagenet Ancestry.

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Disclaimer: Effort has been made to ensure that the information presented on these pages is accurate. However, my database has over 25,000 names, so undoubtedly there will be some errors and omissions. Please inform me of any errors or if you have additional information.  

copyright ©1997-2012 Leslie Nutbrown

(this page last updated on October 12, 2012)

Catherine Elizabeth (Kate) Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, future Queen of England, is my 15th cousin going back to the Gascoigne family.

The Von Trapp children (The Sound of Music), children of Georg Von Trapp and Agathe Whitehead are cousins descending from King Edward III.