Birch Evans Bayh III is a politician, lawyer and lobbyist. He was born December 26, 1955 in Shirkieville, Indiana.

Birch Evans Beyh

Birch Evans Beyh

He was the junior senator from Indiana from 1999-2011. Before that he served as the governor of Indiana from 1988-1999, and Indiana Secretary of State from 1986-1988.

His father was also a senator.

Senator Birch Evans Bayh, III is my 11th cousin through our common ancestor Thomas Hull

Jerry Milo Johnson to Senator Birch Evans Bayh, III

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Richard Gere was born on August 31, 1949 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

For anyone not aware of his career, he is an acclaimed actor, and lately an outspoken political activist and humanitarian.

Richard Gere

Richard Gere

My personal favorite Gere movie has to be An Officer and a Gentleman, followed closely by Pretty Woman.

He is my 10th cousin once removed through our shared ancestor George Hull.

Jerry Milo Johnson to Richard Tiffany Gere

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I grew up most of my life in Ledyard, Connecticut. Just downhill from us is Mystic and Stonington, Connecticut, each with its own long and storied history. As a Navy kid thousands of miles away from my aunts and uncles and cousins, I envied those families in town that shared that local history.

Walter Palmer House

Walter Palmer House
(image from walterpalmer.com)

Now it appears I was one of those families.

Walter Palmer was born about 1690 in Nottinghamshire, England.

On April 24, 1629 he sailed from Gravesend, Kent, England on the ship Four Sisters with his 5 children and his brother Abraham. They were part of Higginson Fleet, six ships that included The Mayflower (of Pilgrims fame) as well as The Talbot, The Lyons Whelp, The George Bonaventure and The Lyon.

“Now in this year 1629, a great company of people (The Higginson Fleet) of good rank, zeal, means and quality have made a great stock, and with six good ships in the months of April and May, they set sail from Thames for the Bay of the Massachusetts, otherwise called Charles River. The fleet consisted of, the George Bonaventure of twenty pieces of ordnance; the Talbot nineteen; the Lion’s Whelp eight; the Mayflower fourteen; the Four sisters fourteen and the Pilgrim four, with 350 men women and children, also 115 head of cattle, as horses, mares, cows and oxen, 41 goats, some conies (rabbits), with all provision for household and apparel, 6 pieces of great ordnance for a fort, with muskets, pikes, corselets, drums, colors, and with all provisions necessary for a plantation for the good of man.”
– (The True Travels, Adventures and Observations of Captain John Smith – London 1630)

They landed at Salem, but did not stop there, instead heading south into the wilderness to take up land at Mishawam, where a smith named Thomas Walford was already living. The following year it would be organized into a township called Charlestown, named for the King.

Walter Palmer built the first dwelling house in Charlestown on two acres of land he was assigned in the newly settled township.

A few years later he moved on and helped settle Rehoboth, Massachusetts where he was held in such regard that he was elected the first representative to the General Court of Plymouth.

In 1652 he was persuaded by his long-time friend William Chesebrough to help settle and hold the area called Wequetequock (wickity-wock) east of the newly settled town of New London, Connecticut.

Walter bought 300 acres of land from Governor Haynes on the east side of Wequetequock Cove and with his son-in-law built his house looking across the cove to Chesebrough’s house on the west bank. Soon he owned more than 2300 acres of land, extended all the way to Pawcatuck. The area is still called Palmer’s Neck.

He is buried in the Wequetequock Cemetery, alongside fellow settlers Chesebrough and Thomas Stanton.

Walter Palmer Wold Stone

Walter Palmer Wolf Stone
(from findagrave.com)

It is said that he was 6’5″ or so, and weighed well over 250 pounds.

I also found there is a Walter Palmer Society, for his descendants. I am going to try to join.

He was my 11th great grandfather.

Jerry Milo Johnson to Walter Palmer

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I love Lucy. Everyone does.

Lucille Ball was an iconic staple of television for more than 3 decades, and a star of film and stage for decades before that.

She was born August 6, 1911 in Jamestown, New York, but moved to Montana at the age of 3.

Lucille Ball

Lucille Ball

She was awesome.

She was my 9th cousin 3 times removed through our common ancestor Roger Mowry.

Jerry Milo Johnson to Lucille Desiree Ball

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Roger Mowry was born in Drimpton, Dorset, England about 1610.

He sailed from Weymouth, Dorset, England on June 20, 1628 aboard the ship Abigail, a small sailing vessel with only 13 other passengers, and arrived at Salem, Massachusetts (then called Naumkeage) on September 6, 1628.

He settled at ‘London Plantation’ under the governorship of John Endicott. On May 18, 1631 he was made a freeman.

For many years he served as the “neat herd” of Salem, who daily herded all of the cattle from town to feed outside the town. He had to be ready at the gate to the commons one hour after sunrise. He was paid 7 shillings per head per season for his service.

By 1638, he had more than fifty acres of land granted to him at Salem.

In 1649 he moved with Roger Williams (his neighbor and his friend) to found Providence, Rhode Island.

In Providence the Court of Providence appointed him to keep a “house of entertainment”, an inn and tavern from which he sold spirits. Town meetings were held in the tavern, and Roger Williams held his prayer meetings there.

In 1653 he built the stone Olney House, the first hotel and inn in Rhode Island. The inn was one of only 5 building not burned by the Narragansett Indians during King Phillip’s War.

Olney House

Olney House

His house on the corner of Abbot Street and North Main Street in Providence was still standing in 1900, the last house of the original settlers to survive.

In 1655 he served as a constable for Providence, and the tavern did double duty as a jail.

He was my 11th great grandfather.

Jerry Milo Johnson to Roger Mowry

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John Christopher “Johnny” Depp II was born in Owensboro, Kentucky on June 9, 1963.

Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp

21 Jump Street was my introduction to him as an actor.

His portrayal of Edward Scissorhands cemented him as a great actor who could force emotion and empathy from me while playing completely off-center characters.

Captain Jack Sparrow (from the movie adaptation of Pirates of the Caribbean) is one of the most iconic characters in movie history.

Captain Jack Sparrow

Captain Jack Sparrow

He is my 8th cousin once removed through our shared ancestor Richard Stout.

Jerry Milo Johnson to Johnny Depp


Alice Cooper was born Vincent Damon Furnier in Detriot, Michigan on February 4, 1948.

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper

His in-your-face costume and makeup drew my friends and I during the 1970s, but his music has kept our interest for all these years.

School’s Out was the first big hit we heard, but Welcome to My Nightmare was a great album from the first song to the last.

He is my 8th cousin once removed through our shared ancestor Richard Stout.

Jerry Milo Johnson to Alice Cooper (Vincent Damon Furnier)