Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Out of Their Tree - Mark Bingham

In remembrance of today's anniversary of the 9/11 attacks I want to return to an individual I mentioned in a previous “Out of Their Trees” article on Clare Balding, Mark Bingham. In that article I mentioned that both he and Clare descend from 2 families of the same name who were among the earliest Dutch settlers in New York, the Hooglandts, later Hoagland and Hoglan. It is this family, that of Mark Bingham’s mother, that has been the subject of my research.

Alice Ann Hoglan descends directly from the Hoaglandts who emigrated from Holland in the 17th century and settled in New York, then called New Amsterdam. He branch of the family moved to Iowa in the 19th century.

Mark Bingham has a lot of other Dutch settler ancestry through his mother. Through 2 lines of descent one ancestor was Rev. Everardus Bogardus (his Latinised name, a hangover from Catholic practice), a minister of the Dutch Reformed Church.

The minister was born Everart Bogaert in Utrecht and travelled to New Amsterdam in 1633. One incident recalled on his Wikipedia page tells how the colonial governor wanted to build a new church inside the colony’s fort to protect it from local native American attacks, but he couldn’t afford it. However, when everyone was celebrating the marriage of Rev. Bogardus’s daughter he took advantage of their inebriated state and began a subscription list. Everyone tried to out-do each other in the amount they promised they’d give for the new church and, of course, when they’d all sobered up the following morning began to regret it. The subscription was a legal document and they had to pay up!

Rev. Bogardus was a constant critic of the governor, and the manner of their deaths reveals the colonists’ own feelings. In 1647 both the governor and the minister were sailing back to Europe (incidentally, on the same ship that had brought the new governor, Petrus Stuyvesant, to the colony – he’s an ancestor of gay singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright). The ship’s captain mistook the Bristol Channel for the English Channel and the ship ran aground and sank. Only 21 of the 107 passengers survived. Unfortunately, Rev. Bogardus and the old governor didn’t. In “The Story of Manhattan” by Charles Hemstreet (published 1901) it says : “The people of New Amsterdam mourned for their minister, but there was little sorrow felt for the Governor …”

 Rev. Bogardus’s surname may remind you of the Hollywood star Humphrey Bogart. His name also comes from a Dutch settler family called Bogaert, who are probably not related to Everardus. However, Rev. Bogardus is ancestor of Henry Fonda and his acting dynasty.

 The minister’s wife, Anneke Jans, was at one time thought to have been a grand-daughter of Willem I, Prince of Orange, of the ruling dynasty in the Netherlands, by his mistress Marie Webber. Quite often these “facts” still appear on amateur genealogical websites, despite the fact that they have long been disproved. Anneke’s relationship to Willem I was disproved in 1925.

One of the “Holy Grails” of genealogy for a lot of researchers, amateur and professional, is to find a royal ancestor. By finding one there is likely to be an ancestry that can be traced back hundreds of years. That’s what happened in my case, as I’ve often mentioned on this blog. But I think we must be careful and check the records rather than rely on something someone puts of their own family history site.

Having said that, I’m always looking for people’s royal ancestry. So, now that I’ve discounted Mark Bingham’s Dutch royal line, I’ll look at his English royal line. Through the Warriners family of Monson, Massachusetts, Mark has 2 lines of descent from King Henry I (1070-1135). Other royal ancestors which various internet sites claim for Mark have been easily disproved as rumour.

 Mark’s Warriner ancestors emigrated to Massachusetts from Lincolnshire in 1638. My great-great-grandmother was a Warriner from the Lincolnshire border, so perhaps it is the same family. I haven’t found a link yet.

I’ll end with listing some of the famous lgbt relatives who share his ancestry from the time of the 17th century colonial settlements from Europe : Clare Balding, Cole Porter, W. H. Auden and Herman Melville.

No comments:

Post a Comment