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Royal Descents of famous people - Unproved and Disproved Royal Descents

Unproved and Disproved Royal Descents

Apparently proved, but I have not seen the descent

I trust Gary Boyd Roberts when he says the following have Royal descents, but I have not found in which work he lays out the descent. If you know, please tell me.

  1. Cecil B. DeMille, born 1881, film director.

  2. Agatha Christie, born 1890, crime writer.

Apparently proved, but I have not seen the descent

  1. Johnny Depp, born 1963, actor.

Unproven claims about US Presidents

See summary of what US Presidents have proven Royal Descents.

There are unproven claims that more US Presidents have Royal Descents.

Unproved - specific US Presidents and politicians

  1. James Buchanan

  2. Bill Clinton

  3. Bob Dole

  4. Stephen A. Douglas

  5. James Abram Garfield, born 1831, US President.

  6. Ulysses S. Grant, born 1822, US President.
    • This attempted descent from Edward III by Ed Mann fails because the parentage of Walter Palmer is wrong.
      • Elizabeth Verney (died 1592) did not marry John Palmer and did not have a son Walter.
      • Walter Palmer's parents are uncertain. See Larry Chesebro site here and here. See Walter Palmer Society here and here.

    • The descent of Ulysses S. Grant through Booth from Henry II shown in [Burkes Presidential] and here and here and here was disproved by Donald Lines Jacobus in The American Genealogist 37: 77-79.
    • There was a claimed descent from Edward III through Clement Miner (born 1585), who was claimed to be the grandson of John de la Pole (died 1491) and Elizabeth Plantagenet. See summary. But the dates are impossible. This descent was proven false in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register around 1990. See here.

  7. Jackson

  8. Abraham Lincoln

  9. Colin Powell
    • Colin Powell, born 1937, US Secretary of State.
    • William Addams Reitwiesner summarises the claim. Colin Powell claims his mother Maud Arial McKoy, born 1901, is descended from Sir Eyre Coote, born 1760, who descends from Edward III. No proof is given.

  10. Adlai Stevenson
    • Adlai Stevenson, born 1900, US Presidential candidate. Apparently has Royal Descent.

  11. Zachary Taylor, born 1784, US President.
    • See descent from Edward III through William Strother by Ed Mann.
    • [Roberts, 1995] says the Strother descent is unproved.
    • [Roberts, 1995] says there is another possible but unproved descent from Edward I through Anthony Savage.
    • See here.

Unproved - Others

  1. Oliver Cromwell

  2. Herman Melville

  3. Elvis Presley, born 1935, singer. (Descent from King John.)

Unproved - Yeats

The Yeats family believed they had a descent from the Earls of Ormonde, and used the name Butler Yeats as a result, but they neglected to actually write down the descent. They believed they descended from Edmund Butler, ancestor of Butler of Newchome, Co.Kilkenny, and descendant of Edward I.

W.B. Yeats himself worked on this link but never managed to prove it. See notes on this link at the Butler Society.

John Butler          Mary Goddard
of Dublin            dau of Charles Goddard
1st Clerk in          |
British War Office,   |
Dublin Castle         |
 |                    |
    Mary Butler                        Benjamin Yeats
    born 1751                          of Dublin
    inherited Thomastown, Co.Kildare   born 1750
     from John Humphrey of Dublin,      |
     whose will was registered 1775     |
     (relative of her father)           |
     |                                  |
             Rev. John Yeats
             born 1774
             Rector of Drumcliffe, Co.Sligo (where Yeats now buried)
             Rev. William Butler Yeats
             born 1806
             John Butler Yeats
             born 1839
 |                                  |
William Butler Yeats               Jack Butler Yeats
poet                               painter
born 1865                          born 1871
Nobel Prize for Literature 1923


  1. Daniel Boone
    • The claimed descent of Daniel Boone, born 1734, pioneer explorer of the American West, through Morgan from Lady Frances Somerset and hence from Edward III is disproved in:
      • "The Family of Edward Morgan of Pennsylvania: Daniel Boone's Maternal Kin" [part 1], Stewart Baldwin, The Genealogist, Vol. 15, No. 1 (Spring 2001): 104-28.
      • "The Family of Edward Morgan of Pennsylvania: Daniel Boone's Maternal Kin" [part 2], Stewart Baldwin, The Genealogist, Vol. 15, No. 2 (Fall 2001): 172-95.

  2. David Carradine, born 1936, actor.

  3. Quincy Jones, born 1933, record producer.

  4. Rashida Jones, born 1976, actress.

  5. Seth MacFarlane, born 1973, creator of Family Guy.

  6. Donald Maclean, born 1913, Soviet spy.
    • The attempted descent of Maclean the spy from Charles II is wrong.
    • Maclean the spy is son of the politician Donald Maclean (born 1864, died 1932) who married 2 Oct 1907 to Gwendolen Devitt.
    • This was formerly confused with Donald Charles Hugh Maclean (born 1876, died 1909) who married 26 Oct 1907 to Gwendoline Hope, descendant of Charles II. This is a totally different couple. See Hope under LINLITHGOW in [Burkes Peerage]. See descent of Rupert Everett.

  7. The von Trapp children (from the 1st marriage), born 1911 to 1921, family singers.

Disproved - Olivier

The descent of the actor Sir Laurence Olivier from Charles II as shown at the Thomas Arundell Society (see here) is wrong.
Emma Eden married Rev. Dacres Olivier, grand-uncle of Laurence Olivier. i.e. She is not an ancestor, or even a blood relation.

Return to Royal Descents of famous people.

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