Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the USA - Were you once connected to Donald J. Trump and now you're not?

Started by Private User on Monday, June 24, 2019
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yesterday at 6:22 PM

About Gary Boyd Roberts
Gary Boyd Roberts is the Senior Research Scholar Emeritus of the New England Historic Genealogical Society. A native of Houston, he is a graduate of Yale and the University of Chicago; he also studied at the University of California, Berkeley. His research interests include immigrant origins and royal descents; royal and noble genealogy; the ancestry of notable figures, especially American presidents; and colonial New England, the mid-Atlantic states, and the South. He is the author, co-author, or editor of numerous works, including Ancestors of American Presidents (1989, 1995, and 2009), and The Royal Descents of 600 Immigrants to the American Colonies or the United States (2004); his life’s work is “The Mowbray Connection: An Analysis of the Genealogical Evolution of British, American and Continental Nobilities, Gentries, and Upper Classes Since the End of the Middle Ages” in 23 vols.

A second update to Ancestors of American Presidents
February 8, 2016Genealogical Writing, NewsInternational genealogical research, Spotlight, The Well-Stocked Genealogical LibraryGary Boyd Roberts
Editor’s Note: NEHGS Senior Research Scholar Emeritus Gary Boyd Roberts continues his series of articles updating entries to his Ancestors of American Presidents, 2009 Edition, and its 2012 reprint; the previous entry appears here.

yesterday at 6:28 PM

The Donald Trump article by the genealogist for US presidents is here, hopefully you can find it in the PDF file. It’s in copyright.

yesterday at 6:32 PM

Look for pages 50 - 52. There is nothing about Royalty descent; there is a comment:

“ Inhabitants of the Isle of Lewis were long of largely Celtic and/or Viking descent and many still speak Gaelic. Kinships to mainland Scottish families with the above and following surnames may date from common ancestors only of the seven- teenth century or earlier. MacLeod and MacAulay are among the most com- mon surnames on the island.”

So - we don’t know “which” MacLeod.

Private User
yesterday at 6:53 PM

Erica, I'm not able to see pages 50-52.

The link you provide does not have any details on Donald J. Trump pedigree:

yesterday at 7:04 PM

Dear Private User

I apologize for the delay in responding to your inquiry. I have been at school all day, limited to following this discussion from my phone without the ability to examine the evidence or marshal the facts.

You do have a point about the name of the wife of Donald, but I think that it is unlikely that there were two Donald MacLeods with the nickname "Old Trojan." Donald Macleod of Bernera is "Old Trojan." The book does not list a wife named Janet, but I read his three wives to be Anne, Margaret Macdonald and Margaret Macleod (no Isabels). I must have overlooked correcting the name of the wife when I edited the tree as I was focused on the male line of descent. I apologize for that.

Putting the names of the wives aside. The basic fact that the line of descent previously listed, John Finlay --> Donald --> Donald "Old Trojan"-->John "The Tutor," is not supported by evidence remains as Donald Jr. is implied not to have surviving descendants and there is no evidence for Old Trojan having another son Donald. As I mentioned previously, if someone has some form of proof to support this connection then I urge them to come forward and I would be delighted to add the connection back. But, the onus to provide evidence of this connection is not with those, like myself, who question its validity for the reasons which I have explained, rather it is with those who wish to assert that the connection is factual.

As for our Icelandic genealogist, I do not know where he got his lineage from but I don't believe that he did the proper research to verify his connection which I would expect from a "professional genealogist." The line which he references goes through Catherine/Christian MacLeod and has been dis-proven for a while now by other professional genealogists. See the about section of that profile for more information.

In any case I have reached out to Oddur Helgason of Facebook (with the hope that he speaks English) and have asked if he would mind sharing his sources with us.

As mentioned above I know that it is exciting to have interesting genealogical connections and disappointing when they disappear. But, if those connections are not based on factual evidence or in many of these cases are the result of mistakes or outright fabrications then we should not be so sad to see them go because they never had any validity in the first place and only befuddle the truth.

Tamas Caldwell-Gilbert

Private User
yesterday at 7:34 PM


John of Gaunt,1st Duke of Lancaster is my 18th great grandfather and this link still connects to Marla Maples and to Tiffany Trump, who is my19th cousin twice removed.
Tiffany Trump

John of Gaunt
→ Elizabeth Plantagenet his daughter
→ Lady Constance de Holland her daughter
→ Lady Alice Knyvett her daughter
→ Sir Edmund Knyvett, of Buckenham her son
→ Sir Thomas Knevet his son
→ Elizabeth Tylle his daughter
→ John Tylle her son
→ John Till of the Hawthorne his son
→ John Talley, of Jamestown his son
→ Nathan Talley his son
→ William Talley his son
→ Richard Talley his son
→ Tucker Talley his son
→ George Talley his son
→ Guilford Talley his son
→ Maria Ann Plummer his daughter
→ George Plummer her son
→ Anna Blackwell his daughter
→ Lura Locklear her daughter
→ Lura Maples her daughter
→ Marla Maples her daughter

yesterday at 7:41 PM

Private User The article is in copyright; Roland Baker previously summarized it for us, though. I am asking him to take another look at Catherine/Christian MacLeod for us, so let’s wait to see what he says.

I have a login to AmericanAncestors but am not a current subscriber. I imagine I will subscribe again in the future: it has the best professional publications.

Private User
yesterday at 7:50 PM

Tamas Caldwell-Gilbert, you are quite a polite young man and I encourage you to keep up with your studies. Thank you! I will continue to look into what you have said, but I thank you for noticing the data that I have provided that you have overlooked and if we could restore this data somehow, it would be helpful. Often the female pedigree gets overlooked and it's such a shame.

I'm still very curious about what you said: "the line which he references goes through Catherine/Christian MacLeod and has been dis-proven for a while now by other professional genealogists" and I will get back to you.

M Foss N.

P.S. I am related to many Dukes/Princes, Princess, Kings and Queens ~ I am not bragging, but explaining to you that it's not so much that it's disappointing when one "disappears" from my family tree as there are several other lines of nobility. I'm also the product of several royal mistresses! In any event, you must be aware that when it comes to the pedigree of President Donald J Trump tempers will flair and there is a bit of "political interference." I wish only to maintain accuracy.

yesterday at 7:52 PM Tamas is saying that Christian/Catherine MacLeod is an obscure figure, and this has been known for several years. Not trying to put words in his mouth though ! Tamas is an excellent genealogist.

yesterday at 8:33 PM

As Erica Howton mentioned above, the parentage for Catherine MacLeod appears not to be known as the necessary records have not been found yet.

Scottish genealogy before the 19th century is generally quite tricky to research. In part because standardized genealogical record keeping was not introduced in the United Kingdom until the mid 1800s and also because there is not much "variety" in the names used, with many people having similar names. For example a quick search on which is the national online archive for Scottish genealogical records returns 23 Donald MacLeods born between 1650-1750, non of which appear to be either of the Donalds we have been discussing here. Most of the results appear to be from the Inverness area so that also suggests very spotty coverage for the entire nation.

When doing Scottish research online, and I have done a bit with my own family tree, it is very easy to connect unrelated people because they might have the same name. In part this is because of the suggested record matching features of websites like While it is generally quite good for U.S. genealogy, it is problematic with English genealogy and downright terrible for Scottish and Irish research (and nearly unusable for Latin American records), as you can very easily get wrong or multiple, conflicting recommendations, which even if careful attention is paid can very easily derail a family tree even if one is on the lookout for it.

I would posit that many of the incorrect trees which I and others have disconnected are the result of well-meaning research which falls into the trap of following the suggested record matches, leading to unproven or incorrect genealogies.

yesterday at 9:14 PM

And while Tamas was writing that, I was able to verify that the tree for Commissary Donald MacLeod is an entirely different location in Scotland (this is the Ancestry wrongly ascribed to “his” Christian/Catherine McLeod).

There is a published “Genealogical Account” - Mackay, Angus, The Book of Mackay, Edinburgh, Scotland: Norman Macleod, 1906, p. 255. Google book:

His daughter Catherine Elisabeth Macleod married William Telford, Skerray

Reference: Scotland Marriages, 1561-1910: Name: William Telford Spouse's Name: Catherine Elisabeth Mcleod Event Date: 29 May 1843 Event Place: Thurso, Caithness, Scotland

So this is a different person, and the tree entered by Judith "Judi" Elaine (McKee) Burns , bard on the book, looks correct. The one error I found was not hers.

yesterday at 10:44 PM

The descent of the Mackay’s from Edward lll (I think it’s supposed to be) breaks on the impossible chronology of this woman

Isabella Munro

She’s listed at Electric Scotland as a daughter of Rev. Hugh Munro, minister of Durness & Hon. Anna Mackay - both born well after this Isabel must have been in order to have a child b c 1649.

In addition, Anna Mackay’s parentage is questioned: “The 2003 edition of BP does not give the 1st Lord Reay a daughter Anna, whether married to Hugh Munro, minister of Durness, or anyone else. The same is true for the account of Reay in SP.”

Private User
Today at 3:31 AM

For accountability purposes, I'm noting two disconnections I've just made:

1. Alexander MacLeod has been disconnected from John Finlay MacLeod and Christian MacLeod who had been listed as Alexander's parents. There is no known evidence for this relationship.

2. Kenneth MacLeod has been disconnected from Duncan MacLeod who had been listed as Kenneth's father. There is no known evidence for this relationship.

Since John, Christian, and Duncan have no ancestry listed, ***this change will not impact your relationship paths***.

If anyone finds primary sources allowing us to reconnect those proposed parents, please feel free to post here in the discussions. No British or American genealogists have been able to find any so far.

Private User
Today at 3:35 AM

Erica Howton, NEHGS also has no parents known for Ann Mackenzie. I will let you decide how you'd like to proceed with that one since you're the curator.

(And once again, this is a disconnection that would not impact anyone's paths.)

Private User
Today at 3:46 AM

If anyone is looking for a way to contribute to fixing up and documenting President Trump's ancestry, here is an opportunity for you:

In addition to no parents, NEHGS has no known death date or cause for Duncan Smith. Can you find records verifying the date and cause given on his profile, making sure that it matches the correct Duncan Smith? If so, we can add them to the profile.

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