Dr. Jean Fernald

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Jean Fernald, Doctor

Also Known As: "John"
Birthplace: Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Death: August 25, 1575 (20)
Immediate Family:

Son of Rev. Dr. François Fernel and Maria Commenus (Fictitious)
Husband of Annietta de Coligny (Fictitious) and Josephine Devigne
Father of Captain Sir William Fernald; Robert Fernald; Edward Fernald; John Fernald; Henry Fernald and 4 others
Brother of Pierre Fernald; Anne Fernald; Marie Fernald and Dr john furnius fernel
Half brother of John Fernius Fernald

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Dr. Jean Fernald

Caution: His ancestry is a known fraud.

His spectacular pedigree, and that of his wife, is fake. The following passage shows the judgment of noted genealogist Walter Goodwin Davis:

"It has been the fate of many English and American families to have their pedigrees drawn up and their genealogies written by the ignorant, the credulous, or the fraudulent. While it is commonly and humorously stated that all genealogists are slightly mad, the Fernald family had the unique and dubious distinction of having a historian who was undeniably insane. In 1909 Charles Augustus Fernald, M.D., at what must have been considerable expense, published a book entitled 'Universal International Genealogy and of the Ancient Fernald Families'. It is impossible to give in a short space an adequate idea of this extraordinary production. It must be seen, its wildly incoherent English read and its fantastic and often hilariously funny claims sampled before its very existence can be believed.

"The theme of the book, garnished with many digressions, is the descent in one hundred and fifty-four generations, of Dr. Renald Fernald from Sana who was the daughter of Abel and Zana, Zana being the daughter of Cain and Kanafatafaa, twin children of Adam and Eve, who were also, of course, the parents of Abel. Sana married Seth who was born on Monday, April 3, 130 and died on Friday, November 11, 1042. From generation to generation of Biblical and Egyptian characters, their birth and death dates being given with particularity as in the case of Seth, and in most cases their portraits thoughtfully provided, the line unfolds. In the 40th generation, with one Farna, comes the first faint shadow of the name Fernald, while in the 49th, when Farnel appears, its ultimate form is definitely forecast. Alexander the Great, the 83rd in descent, is a high spot, and with the 94th generation we reach the noble Roman name of Furnius. Marcus Agrippa Lucius Furnius is an ancestor of whom any American may be peculiarly proud, for the took time off from his pressing senatorial duties to cross the Atlantic, cut an inscription in Dighton Rock at Taunton in Massachusetts and, for good measure, build the round tower at Newport [Rhode Island]. Attila the Hun makes a surprise appearance in generation 116, but even more surprisingly we escape Charlemagne, having to be content with his brother Childebert. Of Childebert's son 'Robert le Fort=the Strong' we are told, as an interesting sidelight, that he was 'ancestor of the Pike family in the U.S. of America.' After Childebert follows a long line of French Kings until we reach Charles VIII and Anne of Brittany. On this eminent couple a bad fairy or a wicked nursemaid played a dastardly trick, snatching from the royal cradle their youngest son, and, after substituting a lad of humble birth, spiriting him away for purposes which seem to have had something to do with the Protestant Reformation.

"Royal genius will out, however, and the little prince, all unknowing, grew up to be the great court physician, Dr. Jean Fernel. Fernel -- he was a real person, by the way, born at Clermont in 1497 -- married Magdalen Luillier, and with her our genealogist gives us our first connection with the Washingtons, for he says that her great-grandfather, Jean Luillier, married Anne Washington. Of Dr. Fernel's vast estate the Catholic church seized no less than $21,000,000 and the Popes have successfully resisted all efforts of the Fernalds and Washingtons to get it back. Jean is the 150th generation in the pedigree, the 151st being his son Francis Junius Fernel who married Maria Comnenus, presumably a descendant of the Byzantine emperors although the author neglects to say so. Perhaps you should be warned to relax at this point for startling events impend. To Francis and Maria Fernel were born four children whose marriages were spectacular in the extreme. Their daughter Maria married Capt. John Smith, the famous voyager and raconteur. Their son Peter became the father of Peter Fanuel, the Boston merchant for whom the great town market was named. A second son, Dr. Jean Furnius Fernel, our ancestor in the 152nd generation, married Annietta de Coligny, daughter of Gaspard de Coligny, Admiral of France and firm Huguenot, who, like Marcus Agrippa Lucius Furnius, made an otherwise unrecorded voyage to America. It is, however, for the second daughter, Anne Fernel, that the most astounding distinction is reserved. Having been adopted by 'Mr. Hathaway' in England, this child eventually married one Samuel Washington who wrote rather successful plays under the pen-name William Shakespeare!

"Dr. Jean Furnius Fernel and his Coligny wife happened to be in Germany when their son William Fernald was born on May 10, 1575, in the castle of Heidelberg, but they took him to the church of the Hold Ghost in Baden to be baptized. This boy, who grew up to be Capt. Sir William Fernald, married Elizabeth Armand, thereby strengthening the Washington connection, for she was the daughter of Commander Girard and Elizabeth (Washington) Armand, and Queen Elizabeth was so fond of her that she gave her a china teapot (illustrated) as a wedding present. From a Washington pedigree, of obvious interestat this point, we learn that one of George Washington's ancestors, Adam Washington, eight generations behind him, married 'Th. Roosevelt,' 'Th.' presumably standing for Theodora, who can only be one of the Oyster Bay [home of President Theodore Roosevelt] preferred stock.

"Finally we come to Dr. Renald Fernald, the 154th generation, son of Capt. Sir William. He is married to Joanna Warburton, 'descendant fo Sir John Warburton (1575) and Mary,' and after his resignation from the Royal Navy they came to New England.

"The closing words in this genealogical curiosity are worth quoting as indicative of the disordered mind which produced it -- 'Any errata within this book are the works of the quadruple Rum, Social Evil and Malpractice Vile Ring in their unholy works to destroy the nations, finally themselves.'" [Davis 1996.]

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Dr. Jean Fernald's Timeline

March 15, 1555
Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
June 14, 1572
June 12, 1574
Heidelberg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
August 25, 1575
Age 20