What do they have in common?

By William H. Teschek, Assistant Director

March 27, 2000

Pop quiz. What do Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford have in common? How about Tennessee Williams and Mark Twain? Samuel Adams and Daniel Webster? Easy you say? Let's try some tougher ones. James Dean and Louis L'Amour, Millard Fillmore and L.L. Bean. Did you have some trouble with those two? How about this pair -- Winston Churchill and yours truly?

By now I'm sure you're quite lost. Here's the answer. All of the individuals listed above have one thing in common. In each case they had one or more ancestors who were among the earliest settlers of Hampton. A few more famous individuals who share this lineage are authors Laura Ingalls Wilder and W. Rodman Philbrick. Herbert Henry Dow of Dow Chemical Company fame and former Secretary of State Lewis Cass also can trace their ancestry to Hampton. Then there is William Moulton Marston, who was the creator of the systolic blood pressure test, which lead to the creation of the polygraph (lie detector). Later in life he invented the comic book character "Wonder Woman".

In some cases these people are even distant cousins. Samuel Adams, James Dean, Richard Nixon and yours truly are related through the Perkins family. Dean and Nixon are also related through the Hussey family. Mark Twain and Gerald Ford are cousins through the Gove family, and Churchill, W. Rodman Philbrick, and Lewis Cass are descended from the Philbricks. Laura Ingalls Wilder descends from the Locke and Knowles families. Dean, Nixon, Ford, L.L. Bean, Louis L'Amour and Daniel Webster are all descended from Hampton's founder the Rev. Stephen Bachiler. Bachiler has so many descendants that I sometimes wonder whether or not there are many Americans left who DON'T descend from him (even though I don't myself).

Hampton's descendents have surely spread to every state in the nation, and probably every country in the developed world, if not most of the undeveloped ones as well. Printed genealogies detailing all of their descendants would probably fill a library the size of ours. To view the Hampton ancestries of most of these famous people, as well as the genealogies of all of the old families of Hampton, go to our Hampton genealogy database on the Web at http://www.hampton.lib.nh.us/genealog. Included are over 20,000 individuals taken from Dow's History of Hampton and a number of other sources on local genealogy. This database is continually maintained and updated by volunteer Dick Marston of Glendale, California, himself a Hampton descendant many times over. He has a website of his own called "Marston Manor" on which he has a "Famous Cousins" room that talks more about the famous people listed above. Marston Manor can be reached at http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~dickmarston/.

There's something new at the library. Audiobooks on CD-ROM. Now that more new cars are being outfitted with CD player than with cassette players it has become necessary to carry audiobooks in both formats. Our collection currently stands at 29 titles, and these can be found on the circular rack opposite the circulation desk on the copy machine side. They can be checked out for two weeks like books, but can't be renewed. For a complete listing check our OPAC and do a subject search for "Compact disc books". And of course we have hundreds of audiobooks on cassette. Our OPAC is available on the web at http://www2.hampton.lib.nh.us:8080