A Babb for President?

It wasn’t without a little irony that I found the time this week to research a connection I had heard about at the recent family reunion. It turns out that Hillary Rodham Clinton turns out to be a Babb!

Before anyone gets their dander up, let me make reiterate that this is not a political forum or an endorsement of any kind. Just a discussion of her family history. There are plenty of places on the Internet to espouse political views. Let’s keep this conversation fun and light.

You can pick your nose, you can pick your President, but you can’t pick your family.

Hillary descends from the Babbs of Somerset, England. Her second great-grandmother Jane Sophia Babb married into the Howell family from which her mother Dorothy descends. I’ve attached a document which shows the exact details.

As a reminder, the Babbs of Somerset have not been linked to any of the lineages in the US. Genetically speaking they are unique and a completely different tree than the bulk of our groups members. So there is no need to look for this connection in your own tree.

None of this is going to get you through the front door of the White House, but it’s fun to consider and the connection will be included in my upcoming book on the English Babbs. Clinton-Babb Connection

A Reunion as grand as the 4th of July!

Over the 4th of July weekend a crew of 37 Babbs descended on a small town with a big history; in Reedsburg, Wisconsin. You couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful weekend, with sunny skies and 80° highs. On Saturday afternoon, we gathered for the opening mixer on the patio of the lobby bar at 4pm followed by dinner around 7pm in Marty’s Lounge, which is attached to the host hotel the 72-Room Voyageur Inn and Conference Center. We caused a bit of a stir when 20 people descended on the hotel restaurant, but that’s just part of being a Babb.

On Sunday July 3rd, we were the guests of honor at the Founders Day picnic and our speakers Marjorie Rhodes, Anna Crooks, Jean D’Angelo & Myself had the audience both laughing and crying along with our history.

After the festivities were over, we were treated to some wine & refreshments by the John Schmitt family, who are descendants of Reedsburg Founder, James Wilson Babb. Of course, no reunion is complete without a visit to those who came before. So, we paid a visit to the Babb Family Cemetery and ended up lingering for a good while, before convening at J’s Pub for dinner, which is located across the street from the host hotel. After dinner we continued to chat in the hotel lobby until late in the evening.

Monday July 4th, everyone toured on their own, but a big group of us ran away to see the Circus World in Baraboo and had a great time clowning around!


In the afternoon we had a long visit to the Reedsburg, Pioneer Log Village which has over a half dozen historic Log Homes from around the area. This museum also houses the rim from James Wilson Babb’s covered wagon, that he used when moving to Reedsburg.

Our reunion ended with a bang! Actually, quite a few of them. After all, it was the 4th of July and we were once again honored at Freedomfest in Nishan Park before John Schmitt & I lit up the city with the countdown to start the fireworks display. It was spectacular and we had the best seats in the park with Old Glory bathed in light by the fireworks behind it. It was truly proof in the night that our flag was still there.

This town isn’t large. It isn’t even included in the ATT coverage map. But that didn’t stop this rowdy bunch from having a great time. I can’t thank Cheryl Schwarzenbart enough for her help in pulling all of this together and connecting us with John Schmitt & Linda Borleske and the rest of Reedsburg. They made my job easy and so enjoyable!

A full set of the photos of the reunion is available on my OneDrive here: https://1drv.ms/a/s!AqxbCeIXsUU4kPgAcDCmie4HWb6xGg


Book Announcement: Vol 8: Drunk, Insolent, Disobedient & Babb: The Babbs of Maryland (3)

As I prepared for this volume on the Maryland Babbs, I was struck by a document for Charles Babb (3-1-4) who was court martialed 3 times during his short military career. The first time for being Drunk, the next for being insolent with this commander and the 3rd time for being disobedient. Though the DNA shows that are not of the same ancestry, I couldn’t help but think that he sounds so much like the descendants of Phillip Babb of the Isles of Shoals. It seems that troublemakers are what runs in common throughout all the lineages of Babbs. After all, there are things more binding than blood. They are not all bad, all Babbs!

Volume 8

Publication Date: Jul 17 2016
ISBN/EAN13: 1535346949 / 9781535346948
Page Count: 198
Binding Type: US Trade Paper
Trim Size: 8.5″ x 11″
Language: English
Color: Black and White
Related Categories: Reference / Genealogy

The book is available now on https://www.createspace.com/6430568 and will be on Amazon in a 3-5 days. You can get 20% off every day through the publisher www.createspace.com with code: 69DDYJEC


Direct link here: https://www.createspace.com/pub/simplesitesearch.search.do?sitesearch_query=babb+unabridged&sitesearch_type=STORE

Drunk, Insolent, Disobedient & Babb

It isn’t the first time that these words were used to describe a member of the Babb Family. We have a long line of resisting authority figures and it turns out Charles Babb (3-1-4) of Anne Arundel, Maryland was no different. While proofing the tree for an upcoming book release on the Babbs of Anne Arundel, Maryland, I came across this service record for Charles. It reminded me of that old Babb battle cry “I’ve been kicked out of better places than this!”

While I’m on the topic, let me share some changes for the next installment of my book series Babb Unabridged. While organizing for what was to be my next book on the Babbs of England, I realized that I had omitted a lineage in the first 7 volumes. The omission was due to the order in which the books were first created, prior to release. I wasn’t sure how many volumes I would eventually break Phillip’s descendants into and was getting bogged down trying to learn a consistent way to format the books as well. So, I tackled the small uncomplicated tree of Benjamin Babb of Middletown, CT. This allowed me to define a basic format that would carry me forward through the rest of the series. Benjamin’s line eventually became Volume 6 Breaking Down Benjamin Babb of Middletown, CT (2), but not until after I went back and did the 4 books (Vol 2-5) that make up Phillip’s (1) descendants.

Next I tackled the Eastern Virginia (4) & North Carolina Babbs (5), but somehow passed over the Anne Arundel, Maryland (3) Babbs. I had it in my head that the lineage was minimal in size and that I’d include it somewhere else.

Last week I realized my mistake while proofing a chapter for my upcoming volume on the English Babbs, which was to be Volume 8. Alas, that isn’t meant to be. Volume 8 will instead recover those lost Babbs of Anne Arundel, Maryland and as soon as I complete my work on that volume I can get back to work on the English Book.

So, while you wait, please enjoy this service record and remember all the disobedient Babbs in your life. MIUSA1798_102860-00329

Safe & Sound in Dallas

Many may realize that Dallas is my hometown and I wanted to make sure everyone knew that me and mine are safe and sound, following the tragic events last night. We were home when the shootings took place and didn’t even hear about them until friends from out of state starting asking about our safety on Facebook.

I can’t begin to understand how shooting an innocent person is the answer to any problem our world may face, yet these events are all too common. This one struck very close to my home and I’m a little rattled, but doing well.

My heart goes out to the innocent Peach Marchers and Peace Officers affected by this act of senseless violence. It reminds me of the senseless deaths of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King. Let’s remain committed to peace, in honor of all these people and the countless others lost to insanity.

Press: Descendants gather to celebrate Reedsburg’s first families

Here is a recent article that includes information about the Babb Reunion from the Reedsburg Times-Press. Article dated July 5, 2016:

Men and women came from miles around to commemorate Reedsburg’s founding families.

Descendants of the Reed, Bernien, Rork, and Babb families and Ho-Chunk Nation attended a special picnic and program at Webb Park on July 3. The afternoon, hosted by the Reedsburg Old Settlers Association, included stories, music and dance.

Relatives of the community’s earliest settlers traveled from as far away as England to attend, said Cheryl Schwarzenbart, a club member who helped organize the event.

More than 25 members of the Babb family were present and several spoke. Marjorie Rhodes, who grew up in Tomah, said she used to think her relatives lived only in Reedsburg. Over time she found out that Babbs can be found across state lines.

“We’ve spread our wings and gone everywhere but this is home,” she said.

Dan Babb said he may have had a lot of family at the picnic but even that number only accounts for about 5 percent of the whole clan. He noted that his ancestors have records from Texas and that there are plenty of rowdy stories, especially from the early days. However, he attributes those stories more to hyperbole and less to official records.

“Tall tales are a Texas tradition,” he said.

Records are indeed the key to keeping history alive. Schwarzenbart said a great deal of knowledge about the town comes from letters recovered from the 1800s.

Carol Berendes echoed Schwarzenbart, saying that she found her ancestry through historical documents. The Baraboo woman, who has ties to the Rork family, said she developed a stronger interest in history upon her discovery.

Several members of the Ho-Chunk Nation were also present, including traditional musicians and dancers, as well as Lance Tallmadge, a direct descendant of Chief Ahu-Choga, or Blue Wing. Tallmadge spoke of how the natives and white settlers worked together and laid the foundation for what is now Reedsburg.

“We’re very honored that the people of this community looked upon our relatives and recognized the contributions that Blue Wing made to this community, and how your relatives, your history, your past… how those people took Blue Wing in as one of their own,” Tallmadge said.

Old Settlers Association President Linda Borleske said it’s one of the shining examples of the area’s admirable past. She said evidence of previous accomplishments remains today in the form of historic homes, downtown storefronts and long-standing family farms.

“Reedsburg has such a rich history,” she said.


Reedsburg’s founding is most often attributed the influential James Wilson Babb, David Caldwell Reed, John H. Rork, John Bernien and Ahu-Choga.

According to information provided by the Old Settlers Club, Ahu-Choga was respected and friendly among the early white settlers. The tribe had a village along the south bank of the Baraboo River just west of Reedsburg.

The relationship was so strong that white residents were outraged when the government tried to force relocation of the Ho-Chunk in 1873-74. They argued the Ho-Chunk were land owners and part of the community. The relocation was stopped but would be attempted again. However, according to the information, many members of the Ho-Chunk returned to their homeland.

Babb was the first permanent white settler. After suffering serious financial losses he took his family from Ohio to Wisconsin in 1846. He was 55 when he departed on the journey.

John Schmitt and his wife Denise still live on the original Babb property west of Reedsburg, Schwarzenbart added. John’s mother, Carol Schmitt, also lives in Reedsburg.

The city is named after Reed, a Welshman who was born around 1808. Little is known about his early years or parents but records show he settled along the Baraboo River in 1847. It was reported that he wanted to see the settlement grow so he provided land for a public square and cemetery. Further improvements followed, along with saw mills and other developments, and more people moved to the area.

Rork, who was born in 1811, moved from New York shortly after Wisconsin became a state. The family spent some time in Racine before making a journey through the snow to Reedsburg.

John was a founding member of the First Methodist Church in Reedsburg and championed the creation of a new township. He also helped run the mill and taught youth farming and carpentry.

The Rorks are best remembered for starting the Old Settlers Association, which began as a social club that was open to anyone regardless of income, religion or political affiliation. The group celebrated its 140th annual meeting in February 2016.

Borleske said it’s an accomplishment for an organization to last for so long.

“That says a lot about the dedication of the membership,” she said.

John Bernien, who is still alive, is well known for being Reedsburg’s longest serving mayor; he led the city from 1968 to 1985. His father, Alfred, was also civic minded: He served as mayor from 1934 to 1949.

The Berniens emigrated from Germany in the 1870s and established the Bernien Co. along Webb Avenue between Main and Vine streets. The Bernien name can still be seen at the top of a Main Street building.


Source: http://www.wiscnews.com/reedsburgtimespress/news/local/article_96b74af5-43fb-5b77-9ef0-c58ec0ba8885.html

Reunion Update

We are already having a great time at the Babb Reunion in Reedsburg, with 23 total people showing up for the mixer last night. Cell reception is spotty, so we will post pictures as we are able. Here are a few from last night. Not everyone had arrived yet at the time of these photos.