SKILLMANS of AMERICA (aka SOA)
719 Maiden Choice Lane, Apartment BR630, Catonsville, MD 21228
Seventh Great Grandson of Thomas Skillman
March 30, 2014
NEW: SKILLMAN FAMILY ASSOCIATION
As of the beginning of 2013, the Skillman Family Association, SFA, has been up and running. It provides an opportunity to become more involved with Skillman research and interact with other people interested in the Skillman name and history. Oh, yes, I'm the Genealogist of the SFA! Read all about it here.
HOME - OVERVIEW
The purpose of this site is to be a resource for genealogical research on the Skillman surname. The name Skillman was brought to America from England by Thomas Skillman (#22) in 1664. Virtually all Skillmans in America (except descendants of slaves who took the Skillman name) are descended from Thomas. Since this Thomas had only one son, Thomas II, we are all descended from him, too. Six of his seven sons have living descendants. Two of his daughters married Atens; so many Atens are descended from Thomas. The third daughter had one child, no known descendants. In England, Skillmans go back to about the 13th century. Other spellings include Skilman, Skileman, Skylman and Schilleman. Considerable effort has been expended to establish the ancestry of Thomas, but without success.
A Skillman "DNA project" was recently started to help verify the ancestry of Skillmans.
"Interesting Links" has a collection of interesting links for research and information.
"Explore further": Tom's Trees mentioned above only consider Tom's direct descendants and spouses in a fixed format. If you wish to view collateral lines (relatives of the spouses) and/or view genealogy information in other formats, then you can download a Read-only version of RootsMagic, the author's genealogy program and a compatible file of all people in his database.
Finally, another page lists "Skillman places," such as Skillman NJ and Skillman, KY, Skillman Streets, Avenues, etc. Also a number of named locations.
How complete is the Skillman database?
According to WhitePages online, there are 3197 people with the last name Skillman in the U.S.
A genealogy database can never be complete for many reasons. Early family data was sparse and gradually improved over time. Early U.S. Census had only the name of the head of the family and a count of children by age group. Today, the count of living people changes rapidly due to births and deaths. Another problem with some databases: missing middle name or initial makes it difficult to find the desired person when many have the same first name. For instance, I share the first name, William, with 184 other Skillmans in my file, with 28 having no known middle name or initial! But no other William Alfred Skillman, thanks to both grandfathers.
One measure of completeness is to match our database to another database. Find-a-Grave (www.findagrave.com) is a database of burials. It has now expanded to include 102 million burials. The data is variable, a picture of a gravestone may be included, a write-up may be included and sometimes the listed dates don't match what is visible on the tombstone. Many times the stone is unreadable. I recently completed matching all the Skillman burials to my Skillman file. Amazing, to me, out of 1656 burials, I matched 1332 to my file, an average of 80.4%.
Another current database online is the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) that lists deceased people who were eligible to receive SS benefits. Eleven years ago there were 748 Skillmans in the SSDI and I matched only 225 or 28%. The message is that completeness improves as you go farther into the past.
A while ago I matched a database of deaths of Skillmans in Florida from 1966-2009. 45 out of 57 matched, or 79%, virtually the same as the Find-a-Grave match above.
How you can contribute
I encourage you to send me your family tree data, no matter how large or small. Data should include as much as you know of full names, birth dates, marriage dates, death dates, and locations for all events. Other data such as occupation, military service, education, etc. will also be used. The preferred format is a Backup file from RootsMagic. You may also send a GEDCOM file or a text file in any format. Send it all to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have material unsuitable for e-mail; photocopies, pictures, etc., you can mail it to me at the address above.
A Group Sheet form is available online that you might find handy to submit family data. You fill out the form for each family and when you hit Enter/Return it is sent as e-mail to the author. Be careful not to hit Enter until you are ready to submit the form.
How many people are descended from Thomas?
Since we will never be able to catalog all of Thomas' descendants, we can only say that the numbers below represent a minimum as of July 15, 2013.
Thomas of 1664 had four children. Rootsmagic reports 14,093 descendants for Thomas I, 13,712 for Thomas II, 367 for Elsje, 2 for Sarah, 12 for Lijsbet. Both Elsje and Lijsbet married Atens so their descendants trace back to Hendrick Aten of the Netherlands, born about 1590, whose son, Adriaen, came to America in 1651.
Thomas II had six sons that have living descendants: John, 5161, Abraham, 1062, Isaac, 3722, Jacob 2359, Benjamin, 1832 and Joseph, 2049. His daughter Annetje had 12 children, no known grandchildren, Elizabeth had one child, no grandchildren, Mary and Mercy had no known children. The total is 16,202 which exceeds the 14,093 above due to intermarriage among the lines. Probably the largest common line is that from the marriage of Jacob's son, John, and Abraham's daughter, Ann, which totals 1003. This reduces the sum to 15,199.
We now (March 2014) list 6098 Skillmans in the database, but 27 are in an unconnected tree, so 6071 are in the main tree from Thomas
The database has a total of 36,021 people in 14,750 families. Many are in collateral lines but probably the largest collection is the ancestors of my grandmothers. They both descended from European royalty - to mention a few:
Queen Elizabeth II - my 21st cousin, once removed.
Elder William Brewster of the Mayflower - my 9th great grandfather
Charlemagne - my 33rd grandfather
Alfred the Great - my 30th great grandfather
William the Conquerer - my 26th great grandfather
Sigobert the Lame, King of the Franks, died c. 509 - my 41st great grandfather
Many surnames are included in Thomas' descendancy. All are listed in the online descendancies. As of March 25, 2014, the highest frequencies are: Skillman, 6071, Unknown, 483, Hutcheson, 278, McLaughlin, 215, Smith, 143, Williams, 110, Reed, 107, Jones, 94, Johnson,90, Voorhees, 85, Wilson, 75, Holcombe. 72.
Copyright © 2014; William A. Skillman. All rights reserved.
Tree graphic courtesy of JOD