SKILLMANS of AMERICA (aka SOA)
719 Maiden Choice Lane, Apartment BR630, Catonsville, MD 21228
Seventh Great Grandson of Thomas Skillman
June 25, 2014
June 18: Site update is half complete with upload of Tom's Tree Full both online and downloadable versions.
NOTE: my email is now from this site, see link above.
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!
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, as of 2014 there are 3493 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. There were 798 Skillmans in the SSDI in 2000. In 2001 only 225 or 28% matched my file. With the increased number of Skillmans in my file 13 years later, 75% of Skillmans in the 2000 SSDI now match the Skillman file.
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.
From the above data it is tempting to conclude that the current Skillman file has data on 75-80% of all the Skillmans who have lived in America!
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 (June 2014) list 6098 Skillmans in the database, but 27 are in an unconnected tree, so 6071 are in the main tree from Thomas. The total number of Tom's descendants in the main tree is now 14,674.
The database (June 2014) has a total of 36,206 people in 14,836 families. Many are in collateral lines but probably the largest collection is the ancestors of my grandmothers. They both descended from European royalty, their common ancestor is Robert II, King of France (987-1031) so they are 24th cousins, twice removed. Robert II is a 6th great grandson of Charlemagne. A few of my interesting ancestors, all but the first from one or both grandmothers:
Bush, George H. W. President, U.S. my 9th cousin, from my Grandfather Skillman.
Queen Elizabeth II - my 21st cousin, once removed.
Astor, Col. John Jacob IV - my 6th cousin, 3 times removed, went down on the Titanic. Richest person on the Titanic, maybe in the world, net worth about $85 Million in 1912.
Duncan I, King of Scotland, my 24th great grandfather (murdered by Macbeth in Shakespeare's play)
Elder William Brewster of the Mayflower - my 9th great grandfather
Godiva, Lady, Countess of Mercia (1040-1067) my 29th great grandmother. Yes, she rode naked through the streets of Coventry, according to legend.
Charlemagne - my 33rd great grandfather from both grandmothers
Alfred the Great - my 30th great grandfather
William the Conquerer - my 26th great grandfather
Canute the Great, King of England, Denmark and Norway, my 26th great grand uncle.
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 June 9, 2014, the highest frequencies are: Skillman, 6098, Unknown, 1103, Hutcheson, 287, McLaughlin, 229, Smith, 237, Williams, 132, Reed, 127, Jones, 135, Johnson, 141, Voorhees, 166, Holcombe. 116.
Copyright © 2014; William A. Skillman. All rights reserved.
Tree graphic courtesy of JOD