SKILLMANS of AMERICA (aka SOA)

Hosted by: William Alfred Skillman (w.a.skillman@gmail.com) - My home page

Phones: Voice: 443-833-2676. FAX: 410-415-6627

Augsburg Retirement Village, 6825 Campfield Rd., Apt. 11C-2, Gwynn Oak, MD 21207

Seventh Great Grandson of Thomas Skillman

August 25, 2021

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On May 4, 2019, I married Charlotte Sue (Susie) List, widow of Bill List, who I worked with over 60 years ago at Westinghouse, which is when I met Susie. He died in 2012.  Our son-in-law, Richard Brash, married us in the Chapel of the Augsburg (Lutheran) Retirement Village, Lochearn/Gwynn Oak, MD.

Here is a short slide show of our wedding.

Then we took a Honeymoon trip to New Jersey where we attended the 82nd Memorial Servicc of the 1937 Hindenburg disaster, that Bill witnessed, at the former Naval Air Station at Lakehurst, where Bill was born in 1928. We also visited beautiful Lake Horicon in Lakehurst where my Mom took me in my stroller. Then we visited a bit in Toms River where my late wife, Anne, and I grew up, attended grades 1-12  and were married. Next, we visited Hopewell, NJ, where we toured my father's 1900 birthplace, the large house his parents built in 1899 on Hart Ave. It is now being rehabbed by the current owner. I used to sleep in the 2nd floor turret room when I visited as a child. Also visited the Skillman Furniture Store in Princeton, N.J., run by a family member.

I now live in Susie's apartment at Augsburg, see address above. Still unpacking and finding room for the things I just couldn't leave behind!

Susie's late husband, William F. List, was in the U.S. Navy during the Korean war. He served on the minesweeper, USS Dextrous. In his retirement he wrote a book, "History of the First USS Dextrous." Although not available online, there are copies in three libraries.

SKILLMAN FAMILY ASSOCIATION

The Skillman Family Association, SFA 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.

Thomas' family tree (descendancy) is presented online and also as downloadable files. From privacy considerations the one online tree and one downloadable file ("Priv") do not have any information on living persons except for their names. A "Full" online tree and one downloadable file have information on living persons and are password protected so only approved persons may view them. See "Privacy Policy."

A Skillman "DNA project" can 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 Howmanyofme.com as of 5/28/2021,  there are 3062 people with the last name Skillman in the U.S. It is the 11,635th most popular name.

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 165 other Skillmans in my file, with 28 having no known middle name or initial! But no other William Alfred Skillman, thanks to both grandfathers. BTW, 49 Skillmans have middle name William.

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 135 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. some time ago I  matched all the Skillman burials to my Skillman file. Amazing, to me, out of 3295 burials, I matched 2828 to my file, an average of 85.8%. 

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 both files 18 years later, now a total of 3,037 Skillmans in the 1935-2014 SSDI file, out of a  sample of 640, 537 or 84% matches were found. 

My Heritage site has 3659 Death Records as of 1/27/2020.

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.

 I matched 102 records of Army enlistees from 1938-1946 and found 79 matches or 77%.

From the above data it is tempting to conclude that the current Skillman file has data on 75-90% 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 wskillman@skillmansofamerica.com. 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. Note: Currently this page will not be emailed to me, repairs are on-going, stay tuned.


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 June 10, 2017.

Thomas of 1664 had four children. Rootsmagic reports 15,955 descendants for Thomas I, 15,470 for Thomas II, 408 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, 5990, Abraham, 1681, Isaac, 4121, Jacob 3365, Benjamin, 2051 and Joseph, 2236. 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 19,457 which exceeds the 15,955 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 1631. This reduces the sum to 17,826. 

As of Aug. 16, 2021 there were 6330 Skillmans in the database, but 2 were in an unconnected tree, so 6328 were in the main tree from Thomas. The total number of Tom's descendants in the main tree was then about 16,000. 

The database (May. 28, 2021) has a total of 41,517 people in 17,040 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) (RN=2125) so they are 24th cousins, twice removed. Robert II is a 6th great grandson of Charlemagne.

MY RELATIVES

A few of my interesting relatives, (RN is the Record Number of the person which can be used to view his page in the online files. It simply indicates the order that the person was entered into the Skillman file.)

PARENTS:

Surprisingly, my parents, Wilbur Skillman and Greta Ekman, are 25th cousins, twice removed, common ancestor is Robert II, the Pious, King of France, same as their mothers.

COUSINS:

Other Skillmans and relatives may also be cousins of these notable people, I'll tell you how to find out.

The next two men are both descendants of Wilhelmus Beekman (RN=34), my 8th great grandfather, and Catarina de Boogh and are my cousins through my Grandfather Skillman.

Bush, George H. W.(RN=3858) - my 9th cousin, 41st President of the U.S.

Astor, Col. John Jacob IV (RN=3830) - 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.

If Wilhelmus Beekman is your ancestor, you are also a cousin of these two people. Since W.B.'s great granddaughter married Isaac Skillman(1706-1799) RN 14, if your ancestral line goes back to Isaac, you are a cousin to Bush and Astor.

Queen Elizabeth II (RN=5703) my 21st cousin, once removed. Common ancestor is King Edward I (1239-1307) and Princess Eleanor of Castile (1244-1290).

If your ancestral line goes back to Edward I, then you are also a cousin of Queen Elizabeth.

This is unlikely since the line is long and her 19th cousin, Adeline Lord Albertson, married  my grandfather, William Newton Skillman, so only me and my offspring are Skillman cousins.

GRANDPARENTS

Ref. Gerard Beekman (RN-6730) of Germany, grandfather of Wilhelmus, was my 10th great grandfather. He  was granted a coat-of-arms by King James I of Englend for his work in translating for the King James version of the Bible. If you are a cousin of Whlhelmus, then you are 2 orders of cousin higher to Gerard.

Duncan I, (RN=5291) King of Scotland, my 24th great grandfather (killed in his sleep by Macbeth in Shakespeare's play, actual person died in battle with men of Moray, led by Macbeth) His 22nd great granddaughter, Adeline Albertson married my grandfather, so few other Skillmans would be related.

Elder William Brewster (c. 1566-1644) (RN=4546) of the Mayflower - my 9th great grandfather/ The Mayflower Compact was signed on the lid of his chest.

Again, Adeline, 7th great granddaughter, married Wm. N. Skillman, no other Skillman relatives.

Godiva, Lady, (RN=4870) Countess of Mercia (1040-1067) my 29th great grandmother. Yes, she rode naked through the streets of Coventry, according to legend.  Yup,  Adeline, 27th great granddaughter, married Wm. N. Skillman, no others need apply.

Hagar and Lady Godiva

Charlemagne/Charles the Great/Charles 1, (c. 742-819) founder of the Carolingian Empire  (RN=1817) - my 33rd great grandfather from both grandmothers

Alfred the Great, (849-899) King of Wessex, Eng. 871-899  (RN=1910) - my 30th great grandfather

William 1 the Conquerer/The Bastard (1028-1087) First Norman King 1066-1087 (RN=3550) - my 26th great grandfather

Canute the Great, (990-1035) (RN=2141) King of England, Denmark and Norway, my 26th great grand uncle.

Sigobert/Siegbert the Lame, (RN=57699) King of the Franks, died c. 509 - my 41st great grandfather.

Henry II Plantagenet, (1133-1189) King of England (RN=3585) - my 23rd great grandfather

Seleucus of Nicator, (60BC-10BC), my 65th great grandfather, (RN=124952)!  Apparently a descendant of Seleucus 1 of Nicator, who 


was one of the Diadochi (the rival generals, relatives, and friends of Alexander the Great who fought for control over his empire after his death). Having previously served as an infantry general under Alexander the Great, he eventually assumed the title of basileus and established the Seleucid Empire over the bulk of the territory which Alexander had conquered in Asia.

Other Surnames

Many surnames are included in Thomas' descendancy. All are listed in the online descendancies and the Name Indexes of the downloadable files. As of Aug. 16, 2021, the highest frequencies are: Skillman, 6330, Unknown, 1265, Hutcheson, 366, Smith, 272, Stryker, 242, McLaughlin, 231,  Voorhees, 166, Parker, 164, Johnson, 164, Miller 157, Jones, 153, Williams, 148, Reed, 131, Wilson, 124,  Holcombe 120.


Copyright 2021; William A. Skillman. All rights reserved.