Pictorial pathway through pedigree . . .

PEDIGREE BACK TO ADAM AND EVE (RIN 2564).  (RIN = Record Identification Numbers are the numbers contained in the One Family Tree database to identify each individual.)

In 1981 my husband David Turley spent months creating this 25 foot long, 5 foot high chart on canvas . . . hand writing all the names (2,200) starting with our children, through us and our parents, tracing our family lines back to our First Parents Adam and Eve.

Of course we continue to gather more information about our family . . . (the One Family Tree database now contains over 147,000 individuals), but we wanted to give you an idea of where our search has taken us through the years.  What began as questions to family members, took us through 48 of the United States and to all but one continent on earth!


My Dad Joe Clarkson

My father, Joseph Edward Clarkson (see RIN 4 in the One Family Tree database) was raised as a Catholic altar boy.  He had never heard of the “Mormons” or “genealogy.”  He came to Carson, New Mexico from Kansas with his family in a covered wagon in 1922.

“Kansas to New Mexico – 1922” painted by Aunt Seal

That’s where he met my mother Norma Shupe (RIN 3), where they were married a few years later, and where I was born.  The Clarksons did not know their ancestry.  Two short lines in an old family Bible was all the information we had.  Until the 1970s, we had been unable to even find our great-grandfather.  We began traveling around the United States in the summers to meet relatives and gather information.  One of our first miracles occurred in Provo, Utah, where we were living so my husband could go to law school.  One day in 1973, a young BYU student knocked on our door and said, “A long time ago, you and your sisters wrote to my grandmother Anna Clarkson Chapman (RIN 3286) asking for genealogy.”   She then explained, “I recently joined the Mormon Church and my grandmother asked me to deliver her treasured manuscript (about 200 pages of handwritten stories of Clarkson relatives) to you.”

Norma Shupe and Joe Clarkson in 1927

Letter from Wilford Woodruff asking William Kyle Shupe to move to New Mexico

Letter to my grandfather William Kyle Shupe from Wilford Woodruff


My grandfather, William Kyle Shupe (RIN 42442) and others came West on the new cross-country railroad in the late 1880s.  He and other relatives were sent by the Prophet Wilford Woodruff to colonize in New Mexico.  The Turleys, MacDonalds, Shupes, Whitings, Johnsons, Richardsons, Eyrings, Calls, Romneys and other families went to Mexico.   Still others settled in Canada.

I began writing Readers’ Theaters and plays for our family reunions to share what we had learned and teach our children and grandchildren about their heritage.  They were very patient with my efforts, and very good sports!

Cousins playing the parts

Reader's Theater on Willis and Clarkson families

We found evidence at ELLIS ISLAND of the arrival in the United States of many of our family members, including the Shupes, and imagined their joy upon catching site of the Statue of Liberty!

Shupe record at Ellis Island museum

Crossing the Atlantic Ocean in 1600s, 1700s, 1800s was long and treacherous, but many of our ancestors were willing to endure the hardship for the opportunity to worship according to the dictates of their own conscience.

Crossing the Atlantic

Reverend David Clarkson (1626-1686)

Reverend David Clarkson (1626-1686 – RIN 2589) father-in-law of Lady Grace (RIN 2588).

We found the history of the Aungier family from France (later in England) in an unusual way.  They were sent by the King of England to “propagate a new religion” in Colonial Virginia.  I chanced to read the personal journal of a bookseller who said he “wandered thither” in Ireland searching for his friend David Clarkson, Jr. (who was in Colonial Virginia at the time), and instead met David’s wife, Lady Grace.  I finally found my 9th great grandparents (RIN 6303)!!


My husband’s ancestors, including Theodore Turley, came to America as Mormon pioneers and their posterity continues to search out their family connections – Turleys, Martineaus, Woodruffs, Johnsons, Burns, McBrides, Ellis, and Eyrings, among them.

Theodore Turley lot in Nauvoo, Illinois

Theodore Turley lot in Nauvoo, Illinois

My husband and I found a common ancestor 22 generations back: Princess Hedwig of Denmark (RIN 12096).  Many of our ancestors immigrated to the Eastern United States  in the 1600 – 1800s and then ended up in the West:  Mormons and Non-Conformists came from England and Scotland, Catholics from Ireland and Spain, “Huguenots” who were run out of France, Presbyterians from Scotland and Lutherans from Germany.

Clarkson family beginning genealogy search

1980s–Norma, June, Christine, Dale, Dean, Alice, Joyce, Lynette, and Steve Clarkson

In the 1980s, I as well as my siblings – June, Christine, Dale, Dean,  Joyce, Lynette, Steve – and our spouses, started traveling around the world searching for our roots.  We began at the old family homestead in New Mexico and visited every continent (except Antarctica) in the search for our ancestors.

On one occasion, three of my sisters and I entered the National Library on Chauncery Lane in London, England, and asked if they could help us find a letter written from our Grandfather David Clarkson, Jr. in 1702 to Queen Anne of England.  The receptionist frowned and said, “Madams, we have 93 miles of records here in this library, and you want to find ONE letter?”  After the Librarian described a “sort-of-trail” we launched upon our journey from hall to hall, and shelf to shelf!  After I don’t remember how long, we found one clue and started following it to search through the index.    We found the letter signed by about 15 Justices in New Kent County, Colonial Virginia, including David Clarkson, Jr. (RIN 34646), and Archbishop John Tillotson (RIN 89345).  Sweet success!  Persistence and perhaps ignorant bliss paid off.

IRELAND has some of the oldest records of OUR RELATIVES who were the Monarchs of IRELAND.  (Feargus 131st Monarch of Ireland and Scotland, our cousin (RIN 1999) and on to King Heremon and then to King Miliseus and on to Neil of the Nine Hostages (RIN 41670)


One miracle occurred as we drove along a rural road in Ireland, and noticed a woman in front of her house running a spinning wheel.   We stopped and explored the “wares” Bridget was marketing and explained we were Americans looking for our ancestors, the Creaghs of County Clare.   As we made our purchases Bridget told us of a heritage center on down the road.

We found the Clare Heritage Centre and while looking around, noticed a very large pedigree of O’DAVORENS on the wall.  It was our family- the Creagh Ancestors- 38 generations of O’Davoren’s back to 910 AD!
O'Davoren Pedigree

O'Davoren Pedigree

Of course genealogy isn’t all old dusty books, and long years of searching . . . we also had fun along the way.  The Clarkson sisters who were single took advantage of an old legend which says if you hop on one foot around the Metal Man pillar on Tramore Bay three times you will be married within the year.  It didn’t result in too many husbands, but at least we got a lot of exercise, had a good laugh and took some great pictures!

Metal Man pillar Iron Man Tramore Island


We found an interesting story in the history of the Fitzgerald and Ormond families in Dublin, Ireland in ST. PATRICK’S CATHEDRAL.  In 1492 two prominent families, the Ormonds and Kildares, were in the midst of a bitter feud.  Besieged by Gerald Fitzgerald, Earl of Kildare (RIN 2609), Sir James Butler, Earl of Ormond, and his followers took refuge in the chapter house of St. Patrick’s Cathedral.  As the siege wore on, the Earl of Kildare concluded that the feuding was foolish.  Here were two families worshipping the same God, in the same church, living in the same country, trying to kill each other.  So he called out to Sir James and “undertooke on his honour that he should receive no villanie.”  Wary of “some further treacherie”, Ormond did not respond.  So Kildare seized his spear, cut away a hole in the door and thrust his hand through.  It was grasped by another hand inside the church, the door was opened and the two men embraced, thus ending the family feud.

St. Patrick's Cathedral - Door of Reconciliation 1

The expression “chancing one’s arm” originated with Kildare’s noble gesture.  There is a lesson here for all of us who are engaged in “family feuds”, whether brother to brother, language to language, nation to nation.  If one of us would dare to “chance his arm,” perhaps that would be the first crucial step to a reconciliation and the unity that is possible for all of us.


In 1989 all the children and grandchildren sent in their pennies, nickles and dimes in honor of Grandma Florence McBride Turley’s 80th birthday so we could take her to visit her ancestral homes in Ireland and Scotland.  Another miracle occurred on this trip when our rental car was stopped by a herd of cows on an old road in the middle of the Irish countryside.  The drover’s were older than the road, and when we asked if by chance they knew where the ruins of the old Creagh Manor were (built in 900 AD), they gave exact directions:  “Aye! On a wee bit past the tree there. The other side of O’Reilly’s patch you’ll see a rise.  Pass the wall, cross the path and through the trees you’ll find the spot. The Creagh crest is on the bridge.  Still there.  Can’t miss it.”  They were right!

Creagh Manor Miracle

Creagh Manor Miracle

We celebrated later by dancing a few Irish jigs and finishing up with “Oh Danny Boy.”

Cliffs of Moher, Creagh Manor


The weather prevented us from reaching the Isle of Skye on several trips in search of our Scottish ancestors.  When we finally got there, seeing the beautiful island, the ruins of Armadale Castle and visiting the Clan Donald Center were worth the thousands of miles we traveled.  We found generations of cousins and great-grandparents such as MacDonalds, Stewarts, McDaniels, Macks, Sharps, Monsons and others.

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle

It was a long climb up the “Royal Mile Road” to the Edinburgh Castle.  Home of our cousin Prince John 1458-1479.

Palestine and Cornelius Stover

Portrait of Palestine and Cornelius Stover by Janice Stover


The Macks and many other families suffered terribly during the 30 Year War (1618-1648).  These ancestors moved from Germany to Switzerland to France and finally said “enough is enough.”  Determined to preserve their children and their heritage, they followed the Neckar River to freedom.  They made arrangements to sail to Colonial America where they would not have to conform to the varying religions of their monarchs.  These Ana-Baptists were called “Dunkers” because of their particular method of baptism: they fully immersed or “dunked” their baptismal candidates three times, in the name of the Father, then the Son, and then the Holy Spirit.  Religious freedom in America would eventually come, but even the Quakers and Mennonites, and other relatives who followed William Penn, had to suffer for many years.

Neckar River

Neckar River


In the 1990s, in addition to our genealogy research trips, we had the opportunity to live in Indonesia for two years.  In this country, with the help of many wonderful Indonesians, we found 26,000 other relatives to add to our family tree.

friendly apes

These two were NOT some of the relatives we found in Indonesia (although scientists may argue with us on that point) . . . but they sure were friendly!

Dear Friends,

Since we are all related, your ancestor is in the One Family Tree database too.   If you look at this pedigree below you too will find that when Eleanor of Castile (RIN 133304) and Edward I (RIN 133491) our 18th great-grandfather married in 1200, they tied us in to the pedigree of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) (RIN 33137) because Eleanor was the Prophet Mohammed’s (PBUH) 19th great-granddaughter.

Adam to Muhammad Pedigree

This is a copy of a 25 foot long pedigree (silsilah), written in Arabic on papyrus.  It was shown to us at the National Library in Jakarta, Indonesia.  As our guide translated the script from Arabic to Bahasa Indonesian to English, we quickly found out why this pedigree is considered a “National Treasure.”  The roots of the tree begin with ADAM (RIN 2564), then SETH, then METHUSELEH – on to ENOCH – to ABRAHAM and his wife HAGAR, then to ISHMAEL (RIN 21921), and finally the Prophet MOHAMMED (PBUH) our 40th Great-Grandfather.   The top of the tree includes the Sultans and rulers of Indonesia in the 1300s.


Pedigree back to Adam and Eve

Once the ancient connections were made, we charted more detail of our own great, great, great, great … grandparents in the House of Israel and our connections through the lineage of the Queens and Kings of Europe and the British Isles.

Israel - Dead Sea - Black Mud

We took time out for some fun at the Dead Sea (while on a trip through Israel, Egypt, Yemen, Oman, India and Turkey) where our ancestors lived for thousands of years!

Jerusalem Garden Tomb

A spiritual high in our travels was at the Garden of Gethsemane and the Tomb of our “brother” Jesus, a descendant of King David.

He is not here.  He has risen.

We do this work to connect our earthly fathers and mothers to our ancestors in heaven, and are excited to share with you our years of research, thousands of miles of searching, and hours and hours (and hours) of compiling the information.

We want to express our deep gratitude to The Clarkson Genealogical and Historical Research Foundation – we could not have completed this without their generous support!

It reads a sign check in a fitness center says, mortality is halved for men over 65 who walk at least 2 miles a day.