Adventures with One
of the Most Traveled
Men on Earth

Lew Toulmin

Adventures in Genealogy

New Land Adventures
Vanuatu Mon Amour
Travel and Politics
Finding Lost Airplanes
Memory Systems
Cars and Rallies
New Cruising Stories
Adventures in Genealogy
The Florian Letters
Songs and Shanties
Selected Academic Publications
Cool Lectures
Boring Lectures
Most Traveled Man
In 2020, 2021 and 2022 Lew worked on African-American genealogy, inspired by his investigation of the history and family tree of one of the greatest black explorers and fellow member of The Explorers Club, Matthew Alexander Henson, co-discoverer of the North Pole. This led to the publication of several major reports:
  • The genealogy and history of the Henson clan, focused on Matthew Alexander Henson and Reverend Josiah Henson. Reverend Henson was born into slavery in Maryland, sent to Kentucky, and escaped from there to Canada with his wife and four children, two of whom he carried on back for 600 miles! In Canada he co-founded a town and a lumber mill, learned to read and write as an adult, and became an officer in the Canadian militia. He was a major inspiration for Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which helped spark the Civil War and end slavery. The Henson report is 134 pages long, with hundreds of proofs and various lines of descent from the two men down to the present.
  • The eleven-generation descent of the Hemings-Freeman-Shorter line, which goes from Africa down through enslaved service at Monticello by “Brown” Hemings (half-sister of Sally Hemings), and down to John Freeman, who was enslaved at Monticello, Montpelier and the White House, saved a valuable feather bed during the burning of the White House, and gained his freedom in 1815. The line continues down to two black brothers who served in the Union Army in Civil War – both were in battles against the Confederates, and both were wounded but survived. The line is proved down to the present, with distinguished educators with degrees from Howard, Princeton and Yale Universities. (Lew also wrote an inspirational song about this family for this effort, presented below.)
  • The descendants of Matilda McCrear, a heroic woman kidnapped at the age of two in west Africa, transported to Alabama in 1860 on the infamous slave ship Clotilda, who survived slavery, the Civil War, statutory rape, Jim Crow, and laboring in the fields into her 80s. Seven generations of African-Americans are proven, down to present residents of the Selma, Alabama area.
These reports are downloadable below. Research requested by the Clotilda Descendants Association is continuing into other families from the Clotilda and Africatown, Alabama, the unique community in north Mobile, Alabama founded largely by former slaves and Clotilda survivors.

If you have read The Most Traveled Man on Earth, you know that genealogy can be fun and adventurous. Lew proves this point again by trying to find the missing town of his great-ggg-grandfather, one of the founders of Alabama. He also tracks down a World War II soldier who lost his dog tag on a remote South Pacific island, joins more lineage societies than you ever knew existed, and reflects on the Jamestowne 400 celebrations. 

Lew then traces and proves his family tree back for 54 generations! And he shows you how you, too, can climb this “Mt. Everest of Genealogy.”

Lew traces his family tree to the 1642 immigrant Lt. Col. Thomas Ligon of Madresfield Court, England, thence back to various Kings of England and Scotland, possibly back to medieval saints of the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, and perhaps even to Viking leaders who famously started the Age of Vikings by attacking Lindisfarne in 793 AD!

Next, Lew launches an Explorers Club Flag Expedition to Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire, England, to help find the missing Banqueting Hall and Tudor Garden of Queen Elizabeth I. As part of this archaeological effort, he manages to trace a cousinship line from him and his wife Susan back through the Ligons to British medieval royals, and thence down to Queen Elizabeth I and to the wife of 3rd Baron Chandos -- the hostess to QE I at Sudeley Castle at the missing Banqueting Hall. This Hall was the site of what was probably the most expensive and lavish party in British history, where Baron Chandos and his wife tried to impress the Queen and gain her royal favor!

Lew served in 2011-12 as the President of The Hereditary Order of The Families of the Presidents and First Ladies of America (HOFPFLA) and his tongue-in-cheek Inaugural Speech is provided below. It mainly focused on the distinguished genealogist, Founder of the Order and President for four terms, Alexander Bannerman (previously known as Jim Raywalt).

Next, Lew researches the genealogies and land holdings of immigrant Judge Harry Toulmin (1766-1822), his relatives, and other residents of Old St. Stephens, Alabama, the Territorial Capital from 1817-19.

Lew provides a briefing on the amazing life of his only Irish ancestor, the famous King Brian Boru, traces his ancestry to the founders and builders of Mobile, New Orleans and Pensacola (the Trudeaus and Burels), and writes the first-ever biography of Brigadier General Andrew Williamson, the “Benedict Arnold of South Carolina,” who fought for the Patriots in the American Revolution, then assisted the British, then became a double agent for the Patriots!

Who says genealogy is boring?!!!!

Genealogical Report on the Henson Family Feb 2021(PDF)

Final Flag Report on Henson Expedition May 2021 (PDF)

Final Report Genealogy of Monticello-Montpelier-WH(PDF)

Final Flag Report Excavating Montpelier October 2021(PDF)

Song about the Hemings-Freeman-Shorter clan(PDF)

Final Report on the McCrear Clotilda line(PDF)

Final Flag Report on QE I Banqueting Hall Expedition(PDF)

Flag report Lindisfarne Expedition 2019(PDF)

2020-02 DSGQ Toulmin to Ligon(PDF)

Report on Old St. Stephens Flag Expedition FINAL(PDF)

Hereditary Order of the Families of the Presidents and First Ladies of America(PDF)

The Qualities of Helen Duggar Conwell(PDF)

Toulmin-Juzan-Trudeau-Burel Deep South Gen Quar 2015-05 MAY(PDF)

Toulmin-Juzan-Trudeau-Burel Deep South Gen Quar AUG 2015(PDF)

Toulmin-Juzan-Trudeau-Burel Deep South Gen Quar 2015-11 NOV(PDF)

Toulmin-Juzan-Trudeau-Burel Deep South Gen Quar 2016-02 FEB(PDF)

Gen. Andrew Williamson: the First Major Double Agent in US History:
from the Journal of Backcountry Studies, part 1

Gen. Andrew Williamson: the First Major Double Agent in US History:
from the Journal of Backcountry Studies, part 2

Gen. Andrew Williamson: A Rotten Fruit in My Family Tree? Part 1(PDF)

The Life of Revolutionary Gen. Andrew Williamson: An "Obnoxious Person?" Part 2(PDF)

The Search for White Hall, the Missing Plantation of Gen. Andrew Williamson -- Part 3(PDF)

Briefing on the Greatest Crimes Against Genealogy and History(PDF)

Briefing on Judge Harry T. Toulmin Letters(PDF)

Briefing on the History of the Duggar/Dugger Family of Wales, Virginia and Alabama(PDF)

The Search for the Lost Ghost Town of Judge Harry Toulmin(PDF)

The Search for Brian Boru, High King of Ireland in the Year 1000(PDF)

A Line of Descent from the Founders of Louisiana and Alabama Down to the Present:
Application to the First Families of Louisiana
(PDF: 817 KB)

The Mount Everest of Genealogy

Finding the Lost Ghost Town of Washington Courthouse

The Search for the Grave of Judge Harry Toulmin

The Lost Dog Tag of Sergeant Raymond Brett

Lew Toulmin's Memberships in over 40 Genealogical Societies You Never Heard Of

Post Mortem on Jamestown 400

Matilda McCrear (Crear), the heroic last survivor of the Clotilda slave ship, the last such ship to enter US waters.
Sketch of Josiah Henson escaping slavery, trudging 600 miles from Kentucky to Canada, carrying two of his children on his back. Lew’s research proved that one of the toddlers on his back was a girl, contrary to previous biographies.
Reverend Henson helped eliminate slavery in America
Matthew Alexander Henson, co-discoverer of the North Pole, and the first black member of The Explorers Club

Lew and the Flag of The Explorers Club at the new Josiah Henson Museum in Montgomery County, Maryland
The logo/patch of the Henson Explorers Club Flag Expedition
Eleven generations of descent in the Hemings-Freeman-Shorter line, from Africa to the present
Larger image
The logo/patch for “Excavating Montpelier Expedition Patch”
The logo/patch for Montpelier Enslaved Workers expedition
Queen Elizabeth I was the guest of honor at a now-missing massive Banqueting Hall at Sudeley Castle in England.
Lew holding the Flag of The Explorers Club at the main 2021 excavation trench at Sudeley Castle in Gloucestershire.
Lew Toulmin and Jasmine Burr, both of The Explorers Club, metal detecting and looking for traces of enslaved workers at President James Madison’s Montpelier plantation.
Lew at the 2019 Explorers Club Lowell Thomas Awards Dinner with his hereditary society medals
These medals are from organizations such as the War of 1812 Society, Descendants of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence, Jamestowne Society, and the Crown of Charlemagne society.
Miniature medals of various hereditary societies
Closeup of Expedition team in Washington County
1831 Washington Court House map
Judge Harry Toulmin plaque at Baldwin County Courthouse
Lew holds Explorers Club flag while looking for a lost ghost town

Sergeant Raymond Brett's Lost Dog Tag