Clopton Family Genealogical Society
THE CRITIC’S CORNER
October 17, 2002
“I am enjoying all the stories so much. . . . It’s like the story of a family that survives and does well through a very turbulent 1000 years. It’s very uplifting. It makes me feel proud to be a part of the Clopton Chronicles. I even find the table of contents uplifting!”
Miles George Turpin
“It is truly a reward to see such well done work. . . . I did read the home page and a few example pages I selected at random. The first thought that struck me was, why haven’t we WYLIEs done something like this? Perhaps some day, I’ll have time to host a similar site and when I do, I’ll certainly use yours as an example.”
John Wylie Consulting
Association of Professional Genealogists
“My only complaint is that we don’t get installments as often as I’d like, which would be about every day! . . . I have been printing the Word files [which I receive as a member of the Society] for reading and think they are as good as anything I’ve seen in terms of layout, typography, style, and use of the English language. The versions on the website are even better because of the hyperlinks from super numeral to endnote and back.”
Roger Alan Bartlett, Esq.
“This is really interesting – I really got sidetracked from my job reading this. I wish I connected in somewhere as your family sounds much more interesting than mine!!”
Suffolk [England] Family History Society
“I eagerly look forward to each essay and just as soon as I finish reading it, I can’t wait until another one is published.”
William Edward Waters, III
“I think the Clopton Chronicles is just great, but I wish you would include photographs.”
Julian Thomas Clopton
Well, Julian, we are adding graphics as they come in. We encourage everyone to contribute photographs of their ancestors to include in the essays and genealogies. -SCB
“[The Clopton Chronicles] is amazing – such a perfect combination of details and humor!”
Jane (Johann) Gresham
“Oh what a wonderful cast of characters! I have seen many, many family web sites through the years and I have never seen one to compare with the Clopton Chronicles. I am especially impressed with the extent of research and documentation evident in each and every essay. The genealogies, too, are well done and better documented than almost any I have seen so far on the web (and in many books, too). I like the fact you note whenever you have made revisions to the stories and genealogies. When do you think you will complete the book?”
“I went back to your web site – you’ve done an incredible amount of work. I love the way it’s presented and I can’t wait for the rest of the information to be put up at the site.”
Clopton Kissin’ Kousin
“I look forward to each essay with as much anticipation as a child at Christmas. And just like a child, as soon as I complete each essay, I whine . . . ‘is that all there is?’ These gems will be appreciated by generations not yet born. Keep them coming!”
“What a wonderful, wonderful project. I wish my family was half as interesting! This is incredible!”
Clopton Kissin’ Kousin
“I love the essays which have been published. They are just great. But I’m very disappointed because so many of the [American] stories seem to be about the descendants of William Clopton and his wife, Joyce Wilkinson, and Walter Clopton and his wife, Mary Jarratt. What’s wrong with stories about the other three children of William Clopton and Ann Booth?”
Nothing. Essays can’t be published about Clopton descendants unless essays are submitted or, if enough information is submitted upon which to base an essay. This project depends on the input of all Clopton descendants, not just the work of a few. Check out Acknowledgements to see just how many people have contributed to the essays and genealogies to date. If you want to see more essays devoted to all branches of the American Clopton tree. . .get busy! -SCB
“I have enjoyed the Clopton essays very much. [The essays] have given us some fascinating information which we would not have had otherwise. Thanks for the excellent work.”
Jack Hugh Thacker, M.B.A., Lt. Col., Rt.
“When I gave my mother a copy of the first essay published from the Clopton Chronicles, she cried and cried. She can’t wait for each new story. I have some stories I would like to submit for publication, but I don’t understand the copyright issue. Would I be giving up my rights to the stories?”
Absolutely not! By submitting material for publication, you are giving the Clopton Family Genealogical Society the RIGHT to COPY the material, but you are not giving the Society the EXCLUSIVE RIGHT to the material. In other words, you can continue to use the material in any way you wish, but now the Society owns a copy, too. Any questions you have regarding copyright laws should be directed to a copyright attorney. -SCB
“The [essays] I have copied and read before I sent them to [my] mother are WONDERFUL. I cannot imagine the time and effort – as well as expertise – that goes into the work. Also, I’ll have to say, a great deal of love [is] apparent. Thank you for bringing much happiness to [my] mother. I know she will be thrilled when she reads the articles. It is interesting to me also to recognize names I’ve heard her mention for years when I was younger. The kind of old stories I never really paid much attention to, but now wish I had listened to more carefully.”
Gail (Mooney) Webb
“Thank you for the wonderful work. . . my [late] mother, Meredith, would indeed have been pleased to read the Clopton essays. I certainly am. . . are there any plans for a hard back version?”
John Thomas Whetstone, III., Ph.D.
Many people have asked this question, and the answer is probably, “no.” The advice to those wishing to publish a book with a very limited audience is to go with CD’s. Possibly in 2002 or 2003, we will have the Clopton Chronicles to a stage where the production of a CD would be advisable. It would be an economical way to share the book with all interested Clopton Cousins. The recipients would then be able to reproduce the book. Many of the large office supply chains offer binding services. -SCB
“The site is wonderful!!”
“I must say. . .I do enjoy [Clopton Chronicles], especially the genealogies.”
Fred Ebenezer Crump, Sr.
“I read the stories. . . and really enjoyed them. I was overwhelmed to see all the work [that has been] done. It is beautiful! My parents would have loved them, too. It’s like talking to them when I read about their relatives.”
Patricia Alice (Clopton) Myers
“. . .It is bad enough our family owned slaves. You make it worse by glorifying it. The stories represent a sad chapter in our family history and would best be forgotten. Please consider removing them [from the Clopton Chronicles]. I am also offended by the language found in some of the letters and such when referring to African Americans by using terms like darkie and much, much worse.”
The Clopton Chronicles exists to preserve the history of our family. We do not condemn, condone, or justify their lives. Their terminology may at times be unsettling, and some of their stories, deeply troubling. Through ten centuries of Clopton history, we strive to capture and accurately preserve the mores, joy, and tragedies of the times. Their words, actions and deeds speak for themselves. It is left to God and the reader to judge them. -SCB
“Oh Joy! Oh Joy! Oh Joy! What a wonderful web site. I can’t wait to tell everyone about it!”
“I am NOT a Clopton. I am NOT married to a Clopton. I don’t even KNOW any Cloptons, but when I stumbled onto your site while surfing, I was enthralled. At last, I thought, someone has got it right! What a wonderful collection of stories, and the genealogies are so impressive. After finding so much so-called genealogy and family homepage junk online it is refreshing to discover a family taking their responsibilities seriously. Is there a Clopton out there who would like to adopt me?”
Sadly, Not a Clopton Descendant
“I sent you some new information to include on my William Clopton line. It has now been three weeks and I still don’t see it included in the genealogy. I didn’t send you a lot of information, and I must say I am disappointed.”
Rest assured that as soon as new information is received it is placed into the database of our genealogy software program. With luck, the revised genealogy reports are transferred to our web page once a quarter – but sometimes it takes longer. It would be too time consuming to post a revised genealogy report each and every time new data is received. Please be patient. We have ten centuries of Clopton history to record. -SCB
“I just wanted to congratulate you on your site – it combines great documentation with good prose, and best of all, it leaves the viewer with the sense that you “own” your family history; that you really appreciate these people, and venerate them, with all their strengths and warts. To my mind it is an example of genealogy at its best. I don’t know why the search engine sent me there, but I’m glad I came!”
“I came to your site to search to find any Mills Family connections. I found that your Mills aren’t my Mills, but I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed visiting. With so much junk genealogy and poorly written – and boring – family histories out there, it was a joy to find such a gem. The [Clopton Chronicles] is the best family page I have seen on the internet, and I have seen a lot.”
Helen Mills Greenway
“I have looked through most all of this website and I think you have done a marvelous job here. It is so readable and enjoyable. I happened onto it because I’m trying to figure out who a “Samuel Foster” is . . . I became so engrossed in the [Clopton Chronicles] that I forgot all I had come up with prior to that point on Samuel Foster! Thanks for all of your work. It’s an inspiration to me!”
Mary Lynn Blanton Gabbard
“I have to say that for a moment after I accidentally stumbled across your website, I honestly thought I was dreaming. I have been an avid fan of my family’s history for years and years, and I really never imagined the possibility of discovering a source of information that could be more satisfying than the Clopton Family [Genealogical Society]. I thought I was already spoiled, but now…now my antecedents are brought to life! What more can I ask for…my cup Runneth over… pinching myself just to be sure….”
Catherine P. Clopton
“I must say I am very pleased with the way the genealogies have been broken down into lines of descent from the children of William Clopton and Ann Booth. It is very difficult to wade through [previously published Clopton genealogies] trying to learn more about my specific branch of the Clopton tree. I am also very impressed with how many people have become involved in the Clopton Chronicles. My hat is off to everyone! A really great job!”
Ken Cave Baylor
“I just discovered the website for the Clopton family and it is tremendous to have that kind of information available.”
“I don’t know why my search engine sent me to your site, but I’m glad it did! Wow! What a wonderful project. I just loved reading the stories, and I’m not related to the Cloptons! A great job!”
Aaron E. Steiner
“All I can say is, ‘I’m speechless.’ Well, not entirely. . . What a marvelous job. I am so impressed by the number of people who have contributed to the Clopton Chronicles. It is especially gratifying to find such well documented stories among all the junk passing for family histories on the web. Please pass on my congratulations to all who have participated. A fine job.
William A. Anthony
“The excellent article [“In Praise of Mint Juleps”] describing Maria G. Clopton’s wartime service [is] extremely well researched.”
Michael D. Gorman
“Civil War Richmond
“I am descended from Alice [Clopton, of Kentwell Hall] and John Harleston [armiger, of Shimpling] through various and sundry different marriages and centuries. Your Clopton family site really helped in filling in another branch of my tree. Pass the word on to your co-contributors what an excellent job you all have done.
[Regarding the essay, Of Norman Blood] “What a wonderful way to begin the story of the family and set the scene for the rest of the Clopton Chronicles! The scholarship is, as always, impeccable – but I’m most impressed by how the many details and history of the period are seamlessly incorporated while remaining firmly in control of the narrative. The understatement is delicious – I love the bit about the bones in the garden. Bravo!”
Francie Lucile (Graham) Smith
“What a WONDERFUL thing you have done! I stumbled onto the site and couldn’t drag myself away. Do let all of those people who have worked on the project know what an excellent job they have done.”
“I think the work you have done on our ancestors is fabulous.”
Tina Marie Lamb
“My goodness! What an outstanding piece of work. I can’t decide which essay is the best. I think I like Midnight Romps and Wilted Roses the best, but it is difficult to pick one. They are all great!
“I happened onto . . . [A Beast Comes Calling] . . . and found it highly entertaining. I looked through the Table of Contents and came away thinking that this Clopton family is extraordinary! What an invaluable gift this is for future generations of your delightful family. Wonderful!!!!”
Eugene M. Ragland
“[A friend] forwarded a copy of [the essay] Brief Communion to me because of my interest in the Winthrop family. I was intrigued and found the story riveting. As a historian, I think it is so wonderful to see a story that is so well documented in this day of fast and cheap web publishing. Congratulations! Keep up the good work.”
“I note with great interest the impressive number of individuals who have contributed to The Clopton Chronicles. Please tell them how much I appreciate what they have done. It is just great that each essay gives credit to the people who helped. I think everyone should be proud of themselves.”
“Boy, this beats the heck out of anything I have EVER seen. This is the best collection of family stories on the web today. Oh, heck! It is the best collection of family stories anywhere. Most families have to be really famous to get this kind of treatment.”
James R. Clopton
“I came across Two Hundred Men In Velvet this morning. I found the story delightful. So often families take themselves too seriously. It is great to find a family with a sense of humor about themselves and their place in history.”
“[Referring to Where Mightier Do Assault Than Do Defend] Another fine addition to possibly the greatest genealogy site on the Web.
Carole Elizabeth Scott, Ph.D.
Author of Your Financial Plan in 1979, with Harper & Row;
and Editor of the Richards College of Business, State University of West Georgia's Web Journal, B>Quest.
Dr. Scott is the webmaster of The McGough Family Page at http://www.westga.edu/~scott/gene/mcgough.html; as well as The Laissez Fair Page, http://www.westga.edu/~csott; Southron Ring, http://members.tripod.com/~car0lesc0tt
“Thank you so much for all the work you do researching, and disseminating information. It is very much appreciated.”
And thank you so much for your kind words. So many people have worked so hard and so long, and your appreciation means the world to each one of us. – SCB
Harriett Elizabeth Smothers
Our members receive a copy by e-mail of each story before it is posted on the Web. Reports indicate that one of the first things those “who are getting on in years” do is increase the size of the font and also change all the text to bold. It is also possible to download the material directly from the Web and convert it to a Word Document.
“I am very proud of what you have done, but I think the whole thing would look better if you added a few professional touches. I don’t want to hurt your feelings but I think it all looks like a high school class project. Please don’t get mad at me. I love the stories and am proud to be part of this family”
I appreciate any constructive criticism. And I am not mad at you! Yes, our site is very low tech. But there is a reason for that. You see, every bell and whistle you add takes up file space. This is already a very large project and will probably double in size by the end of 2001. Also, because so many of our Clopton Cousins like to put their personal touches on their individual copies, it was decided to keep things as simple as possible. The Cousins seem to be having fun designing their own family heritage book, and they can add all the bells and whistles they like to their own copies. -SCB
“You are doing a spectacular job with the Cloptons – I look forward to all the reports. It’s an example of what is GOOD about internet genealogy!! Thanks for your efforts.”
Mary Lou Bailey
“Very nice site! I enjoyed it so much. Thanks for your work and sharing it.”
Miles George Turpin
“I am simply amazed at the work you have put into the Clopton Chronicles. I am sure it is a labor of love . . . I’ve recently purchased several books regarding the history of Great Britain, the wives of Henry VIII, and a wonderful book with details on the Kings & Queens of England. I am having a wonderful time… It is a true adventure reading the Clopton Chronicles . . . History has always fascinated me and this is a dream come true being associated with the Cloptons.”
“I was sent to [the story May You Live a Thousand Years My Friend] and found it to be one of the most interesting, not to say, funny, pieces found at a genealogical web site. I looked through a few of the other stories and think you Cloptons have a wonderful sense of humor. How gratifying to find such high quality work and attention to detail. This caliber of work is usually found only in University sponsored sites. Keep up the good work!”
“I am completely amazed at how complete and interesting the web site is. Good job! This website is fantastic! I can’t believe how much additional info[rmation] the Clopton Chronicles has.”
Donald Clopton McKay, III.
“Many thanks for all the wonderful info you are sending about the Cloptons. I never dreamed that I was tapping into such a rich and exciting well of information.”
Nell (Meredith) Smith
“I want to take this opportunity to tell you how much my husband and I have enjoyed looking at all the hard work you have done. The Clopton’s are truly an interesting and colorful family!”
“I absolutely love the Genealogical Society Logo! That close up picture is awesome!!!! Thank you again. How exciting to see all of this information. You just feel an automatic bond!
Leslie Karen (Clopton) Mercer
“You have done a wonderful thing by building such a great website for people to know about our family.”
“[The] web pages are fascinating! The depth and variety is amazing. I am especially interested in the chart of the descendants of Ann Clopton and Nicholas Mills. They are ancestors of mine through Edmund Anderson and apparently also through Elizabeth Mills who married James Burnley . . . Thanks so much and thanks for the interesting web site!”
“My sincere congratulations for a job well done! What a wonderful and fascinating website. The story of the Cloptons is a fascinating one. You should all be proud of [The Clopton Chronicles]. What a glorious gift you are assembling for future generations. I am simply amazed at the amount of work that has gone into this work. The diligence you have shown in the painstaking documentation found in the stories is just inspiring. I am also pleased to note that you are working hard to document the information contained in the genealogies – a never ending and often frustrating effort. Again, please pass on to all my congratulations, and I urge you to keep up the good work and high standards.”
“I have really been enlightened by reading the Descendants of William Clopton and Joyce Wilkinson. I am a descendant of the much-misplaced Mildred Clopton who married James Hill . . . Thank you for such a wonderful website!! It shows a great deal of effort and scholarship.”
Susan D. Jones
“. . . I am a Howard on my mother’s side. I read with great interest your genealogical website [The Descendants of William deTendring, Knt., of Tendering Hall & His Wife Dame Katherine Mylde] . . . [The] websites are just amazing. You should be very proud of them. As a scholar I appreciate the meticulous care with which you’ve assembled all this information. The [Self Guided Tour of Dead Cloptons] is a marvel – I wish someone would do that for the Howards. . . I am very certain that your website brings joy to untold numbers of people that you may never meet face to face – and who don’t take the trouble to tell you how splendid it is, or how much better their trip to the region was because of it. They take it for granted that you know how helpful it is, or how nice to look at, or how rich in information.”
John T. Kirby, Professor and Chair
Program in Comparative Literature
It is true that while hundreds of people visit our website each month, few take the time to pass along words of good cheer! Fortunately, a few folk do. We established this page to share the comments with everyone who has worked so hard to make this project a success. Thank you for your kind words. We all need a jolt of joy from time to time to remind us that our hard work is appreciated.
“I just found your web pages and they are awesome. Thanks so very much for taking the time to put them there! For a rank novice like I am, it seems an insurmountable task!”
A deTendring/Mylde Descendant
It would, indeed, be an insurmountable task if only one person was working on the project. Fortunately, many, many Clopton Cousins have been working since 1994 on this wonderful task.
“I’m not related to your family in any way; I came upon your website while looking for information about the original Jamestown settlers. Anyway, the reason I’m writing now is just to tell you what a wonderful job you’ve done with your research and the way you’ve set it out on your site. You’ve obviously worked extremely hard and have shown all your primary sources instead of simply listing names and dates. This is absolutely amazing to see. You’d be surprised (or maybe not) at the sloppy work a lot of people do when working on their family histories, accepting unverified information as gospel and relying on the accuracy of the LDS database (never a good idea), then making it worse by putting their misinformation on a website and making still more of a mess of things. You should be proud of what you’ve produced.”
Debra Coile Comer
“I just browsed through just a little of [the Critics Corner] and read some of the critics’ comments, nothing that people who aren’t even Cloptons are raving about this fine work. I’ll come back frequently because it’s fascinating and well written. After visiting sloppy, soupy family websites, I say this must be the best of its kind. I can’t imagine how you stay on top of all this.”
Actually, we don’t always stay “on top of all this!” Although many, many people contribute to the project, one person still has to input all the information. We are in a way, a victim of our success! But what a great problem! Everyone must be patient. But thank you for your kind words. The kind words are what keep us going. - SCB
“I found the Clopton Family Society website at about 11 p.m. tonight. It’s now two a.m., and I’m going to be sorry in the morning, but I have had great fun bumping my family tree up against the vast information on your website. I am a descendent of the Walter Clopton + Alice Fitzhugh [marriage] through Elizabeth Boetler + William Claiborne, Sr., line. History is one of my major avocations, so I was doubly thrilled with the website. I can’t tell you how grateful I am to you and everyone who has worked on this magnificent project. . . again, thank you for the single best thing I’ve found on the Internet!”
“I sent you some corrections on my Clopton Family line over a year ago. I see you haven’t made them. Because the stated purpose of the site is to post accurate information, it seems to me that these changes should be made ASAP.”
And indeed, they should be! However, there is only one person to input all the information regarding the genealogies not to mention the stories, etc., and keeping everyone informed of family deaths, etc., etc., etc. Life does intrude and sometimes we get behind – sometimes way behind. This is a long term project and rest assured all information will get uploaded eventually. Please remember that this is supposed to be a fun project and not a burden. - SCB
“Just a note to let you know that I am impressed with both the magnitude and quality of the website and all features. It is a pleasurable experience to visit the website and peruse the vast amounts of information. Having spent several years researching my genealogy I am well aware of the time and effort this task consumes. I enjoy the timely messages of Clopton news that [is] provided.”
Morris Lathon Clopton
“[I am the Librarian for Western European History and German and Dutch Linguistics and Literature at the Wilson Library University of Minnesota and] I am a descendant of William Clopton of New Kent County, Virginia and would like to join the society. I have enjoyed reading the clear genealogical accounts on the web sit.”
Laura Dale Bishof
Done! - SCB
“Frances Clopton [wife of Albert Simms Jones] was my great, great, great grandmother on my Grandmother Palmer’s side. I would like to say that I have enjoyed searching through the site and have found it to be very interesting.”
“I have written you several times in the last two years about needed corrections to my line. Those changes have not been made, though I notice that all kinds of other information, including FICTION has been added. The website opens with the following statement: The Clopton Family Genealogical Society is dedicated to the purpose of compiling, documenting, preserving and sharing accurate genealogical and historical information regarding the Clopton family. I suggest you change the above statement to reflect your true objectives.”
Keeping up a web site takes an enormous amount of time. There is only one person who does all the work. Family life does intrude and some years are better than others; the last two years have not been kind. Again, we are supposed to be having a good time with this. It is not supposed to become a burden. There are no hidden objectives and I’m not aware of any fiction at our site. The genealogies take the most amount of time to update and then to upload to the site. Possibly this cousin should start her own website! - SCB
Virginia Eason Winn
“I have just discovered your web site and am compelled to forward my sincere THANK YOU to all the people involved in putting this together. . . thank you again for this wealth of information and interesting history lesson at the same time.”
“Your well researched and documented website has restored my faith in the internet. There is so much JUNK out there, and I had just about given up hope of ever finding such an excellent example of what a genealogical website should look like! The funny thing is I am not connected to the Cloptons but was researching one of my royal lines and stumbled upon this site. Keep up the good work. Please let all those individuals who contribute to this work know that they are appreciated and noticed.
Randolph Edmund Smith
“I think [the] website is spectacular.”
Morris Lathon Clopton
“[I] enjoy the messages so much! Thanks for all the hard work it must take to do all this research. And then it is so well written and documented. It looks like you have a lifetime calling to find all these missing Cloptons. I never dreamed there were so many!”
Nell “Penny” Meredith Smith
We would love to have you share your comments with us.