This website contains the ancestors of my daughter, Alexandra Catlin Vaut, and related families.  It represents 50+ years of research, but still contains errors, omissions and unsupported information. I have tried to note where I have made speculative assumptions about various relationships and facts, but I know that I have not been consistent in this, so don't trust unsubstantiated information. I occasionally post versions of this tree on Ancestry and Ancestry/RootsWeb, but they will never be as up to date or complete as the version on this site. I continue working on this genealogy and make periodic changes to the data and additions to the tree. 

If you see anything wrong or questionable in my data, PLEASE contact me and let me know - particularly if you have good evidence to supplement or contradict what I have written here. I am happy to share my work with those who are serious about their own research and always willing to correct errors.


26 March 2017: I have completed a lot of work tying together the main Quaker families of Chester Co. See more at my Chester & Centre Co., PA research blog. I have also done considerable work on my HUDSON and BANKS family lines from Malvina Banks Hudson.

6 January 2017 (Happy New Year!): I have begun research to identify the land transactions of the Downing, Valentine and collateral families in Chester and Centre counties. Updates on this work will be posted under the "Chester and Centre Co. Research" Tab, above, in the "History secion of that web page.

31 December 2016:

  • I have completed the survey of census entries for the early generations of the DOWNINGS, VALENTINES and collateral families. This has been a difficult process since the same names appear over and over making it difficult to correctly assign the identy of each census entry.
  • I have identified all of the 18th and 19th century TRIMBLE family members who intermarried with the DOWNINGS of Chester Co., thanks to Palmer's 1910 book on the genealogy of the PALMER family.

27 November 2016: The charts of nearly 200 census results for the various Centre and inter-related Chester county families in this study which appeared on the "Chester and Centre Co. Research" page (see Tab above) are now consolidated into one chart, including the few families found in other counties (Lancaster, Philadelphia).

29 October 2016: I have just about completed recording the census listings for key Downing families in Chester and Centre counties. I am still working on the Valentine family listings. Other Chester Co. families that have been brought into the census analysis include: Edge, Evans, Gordon Hoopes, Miller, Park/Parke, Roberts, Scott, Sharpless/Sharples, and Thomas. In Centre Co. the Miller, Sharpless/Sharples and Thomas families have so far been incorporated into the study. The are principally families that are included in the direct lineages outlined in the graphics on the "Chester and Centre Co. Research" page and that were generally Quakers. Summaries of all of the census listings can be accessed from that page as well.

15 October 2016: I have expanded my documentary research to include the Downing, Valentine and related families of Centre co., descendants of the original Chester Co. settlers. Spreadsheets have been uploaded to track my progress in identifying family listings in the U.S. Federal Censuses for 1790-1940. These spreadsheets are accessible from The "Chester and Centre Co. Research" tab in the icon bar at the top of this page and are updated periodically.

1 October 2016:

  • Currently, my genealogical research is focused quite narrowly on the DOWNING, VALENTINE and related families of Chester Co., Pennsylvania, in the years 1700-1860. I am identifying all of the listings for those families in the Pennsylvania Tax lists (starting in the early 18th century), land transactions, and state and federal census listings.
  • Concurrently, my historical research is looking at the history of Chester Co., Penn., focusing principally on the history of the Quakers who settled there (including the Downings and Valentines), and the history of African Americans in that county and their interactions with the Quaker families. This includes my recent discovery (new to me not to historians) of the underground railroad link between Chestertown, Maryland and Chester Co. along which escaped slaves from the Eastern Shore of Maryland fled to Chester Co. to be sheltered by Quaker families there.

I have created a "Chester and Centre Co. Research" page where I will periodically report results from my genealogical and historical searches. A link to this page is in the icon bar at the top of this page.

31 August 2016:

  • The publication of Such Lives As These was announced in NEHGS's American Ancestors Magazine (Vol. 17, No. 3, Fall 2016, p. 65).
  • The first of three articles drawn from research on the HART family for my book Such Lives As These has just been published in the Journal of the MoSGA. This article, "The Hart Family of Franklin County, Missouri", deals with the family from 1821/2 to 1829. A copy of this article is available at
  • Two additional articles are in preparation covering "The Pennsylvania Roots of the Hart Family of Franklin County, Missouri" (1756-1793), and "The New York Roots of the Hart Family of Franklin County, Missouri" (1793-1821/2). I plan to make available copies of these articles as they are published.
  • Based on my research into the early Quaker families of Chester Co., PA, and my discovery of large numbers of "free coloured" and (sometime) slaves in their households, I have begun a separate research project on the issue of Quakers and slavery. I will post future findings on this here.

1 August 2016: After reviewing my book Such Lives as These, the Missouri State Genealogical Association (MoSGA) Journal has requested that I produce a series of three articles on the genealogy and history of the HART family. The first of three planned articles on my HART family has been completed and submited to the MoSGS Journal for publication. This article, "The Hart Family of Franklin County, Missouri", covers the years from the arrival of Armstrong HART in Missouri ca 1821/2 until his death there in 1829.

19 July 2016: I have begun working on my wife's Pennsylvania families which include the MEEK, DOWNINGVALENTINE, EDGE, GRAY and related families of Chester and Centre counties, as well as the CATLIN, RASIN, BECK and related families of the Easteren Shore of Maryland.

28 June 2016: I added 3rd, 4th and some 5th generation descendants from Thomas and Elizabeth (ARMSTRONG) HOWARD, from the 18 Nov 1889 Chart of Mary Agnes Howard McClarren, loaned to me by Carolyn K. Howard.

16 June 2016: For several years I have been trying to use DNA analysis to determine which ROBERTS clan in Texas my great grandfather, John Henry ROBERTS (1867-1928). came from. I have begun to post progress on this search under the ROBERTS DNA Project tab on the menu bar.

15 June 2016: I am happy to announce that the NEHGS in Boston will be making Such Lives as These available through its digital library and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania has accepted it for their research library.

6 June 2016: My book Such Lives As These has been published and is available without charge at (For more information on the book click on Such Lives As These at the top of this page.)


Beware of information that is supported only by references to reference to Ancestry Family Trees and is not confirmed with other supporting evidence. I sometimes include such information to guide my own research, but you shouldn't trust the sources unless you can confirm them and their sources yourself.

Please cite all sources of information, including this website.

Recommended citation:  Vaut, Gregory, Ancestors of Alexandra Catlin Vaut, : accessed (insert date), (insert name or item of interest).

[Based on Mills, Elizabeth Shown, Evidence Explained. 3rd edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 2015, p. 657.]