William Montgomery Clemens (1860-1931)

Genealogists who made a difference

William Montgomery Clemens (1860-1931)
was a prolific genealogist and writer. Nephew to the more famous Samuel Clemens (1835-1910) – he was also a newspaper man and author. William M. Clemens started writing for the Pittsburgh Leader in 1879 and continued his research & writing for more than five decades.

(Illus. Samuel Clemens/Mark Twain – 2nd from right).

(Click here to see original ObituaryTrenton Evening Times 25 Nov. 1931)


A prolific writer, he was the author of well over 100 books and hundreds of essays and newspaper articles.


His regular column – “Notes on American Ancestry and Revolutionary Records” regularly appeared as the “Genealogical Department” in the Columbia, SC newspaper – the State.


Click Here to search all of the back issues of the State (Columbia, SC) newspaper 1891-1922

Over 80 of Clemens’ genealogy columns appeared in the Star.

Each one has genealogical details & information for families from across the country.

He regularly received questions from his readers and posted them to this column.

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Have a question about GenealogyBank or hit a brick wall with your family history research? Write us and let us know.

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Written by Thomas Jay Kemp

Thomas Jay Kemp

Thomas Jay Kemp is the Director of Genealogy Products at GenealogyBank. Tom Kemp is an internationally known librarian and archivist – he is the author of over 35 genealogy books and hundreds of articles about genealogy and family history.

He previously served as the Chair of the National Council of Library & Information Associations (Washington, DC) and as Library Director of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

An active genealogist, he has been working on his own family history for 47 years. With the rapidly growing online archives at GenealogyBank – it is a great day for genealogy!

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9 thoughts on “William Montgomery Clemens (1860-1931)

  1. William Montogomery Clemens was my great-grandfather and is no relation to Samuel Langhorn Clemens, AKA Mark Twain, whatsoever.

    The news article with the published at his death was just wishful thinking. I have a copy of the Clemens family genealogy that WMC himself prepared and there is no connection to SLC or his family. I have also reviewed geneaologies for SLC and also found no overlap.

    WMC did use the Clemens name to his advantage, published the first unauthorized biography of SLC, and also lectured on the topic. My guess is that he invented the connection to help market himself.

    Oh well!

  2. Tom F.
    Williams Montgomery Clemens daughter Florence Langdon Clemens married my grandfather's brother Fredrick J Blancard Sr. on January 25, 1914 in New York. Florence Langdon Clemens Blancard was born in Oakland, Calif. on June 24, 1890, and had three children Fredrick Jr., Lois Marie and Jean. they lived in New Rochelle, NY. The Blancard family and SLC interacted as relations, it was no coincidence Florence's middle name was Langdon, (from the Langdon family of Elmira NY). My mothers uncle was also cousin to Eleanor Roosevelt and it was via this connection your grandfather authored Teddy Roosevelt's Biography. Eleanor and Franklin were married in my mothers uncle's home. WMC Clemens family genealogy book was incomplete to accurately trace ties. I tell you this from personal knowledge for I knew these people firsthand. Your grandfather was a nephew to Samuel Langhorn Clemens. My family was was privy to information regarding circumstance about SLC death not made public leaving upsetting scars.
    GE.

    • I am researching a Blancard family in New Rochelle, NY. A lawsuit in the NY supreme court states that a “Louisa Blancard Marsh, elderly childless widow from New Rochelle, adopted her great-great-nephew, Horace Russ, in 1893.” Frances Blancard, renown owner of motel/restaurants in Manhatten and Staten Island was known to be Horace Russ’s great-grandfather. I am looking to prove that Frances Blancard and Louisa Blancard Marsh were siblings.

      Anyone with information about this Blancard family, please contact me mollynightingale at agagemail dot net

  3. tom f,

    I saw tmc 's book referenced while researching my family, do you have any links to where I can obtain the following book.
    the kendall family in america.

    anyone's help would be appreciated, tia.

    larry

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