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 Obituary – Trenton 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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11 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.

    1. 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.


  4. Dear Tom F.
    Tom obviously your grandfather was my great uncle Rudy, my grandfather George’s brother. I have the original painting of our great grandfather Christian Blancard that was in the entrance to our mutual family Jewelry manufacturing business Blancard and Company on John St and later Maiden Lane NYC before he died in 1912.. It was given to me by Christian Blancard II, his wife Eleanor, and son John when they move to St Pete Fl. from Larchmont NY in 1968. The Blancard Family was a quiet but very powerful force in NYC’s proud Huguenot lineage that tied all the wealthy families together. You are correct Florence Langdon Clemens was a close retaliative to Samuel, your great aunt Eleanor P Blancard Hewitt Parish wife of Architect Wainright Parish, Parish & Schroeder, 5 West 31st NYC actually built a home for SLC in NYC when Samuel’s wife was ill hoping the locations fresh air away from Manhattan’s stale apartments would cure her. Unfortunately her illness worsened , Sam took he abroad and she passed on in Italy. Through marriage Aunt Eleanor Blancard tied us to the NY Families of Roosevelt (Banking), Vanderbilt (Rail), Hewitt of Cooper Hewitt Industries (mining), Ludlow and Livingston (politics and society) and Dodge of the Phelps-Dodge Company (mining) . And with good reason for Aunt Eleanor sat on the board of directors of Blancard and Company. Mining, Banking, rail transportation, social and politics connections all necessary to manufacturing gold and diamond Jewelry on a wholesale retail level nationally. Fredrick J Blancard’s. wife Florence tied the family also to the Langdon and the Montgomery Family Lines. Sam Clemens, Eleanor Roosevelt, her uncle Theodore (never Teddy) and these other prominent relations attended dinner engagements together at Aunt Eleanor Blancard table and her sister in law Susie Parish’s home, cousin to Eleanor Roosevelt and wife of banker Henry Parish II. Susie and Henry never had any children As Eleanor Roosevelt’s mother and father both had died Susie and Henry Parish raised Eleanor and he brother Hal in their home. Yes Florence Langdon Clemens Blancard’s father was a nephew to Samuel Clemens and yes there were slit wrists, but that is nothing compared to what our family was privy to with Eleanor’s information regarding circumstance about her husband FDR questionable death. And so much more firsthand Knowledge..
    Wish we could speak before it all goes to the grave or scatters in the wind.

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