Sunday, January 23, 2011

"A little Wilson family history and of course an investment angle, Ancestry.Com"

Dow Jones Industrial Average  11,872  (UP, 8th week in a row)  Week ending 01-20-2011

My Great-great grandfather was Thomas Bushnell Wilson. Back in 1870 he owned an estate in Rye/Harrison, WestChester County New York . It was north of the Highland Road and west of  Rye Park, Purchase Avenue, and Blind Creek. If he hadn't sold it, it would be worth millions today. He was married to Sara Whitney who was a descendant of the famous John Whitney family of Watertown, Massachusetts in the 1600's. This makes me a distant cousin of Eli Whitney and Stephen Whitney (second richest man to John Jacob Astor in his day). Stephen Whitney made his money speculating in Cotton, Real Estate and Alcohol.

It gets even better. My Great grandfather Stephen Whitney Wilson Sr. was in the New York State Militia , 7th Regiment. They were a.k.a the"Silk Stocking" Regiment, (due to the disproportionate number of its members who were part of New York City's social elite). Their primary mission back in 1881 was to guard the Stock Exchange.
They must have established my hereditary bond and interest in the stock exchanges, like a baby duck being imprinted to it's mother.

 Stephen was married to my great grandmother Anna Cornelia Beam. Anna is a descendant of the oldest daughter, (Mary Holmes Brown), of the Reverend Obadiah Holmes the pioneering Baptist minister. Abraham Lincoln, our 16th President, was a descendant of Lydia Holmes, who was the youngest daughter of the Reverend Obadiah Holmes. So "the Ancient" is a blood relative of mine also. Cousin Abe.

My grandfather, Stephen Whitney Wilson Jr. , was a member of the Ringling Bros. Circus of Baribou , Wisconsin. He was poor as dirt because his father died when he was 5. But he was rich in storytelling and good humor and has left our family with a written scroll with stories about his times traveling with the circus.

My father, Howard Hassel Wilson, was a bus driver. He passed  away when I was 5, just the same as my grandfather's father had. I never really thought about whether we were rich or poor. We were just happy.
And now you are here listening to me. I am the one speaking for all of them in this great time continuum. Interesting. 

 So is there an investment angle here? You bet there is! If I had written this article a year ago you would have been up 146% for the year on this stock.

ANCESTRY.COM INC. (Symbol ACOM, $34.23) is the stock with that 146% Total Return last year. Ancestry that fountain of growing and flowing information like censuses, pictures, historical documents and notes, immigration roles, family trees, birth, death, marriage records and a whole lot more. 2010 earnings are $.77 cents a share and 2011 is looking like $1.05 per share.  Ancestry's earnings are growing at an 18% a year pace. Revenues continue to grow at a steady rate and long term liabilities continue to drop at a rapid pace as the company pays down their debt from solid cash flow.

Ancestry is expanding out to a more global customer base and has added special searches for various ethnic groups.  They have also added connections to Facebook and Twitter social networking sites and elected Facebook's Mike Schroepfer to their Board of Directors just this week. You are also seeing TV shows where celebrities are researching their families, gaining public interest in the subject. There is plenty of room for revenue expansion here as Ancestry did only $225 million in sales last year. Once you get started with your research it is very addicting!

So buy some stock in Ancestry and hopefully you will make enough money to buy a few yearly subscriptions to their service and find out your heritage like I did above. Who knows who you could be connected to!

Stay warm in this cold winter,


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