Our intrepid hat thief left quite the legacy in terms of children and their descendants. It is not my intent to make a serious genealogical study here but to lay the family framework of William’s 3 sons, and a possible daughter, and comment on several branches for historical context. Yes, William did have several famous and noteworthy descendants – many a scholar, doctor, and physicist, even an actress! Yep, that’s right. Our former felonious denizen of London had quite a notable cadre of descendants. But more importantly, his children and grandchildren were a part of the birth of this nation. His progeny and their collateral families are a veritable study in American Colonial migration and family partnering. They were a sturdy stock who overcame the great hardships of life in the day. We descendants of William Longmire owe him and his posterity a huge debt of gratitude. I believe it is our duty to look to the past and pay tribute, to understand and know, where we came from. And so I attempt to do my fair part here, starting with “the hat thief”.
Below are several direct descendants of William Longmire who were notable for their accomplishments. This is not an all inclusive list and primarily contains more public or well known figures. Sons and grandsons (and granddaughters) of William Longmire will be treated in the various pages throughout this blog and are not included. The letters in paranthesis (G, C, W) which follow each name represent the branch of descent i.e. George, Charles, or William Longmire Jr.
Adele Longmire (G) – actress who once was a leading candidate for the lead female role in “Gone With the Wind” and starred in several movies and TV shows, including I Love Lucy. She was also a granddaughter of Gen M. Jeff Thompson – “Swamp Fox of Missouri”.
Dr. William P. Longmire Jr – doctor, administrator, co-founder of UCLA School of Medicine. His early career at Johns Hopkins consisted of early transplant and plastic surgery techniques and research. He also wrote numerous articles and books related to medicine and was known worldwide in the surgical field. Often referred to by colleagues as “The Professor of Difficult Surgery”.
Dr. Conrad Lee Longmire – electrical engineer, mathematician/physicist whose mathematical calculations, and later electrical magnetic pulse theories, were instrumental in the development and refinement of the Hydrogen Bomb. Wrote the first book on EMP in 1950. His brother, Delmar, was a member of the Interplanetary Society and worked on experimental aircraft. Between both of them they have 6 children working at Los Alamos in the various physics fields.
Professor Rowena Longmire (C) – faculty member of Florida State University for 32 years, she was also once President of the Florida Educational Association. The first building on the FSU campus named for an alumnia is named for her. She held several degrees including Ph. B. and A.M. from University of Chicago in addition to her initial teaching degree and a Masters Degree from FSU. Professor Longmire also wrote several articles and book compilations.
James Longmire (C) – Washington State pioneer, he was one of the primary leaders of a wagon train in 1853 which was the first to cross the Cascade Mountains. A close friend and confidante of the first Territorial Governor of Washington, Isaac Stevens, he is perhaps best known for leading the first recorded ascents of Mt Rainier, and with his sons, cut the first wagon road from Yelm Prairie to the base of Mt Rainier – a distance of about 62 miles. James later became a state legislator and founded the first Masonic Lodge in Olympia, Washington.
Lt Col Robert Allen Longmire (G) – was studying chemical engineering at the outbreak of WW2 whereupon he joined the Air Force. Bob later flew his C-54 on various missions including the Berlin airlift, Tokyo and Korea during the Korean War, and later was aide de camp to Maj Gen William Morns Hoag whose daughter in law, Catherine, I knew personally for many years. Following graduation from Air University Air Command and Staff College he served at Norton Air Force Base and then was posted in 1963 at the American Embassy in Bonn, Germany. Later he returned to school obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Science and History (Maryland), Master’s Degree of Arts in Political Science (USC), and Doctor of Philosophy in Human Behavior (United States Univ – San Diego).