Master Surname Index



Benton MacKaye

Ancestry of
Benton MacKaye

Co-Founder, Appalachian Trail


Who was Benton MacKaye?

Benton MacKaye, born on March 6, 1879, in Stamford, Connecticut, was a visionary forester, planner, and conservationist best known as the co-founder of the Appalachian Trail. MacKaye’s deep connection with nature was influenced by his father, a playwright and outdoorsman, who fostered an early appreciation for the wilderness. MacKaye studied at Harvard University, where he earned a degree in forestry in 1905. His work with the U.S. Forest Service and other conservation organizations provided him with a profound understanding of the American landscape and its ecological significance.

The idea for the Appalachian Trail emerged from MacKaye's concern for urban industrialization's impact on human well-being and the environment. In 1921, he published an article titled "An Appalachian Trail: A Project in Regional Planning," in which he proposed a continuous footpath along the Appalachian Mountains, stretching from Georgia to Maine. This trail, MacKaye envisioned, would serve as a retreat for urban dwellers, offering a natural sanctuary for recreation and rejuvenation.

To bring his vision to life, MacKaye collaborated with various hiking clubs, conservationists, and government agencies. In 1925, he helped establish the Appalachian Trail Conference (now Conservancy), an organization dedicated to the trail's development and maintenance. Myron Avery, another key figure in the trail's history, joined forces with MacKaye, and their combined efforts led to the trail's continuous construction throughout the 1930s.

MacKaye’s dedication to conservation extended beyond the Appalachian Trail. He was involved in the founding of the Wilderness Society in 1935, advocating for the preservation of large natural areas across the United States. Although he received few formal accolades during his lifetime, MacKaye's legacy endures through the thriving Appalachian Trail and the broader conservation movement he helped inspire.

Benton MacKaye passed away on December 11, 1975, but his pioneering vision for the Appalachian Trail remains a testament to his commitment to preserving the natural world for future generations.


Some of the most recently added connections of famous kin for Benton MacKaye

sprite

George H. W. Bush

41st U.S. President

14th cousin 3 times removed
via Sir Humphrey Stafford

sprite

Barbara (Pierce) Bush

First Lady of President George H.W. Bush

18th cousin 2 times removed
via Ralph de Stafford

sprite

Barbara (Pierce) Bush

First Lady of President George H.W. Bush

18th cousin 1 time removed
via Sir Warin Trussell

sprite

George W. Bush

43rd U.S. President

14th cousin 4 times removed
via Sir Humphrey Stafford

sprite

Lucretia (Rudolph) Garfield

First Lady of President James Garfield

16th cousin 2 times removed
via Ralph de Stafford

sprite

Lucretia (Rudolph) Garfield

First Lady of President James Garfield

6th cousin 2 times removed
via John Greene

sprite

Lucretia (Rudolph) Garfield

First Lady of President James Garfield

18th cousin 2 times removed
via John de Botetourte

sprite

Lucretia (Rudolph) Garfield

First Lady of President James Garfield

21st cousin
via Sir Geoffrey FitzPiers

sprite

Calvin Coolidge

30th U.S. President

18th cousin 1 time removed
via Ralph de Stafford

sprite

Tennessee Williams

Author of A Streetcar Named Desire

18th cousin 1 time removed
via Ralph de Stafford

sprite

Tennessee Williams

Author of A Streetcar Named Desire

15th cousin 1 time removed
via Richard Woodville

sprite

Thomas Bradbury

(c1610/11 - 1694/5)
Great Migration Immigrant 1635

14th cousin 7 times removed
via Sir Geoffrey FitzPiers

sprite

Richard Nixon

37th U.S. President

8th cousin 1 time removed
via William Almy

sprite

Humphrey Bogart

Movie Actor

18th cousin 1 time removed
via Ralph de Stafford

sprite

Humphrey Bogart

Movie Actor

15th cousin 1 time removed
via Richard Woodville

sprite

George Washington

1st U.S. President

13th cousin 5 times removed
via Ralph de Stafford

sprite

George Washington

1st U.S. President

17th cousin 4 times removed
via Sir Geoffrey FitzPiers

sprite

William the Conqueror

King of England

26th great-grandfather

sprite

John Quincy Adams

6th U.S. President

20th cousin 1 time removed
via Sir Geoffrey FitzPiers

sprite

Abigail (Smith) Adams

First Lady of President John Adams

19th cousin 2 times removed
via Sir Geoffrey FitzPiers

sprite

Charlemagne

King of the Franks

34th great-grandfather

sprite

King Robert I

King of France

29th great-grandfather

sprite

Alfred the Great

King of the Anglo-Saxons

33rd great-grandfather

sprite

Henry Lee III

9th Governor of Virginia

14th cousin 4 times removed
via Ralph de Stafford

sprite

Henry Lee III

9th Governor of Virginia

18th cousin 2 times removed
via John de Botetourte

View entire list of famous kin for Benton MacKaye

Please note: The ancestor reports on this website have been compiled from thousands of different sources, many over 100 years old. These sources are attached to each ancestor so that you can personally judge their reliability. As with any good genealogical research, if you discover a link to your own family tree, consider it a starting point for further research. It is always preferable to locate primary records where possible. FamousKin.com cannot and does not guarantee the accuracy and reliability of these sources.