The Ancestry of Allie May (OXLEY) Chipman: 3 False Beckwith Royal Lines / Beckwith and Creath of Cape Girardeau Co., MO / Riddle of Stoddard Co., MO / Oxley and Faulkner of Lenoir Co., NC

•December 1, 2016 • Comments Off on The Ancestry of Allie May (OXLEY) Chipman: 3 False Beckwith Royal Lines / Beckwith and Creath of Cape Girardeau Co., MO / Riddle of Stoddard Co., MO / Oxley and Faulkner of Lenoir Co., NC

John Franklin Riddle (1828-1904) and Joellan Beckwith (1831-1896) were the grandparents of Allie May (Oxley) Chipman, wife of my great-grandfather James Edward Chipman.  It’s their families we’ll explore in this column.

[Death certificate for Allie May (Oxley) Chipman; date of death 27 Dec 1935; parents given as “Aquilia Oxley” and “Mary Caroline.”]

[Grave marker for James Edward and Allie May (Oxley) Chipman at Senath cemetery, Dunklin Co., MO.]

John Franklin Riddle’s father George Riddle had settled in Stoddard Co., MO.  John Franklin Riddle moved to Dunklin Co., MO, where on 1 Apr 1858 as “John Riddle, of Dunklin County, Missouri” he received land grant Certificate No. 24.703 for 40 acres.  (Bureau of Land Management records.)

Allie’s parents, Aquilla Voin Oxley and Mariah Caroline Riddle, were married on 2 Jul 1874 in Dunklin Co., MO.  Aquilla’s middle name was “Voin,” not “Vester,” as the marriage record proves (Dunklin Co., MO Marriage Book 1, p. 38).

[Tombstone of Aquilla Voin Oxley, born Dec. 5, 1847, died Nov. 18, 1887, father of Allie May (Oxley) Chipman, at Rocky Hill Cemetary near Campbell, Dunklin Co., MO.]

On 5 Jan 1888, Mariah C. Oxley applied for Letters of Administration on her husband’s estate, and the application lists A.V. Oxley’s heirs as William V. Oxley, Ida Oxley, Jennie Oxley, and Allie Oxley:

[Death certificate for Mariah Caroline (Riddle) Oxley, widow of Aquilla Voin Oxley; date of death 8 Nov 1934; parents are shown as “Jhon Riddle” and “Ella Beckwith.”  Her parents’ formal names were “John Franklin Riddle” and “Joellan Beckwith.”]

[One of my favorite family photos: Oxley family reunion ca. 1926 in Clay Co., AR.  In the 1st row Left in the black dress is Mariah Caroline (Riddle) Oxley.  The ancient gentleman seated to the Right of her is her brother-in-law George Milton Oxley.  The young girl holding a baby at the end of the 1st row Right is Pauline Aquilla Chipman.  At the Left behind the woman in the patterned dress is Allie May (Oxley) Chipman, and next to her wearing a sweater vest is her son Winford William Chipman.  James Edward Chipman is in the far Right back row.]

[Service record for George Milton Oxley, CSA.  He was released by his Union Army captors on 6 Jun 1865 at Grand Ecore, LA.  Dunklin Co., MO, with its cotton operations, had sympathized with the Confederacy.  George Milton Oxley participated in Maj. Gen. Sterling Price’s Missouri raid of 1864, and received a Confederate Pension from the State of Arkansas (Application No. 15623).  He died in 1940.]

Above: George Milton Oxley grave marker, Gravel Hill Cemetery, St. Francis, Clay Co., AR.  The tombstone is wrong: George Milton Oxley was born in 1849, not 1847.  His brother Aquilla Voin Oxley was born in 1847.

Below: the question of George Milton Oxley’s birthdate is resolved by this detail from the 1900 Chalk Bluff, Clay Co., AR Federal Census, SD 1, ED 5, Sheet 5, which clearly shows his birthdate as Sep 1849.  In his pension he also gives his birthyear as 1847, which suggests he lied about his age when he enlisted with the CSA.  He was actually only 15 years old when he was paroled in Louisiana.

[Death certificate for William J. Oxley, another brother-in-law of Mariah Caroline (Riddle) Oxley; date of death is 8 Nov 1913; parents listed as “James Oxley” and “Rillie Faulkner.”  His mother’s name was actually “Annaretta Faulkner.”]

The James Oxley family is found in the 1850 Haywood Co., TN Federal Census, District No. 12, pp. 40B–41, Household 525, as follows: James Oxley 51 b. NC, Ann Oxley 38 b. NC, Wm. Oxley 12 b. TN, John Oxley 10 b. TN, Clay Oxley 8 b. TN, Cintha Oxley 6 b. TN, Nancy Oxley 5 b. TN, Aquilla Oxley 3 b. TN, Milton Oxley 1 b. TN (The first son William was evidently named after Annaretta’s father William Faulkner, and the second son John probably named after James’ father John Oxley.)

Below: this article from a Clay Co., AR newspaper gives some general information regarding the Oxley family.  (Click on image to enlarge.)

What is known of the origins of John Franklin Riddle and Joellan Beckwith, the parents of Mariah Caroline (Riddle) Oxley?

Joellan Beckwith was the daughter of Joseph and Eliza Jane (Creath) Beckwith, who married on 20 Jan 1823 in Granville Co., NC.  Joseph Beckwith was born in CT, and thus presumably a descendant of Mathew Beckwith, of Lyme, CT.  Joseph Beckwith d. in 1847 in Stoddard Co., MO.

Mathew Beckwith was deceased by 6 Jun 1682, when his inventory was filed. He’s said to have died falling from a cliff.  He had four sons: Mathew, Joseph, Nathaniel, and John, and three daughters.

Three royal lines have been claimed for our Beckwith family, all of them false:

Beckwith, Paul.  (1891).  The Beckwiths.  Albany, NY: Joel Munsell’s Sons.  (Book is available as a free download from Internet Archive and Google Books.)

I.  On pp. 17, 18, 27, 28, 73, 74, Paul Beckwith discusses Mathew Beckwith.  The Beckwiths is notorious in the genealogical community.  Paul Beckwith was one of the most practiced pedigree peddlers of his era.  To correct the incredible number of errors would require a book of its own. 

On p. 17 Paul Beckwith says:  “We must now return to Marmaduke Beckwith of Clint and Dacre, and find mention of Mathew Beckwith, who is possibly the Mathew Beckwith who is first recorded at Saybrook Point, Conn., in 1635, and the ancestor of by far the largest, numerically, of the American Beckwiths and whose descendants are to be found in every State of the Union, Canada and the Sandwich Islands.”  But on p. 27, the author claims without caveat that this Mathew Beckwith was the son of Marmaduke Beckwith and his wife Anne Dynly.  And p. 73 states Mathew Beckwith was born ca. 1610 in Ponteferact, Yorkshire, England.

Between 1899 and 1907, Albert C. Beckwith (later joined by Edward S. Beckwith) of Elkhorn, WI, published 6 Volumes of Beckwith Notes which cover the descendants of Mathew Beckwith.  The authors were highly critical of Paul Beckwith and corrected many errors in The Beckwiths, among them refuting the claim on chronological grounds that Marmaduke Beckwith and Anne Dynly were Mathew’s parents, as Anne Dynly would have been about 81 years old when Mathew was born (see No. One, pp. 6–7).

There appears to be confusion over the identity of this Marmaduke Beckwith.  The English Baronetage, Vol. III Part II (1741), p. 680, gives a different account, but shows the couple without a son Mathew (who according to most authors was b. ca. 1610):

II.  It’s also alleged that Mathew Beckwith’s wife was “Elizabeth Lynde” (sometimes called “Mary Lynde”), daughter of Enoch Lynde and wife Elizabeth Digby.  Douglas Richardson’s Plantagenet Ancestry (2004) p. 483 lists 5 sons and no daughters for Enoch Lynde and Elizabeth Digby.  Richardson’s Royal Ancestry (2013), Vol. III, p. 682 repeats the same information.  Since the line fails at “Elizabeth Lynde,” it’s unnecessary to examine the rest of the pedigree. 

Where did the tale of “Elizabeth Lynde” originate?  On p. 73 of The Beckwiths, Paul Beckwith states Mathew Beckwith “was left a legacy by Capt. Lyrado….”  In Beckwith Notes No. One, p. 9, the authors remark: “If Capt. ‘Lyrado’ (perhaps somebody’s misreading of ‘Lynde’) left to Matthew a legacy of mentionable value the legatee was very likely the testator’s son-in-law.  The earliest Lyndes were first of Boston and later of Saybrook.  Until proof or fair presumption of such a legacy can be shown the Beckwiths need not care how the Lyndes were descended from ancient kings and mediaeval nobles.”

We have already seen that the purported parents of “Elizabeth Lynde” (or “Mary Lynde”) had no such daughter.  From whom, if anyone, this supposed legacy was received has not been demonstrated.  The only reason “Lynde” had been suggested was familiarity with the name.  Clearly someone read Beckwith Notes No. One and decided to go forward with the tale without any documentation.  The motive was linkage to a known medieval pedigree.

So there’s no proof for any of it.  Nobody knows from whence Mathew Beckwith came, although it’s a safe assumption he emigrated to Connecticut from somewhere in England.  There’s no evidence he was born in Yorkshire as Paul Beckwith claimed.  The identity of his wife is unknown.  Mathew Beckwith is far more likely to have been the son of a tradesman than the scion of an illustrious house.

III.  John Beckwith’s son John m. Prudence Mainwaring, daughter of Oliver Mainwaring. The Mainwaring family has a valid royal line from King Edward I of England. Seth Beckwith, a Revolutionary War soldier and resident of Montville, CT, was a descendant of John and Prudence.  Seth Beckwith had a son Joseph who was b. 25 Jan 1785, but that Joseph d. 1820 in Montville.  Joseph and his brother Russell served in the War of 1812.  Joseph Beckwith of Stoddard Co., MO was just a contemporary of Seth Beckwith’s son Joseph.

[Beckwith, Albert C. & Edward S.  (1907).  Beckwith Notes Number Six.  Elkhorn, WI: The Authors. p. 41]

There are 3 main stemma of Beckwiths in the United States: descendants of Mathew Beckwith (CT); of George Beckwith (MD); and of Sir Marmaduke Beckwith (VA).  I have not seen evidence proving any of the 3 are actually biologically related.

The Beckwith stemma varied significantly in social class: Mathew Beckwith a yeoman; George Beckwith an indentured servant; and Sir Marmaduke Beckwith a baronet of distinguished ancestry.

[Record of creation of Beckwith baronetcy from Complete Baronetage by G.E.C., Vol. IV (1904).]

I received this from Beckwith expert Hubert S. Beckwith:

Families often left their home state in search of land to support their families.  They might stop somewhere for a few years before continuing on, and along the way, family members could die.  Finding the parents of Joseph Beckwith of Stoddard Co., MO could be difficult.

To illustrate the scope of the problem, by the 1800 Federal census there were 130 Beckwith households in the USA, with 111 of those reasonably attributable to descendants of Mathew Beckwith the immigrant.  78 of those households are found in CT alone, and a further 23 in NY, which was a popular migration point.  Some descendants of Mathew Beckwith are found in the 1800 NC census as well, although I haven’t been able to connect any of those NC Beckwiths to our Joseph Beckwith.  And those are just households listed under the name “Beckwith;” there were undoubtedly more Beckwiths in households enumerated under a different name, as in the case of Beckwith widows who remarried.  Her Beckwith children will be merely numbers in the household of her new husband.

Can we say anything about the birth date of Joseph Beckwith? There are only two extant census records for Joseph Beckwith, both in MO: in 1830 he’s listed in Cape Girardeau Co. (p. 454) as 30-40, and in 1840 in Stoddard Co. (p. 4) he’s 50-60. This gives a range of birth years of 1780-1800. A discrepancy like this can mean he was born in a census year. That would place his year of birth as ca. 1790.

The early probate records in Stoddard Co. are lost, but I located in the Stoddard Co. court record books sufficient proof of Joseph Beckwith’s heirs.  Joseph Beckwith was deceased by 5 Oct 1847 when his administrator, David Huddleston, was ordered to cover the estate’s debts.  By 3 Jul 1849, Joseph’s widow Eliza had become administratrix.  The court records listed the following heirs of Joseph Beckwith:  Franklin Beckwith a minor, Joanna (Joellan) Beckwith a minor, Amanda Beckwith a minor, and Laura M. Beckwith a minor.  Brumfield Beckwith wasn’t listed because he wasn’t a minor at the time.  Eliza posted a $400.00 bond. 

Three of Joseph Beckwith’s children had issue: Brumfield, Joellan, and Laura.  Franklin Beckwith d. childless on 18 Mar 1873.  An affidavit filed 31 Mar 1873 listed his heirs as Bromfield Beckwith, Joella Riddle, Lorah McWherter, Amanda Cosby, and Elizabeth Beckwith (Franklin’s wife; her first name was Mary):

On 18 Nov 1878, in Dunklin Co., MO, John Franklin Riddle, husband of Joellan (Beckwith) Riddle, was granted guardianship of “Amanda Crosby (insane).”  Amanda had married W.L. Cosby, a miller.  In the 1860 Federal census the couple was residing in New Madrid Co., MO, with three children:  Mary J., James, and Sarah M. Cosby.  It’s not clear if any of the children were Amanda’s.

Joellan (Beckwith) Riddle and Laura M. (Beckwith) McWherter have descendants.

Brumfield Beckwith, died 10 Jan 1877, has descendants in the male line.  I salvaged 14 pages from his probate file, which was in a deteriorated condition, and may have disintegrated by now.  On 5 Feb 1877, in Dunklin Co., administration of Brumfield Beckwith’s estate was granted to Jacob R. Beckwith and Nathaniel Payne.  Brumfield’s heirs were listed as Harriet A. Thompson, Jacob R. (Russell) Beckwith, and M.F. (Moses Franklin) Beckwith.

If we are to learn anything further of the origins of Joseph Beckwith, it will probably come from descendants of Brumfield Beckwith, of whom I compiled the following:

Above: detail from 1822 Islands Creek District, Granville Co., NC Tax List.  The sixth entry from the top reads “Beckwith, James,” followed by “Creath, John Sr.”  In my opinion the “Beckwith, James” entry is an error, and should have been “Beckwith, Joseph.”  I have never found a James Beckwith that had a demonstrable connection to Joseph Beckwith.  Errors do occur in official documents.  Why was Joseph Beckwith in Granville Co., NC?  Granville Co. is in central NC on the VA border, across from Mecklenburg Co., VA, where John Creath Sr. had relatives.  Click on image to enlarge.

A deed, made in Cape Girardeau Co., MO 11 Aug 1831, recorded 14 Sep 1831, from Joseph Beckwith and Eliza his wife, witnessed by Oliver Creath and Sarah M. Creath, to Franklin Cannon, for two lots in the town of Jackson, MO, might contain a clue to the ancestry of Joseph Beckwith.  Joseph and Eliza J. (Creath) Beckwith had a son named Franklin.  “Franklin” as a given name isn’t completely unknown during this period, but “Francis” is more common.  Onomastic evidence is sometimes very helpful , but it can be misleading.  Then as now, couples could use a name they liked, whether or not it belonged to a relative.  Joellan Beckwith married John Franklin Riddle, and there’s no known “Franklin” in his pedigree—“Franklin” may have been derived from a county in VA where his mother’s family, the Hales, had once resided.  Nonetheless, it’s a striking coincidence that Joseph and Eliza sold land to Franklin Cannon, and named a son Franklin.  “Cannon” isn’t a surname that shows up in the ancestry of Eliza J. (Creath) Beckwith.  It appears that Franklin Beckwith was named for Franklin Cannon.

There’s evidence that Joseph Beckwith wasn’t a good businessman: in 1831 he was sued in the Cape Girardeau Circuit Court by William Ranney and John Ranney over a debt of $67.00.  His wife Eliza Jane (Creath) Beckwith was involved in extensive litigation surrounding her husband’s estate that eventually wound up at the Missouri Supreme Court in 1853.

Eliza Jane Creath, b. ca. 1801, was the daughter of Samuel Creath (ca. 1773–1813) and wife Nancy Ragland, m. 14 Feb 1795 (Samuel Creath’s brother John Creath m. on 1 Jan 1794 Mary Irby).  Samuel Creath’s will dated 31 Aug 1812 in Warren Co., NC, probated Feb. Court 1813, leaves entire estate to wife Nancy for her lifetime, with reversion to his children. Nancy (Ragland) Creath was the daughter of William Ragland (DAR no. A0933397), whose will made 23 Oct 1823, probated Feb Court 1825 in Granville Co., NC, mentions his daughter Nancy Creath.  William Ragland’s ancestry is traced back several generations in the colonies, but connection to any family in England and Wales is unproved.

Joseph and Eliza Jane (Creath) Beckwith and Eliza’s relatives moved from Granville Co., NC to Cape Girardeau Co., MO.  John Creath on 24 Jan 1837 received 43.46 acres (Certificate No. 3302) and on 25 Jun 1841 received 40 acres (Certificate No. 6076). Nathaniel and William Creath on 6 Nov 1823 received 122.74 acres (Certificate No. 338). Harriet Creath on 17 Feb 1847 received 40 acres (Certificate No. 8091).  [Harriet (Webb) Creath was the wife of John Creath.]

John Creath also had a son named Franklin b. ca. 1838.  Franklin Beckwith was b. ca. 1829, so he wasn’t named for Franklin Creath.

The probate papers of Nathaniel Creath, who owned a saddlery shop in Jackson, MO, dated 23 Mar 1823, list his heirs as William Creath and Albert G. Creath (m. Elizabeth Juden) of Cape Girardeau Co., MO and Nancy and Jane Creath of Granville Co., NC. “Jane Creath” is Eliza Jane (Creath) Beckwith.  At the time Nathaniel Creath’s estate was probated, William Creath, his administrator, didn’t know that Eliza Jane Creath had m. Joseph Beckwith 2 months earlier in Granville Co., NC.  Nancy Creath is Nathaniel Creath’s mother, Nancy (Ragland) Creath, who was living when his estate was probated. As noted above, Nathaniel Creath and William Creath filed a land grant on 6 Nov 1823, but at that point Nathaniel Creath had been deceased for more than 7 months.

William Creath and Minor W. Whitney in Nov 1820 founded newspaper “Independent Patriot” at Jackson, MO.  William Creath was sheriff of Cape Girardeau Co., MO from 1822–1828.  Later he’s found in Wayne Co., MO where on 30 Dec 1835 he received 40 acres (Certificate No. 1601), on 17 Jan 1837 received 16.5 acres (Certificate No. 1822), and on 1 Aug 1842 24.4 acres (Certificate No. 2782).  William Creath, d. 1839, m. Martha Atkins, d. 1871.  They were the parents of 10 children.  In 1828 William Creath settled in Greenville, Wayne Co., and was a merchant.

An appeal to the Supreme Court of MO filed in 1853 in Wayne Co., MO, regarding the settlement of William Creath’s estate, lists the surviving heirs as: Albert Creath, George Creath, Joseph White, Samuel Creath, Martha Past, Sophia White, and John Past.

A Dunklin Co., MO resident with a connection to the Creath family of Granville Co., NC was Erby (Irby) Beckwith Creath (11 Sep 1855–18 Feb 1937), son of Oliver Creath.  On 26 Oct 1876 he married Susan Emily Elder, and is buried at Elder Cemetery at Campbell.  I believe this individual to be a descendant of Samuel Creath’s brother John Creath, and thus a relative of Eliza J. (Creath) Beckwith.

Deloris Williams, a family historian working with records of Granville and Warren Cos., NC cleared up a family mystery:  a close friend of the Samuel Creath family was Bromfield Ridley (ca. 1742–1796), who was also called “Broomfield.” Bromfield Ridley was the son of James and Mary (Bromfield) Ridley.  Brumfield (or “Broomfiled”)  Beckwith was evidently named after Bromfield Ridley.

I compiled these notes on the Creath family:

(The above notes refer to Samuel Creath and Peter Oliver as being “insane.”  At the time, the elderly who suffered from senile dementia were termed “insane.”  I’ve seen this before.  Having the elderly adjudged “insane” allowed the family to take control of their affairs.)

The following item corroborates the above notes:

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John Franklin Riddle was the son of George Riddle (or Ruddle), born ca. 1790 in VA, died ca. 1859 at Crowley’s Ridge in Stoddard Co., MO, and his wife Sarah Hale (liv. 1860).  George Riddle married Sarah Hale on 8 Nov 1818 in Floyd Co., KY.  The origin of George Riddle is unknown, but he named one of his sons Bird Riddle.

I urge readers to exercise care when researching the Riddle or Ruddle family—you’ll encounter contradictory statements.  The first assumption made in the literature is that John Ruddell Sr. and wife Mary Cook are the progenitors of the Ruddle family of VA.  There is no definite proof that any Riddle or Ruddle male married a Bird.  However, the following from John Ruddell of the Shenandoah Valley: His Children and Grandchildren by Harold Turk Smutz (June 1974) seems relevant to our Riddle family:

Smutz lists the following children for this George Ruddle:  John, Elizabeth, George, Andrew, Ingabo, William, Mary Ann, and Clare.  I have not personally verified this information.  I know of no will or estate for this individual, and this list of his children must be conjectural—but he seems a good candidate for the grandfather of George Riddle of Stoddard Co., MO.

So far we’ve extended the pedigree of Allie May (Oxley) Chipman into the mid to late 1700s, but there’s another ancestral line we should examine.  John Franklin Riddle’s mother, Sarah (Hale) Riddle, has some interesting VA ancestry.  She was the daughter of Peter and Sarah (Morris) Hale.  The following are notes I made concerning the Hale family:

Peter Hale was the son of Joseph Hale of Patrick Co., VA (will dated 8 Dec 1798), and there his pedigree ends, but Peter Hale’s wife Sarah Morris was the daughter of Ezekiel Morris, son of Daniel Morris, and Mary Thurmond (or Turman), daughter of Benjamin and Frances Turman. 

The next item is a letter I was fortunate to receive from Debbie Hudspeth of Louisville, KY.  Mrs. Hudspeth must be long departed, and though her disapproval of incompetent genealogists is obvious, I think I may now in the year 2011 share her research into the Hale family.  She was very thorough and I was unable to improve upon her work.

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The Oxley family had deep roots in the colonial NC.  A catastrophic courthouse fire in 1878 was thought to have destroyed all records in Lenoir Co., NC (formed 1791, county seat Kinston), from whence came her grandfather, James Monroe Oxley and his wife Annaretta Faulkner, daughter of William Faulkner.  In this instance, the citing of many notes will answer few questions.

The following from a history of Dunklin Co., MO, supplies all that is definitely known of Allie May Oxley’s family, except that Annaretta Faulkner was the daughter of William Faulkner. William J. Oxley was Allie’s uncle.

 

Certainly among the among the names below are the parents and relatives of James Monroe Oxley and William Faulkner.

The progenitor of the Oxley family in NC was John Oxley Sr., who was in Bertie Co., NC as early as 1738, and left a will dated 24 Feb 1767, naming the the following:

Sons, George and John Oxley; Son-in-law Isaiah Johnson and Mary his wife; Daughter, Olive Oxley; Son-in-law John Parrot and Elizabeth his wife; Son-in-law John Ray and Rachal his wife; Daughter, Martha Oxley; Son-in-law William Fleetwood; Son-in-law James Baker; Granddaughter, Susanna Fleetwood; Wife, Ollive Oxley; Friend, Joseph Parker.  Executors: George Oxley, Isaiah Johnson and John Crickett.  Proved March Court 1767.

As his will proves, John Oxley Sr. had only two sons:  George Oxley and John Oxley Jr.  The general structure of the Oxley family is that the Oxleys of Lenoir Co., NC were descended from George Oxley, who had moved to Dobbs Co., NC (which later became Lenoir Co.), while those of Bertie Co., NC were descended from John Oxley Jr.

George Oxley’s will is lost, but that of his brother, John Oxley Jr., made 8 Jan 1805, was recorded in Bertie Co., and names the following:

Wife, Elizabeth Oxley; Son, John Oxley; Son, Hardy Oxley; Daughter, Martha Henry; Daughter, Elizabeth Oxley; Daughter, Salley Reddy; Son-in-law George Ward and daughter Nansey Ward; Daughter, Charlotty Oxley; Son, Quilley Oxley; a tract of land purchased from his brother, George Oxley.  Executors:  William Copeland, Hardy Oxley, Geo. Ward.  Proved August Term 1805.

Elizabeth Oxley, daughter of John Oxley Jr., never married, and in her will dated 6 Mar 1839, proved November Term 1840 in Bertie Co., she left her estate (except for a cow bequeathed to her niece, Nancy Ward) to the daughters of her brother, Aquilla Oxley:  Elizabeth, Manday (Mandy), Anjackline, and Dicy.  The 1820 and 1830 census data indicates Aquilla Oxley had sons, but they received nothing from their aunt.

The will of Hardy Oxley, undated, was proved February Term 1836 in Bertie Co.  It names his wife Sary and mentions his children, but doesn’t give their names.  He nominated his “frend” Aquillah Oxley (actually his brother) as Executor.

However, in a rather strange turn of events, Hardy Oxley’s wife Sarah on 2 Jan 1830 made her own will, “in addition to my Husbands will,” proved February Term 1830, naming:  Son, William Oxley; Daughter, Sally Ann Oxley; and children Nancy Oxley, Elizabeth Oxley, John D. Oxley, and Jonathan H. Oxley.  Executors:  Jas. Mardre and Thos. J. Castellaw.

Thus, Hardy Oxley’s will was actually written before that of his wife, but he survived her—and he didn’t write a new will.  I have no will for John Oxley, brother of Hardy Oxley and Aquilla Oxley, who disappears from the scene after 1810.  Aquilla Oxley wasn’t old enough to have a son born ca. 1803.

In any event, these wills don’t show a son named James.  While technically James Monroe Oxley could have been a son of John Oxley Jr.’s son John, John isn’t present after 1810, so he’s not a very good candidate.  Since the Faulkners resided in Lenoir Co., it’s far more likely James Monroe Oxley was a grandson of John Oxley Jr.’s brother George Oxley of Lenoir Co., and that tracks with everything else we know about them.  

Obviously, George Oxley of Lenoir Co. did have descendants. This is a plausible reconstruction of the family of George Oxley Sr., died ca. 1798: Mary Oxley in the 1800 Lenoir Co. census was his widow (a 1774 deed recorded in Bertie Co. identifies her as his wife); and he had sons John, Jonas, and George.  Penelope Oxley must have been the widow of Jonas Oxley, as Jonas is absent in the 1820 Lenoir Co. census, while George Oxley and John Oxley are still living.

The James Oxley who appears in the 1820 Lenoir Co. census isn’t the same individual who appears in Pitt Co., NC in 1830; that James Oxley was b. ca. 1807, and was still residing in Pitt Co. in 1850, so he was not James Monroe Oxley, who was in Haywood Co., TN by 1838.  This 1820 Lenoir Co. James Oxley must be the son of John Oxley, living in his own household.

John Oxley was born ca. 1770-1780, and George Oxley was born ca. 1780-1790.  Because Jonas Oxley died before the 1830 census, placing him in the correct birth order is difficult.  In 1800, Jonas Oxley was in Craven Co., NC, unmarried, and born ca. 1755-1774.  Combining the data from the 1800 and 1810 censuses, he was born ca. 1765-1774, and may have been the oldest of George Oxley’s sons.  His wife Penelope was born ca. 1780-1790.  At least we can say that Jonas Oxley and John Oxley were older than George Oxley.

James Monroe Oxley is found in the 1840 Haywood Co., TN census, p. 416, as follows:  2 males under 5, 1 male 30-40, 1 female 10-15, 2 females 20-30.  At this point, we don’t have enough data to concretely identify the father of James Monroe Oxley, but we do know that his father was likely a son of John Oxley Sr.’s son George Oxley.  Given the chronology, my best guess is that his father was John Oxley rather than George Oxley, so as a hypothesis, our line looks like this:

Allie May Oxley 6, Aquilla Voin Oxley 5, James Monroe Oxley 4, John Oxley 3, George Oxley 2, John Oxley 1.

Given the loss of records in Lenoir Co., NC, proving the critical Generation 3 in this pedigree may be very difficult.  Although the Lenoir Co. deeds are lost, the Grantor Index for Deed Book 19 (1799-1801) pp. 246 & 249 shows George Oxley making two conveyances to John Oxley, probably his son.

Below: While previously I thought no NC Oxley had participated in the American Revolution, I found George Oxley listed as a private in the Dobbs Co., NC militia, established 9 Sep 1775.  This can only be James Monroe Oxley’s probable grandfather George Oxley.  Dobbs Co. was the precursor of Lenoir Co.  According to militia records, George Oxley (5th from bottom) served under Col. James Glasgow, and on 14 Jul 1780 received $150.00.

Annaretta (Faulkner) Oxley, daughter of William Faulkner ( ca. 1787-1870), and wife of James Monroe Oxley (b. ca. 1803), was born ca. 1813 in NC.  By 1838, James Monroe and Annaretta (Faulkner) Oxley were living in Haywood Co., TN.  They resided in Haywood Co. until 11 Jan 1860, when they sold their land and moved to Dunklin Co., MO.

William Faulkner (ca. 1787-1870) left a will dated 10 Oct 1870, recorded in Haywood Co., TN Will Book E, pp. 332–333.  It’s an interesting document.  In it he mentions the following:

To wife Harriet M. Faulkner (not the mother of his children), the household furnishings she possessed when she married him, plus $150.00 per year for life paid to her by his sons William and Murphy M. Faulkner in lieu of her dower interest in his lands; to daughter Annaretta Oxley $500.00; to daughter Teresa Sandlin $500.00; to daughter Talitha Jones $500.00; to daughter Jane Ward $500.00; to the children of his deceased son Jessee Faulkner $500.00 to be divided among them, but the youngest child Jessee Catharine to have $300.00 of it; to son Lafayette Faulkner return of a note for $100.00 which William Faulkner paid on his behalf to H.A. Partee, and that is all Lafayette is to have; the residue of his estate to sons William Faulkner Jr. and Murphy Moore Faulkner, who are enjoined to pay his wife the $150.00 per year as promised. 

The name of the mother of William Faulkner’s children is unknown.

Allie May (Oxley) Chipman is a respected figure in our family, and researching her ancestry has been a fascinating look at some genuine American pioneer families.  Some lines are proved and others conjectural.  This is the first time a comprehensive survey of her ancestry has been attempted.  These are yeoman families, the backbone of the pioneer class that carved out roads and built towns.  I see no royal or noble descents here.

Peyton Milton Wilcox obituary from “Osage Valley Banner” 19 Aug 1880 / Tombstone of Manervia (Minerva) J. (Duncan) Wilcox

•November 22, 2016 • Comments Off on Peyton Milton Wilcox obituary from “Osage Valley Banner” 19 Aug 1880 / Tombstone of Manervia (Minerva) J. (Duncan) Wilcox

    This strange and affecting obituary was written for Peyton Milton Wilcox of Miller Co., MO.  He’s buried in Camp Vaughan Cemetary near Tuscumbia.  There’s a tree growing from his grave.

“Died

Mr. Payton M. Wilcox, died at his home in Miller Co., on the 12th day of August, 1880, at 12:05 o’clock, after suffering with malaria billious fever since January 1st.  Mr. Wilcox was a native of Virginia having been born in Scott county in that state on the 30th April, 1826.  Was married to Miss Minerva Duncan on the 5th April, 1849, in Scott Co., Va.  Shortly after he emigrated to Missouri, selecting as his home Miller Co.; he turned his attention to farming; from that time till his death he has continued the pursuit of farming with success.  As a man he was always under all circumstances, urbane, kind, courteous and genial.  Ever thoughtful of the happiness and well-being of others; he was of necessity a marked favorite in the community in which he lived.  Possessing those noble qualities in a high degree, he endeared himself to all with whom he was intimately associated.  But there are none who know so well the full measure of his noble generosity, of his kind and sympathizing heart as do the grief stricken wife and children who were the recipients of all that is good and noble in a husband and father.

Never gathered the reaper fruit more fair,

Never the shadows of dark despair,

Fall on a deeper woe.

Gone from his task half complete,

Gone from caresses kind and sweet,

Into Death’s arms of snow.

I have no language to describe my feelings as I viewed his form encased in the casket of the dead.  Handsome in death as he was pure in life.   I thought of the divine promise of the Savior of mankind:  “In my Fathers house are many mansions.  If it were not so I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you.”

The funeral of Payton M. and Manuel Wilcox will be preached at the Elm spring church house on the second Sunday in October, by the Rev. David McComb.”

{“Osage Valley Banner” of Tuscumbia, MO, Thursday 19 Aug 1880, p. 3, col. 3.  Rev. David McComb was a Baptist minister.}

Tombstone of Manervia (Minerva) Jane (Duncan) Wilcox, wife of Peyton Milton Wilcox, at Camp Vaughan Cemetery in Miller Co., MO; as follows:

MANERVIA J.

WIFE OF

P.M. WILLCOX

Born in Scott Co. Va

Mar. 30, 1830

DIED

Oct. 21, 1891

AGED

61 Ys 6M 21 Days

Peyton Milton Wilcox and wife Minerva Jane Duncan were my 3rd great-grandparents.

Pedigree of Sancha de Ayala wife of Sir Walter Blount: Ancestors of George Washington & Hillary Lillian Vaughan, wife of Jesse Otto Jeffery Scarff of Mount Pleasant, IA and Cheyenne, WY: CASTLLIAN (via Various Noble Houses of Castille) / ETHIOPIAN (via Melendo St. Peter with proof “Lampader” means “St. Peter”) / JEWISH (via Rabbi Solomon et al) / VISIGOTHIC (via Peoples Indigenous to Spain prior to the Berber Invasion) / Sir Henry Skipwith II dies bankrupt in India / with Notes on Blount, Somerville & Griffith

•November 15, 2016 • Comments Off on Pedigree of Sancha de Ayala wife of Sir Walter Blount: Ancestors of George Washington & Hillary Lillian Vaughan, wife of Jesse Otto Jeffery Scarff of Mount Pleasant, IA and Cheyenne, WY: CASTLLIAN (via Various Noble Houses of Castille) / ETHIOPIAN (via Melendo St. Peter with proof “Lampader” means “St. Peter”) / JEWISH (via Rabbi Solomon et al) / VISIGOTHIC (via Peoples Indigenous to Spain prior to the Berber Invasion) / Sir Henry Skipwith II dies bankrupt in India / with Notes on Blount, Somerville & Griffith

Revised Nov. 29, 2016

According to a “New York Times” article of 4 Dec 2008 by Nicholas Wade, DNA studies by Mark Jobling of the University of Leicester in England and Francesc Calafell of Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, Spain have found that of the population of the Iberian Peninsula (which includes the countries of Spain, Portugal, Andorra, and the British dependency of Gibraltar), about 20% have Jewish ancestry and 11% have Moorish ancestry.  Says Wade: “Spain and Portugal have a history of fervent Catholicism, but almost a third of the population have a non-Christian genetic heritage.” 

This is the story of one such line, and its survival into the modern era.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Archaeologia Cambrensis The Journal Of The Cambrian Archaeological Association Fourth Series Vol. X No. 37 January 1879.  London: J. Parker, 377, Strand, London.

A very useful resource for Welsh history and genealogy.  pp. 71-72 mentions Lampeter in Cardiganshire in connection with a detailed account of the Griffith family of Wichenor in Staffordshire.  Issues from 1846–1899 plus index may be read online at:

http://europeana-journals.llgc.org.uk/browse/listissues/llgc-id:2919943

*

Boulger, Demetrius, ed.  (1888).  The Asiatic Quarterly Review Volume VI July–October 1888 July 1888.  London: T. Fisher Unwin, 26 Paternoster Square.

Demetrius Charles Boulger (1853–1928) was a prolific British historian and a member of the Royal Asiatic Society.  Available as free download from HathiTrust Digital Library.  Search under “Demetrius Boulger.”  Subject “Asia.”  Death of Sir Henry Skipwith II: see pp. 391–393.

*

Bridgeman, M.A., Rev. The Hon. George T.O.  (1876).  History Of The Princes Of South Wales.  Millgate, Wigan.: Thomas Birch

Available as free download from Google Books.  George Thomas Orlando Bridgeman (1823–1895), educated at Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge, was the 2nd son of the 2nd Earl of Bradford.  He was a member of a family long associated with the Church of England, and became a prominent cleric in his own right.

*

Burlington Fine Arts Club.  (1916).  Catalogue Of A Collection Of Objects Of British Heraldic Art To The End Of The Tudor Period.  London: Chiswick Press Charles Whittingham And Co.

The Burlington Fine Arts Club of London (1866–1952) was a gentleman’s club of amateur art enthusiasts which held exhibitions in its clubhouse.  See pp. 3–5 for Blount heraldry incorporating Ayala.

*

Croke, Sir Alexander; of Studley Priory, Oxfordshire.  (1823).  The Genealogical History Of The Croke Family Originally Named Le Blount Vol. II.  Oxford: W. Baxter for John Murray, Albemarle Street, London; and Joseph Parker, Oxford.

Available as free download from Internet Archive.  Sir Alexander Croke graduated Doctor of Civil Law from Oriel College, Oxford.  Chapter III of Vol. II contains extensive material on the family of Sancha de Ayala.  It would be pointless to address the errors, chief among them the purported de Ayala descent from Urraca, daughter of “Alonso,” king of Leon.  Ironically, the Croke family didn’t descend from the Blounts.

*

Farmerie, Todd A.; Taylor, Nathaniel L.  (1998).  NOTES ON THE ANCESTRY OF SANCHA DE AYALA.  Prepublication MS of article subsequently published (with minor emendations) in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register 103 (1998), 36–48.

Todd Alan Farmerie and Nathaniel Lane Taylor are co-owners of Internet message board “soc.genealogy.medieval.” Farmerie claims descent from Robert Abell, a descendant of Sancha de Ayala.  Taylor, of Barrington, Rhode Island, holds a PhD in Medieval History from Harvard, and is a professional genealogist and Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists.   Article is available on the Internet under the above title.  Some references cited are in Spanish.  The article refutes three claims of royal ancestry and  two claims of descent from Muslim princesses.  The article doesn’t present Sancha de Ayala’s actual ancestry, leaving the reader with the impression there’s little of interest in her pedigree.  Farmerie and Taylor claim “Sancha is also an ancestress of Queen Elizabeth II,” without giving the descent; and acknowledge George Washington’s family as among Sancha’s descendants.  Unfortunately, genealogy being the rather dry subject it often is, linking Medieval lines to more recent historical figures has become a shameless method of promoting the author’s work.  Article can be viewed at:

http://nltaylor.net/pdfs/a_SanchaNotes.pdf

*

Fletcher, Richard.  (2006).  Moorish Spain.  Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.

Richard Fletcher was Professor of Medieval History at University of York, UK.

*

Fletcher, Richard.  (1990).  The Quest for El Cid.  New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.

Same author bio as above.

*

G.E.C.  (1900).  Complete Baronetage Volume I 1611–1625.  Exeter: William Pollard & Co., Ltd. 39 & 40 North Street.

Available as free download from Internet Archive.  Series consists of 5 volumes with a 6th volume as an index.  George Edward Cokayne was Clarenceux King of Arms Herald at the College of Arms, London.

*

Goodman, Anthony.  (1992).  John of Gaunt The Exercise of Princely Power in Fourteenth-Century Europe.  Burnt Mill, Harlow, Essex: Longman Group UK Limited.

Anthony Goodman is English Professor Emeritus of Medieval and Renaissance Studies at the University of Edinburgh.

*

Henze, Paul B.  (2000).  Layers of Time: A History of Ethiopia.  New York: Palgrave.

Paul B. Henze was a former CIA and National Security Council specialist.  After leaving government service he became a consultant for the RAND Corp.  Henze devotes little of his text to slavery, but notes it had ancient origins in Ethiopia, which he identifies as probably part of the Land of Punt.

*

Hitchcock, Richard.  (2008).  Mozarabs in Medieval and Early Modern Spain Identities and Influences.  Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing Company. 

Richard Hitchcock is Professor Emeritus at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter, UK.

*

Howard, L.L.D., F.S.A., Joseph Jackson; ed.  (1868).  Miscellanea Genealogica et Heraldica Vol. I.  London: Hamilton, Adams, And Co.

Available as free download from Google Books.  Joseph Jackson Howard (1827–1902), British attorney, started the periodical Miscellanea Genealogica et Heraldica in 1866 and was a founder of the Harleian Society.  An extremely valuable resource for British genealogy.

*

Keay, John.  (1991).  The Honourable Company A History of the English East India Company.  New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.

John Keay is a British author specializing in Asia, exploration, and Scotland.

*

Marotti, Arthur F.  (1995).  Manuscript, Print, and the English Renaissance Lyric.  Ithaca, NY and London: Cornell University Press.

Arthur F. Marotti is professor of English at Wayne State University, Detroit, MI.  pp. 41 & 196–199 discuss the poetry of William, Henry, and Thomas Skipwith.

*

Netanyahu, B.  (2001).  The Origins Of The Inquisition in Fifteenth Century Spain Second Edition.  New York: The New York Review of Books.

Benzion Netanyahu (1910–2012) was Professor Emeritus of History at Cornell University and the father of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  This massive volume is considered authoritative on Jews and the Inquisition.  Of interest is a discussion of the position of Jews under the Visigoths.  The background on the massacre of Jews in Toledo in 1109 following the death of Alfonso VI and the attendant conversions is especially germane to the Sancha de Ayala case study.

*

Pryce, Huw, ed.; Insley, Charles, asst. ed.  (2005).  The Acts Of Welsh Rulers 1120–1283 Published on behalf of the History and Law Committee of the University of Wales Board of Celtic Studies.  Cardiff: University Of Wales Press.

Huw Pryce was educated at Jesus College, Oxford, and is Professor of Welsh History at Bangor University.  Charles Insley is Senior Lecturer in Medieval History at The University of Manchester.  This volume is essential for genealogists working with Welsh royal lines.  pp. 165–166 document use of the name “Lampeter” in the reign of King Henry I of England.

*

Reinhardt, Nicole.  (2016).  Voices of Conscience Royal Confessors and Political Counsel in Seventeenth-Century Spain and France.  Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Nicole Reinhardt is Director of Postgraduate Studies and Senior Lecturer Early Modern European History in the Department of History at Durham University, UK.  pp. 12-13 discusses the mid-thirteenth-century Castilian law-code Siete Partidas (a seven-part legal code) which addresses the position of the royal chaplain, stressing the importance of employing a particularly sophisticated, learned, and loyal clergyman, possibly the most prestigious court prelate. Among the chaplain’s functions was to confess the king. There was an implication that politics were part of the confession.

*

Richardson, Douglas; Everingham, Kimball G., ed.  (2013).  Royal Ancestry A Study In Colonial And Medieval Families Volume V.  Salt Lake City, Utah: The Author.

Douglas Richardson was educated at University of California (Santa Barbara) and University of Wisconsin (Madison).  Richardson is a professional genealogist and author based in Salt Lake City.  His “Royal Ancestry Series”, though not without error, comprise the best books of their type.  Volume V pp. 321–323 contains extensive notes on George Washington’s ancestors, including the descent from Constance Blount and the Lawrence Washington/Margaret Butler marriage.

*

Roberts, Gary Boyd.  (2012 reprint).  Ancestors of American Presidents 2009 Edition compiled by Gary Boyd Roberts with charts prepared in part by Christopher Challendar Child from originals by Julie Helen Otto.  Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society.

Gary Boyd Roberts is Senior Research Scholar Emeritus at the New England Historic Genealogical Society.  pp. 659-664 show descents from Sancha de Ayala for these Presidents of the United States: William Henry Harrison, Benjamin Harrison, George Herbert Walker Bush, George Walker Bush, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, George Washington (two lines), Grover Cleveland, Herbert Clark Hoover, and Gerald Rudolph Ford.  I’m not fond of omnibus volumes like this one.  Anything here should be independently verified.

*

Roth, Norman.  (2002).  Conversos, Inquisition, and the Expulsion of the Jews from Spain With a new afterword.  Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Press. 

Norman Roth is Professor Emeritus of Hebrew and Semitic Studies at University of Wisconsin–Madison.

*

The Publications Of The Surtees Society Established In The Year M.DCCC.XXXIV Vol. XLV.  For The Year M.DCCC.LXIV.  (1865).  Testamenta Eboracensia.  A Selection Of Wills From The Registry At York.  Vol. III.  Durham: Andrews And Co.; etc.

The Surtees Society, founded in 1834, is dedicated to publishing manuscripts illustrative of the ancient kingdom of Northumbria.  For the will of Sir Walter Griffith see pp. 269–270.

*

Wrottesley, Major-General The Hon. G.  (1905).  Pedigrees From The Plea Rolls, Collected From The Pleadings In The Various Courts Of Law A.D. 1200 To 1500, From The Original Rolls In The Public Record Office.  Pub: The Author.

Available as free download from Internet Archive and as reprint from Nabu.  George Wrottesley (1827–1909), 3rd son of John Wrottesley, 2nd Baron Wrottesley, was a prominent English army officer and an avid genealogist specializing in Staffordshire.  He was a founder of The William Salt Archaeological Society which was devoted to the history of Staffordshire.  In 1936 the Society became the Staffordshire Record Society.

__________________________________________

LINE

1. Sancha de Ayala m. Sir Walter Blount 2. Anne Blount m. Thomas Griffith 3. Sir John Griffith m. Katherine Tyrwhit 4. Rhys (Richard) Griffith m. Margaret — 5. Joan (Jane) Griffith m. (his 1st) Sir Lionel Dymoke 6. Alice Dymoke m. (his 2nd) Sir William Skipwith 7. Henry Skipwith m. Jane Hall 8. Sir William Skipwith m. (1st) Margaret Cave 9. Sir Henry Skipwith, Bart. m. (1st) Amy (“Tresham”) Kempe 10. Diana Skipwith m. (his 2nd) Edward Dale 11. Elizabeth Dale m. (his 1st) William Rogers 12. Hannah (Rogers) Mitchell m. (2nd) Edward Blackmore 13. Joseph Blakemore m. Anne Sanders 14. Hannah Blakemore m. (1st) William Duncan 15. Joseph Duncan m. Elizabeth Peters 16. Minerva Jane Duncan m. Peyton Milton Wilcox 17. Nancy Theodocia Wilcox m. (2nd) Thomas Calvin McMillen 18. Nora Ann McMillen m. (1st) Eric Lyman Vaughan 19. Hillary Lillian Vaughan m. Jesse Otto Jeffery Scarff  20. Valerie Berniece Jeffery Scarff m. Ralph Vernon Chipman.

SKIPWITH EXCURSUS.

(G.E.C., pp. 214-215.)

Above:  This pedigree from The Visitation of Herefordshire 1569 purports to show the descent of William Cecil Lord Burleigh, Queen Elizabeth I’s most trusted advisor, and brother to Margaret Cecil, from Turberville, Lord of Coytiffe and Kyrikvoell.  The Tudor era saw the rise of families of Welsh descent.  The accuracy of the earlier portions of the pedigree is questionable; having been raised to the dignity of a baron Cecil felt an ancient tree must grow within it.

The children of Sir Henry Skipwith, Bart., and wife Amy Kempe were, in order of birth: William (died before father); Henry, 2nd Bart.; Elizabeth; Thomas (evidently died before his brother Henry); Diana; Grey, 3rd Bart.; Anne.

Blandina Acton, 2nd wife of Sir Henry Skipwith, was the daughter of John Penvin of Badgworth, Somerset, and widow of John Acton, a prominent London goldsmith. 

A Gentleman of the Privy Chamber attended to the king in the king’s private apartment within a royal residence.  This office, dating to the reign of King Henry VII, was a plum as it gave the holder considerable influence with the king.  This explains why Sir Henry Skipwith entertained King Charles I at Cotes, as the two were friends of some standing.  However, when King Charles II ascended the throne, the Skipwith family was unable to recover any property sold to pay the fine imposed by Parliament during the interregnum.  Most such transactions were left intact by the new king who didn’t wish to unnecessarily antagonize his former enemies.  He contented himself with hunting down and executing those who played the most prominent roles in the beheading of his father.  The Skipwith family’s loyalty to the elder Charles counted for little with the son—hardly a singular tale—proving politics can be as murderous as the block.

So Grey Skipwith and his sister Diana, lacking any prospects in post-Restoration Britain, remained in the wilderness of Virginia—which had become their home in the mid-17th century.  The following, abstracted by Fleet from Lancaster Co., VA Record Book No. 2, 1654–1666, p. 345, testifies to that relationship.  Though Diana Skipwith belonged to a prominent family, she wasn’t a prominent member of that family, but settling in early VA as a single woman showed no lack of courage.

Sir Henry Skipwith was a poet of some reputation who composed “An Elegie on the Death of my never enough Lamented Master King Charles the first”: “Weepe, weepe even mankinde weepe, soe much is dead,” etc.  He should have wept over his lack of business acumen—after years of contracting debt, the Parliamentary fine was sufficient to push him into insolvency.

In remembrance of ancestors who were poets, I’m inspired to contribute these verses, entitled The State of the Cavalier:

The king has lost his head

And is consequently dead.

Happy cavaliers

Just pickin’ and grinnin’.

Virginny ain’t such a bad place to be

But you might get scalped when you go out to pee.

Happy cavaliers

Just pickin’ and grinnin’.

We’ll all wind up in an unmarked grave.

There’s nothing left to save.

Happy cavaliers

Just pickin’ and grinnin’.

This next item, from the records of the East India Company, illustrates the large sums Sir Henry Skipwith risked, using land as collateral.  The Parliamentary fine of 1,114 pounds, stiff though it was, should not of its own bankrupted him.

Richardson reports Sir Henry Skipwith was buried on 7 Nov 1655 at Stapleford in Leicestershire (during the 2nd year of The Protectorate), the actual source being a parish register; presumably he means the old church of St. Mary Magdalen, which was rebuilt in 1783 and now only used for civic functions.  It’s said most of the family memorials were moved to the new church, but I have found no reference to Sir Henry Skipwith, so perhaps his was not. 

(Flag of East India Company.  Founded under royal charter, the Company was also favored by Oliver Cromwell.  Lost ships were part of the cost of doing business.  The Company sought to discourage private trading, claiming its charter gave it exclusive right to trade between India and Great Britain.)

G.E.C.’s statement that Sir Henry Skipwith “d. about 1658” is due to confusing Sir Henry Skipwith, the 1st Baronet, with his son, the 2nd Baronet.  The 2nd Baronet died unmarried in India ca. 1657, where he had traveled to repair the family fortune, but met a tragic end.  See “The Asiatic Quarterly Review” of Jul 1888:

Sir Henry Skipwith II had friends at the East India Company.  The next letter dated 27 Feb 1657/8 from the same issue of “The Asiatic Quarterly Review” proves he was indigent.  He was deceased by the time the letter arrived.  In the days of sailing ships the voyage from England to India via the Cape of Good Hope could take 6 months, not including overland travel.  The cycle of writing a letter and receiving a reply might take 18 months.

The last record concerning Sir Henry Skipwith II is from a “soc.genealogy.medieval” thread containing remarks made by MichaelAnne Guido, which I’ll cite verbatim.

I cannot locate “The Wynter Family.”  However, Masulipatim where Sir Henry Skipwith II died is in the lower 3rd of India on its east coast.  It was a major trading hub.  Sir Henry Skipwith II had ventured deep into Asia.  Across the Bay of Bengal lay Burma and Thailand.

The Act of Administration record gives Sir Henry Skipwith II’s death as 1656.  The “Cholmondely” letter places the death in the summer of 1657.  In any event, due to the lag in communications with India, his estate wasn’t entered until much later.

At his death Henry was living with Edward Winter (b. ca. 1622, d. 2 Mar 1686).  Winter’s ship “The Tiger” was evidently named for a semi-mythical contest between Winter and a tiger, in which he drowned the beast.  In 1657, “The Tiger” was leaving Masulipatim for a trading voyage to Burma when she capsized, with a loss of all of her passengers and freight.  The “Masulipatim Roads” means “shipping lanes.”  The loss was valued at 20,000 pounds, a very large sum for the day.  This gives an idea of the scale of investment in the India trade.  It was a high-stakes game and Henry was in over his head.  The name of the ship and the exact date it was lost doesn’t alter the fact that Henry couldn’t absorb the loss and died a pauper.  The entry of his estate in England was a formality.  There was nothing to distribute to anyone, regardless of where his relatives might be found.  Had Henry merely wanted to escape Cromwell, Virginia was much closer than India, but Virginia was a step down in class for Henry and his friends.  Henry wasn’t a 2nd or 3rd son.

What became of the remains of Sir Henry Skipwith II?  It’s very unlikely the body was shipped back to England.  The East India Company had religious facilities and cemeteries for Europeans.  His remains could have been deposited in the Winter property or at Fort St. George at Madras.  Regardless, the cemetery probably no longer exists, being a reminder of British colonialism. 

There were 3 Skipwith baronetcies, that of Metheringham, extinct 4 Jun 1756, Newbold Hall, extinct 28 Jan 1790, and Prestwould, which has survived.  Sir Thomas George Skipwith (ca. 1735–1790), 4th Baronet of Newbold Hall, having no children, left his estates to Sir Grey Skipwith, 8th Baronet of Prestwould.  The present Baronet of Prestwould, 12th in succession, is Sir Patrick Alexander d’Estoteville Skipwith, a lineal descendant of Diana Skipwith’s brother Grey.

(For descendants see column “Family Of Hillary Lillian Vaughan.”)

___________________________

TO THE STORY PROPER: HAVING SEEN THE END WE INQUIRE AS TO THE BEGINNING.

Sancha de Ayala (ca. 1360–1418) m. Sir Walter4 Blount (John3, Walter2, William1), and is one of my ancestors through the Griffith family. She came to England in the household of Constance of Castile, 2nd wife of John of Gaunt. Sir Walter Blount was a close associate of Gaunt, and it was through Gaunt that he met Sancha.  In 1381 Sir Walter Blount purchased the manor of Barton in Derbyshire, part of which was settled on Sancha as her dower lands.

Gaunt “had a soft spot for Sancha Garcia [de Ayala], who married his knight Walter Blount, and to whom he gave a New Year’s present in 1380.”  Goodman (1992), pp. 135-136.

Sancha was a member of a highly evolved and sophisticated culture in Toledo, Spain. The area became part of the kingdom of Castile on 25 May 1085 when Alfonso VI, king of Castile and Leon, ejected the Moors.  The Moors had ruled Toledo since the early 8th century.

The following charts are from an article published in 2000 (in Spanish) by Balbina M. Caviro (Balbina Caviro Martinez) of the Complutense University of Madrid illustrating some maternal and paternal ancestry of Sancha de Ayala.  These form a general outline of her ancestry and don’t show all of her family connections.  [See Todd A. Farmarie and Nathaniel L. Taylor (1998) for information on other families.]  Sancha appears in the first chart as wife of “Guater Blont.”  Even without knowledge of Spanish one can comprehend the relationships.  In medieval Spain people might use the surname of either parent.  In Sancha’s case, she used the surname of her mother’s family because it was more prominent than her father’s.  “Arbol” is Spanish for “tree,” so the charts are “Genealogical tree of,” etc.  Click on images to read them.

In the next chart, “Melendo aben Lampadero Abdelaziz b. Lampader” was Mozarab, which will be discussed at length below.  The chart indicates Melendo’s grandson Pedro Suarez as “primero en usar el escudo del castillo,” which I loosely translate as “first to wear the coat of arms or shield of Castille,” indicating he was the first of his family to be armigerous.  It marks the acceptance of the family by the Castilian authorities, and the point at which we can consider them assimilated.  We are not given the name of the wife of Pedro Suarez, but his son Gomez Perez [I] de Toledo married Orabuena Gutierez, daughter of Gutierez Armildez.  Among the children of this couple was Archbishop Gutierre Gomez.

How did Sancha come to the attention of Constance, a daughter of Pedro I “The Cruel”, king of Castile?  The short version is Sancha’s sister Teresa was a mistress of Pedro I, and allegedly had a daughter by him, listed as “Maria de Ayala o Castilla” (Maria de Ayala of Castile) in the chart of Ines de Ayala.

Sancha left Castile, where her family had resided for many centuries, because her parents Diego and Inez, though they had powerful connections, were not wealthy or prominent enough to secure an advantageous marriage for her—or her sister Teresa, who drifted into an illicit affair with Pedro I.  In that era it was the custom with high born women like Constance of Castile to take into their household women of good family to wait in attendance upon them (hence the term “lady in waiting”).  We romanticize figures like Sancha de Ayala, and in her case it’s justified.  She was an ordinary woman possessed of a fascinating gene pool who found herself at the crossroads of history.

 

(Constance of Castile, 2nd wife of John of Gaunt and a daughter of Pedro I “The Cruel,” king of Castile and Leon.  John of Gaunt claimed the throne of Castile and Leon in right of Constance his wife, but was denied it.  Constance was the daughter of Pedro I by Maria de Padilla, whom Pedro I had secretly married, but was forced to repudiate and retain as his mistress.  Constance’s murky origin hampered Gaunt’s campaign.)

Pedro I’s chaotic personal life, and his failure to produce an acceptable heir, eventually led to his murder on 14 Mar 1369 at the hands of his illegitimate half-brother Henry of Trastamara.  Henry exploited animosity toward the Jews to secure powerful allies against Pedro I.  Henry said Pedro I was too pro-Jewish. 

The struggle between Pedro I and Henry was the seed of the dreaded Spanish Inquisition.  Henry was a usurper and weak, which suited the nobility who didn’t want a strong monarch.  The Catholic church stepped in to fill the power vacuum.  Anti-Jewish riots erupted.  The Inquisition peaked during the reign of the “Catholic Monarchs” Ferdinand and Isabella—the Ferdinand and Isabella who financed Christopher Columbus.

Of Sir Walter Blount, grandfather of Walter Blount, 1st Lord Mountjoy, The Complete Peerage Vol. IX, sub Mountjoy, pp. 331–333, has this:

Sir Walter Blount is a character in Shakespeare’s “I Henry IV.”  His mutterings are unremarkable.  Nonetheless, in battle Blount pretends to be the king, and is slain.  That earned him accolades for gallantry, but he was deaf in the grave.

Sancha de Ayala isn’t a genealogical curiosity.  She has thousands of descendants—including George Washington—but has never received commensurate treatment.  According to Sir Walter Blount’s biography in The History of Parliament online, the couple had 5 sons and 2 daughters.

To banish any doubt regarding the Blount family’s descent from Sancha de Ayala, Burlington Fine Arts Club (1916), pp. 3-5 lists 40 shields of arms for William Blount Lord Mountjoy (d. 1534).  Ayala appears in numbers 19, 20, 21, 23, 28, 29, and 36.

George Washington’s lines from Sancha de Ayala [as reported by Roberts (2009)]:

LINE 1:

Sancha de Ayala m. Sir Walter Blount

Sir Thomas Blount m. Margaret Gresley

Sir Thomas Blount m. Catherine Clifton

Richard Blount m. Dorothy de la Ford

Elizabeth Blount m. Thomas Woodford

Ursula Woodford m. Thomas Light

Elizabeth Light m. Robert Washington

Lawrence Washington m. Margaret Butler

Lawrence Washington m. Amphylis Twigden

John Washington m. Anne Pope

Lawrence Washington m. Mildred Warner

Augustine Washington m. Mary Ball

George Washington

LINE 2:

Sancha de Ayala m. Sir Walter Blount

Constance Blount m. Sir John Sutton

John Sutton m. Elizabeth Berkeley

Sir Edmund Sutton m. Joyce Tiptoft

Sir John Sutton m. Anne Clarell

Margaret Sutton m. John Butler

William Butler m. Margaret Greeke

Margaret Butler m. Lawrence Washington

etc.

[see also Richardson (2013) pp. 321–323]

Croke, Vol. II (1823), p. 189, abstracts Sir Walter Blount’s will, and I think Croke may be trusted here:

“The will of Sir Walter Blount is dated at Lyverpole, the 16th of December, 1401.  He directs his body to be buried in the church of Saint Mary of Newerk, at Leicester.  He mentions his wife Sanchia as living, his sons John, Thomas, and James; his daughters Constantia, Baroness of Dudley, and Anna Griffith.  The Executor is John Blount, his brother, and he appointed as Supervisors of his Will, his cousin, Thomas Foljambe, and Thomas Langley, Keeper of the King’s Privy Seal.  It was proved the 1st of August, 1403.”

(Account of the children of Sir Walter Blount and Sancha de Ayala from Croke Vol. II, Book III, p. 196.  John Sutton, husband of Constance Blount, wasn’t Baron Dudley; it was their son John Sutton who was the 1st Baron Dudley.  Wychnor, or Wichenor, is in Staffordshire, not Shropshire.)

As The Complete Peerage notes, Sir Walter Blount and Sancha de Ayala were buried at St. Mary’s, the Newark, Leicester.  Leicester is the county seat of Leicestershire.  One of the more endearing customs of the English are place names of great antiquity which confuse those of us expecting street signs everywhere.  According to an old history of Leicester, the liberty of the Newarke was a small rectangular district lying on the east bank of the River Soar (a tributary of the River Trent), to the south of the old walled area of the borough and at the edge of the gravel terrace on which Leicester is built.  The name “Newarke” means “New Work,” to distinguish it from the older part of the city.  In 1330 the area was possessed by Henry, Earl of Lancaster.  Of the nearby 12th century castle only traces remain.  Earl Henry founded a hospital to the south of the castle, which his son Henry of Grosmont, the 1st Duke of Lancaster, enlarged.  The duke also founded a chantry college known as St. Mary’s of the Newarke.  The chantry employed a priest to say masses for the benefit of the dead who were thought to be working their way through Purgatory.  Sir Walter Blount’s choice of final resting place was in keeping with his devotion to the House of Lancaster.

The Harleian Society, Vol. 28, The Visitation of Shropshire 1623, pp. 50–57 contains extensive material on the Blount family.  On p. 55, “Ann ux….. Griffith de Wichenor in com. Staff.” is shown as a daughter of “Walterus Blount miles = Sanchia de Ayala Hispana.” who appear on p. 54.

[In this context “miles.” (Latin) means “knight.”  “Hispana” in Latin and Spanish is “feminine singular pertaining to Spain”, so what is meant here is simply “Spanish woman.”]

[“ux.” (Latin) is the abbreviation for “uxor” which means “wife.”]

Below:  Family records kept by Sir Walter Griffith II, son of Sir Walter Griffith I and 2nd wife Agnes Constable.  The heading indicates Sir Walter Griffith II provided this list of ancestor obituaries on 26 Sep 1511.  In latin.  The 5th obituary, for Thomas Griffith, correctly identifies the wife of Thomas as “Anna,” but makes her the daughter of Thomas Blount, who was actually her brother.  The will of Sir Walter Blount and The Visitation of Shropshire make it clear “Anna Griffith” was Sir Walter Blount’s daughter.  The 8th obituary is for Agnes (Constable) (Griffith) Clifton, mother of Sir Walter Griffith II.)

(Howard, 1868, p. 64.  Click on image to enlarge.)

Wichenor, the seat of the Griffith family, is 5 1/2 miles NE of Lichfield near the River Trent.  Domesday Book records that Robert of Stafford held 2 hides in Wychnor in Seisdon Hundred, and Robert held it of him, and formerly 4 thegns held it; and it consisted of land for 4 ploughs, and in demesne was 1 plough, 4 villans and 2 bordars.  There was a mill, 20 acres of meadow, and woodland half a league long and 5 furlongs wide.  In modern terms, the woodland alone of this estate was approximately 1 1/2 miles long and 3,300 feet wide.  In all, a very substantial country manor.

But not all was bucolic at Wichenor, as the following incident attests.  It probably occurred toward the end of the Chancellorship of John Stafford, Bishop of Bath and Wells, perhaps ca. 1440–1443:

Thomas  Nevowe was evidently harvesting peas for a religious house and the king when he was set upon by Walter Griffith, son of Sir John Griffith, and a large party of thugs from the Griffith estates.  Nevowe, fearing a beating or even murder, fled the scene and was too frightened to return to his home.  The cause of the attack is not stated.  In the absence of an effective police force violence was common.

This rather lengthy account of the Griffith family of Wichenor, which mentions Lampeter in Cardiganshire, is from Archaeologia Cambrensis, January 1879, pp. 71-72.  I have not investigated a possible link of the Griffiths to Princes of South Wales.  The reference “(Shaw says daughter of Sir Walter Blount in his History of Staffordshire.)” is to The history and antiquities of Staffordshire by the Rev. Stebbing Shaw, pub. in 2 volumes (1798, 1801).  (Click on pages to enlarge.)

This, from Knights of Edward I Volume 4, p. 259, amplifies what is said above regarding Sir Philip de Somerville:

An Inquisitions Post Mortem taken at Bolyngbrok in Lincolnshire dated 3 April, 11 Edward III, for Roger de Somervill or de Somervyle, states that his next heir is Philip de Somervyle, aged 40 years and more, brother of Roger.

Below: The descent of Sir John Griffith, father of Sir Walter Griffith and Rhys (Richard) Griffith, from the Somervilles to the Griffiths, is shown in this lawsuit. The Griffith family were major land owners.  The date of this lawsuit—1440—was yet to presage the contest of Lancaster and York.

(Wrottesley, 1905, pp. 369-370.)

The Griffiths of Wichenor and Burton Agnes, like many Medieval gentry families, can confound even experienced genealogists.  Gen. No. 4 of the line above given, Rhys (Richard) Griffith, was the brother of Walter Griffith (d. 9 Aug 1481), as Peter Sutton notes in a lengthy GEN-MEDIEVAL-L Archives post dated 29 Oct 2005 entitled “The 3 Walter Griffiths of Burton Agnes, East Riding of Yorkshire.”  Sutton lists 3 Walter Griffiths (A), (B), and (C).  The problem is the 3 Walters are confused.  Walters (A) and (B) are in fact the same person: this Walter m. 1st Jane Neville, by whom he had no surviving children; m. 2nd Agnes Constable, by whom he produced his heir, another Walter Griffith (C).  Agnes (Constable) Griffith took as her 2nd husband Gervase Clifton.

The proof that Walter Griffith who m. Jane Neville and Walter Griffith who m. Agnes Constable are the same individual is in this old chart I received from the Society of Antiquaries of London.  (Click on image to enlarge.)

Under the heading “This stately tombe” we find Sir Walter Griffith interred with his first wife, Jane Neville.  The girl and boy flanking Jane and Walter are their daughter and son who died young.  To the right of the tomb in the circles are Walter’s parents Sir John Griffith and Katherine Tyrwhitt.  From them is a line down to “F,” where Sir Walter Griffith is shown with his first wife Jane Neville to his left, and his second wife Agnes Constable to his right.  The legend in Walter’s circle states he died in 1481.  Walter chose to be buried with his first wife, a common practice. 

The identity of Jane Neville (who was also called “Joan”) is confusing:  She was the daughter of Sir Ralph Neville, son of Ralph Neville 1st Earl of Westmorland by the earl’s 1st wife Margaret Stafford; and Mary Ferrers, daughter of Robert Ferrers, first husband of Joan Beaufort, alleged illegitimate daughter of John of Gaunt.  Jane Neville’s father Sir Ralph Neville is sometimes incorrectly termed the 2nd Earl of Westmorland.  After the  death of Margaret Stafford, Joan Beaufort became the 2nd wife of Ralph Neville 1st Earl of Westmorland.  [For Ferrers see The Complete Peerage Volume II, p. 232 IV Elizabeth Baroness le Botiller and footnote (d), and p. 233 footnote (a).]

“This stately tombe” is still in existence in St. Martin’s church at Burton Agnes, East Riding of Yorkshire.

The will of Sir Walter Griffith I of Burton-Agnes was dated 8 Jul 1481 and probated at York.  The will is in latin.  The 8th line of this text mentions items stored at Whichnore.  Lines 23 and 24 mention “Ricardo Griffith, fratri meo,” which means “my brother.”  There’s no doubt as to the identity of these people.

[Surtees (1865), pp. 269-270.]

It should be noted Douglas Richardson has published the correct account of this Sir Walter Griffith.

At Wichenor in Staffordshire was a strange marriage custom, dating to the reign of King Edward III, and perhaps followed by Ann Blount and Thomas Griffith, in which this oath was sworn on a side of bacon: 

“Hear ye, Sir Philip de Somerville, Lord of Wichenour, maintainer and giver of this Bacon, that I [husband], since I wedded my wife, and since I had her in my keeping, and at my will by a year and a day after our marriage, I would not have changed for none other, fairer nor fouler; richer nor poorer; nor for none other descended of greater lineage; sleeping nor waking at no time; and if the said wife were single and I were single I would take her to be my wife before all the women of the world, of what conditions soever they be, good or evil, as help me God and his saints, and this flesh and all flesh.”

The origin of this custom is quite confused, some suggesting it was entailed in a charter from John of Gaunt.  Another account stated the custom was also a physical ordeal and only three couples ever walked off with the bacon.  However, it was in connection with my research of this obscure practice that I solved the odd mystery of the name of a Mozarab inhabitant of 12th century Toledo, Spain, Abdul Aziz bin Lampader (see below).

(Neo-Moorish architecture:  Castello di Sammezzano, Tuscany, Italy.)

In 712 a Berber army under Arab command defeated the Visigothic King Roderic of Spain and within a few years wrested control of the Iberian peninsula.  The Arab elite regarded the Berbers as inferior: “Berber” meant “barbarian.”  The Berbers rebelled against their Arab leaders in North Africa in 739 and in 740 the rebellion spread to al-Andalus (Islamic controlled Spanish territory). 

Though the Moors remained for centuries masters of a large part of Spain, getting a straight answer as to their ethnic composition was difficult.  “Moor” is slang for “Moroccan.”  The Moors ranged from fair skinned blonde to dark skinned Ethiopian.  The best description I can assemble is that they were initially (mostly) Berber tribesmen from Algeria and Morocco with some Arab component, but during the period of their domination assimilated black Africans from Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somalia, most of whom were soldiers and slaves. 

(Garima Gospels, Ethiopia, ca. 4th to 7th century.  Despite its Christian heritage, Ethiopia was notorious for its slave trade.)

Slave merchants took Ethiopians by caravan to lucrative slave markets like Tangier in Morocco and Tunis in Tunisia.  Ethiopia also furnished soldiers.  Tangier was a trans-shipping point for slaves.  At its shortest extent, Tangier is only about 20 miles from Spain across the Straits of Gibraltar.  Even if slaves were shipped farther up Spain’s east coast, it’s a sea journey of about 100 miles.  My hypothesis is that most soldiers and slaves from Ethiopia who entered service under the Moors converted to Islam, while Ethiopian slaves purchased by Christians were assimilated into communities known as Mozarabs (see below).  Muslims were adamantly opposed to Muslims becoming Christians.  Assimilating Christian Ethiopian slaves would not have drawn the ire of Moorish authorities. This explains why Moors and Mozarabs shared African ancestry.   The British journal The Tatler for 14 Nov 1710, No. 250,  contains the sentence:  “The first place of the bench I give to an old Tangerine captain with a wooden leg.”  This indicates the word “Tangerine” was applied to natives of  Tangier, but this usage probably came after the end of Moorish occupation of Spain.

So the Moors are a mixed race people, the individuals of which could vary in appearance.  They were not a distinct race of their own, but a shared culture.  The Moors were sometimes called “Arabs” in the generic sense, as “Muslims,” in the same way the term “Saracen” came to be applied to Islamic peoples during the Crusades.

(Astrolabe made at Toledo in 1068.)

Historian Richard Fletcher (2006) p. 10, wrote:

“The language of common speech in al-Andalus, for Christians and Jews as well as Muslims, was Arabic; but to speak as some have done of ‘Arabic’ Spain is to give the impression that the land had been colonised by the Arabs, whereas the number of Arabs who settled there was very small.  ‘Moorish’ Spain does at least have the merit of reminding us that the bulk of the invaders and settlers were Moors, i.e., Berbers from northwest Africa.  But we shall need to bear in mind that they overlay a population of mixed descent—Hispano-Romans, Basques, Sueves, Visigoths, Jews and others.”

The Moorish scholar Abu Muhammad Ali ibn Sa id ibn Hazm (994–1064), son of Ahmad, advisor to the Umayyad Caliph Hisham II, described the Moors:

“All the Caliphs of the Banu Marwan (God have mercy on their souls!), and especially the sons of al-Nasir, were without variation or exception disposed by nature to prefer blondes.  I have myself seen them, and known others who had seen their forebears, from the days of al-Nasir’s reign down to the present day; every one of them has been fair-haired, taking after their mothers, so that this has become a hereditary trait with them; all but Sulaiman al-Zafir (God have mercy on him!), whom I remember to have had black ringlets and a black beard.  As for al-Nasir and al-Hakam al-Mustansir (may God be pleased with them!), I have been informed by my late father, the vizier, as well as by others, that both of them were blond and blue-eyed.  The same is true of Hisham al-Mu’aiyad, Muhammad al-Mahdi, and Abd al-Rahman al-Murtada (may God be merciful to them all!); I saw them myself many times, and had the honour of being received by them, and I remarked that they all had fair hair and blue eyes.”

The above passage is in ibn Hazm’s The Ring of the Dove, in the chapter “Of Falling In Love With A Quality And Thereafter Not Approving Any Other Different” [Arthur John Arberry (1905–1969), trans.; Fellow Pembroke College, Cambridge].  ibn Hazm, as the son of a highly placed court official, is impeccable evidence, drawing upon his own observation, or the personal observation of his “late father, the vizier, as well as by others….”  Few in the West outside of academia are familiar with ibn Hazm, but he is a very important source for this period.

Note ibn Hazm says the “blonde” trait of these caliphs was from “taking after their mothers” and became hereditary through them.  Obviously the Moors had taken women indigenous to the area as wives or concubines, but this practice was not universal, as in the case of Sulaiman al-Zafir.  Sulaiman’s “black ringlets” refer not to jewellery, but to his naturally curled hair.  So some Moors were engaged in what can only be termed “selective breeding,” but why?  Why did not Sulaiman al-Zafir? 

Perhaps Sulaiman al-Zafir found all the respect he needed at the point of his sword, although many he put to the sword could not defend themselves:

“During this period the Berbers rampaged uncontrollably over the southeastern parts of Spain, living off the land and extorting protection money from the cities, doing untold damage by their depredations.  Meanwhile, the situation of the Cordobans became very wretched.  The city was  crowded with refugees from the surrounding countryside. A wet spring in 1011 brought serious flooding of the Guadalquivir.  An outbreak of plague occurred.  The government was so hard up that it was driven to the expedient of selling off some of al-Hakem’s splendid library.  In May 1013 Cordoba surrendered.  Sulayman’s Berber followers, who had already wrecked the palace at Madinat az-Zahra, sacked and plundered the city.  What remained of the caliphal library was dispersed.  Enormous numbers of the citizens were massacred. The great scholar-to-be, Ibn Hazm, then aged about nineteen, witnessed the slaughter and later named over sixty distinguished scholars who met their deaths.  One of them, the biographer Ibn al-Faradi, lay unburied where he had been cut down for three days.  The caliph Hisham II disappears from view, presumed murdered.”  So ibn Hazm had personal knowledge of Sulaiman-al Zafir, who presided as caliph in Cordoba until 1016, when one of his generals deposed and executed him.  Fletcher (2006), pp. 80–81.

“Selective breeding” among elites was hardly new with the Moors.  The most extreme example are the Ptolemaic pharaohs of Egypt, who married their own sisters because no other women were fit for a king.  The wives of two of the sons of King Edward III of England—John of Gaunt and Edmund of Langley—were cousins of Gaunt and Langley, and both were daughters of Pedro I.  It all smacks of the Nazi attempt to create a super-race, but the caliphs were not engaged in a program of racial extermination.  ibn Hazm says “all but Sulaiman al-Zafir” did this; thus it’s reasonable to conclude the average Moor resembled Sulaiman al-Zafir.  Or is it?

An ancient mystery: is ibn Hazm’s tale of the blonde caliph true?

“‘Abd al-Rahman III’s father Muhammad was born of the union between the amir ‘Abd Allah [d. 912] and the Christian princess Onneca or Iniga, the daughter of a king of Navarre who had been sent to Cordoba as a hostage in the 860s.  ‘Abd al-Rahman himself was the child of a union between his father Muhammad and a slave-concubine, a Christian captive possibly from the same Pyrenean region, named Muzna (perhaps originally Maria?).  In his immediate ancestry, therefore, the new ruler was three-quarters Spanish, or perhaps more accurately Hispano-Basque, and only one-quarter Arab.  He had blue eyes, a light skin and reddish hair.  We are told that he used to dye his hair black to make himself look more like an Arab.  This was only one of several ways in which ‘Abd al-Rahman was skilled at the business of what today we would call projecting an image of himself.”  Fletcher (2006), p. 53.

The king of Navarre for this period is Garcia Iniguez (r. 851–882).  Due to military instability in the region the story of ‘Abd Allah receiving a hostage from a king of Navarre is plausible.  She may have been illegitimate.  Regardless of her actual paternity, and the uncertainty of her name, the notion she would ever have been set free by ‘Abd Allah to marry another is impossible.

Thus, the tale is true; only in this instance the caliph had reddish hair—but there were many women should he desire his son to be blonde.  What lay behind this practice?  The motive appears to be a desire to copy their white European counterparts, rather than a means to separate elites from their subjects.  We tend to think of Moorish Spain as insular, but there was constant contact with Christian states, in matters of trade, diplomacy, and warfare.

What more can we say of Sulaiman al-Zafir?  As  Fletcher (2006), p. 80 remarks:  “The Berber generals chose another descendant of ‘Abd al-Rahman III, Sulayman, as a rival caliph.  Sulayman appealed for military aid to the count of Castile, Sancho Garcia, who responded positively.  The two men, Christian and Muslim, joined forces, marched on Cordoba and defeated Muhammad II in November 1109.  Sulayman was proclaimed caliph.”   This initial usurpation lasted until May 1010 when another combination of Christian and Muslim allies ousted Sulaiman. 

We may therefore conclude that even Sulaiman al-Zafir’s appearance, with his black beard and ringlets, was to some extent the result of “selective breeding,” and the Berbers who elevated him were basically black.  This resemblance to his Berber troops may have helped in winning them over, but as we have seen, it ended badly for him.  ‘Abd al-Rahman III would have kept a well-stocked harem, and it appears Sulaiman al-Zafir’s ancestry was not of Hispano-Basque women.

My theory is that ‘Abd al-Rahman III’s successors ran through these Hispano-Basque slave-concubines, but for political purposes he also had children by dark-skinned women, and Sulaiman al-Zafir was a descendant of one of those unions.  My intent here is to reconcile the historical facts.  As seen above, al-Rahman III felt he could not alienate his subjects by affecting a completely “white-European” appearance, so he dyed his hair black.  For the chronology so essential to genealogists I should mention ‘Abd al-Rahman III succeeded his grandfather ‘Abd Allah in 912 and reigned until his death in 961.  Fletcher (2006), p. 53.  Sulaiman al-Zafir was a grandson or great-grandson of ‘Abd al-Rahman III.

ibn Hazm died a mere 21 years before Alfonso VI overwhelmed Toledo.  This is as contemporary a description of the Moors as we are likely to find.

The larger caliphates disintegrated:

‘[S]tatelets emerged which were run by civil administrators who had achieved prominence under the regime of Almanzor and his son.  These men were often technically slaves, or freedmen, and sometimes not of peninsular origin but drawn from the vast hordes of slaves imported into al-Andalus in the tenth century.”  Slaves could be of disparate ethnic backgrounds, in civil or military service, and sometimes emerged as rulers.  Fletcher (2006), pp. 83–84.

 

[Illustration: “Chess Problem No. 25 Five Moors, one playing harp.”  Harp music set the mood for this most competitive of board games.  From the Libro de los Juegos (Book of Games) of Alfonso X, king of Castile, Leon, and Galicia (1221–1284).  King Edward I of England married as his first queen Eleanor of Castile, half-sister of Alfonso X.  Alfonso X had the text translated from Arabic into Castlilian and added illustrations, the book being completed in 1283. During the Middle Ages, wealthy patrons commissioned illuminated manuscripts like the Book of Games.  Undoubtedly the king was personally familiar with the physical appearance of a Moor as they continued to rule parts of Spain until 1492, so the illustration was taken from life.  Note that on the left the servant holding a flask and dish has somewhat lighter skin than the others.  From this we can deduce that to a greater or lesser degree the individual Moor possessed black ancestry.]

[The surrender of Granada, the last Moorish outpost in the Iberian peninsula, in January 1492, by Francisco Pradilla Ortiz (1848–1921).  Upon ejecting the Moors from Granada, Ferdinand and Isabella ruled a united Spain.  Click on image to enlarge.]

[Sir Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640), “Four studies of the head of a Moore.” In the collection of Musees Royaux des Beaux Arts, Musee Old Masters Museum (inv. 3176), Brussels, Belgium.]

[Alfonso VI (1040–1109), king of Castile and Leon.]

The ruler of Toledo, Al-Qadir, was a hated puppet installed by Alfonso VI.  Alfonso VI had been bleeding Toledo dry with demands for tribute.  “Toledo also contained large communities of Jews and Mozarabic Christians.  It is inaccurate to regard the Christians as some sort of ‘fifth column’ working for Alfonso VI.  Nevertheless it was bound to have been the case that to be ruled by a Christian was perceived as preferable to be being ruled by a Muslim.  As for the Jews of Toledo, they were probably encouraged to look favourably upon the Christian king by an episode that occurred in 1082.  Alfonso had sent a Jewish ambassador to Seville to collect the tribute.  A dispute took place: the Castilian delegation complained the tribute was being paid in debased coin and accompanied their complaint with insults.  [The ruler] Al-Mu’tamid had the Jewish ambassador crucified.  Alfonso VI was livid with rage and mounted a punitive raid to avenge his envoy’s death.”  Fletcher (1990), p. 141.

Netanyahu (2001), pp. 255–257 & 296–297 provides essential background to the story of Toledo and the Jewish community: seeing for themselves favorable conditions under the lenient Alfonso VI, rather than leave the city, Jews “chose to move to it in growing numbers.  Soon Toledo gave signs of becoming the most important center of Spanish Jewry.”  However, their position soon became tenuous; in Aug 1109, following the death of Alfonso VI, the townspeople fell upon the Jews, killing many and forcing more to convert. 

Thus, after the liberation of Toledo, the area grew as a center of Jewish learning, but many Jews converted due to political pressure.  It would be very surprising if Sancha de Ayala, who was born centuries after the expulsion of the Moors, had no Jewish ancestry.

Above: Stained glass of Coat of Arms of Castile and Leon, Alcazar (Castle) at Segovia, Spain, the arms being a “castle” for Castile and a “lion” for Leon.  Principal residence of Alfonso VIII, king of Castile and Toledo, and his queen Eleanor, daughter of King Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine.  On 16 Jul 1212, Alfonso VIII and a coalition of Christian forces crushed the Muslim Almohads at the Battle of Navas de Tolosa in Southern Spain.  Some knights disagreed with Alfonso VIII’s lenient treatment of defeated Jews and Muslims from earlier battles.  When the Christian forces had previously gathered at Toledo there had been assaults and murders of Jews in the Jewish quarter.

Here’s a mega–pill:  Blanche of Castile (1188–1252), daughter of Alfonso VIII and Eleanor of England.  Blanche became Queen of France as consort to Louis VIII, king of France.  Her hovering suffocating supervision of her son, the future King Louis IX of France, drilled into his brain-pan the austerity and prudery for which he was known.  In 1243 in Paris, at the urging of Pope Gregory IX, Louis IX burned manuscript copies of the Jewish Talmud.  The incident was part of a wave of anti-Semitism that swept Europe in the 13th century.  Fortunately Pope Innocent IV rescinded the edict against the Talmud.  (Click to enlarge.)

King Louis IX indulged in self-scourging (flagellation), believing that inflicting pain upon himself helped atone for his exaggerated sense of sin.  Overwrought individuals like Louis IX had difficulty placing an appropriate value on “natural” and “supernatural.”  Their lives were a religious drama supported by the church.  While Louis’ behavior was excessive, in the Medieval era morbidly intense religious devotion was common.  Flagellation is still occasionally employed today—Pope John Paul II was a devotee of flagellation, a fact that emerged during testimony for his canonization.  According to published reports, Pope Francis is a flagellant.  Elements within the Catholic church accuse opponents of flagellation as having lost the sense of the enormity of sin: for them, when you sin, you’re rejecting Christ, and must be reconciled.  From this we can get a glimpse of the mentality of Medieval Catholics.

Below: King Louis IX also allowed himself to be whipped in penance.

This account, written by John Lord Joinville, a friend of Louis IX, demonstrates the tensions between Church, State, and Jews in the Medieval epoch.  (Click on image to enlarge.)

The knight chose to frame his question by referencing the Virgin Mary.  A philosopher might refute this Marian theology as follows: Since God is the Prime Mover, he is causeless and there is nothing about him which is caused; therefore, there is nothing which can be caused to appear, for there is nothing to initiate a chain of causation; and God’s interaction with humanity is solely by the grace and will of God, and not any external biological or formulaic mechanism.  Thus Mary can’t possibly be the Mother of God as her pregnancy couldn’t cause God to appear; for if so she would be an anterior cause.  This argument would get you burned at the stake.

Sancha’s claim to aristocracy came through her mother Ines de Ayala, whose family was more important than that of her father Diego Gomez.  Sancha’s uncle Pero Lopez de Ayala (1332–1407), for many years a player in Castilian politics, became Grand Chancellor of The Realm of Castile under K; for she wouling Henry III of Castile.  Ines de Ayala was also distantly related by blood to Roman Catholic Cardinal Pedro Gomez Barroso (d. 1348).

(Tomb effigy of Pero Lopez de Ayala in the Monastery of Quejana, near Bilbao, Spain.  In addition to holding high political office, he was also a renowned poet.)

Todd Farmerie, in a thread on “soc.genealogy.medieval,” dated 24 Jul 2007, entitled “Converso ancestors of Sancha de Ayala” said:

So what made Farmerie apoplectic?  The assertion that some of Sancha de Ayala’s ancestors were converted Jews—or “conversos.”  As Nathaniel Lane Taylor points out, the term “converso” is properly applied only to Jews who converted to Catholicism during the Spanish Inquisition.  But in actual practice, “converso” is often applied in a broader sense to Jews who converted at any point in the Medieval period.  And during the 15th century it could apply to Moorish converts as well.

My response to Farmerie is that your ancestors do not lose their identity over time.  If you have a Jew or African in your pedigree, THEY are a Jew and African forever, regardless of the era in which they lived.  Their contribution to YOU as an organism varies over time, but you’re the sum of all of your forebears.  I was unfamiliar with the phrase “turning something on its head.”  Farmarie is saying: “Even if there is a Jew somewhere in the pedigree, after 25 generations it’s a misinterpretation of the pure blood standard to say such a person is a Jew.”  So if the Jew is a remote ancestor, the Jewish genetic contribution to your pedigree is diluted to the point that it doesn’t matter.  That’s not genealogy.

The “pure blood standard” was called “limpieza de sangre,” and was first introduced into Spain in 1414 by the archbishop of Seville, in connection with the foundation of the Colegio de San Bartolome of Salamanca.  No one with any Jewish ancestor, regardless of how remote, could be admitted to the college.  Jewish blood was “tainted.” 

The practical application of the doctrine was in the event political.  Because so many people in Medieval Spain, including the very prominent, did have Jewish ancestors, the application of the “purity of blood” standard depended partly upon who you were.  If you were powerful (meaning you could marshal military force), your background wasn’t scrutinized as closely as someone further down the food chain. 

The doctrine was based upon the concept that though everyone was equal in Christ, Jews were held to be biologically “inferior.”  Thus was established institutionalized racism with various equations of who could do what with who: in some instances one could not have had a Jew in the family for 100 years, and in others, for 4 generations.  Dispensations could be granted. The more lenient definitions of “pure blood” prevailed, and that is what Farmarie appears to be advocating.  Students of history will recognize these regulations as precursors to the infamous Nuremberg Laws of Nazi Germany.  The Nuremberg Laws also extended to blacks and gypsies.

Farmerie has some support from across the pond. In an article in “The Guardian” dated 11 Mar 2009, British celebrity biographer Hugo Vickers was asked for his reaction to reports that King George III’s consort Queen Charlotte had black ancestry:

[Would] our royal family be threatened if it were shown they had African forebears? “I don’t think so at all. There would be no shame attached to it all,” says the royal historian Hugo Vickers. “The theory does not impress me, but even if it were true, the whole thing would have been so diluted by this stage that it couldn’t matter less to our royal family. It certainly wouldn’t show that they are significantly black.”

Stiff upper lip and carry on.

In the same thread, Taylor says: “Sancha de Ayala’s father’s ancestors in Toledo were a mixed bag of Toledan families. Some were most likely Mozarabic families—Christians who had been living under Muslim rule before the annexation of Toledo by Alfonso VI.  An example is Abdul Aziz bin Lampader, surely Sancha’s ancestor, who was alcalde [assistant judge] of the city in 1125.  There is a possibility that some of these families may have been Jewish…. The bottom line is that it is conventional to say all the apparently native urban [Toledo] families who bore Muslim names in the time of Alfonso VI [1040–1109] were Mozarabic Christians, but some of them may have been Jews. But in this early era (11th–early 12th c) there was no organized persecution or forced conversion….”  The actual identity of Mozarabs is discussed elsewhere; but Dr. Taylor’s last remark is wrong: anti-Jewish massacres in Toledo in Aug 1109, almost immediately following the death of Alfonso VI, brought many Jews to convert.

The position of Jews under the Cordoban caliphate had been favorable:

“Ibn Shaprut was a figure of eminence in the international Jewish community at large.  He was the patron of Jewish-Andalusi poets such as Dunash Ha-Levi, the benefactor of the Talmudic academies of Mesopotamia, the author of a letter to the ruler of the ‘Thirteenth Tribe,” the Jewish Khazars of south Russia.  He occupied an important position in al-Andalus as a trusted advisor as well as doctor to the caliph.  For his services he seems to have been rewarded with some lucrative sinecure from the tolls and customs paid by merchants.  Hasday ibn Shaprut is a remarkable testimony to the cosmopolitan character of the court of al-Andalus under ‘Abd al-Rahman III, and to the heights to which Jews could rise in service to it.”  Fletcher (2006), p. 70.

“It is difficult to know what the day-to-day relations of Christians and Muslims may have been like in the cities of al-Andalus.  They lived side by side.  In some cities the Mozarabs inhabited distinct Christian quarters of the town, in others they seem to have lived intermingled with their Muslim neighbors.”  Fletcher (2006), p. 94.

In the discussion of Abdul Aziz bin Lampader that follows, I’m going to rely on Hitchcock (2008)—this area of investigation was his specialty.  Comments in italics mine.

First, what was a “Mozarab”?  It means: “‘to make oneself similar to the Arabs,’ … ‘having assimilated Arabic customs’, or, most specifically designated someone who had the appearance of an Arab, was indistinguishable from Arabs, and would not stand out in a crowd of Arabs.” (p. ix)  “Mozarab” doesn’t just signify a Christian living under Muslim rule.  As Hitchcock states in his afterword, Mozarab “cannot, in my view, be a word employed to signify Christians who lived in al-Andalus,” which of course is at complete variance with the above comment by Nathaniel L. Taylor, but Taylor admits the possibility that “some of these families may have been Jewish.”

So the key here is primarily appearance and outward conformity, although in religion the Mozarab was mainly Christian and occasionally Jewish.  The term “Mozarab” was not uniformly applied as to religion, but does mean non-Muslim and could be pejorative.  The Moors and Mozarabs were related peoples, sharing a common black ancestry.  Mozarabs looked like Arabs but weren’t “real” Arabs because they weren’t Muslim—but if they didn’t rock the boat, were tolerated.

Above: Mozarabs in a mid-10th century Christian religious text.  A blue cross is in the center.  Note the vertical beam of the cross doesn’t extend upward from the horizontal beam.  The illustration depicts a Mozarab in the role of John of the Apocalypse measuring the temple with a measuring rod given to him by angels (Revelations 11:1–3).  The Mozarabs have brown skin and all of their hair outside of their caps is black, indicating black ancestry. Hitchcock 2008 (jacket).

“In Toledo after 1085 AD, and the surrounding areas for a further century and a half, ‘Mozarab’ was an internally applied term.  Christians used it to define other, Arabicized, Christians, and amongst the communities of the latter were those who had ‘Mozarab’ or a recognizable form of the word, as a surname.’  (p. 76)  These were people who were in Toledo before Alfonso VI took it; a community he recognized as an asset in stabilizing his regime.

“In the first generation after the conquest of Toledo, there is a majority of names entirely in Arabic (59 per cent), whilst in the twenty-year period 1110–1130, this figure has reduced to 45 per cent.  Between 1150 and 1170, it has dropped to 5 per cent.  During the same period (1130–1170), hybrid names, of the type Abi al-Hasan b. Mika il, retain their popularity, representing over 40 percent of the instances….  By 1118, and throughout the following two centuries, being Mozarab meant, first and foremost, being Arabicized members of a Castilian community.”  (pp. 86–87)  In this example “Mika il” is the hybrid portion of the name.

That Mozarabs in Toledo were recognized as a separate community is indicated in a fuero (charter) cited by Netanyahu (2001), p. 1221, granted in 1101 to the Mozarabs by Alfonso VI, in which they were given special status, which did not extend to the killing or wounding of a Jew or Moor.

Hitchcock continues: “It would be fair to say that the Mozarabs flourished in the city of Toledo in the twelfth century.  They still had their own mayor in 1178, Melendo Lampader, who died in 1181, and relations with the Castlian community in the city seemed positive.  This same Melendo married a daughter of the Castilian alcaide, and the line was perpetuated well into the thirteenth century.  The maintenance of two separate mayors, responsible for their own communities, one hundred years after the capture of the city by Alfonso VI, is an indication of the success of this king’s initial policies.  Arabophone Christian communities, however they came into existence, could prosper independently within Christian territories.”  (p. 96)  The term “Arabophone” means the individual’s native language was Arabic.  Note that Hitchcock uses the phrase “Arabophone Christian communities, however they came into existence….”  So Melendo Lampader was himself recorded as a Mozarab.  As of 1178, the Lampader family had not been assimilated, but about the mid-13th century it was granted a coat of arms.

Abdul Aziz bin Lampader was an Arabicized Christian who in appearance resembled his Muslim counterpart—the Moors.  As I discuss above, what made an individual a Moor cannot be unequivocally stated, but by general agreement it was a person of mixed race, incorporating mainly Berber and African elements.  The bin Lampader family was a mixture of Visigothic and black African ancestry sharing the Christian religion.  Ethiopia had converted to Christianity in the 4th century.  Slaves and soldiers entering Moorish Spain brought their religion with them.  However, it would have been far more common (and safer) for a Christian to convert to Islam than a Muslim become a Christian.

Mozarab families resembled their Muslim neighbors because they both had black ancestry, from the same section of Africa.

(A view of Toledo, which barely looks more modernized than it did in the day of Sancha de Ayala.  Toledo had been the capital city of Visigothic Spain in the 6th and 7th centuries.  Click on image to enlarge.)

“Abdul Aziz” is a Muslim name still in use today: “Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud” was the name of the late king of Saudi Arabia, which means “Abdullah son of Abdul Aziz of the family Saud.”

One researcher claimed Abdul Aziz bin Lampader was actually Abdelacis ben Lampader, suggesting a Jewish form.  In Muslim use  “Abdul Aziz bin Lampader” means “Abdul Aziz son of Lampader” without a family name appended, but this was in an early age. I couldn’t locate “Lampader” anywhere in lists of Hebrew names, or in Hebrew dictionaries, or in Latin, or in Spanish, that would give a clue to the name the family held under the Moorish regime.  It may have been quasi-official.  A corollary is the English family of Despenser, whose name was derived from “Dispensator”—they had been stewards of the Earls of Chester or the Lacy family, Constables of Chester.  Abdul Aziz and his son Melendo held public office in Toledo.  Apparently this family was resident in Toledo when it capitulated to Alfonso VI, and the king took advantage of their continued service.

According to Fletcher (1990), p. 60: “Settlers also came [to Castile] from the South, Mozarabic Christians who left al-Andalus [Muslim controlled Spain] to live among their fellow Christians in the north.  They can be recognized by their Arabised names which evidently caused difficulties for Castilian scribes and produced such bizarre formations as the Abolgomar who lived near Cardena about the year 900 and the Abogaleb who was a monk at Berlangas in about 950.”

Having considered these possibilities and all but abandoning the search, the solution to the meaning of “Lampader” came from Wales: in Cardiganshire there is an ancient town called Lampeter, which means “St. Peter.”  This area was associated with Sir Rhys ap Griffith, grandfather of Thomas Griffith (see above), who married Joan de Somerville, heiress of Wichenor.  We may never know the name by which Abdul Aziz was known to the Moorish authorities, but his new name was entered by Castilian officials, probably as Alfonso VI tightened his grip on Toledo.  It reminds one of the creative work by the clerks at Ellis Island.  When Abdul Aziz presented himself, his actual name was probably replaced with the name “Lampader,” which meant “St. Peter;” and thus we have Abdul Aziz “son of St. Peter,” a “son” in the spiritual sense, like a “disciple” or “servant” of St. Peter.  This interpretation is validated by the third word of the initial name given in the Diego Gomez chart:  “Melendo aben Lampadero.”  We may substitute “Lampedro” for “Lampadero;”  “Pedro” being Spanish for “Peter.”  This signifies the Lampader family was definitely Christian, as were most Mozarabs.

(Click on image to enlarge.)

The entire article on Lampeter may be seen at:

http://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-dict/wales/pp459-473

There are many Lampeter(s), this one from Theophilus Jones’s A History of the County of Brecknock, Vol. II, Part II.

(Church of St. Peter, Painscastle.)

And even a Lampeter in Pennsylvania (Zip Code 17537), named after Lampeter in Wales, undoubtedly the result of Welsh settlement in the area.

This interpretation is completely vindicated by the following items from Archaeologia Cambrensis of October 1878, p. 293, in an article “Notes On Records Relating To Lampeter And Cardiganshire”, which clearly demonstrate that “Lampeter” and “Lampader” are the same:

The documents referenced here are entries in a Charter Roll dating to 1284 and in a Patent Roll dating to 1330.  These are official government documents.  The Charter Roll of King Edward I authorizes Rhys ap Meredith to host a market at his manor of Lampeter every Thursday of the week, a lucrative privilege.  The king also granted Rhys ap Meredith the right to hold a fair from October 8 to October 10.  Patent Rolls were rolls of parchment in which letters written in the name of the king were recorded, in this instance King Edward III.  The phrase “the town of ‘Lampader calaponte Stevene,’ in South Wales” means “the town of St. Peter at the castle of Stephen’s bridge in South Wales,” a typical English way of describing a place.  “Pont” is Latin for “bridge.”  One tradition states the castle had been erected by King Stephen, probably during his interminable civil war with the Empress Matilda, mother of King Henry II of England; but as seen below, Pryce and Insley (2005) suggest otherwise.  The castle was a landmark, destroyed later in the 12th century, but ruins remained, and that’s how the town was known.

As further proof that the names “Lampeter” and “Lampader” were interchangeable, Bridgeman (1876) pp. 162–163 provides this passage which references King Edward I in the year 1280.  A castle at Lampader was in use during the king’s military operations in Wales.  It was probably a crude affair, not to be confused with the gigantic structures of his reign.

In England the “mark” was not a coin, but a monetary convention equal to about 2/3 of a pound.

Pryce and Insley (2005) pp. 165–166 have this to say about “Lampeter” in discussing a charter relating to Totnes Priory:

“For a full discussion of this charter see Crouch, ‘Earliest original charter’, which locates the church of St Peter de Mabonio at Lampeter, cmt. Mebwynion.  Cadell captured the castle of Lampeter in 1146, but appears to have been incapacitated as ruler of Deheubarth after he was badly beaten by Norman knights near Tenby in 1151.  As Crouch argues, the ‘house’ of Cadell may well have been Lampeter castle.  The charter reveals that Totnes Priory had already held the church at Lampeter during the reign of Henry I (1100-35), and Crouch plausibly suggests that the original grantor was Stephen, constable of Cardigan.”

Stephen, Constable of Cardigan, m. (her 2nd) Nest, daughter of Rhys ap Tewdwr, last king of South Wales.

According to Anglican church sources, there are written mentions of churches using Llanbedr, “Bedr” being Welsh for “Peter,” dating to the mid-11th century, and obviously the usage is much earlier.

Names incorporating a religious motif were in use at this time:  the name of  Gospatric I, Earl of Northumberland and Dunbar (d. ca. 1074/5)  meant “servant of Patrick.”

The line connects to Sancha de Ayala through her father Diego Gomez through Suarez.

[Shakespeare’s immortal Moor Othello, portrayed by American/British actor Ira Aldridge (1807–1867).  In 1833 Aldridge became the first black actor to play Othello on the London stage.  Othello is one of Shakespeare’s greatest roles which has inspired both black and white actors—like Laurence Fishburne and Laurence Olivier. Olivier played the role in black makeup.  Today we conceive of the Moors as black, and that was true in most cases.  The character Othello, if played as historically accurate, would be one of the Berber generals mentioned in connection with Sulaiman al-Zafir.  As ibn Hazm remarked, the mixed racial composition of the Moors covered a wider spectrum.  That challenges our assumptions about race: what does “race” really mean?]

Another character who weaves in and out of this tale is Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar, or El Cid (ca. 1043–1099).  Although Spain’s National Hero, El Cid was a gun-for-hire or mercenary, with his own private army, fighting for Christians or Muslims as the fortunes of war dictated.  One of his clients was Alfonso VI, King of Castile and Leon.  El Cid’s passion was an independent principality in Valencia, which became reality, if only for awhile.  After  his death, his widow Ximena ruled until 1102, when she was advised by Alfonso VI that Valencia was indefensible.  The city was abandoned and burned to the ground.  The Arabic writer Ibn Bassam said of El Cid: “this man, the scourge of his time, by his appetite for glory, by the prudent steadfastness of his character, and by his heroic bravery, was one of the miracles of God.”  Fletcher (1990) p. 185.

Blanche of Artois, a descendant of El Cid’s daughter Christina, seems to have been the uterine crossroads of Medieval Europe.  Blanche married Edmund “Crouchback,” Earl of Lancaster and Leicester, bringing El Cid’s bloodline to England.

(Original tomb of El Cid and his wife Ximena at the monastery of San Pedro de Cardena.  El Cid’s horse Babieca was buried in the graveyard.  Babieca stayed put, but El Cid wandered around until finally re-interred at the Catedral de Santa Maria de Burgos.  Fletcher (1990), p. 123 says El Cid and Ximena were married in the summer of 1074 or 1075, and certainly by May 1076.  The parentage of El Cid and Ximena is disputed, although Ximena was of a noble Asturian family.)

[1864 painting by Marcos Giraldez de Acosta depicting Alfonso VI, king of Castile and Leon (in red cape) swearing on the bible that he had no complicity in the murder of his brother Sancho II.  Alfonso VI is looking at El Cid.  Sancho II was murdered, allegedly by a sword-thrust to the back, at Zamora on 6 Oct 1072.  If the tale is true, the unhappy Sancho II could not have known his killer.  Suspicion of responsibility for the murder must fall on Sancho II’s sister Urraca, whose city he was besieging, but the principal beneficiary was Alfonso VI.  At the time El Cid was employed by Sancho II, but was not implicated in the murder.  Paintings such as this one, made centuries after the fact, are intended to dramatize events and are not literal accounts.  Click on image to enlarge it.]

Returning to the focus of this piece, Todd A. Farmarie and Nathaniel L. Taylor (1998) seems to be the latest formal genealogical investigation of Sancha de Ayala. The authors examine three possible, but as they acknowledge, unproved royal descents—one from Alfonso VI of Castile, and two from Alfonso IX of Leon—all of which have problematic illegitimate generations even if “proved.”  They discount two claims of Muslim descents. Otherwise, they leave Sancha’s ethnicity a blank.

The above “soc.genealogy.medieval” thread was kicked off by references to Norman Roth’s (2002) book in a Wikipedia article.  Wikipedia, while useful as a jumping off point, is of itself an unacceptable source.  I obtained a copy of the book to examine it myself.

Let’s look at Sancha de Ayala and see what we can learn about her family. We begin with her maternal ancestors, the Ayala family:

Roth does not say in the text that Sancha’s uncle Pero Lopez de Ayala was of converso stock.  However, in “Appendix C Major Converso Families,” Ayala is among the “Converso Families Named by Lope de Barrientos and Fernan Diaz de Toledo.”  Lope de Barrientos (1395–1469) was Dominican master and bishop of Segovia, Avila, and Cuenca, and the personal confessor to King John (Juan) II of Castile, a highly influential position.  Barrientos was not unsympathetic to conversos, and I see no reason he would have concocted the list.  Barrientos stated that all of the Mendozas and Ayalas descended from a certain Rabbi Solomon and his son Isaque de Valladolid.  As Barrientos was writing after the death of Pero Lopez de Ayala, uncle of Sancha de Ayala, this comment must include him, and thus also Sancha’s grandfather Fernan Perez de Ayala.  Of interest is the inclusion of the Sotomayor family in the list, as Cardinal Pedro Gomez Barroso’s mother was Mencia Garcia de Sotomayor, a great-grandmother of Ines de Ayala.  Another interesting name in the list is Osorio, as Sancha’s 2nd great-grandmother was Elvira Alvarez de Osorio.  Carrillo is also a converso name appearing among Sancha de Ayala’s maternal forebears.

Turning to her father’s family, that of Diego Gomez:

Roth (2002) p. 94 identifies the wife of her 2nd-great-grandfather, Gome Perez, Aguacil Mayor (Chief Justice) of Toledo, as Horabuena, and states there is little doubt of her Jewish background.  On p. 378, he lists among the “Most Frequent Converso Names in Toledo” Garcia, Gomes, de Toledo, and Vasques, all names that figure in Sancha de Ayala’s paternal pedigree.

This is the complete list in Roth (2002), pp. 377–378:

“Appendix C Major Converso Families Converso Families Named by Lope de Barrientos and Fernan Diaz de Toledo [caps are mine]

ALARCON, ALBARES, ANAYA, ARAUJO (ARROYO? cf. also ARUQUE in Toledo; same?), AYALA, BARRIONUEVO, BERNALDEZ (BERNALDES), CARRILLO, CERVANTES, CUELLAR, FERNANDEZ (family of DIEGO FERNANDEZ DE CORDOBA, mariscal of JUAN II of CASTILE), FERNANDEZ MARMOLEJO, HURTADO DE MENDOZA (not the sons of INIGO LOPEZ DE MENDOZA, DIEGO HURTADO and HURTADO DE MENDOZE, but probably the family of JUAN HURTADO DE MENDOZA, connected with the DE LUNA family, who was the mayordomo mayor of JUAN II), LUNA (the CASTILE branch), LUYAN, MANRIQUE, MENDOZA (the MENDOZAS and AYALAS all descended from a certain “RABBI SOLOMON” and his son DON ISAQUE DE VALLADOLID, according to Lope de Barrientos), MIRANDA, MONROY, MOTICON, OCAMPO, OSORIO (OSSORIO), PENA LOZA, PESTIN, PIMENTEL, PORRA, ROJA, SANDOBAL, SANTI-ESTEBAN, SARABIA, SAUCEDOS (SALCEDOS), SOLI, SOTOMAYOR, VALDEZ.

Most Frequent Converso Names in Toledo

ALCOCER, ALONSO, ALVARES, DE AVILA, DEL CASTILLO, DE CORDOBA, COTA, CUELLAR, DE CUENCA, DIAS, DUENAS, FARO (or HARO), FERRANDES, DE LA FUENTE, FUNESALIDA, GARCIA, GOMES, GONCALES (GONZALEZ), HUSILLO, DE ILLESCAS, JARADA, DE LEON, LOPES, MONTALVAN, NUNES, DE OCANA, ORTIS, DE LA PENA, PRADO, PULGAR, RODRIGUES, DE LA RUA, SANCHES, SAN PEDRO, DE SEGOVIA, SERRANO, DE SEVILLA, SORGE (SORJE), DE TOLEDO, DE LA TORRE, TORRIJOS, DE UBEDA, VASQUES (VAZQUEZ), DE VILLA REAL, DE LA XARA (JARA).”

What happened to the Jewish names of these people?  When families converted to Catholicism, they changed their name, and their “Christian” name might bear no resemblance to their Jewish name.

The Spanish Inquisition is one of the most lurid episodes in Catholic history. It’s difficult to estimate the numbers of those condemned or imprisoned—but the number is in the thousands, not tens of thousands.  That doesn’t take into account those who fled, or had their property confiscated.   An apt comparison are the Salem Witch Trials on a much larger scale.

The following should convey the gravity of the situation, for even death might not spare one from the Inquisition:

“Also, the Inquisition proceeded against those already dead, ‘because it happened that some of these in their lives had incurred this sin of heresy and apostasy’; their bones were dug up and publicly burned and their property and the inheritances of their descendants were seized by the Crown.”  Roth (2002), p. 227.

Due to the seriousness of the situation, I have to accept Lope de Barrientos and Fernan Diaz de Toledo as accurate.  Unlike de Barrientos, Fernan Diaz de Toledo was a Converso.  He served as secretary to John (Juan) II, king of Castile.  Lope de Barrientos and Fernan Diaz de Toledo were very important men in Castile.

As Roth (2002), p. 95 remarks:

“Even though a certain amount of bragging and self-aggrandizement is evident in all this, he [Fernan Diaz] would not dare make such statements (nor would the more renowned and sober Barrientos repeat them) were they not true.  As relator and secretary to the king, Fernan Diaz was ‘always with him,’ as Barrientos says in his Cronica, and personally knew all the nobility.”

One of the difficulties here is the perception that only Jews who had converted to Catholicism and subsequently returned to Judaism were subjected to persecution; but there was a separate, older stream of persecution aimed at Jews generally.  So it’s true families named in the lists are indeed Jewish, but some members had converted at an earlier date.  The trunk of the family tree was Jewish, but not all of its branches converted at the same time.

“Although there did exist some country-dwellers among the Jews of al-Andalus, the vast majority of them lived in the cities.  These urban Jewish communities could be sizeable: there were at least twelve synagogues in Toledo.”  Fletcher (2006), p. 95.

The tendency of Jews to reside in urban areas made repression relatively easy and effective.

Catholic apologists blame the persecution on evil men.  But the popes encouraged and supported the process.  By the 13th century papal bulls were reserved for formal or solemn communications from the pope.  The “bull” was so named for the pope’s lead seal that authenticated the document.  The popes vacillated in their Jewish policy, at times pleading for better treatment of Jews.  It’s fair to say papal instructions for sanctions against them resulted in sustained suffering, but the impact was not always uniform, as witnessed by the necessity for repeated orders by various pontiffs.  Though technically not forcible conversion, nonetheless these measures should be construed as intimidation to exert pressure on Jews to convert.

In 1205 Pope Innocent III issued Esti Judaeos which allowed Jews their houses of worship but prohibited them from eating with Christians and owning Christian slaves.

In 1207 Innocent III ordered Jews of Spain to pay tithes on possessions obtained from Christians.

In 1218 Pope Honorius III issued In generali concilio, to the archbishop of Toledo, ordering Jews to wear clothing to distinguish themselves from Christians, and that they must pay tithe to local churches.  The requirement stemmed from the 4th Lateran Council of 1215.

The 1239 bull Si vera sunt of Pope Gregory IX, addressed to kings and prelates of France and Spain, ordered seizure of the Talmud and all other Jewish books suspected of blaspheming Jesus.  Renewed in 1264 by Pope Clement IV.

In the bull Turbato Corde (1267), addressed to inquisitors of heresy, Clement IV fulminated against wickedness:  “With a troubled heart we relate what we have heard, that [several reprobate Christians] have abandoned the true faith and have wickedly transferred themselves to the rite of the Jews…. Against Jews whom you may find guilty of having induced Christians of either sex to join their execrable rite, or whom you may find doing so in the future, you shall impose fitting punishment.  By means of appropriate ecclesiastical censure you shall silence all who oppose you.  If necessary you may call on the secular arm.”

(My point here is by the early 13th century the Catholic church began to place restrictions on the activities of Jews.  It could not have been a secret that the church was moving into a more confrontational policy regarding Jews, so some families of Jewish descent probably began to conceal their ancestry prior to this time.  Only an idiot would put a Jewish ancestor in their family history.

Given the corruption of the age, bribing officials must have been common.  Today we call it “protection money.”  The late 14th century “de Ayala” family history, portions of which are known to be wrong, should not be taken at face value.)

Rather than offer another estimate of Inquisition victims, let’s view the matter from the vantage point of a Catholic archivist who witnessed the proceedings:

“10 June 1491.  Some 126 burned.”

On one day.  In Barcelona.  A little hazy on the exact number.  The flames washed it all away.

[Puerta de Bisagra Antigua (gate to the city of Toledo), 10th century.]

The Inquisition has never entirely disappeared.  Today it’s known as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Norman Roth’s book is required reading for those with ancestors in this time and place.

To sum up: much of Sancha de Ayala’s ancestry on both sides of her family was Sephardic Jewish in origin, and she had at least one known Mozarab ancestor.  The tolerant polity in Toledo established by King Alfonso VI of Castile began to deteriorate after his death in 1109, and in the second half of the 14th century succumbed to political strife and religious agitation, which culminated in the Spanish Inquisition.

Studying these historical streams from their different perspectives challenges our assumptions of how the modern world was created.

LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF RALPH VERNON CHIPMAN

•November 14, 2016 • Comments Off on LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF RALPH VERNON CHIPMAN

A Will is a public document.  This Will was drawn up by Linnea Esther Thompson of Moline, IL.  At the time she was a practicing attorney.  She’s currently a judge in the 14th Judicial Circuit of Illinois.  She also witnessed the will.  The second witness, Christine Marie Wignall of Rock Island, IL, evidently worked for Thompson.

It’s an interesting document.  My father was not wealthy, but lived a comfortable life.  According to the Will, if my father pre-deceased my mother Valerie B. Chipman, Valerie was to receive everything.  The Will doesn’t say “for the period of her natural life.”  There isn’t even a token bequest for his 4 children.  His grandson Wesley David Allred is autistic.  Wesley’s Guardians are his parents Arthur David and Debora Ann (Chipman) Allred.  Debora is my sister.

On 18 Sep 2016, Ralph Vernon Chipman died of Alzheimers Dementia at an assisted living complex in Plainfield, IL.  My family inserted me into my father’s his obituary but did not notify me of his death or invite me to his funeral.  I’m 65 years old and receive government benefits.  Those benefits would not prevent receipt of funds from a Trust.  I’m unmarried and currently have no descendants, so my father wanted my Trust to cease at my demise.

The Will was filed for probate by attorney Patricia T. Gruber of Plainfield, IL.

(Click on images to enlarge.)

Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu & Zen Too

•November 12, 2016 • Comments Off on Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu & Zen Too

Chen, Ellen M.  (1989).  The Tao Te Ching A New Translation With Commentary.  St. Paul: Paragon House.

Chuang Tzu; Palmer, Martin, trans.; et al. (2006).  The Book of Chuang Tzu.  London and New York: Penguin Books.

Dogen, Eihei; Tanahashi, Kazuaki, ed.; Aitken, Robert, et. al., trans.  (1985).  Moon in a Dewdrop Writings Of Zen Master Dogen.  New York: North Point Press Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Padmasambhava; Dorje, Gyurme, trans.; Coleman, Graham and Jinpa, Thupten, eds.  (2007).  The Tibetan Book Of The Dead First Complete Translation The Great Liberation By Hearing In the Intermediate States Introductory Commentary by His Holiness The Dalai Lama.  New York: Penguin Books USA.

Shibayama, Zenkei; Kudo, Sumiko, trans.  (2000).  The Gateless Barrier Zen Comments on the Mumonkan.  Boston:  Shambhala.

The practice of Tao is mankind’s oldest religious practice, although Taoism is neither religion nor philosophy.  The Tao is the Reality which exists before words.

There’s confusion about the meaning of the Tao symbol:

The Black is the Source, which is Non-Being.  The White is the Phenomenal Universe, which is Emptiness.  The White dot in the Black and the Black dot in the White signify that the Black and the White are not different.  All of reality is subsumed in the symbol as the Eternal Wheel.

It was said of the Ancients that they were Complete.  We do not know exactly who wrote The Tao Te Ching, but it is probably the work of several hands.  It was common in the ancient world to attribute important works to someone of eminence, so we may presume Lao Tzu, the reputed author, was a real person.  How much he contributed to the work that bears his name is unknown.

Taosim is certainly older than Buddhism, and the Chinese, being practical, adapted Buddhism to their own mind.  In the sayings of the Chinese Zen masters, whether as koan (teaching points) or mondo (more elaborate exchanges), the monk’s anguished questions “What is Buddha?” or “What is Tao?” are the same: “What is Reality?  Who am I?” Sometimes the monk is defeated in the koan but emerges victorious in the commentary, so keep an eye on the monk.

Although the mind innately perceives both the Source and the Phenomenal Universe, because the Source is mistaken for ignorance we’re prone to dualistic thinking, abstract concepts, and speculation.  We all correctly perceive the Source as Non-Being, but erroneously conclude we are lacking something, when in fact we lack nothing and are in full possession of the Truth.  We have an intellect, and intellect demands an object, but Non-Being is not an object and cannot be conceptualized. Thus we posit an artificial, dualistic “self” (or ego) which is purely a creation of the intellect, an invention to fill a void.  There is nothing wrong with that per se—we all live our story—but its foundation is misconstrued.

This feeling of  lacking something is what sends us all on a perilous metaphysical journey in search of answers.  And though our metaphysical problem is intellectual, not existential, even clever Zen students can wear out many sandals before realizing they are pursuing an abstraction.  What fascinates me about this universal human condition is that the creation of an artificial, dualistic “self” is actually based upon an accurate, yet misunderstood, perception of ultimate reality which is Non-Being.

Taoism went into decline, becoming a vapid Yin-Yang cult centered around the quest for longevity. The belief that the Tao symbol referred to the potential of complementary or harmonious opposites became widespread:  that everything within itself contains the seed of its opposite—kind of cosmic Ping-Pong, the interplay between the Black (male) and White (female) which gives rise to all things.  As there are no opposites this is false, but it was more easily grasped than the true meaning of the symbol. 

Due to its brevity there have been many translations of The Tao Te Ching, but the translator may be led astray if biased by a theory of its meaning.  In writing about Taoism and Zen, one must use words as a reference point rather than a destination, and that requires skill.  Ellen M. Chen’s translation of The Tao Te Ching is beautiful in its simplicity and directness, with a commentary that relates the text to other seminal works, including Christian writings.

The Book of Chuang Tzu, a genuine Taoist work dating to the 4th century BC, is interesting because it is so antagonistic to Confucian traditionalists.  Evidently Taoists found Confucius too objective.  The Book of Chuang Tzu contains this passage:

Toeless said:  “Confucius has definitely not become a perfect man yet, has he?”

Lao Tzu said:  “‘Why not help him to see that birth and death are one thing, and that right and wrong are one thing, and so free him from the chains and irons?”

From this it is obvious that later Taoist practitioners were utterly confused.  To be free from chains and irons is to have no obstruction.  To have no obstruction is to be Complete. To be Complete is to recognize the Source and Universe as non-dual.

Some people believe life is a dream.  It’s not a dream.  Life is an illusion.  An illusion that like a dream has no beginning and no end.  A dream is an illusion of a dream within an illusion.

What we perceive as reality is actually the reflection of Non-Being, like reflections in a mirror. Those reflections are the Phenomenal Universe, including our body and all that we sense:  sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, and mental phenomena. The reflection is a projection, and the medium is mind.  Beyond this there is nothing.  This is what the Ancients sought to preserve in the Tao symbol.

One  of the problems challenging Westerners in understanding Taoist and Zen texts are contradictory statements.  The great Japanese Zen master Dogen wrote:  “You should not remain bewildered when you hear the words, ‘Mountains flow’; but together with buddha ancestors you should study these words.  When you take one view you see mountains flowing, and when you take another view, mountains are not flowing.  One time mountains are flowing, another time they are not flowing.”

I would tell Dogen:  If one lives without self-consciousness, there is neither “Flowing” nor “Not Flowing.”  Before it is called a mountain it is a mountain; we call it a mountain to remember it.

Zen is very easy to understand and very difficult to understand.  An abstraction is a frozen “thing,” a concept or definition. We constantly revise concepts and definitions of things, and think that brings us closer to reality when we have actually erected a more sophisticated barrier.

When we take a point of view, when we reference ourselves, there is “Flowing.”  That is the Relative.  When we take no point of view, there is “Not Flowing.”  That is the Absolute.  But in Zen, we’re not concerned about “Flowing” or “Not Flowing.”  We can experience either without entrapping ourselves.  Then “Flowing” is “Not Flowing,” “Not Flowing” is “Flowing.”  To deal with “Flowing” and “Not Flowing” is to be the Master of Words.  To be confused about which is right and which is wrong is to be Bound by Words.  People read Dogen and do not understand that his Way is strewn with words.  For Dogen, these words are the expression of his Life, but for others they may be a trap.

All things change as they flow. The changes can be dramatic or nearly imperceptible.  A “thing” cannot flow—it’s artificial. Life isn’t a “thing,” it’s a dynamic. In order for a “thing” to flow, it must become something other than itself, in which case the “thing” that it was is meaningless, because it was never really that “thing.”  I know this sounds nonsensical, but it’s the truth.  We can feel ourselves flow, and as we flow, so does all of existence. Synchronicity.  For us to perceive anything it must flow with us. If it didn’t, we could not perceive it. Therefore, ourselves and what we perceive are not a duality. 

So for anything to flow, it must be Nothing.  I call that Non-Being: it’s never really anything and cannot be said to exist in the conventional sense.  The Universe is not something created, it’s the ceaseless activity of Non-Being.

But even after being told that abstraction by its very nature isn’t reality, we keep trying to understand reality in abstract terms.  The only obstacle to the Direct Recognition of Reality is our addiction to abstraction.  Zen isn’t something you figure out, it’s your Life. More words don’t make more understanding. Philosophically minded people might find this explanation useful. 

If you can grasp the principle of one second following another, you can walk from one end of the Universe to the other in a single step.

Zen Rock Garden

This column discusses my experience with Zen.  TV and Madison Avenue to the contrary, not everyone loves Zen.  Ultra-conservative Christian groups consider Zen Buddhism to be a cult. Zen Buddhism is not a cult.  It traces its history to the Indian Buddhist Patriarch Bodhidharma, who appeared in China about 1500 years ago.  Over the course of its 2500 year history, Buddhism has experienced sporadic repression, most recently in Tibet and Vietnam. There are also those who condemn Zen as Nihilism or Infantile Narcissism, but the ills which so often plague mankind seem rather the province of Objectivism.   

The confluence of Mahayana Buddhism and Chinese Taoism marks the development of the spiritual practice known as Zen Buddhism.  Mahayana Buddhism and Taoism were not in themselves deficient, but the resulting practice became very popular due to its immediacy, directness, and ability to incorporate cultural metaphors.  

Although it’s difficult to get a precise figure of the number of Buddhists in the United States, in 2012 the newspaper U-T San Diego estimated 1.2 million.  Of these, Pure Land, Tibetan, and traditional Theravadan Buddhists certainly outnumber Zen Buddhists, whose numbers are below 100,000, and perhaps closer to 50,000.  It’s estimated 40% of the nation’s Buddhists live in Southern California.

In this piece I used the term “Non-Being” for Ultimate Reality rather than Bankei’s “Unborn,” DT Suzuki’s “Unconscious,” or Suzuki-Roshi’s “Big Being.”  “Unborn” and “Unconscious” are both words that in the West have other definitions, which can be confusing.  “Big-Being,” and terms like it such as “True-Self,” “Big-Self,” “Mind” (with a capitol “M”) etc. also have problems.  Those terms are not intended to encourage conceptualization, but they do.  If there is a “Being,” then the intellect wants to know what “That” is.  The Western consciousness is absorbed in ontology, and words, being abstraction, can only convey the spirit of Zen.  “Non-Being” utterly wipes out any conceptualization while preserving the central mystery which is dynamic.  To put it into Zen terms, since there is not even a hair’s separation of one thing from another, “Non-Being” is a good phrase for one pole of reality. Of course, “Non-Being” and the “Phenomenal Universe” are not really a duality.

If you want to study Zen, I recommend studying under a teacher from an authorized lineage so you know who are their spiritual ancestors.  A Zen teacher must have the experience to size up a student and assign an appropriate practice. If a student experiences “enlightenment,” “awakening,” “kensho,” or “satori,” that doesn’t mean the student can instruct others or has the temperament to instruct others. An individual’s practice isn’t a straight line and they need a teacher who understands how to deal with that.  Avoid charlatans—there are always those who prey on the naive and bewildered for their own material gain.

Revised Apr. 9, 2016

Who was James Edward Chipman? / William & Milly (Standifer) Chipman’s Family / Cynthia or Sarah: Who was James Edward Chipman’s Mother? / Lauderdale Co., TN Tax Lists / Who were the Wilborns? / Miller Excursus/ James Edward Chipman’s siblings: Cynthia Ann (Chipman) Koonce of Lauderdale Co., TN & Benjamin Chipman of Blytheville, AR

•August 23, 2016 • Comments Off on Who was James Edward Chipman? / William & Milly (Standifer) Chipman’s Family / Cynthia or Sarah: Who was James Edward Chipman’s Mother? / Lauderdale Co., TN Tax Lists / Who were the Wilborns? / Miller Excursus/ James Edward Chipman’s siblings: Cynthia Ann (Chipman) Koonce of Lauderdale Co., TN & Benjamin Chipman of Blytheville, AR

Over the years I’ve been fortunate to correspond with people who provided information about my family from personal knowledge.   This case concerns the mother of my great-grandfather James Edward Chipman (1879–1956).

(James Edward Chipman married Allie May Oxley on 25 Dec 1901.)

James Edward Chipman’s father was known to be Joe Chipman.  Family tradition held that his mother was Cynthia Miller.  That assertion found its way into his obituary in The Dunklin Democrat of Kennett, MO for 9 Feb 1956 (his wife was Allie—not Ollie—Oxley; a second obituary in the same issue corrected the names of his children):

The first record I have in Dunklin Co. MO for James Edward (“Ed”) Chipman is this entry in the 1900 Dunklin Co., MO census (Series T623, Roll 853, p.4), which shows him living with his cousin Charles Monroe (“CM” or “Charley”) Chipman:

Charley Chipman was James Edward Chipman’s cousin, but also a close friend.  Charley Chipman was the son of Thomas Jefferson Chipman and wife Nancy Tennessee Manning.  Nancy was called “Tennie.”

There were two Thomas Jefferson Chipmans in Lauderdale Co., TN:  one the son of William Chipman, and the other the son of William Chipman’s brother George Chipman.

(Thomas Jefferson Chipman, 1846–1930, son of William Chipman.)

The above is the death certificate of Charley Chipmans’s father Thomas Jefferson Chipman, whose own father is given  as William Chipman.  The next death certificate, which belongs to Thomas Jefferson Chipman’s brother Benjamin F. Chipman, adds another piece of information:  the mother’s maiden name is shown as “Stanford.” “Stanford” is a corruption of “Standifer,” which was also rendered as “Standefer,” “Standford,” and “Standiford.”

Of William Chipman’s wife Milly (Standifer) Chipman, I have this from the National Archives and Records Administration, which shows that Nancy (Echols) Standifer died in 1864, and was survived by her children Joshua Standifer, Sarah Howard, Milly Chipman, and Leroy Standifer.  The letter is part of the Revolutionary War pension file of Milly’s father Benjamin Standifer, who died in Bledsoe Co., TN on 13 Mar 1839.

William Chipman didn’t leave a will or estate.  He had mortgaged his farm in exchange for supplies and was unable to pay off the note.  He had nothing to pass on to his children. The irony is that William Chipman, unlike his brothers George Chipman and Washington Chipman, was not a slave owner.  And yet Reconstruction was a disaster for William, but his brothers sailed through it.

Let’s return to the primary focus of this piece:  was James Edward Chipman’s mother really Cynthia Miller?

Actually, her name was Sarah A. Miller.  And a correspondent from Lauderdale Co., TN, where the Millers lived, furnished the proof.  The “Cynthia” under discussion here is Cynthia Ann Chipman, sister of James Edward Chipman.

This is excellent evidence from someone who knew the Koonce family intimately, being related to it by marriage.  Bessie Koonce’s husband was the nephew of John Bennett Koonce, and John Bennet Koonce was Cynthia’s husband.  Like many Southerners, John Bennett Koonce used his middle name.

On page 2, Bessie Koonce states a relationship between Cynthia and Wes Miller:  Wes Miller was Cynthia’s uncle.  How can we use this information to conclusively establish the identity of James Edward Chipman’s mother?

The 1880 Lauderdale Co., TN census (p. 40, SD 5, ED 84) shows Howard Miller with a son named Wesley.  Wes Miller was Cynthia’s uncle, so Howard Miller was Cynthia’s grandfather.  Therefore, Cynthia’s mother had to be a daughter of Howard Miller.

Howard Miller didn’t have a daughter named Cynthia, but he did have a daughter named Sarah, as shown in the 1870 Lauderdale Co., TN census (p. 595):

(Sarah’s brother William E. “Billy” Miller had married Mary Ann Chipman, daughter of William Chipman, on 6 Oct 1867, and wasn’t present in Howard Miller’s household in 1870.  He was present in Howard Miller’s household in 1860.)

Joseph Chipman (middle initial “H”) was the son of William Chipman.  The Chipmans lived near the Millers, as this 1870 Lauderdale Co, TN census entry shows (p. 595):

Sarah A. Miller married Joseph Chipman.  W.E. “Billy” Miller was the bondsman:

(Actual marriage record.  Click on image to enlarge it.)

Joseph Chipman named his eldest son Benjamin after his brother Benjamin, his daughter Cynthia Ann after his sister Cynthia, and his youngest child James Edward after his grandfather James.  James Washington Chipman, son of William Chipman’s brother George Chipman, was Joseph Chipman’s first cousin; their descendants were close friends as the families moved further south into Arkansas.

Joseph Chipman is listed in the 1880 Lauderdale Co., TN Agricultural census as farming 15 acres of rented land  in District 6.  Like many Southerners, he struggled in the aftermath of the Civil War.

Sarah A. (Miller) Chipman didn’t live to see her three children become adults.  According to James Edward Chipman’s medical records, she died of pneumonia.  On 29 Jun 1881, Joseph Chipman (“Jo” is an abbreviation of “Joseph”) married Addie Osteen.  Joseph Chipman’s brother Benajmin F. Chipman was the bondsman.  There was no issue of the marriage.

(Actual marriage record.  Click on image to enlarge it.)

So who was Addie Osteen?  Adaline Osteen, age 16 (born in 1864) was residing with her aunt Jane Singleton in the 6th District of Lauderdale Co.  (1880 Lauderdale Co., TN Federal Census, p. 163). The 1870 Federal Census (p. 591) shows Adaline as the daughter of William and Cathy Osteen residing in the 6th District.  Addie was no more than 18 years old when she married Joseph Chipman. Joseph Chipman was typical of men in rural communities—he didn’t look far afield for a wife.

Thus far, the family history is well documented, but there’s one loose end:  what happened to Joseph Chipman?

In the late 1980s, I visited the Lauderdale Co., TN courthouse in Ripley.  I asked a clerk about the county’s old tax records.  I was directed to a room in the basement.  There I found old tax books in no particular order, and leafed through them, copying the names of various Chipmans who had lived in the county.  I managed to locate the books for 1873, 1875, 1877–1881, and 1888–1889.  I found Joseph Chipman in the 1875, and 1877–1881 Tax Lists.  Sometimes he was listed as “Joe,” and sometimes just “Jo.”  The 1881 Tax List reported him in District 6.  And that’s the last record I have for Joseph Chipman in Lauderdale County, but I did not examine Tax Lists for 1882–1887.  By 1880, all of Joseph Chipman’s three children had been born.

These notes were taken directly from the tax books.  I don’t know if the tax books still exist or where they are now.

When Sarah A. (Miller) Chipman died, as was often the case the children were sent to live with relatives.  A widower could not work and take care of small children.  Second wives, especially those as young as Addie,  might balk at caring for children who weren’t hers.  Benjamin, Cynthia Ann, and James Edward lived for a time with Joseph Chipman’s sister Mary Ann, who had married William E. “Billy” Miller in Lauderdale Co. on 6 Oct 1867.  After Billy Miller died on 10 May 1884, the children were placed with Joseph Chipman’s brother Thomas Jefferson Chipman.  Tom Chipman resented taking care of three more children, and made certain the children knew it.

Joseph Chipman never returned for his children.  According to James Edward Chipman’s medical records, Joseph Chipman died in 1888 of grippe (an archaic term for “influenza”), a highly contagious viral disease that produces a fever.

Therefore, the following deed is not that of James Edward Chipman’s father.  In Madison County, TN, on 1 Jan 1892, “Joe Chipman” purchased a tract of 80 acres from W.C. Pipkin.  W.C. Pipkin was William Clark Pipkin, a grandson of Washington Chipman.  The terms of the sale were these:  Joe Chipman promised to pay a series of 7 installments of $150.00 each, every 1 Jan from 1892 to 1898.  After Pipkin received the installments for 1892 and 1893, he registered the deed:

I conducted a thorough search of records in Madison Co., but could not locate another deed or any probate papers for this individual.  The deed belongs to Jos Chipman who married Hattie Dunlap on 8 Jan 1881 in Madison Co., TN.  They were African-American.

Family tradition isn’t always accurate and should be verified with facts.  In this instance, family tradition correctly identified the surname of James Edward Chipman’s mother, but was in error regarding her given name—an error repeated in the letter that follows. Why was Sarah A. (Miller) Chipman known as “Cynthia”?  Sometimes a woman didn’t like her given name and took another.  In the specific case of this family, there was a precedent: Sarah’s mother Leitha (Hargis) Miller also went by the name of “Caroline.”

This excerpt is from a letter dated 12 Oct 1962 from Ruby (Bohannon) Chipman, wife of Jewell Vester Chipman (brother of my grandfather Beecher Edgar Chipman) to Pauline Aquilla (Chipman) Page and her husband Carl Davis Page.  In the transcription that follows, I’ve left the spelling errors intact.  “Papa Chipman” is James Edward Chipman.

“The new clipping you sent was quite  interesting because when we attended Charley Chipman sisters funeral  at Ripley Tenn. When we were living at West Memphis we meet some  Drumwrights they are apart of Papa Chipman family.

Papa Chipmans mother was a Cynthia  Miller and the Millers at Kennett and Cardwell are his relatives also  the Wilborns at Senath and Cardwell but I do not know how the  Wilborns are connected.  Charley Chipmans sister married Frank Miller  and she was Mollie Chipman.  She still lives at Kennett.  While we  were at W. Memphis we went to visit Jewells cousins at Ripley and  Memphis.  They are aunt Cynthia Koons or (Coons) children Duprie,  Gertrude ? And Mrs. Cecil B. Keltner 645 Pope.  (This is Lily Mae  Koons)  They seemed to hardly remember you all and we didn’t find  much in common to talk about.

The one in Memphis was much easier to  talk to and seemed glad that we came.  We visited her after we had  visited the others and perhaps they had told her about our visit and  she had time to think.  The others were taken by supprise.”

It’s not the Miller family that interests me here.  I puzzled over the reference to “the Wilborns” for some time, and then I discovered this in A Chipman Genealogy (1970) pp. 69–70, in the biography of John Chipman of Guilford Co., NC.  The line as given by John Hale Chipman III was not entirely correct:  John Chipman was the son of Paris (or Perez) Chipman Jr., but Paris Chipman Jr.’s parents were James and Mary (Minor) Chipman.  The rest of the line is accurate.  Our ancestors frequently spelled phonetically and Paris was pronounced “Perez” as in a southern drawl. 

I found the answer to the puzzle in 107–iii:  “Deborah Chipman b. Nov. 3, 1787; m. Moses Wilborn.”  John Chipman of Guilford Co., NC and James Chipman of Bledsoe Co., TN were first cousins.  Note that John Chipman was born in Kent Co., DE, as was my 4th great-grandfather James Chipman. John Chipman and James Chipman would have known each other.  James Chipman was about 13 years old when at age 23 John Chipman moved to Guilford Co., NC.  My 3rd great-grandfather William Chipman (1814–1874) was Deborah (Chipman) Wilborn’s second cousin.

Back in the late 1980s I exchanged a series of letters with Robert L. Shearer, a descendant of John Jump.  John Jump allegedly had a daughter named Nancy who married John Chipman of Grant Co., KY.  Robert, author of Jump Genealogy, proved that John Jump wasn’t from Guilford Co., NC—and he sent me a copy of this letter, now 25 years old, which is quite helpful.  It shows that Deborah (Chipman) Wilborn died in MO.

The notes are a little hard to read, so I’ve transcribed them:

HER CHART

26.  Dauphin Perkins b. Sep 1809 OH d. 24 Nov 1893 m. 15 Sep 1849

27.  Caroline Welborn b. 22 Apr 1829 NC

54.  Moses Welborn b. 9 July 1783 Rowan Co. NC d. 11 Jan 1851

55.  Deborah Chipman b. 8 Nov 1787 Guilford Co. NC d. 18 Sept 1872

110.  John Chipman b. 24 Mar 1761

111.  Mary (Harris) b. 23 May 1761

Some sources say Deborah (Chipman) Wilborn died on 17 Sep 1871 in Pilot Point, TX.  This is an example of a specific, though wrong, date of death, and wrong place of death. How did that happen?  The bible record is preferred over other sources.  Deborah (Chipman) Wilborn actually died a year later, and is buried in a family cemetery in DeKalb Co., MO.

__________________________________________________________

Serendipity:  the discovery of something fortunate; the accidental discovery of something pleasant, valuable, or useful.

___________________________________________

FAMILY OF CYNTHIA ANN (CHIPMAN) KOONCE, SISTER OF JAMES EDWARD CHIPMAN (1879-1956)

I don’t have many records on the Koonce family.  James Edward Chipman’s sister Cynthia Ann (Sinthy) Chipman married John Bennett Koonce on 7 Dec 1895 in Lauderdale Co., TN.

According to her death certificate, Sinthy died on 1 Dec 1926 at Central, in Lauderdale Co.  When I visited Ripley, TN about 20 years ago, I stopped by the local newspaper, and found this brief obituary in “The Lauderdale Co. Enterprise”  3 Dec 1926, p. 5:

“Mrs. J.B. Koonce died Wednesday at her home near Central after an illness of several weeks.  She is survived by two children.  Her husband died a few months ago.  Her remains were laid to rest in Mt. Pleasant cemetary Thursday morning.”

The children of John Bennett and Cynthia Ann (Chipman) Koonce were:

Dupree D. (Dewey) Koonce b. 28 Oct 1898 d. 21 Jun 1972; Edna Gertrude Koonce b. 1902; Lily Mae Koonce b. 1908; Ethel Koonce b. 1911; Imogene Koonce b. 1915; and William Koonce.

MILLER EXCURSUS

The 1880 Lauderdale Co., TN Federal Census lists Howard Miller living in District 7, p. 186:

Howard Miller 66 b. NC (widower, deceased wife b. LA), Jane 20 b. TN (dau.), Ellen 15 b. TN (dau.), Millage 17 b. TN (son), Wesley 7. b. TN (son), Margaret A. 4 b. TN (granddaughter).

The 1870 Lauderdale Co., TN Federal Census lists Howard Miller in District 7, p. 595:

Howard Miller 57 b. NC, Caroline 48 b. FLA, Sarah 21 b. TN, Mary 17 b. TN, Jane 12 b. TN, James 9 b. TN, Miledge 6 b. TN, Ellen 4 b. TN

Joseph H. Chipman married Sarah A. Miller on 31 Aug 1873 in Lauderdale Co.  Sarah was born in Shelby Co., TN, where she’s listed with her parents, Howard M. and [Leitha] Caroline Miller in the 1850 Shelby Co. Federal Census, p. 258.  Philip B. Hargis was residing in an adjacent household.

Howard Miller married Leitha Caroline Hargis on 20 Jun 1844 in Shelby Co.   By 1859, the family had moved to Lauderdale Co., when on 3 Oct 1859, Howard Miller mortgaged his cotton crop and a two horse waggon to B.M. Flippin (Lauderdale Co., TN Deed Book H, p. 356).

The 1860 Lauderdale Co., TN Federal Census lists Howard Miller in District 7, p. 371:

Howard Miller 46 b. NC, Lethe 33 b. GA, Frances 15 b. TN, William 13 b. TN, Sarah 11 b. TN, Emiline 9 b. TN, John 7 b. TN, Alexina 5 b. TN, Mary 3 b. TN, Eliza 1 b. TN (This record shows that Leitha Caroline Hargis was born in GA in 1827.  Philip B. Hargis was living in Randolph Co., GA in 1830.)

The 1850 Shelby Co., TN Federal Census lists Howard M. Miller on p. 130A:

Howard M. Miller 23 b. NC, Caroline 20 b. GA, Frances 5 b. TN, Wm. 4 b. TN, Sarah 1 b. TN

What fascinates me about Howard and Leitha Caroline (Hargis) Miller is this:  Howard’s wife was “Letha” when he married her in 1844, called herself “Caroline” in the 1850 Shelby Co. census, became “Lethe” again in 1860, and wound up as “Caroline” once more in 1870.  By 1880 she was deceased.  Presumably the angels sorted it all out when she presented herself at the gates of Heaven.

Leitha Caroline (Hargis) Miller was probably the daughter of Philip B. and Marian W. (Fincher) Hargis, who married 10 Oct 1820 in Burke Co., NC.  Philip B. Hargis was the son of Jonathan and Priscilla (Askew) Hargis, and a grandson of Shadrach Hargis (d. 25 Jan 1816), a Captain in the Revolutionary War.  Jonathan Hargis died in Tipton Co., TN on  14 Aug 1837.  The Hargis family was of colonial Maryland origin.

Philip B. Hargis had a son Milledge A. Hargis (living in Conway Co., AR in 1860), and Howard and Leitha Miller had a son Millage Miller.   It’s a very unusual name, and onomastic evidence in this instance is compelling.

On 16 Mar 1846 in Shelby Co., Howard Miller and P.B. Hargis witnessed the will of Polly Bennett (Shelby Co. Will Record C-1, pp. 338-339).  Philip B. Hargis was living as late as 24 Jan 1856, when he sold Levi Baldock his interest in a tract of land (Shelby Co., TN Deed Book 24, p. 618).  Except for Leitha Caroline (Hargis) Miller, all of Philip B. Hargis’s surviving children moved to Conway Co., AR.

Sally Hargis, a daughter of Jonathan and Priscilla (Askew) Hargis, married Hiram Miller 31 Mar 1821 in Burke Co., NC.  Howard Miller (born NC) doesn’t appear to be connected to any Miller family residing in Shelby Co. at the time, but Miller being a common name, I’ve been unable to further trace his ancestry.

________________________________________________

This is another family for which I have few records, but I have corresponded with Robert Craig, a grandson of Charles Samuel and Willie Edna (Chipman) Craig.

FAMILY OF BENJAMIN CHIPMAN (1874-1913), BROTHER OF JAMES EDWARD CHIPMAN (1879-1956)

Benjamin Chipman b. Nov 1874 in Virginia, d. 23 Dec 1913 in Blytheville, Mississippi Co., Arkansas, buried at Sawyer Cemetary in SE Blytheville (no marker).

Married 2 Mar 1899 in Mississippi Co., (her first) Annie Ashcraft, b. 12 Oct 1878, d. 18 Apr 1970 in Osceola, Arkansas.

[Obituary for Annie (Ashcraft) Chipman Wright, “The Courier News,” Blytheville, AR for 20 Apr 1970, p. 4.]

Children:

Willie Edna Chipman, b. 1 Apr 1900, d. 21 Jun 1980, m. Charles Samuel Craig

[Tombstone for Willie Edna (Chipman) Craig at Elmwood cemetery, Blytheville, AR.  Tombstone gives death date as 23 Jun 1980.]

Marvin Chipman, b. 10 Jul 1902, d. 25 Jul 1980, bur. at Mississippi Memorial Gardens in Osceola, AR; m. Jody Viola Raport

Gertie Chipman, b. 24 Apr 1904, d. 23 Sep 1980; according to mother’s obituary m. — Flanigan

John Chipman, b. 28 Jan 1906, d. 10 Jan 1987

(“The Courier News,” of Blytheville, AR.  There is a discrepancy: the family information I received indicates John David Chipman was 81 when he died.)

Joe Bill Chipman, b. 7 Mar 1908, d. 16 Nov 1973

(“The Courier-News” of Blytheville, AR, Saturday, November 17, 1973.)

Lillie Chipman, b. 5 Jun 1912, d. 22 Oct 1928

Mollie P. Chipman, b. 8 Mar 1914 (posthumous), m. A. Marvin Humble

[Tombstone for Mollie P. (Chipman) Humble, Jonesboro Memorial Park cemetery, Craighead Co. AR.  Again, a departure from family information: here her birthdate is given as 7 Mar 1913.]

Annie (Ashcraft) Chipman married (2nd) Noah Wright.

Children:

Hazel Wright, b. 28 Apr 1918, d. 1967

Mabel Wright, b. 28 Apr 1919

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A helpful website for Lauderdale Co. research is:

http://www.tngenweb.org/lauderdale/

Handley Chipman’s Thanksgiving & The Chipman Family of Virginia / The Mayflower Compact & List of Mayflower Pilgrims who died the First Winter / Handley Chipman’s son Stephen writes a family history / John Howland’s first step / The search for the origins of Elder John Chipman

•June 24, 2016 • Comments Off on Handley Chipman’s Thanksgiving & The Chipman Family of Virginia / The Mayflower Compact & List of Mayflower Pilgrims who died the First Winter / Handley Chipman’s son Stephen writes a family history / John Howland’s first step / The search for the origins of Elder John Chipman

noahs-ark-by-edward-hicks-100

“[The Mayflower pilgrims] … saw them the vessel after the boat’s return came up to the place of their intended settlement and they all landed and prepared huts for to live in, but poor distressed souls they being disappointed of other vessels coming over to them for a great while to supply them with provisions and other necessities as expected

“Sundry of these poor distressed people died and all was in imanent danger of perishing, if it had not been for the Clams they found on the shores and dugg up at low tide, but it was especially from the Supp & turkeys obtained in quantities [from] the native Indians … which corn they ate and paid the Indians for the spring after as soon as they had gained acquaintance with them who had been very shy of them.

“My said Grandfather John Chipman born 1615 Married a Daughter of the aforesaid Mr. Howland and settled at Barnstable, the next Town but one which is Sandwich, to their Said Plimouth further on the Said Cape Cod, Plimouth being being at the head of the Bay.  he my Said Grandfather was an Elder in Minister Russels Congregational Church, in said Barnstable, and if I am not mistaken removed and lived in Said Sandwich the Latter part of his Day.  He died aged 88.  He had or left 10 children of which my honored father was the Youngest.  his children generally lived to grow up and Marry and from whom proceeded a very Numerous offspring.  As my Grandfather was the only one of the name of Chipman and my Grandmother Daughter of the only one of the name of Howland in New England or any of the now States of America, so the Chipmans are all on this Continent Related as well as the Howlands, and are all of them by reason of my Grandfather and grandmothers Marriage together Related to one another, and so near that Long Since my Remembrance my dear father and the Howlands used to call Cuzzens and the Howlands was often conversant at my house and my fathers house &c.

“My Dear and Honored Deceased father John Chipman, married one Capt. Skiffs daughter of said Sandwich, by whom he had 9 children that all Lived to grow up to the years of Men and Women, from whom has sprang a very large offspring.  Their names were Sons, James, Perez, John, Ebenezer and Stephen.  The Daughters names were Bethia and Mary, twins, as was also the Son Said Stephen with the next daughter Lidia, the others name was Deborah.  They had all entered into the Marriage State and had generally Large families of Children, Except said Stephen, who had no Children by his wife, Dying Master of a Vessel young in Nevis in the West Indies.  They were mostly of more than middling size.  James was a clothier by Trade, Perez was a Blacksmith as was also Ebenezer, John was a farmer and Stephen a cooper by trade.  They scattered much in their Settling in families.

“My dear fathers first wife dying at said Sandwich, Leaving said nine children, He some time after, it may be two years, married her that was my dear Mother, at Capt. Popes at Dartmouth, her first husband was his oldest Son, her second husband was one Capt. Russel, with whom I have been told She lived about 17 months, at Rhode Island or near there about….  She had no Child or Children that Lived by Either of these husbands.  by my dear father She had my Self, her son Handley, and my dear sister Rebecca.  Soon after her birth my dear Father removed from Sandwich to Martha Vineyard, where he lived it may be 7 years.

“Just about a year after my dear Mothers Death, my dear Father married the Said widow Case at Newport on Said Rhode Island.  She had had two husbands, one a Griffin, the other said Capt. Case.  by said Griffin She had a daughter who lived to grow up and Married my Said dear father Son Stephen, who died in Said West Indies Leaving no Child.  My Mother in Law’s maiden name was Mary Hoockey, and after my dear father had Lived with her 19 years She died also with the Consumption.  She was a Baptist.  My dear father soon after he thus Married at Rhode Island, sold his farm at the Vineyard, to one Mr. Norton for L1200, money then at s5/pr. ounce.  he removed then to Rhode Island and Let his money to Interest, but it depreciating fast, he called it in and went to shopkeeping.

“He was when he lived at Sandwich, Crowner or Coroner, a Capt. Lieutenant, and a Representative to the General Assembly at Boston, as I find, by his Commission Left.  While he lived on the Vineyard he was Justice of the Peace and one of the Judges of the Inferior Court, &c.

“After he removed to Rhode Island Government, he was for some time the first of the Governors Council, and was also Chief Judge of the Superior Court or court of Equity, as it was then called, and continued in said office until he was about 70 years old when he of choice flung up all offices by reason of his old age, and soon after my Mother in Law dying he Left off his Shopkeeping, broke up housekeeping, and went to live with my own Sister who had married a worthy person, a Capt. Moore.

“My dear and Honoured Father was born March 3d day, A.D. 1670.  He departed this Life at Newport on Rhode Island, January 4 th day, 1756, in my house, where he had lived some years, after he broke up housekeeping, he went and Lived at Capt. David Moors as aforesaid who married my own only Sister, but she dying in a few years after, he then came to Live with me.

“I would before I conclude the Pedigree of my dear fathers family just mention that I have divers times inquired after the family of the Chipmans coat of arms but never could get Intelligence of it.  And am lately informed that Ward Chipman, Esq. Solisiter General in our Neighboring Province of Brunswick Government, when he was in England a few years past, made very thorough Search after our family coat of arms, and finds we have none at all, &c.

“But the Chipmans in America are very Numerous indeed.  they are, we are, Sure all related, for they are all of them descended from my said Grandfather.  we find they are Spread even from Canso * Eastward to Virginia Westward, if not farther both ways.”

* A fishing village on the eastern tip of mainland Nova Scotia.

[“A Chipman Family History,” by Handley Chipman (1717-1799) of Newport, R.I., and Cornwallis, Nova Scotia, composed ca. 1790, in:

Roberts, Gary Boyd; ed.  (1985).  Genealogies of Mayflower Families From The New England Historical and Genealogical Register Volume I Adams-Fuller.  Baltimore:  Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc.

Handley Chipman’s statement validates the Chipmans of Virginia as authentic descendants of John and Hope (Howland) Chipman, but supporting documentation still needs to be assembled.]

For Mayflower history & genealogy see:

Philbreck, Nathaniel.  (2006).  Mayflower A Story of Courage, Community, and War.   New York:  Viking Penguin Group.

Philbreck, Nathaniel; Philbreck, Thomas; eds.  (2007).  The Mayflower Papers Selected Writings of Colonial New England.  New York:  Penguin Group.

Roser, Susan E.  (1995).  Mayflower Increasings 2nd Edition.  Baltimore:  Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc.

Stratton, Eugene Aubrey.  (1986).  Plymouth Colony Its History & People 1620-1691.  Salt Lake City:  Ancestry Publishing.

(The text of The Mayflower Compact, by which the Pilgrims intended to be ruled, signed by 41 of 50 male passengers shortly before landfall on 11 Nov 1620.)

THE MAYFLOWER PILGRIMS WHO DIED THE FIRST WINTER AT PLYMOUTH IN 1620/1

MEN:

John Allerton, Richard Britteridge, Robert Carter, James Chilton, Richard Clarke, John Crackstone Sr., Thomas English, Moses Fletcher, Edward Fuller, William Holbeck, John Langmore, Edmund Margesson, Christoper Martin, William Mullins, Degory Priest, John Rigsdale, Thomas Rogers, Elias Story, Edward Thompson, Edward Tilley, John Tilley, Thomas Tinker, John Turner, William White, Roger Wilder, Thomas Williams.

WOMEN:

Mary (Norris) Allerton, Dorothy (May) Bradbury, the wife of James Chilton, Sarah Eaton, the wife of Edward Fuller, Mary (Prower) Martin, Alice Mullins, Alice Rigsdale, Rose Standish, Ann (Cooper) Tilley, Joan (Hurst) Tilley, the wife of Thomas Tinker, Elizabeth (Barker) Winslow.

CHILDREN:

William Butten, John Hooke (age 14), Ellen More (age 8), Jasper More (age 7), Mary More (age 6), Joseph Mullins, Solomon Prower, the son of Thomas Tinker, two sons of John Turner.

26 men, 13 women, and 10 children didn’t survive the first winter at Plymouth.  They came seeking freedom to practice their own religion, and being unprepared for the harsh New England winter, 49 of “these poor distressed people” died.  The given and maiden names for 3 of the married women are unknown, as are the given names of 3 of the children. Surviving the first winter didn’t mean the Pilgrims were out of danger: in the following spring of 1621, Governor John Carver died, and his wife Katherine that summer.

The First Amendment shouldn’t be taken for granted.  The motives of these 49 Martyrs who died at Plymouth were Spiritual rather than Temporal, unlike the earlier settlements at Jamestown and New Amsterdam.  The story of the Mayflower is one of incredible courage.  We honor the Pilgrims by maintaining religious freedom for all as a core American value.

The following map of the Cape Cod area is from:

Huiginn, E.J.V.  (1914.)  The Graves Of Myles Standish And Other Pilgrims Revised and Enlarged. Beverly, MA:  The Author.

Plymouth Rock II

The Chipman family has long had an interest in genealogy.  Between Handley Chipman’s manuscript of ca. 1790 and Richard Manning Chipman’s pioneering efforts in the second half of the 19 th century, there’s this item, sent to me by the late William G. Chipman of Greenville, MS.

Dated 1832, it’s in the collection of the Public Archives of Nova Scotia, and was written by Handley Chipman’s son Stephen Chipman.  The following are extracts from this manuscript (call no. MG100 Vol. 120 #53a).  Stephen Chipman’s portion consists of 19 pages, with an additional 2 by other writers, and 2 photocopies of an old newspaper clipping concerning celebrations at Plymouth in honor of the Mayflower.

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“Sketch of the History and Genealogy of the Chipman Family (particularly the branch who settled in Nova Scotia) descended from John Chipman The Pioneer.  Written by Stephen Chipman Annapolis, N.S.  1832 –

“The C.’s from my G.G. Father [John Chipman who m. Hope Howland] are spread into N.S. New Brunswick, the Northern States Virginia & Vermont &c.

“May they still be blessed as heretofore, still experience Gods peculiar Providence; and may we all at last join as one in the holy train of our dear Redeemer in singing his praises.

“I begin … with my GG Father John C. who came to New England when young, from Dorsetshire England In the reign of Charles first, married a daughter of Mr Howland who was the first settler who landed at Plymouth in 1620, being the first to spring from the boat belonging to the first ship that came to P[lymouth] with settlers, being driven from their native country, by the persecutions against liberty of Conscience in the exercise of their religion.

“The stone Mr. Howland landed on I have been informed has been removed to the third street of the town of P[lymouth] to keep in memory the immigration of their forefathers and the day is celebrated by public thanksgiving and rejoicing.

“In consequence of this marriage the opulent & honored family of the Howlands in New England are related to us – He had ten children … was an elder in Minister Russells church Barnstable Cape Cod, and died aged 88 years.”

[Material in brackets mine.]


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The tale of John Howland stepping onto Plymouth Rock is dramatic, but is it true?

In 1863, Abraham Lincoln established the holiday of Thanksgiving, enshrining the Mayflower Pilgrims as our most recognizable national icons.  Everyone loves the Pilgrims because Thanksgiving kicks off a four day weekend.

The story of Plymouth Rock dates to 1741, about 120 years after the Pilgrims landed.  95 year old Thomas Faunce claimed he’d been told by his father, who’d immigrated to Plymouth in 1623, that the boulder now known as Plymouth Rock was where the Pilgrims had first landed.  So in 1774, the Sons of Liberty, led by Col. Theophilus Cotton, arrived in Plymouth and dug the Rock from beneath a pier.  While attempting to load it onto a waggon, it split in half.

They left half of it where it lay and deposited the other half in the town square beside a Liberty Pole.  In 1834, the piece of the Rock in the Plymouth town square, much abused by souvenir-seeking tourists, was moved to Pilgrim Hall.  In the process, the Rock fell to the ground and once again split in two.  Cemented back together, it was mounted in front of the Hall.

Just before the Civil War, the Pilgrim Society bought the wharf containing the other half of the Rock.  They didn’t want two competing Plymouth Rocks, so in 1880 the half ensconced at Pilgrim Hall was transported back to the waterfront and the halves were reunited.

As Nathaniel Philbrick puts it:  “Today Plymouth is a mixture of the sacred and the kitsch, a place of period houses and tourist traps, where the Mayflower II sits quietly beside the ornate granite edifice that now encloses the mangled remains of Plymouth Rock.”

John Howland was from Fenstanton, Huntingdonshire, the son of Henry and Margaret Howland.  He took passage on the Mayflower as Gov. John Carver’s indentured servant.  As Fate would have it, his employers, the Carvers, died in the first spring and summer, and Howland had no masters—and perhaps received a portion of the Carver estate.

Howland is best known for being blown overboard during the Mayflower passage.  Though submerged, he held onto a halyard and was hauled to safety.  If anyone was going to step onto Plymouth Rock, Howland was a natural candidate, probably eager to feel terra firma beneath his feet.

The story isn’t mentioned in contemporary accounts.  While I’m certain Mayflower passengers did step onto the boulder (it was difficult to ignore), whether it was the first spot stepped onto at the landing may be more myth than history.

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Chipman historians refer to our immigrant ancestor John Chipman as “apprenticed” to his cousin Richard Derby.  He was in fact Derby’s indentured servant, probably employed as a carpenter.  That may have endeared him to John Howland, who allowed Chipman to marry his daughter Hope.

John Chipman had two sisters, “Hannor” and “Tumsum,” of whom nothing is known.  It’s possible that some relations of his still exist in Britain.  The Chipman home was at Brinspittle about five miles from Dorchester in Dorsetshire.  John’s father Thomas owned property worth 40-50 pounds per year and held by entail in Whitechurch Canonicorum, a strange place where the church had a grope-hole to touch saintly relics.  Domesday Book, compiled 1086/7,  records the church at “Whitchurch Canonicorum” as held by the Church of Saint-Wandrille, so it was a place of some antiquity.   Of course Thomas managed to lose the property in an annuity or loan scheme, and so began the saga of the Chipmans in North America.

Without going into details gleaned from the meagre sources, suffice it to say Whitechurch Canonicorum was the actual home of the Chipman family, Brinspittle being merely the place Thomas Chipman was dumped after the loss of his property.  John Chipman’s mother (name unknown) was living when John set sail for the New World.

The Dorset History Centre has significant holdings relating to Whitechurch Canonicorum, and those records should be searched.  A check of the UK “a2a” database for the period of 1450-1650 shows no mention of a Chipman at Whitechurch Canonicorum.  Some of the parish of Whitechurch Canonicorum and the related manor of Marshwood Vale found its way into the hands of Queen Mary, who on 24 Oct 1553 made a grant to Gertrude, Marchioness of Exeter.  The manor of Whitechurch Canonicorum can be traced in records dating well into the medieval period.

Several “a2a” entries show a Chapman family living in Whitechurch Canonicorum prior to the time John Chipman emigrated to Plymouth ca. 1637, and this item contains some family details:

A lease for 99 years dated 3 Oct 1638 between Thomas Chapman, aka William Chapman *, of Whitchurch, Dorset, yeoman, son of Thomas Chapman, son of Thomas Chapman late of Haydon, Dorset, and the estate of William Vinacombe the elder and the estate of William Love alias Megges; land located in Axminster, Devonshire; fine 10 pounds.

[* The name by which he was usually known.]

“Chipman” is a spelling variation of “Chapman,” so an alleged connection to a “de Chippenham” family living at the time of William the Conqueror is fantasy.  In English records even simple surnames have many variations—of the same person from record to record or within the same record.  The search for the truth about Thomas Chipman, father of John Chipman,  should focus on localities rather than the exact spelling of the surname.  Since our family was of yeoman rather than gentry stock, extending the known pedigree may prove difficult.

“Chipman” might just have been Elder John Chipman’s preferred spelling of his surname, his ancestors having been known as “Chapman” or “Chepman,” etc.  The tale of his father Thomas losing a substantial property in Whitechurch Canonicorum remains to be independently documented.  It first appears in a deposition given 2 Mar 1641/2 by Ann Hinde, wife of William Hoskins, at Plymouth, and is repeated and amplified in a statement of John Chipman dated 8 Feb 1657/8, also at Plymouth.  It’s an “emigration tale”—and many families have one.  What is not stated, but probably the truth, is that Thomas Chipman lost his property due to indebtedness.  It’s quite a coincidence to find a Thomas Chapman at Whitchurch in Dorset in the precise time when these alleged events transpired.  Is it possible that Thomas Chapman, who in 1638 took a 99 year lease on land in Devonshire, was John Chipman’s father?

I’ve outlined in “Page f.” the descent of Mary Minor, wife of James Chipman (grandson of John and Hope) from Aethelred II, King of England.  The connection with the Giffards through whom the descent passes had some standing with the Chipman family.  After the death of Hope (Howland) Chipman, John Chipman married Ruth (Sargent) Winslow Bourne, daughter of Rev. William Sargent.  Sargent’s 3rd great-grandparents were John Giffard and Agnes Winslow, an ancestry shared with Alice Freeman, Mary (Minor) Chipman’s 2nd great-grandmother.

John Chipman had no children by Ruth, but following his death on 8 Apr 1708 she had him interred in the Bourne cemetary plot in the Sandwich Old Burying Ground.

His first wife Hope (Howland) Chipman is buried in Lothrop Hill Cemetary in Barnstable.  Her grave marker is the second oldest grave marker on Cape Cod.

Hope Chipman tombstone