The CASTILIAN/ETHIOPIAN/JEWISH/VISIGOTHIC Ancestry of Sancha de Ayala (ancestors to Hillary Lillian Vaughan, wife of Jesse Otto Jeffery Scarff of Mount Pleasant, IA & Cheyenne, WY) / Sir Henry Skipwith II dies in India with a net worth of ZERO

•June 24, 2015 • Comments Off on The CASTILIAN/ETHIOPIAN/JEWISH/VISIGOTHIC Ancestry of Sancha de Ayala (ancestors to Hillary Lillian Vaughan, wife of Jesse Otto Jeffery Scarff of Mount Pleasant, IA & Cheyenne, WY) / Sir Henry Skipwith II dies in India with a net worth of ZERO

Revised July 22, 2015.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

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.

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 A. Farmerie and Nathaniel L. Taylor are co-owners of Internet message board “soc.genealogy.medieval.” Farmerie is Clinical Associate Professor in the School of Molecular Biosciences at Washington State University (Pullman).  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; instead they quote Gerald Paget.  Linking Medieval lines to modern monarchs has become a shameless method of promoting research “credibility.”  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.

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.

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.

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 a descent from Sancha de Ayala of some Presidents of the United States including George Herbert Walker Bush, 41st President.   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.

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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.)

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.

(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.)

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’.

Pickin’ and grinnin’

Pickin’ and grinnin’

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 is now classed as non-functioning, but still 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 in ca. 1656, 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 I think 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, 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.

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.”

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.

At Wichenor in Staffordshire was a strange marriage custom, dating to the reign of King Edward III, and probably 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.”

(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 Sulayman. 

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.  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.]

[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.

Even after the liberation of Toledo, the area continued to be a center of Muslim and Jewish learning.  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.

Here’s a major league 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.  Louis IX indulged in self-scourging (flagellation), believing that inflicting pain upon himself helped to atone for his exaggerated sense of sin, a practice still followed in modern times.  In 1243 at Paris, with 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.

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 King 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:

My response to Farmerie’s question 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.  Many prominent people did have Jewish ancestors, so 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. 

Farmerie’s question has no simple answer.

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.

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 it could apply to Moorish converts as well.

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 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.  The Mozarabs looked like Arabs but weren’t “real” Arabs because they weren’t Muslim—and if they didn’t rock the boat, were tolerated.

[Hitchcock 2008 (jacket): Mozarabs in a mid-10th century Christian religious text.  A blue cross is in the center.  The Mozarabs have brown skin and all of their hair outside of their caps is black, indicating black ancestry.]

“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.

“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….”  For the purpose of this discussion, it doesn’t matter if Melendo Lampader was the son or grandson of Abdul Aziz bin Lampader—Melendo Lampader was himself recorded as a Mozarab.  So as of 1178, the Lampader family had not been assimilated.

At this point we can draw some conclusions.  It’s quite unlikely Abdul Aziz bin Lampader was Jewish.  As will be seen below, in 1218 Pope Honorius III ordered Jews in Toledo to wear distinctive dress.  Rather, he 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 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, giving the name a Jewish form, but that’s absurd.  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 was unable to find the word “Lampader” anywhere in lists of Hebrew names, or in Hebrew dictionaries, or among any given names.  It appears to be somewhat related to words ending in “or,” rather than “er.”  Possibly it referred to some mid-ranking office he held, or his family had held, under the Moorish regime, the name being political rather than familial.  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.  Note that Abdul Aziz and his son (or grandson) Melendo held public office in Toledo.  It appears this family was resident in Toledo when it capitulated to Alfonso VI, and the king took advantage of their continued service.

The solution, though not the answer, to the mystery of “Lampader,” the hybrid part of Abdul Aziz’s name, is contained in 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.”  So though we will never know from what word “Lampader” was derived, we know the name was corrupted 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.

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).  Despite being Spain’s National Hero, El Cid was a gun-for-hire, 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.  The parentage of El Cid and Ximena is disputed.  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.)

[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.  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 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 as seen below, 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.  She was a connection to a tolerant polity in Toledo which had enjoyed a relatively stable multi-cultural and multi-racial environment.  That environment began to deteriorate in the early 13th century, and in the second half of the 14th century succumbed to political strife and religious agitation.

LAWCIE IDELLA (CHIPMAN) MASON WRITES A NIECE / THE TENNESSEE ANCESTRY OF GOOGLE CEO LARRY PAGE / A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS OF BETTIE PAGE / THE EMAIL TRAIL

•June 1, 2015 • Comments Off on LAWCIE IDELLA (CHIPMAN) MASON WRITES A NIECE / THE TENNESSEE ANCESTRY OF GOOGLE CEO LARRY PAGE / A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS OF BETTIE PAGE / THE EMAIL TRAIL

(Left to Right:  Lawcie Idella Chipman, Beecher Edgar Chipman, Jewell Vester Chipman; ca. 1909.)

While going through my files, I found something of which I was unaware:  a copy of a letter from Lawcie Idella (Chipman) Mason to Beverly Ann Page, written ca. 1983.  It gives information on branches of the family on which I have nothing, so I transcribed part of it, with notes and corrections:

“Allie Oxley—James Edward Chipman

5 children were born

3 boys and two girls

Jewel [sic] Vester Chipman married Ruby Bohannon — 2 daughters (a) were born.  Ruby died and he married again.

(Jewell Vester Chipman, 2 Jul 1988, Paragould, AR.)

Beecher Edgar Chipman married Winfred Bailey — one son, Ralph (b).  Then he married Essie Hyde (c) and I don’t know much about how many children were born to them (d) — Beecher is deceased.

(Beecher Edgar Chipman, 1931.)

(Essie Lee Hyatt, ca. 1931.)

(Joyce Elaine Chipman, ca. 1948.)

(Dixie Lee Chipman, 1942.)

Winford Chipman (e) married Ada Hill and had to [sic] sons, Carl & David.  Ada is deceased too.

[Here’s a rare photo.  Left to Right:  Jewell Vester Chipman, Lawcie Idella (Chipman) Mason, Pauline Aquilla (Chipman) Page Moffitt, Winford William Chipman.  Pauline died in 1983, so this must date to the late 1970s or early 1980s.  Beecher was unavoidably detained elsewhere in the Cosmos.]

Lawcie Chipman married Arvil Mason and had seven children, one girl who died at age 16 months.

1.  James Lee Mason [&] Ester Boyd } 2 sons and 3 grandchildren

2.  Harold Mason [&] Jo Metheny } 3 children

3.  Paul Mason [&] Berneita Neely } 3 children and 3 grandchildren

4.  Don Mason — never married

5.  Virginia Nell Mason [&] Joe Mabry } 2 sons and 2 grandchildren

6.  Shirley Mason [&] Jake Manley — divorced about 17 or 18 years go — has 3 children and four grandchildren.

and then your Mother.” (f)

(a)  Jean and June.

(b)  Another son named Donald died in infancy.

(c)  Essie’s maiden name was actually Hyatt.

(d)  Two daughters:  Joyce and Dixie.

(e) This is one of the few photos I have of Winford William “Winnie” Chipman (1910–1999).  He m. Ada Hill on 1 Jan 1933 in Greene Co., AR.

(f)  Pauline Aquilla Chipman (1916–1983), m. (1) 20 Mar 1936 Carl Davis Page, b. 13 Apr 1905, d. 8 Aug 1963, two children:  Carl Victor Page, Beverly Ann Page; m. (2) 24 May 1968 James Moffitt, no issue.  (See article next.)

___________________________________

THE TENNESSEE ANCESTRY OF GOOGLE CEO LARRY PAGE

We begin this column with the marriage license of Carl Davis Page and Pauline Aquilla Chipman, of Flint, MI, solemnized on 21 Mar 1936—the grandparents of Google CEO Larry Page (Lawrence Edward Page).  The clerk who typed the license had a problem with the name of Carl’s mother, calling her “Drucilla Prucilo.”  The clerk may have thought Carl’s mother was Italian.  My grandfather Beecher Chipman was a witness.  At the time of her marriage, Pauline was living with Beecher on E. Foss Ave.  As the nuptials approached, the void her departure would create must have weighed upon Beecher.  Nonetheless, having (carefully) pointed out her many good qualities to Carl, when love bloomed, as a gentleman Beecher stepped aside and welcomed Carl into the family.

(Click on image to enlarge.)

(Resistance is futile:  Pauline Aquilla Chipman with creepy doll, ca. 1918.)

(Pauline Aquilla Chipman, ca. 1920.)

(Pauline Aquilla Chipman, ca. 1931.)

image0

(Senath High School record, Pauline Aquilla Chipman.  Click on image to enlarge.)

[Detail from 1940 Flint, MI Federal Census, Ward 8, p. 7B, Carl Davis Page family.  Carl V. Page (Carl Victor Page) age 1 is the father of Larry Page.  Click on image to enlarge.]

The following series of R.L. Polk Flint city directory entries for Carl Davis Page give some insight into factory jobs in the auto industry.  The entries carry different job titles which appear to be lateral positions.

ScreenHunter_126 Feb. 14 13.12

(1937: 611 Atwood.  Inspector, Chevrolet.)

(1941:  719 Bryan Place.  Machine operator, Chevrolet.)

ScreenHunter_127 Feb. 14 13.13

(1942:  1024 W. Parkwood Ave.  Factory worker, Buick.)

Note that in 1937, 1941, and 1942 Carl Davis Page resided at different addresses.  Workers living in GM owned housing were shuffled from building to building.  Individuals known to be working for GM can be absent from city directories as sometimes families didn’t reside within Flint city limits.  Clio, a suburb of Flint, also attracted autoworkers.

“Flint grew like a mining camp, without design, without planning….  The incoming thousands overtaxed Flint’s limited housing supply, and some workers were compelled to live for a time in tar-paper shacks, tents, and even railroad cars.  The same lodging rooms were rented to night-shift workers for the day and to day-shift workers for the night.  GM felt constrained to enter the home construction business in 1919, and through the Modern Housing Corporation it had built thirty-two hundred homes for its Flint workers by 1933.

“[The] city ‘never provided’ enough personnel, funds, or services to meet its health problems.  Among twenty-two cities of from 100,000 to 250,000 population in 1934 Flint ranked nineteenth in the infant death rate and the death of children from diarrhea and enteritis, seventeenth in maternal deaths, in a tie for thirteenth and fourteenth place in typhoid-fever death rate, thirteenth in the diptheria death rate, and tenth in the tuberculosis death rate.

“A large proportion of the workers who were lured to the city by automobile jobs and the high wages that GM paid were from rural backgrounds, and many of them reacted unfavorably to the industrial discipline imposed by the factory.

“Of Flint’s 128,617 native-born whites in 1930, 64.8 percent (83,290) had been born in Michigan and only about 30 percent in Flint itself….  The overwhelming proportion of Flint’s Southerners were drawn from the Central South, from Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee:  about 10 percent (12,818) of Flint’s native-born white population derived from these four states, and sections of the city had come to be known as ‘Little Missouri.'”

[Fine (1969), pp. 102–103.]

My grandmother Jewel Winifred (Bailey) Chipman and her first son Donald both died in Flint in 1929.  The close proximity of families to one another facilitated the spread of disease.  The Baileys must have harbored some bitterness against my grandfather Beecher Edgar Chipman for taking her to such an inhospitable place.

(Delayed Birth Certificate of Carl Davis Page, listing his parents as Henry Horace Page and Drucilla Pardue.  Her name is also spelled “Perdue.”  I’ll use the spelling as found in the actual record.  Delayed Birth Certificates were filed so that those who were born prior to the legal requirement for Birth Certificates could register for Social Security.  Like many people in the South, Carl’s mother was known by her middle name, in this instance “Drucilla.”  Her first name was “Annie.”  Click on image to enlarge.)

[Parents of Henry Horace Page and his brothers John Benton Page and James H. Page:  detail above is from the 1880 Hickman Co., KY Federal Census, Moscow, District 5, p. 3, SD 1, ED 114.  J.D. (John) Page and wife Emily C. have been confused with their son John Benton Page and wife Emily Corilla Pardue.  John D. Page was a shoemaker whose parents were born in VA.  This is as far back as I’ll document this pedigree.]

(Marriage record dated 8 Jul 1872 in Obion Co., TN for John D. Page and Emily C. Sullivan.  Click on image to enlarge.)

 (Henry Horace Page and wife Annie Drucilla Pardue are buried at Cotton Grove Baptist church cemetery in Madison Co., TN.)

[Death Certificate filed in TN for Henry Horace Page.  Informant was Emily Corilla (Pardue) Page, sister-in-law of Henry Horace Page.  The 1920 and 1930 Federal Census for Madison Co., TN shows Henry Horace Page was renting a farm.  Here we have an odd situation, and it’s not the only one for this Page family:  according to his tombstone and Death Certificate, Henry Horace Page was b. in 1871, yet his parents wed on 8 Jul 1872.  On his Death Certificate his mother is listed as Emily Sullivan.  She was. b. May 1834.  Emily’s last child was James H. Page, b. Mar 1878, when Emily was aged 44.  Biologically there’s no problem with Emily as the mother of Henry Horace Page, John Benton Page, and James H. Page.  It seems John D. Page and Emily C. Sullivan dispensed with marriage until sometime after the birth of Henry Horace Page, but why?  My conclusion in this case, and in the case of John Benton Page and Emily Corilla Pardue below, that being very poor they could not afford to establish a home of their own until later in their relationship and may have been living apart when their first child was born.  Click on image to enlarge.]

[Death Certificate filed in TN for Annie Drucilla (Perdue) Page.  Informant was Luther J. Page, brother of Carl Davis Page.  Annie Drucilla Page was b. 5 Dec 1876 at Madison Co., TN, d. 17 Feb 1948 at Jackson, Madison Co., TN.  Spouse listed as Henry Horace Page.  Parents are Jeff Perdue and Bettie Mccaig.  Henry Horace Page m. Drucilla Pardue on 10 Apr 1898 in Obion Co., TN.  Click on image to enlarge.]

[Tombstone of Emily Corilla (Pardue) Page, twin sister of Annie Drucilla (Pardue) Page.  Emily is also buried at Cotton Grove Baptist church cemetery.  She m. John Benton Page, brother of Henry Horace Page, on 10 Dec 1898 in Obion Co., TN.  According to her death certificate filed in TN, Emily C. Page was b. 5 Dec 1876 at Madison Co., TN, d. 23 Dec 1948 at Nashville, Davidson Co. TN.  Parents are listed as J.F. Perdue and Elizabeth.  The family of J.D. (Jefferson Davis) Perdue (age 31) is found in the 1880 Madison Co., TN Federal Census on pp. 2–3, SD5, ED 98 with wife Mary E. (age 31), and children Otis R. (age 6), Bessie P. (age 5), Emily C. (age 4), Ann D. (age 4), and George (age 7 months).  Wife “Mary .E.” stands for “Mary Elizabeth.”  Entry is found on bottom of one page and top of next.  Carl Davis Page inherited his middle name from his maternal grandfather Jefferson Davis Perdue.]

(Marriage record dated 19 Dec 1872 in Madison Co., TN for Jefferson Davis Perdue and Mary E. “Bettie” McCaig.  Click on image to enlarge.)

Larry Page and legendary pin-up icon Bettie Page share common ancestors in Jefferson Davis Perdue and wife Betty McCaig, who were Larry Page’s 2nd great-grandparents and Bettie Page’s great-grandparents, making Larry Page and Bettie Page 2nd Cousins-Once Removed. Theoretically they also share ancestors in John D. Page and wife Emily C. Sullivan, making them double 2nd Cousins-Once Removed.

[Detail of 1900 Obion Co., TN, Union City Federal Census, District 13, SD 9, ED 109, Sheet 10.  Family of John Benton Page with wife Emily Corilla Pardue and sons Walter and Aubon.  Living next door is Emily C. (Sullivan) Page, John’s mother, and his brother James.]

(WWI Draft Registration Card for John Benton Page.  On 12 Sep 1918 the Registrar reported that Page had blue eyes, light hair, and his right eye was out.  The birth date of 20 Sep is the same on the Registration Card and the death certificate, but the birth year is 1874 on the Registration Card and 1875 on the death certificate.)

JOHN BENTON PAGE DEATH CERT

 [According to his death certificate filed in TN, “Jno. Page” (John Benton Page) was b. 20 Sep 1875 in TN, and d. 23 Oct 1918 at Union City, Obion Co., TN. Parents listed as Jno. D. Page and Emily Sullivan.  John Benton Page’s occupation was “Painter & Paper Hanger.”  Informant was Henry Horace Page, then residing at Union City, TN, brother of John Benton Page.  John Benton Page survived a little over 5 weeks after he registered for the draft and was buried at East View cemetery in Union City, TN.  Cemetery is still in existence.  Click on image to enlarge.]

[Death Certificate filed in TN for Emily Corilla (Perdue) Page.  Informant was Walter Roy Page.  Click on image to enlarge.]

(Tombstone of Walter Roy Page, 19 Apr 1896—20 Jan 1964, WWI veteran, located at Nashville National Cemetery in Nashville, Davidson Co., TN.)

My goal here is to situate Bettie Mae Page, known professionally as Bettie Page, within her family context.  Her father Walter Roy Page was the son of John Benton Page and wife Emily Corilla Pardue.  Walter Roy Page was b. on 19 Apr 1896, more than two years prior to the marriage of his parents, who, as noted above, were m. on 10 Dec 1898 in Obion Co., TN. In that era being born out of wedlock carried stigma, and his instability as an adult may be partly attributed to the circumstances of his birth. In the complete 1900 census record I viewed, John and Emily claimed to have been married for 5 years, Emily said she was the mother of 2 children, both living, and John said both Walter and Aubon were his sons. 

Walter Roy Page enlisted in the Army on 22 Jan 1917.  On 22 Jan 1920 he was a Private stationed at Camp Travis, Bexar Co., TX, and was released on 5 Jul 1920.  On 17 Oct 1920 in Madison Co., TN he m. Edna Pirtle.  Walter Roy Page’s stormy marriage to Edna Mae Pirtle was exacerbated by poverty which led to his incarceration in Georgia for the theft of a police car.  In the 1938 Nashville, TN city directory, Edna Page was living at 436 6th Ave N, and reported herself as the widow of Roy, who actually died in 1964.  The Social Security Death Index indicates at some point he was assigned SSN # 410-22-9956.

walter roy page

(Photo of Walter Roy Page, father of Bettie Page, probably dating to his Army days ca. 1917–1920.)

(To solve the mystery of Walter Roy Page, I consulted the 1910 Obion Co., TN Federal Census, Union City, 13th District, SD 9, ED 125, Sheet 9B. The two brothers Henry Horace Page and John Benton Page are living next door to one another.  Carl Davis Page is Henry and Drucilla’s third child.  Henry was working in a stable, taking care of horses parked there when their owners visited Union City.  John Benton Page and wife Corilla have changed their story: they now say they’ve been married 11 years, so the marriage date of 10 Dec 1898 is correct.  John and Corilla lied about having wed in 1895 to make it appear they were married when Walter Roy Page was born.  “Aubon” the son has become “Mary” the daughter.  Corilla stated she was the mother of 4 children, all of whom were living.  John said all of them are his.  But even if Walter Roy Page was not the son of John Benton Page, but only the son of Emily Corilla Pardue, Larry Page would still be a 2nd Cousin-Once Removed with Bettie Page, and he does share a descent with the other children of John Benton Page through Emily C. Sullivan.  However, as noted above, the explanation for this discrepancy may have been poverty, rather than flaunting social mores, and Walter Roy Page was the son of both John Benton Page and Emily Corilla Pardue.)

[Snapshot of a celebrity:  detail above from the 1940 Nashville, Davidson Co., TN Federal Census, SD 5, ED 99–186, Sheet 10B.  “Betty Mai Page” is third from top, shown here with her mother Edna Mae (Pirtle) Page.  Click on image to enlarge.]

(Bettie Page early cheesecake photo.  Bettie Page posed for “Playboy” in the January 1955 issue.  And she could have taught Christian Grey a thing or two.  She remained soft-core, preferring to work clothed in her more “out there” films and photos.)

 (Although her personal life had its ups and downs, Bettie Page was very intelligent and earned a B.A. from George Peabody College (now part of Vanderbilt University) in 1944.  Her style remains influential today.  Bettie Page is tied with Steve McQueen at Number 9 on the Forbes 2014 Top Earning Dead Celebrities list.  She’s buried at Westwood Village Memorial Park cemetery in Los Angeles, CA.  The pennies on her grave marker are left by visitors as tokens of remembrance and respect.)

Beverly Ann (Page) Budzynski sent me the following newspaper clipping.  Carl Victor Page [cot] and Beverly Ann Page [inset] were stricken with polio during a visit to Tennessee.   The children and their mother, Pauline Aquilla (Chipman) Page [R], were flown back to Flint, Michigan where they were met by their father, Carl Davis Page [L].  Carl Victor Page went on to be professor of Computer Science at Michigan State University, and by his (then) wife Gloria Weinstein was the father of Larry Page.  

(“The Flint Journal,” Flint, MI.)

(Obituary of Carl Davis Page, apparently from “The Jackson Sun” newspaper of Jackson, Madison Co., TN.  Since he died on Thursday 8 Aug 1963, the funeral was held on Monday 12 Aug 1963.  The obituary states he was an inspector at Chevrolet, probably a non-management Quality Control position.)

(Hollywood Cemetery, Jackson, TN.)

(Obituary of Carl Victor Page, “The State News,” Michigan State University newspaper.  The article notes that Carl Victor Page “was the first in his family to graduate from high school and college.”  This remark applies to the Page family, as Pauline did attend all four years of high school.  In the 1940 Federal Census for Carl D. Page cited above, under the column “Highest grade of school completed,” Carl Davis Page indicated the 8th grade.  Material was composed by the family of Carl Victor Page.  At this point Google didn’t exist.)

[Note from Jean (Chipman) Crom, daughter of Jewel Vester Chipman, re: funeral of Carl Victor Page.]

In this set of Emails beginning on 23 Oct 2006, I was contacted by an individual claiming to be Donald Gudehus, husband of Larry Page’s mother Gloria.  I found it odd because I had exchanged a number of letters with Larry Page’s aunt Beverly, and ordinarily she would have been the person to contact me, rather than a stranger.  Beverly must have a large photo collection.  The phrase: “I have been handling the genealogy of our various families for some time” sounds like:  “You have to go through me.”  I don’t have to go through anyone.  Perhaps it was merely inappropriate wording.  I did Email whoever it was a copy of a letter I had received from Carl Victor Page and one of Beverly’s letters.  I then let the exchange fizzle.  That proved to be a wise decision.

The following set of Emails I received in 2014 are from my first cousin David Alton Dodd, who lives in Tijuana, Mexico (Click on images to enlarge).

I don’t quite know what to say about this.  Thanks to Larry Page, every author on the planet wants to sue Google.

Pauline Aquilla (Chipman) Page Moffitt was a farmer’s daughter.  She was also a descendant of one of the most important monarchs in English history, as revered in the UK as Washington and Lincoln are in the United States.  Some people are timeless—and Alfred the Great is one of those very few.  And among her ancestors were Mayflower passengers and soldiers and patriots of the Revolutionary War.

Of Carl Davis Page we can say his ethnic composition was primarily Scots-Irish.  The Scots-Irish were a very important genetic stream in the United States well into the Civil War era.  Carl didn’t pursue an education beyond the 8th grade because he was expected to work and help support his family.  But in that era having an 8th grade education was hardly a novelty.  Carl left Jackson, TN lured by reports of the good wages paid by GM in Flint, MI.  There he became friends with my grandfather Beecher Chipman, who introduced him to his eventual wife Pauline.  Carl was an unsung hero among unsung heroes, who endured the grime and squalor of Flint to build a better life for his family—and he succeeded.  The story of Carl Davis Page and others like him faded when GM left Flint, but they shouldn’t be forgotten.  The struggle to unionize GM was a pivotal episode in American labor history.

The building blocks of this line are already on the Internet:

http://www.geni.com/people/Carl-Page/6000000028998162758

I had nothing to do with this website, but obviously someone familiar with the family supplied the information.  You can find an extended pedigree on Ancestry.com, but I haven’t documented this family beyond what’s in this column.

In summation, this chart exhibits the paternal ancestry of Larry Page formed by the people under discussion here (click on image to enlarge):

(1) Presumed father of Henry Horace Page.

This chart shows the paternal ancestry of Bettie Page.  I haven’t examined the ancestry of Edna Mae Pirtle.  Larry Page’s chart consists of 5 generations and Bettie Page’s chart has 4 generations because Larry Page and Bettie Page aren’t of equal generations from their common ancestors (click on image to enlarge).

(2) Presumed father of Walter Roy Page.

Regardless of the biological paternity of Henry Horace Page and Walter Roy Page (and available records indicate they were sons of their reputed fathers), uterine relationships exist between Google CEO Larry Page and pin-up icon Bettie Page, who share common ancestors in Jefferson Davis Perdue and his wife Mary Elizabeth McCaig, making Larry Page and Bettie Page 2nd Cousins-Once Removed. 

It’s confusing:  if Henry Horace Page was not the biological son of John D. Page, but only of Emily C. Sullivan, and Walter Roy Page was not the biological son of John Benton Page, but only of Emily Corilla Pardue, then Henry Horace Page and Walter Roy Page weren’t related through the Page family and didn’t share Emily C. Sullivan as a common ancestor.  DNA tests should resolve the biological paternity of Henry Horace Page and Walter Roy Page as these are male line descents.

Call it a True Hollywood Story.

Speak Of The Devil / Dangerous Women / When Adam Delved And Eve Span

•May 30, 2015 • Comments Off on Speak Of The Devil / Dangerous Women / When Adam Delved And Eve Span

Revised July 17, 2015.

In this column I’ll discuss the bookends of Medieval society:  the king and his nobles on the one hand, and the peasants on the other.

How did a relatively small number of people keep the peasants in line?

Well, there’s the sword and mail, the gibbet, summary executions, and rotting carcasses of thieves hanging along the road.  Justice swift and certain—bound to make an impression.

According to David Crouch:

“In 1124 the very noble count, Waleran II of Meulan, found that his peasants had been taking advantage of the siege of his castle of Vatteville-sur-Seine to take wood from his forests, so he rounded up those he could find and had their feet severed.  The reason that we hear of this act of violence against the unarmed is the condemnation of it by a Norman monk, Orderic Vitalis.  Orderic’s condemnation was not entirely because of the criminality involved in mutilating the poor and unarmed, but he was also unhappy that the count had done it in … Lent.” 

The aristocracy in the Middle Ages was very sophisticated.  One tried and true method of keeping peasants cowering in their huts was the skillful use of propaganda.

Consider this tale taken from “On The Instruction Of Princes” by Gerald of Wales, in which a mysterious woman, a countess of Anjou, was no mortal woman.  She was called Melusine, a name with parallels on the Continent: 

It was then revealed that Melusine was the daughter of Satan, to whom the consecrated Host was anathema. Today we dismiss such tales as superstitious nonsense, but many at the time believed it.

It was common then for kings and nobles to take great liberties with morals.  They were effectively above judgement, citing exigency, so it’s not surprising they often felt the ire of the church.  In 1122, a few days before the birth of Eleanor of Aquitaine, a mirthless pilgrim approached her parents William and Aenor and uttered the prophecy: “From you will come nothing good.”  The pilgrim’s dour prediction may have been nothing more than pious interpolation, a reflection of resentment for a woman who never seemed to know her place.  Eleanor became the wealthiest and most celebrated woman of the Middle Ages, heiress to a vast section of France and queen to two kings.

Eleanor’s grandfather Duke William IX was rebuked for abducting the aptly named Dangerosa,  wife of one of his vassals, and marrying her daughter Aenor to his son William X.  When Eleanor was born, Duke William exclaimed:  “Oh, another Aenor,” and so was also born the name “Eleanor” which means “Another Aenor.”

(Tomb of Eleanor of Aquitaine.  Fontevrault Abbey, France.)

But perhaps there was some truth in the legend of Melusine:

King Henry II had a 10th century ancestor called Fulk the Black, a pious monster whose appalling acts of cruelty were followed by fits of atonement.  Vicious in battle, he sowed death, pillage, and ruin, but there was one act for which he may never have been forgiven:  he burned his first wife at the stake for the offense of adultery.  To expiate his sins, he made three pilgrimages to the Holy Land, visited Rome, and founded two abbeys.  But even in an age when men hoped to balance sin with good works, was it enough?  Or was Melusine the vengeful spirit of Fulk’s wife, sent from Hell to lay a curse upon his family?

Gerald, I think, was drawing on an older legend of Melusine, and given his love of fabrication, her position in the Plantagenet pedigree is suspect.  Not to be outdone, rivals on the Continent had their own version of this sinister lady:

Fast forward to 1381.  The Black Death was within memory, and King Richard’s namesake, Richard II, occupied the throne of England.  It was said of the peasants that they possessed nothing but their bellies.  While the king and his nobles feasted on the fruit of peasant labor, the peasants lived in squalor, rutting like pigs and dying in the fields.  Abbotts and bishops basked in luxury, the vast estates of the church donated by the nobility to buy prayers for their their own souls.  Corruption and decadence were everywhere.

The Black Death had killed more than men.  It had killed faith in their rulers.

With old King Edward III deposited in his tomb in Westminster Abbey, the most powerful man in England was John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster.  John of Gaunt had married the daughter of King Pedro the Cruel of Castile, and fancied himself Pedro’s rightful heir.  Gaunt was brother to the Black Prince, but the Black Prince was dead—and the Black Prince’s son Richard, though king, was merely a youth.  John of Gaunt now ruled England, and the peasants hated him.

(Seated:  John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, and King Richard II, attended by nobles and churchmen.)

And then came heresy.  John Wycliffe, once a Master of Balliol College, Oxford, denied the presence of Christ in the Host and the authority of the Pope.  He called for an end to the Church of Rome.  Poor parish priests sided with Wycliffe.

A new idea swept England:  God had not ordained the classes.  It was the greed of some men that kept others in bondage.

When Adam delved and Eve span

Who was then a gentleman?

The country was a tinder-box.

The war in France was not going well for King Richard II.  Heavy taxes had caused great resentment.  Peasants began to desert their lords and wander the roads.  In May 1381, violent electrical storms were viewed as a portent.  The upper classes were uneasy.  A tradesman named John Tyler attacked a tax collector and beat his brains out with a staff.

Soon an army of peasants from Essex and Kent laid siege to Rochester Castle in an attempt to free a fellow bondsman.  Built by the Normans, and long an impregnable symbol of oppression, it fell within hours.  The aristocracy was horrified.  The peasants ransacked manor houses and destroyed records that documented their servitude.

With their spiritual leader a rogue priest named John Ball, and their army under the command of Wat Tyler, the peasants quickly organized and sent summons throughout England to join them.  They sacked Canterbury and then, flush with victory, made plans to march on London.  In June of 1381, tens of thousands of peasants camped just outside London.

A new society was about to be born.  Or so they thought.  Peasants from every part of England heard Mass from John Ball.  A message was sent to the king at the Tower of London summoning him to meet them, but the royal party, frightened by the large numbers of peasants, retreated.

Infuriated, the peasant army, now 60,000 strong, entered London, put to the torch John of Gaunt’s Savoy palace and laid waste to religious houses and lawyers’ offices.  They stormed the prisons, killing everyone in their path who represented the power that beat them down.

The king sent word asking the rebels to return to their homes, saying he would address their grievances.  The rebels rejected his overture.  The king then met them in a suburb of London and agreed to all of their demands.  The rebels penetrated the Tower of London itself, terrorized the king’s mother, and dragged to his death Simon Sudbury, the Archbishop of Canterbury.

(The White Tower, Tower of London.  Photograph by author.)

When numbers will not prevail, deceit is summoned.  Wat Tyler requested and received another meeting with the king, but there was stabbed to death by William Walworth, one of the king’s retainers and a future Lord Mayor of London.  Without their leader, the peasant army became marauders.  The king granted authority to his minions to deal with the rebels by any means necessary.  Richard’s forces soon routed the peasants, and the executions began.  As many as 10 peasants were hanged at a time.  After 2,000 peasants had been executed, the king thought to advise restraint, fearful of sparking another revolt.

The Bishop of London had renegade priest John Ball locked in the bishop’s dungeon, but was unable to extract penance.  Ball was hanged, then taken down while still alive, and his entrails cut out of him.  His body was hacked into pieces and sent to all corners of the realm.

So who ulitmately won?

18 years later, King Richard II lost his throne to John of Gaunt’s son, Henry of Lancaster, and was murdered.  The ensuing Wars of the Roses decimated the nobility.  It was customary after each battle to behead the leaders of the losing side.  Henry’s line ended in madness, and the first Yorkist king, Edward IV, was knocked off his throne, regained it and died, his sons murdered by his brother Richard.  King Richard III was defeated at the Battle of Bosworth by Henry Tudor, and for centuries no one knew where he lay buried.  (British archaeologists now say they’ve found the skeleton of King Richard III buried at the former site of Greyfriars in Leicester.  His body had been deposited without clothing or ornamentation in an earthen grave.  His remains will be reburied at Leicester.)

Perhaps the Devil had finally taken the House of Plantagenet to himself.

However that may be, the power of the Commons grew, until in 1649, on the orders of Parliament, King Charles I was beheaded.  The divine right of kings had been brought down to earth.  There was a new law in the land:  the Commons made and unmade monarchs, and no one after King Charles I was to forget it.

(In this column I use concepts like “heresy” to help tell a story from the perspective of the era.  That doesn’t mean I support or endorse the application of those concepts for any purpose.  It’s a scary story and if you’ve made it this far I hope it scared you!)

Gutenberg’s children: a desolate English Skipwith begot a Virginia son / Fulwar Skipwith writes of a tree with 3 branches (Newbold, Metheringham, & Prestwould)

•May 29, 2015 • Comments Off on Gutenberg’s children: a desolate English Skipwith begot a Virginia son / Fulwar Skipwith writes of a tree with 3 branches (Newbold, Metheringham, & Prestwould)

THIS

PLUS

EQUALS

SKIPWITH ENGLAND 1

(Click on images to enlarge.)

While my family was eating rancid bacon and dodging rude missiles, one imagines these people in their London clubs and country manors, reading about recent archaeological discoveries and the births, marriages, and deaths of those of their class.  “Sylvanus Urban” was a pseudonym used by successive editors.

Such civilization!  And we a nation of salt and canteens.

Sir Grey Skipwith, 8th Bart. Prestwould, sent to England at age 13, was through his mother Anne Miller, daughter of Hugh Miller of Greencroft, VA, a descendant of the famous Native American princess Pocahontas.

The reader will note that during the reign of King George I, Sir Fulwar Skipwith offered 80,000 pounds to John Montagu (1690–1749), 2nd Duke of Montagu, etc., for the large estate adjoining Newbold Hall.  The duke demanded 80,000 guineas, and the sale didn’t go through.  The guinea, minted from 1663–1814, was a gold coin initially equal to one pound sterling, or 20 shillings.  Over the years its value fluctuated, but was generally worth more than 20 shillings, so the duke’s price was significantly higher than the 80,000 pounds Sir Fulwar Skipwith had offered.

Periodicals and newspapers, wherever they may be found, are the most under-utilized genealogical materials.  They can contain a wealth of information not found elsewhere.

In the above account of the post-Virginia Skipwiths, there are some factual errors: there were three, not two, Skipwith baronetcies, and the manor of Prestwould was sold by Sir Henry Skipwith I, not his son Grey.  The fourth Prestwould baronet was Grey’s son William who also resided in Middlesex Co., VA.

(A general genealogy of the Skipwith family is to be found in this volume, published in 1867.  Available as a download from Internet Archive.)

Family Of Hillary Lillian Vaughan (maternal grandmother) with Notices of Wilcox & McMillen

•May 6, 2015 • Comments Off on Family Of Hillary Lillian Vaughan (maternal grandmother) with Notices of Wilcox & McMillen

I penned a genealogical book entitled Some Chipman Families Of The Southern States, the last edition of which appeared in March 1993.  Occasionally a copy of an earlier edition comes up for sale on Amazon.com.  I lost my copy of the first edition, so I bought one.  It had been given a library binding by the library and then replaced with a later edition. The book covered many families who intermarried with the Chipmans.  One of them was the Vaughan family of my maternal grandmother Hillary, who was little more than 15 years old when she married Jesse Otto Jeffery Scarff.

The Vaughans were early Missouri settlers, who came to the section from Kentucky. My second great-grandfather was Wilson Milton Vaughan (1850–1950), a Miller County character who missed being 100 years old by less than two months.  His son, Eric Lyman Vaughan, moved to Wapello County, Iowa, where he died at the age of 30.

This clipping from The Autogram of Miller County for December 5, 1940 commemorates Wilson Milton Vaughan’s 90th birthday:

(Miller County History, 17 Jun 1983.)

Our first proven Vaughan ancestor is Joshua Vaughan (father of Wilson Milton Vaughan), who married Elizabeth (Betsey) Birdsong:

Although Birdsong is a Native American name, these Birdsongs weren’t Native American. They first appeared in York County, Virginia in the early 18th century, and were later prominent in Sussex County.  Birdsong is thought to be a corruption of a name possibly Scandinavian in origin, like “Bartsong” or another phonetic variant.

Because the Vaughans were numerous, with many bearing the same given names, I cannot with certainty identify a place of origin beyond Kentucky. There is one Vaughan family centered in Bedford County, Virginia in the late 18th century that appears closely related, and members of it probably migrated to Monroe and Barren Cos., KY.  What is certain is that the Vaughans of Cooper Co., MO were from Barren and Monroe Cos., KY.

But who was Joshua Vaughan?  He was born in 1805 in Virginia, exact place unknown.

According to Jefferson Davis Vaughan, a son of Joshua Vaughan by Joshua’s second wife Susan Wyrick, Joshua wasn’t a “Vaughan” at all—his birth surname was actually “Wilson,” and he had been adopted by a Vaughan.

I have a problem with that story.  The first formal adoption law in the United States was enacted in MA in 1851.  In the South, orphans were bound out by the county courts to serve as apprentices, to a relative, or someone unrelated.  But could Joshua “Wilson” have been informally adopted by a Vaughan family—who may have been related to his birth family—and he simply took the name of “Vaughan?”  Of course, and that’s the difficulty with family tales like this:  there’s no independent evidence for or against this version of Joshua’s origins.  But the legal machinery in existence at the time Joshua would have been “orphaned” doesn’t support Jefferson Davis Vaughan’s account.

Joshua is also alleged to be the son of Benjamin and Susanna (Burnett) Vaughan, but for chronological reasons, that’s unlikely.  Benjamin Vaughan is presumed to be the son of William Vaughan Sr. of Monroe Co., KY.  My theory is that Benjamin Vaughan was Joshua Vaughan’s uncle, and that Joshua was actually the son of William Vaughan Jr., whose wife is unknown.  William Vaughan Jr. didn’t make the trek to MO and may have died in KY.  Joshua did name his first son William.  But nearly all of the early records in Monroe Co., KY, except for the tax records, are lost.  It’s one of the most total courthouse disasters I’ve seen.

This pedigree, however, begins with the Scott family.  Thomas Scott Jr., son of Thomas Scott and Sarah Mahurin [see marriage bond in “Branching Of The Yoke (Crossing Howland” column)] was an interesting figure. (See  “THOMAS SCOTT JR., FREEMASONRY, AND MILLER CO., MO POLITICS” column.]

Thomas Scott Jr. moved to California, but his wife America Stillwell remained in Miller County, supporting the opinion that their marriage was unhappy. America was probably a descendant of the Stillwell family of Dubois County, Indiana, and the daughter of Richard Stilwell.  It’s a common problem with pioneer families searching for the Promised Land:  families split up, and often the place they came to was no better or even worse than the place they’d left. In due course Thomas Scott Jr. returned to Miller County, but never again lived with America.

The page in Some Chipman Families Of The Southern States regarding the Scott family used an unorthodox system of notation, so I’ll just give the highlights.  The principle treatise on this Scott family is:

Scott, E. Harrison.  (1951).  Arthur Martin Scott 1777-1858 His Ancestors and His Descendants. Dayton:  The Otterbein Press.

Arthur Scott, son of Arthur and Agness Scott, was born ca. 1736/7, probably in Chester Co., PA. He married on 25 Apr 1765, Jean Ross.  After a brief sojourn in Washington Co., PA, Arthur Scott moved to Shelby Co., KY, where on 29 Sep 1805 his son Thomas Scott wed Sarah Mahurin, daughter of Samuel Mahurin, a descendant of Hugh Mahurin of Taunton, MA.  For about 4 years Arthur Scott lived on Brashears Creek, and then purchased land on Little Beech Creek.  He was a Constable in Shelby Co. Arthur Scott died ca. 1824/5 and was probably buried on his farm.

Arthur Scott sold his son Thomas Scott a tract of 159 1/2 acres on Beech Creek for the token amount of $1.00.  In 1821 Thomas Scott sold the land and moved to Dubois Co., Indiana.  The couple moved on to Miller Co., MO, and were living as late as 29 Jan 1858, when they sold 160 acres of land to Lev W. Albertson.

Thomas Scott Jr., the subject of the above short biography, was born 8 Dec 1816 in Shelby Co., KY, and died 30 Aug 1887 in Miller Co., MO, after having returned from California due to an apparent failure in operating a mine.  He was an active Mason.  His wife, America (Stillwell) Scott, died 13 Nov 1897. Thomas and Sarah (Mahurin) Scott, and Thomas Scott Jr. and wife America are buried at Scott Cemetary, Tuscumbia, MO.

Thomas Scott Jr. recorded the births of his children in the family bible, and daughter Rachel Jane Scott, first wife of the above mentioned Wilson Milton Vaughan, was born on Sunday, 17 Apr 1859 in Miller Co.  On 11 Mar 1875 she married Wilson, and their 6th child was my great-grandfather, Eric Lyman Vaughan 29 Sep 1885–19 May 1916.

(This faded photo is the only one I have of Eric Lyman Vaughan, but by cropping it I managed to give a fair rendering of his face.)

(This record, from the 1915 Iowa state census, is useful because Eric Lyman Vaughan’s first child was born in 1911, after the 1910 Federal Census, and Eric died in 1916, before the 1920 Federal Census.  The availability of state censuses varies; check with your state archives.)

(The elegant Nora Ann McMillen.)

[Tombstone of Eric Lyman Vaughan and Nora Ann (McMillen) (Vaughan) Messer, Brooks Cemetary near Ottumwa, Wapello Co., IA.]

(Marriage record of Thomas Calvin McMillen and Nancy Theodocia Wilcox, Miller Co., MO, 9 Oct 1887.  Miller Co., MO Marriage Book C, p. 361.  Nancy’s middle initial is incorrectly shown as “J.”  The marriage took place at the home of her mother, Manerva WilcoxClick on image to enlarge it.)

[Tombstone of Nancy Theodocia Wilcox (13 Jul 1861–18 Apr 1910; tombstone gives birth year as 1862), whose blue blood and lack of judgement brought distinction and ruin to my mother’s family; buried with her second husband Thomas Calvin McMillen (25 Dec 1864–3 Feb 1935) at Brooks Cemetary, Wapello Co., IATwo of their children are buried with themIt’s doubtful Nancy ever learned of the fate of her first husband, James T. Burris, who deserted her for Miller Co. trollop Charlotte Colvin and disappeared into the Indian TerritoryNancy divorced Burris “in abstentia.”]

[Here’s an obscure item:  the obituary for Thomas Calvin McMillen in the Ottumwa Courier, Tuesday, 5 Feb 1935, p. 13.  The author of this notice had few words for the departed.  McMillen actually died in Henry Co., IA, but was shipped to Ottumwa in Wapello Co. to be buried in Brooks Cemetary beside his wife, Nancy Theodocia (Wilcox) McMillen.]

Eric Lyman Vaughan married Nora Ann McMillen, daughter of Thomas Calvin and Nancy Theodocia (Wilcox) McMillen.  They had 3 children:  Virgil Zennia Vaughan, Hillary Lillian Vaughan, and Harold Milton Vaughan.  Nora Ann (McMillen) Vaughan remarried to Sheridan Messer and had four children:  Milo Messer; Dwight Messer; Rebekah Louise Messer (m. Warren Stiefel); and Joseph Thomas Messer.

(Virgil Zennia Vaughan and Hillary Lillian Vaughan, ca. 1914.)

(Most photos don’t affect me, but in these three children:  Harold Milton Vaughan; Hillary Lillian Vaughan; and Virgil Zennia Vaughan, I see no happiness, although many people, including children, had stiff expressions when photographedOttumwa, IA, ca. 1918.)

Hillary Lillian Vaughan 20 May 1913–4 Feb 1989 married on 3 Oct 1928 in Henry Co., IA Jesse Otto Jeffery Scarff, and had 10 children, of whom 9 reached adulthood.

[Jesse Otto (Jeffery) Scarff, ca. 1909.  Children put on their “Sunday Go To Church” clothes for portraits.  In ordinary attire, they looked pretty grubby.  It was the era in which children amused themselves by catching frogs and turtles, digging holes, and splashing in creeks.  It’s called the Outdoors.]

1. Valerie Berniece Scarff born 28 Sep 1929; married 20 Jun 1948 Ralph Vernon Chipman

 (Mt. Pleasant News, 21 Jun 1948.)

Children:

a.  Jeffrey Thomas Chipman born 25 July 1951

b.  Diane Gay Chipman born 29 Sep 1952; married Glen Christopher Joyce (two children)

c.  Debora Ann Chipman born 8 Oct 1953; married Arthur David Allred (two children)

d.  Mary Beth Chipman born 27 Jan 1958; married Randall Alan Roguski; div. (one child)

2. Jesse LeRoy Scarff born 27 Jan 1933; married Leona Witrofsky; div.

Children:

a.  James Dean Scarff

b.  Lorna Scarff

c.  Christopher Scarff

3.  John Eric Scarff born 28 Jan 1936; married Marilyn Kay DalAve

Children:

a.  Susan R. Scarff born 28 Aug 1962

b.  Christopher E. Scarff born 2 Dec 1964

c.  Ronald D. Scarff born 11 Oct 1969

4. Noma Louise Scarff born 9 Sep 1937; married (i) Tom Fisher adopted bro. of Franklin Louis Fisher, div. (ii) Edward Colewell Talbott

No children of either marriage

5. Mary Margaret Scarff born 7 Jul 1939; married George Presley Watson

Children:

a.  John Eric Watson

b.  Andrew Clark Watson

c.  Jessica Lynn Watson

6. Linda Kay Scarff born 7 Jan 1943; married Franklin Louis Fisher

Children (one son deceased):

a.  Frank William Fisher

b.  Christopher John Fisher

c.  Rebekah Lynn Fisher

d.  Jonathan Conrad Fisher

7. Diane Lu Scarff born 26 Aug 1944; married (i) Emmett Ridinger (ii) Jack Peters

Children by (i):

a.  Michael Ridinger

No children by (ii)

b.  a daughter adopted by Judith Ellen (Scarff) Septer *

8. Judith Ellen Scarff born 19 Oct 1946; married Ronald Eugene Septer, d. 27 Aug 2014 at Mt. Pleasant, IA

Children:

a.  Cynthia Lynn Septer born 12 Jun 1968

b.  Melissa Ann Septer born 26 May 1971

c.  David Eugene Septer born 1 Jun 1972

d.  an adopted daughter *

9. Michael Gene Scarff born 20 Jan 1949; married Barbara Esther Johnson

No children

10. Cynthia Lynn Scarff born 21 Apr 1957, died 22 Apr 1957; buried Forest Home Cemetery, Mt. Pleasant, IA

[* I  am withholding the name and birth date of this individual.  She shares her mother’s pedigree, as will her descendants.  This is a mtDNA (female descent) line, so it’s unnecessary to perform a paternity test.  mtDNA is passed from the mother to her children, whether male or female; however, if her child is male, he can’t pass mtDNA to his children.  Therefore, mtDNA will pass from mother to daughter as long as the chain of women is unbroken by males in the direct line of descent.]

This is a complete list of the children and grandchildren of Jesse Otto Jeffery Scarff and his wife Hillary Lillian Vaughan.  And that brings us full circle.

bona fide: vital records & genealogy

•May 5, 2015 • Comments Off on bona fide: vital records & genealogy

For genealogists, nothing is better than vital records:  records of birth, marriage, and death.  But any genealogist who’s sifted through vital records knows they aren’t always spot-on correct.

Let’s examine this birth certificate, which happens to be mine.  It was signed on 12 April 1956.  My parents obtained this copy for the the school district in Burlington, Iowa so I could attend kindergarten.  It’s a typewritten copy of the original.  Photocopy machines didn’t exist in 1956. The Des Moines County, Iowa clerk embossed the birth certificate with his seal to indicate it’s a genuine copy.

But there are two problems.  My father’s middle name is shown as “Vermen.” His real middle name is “Vernon.”  And my mother’s first name is shown as “Valeria,” when it’s actually “Valerie.”  Probably the clerk’s error, right?

Not exactly.  In 2004 I found my passport had expired, and to obtain a new one, I had to provide my birth certificate.  The above certificate would have sufficed, but I’d misplaced it, so I ordered another one from the State of Iowa.  That birth certificate was a photocopy of the handwritten original dated 2 August 1951,  and the original also gives my father’s middle name as “Vermen.”  In the case of my mother’s first name, it’s difficult to tell if the original says “Valeria” or “Valerie” because the letters “a” and “e” look similar.

So the clerk who typed up the 1956 copy made an accurate transcription of incorrect information regarding my father, and interpreted my mother’s first name as “Valeria.” The only additional information of interest to me on the original is that my father’s occupation is listed as “Telegraph Operator.”

It’s not quite the end of the story.  Several years ago I found a government agency had me in their database as born in “Burlington, Illinois.”  As you can see, I was born in “Burlington, Iowa.”  I had to produce a birth certificate so the agency could correct their records.

Vital records are important resources for genealogists.  Mine states that the original is recorded in Des Moines County, Iowa,  Book 16, Page C-24.  If I drove to the county courthouse in Burlington, Iowa, I could view the original.

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

•May 1, 2015 • 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 my 3rd great-grandfather, 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) J. (Duncan) Wilcox, wife of Peyton Milton Wilcox, at Camp Vaughan Cemetery in Miller Co., MO.]

 
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