I’M A SLAVE TO YOUR NEUROSIS (opinion)

•January 2, 2016 • Comments Off on I’M A SLAVE TO YOUR NEUROSIS (opinion)

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ALL STIRRED UP

Here’s how it works—you make lousy friends, like this guy

and he stirs the pot.  And then he laughs at you, for being stupid enough to have a friend like him.  Because his only friend is him.

Right?

The CASTILIAN (via Various Noble Houses of Castile)/ETHIOPIAN (via Melendo St. Peter)/JEWISH (via Rabbi Solomon et al)/VISIGOTHIC (via Peoples Indigenous to Spain prior to the Berber Invasion) Ancestry of Sancha de Ayala, ancestors to Hillary Lillian Vaughan, wife of Jesse Otto Jeffery Scarff of Mount Pleasant, IA & Cheyenne, WY / with notes on Blount, Somerville & Griffith / Sir Henry Skipwith II dies bankrupt in India

•January 6, 2016 • Comments Off on The CASTILIAN (via Various Noble Houses of Castile)/ETHIOPIAN (via Melendo St. Peter)/JEWISH (via Rabbi Solomon et al)/VISIGOTHIC (via Peoples Indigenous to Spain prior to the Berber Invasion) Ancestry of Sancha de Ayala, ancestors to Hillary Lillian Vaughan, wife of Jesse Otto Jeffery Scarff of Mount Pleasant, IA & Cheyenne, WY / with notes on Blount, Somerville & Griffith / Sir Henry Skipwith II dies bankrupt in India

Revised November 7, 2015.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 the author’s “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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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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.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The king has lost his head

And is consequently dead.

Happy cavaliers

Just pickin’ and grinnin’.

Virginny ain’t such a bad place to be

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

Happy cavaliers

Just pickin’ and grinnin’.

We’ll all wind up in an unmarked grave.

There’s nothing left to save.

Happy cavaliers

Just pickin’ and grinnin’.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Sancha de Ayala isn’t a genealogical curiosity.  She has thousands of descendants, 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Astrolabe made at Toledo in 1068.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The larger caliphates disintegrated:

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

 

[Illustration: “Chess Problem No. 25 Five Moors, one playing harp.”  Harp music set the mood for this most competitive of board games.  From the Libro de los Juegos (Book of Games) of Alfonso X, king of Castile, Leon, and Galicia (1221–1284).  King Edward I of England married as his first queen Eleanor of Castile, half-sister of Alfonso X.  Alfonso X had the text translated from Arabic into Castlilian and added illustrations, the book being completed in 1283. During the Middle Ages, wealthy patrons commissioned illuminated manuscripts like the Book of Games.  Undoubtedly the king was personally familiar with the physical appearance of a Moor.  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.  Some knights disagreed with Alfonso VIII’s lenient treatment of defeated Jews and Muslims from earlier battles.  When the Christian forces had previously gathered at Toledo there had been assaults and murders of Jews in the Jewish quarter.

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

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

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

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 during the 15th century 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.  Mozarabs looked like Arabs but weren’t “real” Arabs because they weren’t Muslim—but 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.  But in about the mid-13th century this family was granted a coat of arms.  Rather, Abdul Aziz bin Lampader was an Arabicized Christian who in appearance resembled his Muslim counterpart—the Moors.  As I discuss above, what made an individual a Moor cannot be unequivocally stated, but by general agreement it was a person of mixed race, incorporating mainly Berber and African elements.  The bin Lampader family was a mixture of Visigothic and black African ancestry sharing the Christian religion.  Ethiopia had converted to Christianity in the 4th century.  Slaves and soldiers entering Moorish Spain brought their religion with them.  However, it would have been far more common (and safer) for a Christian to convert to Islam than a Muslim become a Christian.

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

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

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

One researcher claimed Abdul Aziz bin Lampader was actually Abdelacis ben Lampader, 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 couldn’t locate “Lampader” anywhere in lists of Hebrew names, or in Hebrew dictionaries, or in Latin, or in Spanish, that would give a clue to the name the family held under the Moorish regime.  It may have been quasi-official.  A corollary is the English family of Despenser, whose name was derived from “Dispensator”—they had been stewards of the Earls of Chester or the Lacy family, Constables of Chester.  Abdul Aziz and his son (or grandson) Melendo held public office in Toledo.  Apparently this family was resident in Toledo when it capitulated to Alfonso VI, and the king took advantage of their continued service.

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

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

(Click on image to enlarge.)

The entire article on Lampeter may be seen at:

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

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

(Church of St. Peter, Painscastle.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Original tomb of El Cid and his wife Ximena at the monastery of San Pedro de Cardena.  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.

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

BLACK OF CHAMPAIGN CO., OH & HENRY CO., IA / FRANCIS IRONS JEFFERY & THE MARRYING WIDOW / STAFFORD, HANAWALT, LAMAN & ROTHROCK: A PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH REVOLUTIONARY WAR HERITAGE

•January 5, 2016 • Comments Off on BLACK OF CHAMPAIGN CO., OH & HENRY CO., IA / FRANCIS IRONS JEFFERY & THE MARRYING WIDOW / STAFFORD, HANAWALT, LAMAN & ROTHROCK: A PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH REVOLUTIONARY WAR HERITAGE

Revised Feb. 4, 2016

Schwieder, Dorothy.  (1996).  Iowa The Middle Land.  Ames, Iowa:  Iowa State University Press.

The Black family of Champaign Co., OH, and Henry Co., IA were ancestors of my grandfather Jesse Otto Jeffery Scarff.  Samuel Black Jr. served in the Civil War in Co. H, 37th (“Graybeard”) Regiment, Iowa Infantry, enlisting at age 54, which in that era was considered an advanced age.  Most of the deaths in the unit were from disease.

The Black family, like those below, was of German descent.

Below: Grave marker of Samuel Black Jr. (1808–1865) at Green Mound cemetery near Trenton, Henry Co., IA.  The stone has tipped over and is flat on the ground.  Note the GAR star at the bottom right.  Trenton, named after the capital of New Jersey, was once a viable community, but the railroads at Fairfield proved stiff competition.

On 3 Jul 1831 in Champaign Co., OH Samuel Black Jr. married Mary Adamson.  Of her family I have nothing.  Like her husband, she’s buried at Green Mound cemetery.  The clasping hands are a common motif on grave markers of the period.

“The Free Press” of 18 Aug 1887, published in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa reports: “Mrs. Mary Black died at her residence two miles west of here, July 15th.  She was born in Ohio in 1814, and after her marriage to Samuel Black, moved to Henry county Iowa, where she resided for forty-eight years.  She was a kind good woman and died respected by her neighbors.”  Her grave marker says she died July 11th.

Samuel Black Jr.’s daughter Mary Ann married Tyler Huffman, who was also a Civil War veteran, on 3 Sep 1868 in Henry Co., IA.  Their daughter Effie Viola Huffman became Jesse’s mother.

Above: Portrait of Effie Viola Huffman, probably taken prior to her marriage to Earnest Ervin Jeffery. 

Below: Effie is buried at Green Mound cemetery.  Her grave marker has been recently installed.

Above: Grave marker of Samuel Black Sr. (1775–1846) at Black Cemetery, Woodstock, Champaign Co., OH; father of Samuel Black Jr. of Henry Co., IA. Samuel Black Sr. married in Washington Co. PA, Elizabeth Stricker, daughter of Lawrence (Johan Lorentz) Stricker.  (See: Lawrence Stricker will, dated 1 Apr 1816, Washington Co. PA Will Book 3, p. 93 which names “my daughter Elizabeth Black wife to Samuel Black.”)  In 1811 Samuel Black Sr. moved from Buffalo Township, Washington Co., PA to Champaign Co., OH.

(Will of Samuel Black Sr., Champaign Co., OH Will Book B, pp. 413–414.)

Samuel Black Sr. was the son of Peter Black of Washington Co., PA.  Peter Black was a soldier in the Revolutionary War.

This NEXT cluster of families also belongs to my grandfather Jesse Otto Jeffery Scarff. It’s a new cluster stemming from his grandmother Catherine (Stafford) Jeffery.  I discovered the maiden name of Catherine’s mother Susan by taking another look at the cemetery records at Lower Richwoods Cemetery in Jefferson Co., IA, which show Susan’s maiden name as Hanawalt.  I was then able to identify Susan’s family in Mifflin County, PA.

I still haven’t determined the parents of Susan’s husband James Stafford, who was born 8 Jul 1792 in England.  James Stafford must have married Susan (or Susannah) Hanawalt in Mifflin Co., PA. Unfortunately there are no recorded marriages there until 1885, and this marriage took place ca. 1831.

James Stafford’s tombstone at Lower Richwoods Cemetery is still standing.  Also buried at Lower Richwoods Cemetery is George Hanawalt (23 Apr 1795–22 Jul 1867), brother of Susan (Hanawalt) Stafford.

_____

In the 1850 Jefferson Co., IA census (p. 41), Susanna Stafford is living in Walnut Township, as follows:

Susanna Stafford aged 43 b. PA; Mary Stafford aged 17 b. PA; Henry Stafford aged 15 b. PA; Annette Stafford aged 11 b. PA; Catharine Stafford aged 9 b. PA; Nelson Stafford aged 7 b. PA (Nelson’s full name was Admiral Nelson Stafford)

By the 1860 Jefferson Co., IA census (pp. 136-147), the family is still in Walnut Township, but things have changed a bit:

Household 978:  Oliver Frazier aged 23 b. NY; Catharine Frazier aged 19 b. PA  (Catherine Stafford and her first husband, Oliver Frazier, living next door to Catherine’s mother, before the Civil War.  “Frazier” is sometimes spelled “Frasher.”)

Household 979:  Susan Stafford aged 52 b. PA; Henry Stafford aged 24 b. PA; Athena Stafford aged 21 b. PA; Nelson Stafford aged 17 b. PA; John Stafford aged 10 months b. IA

In the 1870 Henry Co., IA census (p. 247), Catherine Stafford is residing in Jefferson Township, Mt. Pleasant P.O. with her new husband:

Francis A. [sic] Jeffery aged 31 b. OH; Catherine E. Jeffery aged 28 b. PA; James P. Frasher [sic] aged 9 b. IA; Eva Jane Jeffery aged 4 b. IA; William Jeffery aged 2 b. IA; Thomas Jeffery aged 7 months b. IA; Garret I. Jeffery aged 66 b. NJ

The 1880 Henry Co., IA census (p. 194), Jefferson Township, shows that Francis I. Jeffery had adopted James P. Frazier, Catherine Jeffery’s son by her first husband.  This census also documents the relationships in the household.  “Jeffery” has been corrupted to “Jeffries”:

F.I. Jeffries [sic] aged 42 b. OH; Catharine Jeffries (wife) aged 39 b. PA; James P. Jeffries (son) aged 19 b. IA; Wm. Jeffries (son) aged 11 b. IA; Thomas S. Jeffries (son) aged 10 b. IA; John L. Jeffries (son) aged 8 b. IA; Garit Jeffries (father) aged 76 b. NJ

Above: Grave marker of Francis Irons Jeffery at Green Mound cemetery.  The grave has a GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) star.  Beneath “GAR” is the legend “1861–1865.” Francis Irons Jeffery served as a corporal in the Union Army during the Civil War.  GAR was founded on 6 Apr 1866 in Decatur, IL by Benjamin F. Stephenson as a fraternal order for those who had served in the Union armed forces.  Its last member, drummer boy Albert Woolson, d. 2 Aug 1956, and was thought to be about 109 years old.  Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War is the GAR endorsed successor organization, which is still active today.  Estimates of those killed in the Civil War, from combat or disease, range from 620,000 to 750,000. 

Below: Francis Irons Jeffery’s grave marker was paid for by the Office of the Quartermaster General, which supplied through local contractors grave markers for thousands of Union veterans.  According to their records, he died on 20 June 1897.  The grave marker, being of porous stone, is in bad condition.  This record gives an accurate date of death.  The grave marker was actually installed nearly six years later.

By the 1900 Henry Co., IA census (SD 74 ED 33 Sheet 9), Jefferson Township, Catherine Jeffery is once again a widow:

Catherine Jeffry [sic] (widow, head of household) b. Nov 1844 PA; Wm. L. Jeffry (son) b. Jul 1876 IA; Alonzo Jeffry (son) b. – 1879 IA; Earnest Jeffry (son) b. Feb 1881 (Earnest Ervin Jeffery was father of my grandfather Jesse Otto Jeffery Scarff)

And finally, in the 1910 Henry Co., IA census (SD 1 ED 40 Sheet 11B), my grandfather is living with his aunt Emma and her husband John Scarff:

John H. Scarff (head) aged 45 b. IA; Emma A. (wife) aged 40 b. IA; Jesse Otto Jeffery (nephew) aged 6 b. IA (Jesse was Emma’s nephew, not John’s)

I wanted to solve the mystery of Catherine E. (Stafford) (Frazier) Jeffery’s first husband, Oliver E. Frazier.  What happened?

Oliver E. Frazier served in Co. K, 7th Regiment, Iowa Infantry.  After numerous battles throughout the South, the unit was attached to the Military Division of the Mississippi under the command of Maj. General William T. Sherman.  The Battle of Resaca, GA, the first battle of Sherman’s Atlanta campaign, was fought from 13–15 May 1864.  Oliver E. Frazier was killed at Resaca on 15 May 1864, and is interred at Chatanooga National Cemetery, Chatanooga, TN.  Cemetery records leave no doubt that the soldier interred at Chatanooga was Catherine’s husband Oliver.  Oliver never made it home in more ways than one.

But how did Francis I. Jeffery, whose home was Henry Co., IA, marry a widow who resided in Jefferson Co.?  How did he know of her?  Francis was in Co. B, 25th Regiment, Iowa Infantry—and he fought at the Battle of Resaca.  Evidently Francis knew Oliver, and when he mustered out, he visited Catherine.

On 6 Sep 1866 in Jefferson Co., IA, Catherine E. Jeffery posted a Guardian’s bond for the benefit of James P. Frasher, a minor.  Witnesses were Henry Stafford and Daniel W. Benson.

Catherine was the widow of two Civil War veterans.  The pension claims stemming from the Civil War service of Oliver E. Frazier and her second husband Francis I. Jeffery were consolidated under her Widow’s claim No. 679.892.  Records show her son James P. (Frasher) Jeffery eventually received money through his father’s pension while residing at Fairfield, IA.

(Click on image to enlarge.)

____________________________________

Although it is known that Susan (Hanawalt) Stafford is buried at Lower Richwoods Cemetery, she doesn’t have a grave marker and her exact date of death is unknown. However, the 1870 Jefferson Co., IA census (p. 225), P.O. Lockridge, taken on 7 Jun 1870, shows Susan aged 64 living with her son Henry Stafford.

On 30 Nov 1844, for the sum of $500.00, Hugh Johnston and Leah his wife sold to James Stafford 160 acres in Jefferson Co.  William Kimberly and George Hanawalt were witnesses to the deed.  On 1 Mar 1846, the United States of America issued land grant No. 11397 for 40 acres to James Stafford of Jefferson Co., Territory of Iowa.

Below: Grave marker of James Stafford at Lower Richwoods cemetery, Jefferson Co., IA.  At some point the grave marker was split, and has been repaired with iron bands.

James and Susan (Hanawalt) Stafford were real Iowa pioneers.  The following, cited in a 1914 history of Jefferson Co., IA, are part of the field notes submitted on 18 Nov 1837 by E.F. Lucas, Deputy Surveyor, which describes conditions in Walnut Township when James and Susan settled in Iowa Territory:

“It may be said of this township that it embraces a considerable quantity of good soil, and to all appearance well adapted to the purpose of cultivation, good timber for the support of farms is not in that abundance that would be looked for in all cases, but yet, there is a sufficiency.

There passes through the center and out at the South Boundry a Creek called Wallnut which a great portion of the year will be sufficient to propel mills and other machinery.  There are great quantities of Limestone disposed through out, and from appearance stone coal may be easily procured in large quantities.  It is perceveable in the washings of all the brooks Creeks, etc.  On the N. boundary is what is called the Pleasant Prairie.  But of the river bottoms nothing flattering can be held out—they are not wide in most places—and the numerous ponds, and lakes and marshes spoil them either for beauty or cultivation.”

Mifflin Co. is in the central section of PA.  These individuals are of German descent and considered “Pennsylvania Dutch” (“deutsch”).  Any descendant of James and Susan (Hanawalt) Stafford is eligible for DAR on three lines, as discussed below.  All lines have been used for DAR membership.

  1. Johannes Rothrock, b. 1684 in Leiselheim, Germany (in the Rhineland near Worms); m. 1712 Anna Margaretha (maiden name unknown), b. 1688, liv. 1730; Johannes Rothrock said to be son of Michel Rothrock

     

  2. Johann Georg Rothrock, b. 1721 in Germany, d. 1806 in Northampton Co., PA; m. Elizabeth Roemig, d. 1798; Johann Georg Rothrock (George Rothrock) signed an Oath of Allegiance to the United States on 29 May 1778, NSDAR qualified (Ancestor No. A098781); according to NSDAR wife was Elizabeth Roemig, parents unknown

     

  3. George Rothrock, b. 1747 in Bucks Co., PA, d. 1 May 1826 in Derry Township, Mifflin Co., PA; m. Elizabeth (Myers or Meyers?), b. 1751, d. Jul 1827, Mifflin Co, PA; George Rothrock served in Battalion 8 Cumberland Co., PA militia during the Revolutionary War, NSDAR qualified (Ancestor No. A098782); NSDAR doesn’t give a maiden name for wife

     

  4. Mary Rothrock, twin of Susanna Rothrock, b. 24 Dec 1773 in Cumberland Co., PA, d. 1840 in Mifflin Co., PA; m. ca. 1793 in Mifflin Co., PA, John Laman Hanawalt, b. 1773 at or near McVeytown, Mifflin Co., PA, d. 22 Feb 1829 in McVeytown, Mifflin Co., PA; John Laman Hanawalt was the son of Henry George Hanawalt and Catherine Elizabeth Laman (or Lehman); Henry [George] Hanawalt, ca. 1731–1794, is NSDAR qualified (Ancestor No. A050781) for rendering Patriotic Service (paid Supply Tax 1779–1782) 

     

  5. Susan (or Sussanah) Hanawalt, b. 1807, d. after 7 Jun 1870 in Jefferson Co., IA; m. ca. 1831 in Mifflin Co., PA, James Stafford, b. 8 Jul 1792 in England, d. 8 July 1847 in Jefferson Co, IA; James and Susan (Hanawalt) Stafford are buried in Lower Richwoods Cemetery in Jefferson Co., IA; Susan has no marker

     

  6. Catherine E. Stafford (middle name probably “Elizabeth”), b. November 1842 in Pennsylvania, d. 23 Oct 1902 in Henry Co., IA; m. (2) 12 Apr 1866 as his second wife, Francis Irons Jeffery, b. 21 Aug 1838 in Marion Co., OH, d. 20 Jun 1897 in Henry Co., IA, Union Civil War veteran, buried Green Mound Cemetery near Trenton, IA, son of Garrett Irons Jeffery and wife Ann McCray; Catherine’s first husband Oliver E. Frazier was killed in the Civil War, and by him she had one son, James P. Frazier

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

•January 4, 2016 • 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 Wilson Milton Vaughan (1850–1950), a Miller County character, missed being 100 years old by less than two months.  His son, my great-grandfather Eric Lyman Vaughan, moved to Wapello County, IA, 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, VA 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 KY. There is one Vaughan family centered in Bedford County, VA in the late 18th century who appear 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 VA, 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 CA, 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 CA 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 as an adult, 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.  Because Hillary was 15, her mother Nora Ann (McMillen) (Vaughan) Messer gave consent to the marriage.  The couple had 10 children, of whom 9 reached adulthood.  The legal age to marry with parental consent in Iowa is currently 16.

Below: Iowa State Board Of Health marriage record.  My grandfather gave his aunt Emma Jane Huffman and John H. Scarff as his parents because he had been legally adopted, much to the dismay of his actual father, Earnest Ervin Jeffery.  When Effie died, Earnie couldn’t work and take care of a young child, so Jesse was placed with the childless Emma.  I think Emma spoiled him.

 

[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.

The unCivil War: Tyler Huffman & Newton O. Harkey

•January 3, 2016 • Comments Off on The unCivil War: Tyler Huffman & Newton O. Harkey

(Click on image to enlarge.)

Civil War records can provide a wealth of information.  The first record is part of the pension application for my 2nd great-grandfather Tyler Huffman, who served in the Union army in an Iowa unit.  The second is from the service records belonging to another 2nd great-grandfather, Newton O. Harkey, who fought on the Confederate side in a Missouri unit.

Tyler Huffman’s story was common.  He was with Sherman’s March to the Sea when he was afflicted with scrofula and diarrhea.  The primitive sanitary conditions in an army encampment, and a medical staff little more sophisticated than physicians in the Roman Empire, caused more casualties than enemy fire.

TYLER HUFFMAN PHOTO

Tyler Huffman portrait, probably ca. 1900.  Photo is available at the Find-A-Grave and Ancestry.com websites.  This photo was made from another photo (probably also a copy) that displayed more of his suit, added his name at the bottom, and had been tinted red.  Removing the tint and cropping the photo makes an acceptable image of his face, but it would be better to have a scan of the original, which was shot by a professional.

Above: A snapshot of the Tyler Huffman family, from the 1885 Henry Co., IA State Census, p. 336.  My great-grandmother Effie Viola Huffman is second from bottom.  Her sister Emma J. Huffman, who married John Scarff and raised my grandfather Jesse, is fifth from bottom.  (Click on image to enlarge.)

Above: Grave marker of Tyler Huffman and wife Mary Ann Black at Green Mound cemetery near Trenton, Henry Co., IA.  At the bottom right is a GAR star.

Missouri was divided in loyalty.  Dunklin County, where Newton O. Harkey served, is fertile cotton country, so it’s not surprising it sided with the CSA.

Revised Jan. 26, 2016

Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu & Zen Too

•January 1, 2016 • Comments Off on Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu & Zen Too

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Zen Rock Garden

(All questions are the same question.  All koans are the same koan.  They challenge us to go beyond the abstract and grasp life directly.  There is no Last Word of Zen.  Sometimes you give and sometimes you take.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

•December 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.)

 
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