Revised Dec. 26, 2016


Campbell, James, gen. ed.; John, Eric; Wormald, Patrick.  (1991).  The Anglo-Saxons. London and New York, etc.:  Penguin Books.

Donaldson, E. Talbot; trans.; Howe, Nicholas; ed.  (2002).  Beowulf A Prose Translation. New York:  W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.  A Norton Critical Edition.

Oram, Richard.  (2004).  David The King Who Made Scotland.  Stroud, Gloucestershire: Tempus Publishing Limited.

Williams, Ann.  (2003).  Aethelred the Unready The Ill-Counselled King.  London and New York:  Hambledon and London.

Alice Freeman was a descendant of King Aethelred II of England (Without Counsel), 2nd great-grandson of King Alfred the Great, who was son of King Aethelwulf, son of King Egbert, the “Bretwalda.”  Something of that term may be gleaned from the following derived from the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle:

A lunar eclipse occurred at 2:00 am on 25 Dec 828, and in that year King Egbert conquered the kingdom of Mercia and all that was south of the Humber, and he was the eighth king to be called Controller of Britain.

I know of no other royal lines for Alice Freeman.  Attempts to link her to Henry I have been unsatisfactory, and even if successful would rely on an unproved illegitimate connection.  An alleged descent from Charlemagne is insufficiently supported.  Nor does there appear to be descents from Scottish kings.

This is the oldest bloodline in the world.

1.  Aethelred II, King of England, b. ca. 967, d. 23 Apr 1016, buried in St. Paul’s, London, son of Edgar the Peaceful, King of England; m. (1) very probably dau. of an Ealdorman, perhaps Aelfgifu or Aethelgifu (2) (her first) Emma, d. 6 Mar 1052, dau. of Richard I, Duke of Normandy

In reviewing Stewart Baldwin’s work regarding Aethelred II’s wife or wives prior to Emma of Normandy, I agree with his conclusions.  There’s no consensus regarding the number or names of Aethelred II’s wives before Emma.  Aethelred II’s immediate successor, Edmund Ironside, wasn’t a son of Emma.  Aethelred II’s daughter Aelfgifu, who married Uchtred of Northumberland, wasn’t the daughter of Emma either. Aethelred II’s marriage to Emma was of considerable prestige to him.  His previous wife or wives would have come from the topmost rank of the nobility.

There’s confusion about the meaning of the terms “ealdorman” and “earl.” King Edgar, father of Aethelred II, used the term “earl”, after the Danish word “jarl,”  in areas of Danish influence such as Northumbria, while elsewhere they were called “ealdorman.” King Cnut imposed “earl” as the universal term.  Adding to the difficulty is the status of wives of Anglo-Saxon monarchs, who at the time weren’t “queens” in the sense that Eleanor of Castile was queen of King Edward I.  They were considered to be what they were:  wives of a king.  To create more confusion, Emma of Normandy was called “Elfgiva” by the English.  (According to The Chronicle of Florence of Worcester, “The same year [1002] king Ethelred married Emma, who is called by the Saxons Elfgiva, daughter of Richard I., duke of Normandy.”)

(Victorian era painting depicting inhabitants of the Northumbrian coast fleeing a Viking invasion.)

This line is a testament to a very important period in English history: the collapse of the old Anglo-Saxon ruling house, which was succeeded by the Danes, and then returned to a half-Anglo-Saxon, half-Norman king, Edward the Confessor, whose sanctity rates higher in hagiography than does his skill in the political sense. William the Conqueror’s victory at Hastings decided a succession crisis that Edward the Confessor should have settled long before.

2.  Aelfgifu of England (by a wife of Aethelred II prior to Emma); m. (his 3rd) Uchtred, Earl of Northumberland, d. 1016

Uhtred or Uchtred was also called Earl of Bamburgh, the parent territory of Northumbria.  Bamburgh was the successor of the independent Bernicia.  Uchtred was married three times:  (1) Ecgfritha, repudiated, dau. of Bishop Ealdhun, who recovered her dower lands (2) Sigen, dau. of Styrr (3) Aelfgifu as above.

(Sir Archibald H. Dunbar, Scottish Kings A Revised Chronology Of Scottish History 1005–1625; also texts marked * that follow.)

(Simeon of Durham; in the style of ancient historians, he has invented Uchtred’s speech.  Simeon, who was writing in the late 11th and early 12th centuries, is a major source for events in this period.  This is contemporary evidence.  Simeon knew this family or had talked to people with first hand knowledge of them. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle tells a similar story of the death of Uchtred: that Uchtred had submitted to Cnut to spare Northumberland from Cnut’s ravages, but after receiving hostages, Cnut had him murdered.)

3.  Ealdgyth of Northumberland; m. Maldred, lord of Carlisle and Allendale, son of Crinan the Thane, d. 1045

There is confusion as to the identity of Maldred’s father Crinan: was Crinan the Thane identical with Crinan, lay abbott of Dunkeld, who had married Bethoc, daughter of King Malcolm II? Note that the passage from The Complete Peerage below uses the term “presumably.”  However, in the Competition of 1291 for the Scottish crown, Gospatric’s descendant Patrick of Dunbar presented his petition based upon descent from a bastard daughter of King William the Lion, rather than legitimate descent from King Malcolm II. If Crinan the Thane was the same person as Crinan, lay abbott of Dunkeld, then Maldred cannot be the son of Bethoc, but was the son of another wife.  Many abbeys had extensive property, so a lay abbott, the secular lord of the abbey’s lands, was a lucrative position, a plum granted to a royal favorite.  For example, Rudolph I, king of Burgundy, inherited the lay abbacy of St. Maurice en Valais from his father, and in 852 Charles the Bald bestowed the lay abbacy of Marmoutier upon Robert the Strong.  In the case of the lay abbacy of Dunkeld, it may well have been bestowed upon Crinan by Malcolm II as a consequence of Crinan’s marriage to Bethoc.  Occasionally in the Medieval period you’ll find a Catholic bishop commanding troops, but that bishop isn’t a “lay” bishop. Gospatric’s father is proven to be Maldred, and the chart, prepared by Sir Archibald H. Dunbar, Bart., is in error showing Maldred as a grandson of King Malcolm II.  Regardless of whether Crinan the Thane was also Crinan the lay abbott, Gospatric has no known descent from Scottish kings, but there’s no reason why Crinan could not have been referred to by different titles during his lifetime. In the medieval period prominent men usually held multiple offices.

Dunbar (1906) has this to say regarding the identity of Crinan:

“(I.)  Bethoc, heir of her father King Malcolm II., was married about the year 1000 to Crinan the Thane, hereditary lay-abbot of Dunkeld, and seneschal of the Isles, who held with other lands the territory called ‘Abthania de Dull,’ in Athol.  Crinan was slain in battle at Dunkeld ‘with 9 times 20 heroes’ in 1045.”

4.  Gospatric I (Gwas Patric), Earl of Northumberland and Dunbar, b. ca. 1040, d. 1074/5; m. a sister of Edmund

(As Gospatric paid a fine to King William I of England to succeed to the Earldom of Northumberland, there can be no doubt he was the son of Maldred, whose wife was heiress to Northumberland.  The Latin phrase “nam ex materno sanguine attinebat ad eum honor illius comitatus” essentially means “he succeeded to the office by reason of his mother’s blood or family.”  Sources like Wikipedia and Internet message board “soc.genealogy.medieval” shouldn’t be trusted without verification.  My opinion is that Gospatric’s grandfather Crinian the Thane and Crinan lay abbott of Dunkeld are identical. That explains why Malcolm III made Gospatric earl of Dunbar after William the Conqueror stripped Gospatric of Northumberland, as Maldred would have been a half-brother to Duncan I, king of Scotland.  Gospatric was thus the first cousin of Malcolm III, but with no royal Scots descent.)

Oram agrees with my interpretation of Gospatric’s ancestry:

“William [The Conqueror] appeared to have achieved much at the limited cost to himself of a few vills granted for the Scottish king’s maintenance when he attended the English king’s court.  Mael Colium [Malcolm III] had been neutralised as a threat, at least for the time being, thereby depriving Edgar Aedeling of strong external support for another bid on the throne.  Norman power, too, had been projected far to the north of York and William felt able on his homeward journey to deprive the fickle Gospatric of his earldom of Northumbria.  Gospatric, who was Mael Colium’s cousin in the paternal line and a great-grandson of King Aedelred II of England (Margaret’s grandfather), was eventually received in Scotland and granted Dunbar and extensive estates in Lothian which had originally formed the northern portion of his own lost earldom of Northumbria.”  (p.31)

(The Complete Peerage, Vol. 9, pp. 704-705, Dunbar.)

(* The tradition that Gospatric became a monk and is buried in the crypt of Durham cathedral is not universally accepted and may be myth.)


The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle of Worcester records that soon after 11 Sep 1068:  “Three sons of King Swein with 240 ships came from Denmark into the Humber—and Jarl Osbern and Jarl Thurkill.  And there came against them Prince Edgar, and Earl Waltheof, and Earl Gospatric with the Northumbrians, and all the people of the land, riding and marching with an enormous raiding-army … and thus all resolutely went to York and broke down and demolished the castle, and won countless treasures in there, and there killed many hundreds of French men ….”

5.  Gospatric II, 2nd Earl of Dunbar, held serjeanty of Beanley, d. 23 Aug 1138; m. unknown, but evidently not Sibilla

(The Scots Peerage, Vol. 3, pp. 246-247, Dunbar, and passage that follows, p. 249.)

6.  Juliana of Dunbar; m. Ralph (Ranulf) de Merlay, lord of Morpeth, d. 1160, son of William de Merlay

7.  Roger de Merlay, d. 1188; m. Alice de Stuteville, daughter of Roger de Stuteville

8.  Agnes de Merlay; m. Richard Gobion, d. bef. 29 Dec 1230 in Gascony

9.  Hugh Gobion, d. 1275; m. Matilda, liv. 5 Jul 1271

(Biography of Hugh Gobion from The Knights of Edward I.)

(Inquisitions Post Mortem for Hugh Gobion, 1275.)

10. Joan Gobion, liv. 1312; m. (1) John de Morteyn, of Tilsworth and Marston, co. Bedford, d. 1296

(New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. 79, Issue 4, October 1925; G. Andrews Moriarty, “The Royal Descent of a New England Settler.”  One of the most brilliant genealogical articles I’ve ever seen.)

11. Sir John de Morteyn, of Merston and Tillesworth, co. Bedford, d. 1346; m. Joan (or Jane) de Rothwell

(Biography of Sir John de Morteyn from The Knights of Edward I.)

12. Lucy de Morteyn, liv. 8 Mar 1361; m. (his 1st) Sir John Giffard, of Twyford, co. Bucks. & Somerston, Fringford and Cogges, co. Oxford, b. 1301, d. 25 Jan 1368, fought at the Battle of Crecy 1346, son of Sir John Giffard le Boef and Alexandra de Gardinis (Alexandra is called “Alexandra de Grandivis,” dau. of Thomas and Thomasine, in The Visitation of the County of Oxford)

[The above biography from The Knights of Edward I is for Sir John Giffard le Boef (“The Ox”), d. after 9 May 1324.  A fine temp. Edward I identifies Sir John Giffard le Boef as the son of Sir Osbert Giffard, b. 10 Jun 1234, liv. 20 Aug 1297, who was grandson of Sir Elis Giffard and Maud, daughter of Maurice Fitz Robert Fitz Hardinge and Alice de Berkeley.  See chart below.  The parents of Sir Osbert Giffard (ca. 1234—1297) were Sir Osbern Giffard of Winterborne Houghton and Isabel de Bocland.  Isabel de Bocland, daughter of Sir Alan de Bocland and Alice Murdac, was the subject of a study by G. Andrews Moriarty (The ancestry of Isabel de Bocland.  1924.).  Alice Murdac’s mother was Eve de Grey (d. 1242), Lady of Standlake and Dornford, Oxfordshire, wife of Ralph Murdac, the royal judge.  Eve de Grey was the daughter of John de Greye of Standlake (d. 1192) and 2nd wife (–) Basset.]

[This material from Deacon Of Elstowe And London (1898) p. 223 quoting IPMs replaces the defective Giffard/Mortyeyn connection in The Visitation of the County of Oxford 1566, 1582, & 1634.  Sir John Morteyn, the subject of the IPM, was the nephew of Joan and Lucy.]

13. Sir Thomas Giffard, of Twyford, b. ca. 1345, d. 25 Sep 1394; m. (1) Elizabeth de Missenden, d. 1367

14. Roger Giffard, esq., of Twyford, b. ca. 1367, d. 14 Apr 1409; m. (3) Isabel Stretele

15. Thomas Giffard, of Twyford, b. 1408, d. 29 May 1469; m. Eleanor Vaux, dau. of Thomas Vaux (The Gifford pedigree of generations 12–15 is confirmed by cases in the Plea Rolls.)

16. John Giffard, esq., of Twyford, b. ca. 1431, d. bef. 23 Sep 1506; m. Agnes Wynslowe, dau. of Thomas Wynslowe (who was d. by 6 Jan 1463) and Agnes Throckmorton, dau. of Sir John Throckmorton (ca. 1380-1445), Under-Treasurer of England, bur. at Church of St. John the Baptist, Fladbury, Warwickshire

17. Thomas Giffard, of Twyford, d. 10 Oct 1511; m. Jane Langston, d. 22 Mar 1534, dau. of John Langston of Caversfield, Buckinghamshire, and Amy Danvers, dau. of John Danvers and his 2nd wife, Joan Bruley; John Danvers was the son of Richard Danvers and Agnes Brancestre, dau. of Sir John Brancestre

(There is an error in this chart:  “John Langeston” married Amy Danvers, not “Margarett” Danvers.  I’ve shown only the children of John Danvers’ second marriage to Joan Bruley; by his first wife, Alice Verney, he also had issue.)

(In the old churches of England it was customary for families of local importance to make a display of their arms.  These arms were recorded in 1668 as being displayed in the chancel window in Waterstock church, Oxfordshire, relating to the above Danvers, Bruley, and Quartermaine families.  Evidently subsequent restorations have erased their existence.  The chart above it, from Memorials Of The Danvers Family, illustrates why the Bruley family has been muddled:  Agnes Bruley, a great-granddaughter of Henry Bruley and Katherine Foliot, married William Bruley, a great-grandson of Henry Bruley and Katherine Foliot, resulting in a crossed line.  This is a case in point of gentry families intermarrying more than once over the years, with property of one branch of the family being eventually held by another.)

18. Amy Giffard, b. ca. 1485/90; m. bef. 1511 Richard Samwell, of Edgecote, co. Northampton, d. 3 May 1519

19. Susanna Samwell, b. ca. 1510/5; m. ca. 1535 Peter Edwards, of Peterborough, co. Northampton, b. ca. 1490, d. ca. 1552, son of Peter Edwards

20. Edward Edwards, gent., of Alwalton, co. Huntingdon, b. ca. 1537, d. between Christmas 1591 and 16 Sep 1592; m. Ursula Coles, buried 2 Feb 1606, daughter of Richard Coles and Jane Bond (m. ca. 1536) [will of Jane (Bond) Coles dated 22 Aug 1577; daughter of Robert Bond]

21. Margaret Edwards, liv. 1619; m. ca. 1591 Henry Freeman, of Cranford, co. Northampton, b. 1560, d. 5 Aug 1606, son of Thomas Freeman, son of Henry Freeman of Irchester, co. Northampton and Joan Rudd

[This chart, from The Visitations of Northamptonshire 1564 and 1618-19, p. 192, gives a pedigree of Joan Rudd to her great-grandfather, Thomas Rudd of Bedfordshire.  Of Robert Pemberton of
Rushden, Northamptonshire, I have this, from the Rushden Town Council:
  “From the early 13th century until 1929, Rushden Hall was home to a succession of local squires, in particular the Pembertons, Ekins, Fletcher and Sartoris families.  The Pemberton’s long association with the hall (nearly 200 years) began shortly after 1460 with Robert Pemberton who was MP for Northampton (in 1477-8), High Sheriff (in 1480) and Usher of the Chamber to Richard III *.  His grandson, another Robert Pemberton , lived in Rushden Hall during Elizabeth I’s reign.  He was one of her Gentlemen Ushers of the Wardrobe, and he and his son, Sir Lewis Pemberton, rebuilt the old, primitive hall as an elegant country house.  Sir Lewis Pemberton, High Sheriff of Northamptonshire, who passed away in 1639, was the last of the Pembertons to live at Rushden Hall.”  Sir Lewis Pemberton died deeply in debt and Rushden Hall became the property of the Ekins family.  There was a Parris family seated at Littell Linton in Cambridgeshire.  The family connections of Alice Freeman are extensive and warrant further investigation.  * This is the Robert Pemberton in the above chart.  He was evidently a Yorkist, as he is mentioned in May 1476 Close Roll as one of the Ushers of the King’s Chamber to Edward IV.]

(This pedigree, from the same Visitation of Northamptonshire, page 41, gives some further history of the Pemberton family, showing that Robert Pemberton’s wife was Alis Lago, daughter of Stephen Lago.  Robert Pemberton was the son of William Pemberton of Lancashire, of whom I have nothing further.)  

[Referring again to the Rudd chart, which shows that Thomas Rudd married Katherine Paris, daughter of (?) Paris of Linton, Cambridgeshire, I located this chart in The Visitations of Cambridgeshire 1575 and 1619, p. 37, which is her family, though not her line.  Sir Philip Paris (1492-1558) was a Catholic recusant.  A chart in Blomefield (1739)  shows that Elizabeth Paris (d. 1591), daughter of Sir Philip Paris, married Sir Thomas Lovell of Norfolk.  Evidently the descendants of Sir Philip Parys knew nothing of their ancestors beyond John Parys.  Robert Pemberton and Katherine Paris would have been approximate contemporaries of one another.  The Golden Grove Book of Pedigrees shows a Ferdinando Paris of Cambridgeshire marrying Margaret Lovel, daughter of Sir Philip Lovel of Norfolk; the relationship of Ferdinando Paris to John Parris is unclear.  Ferdinando Paris had a son Thomas Paris, who had two daughters:  Catherine married Thomas Croft of Wigmore, and Mary married Richard Hynton.

 The manors of Linton have a complex history.  However, it is known that around the mid-14th century, the Parys family had acquired Great Linton.  The progenitor of the Parys family of Linton was Robert Parys (d. ca. 1377).  By 1428 the Parys family held the manor of Little Linton as well, the manors then becoming united in descent.

A more complete chart of the family was prepared by Everard Green, Somerset Herald-of-Arms (1911-1926), entitled:  A Pedigree of the ancient Catholic family of Parys of Linton in the county of Cambridge.  It contains some errors.  Green shows Katherine (Rudd) Paris as a descendant of Robert and Alienora Parys, but doesn’t name her parents.  Green indicates the family had its origins in Norfolk, but cites no documentation in support of that assertion.]

Monumental brass of Henry Parys, Esq., d. 1466, at Holy Trinity Church, Hildersham, Cambridgeshire.  Such memorials were probably all from a pattern, and not a likeness of the wealthy people who ordered them.

[In order to better understand the Parys family of Linton (the name is variously rendered as Parys, Paris, Parris, etc.), I prepared this chart.  I’ve kept to known facts.  The elder line of the family became extinct upon  the death of Catherine Parys, ca. 1412.  The estates then went to Nicholas Parys, younger son of Robert and Eleanor Parys.  Nicholas Parys died without heirs in 1425, whereupon the estates passed to Henry Parys (d. 1427), younger son of Robert Parys (d. 1408).  Sir Philip Paris (1492-1558)  was the only member of the family to that point to achieve national prominence, profiting greatly from the dissolution of the religious houses during the reign of King Henry VIII.  

The other two pedigrees cited here:  that of Katherine (Paris) Rudd and Ferdinando Paris are fragmentary.  Evidently both Katherine (Paris) Rudd and Ferdinando Paris are descendants, though not children, of Henry Parys (d. 1427).  Unfortunately, the term “Esquire” does not have a precise meaning, but was applied to any man whose ancestors or himself had a coat of arms.  That Katherine (Paris) Rudd’s father is termed “Esq.” and of Linton in Cambridgeshire indicates her father was of this family.  It isn’t absolute proof that her father was Henry Paris (d. 1466), but he is the most likely candidate as I know of no other male member of the Parys family in Linton at that time.  Since the Rudd chart indicates no dates for Katherine (Paris) Rudd, checking records at Higham Ferrers may provide additional information regarding her father.  The Parys family somehow emerged from obscurity and amassed enough capital to become country squires, a position they maintained well into the 17th century.]

(From:  “Alice (Freeman) (Tompson) Parke,” by Clarence Almon Torrey, in The American Genealogist and New Haven Genealogical Magazine,” July 1936.  This article dovetails with the Moriarty article cited above.  )

(Visitation of Northamptonshire 1618-1619; this chart omits a generation, as Henry Freeman who married Margaret Edwards was actually the grandson of Henry Freeman of Irchester, Northamptonshire.)

[Torrey (1936) corrects the Visitation, and we can apply some dates:  Henry Freeman, who m. ca. 1530/3 Joan Rudd, was b. ca. 1505/8, d. ca. 1585; and his son Thomas, who d. ca. 1586, was the grandfather of Alice Freeman.]

22. Alice Freeman, “of Cranford,” b. ca. 1595, d. 11 Feb 1664/5 New London, CT; m. (1) 16 Nov 1616 (his 2nd) John Thompson, gent., of Little Preston, Northamptonshire, d. 6 Nov 1626 in London, son of John Thompson (baptisms of the Thompson children are recorded at the parish of Preston Capes) (2) Robert Parke

23. Bridget Thompson, bpt. 11 Sep 1622, d. Aug 1643; m. (his 1st) Mar 1640/1 Capt. George Denison, gent., bp. Bishop’s Stortford, co. Hertford, 10 Dec 1620, d. Hartford, CT, 23 Aug 1694

24. Hannah Denison, b. 20 May 1643; m. (2) 15 Jul 1680 Capt. Joseph Saxton

25. Mary Saxton, bpt. 4 Sep 1681, d. 17 Oct 1750; m. 15 Dec 1697 Benjamin Minor, d. 28 Feb 1711

26. Mary Minor, b. 1699; m. 28 Oct 1717 James Chipman, b. 18 Sep 1697, liv. 1756

27. Stephen Chipman, b. ca. 1738, prob. in NY, d. 1772 Kent Co., DE; m. Agnes — (poss. related to Jonathan Emerson of Kent Co., DE)

28. James Chipman of Bledsoe Co., TN, b. 1771, d. bef. 1830; m. Betsy — who was living 1832

29. William Chipman, b. 1814, d. 1874 Lauderdale Co., TN; m. Milly Standifer, daughter of Benjamin and Nancy (Echols) Standifer

30. Joseph H. Chipman, b. 1852, d. ca. 1897 Madison Co., TN; m. (1) 31 Aug 1873 Sarah A. Miller, d. 1880 Lauderdale Co., TN, daughter of Howard and Leitha Caroline (Hargis) Miller

31. James Edward Chipman; m. (1) 26 Dec 1901 Allie May Oxley, b. 4 Mar 1887, d. 27 Dec 1935, daughter of Aquilla Voin and Mariah Caroline (Riddle) Oxley:

and had the following children:

Jewell Vester Chipman, m. (1) Ruby Ethel Bohannon; Lawcie Idella Chipman, m. Arvil A. Mason; Beecher Edgar Chipman, m. (1) Jewel Winifred Bailey; Winford William Chipman, m. Ada Hill; Pauline Aquilla Chipman, m. (1) Carl Davis Page.

[Wedding photo:  James Edward and Allie May (Oxley) Chipman.]

This line had gone unrecognized because, until the White & Coles article, it wasn’t generally known that James and Mary (Minor) Chipman had descendants.  Their first three children–James, Mary, and Deborah–were born in Stonington, CT, where their births were recorded in the town records (of which I have a copy).  Deborah was probably the child who died on in New London, CT in Oct. 1725.  Paris (Perez) and John were born in New London, CT.  About 1730 the family moved to Smithtown, L.I., New York, where Benjamin and Stephen were probably born.  About 1744 the family moved to DE.

Mary (Minor) Chipman was of a distinguished New England family.  Her great-grandparents, Thomas and Grace (Palmer) Minor were ancestors of Ulysses Simpson Grant, Union Civil War general and 18th  President of the United States.  Thomas Minor and two other ancestors, James Avery and George Denison, played important roles in King Philip’s War (1675-1676).

Drake, James D.  (1999).  King Philip’s War Civil War in New England 1675-1676.  Amherst:  University of Massachusetts Press.

Mary (Minor) Chipman’s husband James Chipman was a descendant of five Mayflower passengers:  Richard Warren, John Howland, John and Joan (Hurst) Tilley, and the Tilley’s daughter Elizabeth.  John Tilley was Joan’s 2nd husband.

Chart (with corrected dates):


Abigail (Warren) Snow was the daughter of Richard and Elizabeth Warren.  Nothing is known of the origin of Richard Warren.  Elizabeth (Tilley) Howland was the daughter of John and Joan (Hurst) Tilley, who died the first winter in Plymouth.

Diana Frances Spencer, Princess of Wales,  was a descendant of Alice Freeman through Dorothy Thompson, sister of 23. Bridget Thompson, as follows:

[Alice Freeman is an ancestor of the present British royal line.  How did that transpire?  There’s a story behind Roberts’ numbered ciphers:

Gens. 30 &  31 are the links that connect the American and British sides of this pedigree.  Ellen Wood was the daughter of a wealthy Chillicothe, Ohio businessman.  She married Franklin H. Work (1819-1911) in 1857.  The couple moved to New York City, where Work amassed a sizable fortune trading on the New York Stock Exchange.  He was also fond of horses, and perhaps it was in racing circles that his daughter Frances Eleanor Work met and married James Boothby Burke Roche (1852-1920).  It was a Gilded Age romance that soured: after four children, the couple divorced in 1891.  Frances accused Roche of desertion, a charge he denied, but which was to haunt him when he stood for Parliament in 1896 from Kerry East.   Frances was never to be Lady Fermoy.  Roche didn’t inherit the barony until 1 Sep 1920, about two months before his death.  However, Frances’ son Edmund became the 4th Baron Fermoy.  The Barons Fermoy are based in Cork and Limerick in Ireland.  In 1883 the family held 21,314 acres in Ireland.]



To paraphrase one prominent prosopographer, prosopography is:

The analysis of the sum of data about many individuals to learn the different types of connections between them, and how they operated within and upon the social, political, legal, economic, and intellectual institutions of their time.




(I have herein furnished the evidence which might be difficult to locate.  It’s appalling that an ancient line like this should require re-inventing the wheelWhile not a line of great pomp and splendor, it has a significant advantage over most royal lines:  it happens to be true.

The point of this exercise is to take the reader through various types of materials—though certainly not all—used in constructing medieval pedigreesWhen researching ancestors of this period, the first steps should be to review published work on the family, evaluate the quality of evidence adduced, and then acquire extant Visitations, and the Calendars of Inquisitions Post Mortem for the reigning monarchsIf the family was of the peerage or closely associated with a peer, The Complete Peerage and The Scots Peerage are invaluable.  Most of these materials, except The Complete Peerage, are available as downloads via Internet Archive or Google Books.  For knights active during the reign of King Edward I, The Knights of Edward I is also useful, and of course some of those knights spill over into the reign of King Edward IINot everyone who qualified for knighthood wished to be one; it could be a costly dignity.)



          Asser; Keynes, Simon, trans; Lapidge, Michael, trans.  (2004). Alfred the Great Asser’s Life of King Alfred and Other Contemporary Sources. London:  Penguin Books Ltd.

Bowker, Alfred.  (1902).  The King Alfred Millenary A Record of the Proceedings of the National Commemoration. London:  Macmillan And Co., Limited.

Horspool, David.  (2006).  King Alfred Burnt Cakes And Other Legends.  Cambridge:  Harvard University Press.

Swanton, Michael J.  (1998).  The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. New York:  Routledge Taylor & Francis Group.

The account of the life of King Alfred, attributed to Asser, Bishop of Sherborne, begins with his pedigree, as follows:

Adam, Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, Noah, Seth, Bedwig, Hwala, Hathra, Itermon, Heremod, Sceldwa, Beaw, Taetwa, Geat (a pagan god), Godwulf, Finn, Frithuwulf, Frealaf, Frithuwald, Woden (a pagan god), Baeldaeg, Brand, Gewis, Elesa, Cerdic, Creoda, Cynric, Ceawlin, Cuthwine, Cutha, Ceolwold, Cenred, Ingild, Eoppa, Eafa, Ealhmund, Egbert, Aethelwulf, ALFRED.

I count them as 45 generations.  If we grant each generation 35 years, the pedigree extends well into antiquity, but there is recorded history far older than this.

Historians are inclined to accept the generations from Cerdic as more or less accurate in outline, if not in detail.  Before Cerdic there are problems evident to even a casual reader.  The 11 generations to Seth are names common to the Old Testament, but by the 17th generation, Sceldwa, the names aren’t Hebrew. How the Hebrews gave issue to Germanic tribes isn’t explained.  The myth of an uber-progenitor establishing a colony in a distant land is quite common, found in Virgil’s Aeneid and in Gerald of Wales.

(This fanciful chart shows descents from Woden of the various Anglo-Saxon kings.  “Vothinn” or “Othinn” are the same as “Woden.”)

The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle contains pedigrees similar to Asser’s, and they don’t always agree with his account.  Originating as oral histories, and committed to writing at a later date, they combined and morphed with other oral traditions that are now lost.  The text of Asser’s biography of Alfred the Great is dated to 893 CE (Common Era, or Anno Domini).

The Chronicle records for the Year 519 that:  “Cerdic and Cynric received the West-Saxon kingdom, and the same year they fought with the Britons, in the place now called Cerdicesford; the royal line of Wessex ruled from that day.”  In 530 they are recorded as seizing the Isle of Wight.  In 534 Cerdic died, and his son Cynric ruled for 26 years.

Below is a chart of the various royal houses as taken from The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, and we may presume that over the course of the centuries there was much intermarrigage.

A fuller account of the kings of Wessex, in narrative form:

David Horspool discusses the question of whether Asser was actually the author of the life of Alfred that bears his name.  As Horspool sums it up, the case against Asser’s authorship is far from conclusive.  However, the invention of the printing press was many centuries in the future, and each copy of a book was copied by hand in flickering light.  It seems unrealistic to expect all copies to be precisely identical, and perhaps some so-called textual anomalies may be traced to that fact, not every monk having an equal grasp of Latin or his subject, and as errors were corrected additional errors were generated.

One wonders what these people looked like.  Below is a tableaux of Queen Osburh (The Lady Osburh) teaching Alfred to read, from a re-enactment during The King Alfred Millenary of 1902.  Upon close examination, the background is a painted canvas.

St. Margaret, wife of the Scottish King Malcolm III, was a descendant of Alfred, and when her daughter Matilda (or Maud) married the English king Henry I, the bloodline of the Anglo-Saxon royal house eventually passed to the Plantagenets.  Undoubtedly, Henry I’s motive was to bolster the legitimacy of Norman rule by co-opting a descendant of the Anglo-Saxon kings.

The list contains two pagan gods, Geat and Woden.

Woden is still with us today, though in a different guise.  The day Wednesday means Woden’s Day, just as Tuesday is Tewes’ Day, Thursday is Thor’s Day, and Friday is Freya’s Day.  Saturday is Saturn’s Day, Sunday is the day of the Sun, and Monday is the day of the Moon.  Thus, four of the days of the week derive their names from Germanic or Scandanavian gods, one from the Roman god Saturn, and two from heavenly bodies.  It’s quite a stew.

Woden is the god who sought self-knowledge, and may represent a religion, a political figure who achieved something in the distant past, or the aspirations of a people.  Woden is ancient, but there are no contemporary records documenting how he came into being.  Just as the saga of Beowulf embodies a much older heroic tradition that was sanitized for Christian consumption, so Woden enters Alfred’s pedigree as a cultural hero, but not as an object of worship.

Scholars complain of revisionist history, but it’s been around since ancient times.  Exactly who revised it is the problem.  And it struck me that there should be many more generations than this, and that they should not pass into the custody of strangers.

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