Revised June 4, 2016

Recently I became aware of this blog:


which is edited by Vaughan Baker (Baron Von Baker), and devoted, as the name indicates, to Gov. Thomas Dale of early VA.  Two posts, both dated 10 Nov 2011, “Major Edward Dale of Virginia” and “Robert Dale of Wincle & Roger Dale, Collyweston,” are of interest.  The first post suggests that the name “Barford,” which Edward Dale’s son-in-law Thomas Carter used for his plantation, actually originated through a Dale connection, but any connection of our Edward Dale to Mary Somerset is confused.  Some mention is made of the Elliott family.  The second post identifies Katherine Legh, great-grandmother of Edward Dale, as the daughter of John Legh (Leigh) of Wincle Grange in Prestbury Parish; however, John Legh is said to have m. Elizabeth Dutton ca. 1544.  If that marriage date is correct, how could their daughter Katherine have a 3rd son who married in 1583?  A third post, dated 18 Dec 2011, entitled “Yeoman of the Guard Roger Dale, ” contains further information regarding our Dale family.

My assessment of Vaughan Baker’s research is that he’s quite a collector of information, but many of his conclusions are questionable.  I had to do much research to correct his account.  A fresh pair of eyes may solve the cube.


1. Robert Dale (claimed descent from 14th century knight Sir Tedrik Dale, allegedly esquire to Edward the Black Prince at Poitiers 19 Sep 1356; claim unproved); m. unknown

2. Robert Dale of Wencle in Prestbury Parish, Cheshire, d. ca. 1587; m. (her 1st) Katherine Legh (Legh of Baguley), liv. 1589, poss. of Adlington in Prestbury Parish

3. William Dale, grocer of London (arms confirmed 1613), d. 1614; m. 30 Jun 1583 Elizabeth Elliott, d. ca. 1632/3, daughter of Thomas Elliott, esq., of Surrey and Ann (Agnes) Wheeler, widow

4. Robert Dale of Brigstock, Northamptonshire (Brigstock is an ancient market town.); m. unknown

5. Edward Dale (probably younger son), armiger (employed arms of William Dale the grocer), d. 2 Feb 1695/6; m. (1) unknown (2) Diana Skipwith, d. 31 Jul 1696


According to Capt. Thomas Carter’s panegyric (or “epitaph”) of Edward Dale in Carter’s prayer book:

“Mr. Edw: Dale Departd this life on ye 2d Day Feb: 1695 and Mrs. Diana Dale on ye last day of July.

Hic Depositum Spe Certe Resurgendi in christo quicquid habuit Mortale  EDWARDUS DALE, ARMIGER.  Tandem honorum et Dierum Obiit 2d Febry: Anno Dom: 1695.  He descended from an Ancient Family in England & came into ye Colly of Virga after the death of his Unhappy Master Charles ffirst.  For above 30 years he enjoyed various Employments of Public Trust in ye Coty of Lancaster wch he Dischargd with great Fidelity & Satisfacn. to the Governor & People.  As Neighbor-father-Husband he Ex celled and in early yeares Crownd his other Accomplishments by a Felicitous Marriage wth Diana ye daughter of Sr Henry Skypwith of Preswold in ye coty of Leicester Bart. who is left a little while to Mourn Him.”

(Image from Thomas Carter’s prayer book, held by the Virginia Historical Society.)

I see no discrepancy in the death dates for Edward Dale in the two sections;  that is, as 2 Feb in the preamble, and 20 Feb in the body of the panegyric, as is often supposed.

The “0” in “30” is written as a full character, so what’s been interpreted as “20 Febry:” is really “2d Febry:”, as only the bottom half of the “d” is visible.  The image in that section is faded, and it’s unlikely Thomas Carter erred in the space of a  few sentences.  That makes Carter’s death date for Edward Dale as 2 Feb 1695.

Diana (Skipwith) Dale died the following 31 Jul.  Though the year of her death is not explicitly stated, undoubtedly that’s the meaning.

Book Of Common-Prayer And Administration Of The Sacraments, And Other Rites & Ceremonies Of the Church, According to the Use of the Church of England; Together with the Psalter or Psalmes Of David, Pointed as they are to be Sung or Said in Churches.  And the Form and Manner Of Making, Ordaining, And Consecrating, Of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons.  London, Printed by John Bill and Christopher Barker, Printers to the Kings Most Excellent Majesty.  MDCLXII.  [1662]  Cum Privilegio.

Thos: Carter Rappahanke Virga

The 16 pages containing genealogical information in the Thomas Carter prayer book have been microfilmed.  Order copies from:

Virginia Historical Society

PO Box 7311

Richmond, VA  23221-0311

or online at:


Manuscript Call Number:  Mss6:4 C245:11


Genealogists working with colonial records will often see dates such as “March 24, 1672/3.”  “March 24, 1672” is the date in the Julian calendar, while “March 24, 1673” is the date in the Gregorian calendar.  This applies to dates of 1 Jan to 24 Mar in the years 1582 to 1752.  25 Mar was considered the first day of the new year.

“Before 1752, England and its colonies followed the Julian (Old Style) calendar.”  [Sturtz/p.183]  Use of double-dating which accompanied the Gregorian calendar wasn’t uniformly followed in the British colonies such as in Lancaster Co., VA court records.

According to Edward Dale’s will, it was written 24 Aug 1694 and proved 11 Mar 1695.  11 Mar falls within the double-date parameter.

Price gives a transcription of the inventory of Edward Dale’s estate made 30 Mar 1696, and exhibited 8 Apr 1696.  30 Mar and 8 Apr don’t fall within the double-date parameter, so the dates of the record actually are 30 Mar 1696 and 8 Apr 1696.

Of the deaths of Edward and Diana (Skipwith) Dale, the Thomas Carter prayer book says:  “Mr. Edw: Dale Departd this life on ye 2d Day Feb: 1695 and Mrs. Diana Dale died ye last day of July.”  No year is given for her death, but Carter goes on to say:  “who is left a little while to Mourn Him.”  So we know she died the 31 Jul following the death of her husband, but 31 Jul is not within the double-date parameter.  If Edward Dale died on 2 Feb 1694/5, then his wife died on 31 Jul 1695.  The prayer book itself doesn’t provide the answer.

The inventory could have been made 19 days after probate, or a year later.  We have a death date for Edward Dale, but we do not know when he died.

Fortunately, Sparacio: Orders 1695-1699, p. 4 clarifies the matter:

“Lancaster County Court 11th of March 1695/96 p. 334.  A Probate of the Last Will and Testament of Major EDWARD DALE [deced] is granted to EDWARD CARTER, his grandone, KATHERINE CARTER his Daughter and ELIZABETH CARTER his Grand Daughter according to the tenor of the Will and THOMAS BUCKLEY, JOHN CHILTON, JOHN MULLIS and JOHN DAVIS are ordered to appraise the Decedent’s estate and to bee sworne by the next justice, an inventory to bee exhibited to the next Court”

That’s the only entry pertaining to Edward Dale’s estate.  According to the inventory, it was exhibited on 8 Apr 1696, but there’s no court entry of it.  Nonetheless, there is no doubt that the inventory was taken within weeks after probate of the will.  But did Edward Dale die on 2 Feb 1694/5, or 2 Feb 1695/6?

If Thomas Carter meant that Dale died on 2 Feb 1694/5, then Carter’s note in the prayer book records the date as it would fall under the Gregorian calendar.  Since the county clerk’s practice was to give the date under the Julian calendar if only a single date was indicated, Thomas Carter meant Edward Dale died on 2 Feb 1695/6, conforming to the way official records were dated in Lancaster County and British colonies generally.

We can now construct a chronology of the last months of Edward and Diana (Skipwith) Dale:

{1}  Edward Dale wrote his will on 24 Aug 1694.

{2}  Edward Dale died on 2 Feb 1695/6.  He survived about 17 months after writing his will.

{3}  Edward Dale’s will was proved on 11 Mar 1695/6.

{4}  Edward Dale’s will was recorded on 17 Mar 1695/6.

{5}  The inventory of Edward Dale’s estate was taken 30 Mar 1696.

{6}  The inventory of Edward Dale’s estate was exhibited in court 8 Apr 1696.

{7}  Diana (Skipwith) Dale died on 31 Jul 1696.  She survived Edward Dale nearly 6 months.

If you see a double-date given for a year in which it didn’t apply, it’s the compiler’s error.  Check the date against other records.


The following Dale pedigree is from The Visitation of London 1568 (with later additions).  Edward Dale of Lancaster Co., VA was of this family, having used the arms of William Dale of London and Brigstock, Northamptonshire.  Brigstock is an ancient market town.

“Usurpation of arms”, i.e., using arms to which one had no right, was a serious offense and such individuals were “disclaimed.”

Examine the specific circumstances of each visitation in order to adjudge its value.  So what are we actually looking at?  The Dale chart appears on page 94 of Harleian Society Vol. 1.  The original visitation was taken in 1568 by Robert Cooke, Clarenceux King of Arms.  Nicholas Charles made a transcription of the visitation, which at Charles’s death was sold to William Camden, who served as Clarenceux King of Arms from 1597 to 1623.  Cooke, who was accused of corruption, but died in 1593, didn’t make the notation that William Dale was granted a coat of arms in 1613.   Nicholas Charles served as Lancaster Herald under Camden and was living in 1613.  It would take some scholarship to determine how much of this visitation is respectively the work of Cooke, Charles, and Camden, but Cooke had no part in the Dale pedigree.  That’s either the work of Charles or Camden.  William Dale’s arms were granted in 1613, and a pedigree may have been entered at that time.  None of William Dale’s children are shown with spouses or children.  The sons of Robert and Katherine Dale are numbered: Robert the eldest, Roger the 2nd son, and William the 3rd son.  Note that Roger Dale was a lawyer.

The next chart, from The Visitation of Cheshire 1613, p. 70, adds a little to the above.  Since Mary Dale married James Rudyard (not James Reade) ca. 1619, and three of her children are in the chart, this material must at least date to the mid–1620s.

There’s no Dale pedigree in Harleian Society Vol. 15 The Visitations of London 1633, 1634, and 1635 Vol. 1, but on p. 32 (see below) there’s a note that “Charles Atye of London merchant 2d sonne 1633 = Elizabeth da. of Wm. Dale of London Grocer,” which means that Charles Atye, merchant, second son (of Sir Arthur Ayte and Judith daughter of – Hungerford) was living in 1633 and had married Elizabeth, daughter of Wm. Dale, Grocer.  Wm. Dale the Grocer is the same William Dale in the Dale chart.  (There’s a will dated 17 Jul 1639 for William Dale “apothecarie” of London which is a different William Dale.)

For those into historical trivia, Sir Arthur Atye (d. 1604), father of Charles Atye husband of Elizabeth Dale, was secretary to Robert Dudley, 1st Earl of Leicester.  Dudley was the intimate of Queen Elizabeth I.  Atye wrote a famous letter dated 9 Dec 1589 to William Cecil regarding Dudley’s debts.

A grocer (derived from the French word “grossier”) was a wholesaler in dry edibles like spices, pepper, sugar, tea and coffee.  Initially known as “pepperers,” it was a lucrative profession.  Often the beef, mutton, and pork in the Elizabethan and Stuart era was not what we today would consider fit for consumption and had to be liberally treated with spices to render it palatable.  Grocers were second in precedence among the livery companies (trade groups) of London, behind Mercers and before Drapers.

The Dales were a prominent mercantile family.  William Dale was twice elected, on 14 Jul 1606 and on 19 Jul 1613, a Warden of the Company of Grocers London.

One record cited by Vaughan Baker that can be confidently ascribed to William Dale the grocer is a letter dated 26 Sep 1604 to Robert Cecil Lord Salisbury regarding the accusation that Dale had stolen deer from Brigstock.  Dale said John Lord Mordaunt had permission of the king.

This case heard in the Star Chamber in the reign of James I (STAC 8/178/15) dated Nov 1609 also involves William Dale the grocer: Thomas Harvord of Bristol, yeoman, bailiff of Sir Rowland Lacie, kt in his manor of Brislington v. William Dale of Britistod, grocer, Thomas Graye, et. al.  I haven’t read the case, but it sounds interesting: Thomas Graye was drunk in an inn in Chewton, Somerset and claimed Harvord stole from him.  Harvord sued for defamation.

There is a will (termed a “Memorandum”) of Robert Dale, “of the Sittie of London Grocer,” dated 13 Mar 1596 (Prerogative Court of Canterbury PROB 11/87 Drake Quire 1-52 pp. 148-149).  Like a lot of wills in this period, it doesn’t contain much information, and seems to concern burial arrangements.  The “Decimo tertio” section is boilerplate Latin.  This cannot be the son and heir of William Dale, as William Dale the Grocer married in 1583 (see below).  This Robert Dale may be the elder brother of William Dale the Grocer.

The first Dale chart doesn’t show any grandchildren.  The pedigrees of William Dale’s brothers Robert Dale and Roger Dale list only their heirs.

I want to suggest a possibility that may horrify genealogists researching colonial VA ancestors:  VA was a long way from England, gentry families had many branches, and not all of them were equal in terms of ancestry.  We have to concede it’s possible some colonists misrepresented who they were and used arms to which they weren’t entitled. 

However, Edward Dale and his son-in-law Thomas Carter (who is thought to be of a London merchant family) were well-educated men, and that indicates a relatively affluent background.  Edward Dale would fit in with the William Dale family—but is it the right family?  In my view, even though we don’t have a verified birth or christening record, if Edward Dale was using William Dale’s arms legitimately, he must have been a grandson of William Dale.  If Edward Dale wasn’t a descendant of William Dale, then he wasn’t an “armiger” as Thomas Carter claimed, and his use of William Dale’s arms was illegal.  Collateral branches of the Dale family had no right to use William Dale’s arms.  Edward Dale cannot have been a son of Roger Dale the lawyer because he didn’t use Roger Dale’s arms and is not listed among Roger Dale’s descendants.  Either Edward Dale was the descendant of William and Elizabeth (Elliott) Dale, or he was a fraud.  But his use of William Dale’s arms was never disclaimed, so it’s fair to conclude his use of them was proper.

The Skipwith family was levels above Edward Dale’s in status, and Diana Skipwith’s brother Sir Grey Skipwith was a friend of VA governor Sir William Berkeley.  It’s probable that either Sir Grey Skipwith or Sir William Berkeley made an inquiry into Dale’s family.  If Edward Dale had “usurped” his arms, he chose a family on the lowest rung of the armigerous ladder.  These Dales were true plebs. 

According to the first chart, Robert Dale was William Dale’s heir.  A son named Richard Dale pre-deceased his mother and is not shown in the charts (of him, see below).  Carter’s reference to King Charles I as Dale’s “Unhappy Master” implies Edward Dale had served in the royalist forces during the English Civil War, although he held the title of “major” for his service in the Lancaster Co., VA militia.  The English Civil War ended in 1649, so we’d look for Edward Dale to have been born after, say, 1620.

Is the Dale pedigree stalled at Robert and Katherine Dale?  You’ll recall that William Dale married Elizabeth Elliott, daughter of Thomas Elliott, Esq., of Surrey.  It turns out that Harleian Society Vol 43, The Visitations of Surrey 1530, 1572, and 1623, pp. 23-25 contains an extensive pedigree of the Elliott family of Surrey, extending well into the 15th century.  Hylton B. Dale’s chart (see below) adds the information that Elizabeth’s father was “Thomas Elliott of Surrey, Esq. & of St. Magdalen, Milk st. parish.”

It almost looks like we’ve finished.  But this entry in Notes And Queries Ninth Series Volume 11 pp. 267-268 indicates we haven’t reached the end after all.  In 1602, Roger Dale of Collyweston, Northamptonshire (William the Grocer’s lawyer brother) entered a pedigree claiming descent from one Theodoric Dale, allegedly a knight during the reigns of King Edward III and King Richard II.  And there is a record of that knight.  But no pedigree has been yet located.  Was “Theodoricus Dale” really the Dale ancestor, or did Roger Dale stumble upon him and insert him into the family history?

[Shaw, Wm. A.  (1906).  The Knights of England, etc. Vol. II.  London: Sherratt and Hughes. p. 9.]

Roger Dale was the son of Robert Dale and Katherine Legh of Wincle near Macclesfield in Cheshire.  Katherine (Legh) Dale was the daughter of Legh of Bagulegh (see note in Edward Dale pedigree above).  Bagulegh doesn’t refer to a location, but rather to the branch of the Legh family that descends from Sir John Leigh who married Ellen, daughter of Sir William Baguley.  William Dale who married Elizabeth Elliott was also the son of Katherine Legh, even though the above chart doesn’t give her maiden name. A query was posted by R.M. Dale in 1903, who expressed confusion as to what arms were born by Robert Dale, father of Roger and William.  Robert Dale of Wincle didn’t have arms, so we’re dealing with two different grants, as Roger’s arms are not the same as William’s.  Roger Dale’s pedigree to Theodorick de Dale must be the “ancient family” to which Thomas Carter alluded in his epitaph of Dale.

[Carving near the altar in St. Luke church at Tixover, co. Rutland, of Roger Dale and 3rd wife Margaret Brocket, d. 1648.)

Like many individuals attached to this family, the account of Roger Dale, the lawyer and brother of William Dale the Grocer, is confused.  According to Vaughan Baker he died in 1602; but the Records of the Inner Temple dated 6 Nov 1610, “Special admission of Roger Dale, son of Roger Dale, a bencher,” proves he did not die in 1602, so Hylton B. Dale’s chart indicating he died on 15 Dec 1623 is correct.  Roger Dale first married to Elizabeth Tofte, widow of Michael Lewis (d. 1584), on 17 Apr 1587, according to the Collyweston Parish Records.  She was the daughter of William Tofte.  She was bur. 14 Aug 1590.  Roger Dale’s 2nd wife was Margaret Purefoy, daughter of George Purefoy of Wolvershill, Leicestershire.  The 3rd wife of Roger Dale was Margaret Brocket, daughter of Sir John Brocket (d. 1598).  Her previous marriage to Sir John Cutts was annulled, freeing her to marry Roger Dale.  Margaret Brocket m. 2nd Sir Francis Leigh (ca. 1579–1 Aug 1625), son of Sir William Leigh of King’s Newnham, Warwickshire.  Her 3rd husband was Thomas Lovett, sheriff of Rutland, who survived her.  The Reliquary Quarterly Archaeological Journal And Review, Vol. XXI, pub. 1880–1, pp. 222–224, discusses the manor of Tixover in some depth.  Tixover, co. Rutland wasn’t a Dale family country estate.  Roger Dale purchased the manor of Tixover (or Tekesore) in 1604.  

Although there were Dales in Rutland in the 15th century, I have no pedigree connecting them to the family of Edward Dale.  According to Hylton B. Dale, William Dale the Grocer used their arms—but I’ve found no confirmation of that statement.  Since Dale is a very common surname, I would view any extended pedigree with skepticism.  However, one would expect Roger Dale to know who were his grandparents.

And he did—at least one of them.  In connection with Roger Dale, who was the genealogist of the family, there is this, from the The Pedigree Register, Vol. 2:

I’ll get to the pedigree Hylton B. Dale provided The Pedigree Register in a moment.  These Parts correspond to the letters in that chart.  In Part A he discusses Roger Dale’s pedigree, which showed Roger Dale’s grandfather as Robert Dale, who claimed descent from Sir Theodoric Dale, but no further information regarding this Robert Dale was given.  In Part B he states that Roger Dale’s father Robert Dale died ca. 1587, and Katherine (Leigh) Dale was living in 1589.  The contents of “certain cases” are not given.  In Part C he discusses Roger Dale’s brother Robert Dale, who married Elizabeth Brassey, but has no date or place of death for him.  In Part D he said he was unable to learn any particulars regarding Robert Dale, son of Robert and Elizabeth (Brassey) Dale, but implies he was born ca. 1579.  In Part E, he states that he can find no will or administration for William Dale, son of Robert and Elizabeth (Brassy) Dale.  In Part F, in discussing the pedigree of William Dale, brother of Roger Dale, he is in error: there were no visitations of London or Northamptonshire in 1613.  The London pedigree of 1613 was an addition to an earlier visitation.  The closest visitation of Northamptonshire was in 1618, and William Dale doesn’t appear in it.  He mentions that in 1614 there is an administration of a Wm. Dale of Westminster to his widow Elizabeth.  Finally in Part G, he remarks that Richard Dale survived William and Elizabeth (Elliott) Dale, and died without issue; but then in the chart, he shows that Richard Dale was “dead apparently s.p. by Nov. 162-.”

Parts C, D, and E not shown in chart below:

We can now begin to assign some dates.  According to the chart Part F, William Dale married Elizabeth Elliott in May of 1583.   Their daughter Agnes married Charles Parker 28 Nov 1615; their daughter Elizabeth, who was married twice, married her first husband, Abraham Butler, in 1619; and their daughter Mary married James Rudyeard in 1619.  There’s no marriage date for their daughter Joane.  The birth order of the daughters is unclear.  Given these facts, we can eliminate William and Elizabeth (Elliott) Dale as the parents of Maj. Edward Dale of Lancaster Co., VA.  Therefore, he must be their grandson, and a son of Robert Dale or Richard Dale.

I’m mystified as to the the note in Part F.  Evidently Hylton B. Dale was confused about the arms used by William Dale.  According to him, these arms belonged to Dale of co. Rutland, and shouldn’t have been confirmed to William Dale.  Whether or not William Dale was correctly or incorrectly granted these arms doesn’t matter at this juncture: those arms are what his descendants used, and if the children of his daughters wrongly quartered them, that’s a matter for the College of Arms to set straight.  Obviously the arms weren’t used by William Dale’s father Robert Dale or Robert’s father; if so, it would have been unnecessary for Roger Dale to obtain his own grant of arms.  Perhaps at the College of Arms there’s justification for William Dale’s grant.

Hylton B. Dale cites an administration for a Wm. Dale in 1614, but in the chart shows William Dale, husband of Elizabeth (Elliott) Dale, died in 1616.  I haven’t examined the 1614 administration for Wm. Dale.  However, in 1615, John Bramston of the Middle Temple assigned his interest in a house in St. Mary le Bow churchyard to Elizabeth Dale of London, widow of William Dale, late citizen and grocer; she transferred her interest to John Knight.  Therefore, William Dale didn’t die in 1616, as Hylton B. Dale indicates.  According to Boyd’s, William Dale died in 1614, so the 1614 administration Hylton B. Dale cites for Wm. Dale is William Dale the grocer.

In an effort to clarify matters, I obtained a copy of Elizabeth (Elliott) Dale’s will.  The first page is pro forma; it’s not until the 9th line of the second page that she begins her list of bequests.  (1) The first named is her daughter Mary, to whom she leaves 500 pounds, part of which to come from the estate of Richard Dale, and part from her, and arrangements for their five children; (2) to Charles Parker, son of her daughter Agnes, to whom she gives 50 pounds upon reaching age 21; (3) to Elizabeth Parker, sister of Charles, who is to receive 100 pounds at age 21 or upon her marriage; (4) to Elizabeth, wife of Charles Atye, who is to receive 300 pounds; (5) to Arthur Atye, Edmond Atye, and Judith Atye, children of Agnes, to each of them 50 pounds at age 21; (6) to her daughter Joane Reade, 300 pounds from the estate of Richard Dale; (7) to Mathew Reade, son of Joane, 50 pounds at age 21; (8) to the parson of St. Peters church, 5 pounds; (9) to the the preacher of her funeral sermon, Nathaniell Tyrwhitt; (10) 10 pounds to a hospital; (11) to godson Ralph Tyrwhitt; (12) to the poor of St. Peters parish and to the poor of St. Mary Magdalene in Milk Street; and various small bequests to friends and widows; (13) 20 pounds to the Grocers of London; (14) a bequest to St. Peters of a silver flagon; and she finishes her will with a string of bequests to friends and in-laws.

The will doesn’t mention her son Robert Dale, who was William Dale’s heir.  As William Dale’s heir, Robert Dale would have received his property through entail.  William Dale the Grocer would not have wanted to break up his business. That Elizabeth (Elliott) Dale distributed Richard Dale’s estate to her daughters indicates Richard Dale died without children.  Richard Dale’s estate was modest, perhaps acquired through some industry of his own.  I think Hylton B. Dale, in Part G above, erred:  what is meant is that Elizabeth (Elliott) Dale’s daughters were co-heirs of their brother Richard Dale, a quite different matter than being co-heirs of their father, although not all of the daughters received money from the estate of Richard Dale through her will.  Elizabeth (Elliott) Dale didn’t die possessed of a great fortune, her net worth as specified here being considerably less than 2000 pounds; all of it money or household effects, and not all of that money being hers, but much of it coming from the estate of Richard Dale.

The will was proved P.C.C. 8 Feb 1632/3, but was written in the previous decade. Evidently Hylton B. Dale assumed Robert Dale died without children because he wasn’t mentioned in the will.  Elizabeth made no distribution of Robert Dale’s estate as she had done with Richard Dale’s.  Robert Dale was not mentioned in his mother’s will, which is concerned with bequests to her daughters, but that doesn’t mean he was deceased.  Neither visitation recording the Dale family indicates that Robert Dale was deceased or died without children.  Since Richard Dale cannot have been Edward Dale’s father, my conclusion is that Edward Dale was the son of Robert Dale, though probably a younger son.

Hylton B. Dale thought that this Dale family was in some manner connected to early colonial VA governor Sir Thomas Dale, a view shared by Vaughan Baker.  At present, there is no proof of a connection.

This chart, from The Pedigree Register Vol. 1, pp. 322-323, deals only with descendants of Roger Dale.  The chart appears on two separate pages, which I’ve combined (click on image to enlarge it):

[Click on image (in two sections) to enlarge.]

I think an intelligent reader will understand that a grandson of a London grocer would not have married in England the daughter of Sir Henry Skipwith, Baronet.  Though a baronet is a commoner, the Skipwith family was wealthy and had been prominent for centuries.  It was related by blood to many important families in England.  Edward Dale was not an appropriate husband.  But Diana, who now found herself fast slipping into spinsterhood in the unkempt wilderness of early colonial VA, found him acceptable if not appealing.  Of the identity of Edward Dale’s first wife, I have nothing.  But given the greater numbers of men compared to women in mid-17th century VA, he probably married his first wife in England, and she was likely of the same mercantile class. Katherine (Dale) Carter could have been born either in England or VA.

Hylton B. Dale wasn’t an accomplished genealogist.  Some of his conclusions are inconsistent, and he misinterpreted some records.  I thank him for leading me to Elizabeth (Elliott) Dale’s will.  He made the first (to my knowledge) systematic attempt to document this Dale family using actual records, even though the source of those records is often not stated.  His main source for the family was the will of Elizabeth (Elliott) Dale, which he didn’t entirely understand, and there’s additional evidence of which he was unaware.

The Dales are a family of parvenus, an example of upward mobility in the Elizabethan and Stuart eras.  William Dale the Grocer was able to educate his children.  William Dale’s brother Roger Dale purchased an estate in co. Rutland and played country squire.  William Dale was confirmed with a coat of arms, and his daughter Elizabeth married the son of a knight, though that knight was the first of his family.

Whatever pretension the Dales had as gentlemen was derived from their marriages.  If Diana Skipwith was not a beauty, surely her brother’s political connections made her quite attractive to Edward Dale.  We may count him as one of his family’s more successful members, if often his behavior reveals him to be one of its less admirable.

But is there no baronial ancestry in the Dale pedigree? The Legh family was of knightly stock, and we’ll last tie the knot with them.


For those with ancestry in the United Kingdom (Great Britain), Herald’s visitations are among the most commonly used records group. The term “visitations” originally meant that Heralds were sent out under royal command to determine who had the right to use a coat of arms. A coat of arms is a visual representation using heraldic elements unique to the individual.

Families supplied the herald with their pedigrees. The value of these pedigrees varies. A pedigree covering only a few generations has a better chance of being accurate than those with many generations. The pedigrees were a snapshot of the family at the time the pedigree was entered, and didn’t necessarily list all of the children.  Often only the heir was listed.  The College of Arms didn’t require families who had a coat of arms to notify it when more children were born.

Many visitations were collected and published by The Harleian Society. Before you use any Harleian Society visitation, read the preface. Often you’ll find that additional material was added to the visitation by subsequent Heralds or by The Harleian Society.

Be especially wary of lengthy pedigrees of commoners that contain references to noble families. Then, as now, the desire for illustrious ancestry might lead people to embellish or fabricate a pedigree, sometimes with the connivance of the Herald who was supposed to be reforming the system. If you find a reference to a noble family in a lengthy pedigree, be prepared to substantiate it with generation by generation evidence. A pedigree chart in a Harleian Society publication isn’t acceptable proof. Often The Complete Peerage can supply much of that evidence.

References to families in Herald’s visitations aren’t always found in the county of their principal residence. Unfortunately, there’s no overall index to individuals in Herald’s visitations. And because charts of families don’t always list all of the family’s members, you may have seen the chart of your ancestors, and not know it.

These comments by H. Sydney Grazebrook in his July 1885 Preface to The Heraldic Visitations of Staffordshire In 1614 And 1663–64 should serve as a sobering warning to those taking these charts too closely at face value:

Most visitations published by The Harleian Society are available as free downloads from the Internet. Searching through visitations is tedious, but at least they can be easily acquired.

Consider again this pedigree for William Dale:

I have few qualms about accepting it as the true representation of William Dale’s family, because:

a. It covers only 3 generations, with William Dale being in the second generation. William Dale can be expected to know who his parents and children are—but the pedigree doesn’t list his son Richard Dale, who was named as deceased in the will of his mother. Apparently Richard Dale was deceased when the pedigree was entered.

b. The arms were granted in 1613.  This specific pedigree wasn’t necessarily entered in 1613, but we may expect the family to at least know of the names of the parents and children.

c. William Dale’s pedigree doesn’t connect to a notable.

Although William Dale gave his mother’s name as only “Katherine,” William’s brother Roger gave her name as Katherine of Legh of Bagulegh, and we’ll visit the Legh family after we’ve met the Elliotts.

Now, let’s examine this chart for the Elliott family of Surrey, which is the family of Elizabeth (Elliott) Dale, as the Dale chart gives her father as Tho. (Thomas) Elliott, Esq. of Surrey (more below).

Observe what we have here:  Thomas Elliott of Greene Place near Godalming (archaic Godleman) in Surrey married Alice Calverdon (or Claverdon), daughter of William, and according to the chart it is from this 15th century Thomas and Alice that everyone else descends.  Although there are some dates and marriages, many individuals are nothing more than a name.  The only aristocrat is Sir William Elliott, who was living in 1623.

It’s confusing, but there are 5 sons of Thomas and Alice, 3 of whom are listed on p.25.

(1)  Walter Elliott m. Jane Hakett (all individuals on p. 24 are descendants of Walter’s grandson John Elliott who m. Elizebeth Peytow or Peyton?, and that’s the line of Lawrence Elliott, who signed the pedigree)

(2)  Henery Elliott m. — Wintershull (descendants listed to great-grandson)

(3)  Roger Elliott (descendants listed to 2nd great-grandson)

(4)  Geoffrey Elliott (no descendants listed)

(5)  Richard Elliott m. Jane Hobbes (descendants listed to 2nd great-grandson).  This couple were the grandparents of Thomas Elliott, father of Elizabeth (Elliott) Dale.  (See below.)

The pedigree extends into the 15th century, and the first visitation was in 1530, so evidently it was updated in subsequent visitations, the last being in 1623, when Lawrence Elliott signed it.

Some additional information may be found in four cases heard in the Star Chamber, all dating to the reign of Elizabeth I:

Ellyott v Ellyott, Dale; 17 Nov 1593 – 16 Nov 1594 (STAC 5/E5/36)

Elliott v Dale; 17 Nov 1594 – 16 Nov 1595 (STAC 5/E2/37)

Elliott v Dale, Elliott; 17 Nov 1594 – 16 Nov 1595 (STAC 5/E6/26)

Elliott v Ellyott, Dale; 17 Nov 1595 – 16 Nov 1596 (STAC 5/E14/18)

This litigation probably pertains to issues regarding the estate of Thomas Elliott, father of Elizabeth (Elliott) Dale, but I have not examined the cases.

The Genealogist Quarterly Magazine, Vol. 20 (1909), p. 211, provides some details concerning the family of Elizabeth (Elliott) Dale.  Her mother was Agnes, widow of Henry Wheler (will proved 9 Mar 1564/5), citizen and grocer of London, grandfather of Sir William Wheeler.  Henry Wheler was the father of four children; three sons, John, Henry, and Nicholas Wheler survived him.  John Wheler (d. 1617), grocer, achieved fame as Secretary of the Company of Merchant Adventurers and resided for some time in the Netherlands.  Agnes’ 2nd husband was Thomas Elliott, citizen and draper of London.  The article states Agnes m. Thomas Elliott in Nov 1565, by whom she had two daughters.  By Sep 1589 Agnes was once more a widow.  On 28 Oct 1612 she was buried by her two husbands in St. Mary Magdalen church on Milk St., London.

John Stow in his Survey of London noted that Milk Street was home to wealthy merchants.  The church of St. Mary Magdalen was destroyed in the Great London Fire of 1666 and not rebuilt.  The church’s parish register indicates Thomas Elliott m. Ann (Agnes) Wheeler on 6 Nov 1565.  Elizabeth their daughter was bpt. there on 8 Jun 1566.

Thus our Elliott line is as follows:

Thomas Ellyott = Alice Calverdon, dau. of William Calverdon

Richard Elliott = Jane Hobbes

Richard Elliott = Judith Skinner, dau. of John Skinner

Thomas Elliott = Ann (Agnes) Wheeler, widow of Henry Wheeler

Elizabeth Elliott = William Dale, son of Robert Dale and wife Katherine Legh

From Boyd’s we learn that William Dale m. Elizabeth Elliott on 30 Jun 1583 at St. Peter’s Cheap.; and that he died in 1614, and was bur. at St. Peter’s Cheap.

The proof of parents for Thomas Elliott is this item from Boyd’s:

(To download this item, right-click on the image, and save it to your “Downloads” folder.)




Name: Thomas Eliot of: S Mary Mgd Milk St.

Father: Richard Eliot of: Albury Surrey

Mother: Judith Skinner of: Reigate Surrey daughter of: John Skinner

Married: 1565 Nov 6 at: S Mary Magdalen Milk St

Wife: Anne Wheeler wid of Henry (13679)

Died: 1612 Oct 28 at: S Mary Mgd

Profession etc.: cit draper app 1541 to Anthony Eliot (uncle) (77639)

… … Index T60 orphans Anne Thomas

Died: 1589 Sep 18 Buried at: S Mary Mgd Milk St

Will: 1589 PCC 73 Leicester Shere Surrey


Anne bap 1568 Jan 23 marr 1595 Roger Dye 34995

Thomas bap 1571 May 30 ent Merchant Taylors School bur 1572 Jan 31

Elisabeth bap 1566 Jun 8 marr 1583 William Dale 8887 in May

Richard bap 1565 Oct 24

Thomas bap 157? Apr 25 2 [to] MTS 1583 [Merchant Taylors School, a public school founded by the Merchant Taylors Company; the register shows “Thomas Elliott, s. of Thomas, draper” was admitted 6 Jan 1582/3.]

Leonard [bap] 1576 Sep 16 bur 1579 Jun 28

Margery [bap] 1579 Oct 11 [bur]1580 Jul 7

Elisabeth [bap] 1581 May 28

Susan [bap] 1586 Jun 7 [bur] 1587 Jun 19

Margaret [bap] 1587 Jul 23

Vis Surrey p 25


My transcription of the Boyd’s entry for Thomas Eliot. The first son named Thomas was intended for Merchant Taylors School, but died in infancy.  As you’ll observe, some of these dates don’t make sense: Richard was baptized shortly before Thomas Elliott’s marriage to Ann Wheeler, and Elisabeth was baptized about 7 months after the marriage.  Were there two daughters named Elisabeth?  Percival Boyd didn’t state the source for the dates.  Considering the enormous amount of data Boyd collected, it comes as no surprise some of it is wrong.

I obtained a copy of the Will of Thomas Elliott, Draper of London (PCC Leicester Quire 51-100 PROB 11/74/264): it mentions his wife Anne; son Thomas; his daughter Anne; his daughter Elisabeth wife of William Dale; and Mary Dale, daughter of William and Elisabeth.  The first Thomas, Leonard, Margery, and Susan d. infancy.  The will is difficult to read, but I found no mention of Richard and Margaret.  Henry Wheler and Nicholas Wheler, sons of his wife Anne, are also mentioned.  Thomas Elliott mentions a manor he owns called Edmondes near Gomshall in the parish of Shere, Surrey.  I’d hazard a guess that the Star Chamber cases above pertain to the manor.

The records of the Draper’s Company show Thomas Elliott as a new apprentice to Master Anthony Elliott in 1541; in 1543 he was apprenticed to John Calthorpe; and gained his freedom on 25 Sep 1560.  He had served an apprenticeship of 19 years.  Apprenticeship in a livery company was the principal method of acquiring citizenship in London, and many apprentices were sons of gentry and the middle class from elsewhere in the country.  Apprentices were aged between 11 to 21, with 14 being the average.  Given Thomas Elliott’s protracted apprenticeship, he was probably at the younger end of the range; I would estimate his birth date as ca. 1527–1530.

Both Berry and the Visitation show Lawrence Elliott as a son of Richard Elliott and Jane Hobbes.  This is an error, as Boyd’s states Anthony Elliott of London was the son of Richard and Jane.  He d. in 1541.  Anthony Eliot was Thomas Eliot’s first apprentice Master.

The next item is the will of John Skinner, father-in-law of Richard Elliott, brother of our Thomas Elliott; which shows John Skinner d. between 27 Aug 1570 and 16 Feb 1571/2, not 1569:


John Skinner’s father, also John Skinner (ca. 1486–1543), was a MP, who m. Catherine Barlee, daughter of Richard Barlee.

There is some further history of the Skinner family through Quecche, Norton, and Caldecott.  “John Norton & his wife Johanna daughter and heir of Hugh Quecche” are mentioned in a fine levied in Surrey, IV Henry IV.  In a Patent Roll dated 9 Apr 5 Henry IV John Norton and Joan received the lands of Hugh Quecche.  Hugh Quecche, MP Surrey 1388 and Sussex 1395, d. 1 Nov 1402 (left will PCC), was the son of Robert and Laurentia Quecche.

The incredible complexity of relationships in this family is illustrated by the pedigree of Gaynsford:

John Gaynsford (IPM 1358) = Margery de la Poyle

John Gaynsford (b. ca. 1337) = Christina

John Gaynsford = ?

John Gaynsford (d. 19 Jul 1450) = Margaret

William Gaynsford (d. 22 May 1483) = Joan Symond (bur. Lingfield, Surrey 1453), dau. of John Symond (or Simons) and wife Margaret Gobion, dau. of John Gobion

John Gainsford = (1st wife)

Jane Gainsford = (1) (his 2nd) Richard Barlee (2) John Skinner

Catherine Barley, dau. by (1) = John Skinner

The family of Margery de la Poyle, wife of John Gaynsford, is unrelated to the powerful de la Pole family.  It has been suggested that Walter de la Poyle was somehow related to Edmund of Almain (1249–1300), Earl of Cornwall, but Walter was merely of the earl’s affinity, a trusted member of his inner circle.

(* Maclean corrects the The Surrey Visitation Skinner pedigree on p. 59 to show Catherine Barley as dau. of Barley of Clavering, Essex.)

A grant cataloged in A Descriptive Catalogue of Ancient Deeds Vol. 6, Cambridge C. 4676, dated 22 Sep 1501, from John Barlee, gent., son and heir of Richard Barlee, deceased, to Thomas Barlee, et. al., establishes that Richard Barlee was deceased as of that date.

So who were the parents of Judith Skinner, mother of Elizabeth (Elliott) Dale’s father Thomas?  Catherine (Barlee) Skinner was a daughter of Richard Barlee’s 2nd marriage.  The History of Parliament online states she m. John Skinner ca. 1510 and d. 1545.  The chronology is tight for her to be the mother of Judith Skinner.

Fortunately, there’s an Elliott/Skinner chart in Berry’s Surrey Genealogies (pp. 24–25) which offers a solution.  It shows “Thomas Ellyott of London marr the Widow of Wheeler” as the eldest son of “Richard Ellyott of Albury Co. Surrey” and “Godliva daur of John Skinner.”  “Godliva” is an error—she belongs to a different Elliott.  But the chart lists Thomas’s mother as the daughter of “John Skinner of Reygate Co: Surrey ob: 8 March 1516” and “Jane daur of John Gainsford of Lingfield Co: Surrey.”  According to the chart, John Skinner and Jane Gainsford were the grandparents of Thomas Elliott and the great-grandparents of Elizabeth Skinner who m. Thomas’s brother Richard Elliott, making Elizabeth and Richard 1st cousins once removed.  Jane Gainsford was the granddaughter of William Gainsford and Joan Symond.

In the Church of St. Peter and St. Paul at Lingfield, Surrey, there was once this inscription, recorded by Aubrey, now lost:

Hic jacet Johanna nuper uxor Willielmi Gainsford armigeri filia Johannis Symond et Margarete uxoris ejus filie Johannis Gobyon armigeri que quidem Johanna obiit die Junii A dni MCCCCLIII cujus anime propicietur deus Amen.

My Latin is not up to translating this passage verbatim, but in essence it says: Here lies Joan wife of William Gainsford armiger daughter of John Symond and Margaret his wife daughter of John Gobyon armiger and Joan died 10 June AD 1453.  (The Roman numerals for 1453 are MCDLIII; however, in the Middle Ages there were numbering conventions which are no longer used.)

IPM Vol. 22 No. 389: 18 Oct 1424.  Essex.  Margaret widow of John Aspall.  After the death of John Aspall, she m.John Symond and they had issue a daughter Joan.  John Aspall, aged 13 years and more, son of John Aspall is her son and next heir.  John Symond holds Ashwell and Great Bardfield by courtesy.  She d. 30 Sep 1424.

IPM Vol. 21 No. 930:  17 May 1422.  Essex.  John Gobyon d. 1 May 1422.  Margaret wife of John Symound is his daughter and next heir, aged 27 years and more.  John Gobyon was survived by his wife Isabel.  Great Bardfield was one of his holdings.  On 30 Sep 1396 he granted the manors of Laindon and Sturmynes to John Fraunceys, who survived him.

Laindon seems to have been the principal seat of the family.  It’s sometimes alleged that John Gobyon “succeeded” to Laindon in 1396, or that he d. in 1396, but as the IPM clearly proves, neither of those assertions are correct.

Isabel was evidently not John Gobyon’s first wife, for in a Feet of Fine (CP 25/1/291/62 No. 166) dated 25 Jun 1411, John Gobyoun and Eleanor his wife of Magna Berdefeld (Great Bardfield) granted property to John Croft and his wife Agnes for 100 marks.

Therefore, Isabel wasn’t Margaret (Gobion) Symond’s mother, but rather it would appear to be Eleanor.

The pedigree of this Gobion family is greatly aided by a case in Wrottesley’s Pedigrees From The Plea Rolls, p. 210, in a case dating to 21 Ric. 2 (1398) Essex, in which John Gobyoun sued John de Boys et. al. for the manor of Lyes.  The jury found for the defendants, but the pedigree of Gobyoun is given as:

i.   Thomas Gobyoun, liv. 4 Ed. 3 (1331), sheriff of Essex and Herts. 1332/3 = [wife said to be Elizabeth; probably the heiress Elizabeth Spigurnal of Skegby, Notts. who m. Thomas Gobion and enfeoffed Skegby in 1335; see below ]

ii.  John = (1) Katrine (2) Joan [The evidence for John Gobyon’s wife Joan is IPM No. 976 dated 5 Mar 1384 taken at Maldon, Essex for John Dunnyng or Dounnyng the younger which states that Joan, wife of John Gobyon, was the widow of John Moriell, and d. 11 Jun 1380, leaving her son Richard Moriell b. 1359]

iii. Thomas Gobyoun, of Leyndon [Laindon], liv. 40 Ed. (1367), by (1) = Alice [according to Porter; there is an IPM dated 7 Ric. II (1384) No. 97 Essex that mentions Thomas Gobyon.]

iv.  John Gobyon, the plaintiff [d. 1422] = (1) Eleanor (2) Isabel

Knights Of Edward I lists John Gobyon, “probably a Kt.,” as owning land in Essex 22 Feb 1286, and Sir Thomas Gobyon as “Kt. of shire, Ess., 2 May 1322”  and “Sheriff of Ess. and Const. of Colchester Cas. 15 Jan. 1323 to 24 Nov. 1324.”  This John and Thomas are evidently the grandfather and father of No. i Thomas Gobyon in the above pedigree.

An interesting monograph from the Laindon (UK) And District Community Archive entitled Great Gubbins (The Old Manor House) by Ken Porter suggests that the progenitor of this Gobion family was John Gobion, who in 1277 was involved in a court case with William de Berdfield over land in Laindon.  The monograph errs in stating that John Gobion, father of Margaret Symond, d. in 1396, but does give the correct family. From various sources the Gobions also at one time held lands in Finchingfield, Havering, Great Lees (subject of the above lawsuit), and Toppesfield.  I don’t know how or if these Gobions connect to others resident in England at the time.

I suppose the reader is tired of sentences that begin: “the account of X is confused,” but the Spigurnels have resurrected it again.  Elizabeth Spigurnel, wife of Thomas Gobion the younger, who I believe to be the sheriff aforesaid, was the daughter of Sir Edmund Spigurnel and wife Sarah, Edmund (b. 1286) having died 13 Mar 1315 (see biography in Knights Of Edward I).  Edmund was the son of Sir John Spigurnel (b. 1256, d. 18 Oct 1308; see biography in Knights Of Edward I), a descendant of one Godfrey Spigurnel, who relieved King John of the manor of Skegby in Nottinghamshire.  A certain Galfridus Spigurnel was appointed Sealer of the Writs by Henry III in 1230, who may be identical with Godfrey.  When Edmund d. in 1315, the order went out to deliver Skegby into Sarah’s hands on behalf of Joan, Edmund’s daughter, then in extreme infancy.  But—either the daughter’s name wasn’t actually Joan, or she changed it, or Sarah was pregnant with another daughter when Edmund died, because in 1335 a jury found it to be the king’s gain that Thomas Gobion the younger and Elizabeth his wife, daughter and heir of Edmund Spigurnel, enfeoffe Richard de Pensax in the manor of Skegby.  It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve seen a woman rebel against her given name.  The Spigurnels had held the Manor of Staundon in Essex, which came to John Spigurnel upon the death of his brother Edmund, and that’s the connection to the Gobions.

And I have been unable to trace further the family of John Symond.  Part of the difficulty may be that Margaret Gobion wasn’t his only wife.  All we may say with certainty is that she was b. ca. 1395.  John Symond was probably older.  An additional difficulty are variations in spelling: Symond, Symound, etc.  Until these matters are cleared up, linking John Symond to any family is speculation.

However, I did locate one record that may be relevant to the Gobion case:

Close Rolls Richard II Nov 1396 sheriff of Middlesex writ of supersedeas omnino (permanent stay of legal proceedings) by mainprise of John Smerte, Adam Pollarde, John Shirbroke, John Symonde, John Knot, John Goldbeter in favor of John Wynchecombe, William Fraunceys  “leche”and Ralph atte Ree, at suit.


Edward Dale also descended from Katherine Legh (or Leigh) of Bagulegh, a family of great interest, since “Bagulegh” refers not to a location, but rather to the branch of the Leigh family that descends from Sir John Leigh, who married Ellen, daughter of Sir William Baguley.

The next series of charts from The Visitation Of Cheshire 1580 deals with Leigh of Baguley, and while I can’t spot our Katherine in them, there’s plenty of room for her.  There are more charts on this family in that visitation, but I’ve used the ones I think most relevant.

(Jenkin Legh on p. 153 who m. Alice Alcock was actually named John Legh.)

(Pedigree of Legh of Ridge from the 1613 Visitation of Cheshire.  Vaughan Baker alleges that Katherine Legh who married Robert Dale was the daughter of John Legh of Ridge and wife Elizabeth Dutton, daughter of Fulk Dutton.  Fulk Dutton d. on 24 Sep 1558.  His widow Katherine m. 2nd William Williams.  She d. 19 Apr 1565.  Here’s where we run into a problem: in the 1580 chart Katherine is made the wife of Owen Williams and Sir John Holcroft.  In the 1613 chart she’s the wife of William Williams and Sir John Holcroft has gone missing.  Neither chart shows her married to Robert Dale.  The will of “John Leyghe off the Ridge in the countie of Chester,” made 20 Jan 1577/8, mentions “my mansion or dwelling howse called Winkle Graunge.”  He leaves to “Katherene my doughter” some plate given her by Katerine Dutton her grandmother, but does not give her a married name.  It appears Katherine Legh m. Owen Williams, son of William Williams, hence the confusion.  Based on chronology I estimate that Katherine Legh who m. Robert Dale was probably b. ca. 1530–1535, so she cannot be Katherine, daughter of John Legh of Ridge.)

[This item, from Observations On The Snowdon Mountains by William Williams (1802) confirms Owen Williams’ marriage to Katherine Legh, though her given name is not supplied.]

The Legh or Leigh family is a different breed of cat than the Elliotts.  This is an authentic country gentry family.  Douglas Richardson’s Magna Carta Ancestry has some information on the Leghs of Cheshire, and if Roger Dale was telling the truth, his mother Katherine belonged to it, although the Katherine on p. 151 in the above chart is apparently not her.  Since Roger Dale was referring to his mother, and not a distant relation, and there would have been in Roger’s time those who had known his mother, I think it unlikely he lied.  Roger Dale was the genealogist of the family.  When he was granted arms in 1602, he entered a pedigree, but from its description it sounds useless.

With so few dates in the charts, it’s difficult to establish timelines.  This is precisely the point at which over eager genealogists succumb to vanity and make mistakes.  But marrying into this family would explain how the Dales emerged from obscurity during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.  Because of its position in Prestbury, my first hypothesis would be that Katherine (Legh) Dale belonged to the Legh of Baguley family at Adlington.  Adlington was within the Parish of Prestbury.

As for the Baguley family proper, the allegation that one of the Baguleys married an illegitimate daughter of King Edward I named Lucy is a story with absolutely no support.  It appears this Lucy was confused with Lucia, the wife of Hugo de Corona on p. 150 above.

However, I was able to verify that at St. Mary’s church in Bowdon, Cheshire, there is an effigy of Sr William Baguley, d. ca. 1320, father of Ellen who married Sir John Leigh.  The figure had been taken from the church and used as a garden ornament, but was returned to the church in 1925, without its legs beneath the knees.

The following chart, assembled from Frank Renaud’s History Of The Ancient Parish Of Prestbury In Chesire pp. 115—116 (1876), purports to show a descent of the Leghs of Adlington from some genuine Medieval aristocrats, including Charlemagne, via Eudo (or Odo) II, Count of Blois.  I can find no evidence proving Gilbert de Venables was the son of Eudo II, so yet another alleged  royal line is “smoke and mirrors.”

Among the wives of the de Venables, Margaret Dutton’s great-grandmother Isabel Massey allegedly had Continental connections which are unproved.  The claim that Margaret Dutton’s grandmother was “Muriel Despenser, daughter of Thomas Despenser,” is false as Thomas Despenser died without issue.  Evidence is lacking for Agatha Theray as the wife of Hamon Massey III.  I cannot confirm “Eleanor de Beaumont” as the wife of Hamon Massey II, and in any case, the identities of  her parents are unknown.  I’ve seen disheveled pedigrees, but the Duttons take the prize.

And I can find no support for the statement that “Amabilla, daughter of Warin Vernon, Baron of Shipbrook” married Sir Hugh de Venables.   Evidently Sir Hugh de Venables actually married Agatha, daughter of Ralph Vernon II of Shipbrook, supposed husband of Mary Dacre.  I accept the truth of this de Venables pedigree in the male line, but evidence for the wives is sketchy at best.  It’s possible some of the women were alleged illegitimate daughters of greater men who bestowed them upon nobles further down the food chain, a case of minor noble houses seeking to enhance their status.

[Eudo II, ca. 990—1037, Count of Blois (“earl” being the English equivalent of “count”), was descended from Charlemagne.  However, there is no proof that Gilbert de Venables was his son.  Kinderton was a feudal barony, not a barony by writ.  So what’s the truth?  Hanshall (1823) lists the following feudal barons created by Hugh, Earl of Chester, that are ancestral to Legh of Baguley:  Richard de Vernon, baron of Shipbrook; Hamon de Massey, baron of Dunham Massey; and Gilbert de Venables, baron of Kinderton.  Thus Gilbert de Venables (Gilbert the Huntsman) was the liege man or vassal of Hugh d’Avranches (Hugh Lupus), Earl of Chester.   Probably Gilbert’s family had served Hugh’s in some capacity.  When Hugh found himself in possession of large tracts of land after 1066, he granted some of it to his followers, and one of them was Gilbert.  Domesday shows Gilbert holding the following manors in Cheshire:  Eccleston, Alpraham, Tarporley, Wettenhall, Hartford, Lymm, High Legh, Wincham, Mere, Peover, Rostherne, Hope (in Wales), Newbold, Brereton, Kinderton, Davenport, Witton, and Blakenhall.  Thus we can count Gilbert de Venables an important man in Cheshire, but his ancestry is presently unknown.  Referencing the above chart, we find that John de Venables, younger son of William de Venables of Bradwell, was the son of William’s second wife, Agnes de Legh, daughter and heiress of Richard de Legh.  Richard de Legh’s line failed in the male line, so John de Venables took the surname “de Legh” as his own as a continuation of Richard de Legh’s line.  For this reason, John’s line is known as “Legh of Baguley” to distinguish it from the other families of Legh.  It was a common practice.  There are parallels between this Legh family and the earlier Berkeley family.)

This item, from Ormerod’s Cheshire, supplies some background of Agnes de Legh, mother of John (de Venables) de Legh.  While there is no doubt that John (de Venables) de Legh was Agnes’s son, there is some doubt as to which of her husbands was the second or third, an issue I won’t address here.

[This snippet from the 1580 Cheshire Visitation pertaining to the Dutton family purports to show what would be the first three generations of Margaret Dutton’s pedigree.  As you can see, it starts with the incredible statement that “Huddard,” more commonly called “Odard,” was the cousin of William the Conqueror. Centuries later, a sword said to be Odard’s was variously exhibited, but thought to be a fraud.  Hanshall (1823) quotes Leycester regarding Odard’s sword:  “This Odard’s, or Huddard’s sword, is at this day, 1665, in the custody of Lady Eleanor, Viscountess Kilmorey, sole daughter and heir of Thomas Dutton, late of Dutton, Esq. deceased; which sword hath for many ages past been preserved as an heir loom, by the name of Huddard’s sword, as so at this day it is by tradition received and called.”  However, Odard is shown to have married the “Lady of Dutton,” a statement that might be based in fact.  If she was a Saxon heiress, then a politic Odard might have married her.  In any event, Domesday shows Odard held Dutton in Tunedune Hundred, Cheshire, of the Earl of Chester, so here we have another liege man of Earl Hugh.  The tale that Odard was a cousin to William the Conqueror began with the story that Odard was a brother of Nigel, lord of Halton, and Nigel was allegedly a cousin of William the Conqueror.  There’s no evidence that Odard was Nigel’s brother, and no evidence that Nigel was William the Conqueror’s cousin.  Next in line are two Hughs, both of which married an Alice.  At this point, Margaret Dutton’s pedigree veers off with yet two more Hughs, and finally, Sir Thomas Dutton, who was Margaret’s father.]

My purpose in examining the Elliott and Venables/Legh families is to encourage others to undertake modern research, as there is some genuine history here.  After the dust has cleared, Edward Dale probably had feudal baronial ancestry of which he may have been unaware, as it occurred centuries in the past.  A descent through the Counts of Blois is fiction. Roger Dale contented himself with a hazy 14th century knight.

Having waded through the charts attempting to wring some order from them, and being as bleary-eyed as my readers must also be, I’ll leave it here until someone brings a fresh pair of eyes to what must be accounted as one of the stranger episodes in our family’s history.  If Katherine (Legh) Dale was, as Roger Dale claimed her to be, “Legh of Baguley” (and I have no reason to doubt it), then Edward Dale had some minor Medieval figures among his forbears, but it occurs with and before Sir John Legh (or “de Venables”) who married Ellen Baguley, daughter of Sir William Baguley.

This column illustrates the problems one may encounter in using Herald’s Visitations in the context of an actual research project.  We go from the simple exposition of the Dale pedigree to the meandering of the Elliott and Legh charts.  While the Elliott pedigree has reached a satisfactory solution, the pedigree of Katherine Legh remains a mystery.

Using a visitation requires knowledge of how they were put together and common sense, but used responsibly, they can be a crucial source of information.