Category Archives: Famous genealogies

Robert Seldon Duvall


Photo Credit : Sean Gallop/Getty Images

In the summer of 2014 I undertook intensive research of well known Americans who were reputed to have Welsh ancestries. Well, according to Wikipedia that is. So, sifting through a list of impressive size, I began to satisfy my curiosity.

The first one that caught my eye was the respected American actor Robert Duvall. Now approaching his mid 80’s his ancestry was a combination of different nationalities, and claims to have illustrious ancestors, such as Robert E Lee on his mother’s side, and the French Hugenot Mareen Duvall on his father’s.

So, where did his Welsh roots come from?

On a genealogist’s hunch I decided to look on his mother’s side first. Her name was Mildred Virginia Hart, born about 1901 in St. Louis, Missouri. In the 1920 Census, she lived in Seattle with her parents, Felix Stanley Hart and Sarah Elizabeth Graham, and her older sister Artie Lee Hart. They had relocated sometime in the previous ten years because in the 1910 Census they were living in St. Louis with Sarah’s unmarried sister Blanch Graham.

Felix’ expertise was sales. In 1900 he was a ‘Dry Goods Salesman’ and in 1920 he was selling cars. When he enlisted with the United States army on 10 August 1893 he was a ‘clerk’. His army records reveal a little more about him.

His commanding officer at the time of his enlistment was none other than Mason Carter, a well decorated officer who earned a medal of honour from his heroics at the Battle of Bear Paw in 1877. 1

From his enlistment record, Felix hailed from Clairborne, Jackson County, Louisiana, had brown eyes, light brown hair and stood a shade over 5’8″ tall. He was in the 5th Infantry, Company B, and was discharged on 9 November, 1896, having initially signed up for five years. Unfortunately, his involvement with the army is uncertain, but he was based at Fort McPherson near Atlanta, Georgia. 2 At the time of his enlistment the Indian Wars were over and the Cuban War was not due until 1898.

It was around 1898 that he married Sarah and their first child Artie was born a year later. Felix died on 25 March, 1928 at Seattle aged 60.  

Sarah passed away sometime after 1940.

Felix’s parents were Robert J Hart and Martha E Stanley who were married on 13 November, 1855 at Chambers County, Alabama. In the 1900 Census, Robert was employed as a ‘Fire Insurance Agent’. Born in Georgia, his parents, according to the document, both hailed from South Carolina. 4

Robert and Martha had seven children recorded on the 1880 Census but they also had a daughter named Artie Abigail, whose death was recorded on 3 September, 1921 at Ringgold, Bienville, Louisiana. 5

The discovery of ‘Artie’ as a name, used again in the family (Mildred Hart’s sister), bodes well in establishing the authenticity of the link between Mildred Hart (Robert Duvall’s mother) with the Stanleys.

I feel this is significant because as shown in the 1900 census her brother Felix named his first born Artie, and Abigail, as will be shown later,  is a name I believe connects Robert Duvall to his Welsh ancestry.

Therefore, I have a strong assumption that Robert Duvall’s Welsh roots originate from the Stanley line. Martha’s parents were Felix Stanley and Abigail Evans. I know that Martha’s father name was stated on her marriage record. There is a Rootsweb tree that states that a Samantha Abigail Evans married Felix Stanley on 30 December 1833 in Troup County, Georgia. 6

This is confirmed by a document I found on which also reads that Felix married Abigail Evans on 30 December, 1833 in Troup County, Georgia. 7

On the Rootsweb tree, it has Thomas Evans as Abigail’s father. It also has listed some of Felix and Abigail’s children, including Margaret Elizabeth, Alfonso, Thomas, Samantha Tabitha and Mary Frances. Interestingly, it lists their ‘nicknames’ for two of them. Alfonso was ‘Founce’ and ‘Tony’, Margaret was ‘Ella’. Possibly an indication that the person who uploaded the tree has personal knowledge of the family.  They were all born at Chambers, Alabama.

According to this source, Abigail was born on 20 Oct 1807 in North Carolina, and died 17 January, 1877. The christian name ‘Abigail’ is first recorded in this family nearly hundred years before she was born.  8

Both are buried at Antioch Cemetery, Clairborn Parish, Louisiana. On the Find a Grave site there are photos of their headstones. Inscribed on Felix’ are the words “Erected by his wife A Stanley”. On Abigail’s headstone the words “Erected by her children” written on it. 9

Her father Thomas Evans was born in Chatham Counry, North Carolina on 29 May 1770 and died on 15 January, 1854. His obituary appeared in The Southern Christian Advocate.

“Thomas Evans, a native of Chatham County, N.C., removed to Troup County, Ga, where he died 15 January last…Few men, of such quietness and virtue as he possessed are seen in the course of a lifetime. I have known him for twenty years, and of him I have never heard aught of evil. He left a number of children behind him, all of whom are orderly members of the M.E.Church…And now he rests in happiness with two infant children from whom he has been long separated, and his wife whose zeal of christian life was much shorter than his own.” 10

W.D.Martin [1854]

This Thomas Evans came from Welsh stock. 11

His wife was Martha Brooks was born 4 February, 1779 also in Chatham County, and died 10 October, 1841.

“Sister Martha Evans, consort of Thomas Evans, died of palsy on the 10th ult. in the 63rd year of her age in Troup Co. Sister Evans was born in 1779 in Chatham Co., was married in 1797, embraced religion and joined the Methodist E. Church in 1809. Her piety was deep, and all her life consistent. She lived to raise ten children, and to see them all members of the same Church, one of whom is an acceptable minister of the Gospel. She was affected six years previous to her death, and for a few days deprived of her speech; yet, as long as [sic] able to talk she gave evidence of her preparation to meet death. she has left her companion, children and friends to mourn their loss; yet their loss is her […] gain. She rests from her labors and her works do follow her.” 12

E.W.Reynolds (1841]

The son who became ‘an acceptable minister of the Gospel’ was probably W. C  (or C.W.) Evans. 13

They are both buried at Evans Cemetery, Mountville, Troup County, Georgia.

Thomas and Martha were one of the earliest settlers of Troup County. It was formed in 1826 and they arrived about a year later, where they quickly founded what would become the Mountville Methodist Church. 14

Mountville Methodist Church

Courtesy of the Georgia Archives

When they arrived in Troup County around 1828, the Methodist Church was called Mount Pleasant church, and the congregation met at the Evans’ log cabin. Thomas and Martha’s children were: Thomas, Martha, Elizabeth, Abigail, Nancy, C.W, Aaron, William and J.F. 15

I believe I have found Thomas Evans in the 1850 Troup Census. Head of the family was a John Evans, 32, a planter, born in North Carolina and living in a property valued at $3500. 16

There is a Thomas Evans living with John and his family who is also described as a planter and aged 79 years old. so, if I have the correct Thomas Evans then this one is spot on because he would be 80 years old in June 1850, born exactly 1770. I am assuming that John was his son, born circa. 1818. Martha would be nearly forty years old at the time of his birth, and is possibly the J.F Evans, Thomas and Martha’s last child, mentioned in the last paragraph.

Another intriguing name that appears in the same household is a Seaborn A Evans, a four year old son of John and his wife Mary. This provided me with a possible clue to finding the family’s original immigrants from Wales, which I will cover later. I also discovered that the Seaborn christian name appears again in a later generation in this particular family. A grandson of Thomas and Martha’s son Aaron, born 1812 in North Carolina, Seaborn Williford Evans was born in 1894 at Mountville, and died 1969 at LaGrange city hospital. 17

It seems incredibly likely that Thomas’ father was Aaron Evans (1 May, 1739 – 11 Jan, 1786). He married Ruth McPherson on 20 August, 1760. 18

Ruth was of Scottish descent on her father’s side.

Thomas was named on his mother’s will and he also named one of his son’s Aaron. The continuous use of certain christian names in families is a great indicator to identifying the right family. There is a clear repetition of many names, such as Aaron, Abigail and Thomas that suggest that this is the correct family. Ruth Evans gave ten shillings to each of her four sons: Owen, John, Thomas and Aaron. Her daughters were Sarah, Abigail, Ruth and Rebecca. 19

Aaron senior’s parents were Owen Evans and Mary Harlan, who were married in 1734, allegedly at The Old Swede’s Church in Wilmington, Delaware. I have a copy of the marriage records of this church and I can see no entry for them. However, they were married and Owen is buried at the Kennett Meeting Place in Chester County. 20

Mary’s ancestry leads to Northern Ireland.

The mystery of this research is Owen Evans and who exactly were his parents. He and Mary had three children: Aaron, Owen and Sarah, all born in Kennet Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania. 21

When Owen died in 1747, Mary remarried the following year to a Hugh Laughlin, and moved to Chatham County, North Carolina. Sarah married a Thomas Lindley. 22

I found a Letter of Authority dated 28 July 1761 which reads:

“Thomas Lindley and Sarah his wife, late of Orange County, N.C. but now reside at Kennett, County Chester, have appointed Aaron Evans, millwright, our brother, our lawful attorney, to sell our plantation and tract of land in Kennett, 65 acres bounded by land belonging to William Harvey and Isaac Mendenhall. Delivered in the presence of George Heald and Thomas Harlan”. 23

Clearly the witnesses to this document were relatives of Sarah and Aaron. The parents of Mary Harlan, Owen’s wife, were Aaron Harlan and Sarah Heald, whose father, Samuel hailed from Mobberley, Cheshire. 24

Aaron’s parents were George Harlan and Elizabeth Duck.

Thomas Harlan was probably a relative of Sarah Lindley. Her mother Mary had a cousin named Thomas Harlan who died  at Kennet in 1766, a grandson of Michael Harlan, brother to the aforementioned George. 25

Owen’s birth is also uncertain though it is believed to be between 1714 and 1718. If closer to the latter date he would have been a mere sixteen when he married Mary. Not an unusual age to get married even at this time.

So, I began looking for Welsh families who settled in the late 17th and early 18th centuries on the east coast of America. As mentioned before I had come across an Evans family with a child named Seaborn in the 1850 census. Eventually I found a family, originating from the old county of Radnorshire, Wales, who were documented as having a child born within sight of land. They named this child, a daughter, Seaborn. Unfortunately she died very soon after. The family was that of Evan Oliver who emigrated with his wife Jean and children David, Elizabeth, John, Hannah, Mary, Evan and of course Seaborn in August 1682. Taking into account the Welsh tendency to use the patronymic system in providing surnames is very much a possibility here. 26

Although they came from Glascwm, Radnorshire, they sailed from Bristol. 27

There is a dispute as to which ship they sailed on. Some believe they were passengers on ‘The Welcome’ which sailed from Deal in Kent and carried none other than William Penn himself to Pennsylvania. However, it is more likely that they travelled on ‘The Bristol Factor’ because there is evidence that Evan Oliver loaded his essentials on this ship on 14 August. William Penn had noted that ‘The Welcome’ lost sight of the coast of England on 13 September, but the ‘Factor’ would have gone beyond this point before this date.

It is also quite difficult to comprehend the idea that he would choose a ship that set sail as far away as Kent to get his family, which included a heavily pregnant wife, to the New World. 28

I have no absolute proof that Evan Oliver is connected to Owen Evans, a direct ancestor to Robert Duvall. Somewhere out there exists a document that proves or disproves my theory. The one piece of ‘evidence’ I have is the hope that the John Evans I found in the 1850 Troup census, with an exact aged Thomas Evans in the same residence, named a child of his in honour of the child that died tragically young after arriving  with her parents in Upland, Pennsylvania in the autumn of 1682.

Clearly research on the sons of Evan Oliver has to be undertaken in order to get to the bottom of this mystery. According to Tepper, Evan himself died in Philadelphia in 1694/95, his wife Jean a year later and their son David in 1690. 29

That leaves John and Evan as possible fathers to Owen who married Mary Harlan in 1734.

The purpose of this research was to find out the Welsh roots of Robert Duvall. Although I have not managed to find concrete evidence of his descent from Evan Oliver of Radnorshire, there is no doubt that he is a descendant of Thomas Evans who definitely had a Welsh connection.



2. United States Registers of Enlistments in the U.S. Army, 1798-1914,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 19 April 2015), Felix S Hart, 10 Aug 1893; citing p. 167, volume 090, Jackson Barracks, , Louisiana, United States, NARA microfilm publication M233 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 47; FHL microfilm 1,319,380.

3.  “Washington, Death Certificates, 1907-1960,” index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 19 April 2015), Felix Stanley Hart, 25 Mar 1928; citing Seattle, King, Washington, reference 975, Bureau of Vital Statistics, Olympia; FHL microfilm 2,022,479.

4. “United States Census, 1900,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 19 April 2015), Felix S Hart, Precinct 12 St. Louis city Ward 13, St. Louis, Missouri, United States; citing sheet 6A, family 127, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,240,894.

5. Louisiana, Deaths Index, 1850-1875, 1894-1956,” index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 6 April 2015), Artie Abigail Corry Or Carrie, 03 Sep 1921; citing Ringgold, Bienville, Louisiana, certificate number 8537, State Archives, Baton Rouge; FHL microfilm 2,366,158.


7. “Georgia, Marriages, 1808-1967,” index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 19 April 2015), Felix Stanley and Abigail Evans, 30 Dec 1833; citing , Troup, Georgia; FHL microfilm 310,914.

8. Abigail Harlan was born after 1702 to Thomas Harlan and Alice Foster of Armagh. Thomas was a brother to Michael and George Harlan and remained in Ireland; History and Genealogy of the Harlan Family, p. 1


10. The Southern Christian Advocate, Vol.47, No.44, 3 March 1854, p. 176


12. The Southern Christian Advocate, Vol.5, No.23, 18 November 1841, p. 92




16. United States Census, 1850,” index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 19 April 2015), Seborn A Evans in household of John Evans, Troup county, part of, Troup, Georgia, United States; citing family 187, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).


18. History and Genealogy of the Harlan Family, p.35


20. History and Genealogy of the Harlan Family, p.35

21. History and Genealogy of the Harlan Family, p.35-36

22. History and Genealogy of the Harlan Family, p.36


24. History and Genealogy of the Harlan Family, p.16

25. History and Genealogy of the Harlan Family, p.52


27. New World Immigrants A Consolidation of Ship Passenger Lists and Associated Data from Periodical Literature, Vol. 1 – (Ed.) Michael Tepper [1979] p. 306

28. New World Immigrants A Consolidation of Ship Passenger Lists and Associated Data from Periodical Literature – Michael Tepper [Ed.] [1979] p. 263

29. New World Immigrants A Consolidation of Ship Passenger Lists and Associated Data from Periodical Literature, Vol. 1 – Michael Tepper [Ed.] [1979] p. 306


Roger Waters’ Family Tree – The EL Cid connection

elcidFurthering my research into the family tree of Pink Floyd front-man Roger Waters, I discovered that his ancestor, Helen Paterson had a very interesting ancestry herself, leading to connections with royal families from Scotland, Wales, England, France and Spain if not more. To re-cap from my previous post, she married the Rev. William Morrice (1730-1809) on 6 December 1763, a daughter of the Rev. James Paterson (1702-1789) minister of Coull, and Jane/Jean Turing (1712-1784) who herself was a daughter of a minister, Walter Turing (Johnston, p.181). Helen died on 20 April 1817 aged 73 and had 17 children (Johnston, p.181).

One of them was Isabella who interestingly married a William Roger (Johnston, p.183), possibly of the same family as the one that her sister Jane Morrice, Roger Waters’ ancestor, married into, namely Rev. John Roger (Johnston, p.182). During my research into this post I discovered that two of Jane and John Roger’s children emigrated to commonwealth destinations; the Rev. John Morrice Roger was a Presbyterian minister in Canada[1] and Walter Roger passed away in New South Wales (Johnston, p.182). The latter was married and had two children. Their brother, Robert Roger (d. 1869), became an engineer and was Roger Waters’ great-great grandfather.

Three sons of William and Helen also departed to foreign climes. James (1745-1798) who practiced as a physician in Jamaica, and Robert (b. 1769) and David (b. 1775), as planters (Johnston, p.183). From the same source I discovered also that the three had two uncles living in Jamaica.[2] A patient trawl through some old genealogical books will reveal that we can go further back in history and discover some illustrious names that Helen Paterson was descended from.

Now, I’ve been down this path with my own family history research and part of my interest in researching this tree was finding whether I shared some ancestors with Roger Waters. Going back in time as much as I have I was confident that this would be the case. For this particular post I was keen to determine whether Rogers’ family history included some of my own ancestors in Spain[3]. The research took me back to the same historical periods that I have gone with my own family, which helped me cut back some research time. I hope to continue to write about these interesting historical characters in Waters’ family history in future posts. But in this instance I was particularly interested whether I could find proof that we both have a connection to Rodrigo Diaz de Bivar, otherwise known as El Cid. Some of you will know that the American actor, Charlton Heston, played the famous Spanish nobleman in the epic film of the same name released in 1961.

My research has revealed at least two lineages from Helen Paterson that eventually led to a connection with El Cid. One of her great-great grandmothers was Grizel Brodie who married Robert Dunbar[4] on the 7 September 1654 (Burke, p.596). Robert’s ancestry is rich with medieval Scottish kings[5] and will be the subject of a future post. Grizel was the daughter of Alexander Brodie[6] and Elizabeth Innes who were married on 28 October 1635 (Burke, p.596). Elizabeth died 12 August, 1640, but by then she had also produced a son, James (Burke, p.596). Her parents were Robert Innes and Grizel Stewart (Burke, p. 596) and this is where the research gets a little more exciting. Grizel Stewart turns out to be a great grandchild of King James V of Scotland! Here’s how.

Grizel’s parents were James Stewart[7] (nicknamed the bonny earl of Moray) and Elizabeth Stewart, the daughter of James Stewart, an illegitimate son of James V (Debrett, p.517)  by his well documented mistress Lady Margaret Erskine (Cheetham, p.59). The King’s son was created the 1st Earl of Moray and became a chief advisor for his half sister, Mary Queen of Scots (Meline, p. 42-43), the mother of James VI of Scotland who became James I of England in 1603. His wife was Agnes Keith[8], married on 8 February, 1562 (Knox, p.314[in footnote]) and I found her ancestry leads to James I of Scotland and Lady Joan Beaufort, and through Joan down to King Edward III of England. This means that there is a another connection to the Royal families of France and Spain, and therefore  a connection to El Cid too. So both husband and wife were descendants of El Cid. I could show how they are fully connected, and I will, but essentially because King Edward III of England was both their ancestor, the path to El Cid will be the same from this particular monarch. The direct line that I have traced goes through Edward III’s mother, the treacherous Isabella of France (1295-1358)[9].

So, if we look at James Stewart’s line first…

His paternal grandmother was Margaret Tudor, wife of King James IV of Scotland, and daughter of King Henry VII of England (Mortimer, p.169). Her Welsh ancestry will certainly lead to many notable figures who are included in the family trees of  both Waters and myself, and having Owen Tudor as an ancestor a future post will reveal the many connections that Walters’ has in Welsh history.

The period before Margaret Tudor’s father won the English crown on the field at Bosworth was quite a turbulent time in English history with as many episodes of intrigue, murder and plotting to fill an Agatha Christie novel. King Henry VII, Henry Tudor, claimed the throne in 1485 because of his ancestry to King Edward III, his

great-great-great-great grandfather,  who ruled England and Wales from 1327 to 1377 (Unwin, p.4). In fact it is generally known that Henry knew that he didn’t have much of a claim, but legitimised his action by claiming the throne through defeating the current King, Richard III in battle. However, it can be said that his wife Elizabeth (1466-1503) had a greater claim for the throne of England. By marrying Elizabeth, Henry strengthened his own eligibility. Two years previously, he had vowed to marry her, with the support of anti-Richard Yorkists, who hoped that Elizabeth would be Queen of England, and Henry her consort (Pendrill, p. 84). Her father was King Edward IV (1442-1483) and when he died, and with the disappearance of her younger brothers, Edward and Richard, she could have staked her claim to be Queen of England[10]. With the young princes out of the way, Richard, an uncle to Elizabeth, grabbed the throne and declared all the children of Edward IV illegitimate thus making them ineligible to be considered as heirs[11]. He consequently seized the throne and became King Richard III.

It was he was the one that lost the crown and his life that day on Bosworth Field; he is depicted by historians as a murderer of children and a conniving individual who manipulated events to make sure that he became King. It is with some irony that Henry Tudor, had to slay his future brother-in-law, then married Elizabeth, thus uniting the Houses of Lancaster and York and ending the devastating period in our history that we now designate as The Wars of the Roses.

His mother was Margaret Beaufort, the Countess of Richmond, his father Edmund Tudor, son of Owen Tudor and Catherine of Valois (Lehman, p.257-259) .  Her father was the 1st Duke of Somerset, John Beaufort (1403-1444) a grandson of John of Gaunt, 3rd son on King Edward III. At the death of the King, the English throne was passed to the only legitimate individual, Richard II, Edward’s grandson, who ruled from 1377 to 1399.[12] His untimely death at the hands of Henry Bolingbroke, his cousin, who then took the throne from him, produced a succession of troubled reigns, devastated by wars, legitimacy and economic problems which eventually bankrupted the country, until Henry Tudor came and restored order to the kingdom[13].

So, the ancestral line from James Stewart to Edward III is as follows:

James Stewart – King James V – Margaret Tudor – King Henry VII – Margaret Beaufort – John Beaufort – John Beaufort – John of Gaunt – Edward III

Now, let’s turn to Agnes Keith’s ancestry to Edward III…

Her parents were William Keith (died 1581) and Margaret Keith, the daughter of another William Keith, the younger (Almon, p.324). Agnes’s paternal grandfather was Lord Robert Keith who married Lady Elizabeth Douglas, the daughter of John Douglas, 2nd Earl of Morton and Janet Crichton (Burke, p.303). Robert and Elizabeth may have been 2nd cousins, but I didn’t find any proof of this[14]. John Douglas fought and was killed at the Battle of Flodden in 1513[15]. His parents were James Douglas, 1st Earl of Morton and Princess Joan of Scotland (c.1428-1486), daughter of James I of Scotland and Lady Joan of Beaufort (1404-1445)[16]. Joan was unfortunately afflicted with being deaf as well as not being able to talk. She was known as the muta domina [mute lady of Dalkeith] (Maxwell, p. 238).

Joan Beaufort was the daughter of John Beaufort, 1st Earl of Somerset and Margaret Holland (French, p.148).  John was the son of John of Gaunt, 3rd son of Edward III of England. Here we arrive at a full circle to the ancestry of both James and Agnes[17].

To simplify, this is the ancestral line from Agnes Keith to Edward III:

Agnes Keith – William Keith – Robert Keith – John Douglas – Joan of Scotland – Lady Joan Beaufort – John Beaufort – John of Gaunt – Edward III

Let’s now have a look at the ancestral journey towards El Cid from King Edward III.

Edward’s bride was Philippa of Hainault, a province in modern day Belgium, south of what was then Flanders. Her parents were William I, Count of Hainault (Strickland [1848], p.173) and Joan of Valois (Edgar, p.75). Edward’s parents were Edward II (1284-1330) and Isabella of France (1295-1358), and she was notoriously involved in the deposition of her husband with the help of her lover Roger Mortimer (Haines, p. 190), and both later arranged the king to be murdered[18]. This Roger Mortimer was hanged at Tyburn for his role in the Edward II affair and was the son of my direct ancestor Sir Edmund de Mortimer (1251-1304) who was involved in the death of Llewelyn the Last, who perished in the Battle of Orewin Bridge on 11 December, 1282[19].

It is quite a sobering thought that one of my ancestors was responsible for the demise of Wales’ last Prince. The death of Llewelyn signalled the beginning of English domination in Wales under King Edward I.

Isabella’s parents were Phillip IV of France (1268-1314) and Joan I of Navarre[20]. Philip was known as ‘the fair’ (Philippe le Bel)[21] and after marrying Joan he became King Philip I of Navarre and Count of Champagne. He was responsible for the demise of The Knights Templar, of whom he was heavily in debt (Robertson, p. 132). In 1314, he ordered Jacques de Molay, the leader of the Templars, and Geoffroi de Charney[22] to be burned at the stake on an island in the middle of the River Seine in Paris (Demurger, p. 227). Before he died, de Molay (who has been rumoured by some to be the image left on the Shroud of Turin[23]) cursed those who passed sentence on him, Philip and Pope Clement V, and both were dead within the year, Philip died during a hunting expedition (Robinson, p. 473).

Joan’s parents were Henry I (c.1244-1274), nicknamed ‘the fat’ (Chepmell, p. 404), and Blanche of Artois (1248-1302), a daughter of Robert I of Artois and Matilda of Brabant (DeBacker, p. 245). Robert was a brother of King Louis IX of France and son of King Louis VIII and Blanche of Castile (1188-1252) (Newman, p. 120). Blanche was a daughter of King Alfonso VIII of Castile (1155-1214) and his wife Eleanor of England, daughter of King Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine (Swabey, p.97).

Joan, barely a year old when her father Henry I of Navarre died, found herself and her mother under the protection of the court of Philip III of France, where at the young age of 11 married the king’s son, the future Philip IV, and the following year, 1285, became Queen of France (Fegley, p.68). Her three sons would eventually be kings of France, and her daughter Isabella, Queen of England[24].

If I go back to Henry I of Navarre’s ancestry I found that his father was Theobald I of Navarre (1201-1263), the first Frenchman to rule over Navarre (Wikipedia), and his mother, Margaret of Bourbon. He was also known as Theobald IV of Champagne. His son Theobald V died young[25] which meant Henry became King of Navarre. Tragically, Henry’s infant son was dropped accidentally from the castle wall in 1283[26] which left Joan as heir to the throne of Navarre (Chepmell, p. 404).

Theobald III (1178-1201) ruled the region of Champagne and he inherited the Kingdom of Navarre when he married Blanca Sanchez (born c.1181), the daughter of Sancho VI and Sancha of Castile (Koch and Schoell, p.53). Blanca was a sister to

Berengaria, wife of King Richard I of England (Strickland [1841], p. 21) and to Sancho VII (O’Callaghan, p. 680). It is at this point when my ancestry joins that of Roger Waters’. His ancestor Sancho VI was the brother of Blanche of Navarre, my direct ancestor, and wife of Sancho III King of Castile and Toledo. Their father was Garcia Ramirez of Navarre (1099-1150) who was the husband of Marguerite l’Aigle (Daniell, p.55).

We are now only two generations from El Cid. Garcia’s parents were Ramiro Sanchez, Lord of Monzon and Christina Rodriguez (Burke [1900], p.193), the daughter of El Cid, Rodrigo Diaz de Bivar and Ximena Diaz, who were married in 1074[27] (Southey, p.6).

So, here is the ancestral line from King Edward III to El Cid:

Edward III-Isabella of France-Joan of Navarre-Henry I of Navarre-Theobald I of Navarre- Blanca Sanchez of Navarre- Sancho VI of Navarre-Garcia Ramirez of Navarre-Christina Rodriquez-Rodrigo Diaz de Bivar (El Cid)

Regarded as one of the most revered heroes of Spanish history, El Cid accumulated an impressive military career which comprised of periods of service with both the Christian armies of the kingdoms of Spain and the Muslim forces of the Moors. He pledged allegiance to Sancho II, the son of Ferdinand the Great, King of Castile and Leon, but when his eldest son, Sancho, was assassinated (allegedly organised by his brother Alfonso) he had no choice but to serve he who would become Alfonso VI. Rodrigo fought Alfonso’s battles but angered the King by fighting without permission in Grenada and spent some years in exile during which time he  fought with the Moors who in those times ruled Zaragosa, against the rulers of Aragon and Barcelona. It must be remembered that Spain at this time was split into various kingdoms, and that the southern parts of the country were controlled by the Moors.

But he returned to Alfonso when he desperately needed his services.  By this time El Cid had plans of his own. He formed his own army which comprised of both Christians and Moors. He no longer wished to fight for Kings but for himself, and prepared to take the city of Valencia, which was at the time was under Moorish control. He and his wife succeeded in taking over the city and keeping it in Christian hands until 1102. El Cid died on the 10 July, 1099. By all accounts he died from wounds in battle. When Valencia fell to the Moors in 1102, it is said that Ximena dressed the corpse of Rodrigo in his battle dress and rode it back to Burgos, his birthplace, where they both eventually were to lay under the cathedral of that city.

[1] Died at Peterborough, Ontario, January 1878, aged 70 (Johnston, 1894).
[2] John and James Paterson had already established medical practices in Jamaica long before the Morrice  brothers arrived (Johnston, 1894).
[3] I have outlined my ancestry to El Cid on a Facebook page and can be found here. A more detailed account will be posted on this blog.
[4] Robert was knighted by King Charles II of England.
[5] Ancestor includes Robert the Bruce.
[6] Alexander Brodie died in 1679 and wrote a diary which was published in 1740 (Burke (1838), p.596).
[7] The 2nd Earl of Moray. Murdered on 17th February, 1592  by George Gordon, 1st Marquess of Huntly (Almon, p.96).
[8] Daughter of the richest man in Scotland at the time, William Keith, 4th Earl Marischal (Burke, p.303 [1866]).
[9] Daughter of Philippe IV of France and Joan of Navarre (Strickland, p.231).
[10] Her brother, Edward became king for a mere 83 days and mysteriously disappeared along with another brother, Richard after they were sent to stay at the Tower of London, supposedly under the protection of their uncle Richard, Duke of Gloucester. After their supposed deaths, Elizabeth became Edward IV heir.
[11] One of his first acts as King of England was to make Parliament create a statute declaring Edward IV marriage legal again, thus restoring Elizabeth’s legitimacy.
[12] He became King because Edward III’s eldest son, Edward ‘The Black Prince’, predeceased his father. Richard married twice but did not produce an heir.
[13] Henry Tudor was often accused of taxing his people for wars that never occurred, and always with an agenda of accumulating wealth for the crown, by any means (Vickers and Bacon, xxvi).
[14] As far as my research can gather, Lord Robert Keith’s great-grandmother was Elizabeth Crichton, perhaps related to Elizabeth’s mother, Janet.
[15] As was Lord Robert Keith and his brother William (Burke, p. 303 [1866]).
[16] Dissertation Upon “Male Heirs” When Used as a Clause of Reminder in Grants of Scotch Peerages (Sinclair, p.98).
[17] James and Agnes’ common ancestors were John Beaufort and his wife Margaret Holland, the parents of John Beaufort (1st Duke of Somerset) [James] and Joan Beaufort [Agnes].
[18] Mortimer was accused of agreeing for Edward II to be suffocated (Haines, p.216).
[19] Reports suggest that he was lured by Edmund, his brother Roger and Hugo le Strange to a spot where he became isolated from the rest of his forces (Fryde, p.39).
[20] Agnes and Elizabeth Strickland, p.231-232 (1840).
[21] His half-sister Margaret was the 2nd wife of King Edward I of England.
[22] His nephew was to put the Turin Shroud on public display about 1355 (Danver, p.107).
[23] Oxley, p. 9.
[24] Louis X of France (1289-1316); Philip V of France (1293-1322); Charles IV (1294-1328),
[25]  He died childless whilst on Crusade in Sicily in 1270 (Chepmell, p. 404).
[26] His governor and nurse were throwing him to each other in play when the former missed the infant, and was killed himself from falling off the battlements trying in vain to catch him.
[27] Falk, p.470.


Genealogical Account of the descendants of James Young, merchant Burgess of Aberdeen and Rachel Cruickshank his wife, 1697-1893, William Johnston (1894).

A Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Commoners of Great Britain and Ireland Vol.3, John Burke (1838).

Debrett’s Peerage of England, Scotland and Ireland revised, corrected and continued, John Debrett (1840).

Mary Queen of Scots and her latest English Historian: A Narrative of  the Principal Events in the Life of Mary Stuart, James Florant Meline (1872).

On The Trail of Mary Queen of Scots, J. Keith Cheetham(1999).

A Genealogical History of the Dormant: Abeyant, Forfeited, and Extinct …, Sir Bernard Burke (1866).

The Peerage of Scotland: a genealogical and historical of all the Peers of that Ancient Kingdom…, John Almon (1767).

The works of John Knox, Volume 2, Jon Knox (1848).

Lives of the Queens of England, from The Norman Conquest, Agnes and Elizabeth Strickland (1840).

A New History of England, from the earliest accounts of Britain to the ratification of the Peace of Versailles, 1763, Vol. 2,  Thomas Mortimer (1765).

The Making of the United Kingdom, Robert Unwin (1996).

The Wars of the Roses and Henry VII, Colin Pendrill (2004).

Lives of England’s Reigning and Consort Queens, H. Eugene Lehman (2011).

Dissertation Upon “Male Heirs” When Used as a Clause of Reminder in Grants of Scotch Peerages, Alexander Sinclair (1837).

A History of the House of Douglas: From the Earliest Times Down to the Legislative Union of England and Scotland, Sir Herbert Eustace Maxwell, Vol. 1 (1902).

Bacon: The History of the Reign of King Henry VII, ed. Brian Vickers (1998).

The Ancestry of Her Majesty Queen Victoria, and of His Royal Highness Prince Albert, George Russell French (1841).

Lives of the Queens of England, from the Norman Conquest, Volume 2, Agnes Strickland (1848).

Noble dames of ancient story, John George Edgar (1864).

King Edward II: His Life, His Reign, and Its Aftermath, 1284-1330, Roy Martin Haines (2003).

The True Christian Gospel, Orlando A. Robertson (2012).

The Last Templar: The Tragedy of Jacques de Molay,  Alain Demurger (2009).

The Challenge of the Shroud: History, Science and the Shroud of Turin,  Mark Oxley (2010).

Popular Controversies in World History,  ed. Steven L. Danver (2010).

Dungeon, Fire and Sword: The Knights Templar in the Crusades,  John J. Robinson (1992).

The Royal Families of England, Scotland, and Wales, with Their Descendants,  John Burke (1848).

The Revolutions of Europe: being an historical view of the European nations , Christophe Koch and Maximillian Samson Friedrich Schoell (1839).

History epitomised and contemporised; or, Historiæ Sententiæ,  E. M. Newman (1862).

Eleanor of Aquitaine, Courtly Love, and the Troubadours, Ffiona Swabey (2004).

Gathering Leaves,  D. M. DeBacker (2008).

Lives of the Queens of England, Vol.2,  Agnes Strickland (1841).

A History of Medieval Spain, Joseph F. O’Callaghan (1983).

The Tyranny and Fall of Edward II 1321-1326, Natalie Fryde (2004).

The Golden Spurs of Kortrijk: How the Knights of France Fell to the Foot Soldiers of Flanders in 1302,Randall Fegley (2002).

A History of Spain from the earliest times to the death of Ferdinand the Catholic Vol.1, Ulick Ralph Burke (1900).

From Norman Conquest to Magna Carta: England 1066–1215, Christopher Daniell (2013).

Chronicle of the Cid, R.Southey (1808).

A Psychoanalytic History of the Jews, Avner Falk (1996).

Roger Waters’ Family Tree, part 2

The Roger Family Line – Continuing the family tree of Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters.

In the previous post I dealt with Roger WatersWhyte family origins and in this second part I will write about his Roger family tree. Robert Whyte (born 1874, see part one) married Beatrix Louise Roger, born circa. 1884 at Egglescliffe, County Durham. I’m pretty sure that she died in the Newmarket district aged 88 in early 1972. Her death record states that she was born on 8th April 1883. Her parents were Robert Roger and Ann Agnes Gay and they were married in 1878 in Norfolk. Ann Agnes was born in North Wootton, located north of King’s Lynn.

Beatrice‘ siblings were Robert Gay Roger (1879), Helen M.A. Roger (circa. 1881), Ethel M. Roger (circa. 1886), Valentine Royston Roger (circa. 1890), Doris Mary Roger (1893) and David M. Roger (1899). All were born in Egglescliffe. In the 1901 Census their address was Yarm Road, Egglescliffe. Besides Beatrice, there are two persons which deserve a special mention, namely father Robert and son Valentine

Robert Roger

In the 1901 Census, Robert Roger‘s job was stated as a steam winch crane maker. Born in Stockton-on-Tees in 1853, his father was also named Robert, originally from Scotland, and he was an engineer and owner of a foundry. He may also have been an inventor.  In the London Gazette, dated 17 August, 1866, I found the following extract:

“To Robert Roger of Stockton-on-Tees, in the County of Durham, Engineer, for the invention of ‘improvements in steam travelling

In 1871, Robert was a pupil at a private school in Tor Moham, Cornwall.

On an family tree, I found a possible birth date for Robert; born 13 March, 1814, but no Scottish birthplace. His parents  were John Roger, born 14 July, 1764 in Aberdeenshire, and Jane Morrice (1771-20 December, 1845). Their children were, Helen (1801-1876), William (1803-1870), Rachel (1805-1832), John Morrice (1807-1878), Walter (1810-1833) and Robert (1814-1869). The following were also revealed in the same family tree:

Jane Morrice

Parents – William Morrice (1730 – 22 January, 1809)
Helen Paterson (19 May, 1744 – 20 March, 1817)

Married – 6 December, 1763, Lumphanan, Aberdeenshire.
William Morrice

Parents – Robert Morice (1708 – 1772)
Margaret Duncan ( – 1775)

Married – 1729 [they had 20 children!]
Robert Morice

Parents – William Mores (1664 – )
Elsphet Mathie (1666 – )

Royston Valentine Roger

In the 1911 census, Royston was living at 51 King Henry’s Road, London with his sister Beatrice‘s father-in-law and his second wife, Caroline. If you recall from part 1, this address first appeared in the 1881 England Census as the home of Robert and Jeanie Whytethe parents of Robert and George Duncan Whyte (the missionary). This suggests to me that the in-laws had a good relationship. Royston is a 21 year old nurseryman born in Egglescliffe. He marries a Marian Cooper in the Battersea area, and have two sons, Anthony G Roger (Pickering, 1935) and Morice Roger (Ryedale, 1937). Nice to see the Morice name being carried through the ancestral line.

Royston died in the Ryedale district, Yorkshire in 1967, and Marian I think died in June 1978, Claro District, North Yorkshire. Her birth  is given as 2 September, 1900. Her son Morrice died in 2005, and his birth date is given as 14 May 1937.

Royston went into the nursery business in 1913 and it still thrives today, under the stewardship of Royston‘s grandson. Click here to
visit the website.

There is a common pattern in the Roger family tree for using a surname as a christian name. We have Roger Waters, Morice Roger, and Royston V Roger. Roger and Morice we know the history of. Royston was the surname of the wife of Richard Gay the great great grandfather of Roger Waters.

Gay Family Line

Ann Agnes Gay married Robert Roger, the son of the inventor and engineer of the same name. They married in Norfolk in 1878. Ann’s father was Richard Gay, a farmer born in North Wootton, Norfolk. He married Mary Royston on 13 December, 1842 at North Wootton. In 1871 Richard owned a farm of 1500 acres employing 60 men and 16 boys.

This was a huge concern and he probably owned one of the biggest farms  in Norfolk, or certainly in his immediate area.

To get further back I needed to consult the Family Search web site.

There is a christening date for Richard of 1 September, 1816 at North Wootton. His parents were Thomas and Lydia Gray. His siblings were Joshua (1822), Thomas (1818),  Thomas Paul (1820-1843),  Ann (c.1828).

Thomas Gay probably died in the December quarter of 1852;

Lydia in the June quarter of 1867, aged 74

On the Family Search site there is a christening record for a Lydia Gay of 12 January, 1793 in Heydon, Norfolk. This is north of Norwich and East of King’s Lynn. Her parents were Richard Gay and Ann Paul. This seems to fit nicely with the information about Thomas and Lydia I have already found. They name a son Thomas Paul Gay which makes sense if the Paul surname exists in the ancestry, which it does. It seems, therefore, that Richard and Lydia had the same surname, perhaps they were cousins. I can’t find a marriage date for them but my guess is that it was just before 1816.

Going further down this line we find a marriage for a Richard Gay and Ann Paul; they marry on 24 January 1792 at Stody, Norfolk. This is located north of Heydon.

Continuing with the search on the Family Search website, I found a sibling for Lydia,  Ann, christened at Heydon on 19 August, 1795.

There is a christening for an Ann Paul on 25 December, 1765 at Stody, Norfolk. Her parents? Thomas and Lydia Paul! So, now I can be fairly sure that I have the right ancestry. So, can I go further and find other generations? Well, I found a marriage record for a Thomas Paul and Lydia Goldsmith, married at Wells, Norfolk on 7 August, 1760. Could these be the Thomas and Lydia who were Ann Paul‘s parents? Wells, or Wells-by-the-sea as it is called, lies only a few miles north-west of Stody, so I think it’s entirely possible that I’m on the right track.

Children of Thomas Paul and Lydia Goldsmith

Lydia Paul christ. 6 August, 1761, Stody, Norfolk.

Elizabeth Paul christ. 25 March, 1764, Stody, Norfolk.

Ann Paul christ. 25 December, 1765, Stody, Norfolk (married Richard Gay, 24 January, 1792, Stody).

Frances Paul christ. 10 December, 1767, Stody, Norfolk.

Thomas Paul christ. 22 December, 1768, Stody, Norfolk.

If I am on the right lines, then I’m sure that Thomas Paul was christened at Stody on 4 April, 1736. His parents were Henery (Henry) and Elizabeth Paul. There is another Thomas Paul christened at Norwich on 13 January, 1730, parents being Thomas and Ann Paul. I’m tempted to say that the Stody one is the most obvious but one can never be sure in genealogy.

Looking at Lydia Goldsmith‘s ancestry we find a christening on 14 August, 1740 at Wells,

the same place as the wedding of Thomas Paul and Lydia Goldsmith in 1760 (see above). Her parents were William and Lydia Goldsmith. William possibly died either in 1762 or 1757 at Wells; two burial records exist on Family Search. Lydia probably died in January 1786 at Stody.

There is a marriage record for a William Goldsmith and Lydia Brereton on 21 September, 1736 at Stody.

Children of William Goldsmith and Lydia Brereton

John Goldsmith christ. 13 March, 1737, Wells, Norfolk.

Lydia Goldsmith christ. 14 August, 1740, Wells, Norfolk ( married Thomas Paul, 1760 at Wells)

Ann Goldsmith christ. 15 March, 1743, Wells, Norfolk.

Possible confirmation of this line being correct can be seen in the record I found of Lydia Brereton’s christening:

Lydia Maria Brereton christ. on 10 July, 1719 at Saxlingham, Norfolk (near Wells-by-the-sea). Parents were John and Martha Goldsmith.

I am prepared to accept that this may not be right, but I thought I’d include it anyway. The age difference between Lydia and William is a whopping 19 years if the christening dates are taken as approximate year of births. It may well be that Lydia was christened a period of years after her birth; also her parents were Goldsmiths – was she born to Martha before a marriage to John Goldsmith? An easier explanation would be that it is completely wrong!

A possible christening for William Goldsmith is found on Family Search:

Will Gouldsmith christ. 7 April, 1700, Wells, Norfolk. His parents were John and Elizabeth Goldsmith.

This is as far as I can go with this line of ancestry.

If we go back to the christening of Thomas Paul in 1736, I stuck my neck out by plumping for his parents to be Henery and Elizabeth Paul. There are two possible marriages for a Henry Paul and Elizabeth; 1714 at Aylmerton and 1722 at Necton or Pockthorpe.

Necton and Pockthorpe are miles away from Stody or Wells. Aylmerton, on the other hand, is along the coastline to the east of Wells-by-the-sea. But I can’t be sure to make even a good guess.

I did find a set of christenings for a Henry and Elizabeth Paul in Stody.

John christ. 25 December, 1726, Stody.

Mary christ. 25 October, 1728, Stody.

Elizabeth christ. 4 April, 1730, Stody.

Frances christ. 2 January, 1733, Stody.

Ledy (?) christ. 29 January, 1735, Stody.

Thomas christ. 4 April, 1736, Stody.

Ann christ. 18 January, 1738, Stody.

Anne christ. 18 January, 1739, Stody.

Finding a Frances in this set could be a determining factor to being on the right track, though not a conclusive one. Thomas Paul had a sister named Frances, who might have been named after a grandmother. Unfortunately I was not able to find this out because I could not locate any further records.

Lincolnshire Roots

If we return to Richard Gay and his wife Mary Royston, we find that she was born in Leverington, Cambridgeshire.

Agnes Ann, Roger Waters‘ great grandmother, aged 3, daughter of Richard and Mary is on this census listing.

Children of Richard Gay and Mary Royston

Mary (1845), Thomas William (1846), Louisa (1848), Matilda Miriam (1850), Lydia Ann (1855), Agnes Anne (1857).

Mary Royston was the daughter of William Royston and Miriam Blackbourne, born on 8 December, 1816 at Leverington, Cambridgeshire. Her
two brothers, George and Henry were also born in Leverington.

Her parents were married on 20 April 1809 at
Threekingham, Lincolnshire. William Royston was born in Edenham, Lincolnshire and Miriam at Threekingham.

Miriam Blackbourne was christened at Threekingham cum Stow, Lincolnshire on 17 September, 1786; her parents were Henry and
Ann Blackbourne .

Thomas Royston married Lucy Thorp on 20 February, 1769 at Ingoldsby, Lincolnshire.

Children of William Royston and Miriam Blackbourne

William born 20 July, 1813, Walsoken, Norfolk.

Sarah born 13 November, 1813, Walsoken, Norfolk.
(confusing dates here – possibly one is a christening date)

George born 18 May, 1815, Leverington, Cambridgeshire.

Mary born 8 December, 1816, Leverington, Cambridgeshire.

Henry born 11 May, 1818, Leverington, Cambridgeshire.

Lucy born 21 May, 1821, North Wootton, Norfolk.

Cuthbert born 11 February, 1823, North Wootton, Norfolk.

This family can be verified through the census records.

William Royston (65) Farmer Not born in county.

Miriam Royston (50) Not born in county.

William Royston (30) Born in county.

Sarah Royston (25) Born in county.

Mary Royston (20) Not born in county.

Richard Royston (20) Not born in county.

Lucy Royston (20) Born in county.

Wootton Green

As usual the 1841 census is not as accurate with ages as other census. If we move to the 1851 census, we find William and Miriam still alive and living at North Wootton. Their eldest daughter Sarah is also living there and her birthplace is confirmed as Walsoken. There is also a grandaughter named Lucy, 5 years old, possible Sarah‘s daughter.

So, who were William Royston’s parents?

I found a christening for him at Edenham, Lincolnshire on 3 February, 1771; parents were Thomas and Lucy Royston.

Children of Thomas and Lucy Thorp

Mary christ. 29 October, 1769 Edenham, Lincolnshire.

William christ. 3 February, 1771 Edenham, Lincolnshire.

Thomas christ. 23 December, 1772 Edenham, Lincolnshire.

James christ. 2 January, 1775 Edenham, Lincolnshire.

Sarah christ. 4 January, 1777 Edenham, Lincolnshire.

George christ. 10 April, 1782 Edenham, Lincolnshire.

Miriam Blackbourne siblings (as found on Family Search) were Ann, christ. 22 August, 1779 (died 2 July, 1782); Henry, christ. 18 February, 1781 (died 9 July 1782); Ann, christ. 25 January, 1784; and Miriam (Roger Waters‘ great great great great grandmother), christ. 17 September, 1786. The deaths of Ann and Henry being so close suggests that they died from whatever disease that was going around the area. But Miriam survived.

Who were Miriam’s parents?

Seems to me that they were Henry Blackbourne and Ann German. I found a marriage at Threekingham cum Stow on 15 September, 1778. I couldn’t go any further because there are two Ann German christenings in 1754, but the one that stands out is this one:

Ann German christ. 21 January, 1754, Spanby, Lincolnshire. This looks like the next village to Threekingham.

Parents were John and Ann German.

Lucy Thorp, as far as I can gather, was christened on 29 July 1746 at Great Ponton, Lincolnshire, which is a few miles east of Ingoldsby. Her father was Henry Thorp.

It is difficult to affirm who was Thomas Royston‘s parents. There are two possibilities.

Thomas Royston christ. 16 August, 1735 Edenham. Parents were William and Mary Royston.

Thomas Royston christ. 13 July, 1740 Edenham. Parents were Wlliam and Mary Royston.

Notice that Thomas and Lucy (above) named their first two children Mary and William! So that’s the end of the line for me.

It’s always good to find something interesting about someone’s ancestry after such a lot of researching . Even though I couldn’t find a lot on his father’s side, which I was looking forward to looking into, I was glad I was able to find several generations of Roger Waters’ maternal line. What really pleased me was the diverse locations; Durham, Norfolk and Lincolnshire.

Roger Waters Family Tree – Part 1

Roger WatersContinuing on my quest to find out more about the family histories of well known figures I have decided to research the family trees of the members of Pink Floyd, whose music I have appreciated and enjoyed for many years. The origins of the group go back, unbelievably, to 1963 but the Pink Floyd that most of us recognize today have been making music since 1965. They release their debut album ‘ The Piper at the Gates of Dawn’ in 1967. They rapidly became one the most influential acts of the 1970’s, kings of the progressive music genre, and one of the most spectacular live acts ever.

The first member to get the treatment is Roger Waters, one of the founder members, vocalist, bass player and recognized leader of Pink Floyd from 1969 to 1985, though Dave Gilmour could argue otherwise! Waters mostly wrote the lyrics for the band in this period, giving the band a distinctive edge to their music. The last two albums he was involved with were arguably the band’s most poignant efforts, especially for Walters because of their autobiographical nature. ‘The Wall’ was a journey that encapsulated Waters’ personal feelings of
abandonment and isolation, drawing much from his experiences growing up and finding that isolation can happen as he experienced adulthood, while ‘The Final Cut’ was Waters homage to his father Eric who died in Italy while serving as a 2nd Lieutenant with the Royal Fusilliers. Originally a conscientious objector (Eric had been driving ambulances during the Blitz at this time) eventually
decided to join up. Waters believed that his father and all those who lost their lives in the war were betrayed because they believed that they were fighting to end the need for countries to go to war ever again. So the timing of the album coming out in the same year as Margaret Thatcher declared war on Argentina over The Falkland Islands provided the opportunity for Walters to make a point about the futility of war. As we will see, Eric was not the only member of his family tragically cut down in his prime.

George Roger Waters was born on 6th September, 1943 at Great Bookham, Surrey. His parents were the aforementioned Eric Fletcher Waters and Mary D Whyte, who were married in the Watford area in the beginning of 1941. Later that year a son was born to them, John D Waters, born in the Hendon area, older brother to Roger. I have speculated what the ‘D’ stood for ‘Duncan’, which I found later from the Whyte family.

In this post I will discuss the Whyte family and in my next the Roger family.

Paternal Family History

Eric Fletcher Waters was born in 1914 at a place called Copley in the county of Durham. Though I have not been able to see his birth record, I am confident that this is true because both his parents’ families are recorded here on the 1911 Census of England. He died on the Italian war front at Cassino on 18 February 1944. His body apparently has never been found. After his death Mary and her two sons moved to Cambridge. She died fairly recently in 2009 aged 96. Eric’s parents were George Henry Waters and Mary Elizabeth Fletcher, and they married in the Auckland Registration District. A quick check on Google maps shows both Copley and Lymesack and Softley were places (I have no idea if they are villages or small towns) located with this district, and are very near to each other, just by a place called Butterknowle. George’s parents are recorded at Lymesack and Softley on the 1911 Census.

William Waters aged 57 born in Sharforth, Yorkshire.
Mary Waters aged 52 born Lymesack and Softley.
George Henry Waters aged 21 born Lymesack and Softley.
Lizzie Jane Waters aged 16 born Lymesack and Softley.
Fred Waters aged 12 born Lymesack and Softley.
Gordon Waters aged 9 born Lymesack and Softley.

Residence: Post Office, Copley, Butterknowle.

William is recorded as a bootmaker dealer, and George a coal miner.

In 1911, Eric’s intended, Mary Elizabeth Fletcher, was tricky to track down and because of this I could not research her ancestry. There is no point assuming with family history. It has to be accurate and backed up with evidence. As I am only relying on internet databases and authentic family trees submissions, I will not write about family history relying on assumption with my research. I will, however, record my hunches and probabilities, but I will not continue any lines of inquiry based on assumption.

Now, I did not research the Fletcher line because of the reasons stated above. I did find a Mary E Fletcher that MAY be Eric’s wife on the 1911 Census that could be her. I found many Mary E Fletcher’s in the North East and unfortunately I can’t be sure which one is the correct Mary. So ends the research on her line. But the one I think is her, I have a strong hunch that it may be a Mary E Fletcher
working as a housemaid at a place called Foxleigh, Copley, aged 19, for a James Beattie, who was a GP, and unmarried. Curiously, there is another Mary Fletcher (with a middle initial which is possibly an F) aged 45, single, and a housekeeper to Dr Beattie. Are they related? Mother and daughter? They are both born at a place called Hunwick, County Durham. This also is not far from Copley, where her future husband hails from. Unfortunately, the handwriting on this entry is quite bad, quite a thick fountain pen was used to fill in the form. Typical GP!

George Henry Waters died on the 14 September 1916, aged just 26. He was a sapper for the Royal Engineers, attached to the tunneling division, no doubt because of his experience as a coal miner.

To make the tunnels safer and quicker to deploy, the British Army enlisted experienced coal miners, many outside their nominal recruitment policy. The desperate need for skilled men saw notices requesting volunteer tunnellers posted in collieries, mineral mines and quarries across South Wales, Scotland and the Northeast of England covering Derbyshire, County Durham,[8] Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire. In addition, specialist tin miners were also recruited from the Cornish mines mainly joining the 251st Company RE. To
attract the tin miners, a per diem of six shillings a day was offered to underground miners, which was around double to that was being
paid in the mines.

The mining assistants who acted as ‘beasts of burden’ were often made up of “Bantams”, (soldiers of below average height who had been
rejected from regular units because they did not meet the height requirements). Upon the declaration of war in August 1914, William
Hackett applied and was turned down three times at the age of 41 by the York and Lancaster Regiment. On 25 October 1915, despite
having been diagnosed with a heart condition, he was enlisted and sent for two weeks basic training at Chatham, joining 172 Tunnelling

I came across a strange coincidence when I found George’s details on the War Graves Commission web site. Another George Henry Waters, a Corporal with the Leicestershire Regiment, died the following day!

So, this is as far as I go with the Waters line and their associated surnames. There are family trees on the Ancestry site if anyone wishes to find out more on the generations. It is a real shame because I would have liked to explore the Fletcher ancestry, but I would have to look at the marriage certificate to get a clue who Mary’s father was. However, if I have got the correct census entry it may be that Mary was illegitimate and the information on the certificate would not be helpful after all. I tried to find if any other researchers had been successful in finding Mary’s ancestry and I was surprised to find that there wasn’t any. So, it’s therefore a problematic research project for others as well, which some cases can be at times.

Maternal Family History

Roger Waters’ maternal grandparents were Robert Whyte and Beatrix Louisa Roger, who in 1911 were living at 15 Templars Avenue, Golders
Green. What I find interesting is that Roger Waters used his middle name,as his christian name, which originally came from his grandmother’s surname.

Whyte Family History

Robert Whyte was born on 27 December, 1874 at Hampstead, London, the son of another Robert Whyte, a wholesale warehouseman and Jeanie
Whyte, married on 25 September, 1867 at Greenwich. The senior Robert married again after losing Jeanie, at the relatively young age of
41, in early 1885. His second wife was Caroline Sarah Bennett. The children he had with Jeanie were Jessie Duncan (1871), Robert
(1874. grandfather to Roger Waters), George Duncan Whyte (1879) and William (1881). Older sibling Jessie was residing with her brother
Robert and his wife Beatrix on the night the 1911 census was taken (2-3 April, 1911), and she was a secretary at the University of
London. I also found her on a shipping passenger manifest on the ship M.S. Marnix Van St. Aldegonde, arriving at Southampton on 7
July, 1931. I wonder if she was coming back from a visit to her younger brother George?

George Duncan Whyte qualified as a medical practitioner in 1900, qualifying at Edinburgh on 24 August of that year. He is listed on The Medical Register for 1903 as living at 51 King Henry’s Road, Hampstead, the family home as stated in both of the census of 1881 and 1891. When the register re-appears in 1907 he is listed as a doctor at Swatow, China. It is a place just up the coast from Hong
Kong. In fact all the registers he appears in until 1925 has his residence at Swatow, now known as Shantou I believe. It turns out he volunteered to become a missionary for the English Presbyterian Foreign Mission in 1902, and I found a passenger manifest that he travelled back to China on September 29, 1923, on a ship called the Atsuta Maru, a ship that was bound for Japan, but he would disembark at Hong Kong. He barely made it. Some months before he became seriously ill and had to travel back to England for treatment for a condition called Sprue. Today this is called Celiac Sprue, a condition affecting the small intestine, through eating gluten based products. Despite not totally fit to return to his duties, he embarked on the Atsuta Maru and reached Honk Kong in a desperate condition and died there on 25 November, 1923.

His obituary can be found here.

It appears he was married. There is an entry in the FreeBMD index of a George Duncan Whyte marrying a Florence A McCaubrey in late 1914. When I found his obituary there was no mention of a wife, so I thought I must have seen a different George in the BMD. But I tracked down a copy of the China Mission Year Book, published in 1912, which stated that he had a wife. This contradicts the BMD record of a marriage in 1914; I can not find a marriage before this date.

Going back to Robert Whyte and Jeanie Whyte, I could not link them into the same family. Sometimes I come across cousins marrying but I doubt this  is the case here. Jeanie Whyte was born at Aldagate in 1843 (according to a family tree on Ancestry) and her marriage record shows that her father was a Robert Whyte, a merchant. He died 7 December, 1869. He was born in Scotland in 1810, and he and his wife Agnes were married in Scotland, probably Ayr. In the 1861 census for Lee, Kent, Robert Whyte states that he was a colonial merchant, which sounds quite exotic. I wonder if he travelled to distant lands as his grandchildren did?

Robert Whyte’s (Jeanie’s husband) father was Thomas Whyte, also a warehouseman, and that is all I can find about him. I did not find him in earlier census, which can happen now and again. But Jeanie’s family tree is available to see on Ancestry.

Parents of Jeanie: Robert Whyte (1810-1869)
Agnes Anderson (1808-1892)

Parents of Agnes: John Anderson (1762-1818)
Jean Paterson (1768-1856)

Parents of Robert (1810-1869): Robert Whyte (3 Apr. 1777-1851)
Agnes Brysson (1786-1847)
(Married 1806, Edinburgh)

Parents of Robert (1777-1851): James Whyt (25 Oct.1717-1791)
Mary Maiben (1740-?)
(Married 13 July, 1758)

Parents of James: William Whyt (1678-?)
Jonet Role

Parents of Mary Maiben: William Maiben (1697, Stirling-8 July, 1748, Stirling)
Elizabeth Don (1698-?)
(Married, 1719)

Parents of William Maiben: Robert Raymond Maiben (1650-?)
Jean Johnstone (1651-1680)

Parents of Robert: John Maiben

This is part one of my research into Roger Waters family tree. It has yielded a lot of interesting names, and a lot of information. My next post will be on the Roger family line and the associated families they married into.

The Isle of Man Ancestors of Paul McCartney

Paul-Mccartney-9390850-1-402The ancestry of James Paul McCartney (18 June, 1942) is on the whole of Irish descent. His mother, Mary Patricia Mahon was born circa. 1909 at Liverpool (died 1956) and his father James McCartney (born 7 July, 1902) also at Liverpool. Mary’s parents were Owen Mohin (born County Monaghan, Ireland) and Mary Therasa Danher (sometimes spelled as Danaher) and born at Liverpool, though her father John hailed from Ireland. Her maternal grandmother was from the Dudley area. James’ parents were Joseph McCartney (born Liverpool circa. 1867) and Florence Clegg (born circa. 1875 at Liverpool). Again, Joseph’s descent is Irish and knowing that Irish records are not the most accesible records on the net, I was interested to find out Florence’s family tree.

Joseph and Florence were married on 17 May, 1896 at Christ Church, Kensington, Liverpool. Both fathers were stated as being deceased, Paul Clegg a fish salesman and James McCartney a painter. When I started looking for Florence’s family in the 1881 census I found that her father had died and her mother was named Jane Clegg, a fish monger’s widow. They lived in what appears to be 13 Caud Street, though this may have been abbreviated, possibly Caudwell Street. The other members of the family were daughters Ann A Clegg (29), Paul (26), Gilbert (12) and of course Florence (6). Interestingly Jane was born in the Isle of Man, but the children were all born in Liverpool. But were they Jane’s children? The ages of the oldest children suggest not. Finding them in the 1871 census was not difficult.

Paul Clegg (55) Fishmonger born Isle of Man
Jane Clegg (33) wife born Isle of Man
Robert Clegg (61) brother born Isle of Man
Elizabeth Clegg (24) dau. born Liverpool
Anne A Clegg (18) dau. born Liverpool
Paul Clegg (16) son born Liverpool
Gilbert Clegg (1) son born Liverpool

Abode: 131 Breck Road


With the arrival of Florence in about 1875, we can deduce that her father Paul died in the years leading to the 1881 census. A quick check on reaveals that a Paul Clegg died in the Liverpool Registration District in the Dec quarter of 1879, aged 64. This matches perfectly a christening date for a Paul Clegg on 7 December, 1815 at Arbory, Isle of Man (“Isle of Man, Births and Baptisms, 1821-1911,” index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 30 Apr 2013), Paul Clague, 07 Dec

However, sometime during his early years residing in Liverpool Paul anglicised his name to Clegg. We can see this by examining his marriage records. He was wed 3 times. His first marriage was to Ann Bell on 25 August 1840. (“England, Marriages, 1538–1973 ,” index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 30 Apr 2013), Paul Clague and Ann Bell, 25 Aug 1840).

Ann would have been the mother of Thomas Bell Clegg, baptised 15 October 1841 at St. Augustine Church, Everton; William (c.1843); Margaret (1844) and Elizabeth (1845). I did find baptism records for children with these names and birth years but I was confused with the entries for their father and his occupation. The Paul Clegg that I was after consistently stated his occupation on the census as a fish monger, and yet on the baptism records they state that he was a pattern maker, which suggests to me that he worked in a factory.

Ann must have died soon after 1845 because Paul married his second wife, Margaret Bell on 29 January, 1849 at St Nicholas Church, Liverpool (“England Marriages, 1538–1973 ,” index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 30 Apr 2013), Paul Clegg and Margaret Bell, 29 Jan 1849).

Was she a relation to Ann, his first wife? A sister perhaps? According to the 1861 census, Margaret gave birth to 2 children, Anne Alice Clegg (c.1852) and Paul Clegg (c. 1855). Margaret died soon after (there is a death registration for a Margaret Clegg in Q3 1856 in Liverpool) and we find Paul a widower again in the 1861 census. Not for long! He marries a Jane Clague in 1863 and a closer look at his 1861 census household and we see a 23 year old Jane Clegg, born in the Isle of Man, working as his servant. The similarity in their surnames suggest that there was a degree of kinship between them.  They had 2 children, Gilbert Cummins G. Clegg (1869) and Florence (c.1875), Paul McCartney’s paternal grandmother. It appears that the couple had a child named Gilbert Cummins Clegg born 1864, but died in the West Derby area in Q1 1866.

So, it appears that Paul McCartney had the chance to exist because his great grandfather from the Isle of Man suffered two bereavements from the early deaths of his wives and married for his last wife, his young servant, in the early 1860’s. What happened to Florence’s only full brother, Gilbert?

He married Rose Roberts in the West Derby area in Q4 1891 and they had 6 children, 4 alive in 1911, Jane, Gilbert, John Paul and Joseph Gilbert. Their details are on a public tree on Ancestry. It also states that the G initial in his name stands for Grimes. In 1901 Gilbert senior was working as a dock labourer and lived at 152 Friar Street in the Everton area. By 1911 he was employed as a tram conductor, living at 6 Blyth Street, Everton. He died in 1941.

When I encounter personal names when I’m researching family trees I get quite curious about how they have been chosen. They usually reflect previous generations and are a great help, though not confirmation of, in connecting past generations. The name ‘Gilbert’ stands out in Paul McCartney’s tree and I was determined to find out if there were any links to an ancestor. Who could I find if I went further down in time?

The information contained in this post is the cumulation of the research I conducted last September. The public tree I found yesterday when I was familiarising with my notes has revealed differing information from my research. Whether I am right or not, I think it’s important to state both conclusions, but I will say that my findings has revealed an ancestor with the name Gilbert.

So, who were the parents of Paul Clegg (or Clague)? In the 1871 census mentioned earlier (see above) it states that Paul’s brother Robert was residing with them and that he was 61 years old. Looking for a birth/baptism for a Robert Clague circa. 1810 (and the name would have not have been Anglesised at this early date), I found the following entry on the FamilySearch website:

Robert Clague christened 5 March 1810 Arbory, Isle of Man
Parents: Robert Clague, Elizabeth Commish

Source: “Isle of Man, Births and Baptisms, 1821-1911,” index, FamilySearch ( : accessed
01 May 2013), Robt Clague, 05 Mar 1810.

I had already established Paul Clague’s christening as occcuring in 1815 (see earlier), and they both have the same parents. The only record I can find on FamilySearch for a marriage between a Robert Clague and an Elizabeth is:

Robert Clague married Elizabeth Corrin on 3 October, 1808 at Malew, Isle of Man

Source: “Isle of Man, Parish Registers, 1598-1950,” index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 01
May 2013), Robert Clague and Elizabeth Corrin, 1808.

Now, two things could be happening here. It may be that Elizabeth’s surname has been mistranscribed, and being unable to view the original Isle of Man marriage records I can only speculate that this is a possibility. The babtism records for Paul and Robert state her name was Commish, which is a surname commonly found in the Isle of Man in this period. I have also seen the surname Comaish which is very close to what I’ve discovered, and it is similar to the middle name of Cummins given to Gilbert Clegg (see earlier) born 1869. It probably is all down to pronounciation and ignorance the spelling of the name, a common occurance in the history of recording and registering names. Nevertheless, I am satisfied that the correct parents of Paul and Robert Clague was Robert Clague and Elizabeth Commish. I am of the impression that the public tree information stating that the marriage occurred on 19 December, 1807 at Arbory is
the correct one. The babtisms for both Paul and Robert were held at Arbory, as were William Clague (13 November, 1808), Charles (9 October, 1814) and Richard 24 January, 1813). The babtisms for the children of the other Robert Clague and Elizabeth Corrin, itself a surname common on the Isle of Man, were held at Malew, including a Robert Clague on 16 March, 1817 (“Isle of Man, Births and Baptisms,
1821-1911,” index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 01 May 2013), Robt Clague, 16 Mar 1817). To confuse further, the mother is listed as Elinor Corrin and not Elizabeth. This suggests that this Robert is not the brother of Paul because the discrepancy in their ages is too great.

So, I go on to find the parents of Elizabeth Comish and see what I can find.

Elizabeth Commish christened 6 July, 1783 Arbory, Isle of Man.
Parents: William Comish, Cath Costeen

Source: Unknown!

I found this entry in my notebook which looks like it was transcribed from the FamilySearch databases, but when I looked for it yesterday online there is no entry to be found. Therefore the only source I can quote is a secondary one, probably an public tree. The entry states that her parents were William Comish and Cath Costeen. Next I enter for a birth for a William Comish to see what comes up and I find this:

William Comish christened 27 November, 1743 Arbory, Isle of Man.

Parents: Gilbert Comish, Margaret Clark.

Source: “Isle of Man, Parish Registers, 1598-1950,” index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 01 May 2013), Wm Comish Clark, 1743.

Could this be the elusive ancestor with the ‘Gilbert’ name that was passed to Paul McCartney’s great uncle Gilbert? It seems to fit, but I’m not conclusively stating that I am right. The reason for this is that there is always the possibility that there are other
Gilberts about at this time. Consider this possibility. On the public tree that I have previously mentioned in this post, it is stated that the William Comish who married Cath Costeen (which I’m happy with) was the son of another William Comish and his wife Anne (Cubon), married on the 1 July, 1735 at Arbory. They had a son called William, baptised at Arbory on 5 July, 1741. So, we have two William Comishes, one born in 1741 and the other 1743, with fathers named Gilbert and William, who might well be brothers with a
father named Gilbert. Perhaps a diagram may explain better.

Comish tree

I am in the awkward position of not really knowing which is the right William, after learning of the existence of the William that was
born in 1741. Making it even more troublesome is that there is only one marriage found on FamilySearch for a Gilbert Comish.

Gilbert Comish married Margaret Kaveen 24 July, 1736, Arbory

Source: “Isle of Man, Parish Registers, 1598-1950,” index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 01
May 2013), Gilbert Comish and Margt Kaveen, 1736.

Could this be a wild mistranscription of Clark/Kaveen? Why is there no marriage record for a Gilbert Comish and Margaret Clark, though
that is what is stated in the baptism records of William Comish (1743).

This is, unfortunately, as far as I dare to go!

There is no doubt in my mind that I have found the source of the ‘Gilbert’ ancestor in Paul McCartney’s family tree. I just can’t
conclusively state how he fits into it. My gut feeling is that I am on the right track with the Gilbert/Margaret Clark line. They also
had a daughter, predictably, named Margaret and that name is continued into future generations, though Margaret is a popular name and
Paul Clague’s second wife was also named Margaret.


Looking closer to this publicly accessible family tree on Ancestry reveals a Welsh connection in Paul McCartney’s family history. I haven’t checked the facts myself but the researcher has provided copies of marriage certificate for James McCartney, Paul’s great grandfather. He married Elizabeth Williams whose grandfather was a Welsh mariner named William Williams who was born either in the Mold area or a place in Flintshire.


Philosophise this! The Ancestry of Gilbert Ryle

These past few years, I have loved reading about philosophy and learning about the many different perspectives on life. Ever since I was a child I have wondered about why I’m alive and what I am meant to do with my precious life. Of course, in those distant times my mind could not possibly cope with what it can fathom today, and this temporal concept of an ever changing state of mind has become a major interest with me. Researching family trees gives me a buzz. I could do it all day and it wouldn’t bore me, and I’ve found that it gives me the kind of positive energy that I need. At last, I may have found something I am good at! Anyway, with my latest ancestry blog research interest I found an abundance of interesting discoveries, such as prominent men of the cloth, architects and medical practitioners, and wealthy plantation owners in the Carribean, and a possible genealogical link to a certain Mr. Raleigh.

Having decided where I was going to look for my next project, I leafed through a general philosophy book I have at home and looked for any British philosophers. I first came across Bertrand Russell, one of the finest and well known, but decided against it, this time, thinking that he’d been probably done by a few genealogists because of his titled ancestry. However, I did notice something interesting about him that I wasn’t aware of. He was born in Monmouth and died at Penrhyndeudraeth. Penrhyndeudraeth! I grew up only a few miles away in Blaenau Ffestiniog. I couldn’t help myself, but an existential thought came over me. I wish I had known about this at such a young and unworldly age ( I would have been 7 when Russell died) so I could be aware of such an eminent philosopher living literally 20 minutes by road. And he must have visited my home town of Blaenau Ffestiniog at some time I’m sure. Then I realised that I am not that 7 year old that grew up with such flippant ignorance, and would not have given a second thought if I had got in his way while shoping with my mother at Kwiksave! I realised that I had transport a wishful thought in the present time into a long disappeared 7 year old state of mind, which had probably more important things to concern itself, such as when was I going to football next or what were The Banana Splits going to be up to this Saturday morning. The 49 year old in me had wished I’d known he was so close that I could pop down for a visit, on the Blaenau-Porthmadog Crossville bus. This was the frightenly fast, automatic thought that entered my head when I found out this piece of information. And at a similar supersonic speed I managed to restore the balance between reality and surreality by realising how absurd that thought was.

So, who did I come across next? Which philosopher came second to B.R? Well, when I completed my research on him I was glad that Gilbert Ryle was the one that I chose. Who, may you ask, is Gilbert Ryle? I have to admit I hadn’t a clue who he was or what his philosophical leanings were. I found that he wrote a very influential book called ‘The Concept of Mind’ (1949) and he was the first to coin the phrase ‘the ghost in the machine’. His interest is specifically at the linquistic methods that we use to describe what we see and do, which in turn influences our thinking. Anyway, this is what I found researching his family tree.

He was born in August 1900 at Brighton the son of a doctor, Reginald John Ryle, and his wife Catherine. He had a twin sister, Mary, and they were members of a fairly decent sized family. I knew from Wikipedia that Gilbert had a grandfather who became Bishop of Liverpool, giving me an inkling that I wouldn’t be coming across many agricultural labourers or factory workers. And I was right. His forebears were impressive to say the least, of whom I will come to later. I also found out where the name Gilbert came from.

If we look at the Ryle side of the family first. His father was indeed a son of John Charles Ryle, the first Anglican Bishop of Liverpool from 1880 to his retirement in 1900 (he died not long after). He was a well respected religious figure, thoroughly steeped in the beliefs of the Bible. He was quoted as saying,

‘It is still the first book which fits the child’s mind when he begins to learn religion, and the last to which the old man clings as he leaves the world.’

He literaly bled the Bible. The respect he had is summed up by the Rev. Richard Hobson who said these words just 3 days after his funeral.

“He [J.C. Ryle] was great through the abounding grace of God. He was great in stature; great in mental power; great in spirituality; great as a preacher and expositor of God’s most holy Word; great in hospitality; great as a writer of Gospel tracts; great as a Bishop of the Reformed Evangelical Protestant Church in England, of which he was a noble defender; great as first Bishop of Liverpool. I am bold to say, that perhaps few men in the nineteenth century did as much for God, for truth, and for righteousness, among the English speaking race, and in the world, as our late Bishop.”

He married 3 times. His first wife was Matilda Charlotte Louisa Plumptree who died 3 years after their marriage in 1845. They had one daughter, Georgina Matilda Ryle, born in Hemingham, Suffolk. J.C. Ryle was rector of Helmingham for many years, though only Georgina was born in this county. Reginald and his other siblings, Jessie Isabella, Herbert Edward and Arthur Johnstone, were all born in London. Their mother was John’s 2nd wife, Jessy Elizabeth Walker, whom he married in 1850, in the Newton Abbot district. She died in Suffolk in 1860. So who were J.C. Ryle’s parents? comes up with a christening for John, 28 Sep. 1816 at Macclesfield, Cheshire. All I could find at this stage that his parents were John Ryle and his wife Susan. I checked for any siblings for John and I found, Emma Ryle, christened 14 Dec. 1814, Susan, christ. 10 June 1813, Caroline, christ. 7 Dec. 1818, Mary Ann, christ. 11 Feb. 1812 (born 30 Oct. 1811), and Frederick William, christ. 28 Nov. 1820. Apart from John’s entry, all the others stated that Susannah was their mother’s name. This bit of information turned out be really useful later. All christenings were performed at Christ Church, Macclesfield. By finding these entries I could narrow the search for John and Susannah’s marriage.

So, another delve into FamilySearch revealed only one possible marriage, an entry that stated that a John Ryle married a Susannah Hurt at Wirksworth in Derbyshire on 6 Feb. 1811. A quick look on Google maps showed me that Wirksworth wasn’t too far away from Macclesfield, so thought it was a possibility and nothing more. What happened next is all too typical when researching family trees and one of the reasons why I love doing this. I thought a general Google search would possibly help me in trying to nail down this marriage I was looking for. One of the top results revealed that there might be a link with someone with the name of Richard Arkwright. I knew that name rang a bell! It was one of those historical names that gets burned into every young student of British history, possibly on a par with the Battle of Hastings. I looked at the 1851 English census hoping that John and Susannah had survived to be on it. I was lucky. There they were living in Hampshire with their daughter Mary Anne, a 39 year old spinster. It revealed that Susannah was born in Cromford, Derbyshire. Something quite epoch making occured at Cromford. It has been labelled as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution and one of its instigators was Sir Richard Arkwright, famously known for starting the modern factory system, by making spinning cotton more economical and therefore made increasing profits a reality. He utilised the power of water to run his water frame patent. Eventually the power loom was invented and implemented into his factories. It turns out that he ‘borrowed’ the ideas of other inventors, but nevertheless died a wealthy man and a knight. Susannah Hurt came from a wealthy landowning family, more affluent than Arkwright’s ever was. Her father was Charles Hurt who married Richard Arkwright’s daughter, Susannah, a product of his first wife Margaret Biggens, in 1780. So Sir Richard Arkwright was the great grandfather to John Charles Ryle, and great great great grandfather to Gilbert Ryle.

The parents of Sir Richard were Thomas and Ellen (nee Hodgekinson) Arkwright and were married on 29 August, 1717 at St Peter’s Church, Liverpool. Thomas was a tailor from Preston, and in his youth Richard was an unsuccessful barber and maker of wigs!

Gilbert Ryle’s mother was Catherine Scott and through her genealogical line he has some notable ancestors. Viewing the 1871 census I found that her mother, Georgina, was already a widow before she was 51. In fact her husband, Samuel King Scott, a doctor, had died from the after effects of a heart attack on the 9th June 1865. Click here to see his obituary. Samuel King Scott married Georgina Bodley on the 14th May, 1846 at Hove, Sussex. I will address her family later. According to FamilySearch, Samuel was christened at Gawcott, near Buckingham on the 3rd Jan, 1819. His other siblings were George Gilbert (1811), Euphemia (1812), Nathaniel Gilbert (1814), Elizabeth King (1815), William Langton (1817), Mary Jane (1821), Anne (1822), Elizabeth (1824) and Melville Horne (1827). The parents of all these grandly named children were Thomas and Euphemia (nee Lynch) Scott.  You may recognise the first born. George Gilbert Scott was a well known and one of the most influencial and prolific English architects and a luminary of the gothic revival in architecture. If you walk down the streets of London, no doubt you will go past at least one of his buildings. I like to think of him as the original conservator of English heritage and without his work many buildings we cherish today would have surley been lost.  Rather than write all of his creations down here, it might be a better if you click on his Wikipedia page. He was buried at Westminster Abbey, among the most famous and royal.

His father, Thomas Scott was a preacher just like his famous father, another Thomas Scott, and a minister at Ebberton near Olney, Buckinghamshire. Thomas Scott senior was nicknamed ‘Bible Scott’ and often referred to as ‘Scott the Commentator’ and wrote the books ‘A Commentary On The Whole Bible’ and ‘The Force of Truth’. He was born in Lincolnshire on Feb. 16 1747 and married Jane Kell whom he met when he moved to Buckinghamshire. He had a rough upbringing by all accounts and when he became a man of God he made sure that his sons got a better education. Three went to Cambridge for their degrees.

Returning to Thomas Scott the younger, he married Euphemia Lynch at Bledlow, Buckinghamshire on 25 Mar. 1806. This is the point where my research ventures overseas. I find that Euphemia was born in Antigua on 13 Jan. 1785, and was the daughter of Dr Thomas Lynch and Euphemia Gilbert. The Gilberts were wealthy land owners in the Carribean and were strong Wesleyan Methodists. Most probably this Thomas Lynch was related to another Thomas Lynch who was a governor of Jamaica in the 17th century.

Euphemia Gilbert was the daughter of Nathaniel Gilbert and Elizabeth Lavington. This Nathaniel Gilbert was probably the minister of Sierra Leone, a position he shared with the Rev. Melville Horne. Now we know why one of Samuel King Scott’s brothers was named Melville Horne Scott on 1 May, 1827. I dare say the other middle names for the children of Thomas and Euphemia Scott came from prominent churchmen of their time of which their families were part of the religious circle. Also, the Gilberts thought that they were the descendents of Sir Humphrey Gilbert (1539-1583), a half brother of Sir Walter Raleigh. I’ve gently dipped into this claim and as of the time of writing I haven’t found the connection, but it’s certainly worthy of further, detailed research.

There seems to be a lot of connections with doctors, architects and the church in Gilbert Ryle’s family. It’s an interesting mix and I feel that it’s totally complimentary. Churchmen would certainly have had an input in the design or additions of their churches, becoming symbols of their love to God and all he stands for. Also, the architect has the opportunity to produce a unique building, perhaps representing the one and only God that they worship. And doctors take on the role of the saviour of men, women and children, preserving their lives so that they can carry on becoming God faring citizens of society. Samuel King Scott‘s son Bernard (born c.1858) became a surgeon and his daughter Elisabeth became an architect. One of her designs was the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre at Stratford-Upon-Avon, which had mixed reviews. George Bernard Shaw liked it but Sir Edward Elgar publically admonished it.

“Sir Edward Elgar, then 75, was to be the theatre’s new musical director but, after visiting the building, he so was furiously angry with that “awful female” and her “unspeakably ugly and wrong” design that he would have nothing further to do with it, refusing even to go inside” (Wikipedia, from Beauman (1982: 100), quoted in Stamp (2004).

However, Elisabeth Scott was a pioneer in the cause of women becoming accepted as architects, and before her death in 1972 she worked with Bournmouth Borough Council.

Another Scott family member in the architect business was George Gilbert Scott jnr (1839-1897), son of Sir George Gilbert Scott who designed buildings at various Cambridge Universities and St John the Baptist Church, Norwich, now a Roman Catholic Church. Some of his best work was detroyed during the Blitz. He had an unfortunate and sadly ironic end. After a spell in France which he went to recover from alcoholism and mental ill health, he returned to work in England, but died in a room at the Midland Hotel, St Pancras Railway Station, a building his father designed. His sons, Giles Gilbert and Adrian Gilbert Scott both worked on the Anglican Liverpool Cathedral. In fact for a brief time he was in collaboration with George Frederick Bodley, whose sister, Georgina, had married Samuel King Scott.

This brings me nicely to this lady just mentioned. Georgina was the daughter of Willian Hulme Bodley and Mary Ann Hamilton. William was a physician (another doctor!) and hailed from Hull.

This has been my most detailed assignment so far, but there has been a vast amount of interesting connections and notable people to write about in Gilbert Ryle’s ancestry. You can see him discuss his theories on the mind and how we use language to shape our concepts. A bit heavy at times but guaranteed to make you wonder about how we described things to each other, whether its correct or nonsense. To be honest I have taken more time trying to understand what Gilbert Ryle was actually theorising about than the time taken to construct his family tree. I think I know what he means, but don’t ask me to explain it though!

Rooms for Rent – Only Shetlanders Need Apply!

The title of this post might seem bizzare at first but all will be revealed later. Researching Ringo Starr’s family tree has been a joy to do because for me it offered up something different in that I was surprised at what I found.

Fortunately I discovered that Nick Barratt had already researched Ringo’s family history for an article for the Telegraph, and I was glad that there were areas that he had not covered. Checking this out saved me a lot of work. Another stroke of luck was the abundance of original images of records that Ancestry had. I applaud their efforts in trying to make available as much original stuff as possible (and it keeps growing), but it is a hit and miss affair whether the record you’re after will be found. With my research on Ringo’s roots I was lucky to find more than usual and became useful in the tree progressing.

I looked at the Starkey line, Ringo’s real surname, knowing that Nick had found difficulty in making much headway with it, and the best I could do was find the marriage image for John Parkin Startkey and Annie Bower, Ringo’s paternal grandparents, which at least had the name of John’s father as Henry Parkin Starkey. However, Henry and indeed John are very elusive and my week long research was not sufficient to find out who they were or where they lived. I concentrated on a line that was not apparant with the research from Nick Barratt, namely Ringo’s maternal grandmother, Catherine Martha Johnson.

She was baptised at St Thomas’ Church, Toxteth Park on 17 May 1891 (born on 25 Apr., 1891) to Andrew and Mary Elizabeth Johnson of 37 Gaskell Street. Andrew’s occupation was put down as a sailor. They were married at the same church on 14 April, 1875, Andrew stating he was a mariner just like his father Peter. This excited me a bit because I am fascinated by anything to do with the sea, probably because I have mariners on my mother’s side. Mary Elizabeth Cunningham father, James was a gardener. Finding them in the 1891 Census revealed that Andrew was born in the Shetland Isles and Mary hailed from Ireland. So I thought, how hard is it going to be researching someone from the Shetlands? What records can I find? Andrew was my first Shetland Islander and I wasn’t sure if I could progress. I knew that researching Mary would probably come to a halt because of the scarcity of available Irish records, and it would plain luck if I did find something. So I began looking and was pleasantly surprised how much I could find thanks to the FamilySearch site. But before trying to peel away the hidden generations of Andrew I wanted to find out when he came to Liverpool, and whether he had a childhood there. Was it Peter who came down looking for seafaring work or would I find him settled in alittle cold corner of the Isles that are called Shetland. So I looked in the 1871 census hoping to find either Andrew or Peter. What I found was truly amazing. Andrew Johnson was 39 in the 1891 census, so I knew I was looking for a nineteen year old Andrew. Boarding at what appears on the census sheet as 43 Upper Pitt Street was not only Andrew but a whole bunch of Shetland Islanders! Including Andrew eight in all, and an Ursula Johnson, 17, and a servant at the household. Could this be a relation of Andrew’s? It was run by a William and Agnes Thompson, both in their 60’s, and Edward seemed to be still active as a mariner. Then it was time to get educated about Shetland. The hunt for Andrew’s family was on.

FamilySearch came up with a baptism:-

Andrew Johnson born 2 Jan., 1852, christened 26 Jan., 1852 at Delting, Shetland, Scotland. Parents: Peter Johnson and Philias Tait.

Now I wasn’t aware that those far off islands were a part of Scotland, and at first I thought that they might have had their own census. Thankfully I had access to the Scotland census, transcribed, but nonetheless useful resource. I wondered if I could find who Ursula was.

Ursula Johnson born 27 October, 1853, christened 10 Jan., 1854 at Delting, Shetland. Parents: Peter Johnson and Philias Tait.

So my initial hunch that Ursula was Andrew’s sister turned out to be a good one. And a quick check on the 1861 Scotland census reveals the following:

Phillis Johnson (44)   –   Farms 4 acres    –  born Lunnasting, Shetland

Mary Johnson (11)      –     scholar              –  born Delting, Shetland

Andrew Johnson (9)   –    scholar               –  born Delting, Shetland

Ursilla Johnson (7)     –     scholar              –  born Delting, Shetland

Catherine Johnson (5) –   scholar               –  born Delting, Shetland

Peter Johnson (3)         – scholar                  –  born Delting, Shetland

Isabell Frazin (45)        – servant, ag.lab     –  born Sandsting, Shetland

Where Peter was I don’t know, and to be honest I didn’t look too hard. I was more concerned with going back in time and finding Ringo’s Shetland great-great-great grandparents.

In the 1851 Scotland census we find Peter and Phila (probably Phillis) are at 15 Burns Lane, Lerwick visiting the Hutchinson’s, a mother and daughter whose occupation were knitters. Over at Delting we find their first born (I presume) Mary Johnson living with grandparents Magnus and Ursula Johnson, and their son Laurence. Magnus is an incredible 87 years old and his wife considerably younger and a sprightly 63, and it would not surprise me with such an age difference, if she was his second wife. In fact FamilySearch comes up with a marriage between a Magnus Johnson and Wrcilla I on 30 Sept. 1806 at Delting and a Magnus Johnson marring a Robina Henry on 12 Jan 1792, again at Delting. Could this be the same man?

In the 1841 census we find a family of Johnson’s which have all the familiar names associated with this interesting family line of Ringo Starr:

Magnus Johnson (70)        –  Farmer       –  Born Orkney and Shetland

Ursla Johnson (55)             –                       –  Born Orkney and Shetland

Laurence Johnson (25)      – Fisherman  –  Born Orkney and Shetland

Catherine Johnson (20)     –                       –  Born Orkney and Shetland

James Johnson (18)            – Fisherman  –  Born Orkney and Shetland

Peter Johnson (16)              – Fisherman  –  Born Orkney and Shetland

Andrew Johnson (12)          –                      –  Born Orkney and Shetland

Finally, I found Peter Johnson’s baptism record. Ringo’s great-great grandfather was christened on 28 May 1824 at Delting, born 20 May the same year. Being christened only a week after birth suggests that he didn’t have the healthiest of starts and that his parents were not sure of his survival.

Could I go further in time? Using the databases of FamilySearch there is a possibility that I may have. There is an entry for a Magnus Johnson christening for 6 March 1766 at Delting, with a Lawrence Johnson as the father. Could this be Ringo Starr’s great-great-great-great grandfather?

And what about Ursula, Magnus’ wife?

Well, I found a christening for a Ursula Jameson for 24 December, 1788 at Fetlar, Shetland which could be her. Going back to that Liverpool boarding house ran by the couple from Shetland there was also William Thompson’s mother-in-law, a grand old lady of 89 and also hailing from Shetland, named Elizabeth Jameson. Could she have a familial link to Andrew and Ursula and giving us an answer to why they were there?