Tag Archives: Welsh

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 http://www.familysearch.org 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.


1. http://www.homeofheroes.com/photos/1_indian/carter_mason.html.

2. United States Registers of Enlistments in the U.S. Army, 1798-1914,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QJDR-4ZHK : 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 (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N3PL-23K : 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 (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M381-YGS : 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 (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F338-K6X : 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.

6.  http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=marjoeal&id=I56915

7. “Georgia, Marriages, 1808-1967,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FWCP-JT5 : 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

9. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Stanley&GSfn=Abigail&GSbyrel=all&GSdy=1877&GSdyrel=in&GScntry=4&GSob=n&GRid=24280337&df=all&

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

11. http://www.georgiagenealogy.org/troup/m_m_church.htm

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

13. http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ga/county/fulton/trouphistory/pg101-200.pdf

14. http://www.georgiagenealogy.org/troup/history%20bits.htm

15. http://www.georgiagenealogy.org/troup/m_m_church.htm

16. United States Census, 1850,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MZY8-69P : 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.).

17. http://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/igm.cgi?op=GET&db=hightower&id=I12709

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

19. http://files.usgwarchives.net/nc/chatham/wills/evans01.txt

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

23. http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/LINDLEY/2000-01/0948660501

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

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

26. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Patronymic+name

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).

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

Source: http://www.ancestry.co.uk

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 http://www.freebmd.org.uk 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 (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/X5GR-R4C : 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 (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/NF16-G9J : 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 (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/N2TY-YQY : 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 (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/X5GT-CVC : 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 (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XZ11-P94 : 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 (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/X5G6-MYW : 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 Ancestry.co.uk 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 (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/X8S9-KQ2 : 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 (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/X8S3-Z88 : 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.