GEN-MEDIEVAL-L Archives

Archiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2002-01 > 1010879431


From: Arthur Murata <>
Subject: Re: Overall Reliability of Medieval Lineages
Date: Sat, 12 Jan 2002 15:50:37 -0800 (PST)
In-Reply-To: <3C403CF9.996684A9@DUMPbtinternet.com>


I am one American story but I do not think that it is
typical - judging from the people I talk to, etc. For the
moment I willlay aside the largest part of my ancestry
which has been on North American soil for, perhaps, 50,000
years or more - and just consider those that came from
Europe. I was handed a slip of paper once with some names
scribbled on them, husbands, wives and the year of their
marriage, going back about four generations. There was no
reason to think that any of them would lead to royalty or
nobility of any kind. But that slip of paper is what got me
started in genealogy - wanting to connect with these people
who died long before I was born (not too long before in one
case).

They turned out to go back to a Caroline Butler whose
father was known as "Big Toby" Butler in Ireland and before
long I found that he was part of the Dunboyne line, leading
to the Ormond line, leading to Edward I, etc. I
corresponded with the current Lord Dunboyne (after
considerable searching for the right person to contact) and
he filled in wives' names, etc. for me - and was very kind,
jolly in fact. Not at all my stereotype of an English Lord.

But my mother did not even know her grandfather's first
name and was filled with misinformation about dates,
reasons for death, etc. and she believed that her paternal
grandmother was German because the surname was Fischer
instead of Fisher. Many years later, discovered relatives
still in England who had information about that side of the
family - the "Fischer" turned out to be mostly Scottish,
leading to the Glenorchy Campbells, to the Flemings,
Stewarts, and eventually James IV, which opened up a whole
new area of exploration - not because it was royal or
noble, but because it was information. More ancestors to
connect to. No reason to hold royalty against them. I found
out the name of my mother's grandfather but still can't go
back any farther than that on his side. By the way if
William Locock Webb, in London during the late 19th
Century, rings any bells for anyone - it's not medieval,
but give me a post privately!

So in the case of this one American with royal ancestors, I
was not looking for them at all. It was a surprise to find
them and the main thing that finding them did for me was
allow me to learn a great deal about my ancestry without
having to break a sweat - already done by folks like those
on this group. As many have said, it is finding our
commoner ancestors that presents a problem - especially if
they might have been illiterate (a solid possibility). I
know I have some who were run out of Virginia and then out
of North Carolina during the 18th and 19th centuries
because they were loyal to England. One of them even had a
sister who married the brother of Daniel Boone. But I have
been unable to go beyond this point with them and while
their ethnicity is certainly Scottish (Graham, Galbreath,
Colvin...) I have yet to connect them to anything other
than a place, Greenock (where is it?) and Argyll.

American royalty relates to George Washington - not in
their genes, but in their jeans (on the face of our dollar
bills)! - Bronwen

> > [1] "There are three types of lies: lies; damned lies;
> > and statistics."
>
> Without access to any other lies . . . sorry, statistics!
> . . your percentages
> seem about right. The impression one gets is that all or
> most American families
> can trace back to royal ancestors, which certainly what I
> would dispute. But
> your statistics indicate that you really have to meander
> through as many lines
> as possible to get there.
>
> Renia
>
>


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