Archiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2002-07 > 1027732812

From: Cristopher Nash <>
Subject: Re: The Henry Project - one year later
Date: Sat, 27 Jul 2002 02:24:36 +0100
References: <002301c23441$bb593720$e98faec7@computer>
In-Reply-To: <002301c23441$bb593720$e98faec7@computer>

"Stewart Baldwin" <> wrote --

>It was one year ago yesterday that I first announced the Henry Project
>(see to this


>When I chose the individuals on whom the project was based, I did not
>consider the fact that the individuals on whom the project was based
>(Henry II and his immediate ancestors) lay outside the primary areas
>of research of many of the active participants in the group.
>Recently, when Todd Farmerie and I were both in Salt Lake City during
>overlapping vacations, we discussed some ways in which the scope of
>the project might be expanded in order to encourage submissions from
>more individuals. A couple of the possibilities mentioned were:
>1. Expand the scope of the project to include a number of Henry II's
>contemporaries in other countries (and their ancestors through the
>tenth generation), so that a more representative sample of early
>medieval European nobility is included.
>2. Expand the scope of the project to include some of the English
>peerage and gentry between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries,
>perhaps by picking one or more English individuals of the early
>fifteenth century and then adding them and their ancestors to the
>scope of the project.
>The advantage of the first alternative is that the individuals
>involved would still form a fairly compact interrelated group of
>several hundred individuals.
>The reason for suggesting the second alternative has to do with the
>people who participate in this newsgroup. If one looks at the basic
>core of individual contributors to this list who regularly use solid
>arguments based on good evidence, there is a wide variety of interests
>among those individuals, but there seems to be a larger concentration
>of expertise in the area of English nobility during the twelfth to
>fifteenth centuries, so that expansion of the scope of the prject in
>that direction might seem desirable. The main disadvantage is that it
>might result in the project covering a somewhat disconnected set of

Stewart, I've sometimes thought along the same lines, and feel
there's a lot to be said for an expansion of some sort like this. My
hesitation's had to do with the possibility, as you say, of a loss of
the kind of unity given by the Hen II focus. For my money, a
compromise-way around it might be to start a few generations later,
with Joan of Acre. But then I have to confess an interest in the
broader European picture, for which her ancestry's an extraordinary
gateway notably to Spain (& Portugal), Gascony, Burgundy (dukes &
counts), Savoy, and otherwise largely missed Italian (via the
Hauteville-Barcelona link) and French connections (e.g. of Aquitaine,
later Provence, Ponthieu, Angouleme/la Marche), etc.

If instead any discrete 'English' families were to be added --
following your suggestion 1 -- I'd unquestionably plump for the
Clares, whose ancestors alone, even with the early daughtering-out,
expand my own line-of-interest to unprintable lengths, though there's
much duplication (e.g. Carolingian) of the Hen II ancestry. Making
them of special interest to those on Gen-Med, I think, is that owing
to the Clares' power and aggressive marital policy, anyone having a
well-documented (i.e. high social standing) C12-C14 ancestor is
probably statistically more likely to have traceable direct descent
from a Clare -- and thus a 'gateway' to earlier medieval ancestry --
than from any other single non-royal English family. (Think for
example of the families married into by the children of Isabel de
Clare and William Marshal -- Bigod, Warenne, Ferrers, Braose,
Munchensi, Bethune/Aumale, Plantagenet. The last 2 marriages -- the
wives of Isabel de Clare's son William -- yielded no children, but
the general drift is clear. This particular line also, of course,
opens the way into Irish genealogy.)

But these _are_ only compromises (in the interests of unity, as I
say), involving nothing like the expansion I suspect might come with,
say, a start in the C15. And there are plenty of other alternatives.
So -- just a couplof thoughts to toss into the mix....


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