Archiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2002-09 > 1032086575

Subject: Re: Two Ida Longespee's: Same Generation
Date: Sun, 15 Sep 2002 06:42:55 EDT

In a message dated 15/09/02 07:42:59 GMT Daylight Time,

> Dear Adrian, John, etc. ~
> One way to examine the plausibility of the two Ida Longespee's being
> sisters is to check the history of their descendants to see if the
> chronology of their descendants is similar or dissimilar. If the two
> women were sisters, one would expect the dates of their descendants to
> be in sync with each other.
> I took the time to check the chronology of the descendants of this two
> Ida's this past week. For purposes of simplicity, I will call the
> elder Ida (wife of William de Beauchamp) Ida I, and the younger Ida
> (wife of Walter Fitz Robert) Ida II.
> What I discovered was basically that the descendants of the two women
> were basically in sync with one another. Ida I had three known
> daughters, Maud, Beatrice, and Ela. Tracing the descendants of the
> three daughters out to their grandchildren, we find Maud's grandson
> and heir, John Mowbray, was born in 1286. Beatrice's grandson, Thomas
> Botetourt, was born say 1290. Ela's eldest grandchild was Isabel (or
> Elizabeth) Stonegrave, born 1271/3.
> As for Ida II, she had two known children who left descendants, Ela
> and Robert. Ela's daughter Ida de Oddingseles had her eldest child,
> Ela de Herdeburgh, born say 1284/1286. Ela's younger daughter,
> Margaret, had her eldest son and heir, John de Grey, born in 1300.
> Robert Fitz Walter had his eldest surviving grandchild, Hawise
> Marshal, born say 1300.
> Comparing the descendants of the two women, my guess is that the
> descendants of the younger Ida (Ida II) are running perhaps ten years
> after the descendants of the elder Ida (Ida I). This would certainly
> be pretty much what we would expect if the two women were sisters.
> Interestingly, I find the chronology of the descendants of the two
> Ida's dovetails nicely with the chronology of the descendants of their
> brother, Stephen Longespee. Stephen had one daughter, Ela, who left
> issue. Ela's two granddaughters and co-heiresses were Ellen and Maud
> la Zouche, who were born in 1288 and 1290 respectively.
> In sharp contrast, however, the chronology of the descendants of the
> one known niece of the two Ida's and Stephen, namely Ela de Audley, is
> running a full generation after the descendants of the two Ida's and
> Stephen. Ela de Audley has two known grandchildren (not
> great-grandchildren) born about 1289. Again, this is what one would
> expect when comparing the chronology of the descendants of a niece
> against those of her aunts and uncle.
> I must point out the when examining "out" generations that you are
> dealing with averages. Averages can and should only be taken as
> indicators. Having said that, it appears in this case the averages
> "indicate" the two Ida's were full sisters.
> The 85 year rule of thumb for 3 generations can also be used to
> suggest an approximate birthdate of the two Ida's. If we add the
> three birthdates of Ida I's three great-children, divide by three, and
> subtract 85, we have an indicated birth for Ida I of 1198. If we add
> the three birthdates of Ida II's three great-grandchildren, divide by
> three, and subtract 85, we have an indicated birth for Ida No. 2 of
> 1210. Or, in other words, we have approximately 12 years separating
> the two Ida's based on the chronology of their descendants.
> I usually use 28 years for a generation in the medieval period. In
> this case, 12 years is less than half a generation's difference. For
> this reason, I conclude the two Ida's were probably full sisters to
> one another.
> Comments are invited.
> Best always, Douglas Richardson, Salt Lake City, Utah
> E-mail:

Thank you for your post.

I am not sure why so much time should be spent on looking at the Chronologies
on siblings. We have a rough date for the birth of William II and an exact
date for the eldest son of Ida II which shows she could be of either
generation, but probably a grand-dau. Then we have the problem of "can there
be two Idas being sisters", although there is evidence of two siblings having
the same name, this is relatively rare, (usually occurring with half-brothers
and sisters, presumably where the second spouse wishes to use his/hers
father's/mother's or other relations name, even though already used by the
first spouse). When it does occur, it is usually the eldest son and heir's
name which is repeated probably to ensure the name continues in spite of a
premature death of the eldest son, due to the high mortality rates.
Repeating a younger son or the daughters name would be less important in a
patriarchical society.

As to you rule of 85, it reminds me when, during high inflation, a system of
accounting for inflation was introduced based on adjustments on the general
level of inflation (more specifically the retail price index). No company
was prepared to use this proposed standard because specific industries
complained "but our prices are a special case". Another example is that,
nobody is exactly average high, weight etc. Also this rule will vary with
different societies and at different times. Further the figure will vary
when looking at the eldest son of an eldest son as compared with any

We have a birth date for Alan I Baron de la Zouche (9 Ot 1267 - CP Vol 12/2 p
935), so this statistical approach is not needed.

As for the birth date of Ela, there is no need to look at the chronology of
her grandchildren. She m James of Aldithley (Audley) in 1244 and they had a
son b in 1250 (CP I p 338 as corrected by Vol XIV) This is quite consistent
to having a sister Ida born about 1227 and mother of Robert b 1247.


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