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Archiver > TMG > 2004-06 > 1088542463

From: "Bob Craycroft" <>
Subject: Re: [TMG] Spouses even though no marriage shown?
Date: Tue, 29 Jun 2004 16:27:02 -0500 (CDT)
References: <> <> <>
In-Reply-To: <>


I do not agree with your summation.

1) According to Simon Schama, in his "The History of Britain, Vol. 1"
(from memory, not text now) the Fitz appelation was frequently used to
denote an illegitimate son. I can quote this later when I get home.

2) I have two instances in my own lineage where one brother was named de
Cracroft and the other was fitz Cracroft or fitz Ragemar, as the case may
be. These folks lived in Lincolnshire at the time, specifically 1086 and
later. This happens in more than one generation in my line, but not after
about 1150-75.

If you have contradictory proof, I'd be glad to see it. Not that I'm
arguing with you, but I want to make sure that data I present in my
history is accurate.


> Fitz was a Norman word meaning "son". In the early days when people
> did nof have surnames, it was useful to identify them by calling them
> "John son of William". Usually in those times they used the latin
> "filius", also meaning son. And, of course "filia" for daughter.
> (Many of the Welsh continued this practice until late in the nineteenth
> century, though they used "ap" for son and "ferch" for daughter.)
> So in no way was "Fitz" used in those times as meaning an illegitiamte
> birth, even one acknowledged by the father.
> However the use of "Fitz Roy" was used occasionally to refer to a
> bastard of the king; these bastards were invariably given a higher
> status. But other royal bastards were known by other types of names,
> for instance Henry I's bastard, Robert de Caen, earl of Gloucester
> and Henry II's bastard, William Longspee, earl of Salisbury.
> It was only in later Stuart times that "Fitz" became the standard way of
> referring to the king's bastards. I do not think that any other family
> of Stuart times used Fitz to refer to their bastards.
> In his own times he was frequently referrred to as William the Bastard.
> His father was Robert I, duke of Normandy and he appointed William to
> be his successor Duke as a child and then went off on a pilgrimage,
> never to return. So William would also be referred to as William son
> of Robert, William Fitz Robert; remember that not many had surnames in
> those times. William's mother was Herleve.
>> So for this reason I would be hesitant to generally assume a
>> marriage-type relationship between parents.
> As your premise is wrong, the conclusion is also. The number of
> couples in medieval genealogy who were not married and where the names
> of both are known is really quite small. Quite frequently, though, some
> fellow sowed his oats, acknowledged some at least of the resulting sons
> and daughters, provided for them but usually nothing is known about the
> mothers of such children.
> --
> Tim Powys-Lybbe
> For a miscellany of bygones:

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