Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Back to Adam

A few weeks ago someone remarked to me that it was "impossible to go back more than a few generations" when doing one's family history, much less a thousand years, like my heroine Beatrice in For Richer, For Poorer.

Not true. If you are descended from European nobility who kept very good records, you can easily go back a thousand years. Granted, the further back you go, the harder it is to obtain reliable information. Any genealogist worth their salt knows the best research comes from original sources. Anything else is open to being questioned. Alas, time is not kind to original sources, especially the older they get. After a certain point, the information becomes little more than educated guesses.

Genealogy or Family History has always been important to humans. Ever read the Begats in the Bible? They were totally into it. Every Maori I've ever met has been able to recite generations and generations of ancestors back to the original settling of Aotearoa (New Zealand).  Chinese records date back thousands of years. In fact, any culture that features ancestor worship probably have the records to go with them.

During the Crusades, it was considered cool to buy a scroll with your family history "all the way back to Adam." I guess it could have been used as justification for "reclaiming the Holy Land"?

My great-great-great-uncle William Alfred Pettit Sr was really into Family History (as are many of my modern-day cousins). He managed to get more than a thousand years worth of research. He printed it in a book for the rest of us.

Without further ado, I'd like to present my family history line, with notes. There are some spots where I question the veracity, as some facts don't quite add up.

134.  My Daughters
133.  Me
132.  My Dad
131.  My Grandmother
130.  My Great-Grandmother
129.  Mary Isabel Pettit (b 9 Jul 1866, M Henry Green)
128.  Edwin Alfred Pettit (b 16 Feb 1834, M Rebecca Hood Hill)
127.  Jesse Pettit (b 26 Feb 1793, m Mary Pettit, his first cousin)
126.  William Pettit (b 1754, m Catherine Ryder) James Pettit, Sr (b 1757, m Mary Ann Sealey)
125.  Increase Pettit (b 17 Aug 1726, m Martha Eldert)
124.  Joshua Pettit (b 24 Feb 1702, m Sarah (Susannah) Carpenter)
123.  Thomas Pettit III (b 1666, Long Island, New York, m Catharine Branch)
122.  Thomas Pettit II (b 25 June 1630 on the ship "Talbot" in Salem Harbor, Mass, m Hannah Goffe Moore)
121.  Christian Mellows (b abt 1611, Widford, Hertford, Essex, England) m Thomas Pettit I (b 1610)
120.  Martha Bulkeley (b 1572, m Abraham Mellowes)
119.  Reverend Edward Bulkley (b 1540, M Olive Irby)
118.  Thomas Bulkeley (b abt 1520, m Elizabeth Grosevenor)
117.  William Bulkeley (m Beatrice Hill)
116.  Humphrey Bulkeley (m Cecliy Moulton)
115.  Hugh Bulkeley (m Helen Wilbraham)
114.  John Bulkeley (b abt 1325 m Arderne Titley)
113.  Baron Peter De Bulkeley (m Nicola Bird)
112.  Baron Robert de Bulkeley (m Feliece)
111.  Ellen Davenport (b abt 1250, m Baron William de Bulkeley)
110.  Roger De Davenport (b abt 1226, m Mary Salemon),
109.  Vivian De Davenport (b abt 1180, m Beatrix De Hulme),
108.  Amabilia De Venables (b abt 1147, m Richard De Davenport),
107.  Margary (FitzWolfric) De Hatton (b abt 1100, m Gilbert de Venables)  

A bit of a feminist note. Earlier in history (see below), women of noble/royal birth were definitely noted, as they were the mothers of kings. It was worth keeping track of those things. However, with each subsequent generation, the status of women dropped. Queens were mentioned, and wives of noble birth, but their grandparents and then their parents got forgotten. The further down the social totem pole you were, the more likely your parents were forgotten. Frex, check out Margary de Hatton's mother. What? You can't find her? Alas.

This is a frustrating thing about genealogy, especially around the last half of our second millennium. It is too common to trace a line back, only to hit a dead end when the only record you have for a woman is "Mrs [whatever]". Women were once so important. What happened?

106.  Walter de Hatton (1075)

I'm gonna question Wally Hatton here, as he is distinctly NOT a son of Emme Lupus. Is this where my genealogy line breaks down? After all, there is quite a gap between Ivan (b 1026) and Walter de Hatton (1075) 

Is he actually Walthew FitzWolfric de Hatton? (b 1072), son of Wolfric de Hatton?  Could it be possible one of the women of this line is one of Geoffrey Bretagne's daughters (legitimate or otherwise)?  Or is this simply a case of someone once finding one of those mediaeval scrolls in grandpa's attic and assumed that was the family line?

More research may be required.

105.  Emme Lupus (m Ivan Bellomontensis b1026) Apparently, she only had one son and one grandson.
104.  Geoffrey Bretagne (Duke) (b abt 972AD, M Hedwig (Hawise) of Normandy (Countess Brittany) 

While Wikipedia lists only four children for Geoff, other sources list more, including Emme. This is yet another example of research where original sources may be missing or incomplete. Or some researcher connected a family where they shouldn't have. It happens a lot, especially among inexperienced genealogists.

Now, there is a possibility that one of Geoff's other daughters may be the mother/wife of Wally above. I have no way of proving this. If you are a doubter in wild leaps of faith, you can safely assume that Wally is the "provable" end of my genealogy line.

Still, this is nearly a thousand years back. See, it can be done.

But if you're up for more fun...

103.  Ermengarde of Anjou (m Conan "the Crooked") Interesting family politics in here. Fulk III "the black" is her brother, apparently.
102.  Geoffrey I Grisegonelle of Anjou (b 11 Nov 958AD, m Adelaide of Vermandois)
101.  Fulk II "the Good" (m Gerverga of Gatinais)
100.  Fulk I "the Red" (m Roscille de Loches)
99.  Adlinde Rescinde de Gatinais (m Ingelgerius)
98.  Geoffrey de Orleans
97.  Bouchard de Fezensac (b 800AD)
96.  Aubri de Fezensac
95.  Bouchard "the constable" de Fezensac
94.  Guerin von Thergovie (b 20 May 722AD, m Adenlindis)
93.  Robert (b abt 700AD, m Williswinda)
92.  Lambert of Hasbaye
91.  Warinus (Guerin) (m Gunza of Metz)
90.  Sigrada Sigree (m Bodilon de Treves)
89.  Erchembaldus (m Ansoud)
88.  Ega (b abt 560AD, m Gerberga of the Franks)
87.  Erchenaud of Moselle
86.  Ausbert of Moselle (m Blithildis of Cologne)
85.  Ferreolus of Metz (b abt 450AD, m Deutria Outeria of Rome)
84.  Ferceolus
83.  Sigimerius
82.  Clodius"the long-haired" (m Basina)  Look, he's got a Wikipedia entry, complete with picture. That's more than I can boast right now. Whether the info listed here is accurate is very much up to debate.
81.  Pharamund (m Argotta, b abt 376AD) May also have been called Merovech, founder of the Merovingian Dynasty of kings. This info is rather hazy and greater scholars than I argue this stuff for a living.
80.  Marcomir
79.  Clodius
78.  Dagobert II (b abt 300AD)
77.  Genebald
76.  Dagobert I
75.  Walter
74.  Clodius III (b before 264AD)
73.  Bartherus
72.  Hilderic
71.  Sunno (Huano)
70.  Farabert (b abt 122AD)
69.  Chlodmir IV (b abt 104AD, m Halfilda)  King of the Franks, apparently.
68.  Athilidus (b abt 90AD, m Marcomir)
67.  Coel I of Britain

This is a classic example of whether or not research is accurate. Some sources claim this is the legendary Old King Cole, whereas others deny it. Even for kings, the records this far back are hazy. Along his mother's line, we have his mother Julia Iceni, Princess of Britain, and her mother Boudicea. Yeah. That Boudicea.

66.  Caradoc
65.  Bran "the blessed" (m. Enygeus "Anna")  This Anna was born in the Middle East, and died in Britain. Quite the traveller. Also, she appears to be the first cousin of the Virgin Mary. Yeah. That Mary.

64.  Penardim (m Lear "Llyr Llediaitha")

Around here is when the line seems to leave the Middle East for Europe. This is around the time of Christ, or just after, when Christianity began to spread.

63.  Anna the Prophetess (m Nasciens)
62.  Joseph "of Arimathaea" ben Matthat
61.  Matthat ben Levi
60.  Levi "Levi ben Melchi" ben Simeon
59.  Simeon "Belchi ben Jannai" ben Judah
58.  Jannai ben Joseph
57.  Joseph ben Mattathias
56.  Mattathias ben Semel
55.  Semein ben Josech
54.  Josech ben Joda
53.  Joda ben Joanan
52.  Jonan ben Rhesa
51.  Rhesa ben Zerubbabel
50.  Zerubbabel of Judah
49.  Salathiel ben Jeconiah
48.  Jeconiah ben Jehoiakim
47.  Yekhonia ben Josiah
46.  Josiah ben Amon
45.  Amon ben Manasseh
44.  Manasseh ben Hezekiah
43.  Hezekiah ben Ahaziah

Essentially, the rest of this is the genealogy of the Bible.

42.  Ahaz
41.  Jotham
40.  Uzziah
39.  Jehoram
38.  Jahosaphat
37.  Asah
36.  Abijah
35.  Rohoboam
34.  Soloman
33.  David
32.  Jessee
31.  Obed
30.  Boaz
29.  Salmon
28.  Nashon
27.  Amminadab
26.  Ram
25.  Hezron
24.  Perez
23.  Judah
22.  Jacob
21.  Issac
20.  Abraham
19.  Terah
18.  Nahor
17.  Serug
16.  Reu
15.  Peleg
14.  Eber
13.  Saleh
12.  Arphaxad
11.  Shem
10.  Noah
9.  Lamech
8.  Methuselah
7.  Enoch
6.  Jared
5.  Mahalaleel
4.  Cainan
3.  Enos
2.  Seth

1.  Adam & Eve

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