my children's royal descents

Our children's royal descents come through each of their four grandparents, via the following 'gateway' immigrants to North America, listed with the most recent king from which each is apparently descended. Each of these lines appears in the contemporary literature (e.g. Gary Boyd Roberts, Royal Descents of 500 Immigrants to the American Colonies or the United States, or David Faris, Plantagenet Ancestry of Seventeenth-Century Colonists), but please note (as you will see in comments on individual lines) that I do not regard each of these as equally supported, let alone 'proven'. I would not necessarily endorse each line, for example, in the context of a lineage-society application.

1. Alexander Magruder of Prince George’s County, Maryland (†1677): Robert II, King of Scotland (†1390).

2. Anne (Derehaugh) Stratton of Salem, MA († after 1641): John, King of England (†1216).

3. William Wentworth of Exeter, NH (†1697): Henri I, King of France (†1060); and possibly Alfonso IX, King of León (†1230).

4. Marie (Lawrence) Burnham & Jane (Lawrence) Giddings of Ipswich, MA: (probably) Louis IV, King of France (†954).

5. Thomas Wingfield of New Kent County, Virginia (†1720): Edward III, King of England (†1377); and, through a fascinating strain of Crusader ancestry in Latin Greece, Ioannes Komnenos, Emperor of the [Byzantine] Romans († 1143). [but note doubt over identity of sons of this York River planter]

6. Gov. Thomas Dudley of Boston (†1673): John, King of England (†1216) — via Dudley's mother; likely also Edward III, King of England (†1375) — via Dudley's father, and possibly Affonso III, King of Portugal (†1279) — via Beatrice Fettiplace.

7. Edward Raynsford of Boston (†1680): Henry III, King of England (†1272).

8. Jane (Haviland) Torrey (†1639; whose husband, William Torrey, immigrated to Weymouth, MA): Edward III, King of England (†1377).

9. Thomas Trowbridge (†1673) of Taunton, Somerset; Dorchester, Massachusetts; and New Haven, Connecticut: Hugh Capet, King of the Franks (†996).

10. Rose Stoughton (†1673/4), wife of Richard Otis, of Dover, NH and Boston, Mass: a reported descent from Henri I, K. of France (†1060), and possibly others.

The children also have at least one other apparent gateway which I have not (as of June 2006) investigated to my satisfaction:

11. Arthur Mackworth († by 1658), of Casco, Maine. The family to which he apparently belongs, the Mackworths of Meole Brace, Shropshire, all descend from an earlier Mackworth (of that family of co. Rutland) who, it now appears, has one of those Yorkshire descents from William the Lion, King of Scots (†1216). The immigrant's identity in the Meole Brace family has not been proved in print (so this is not a published gateway as such), but I believe that accessible sources exist which are sufficient to establish this connection. This is on my to-do list.

Of course our children also have several bogus royal or medieval descents—descents from people who have been alleged to be medieval gateways, either as the result of wishful thinking, mistaken research, or fraud. I have long felt the need for some sort of authoritative e-registry or at least handlist of bogus gateway ancestors. Here is a smattering of such lines in our own families:

Richard Taylor of Virginia: given false lines to Rowland Taylor, executed Protestant clergyman, or to Taillefer, the fictionalized companion of William the Conqueror in Wace's Roman de Rou.

John Whitney of Watertown, MA: fraudulent, false connection to the best-known gentry family of that name (Whitney of Whitney), long exposed.

Thomas Miner of Charlestown, MA, given a false gentry ancestry, long discredited. The early, fictitious Miner pedigree is an interesting artifact of genealogical pretensions.

Robert Morgan of Beverly, given a false medieval Welsh ancestry, long discredited. Most Welsh immigrants with common names are falsely connected, somewhere or other, with gentry families.

Edward Lewis of Totuskey Creek, Virginia, given a false medieval Welsh ancestry in Pioneer Lewis Families, for reasons similar to Morgan.

Matthew Howard of Maryland: given a fanciful conspiracy-theory (literally) descent from Henry VII, in a 1976 historical novel (!) by Maryland genealogist James Moss. The other theory in print is the older one by Harry Wright Newman; both are groundless. Newman's theory is patently false; the Moss theory may have a grain of truth in some distant cadet connection to the ducal Howards of Norfolk, but there is no evidence beyond the questionable armory.

Duncan Stewart of Ipswich, Mass. (later Newbury and Rowley). Said to be an exiled son of Alexander, 4th of Invernachyle (a cadet branch of the Stewarts of Appin). No basis.

Thomas Prather of Virginia: perhaps connected to Jonathan Prather of Maryland, and to a gentry Wiltshire family with medieval connections; proof is lacking.


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rev 01/27/2007