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Category Archives: medievalia

Sancha de Ayala’s heritage: the Ayala palace, Quejana (exterior)

[Part of a series of posts and pages dedicated to Sancha de Ayala] The first of a series of photographs of the rural Ayala castle at Quejana, home of Sancha de Ayala’s mother Ines, daughter of Fernán Pérez de Ayala and Elvira de Ceballos (who are buried in the chapel, along with Sancha’s famous uncle […]

a bonitinha — faces in the streets

Some years ago Chico Doria, a Brazilian mathematician and genealogist, wrote “One of my distant 15th-century ancestors was a canon who used to fool around with Angela Mendes, ‘a bonitinha,’ The Pretty One. I’m fascinated by her; I sometimes try to find out her face in the faces that I see in the streets.” Chico’s […]

Promptuarium armorum: the Boston manuscript

Yesterday, in the R. Stanton Avery Manuscript Collection of the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) in Boston, I had the chance to look at (and, with the acquiescence of Timothy Salls, the manuscript curator, take a couple of photographs of) the Promptuarium armorum, a heraldic miscellany by William Smith, Rouge Dragon Poursuivant in the […]

Sutton and Dudley: Grazebrook’s study

For many years I have been interested in the theory of Massachusetts Bay Colony Governor Thomas Dudley’s possible descent from the baronial Sutton-Dudley family of Staffordshire. In the early 1990s Marshall Kirk began circulating notes on a roundup of the various existing theories of Dudley’s ancestry, along with the exposition of a new hypothesis for […]

More on the Conde de Clonard

The Conde de Clonard has penned a predictable response to an earlier entry in my blog in which I made note of his fascinatingly absurd genealogical claims. The best part of his reply is that it includes a photograph of the illuminated pedigree prepared by the Ulster King of Arms in 1764 for his ancestor […]

fine quarterings on a little brass: Wentworth of Gosfield

When I was in Salt Lake City last month (working hard on a royal descent which has since been disproved!) a friend gave me a couple of those books which have been sliced open for digitization, rendering them highly unstable (lots of loose pages held together by string). This is from William Loftie Rutton, Three […]

Sutton & Clonard: a case study in genealogical fantasy

In the annals of genealogical fantasists the Conde de Clonard is an interesting case. The condes de Clonard descend from an Irish mercantile family in eighteenth-century Spain, the Suttons of county Wexford, of whom Don Miguel Sutton (hispanized ‘de Soto’ or ‘de Sotto’) was ennobled in 1770 as the ‘conde de Clonard’, taking his title […]

Proofs of nobility for British abroad: the Hepburn diploma

At the request of a correspondent on rec.heraldry I am posting something interesting here. It purports to be a copy of charter of King James VI & I, dated 16 July 1616, which attests the noble ancestry and good character of an expatriate Scotsman, Captain Daniel Hepburn, “legitimate son of the late Alexander Hepburn,” resident […]

Alexander Magruder — how strong is the case for his parentage?

Not particularly strong. This is a classic case of a circumstantial argument for the identity of an early colonist, which (unsurprisingly) connects him to a mother (Margaret Campbell of Keithick) with demonstrable noble ancestry. I have just dug up the two articles by Charles G. Kurz (based on research of Thomas Garland Magruder, Jr.) which […]

an early private English grant of arms: Mackworth

I am researching the Mackworth family of Rutland and Shropshire, who descend from Thomas Mackworth of Derby, who with his brother John (a canon of Lincoln cathedral) was granted arms privately by John Touchet, lord Audley, in 1404. I was curious about the phenomenon of early private grants of arms until I found the excellent […]