Whitaker Family Brood

 

The surname Whiteaker belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. The surname Whiteaker was first found in Warwickshire where the first record of the name was Johias Whitacre (1042-1066), who died while fighting at the Battle of Hastings on the side of King Harold. Despite the fact he was on the losing side of the battle, his family were permitted to keep their estates there. The place names Whitacre, Over Whitacre and Nether Whitacre were listed in the Domesday Book as Witacre and literally meant “white cultivated land.” One of the earliest rolls was the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. Those rolls listed: Alan Witacur in Oxfordshire; and Richard de Whitacre in Northamptonshire. Years later, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed: Henricus Wyteacre; Willelmus de Wetaker; and Rogerus Whitteacres. “The Whittakers or Whitakers are numerous in Lancashire. From the 14th to the 16th century a gentle family of this name lived at High Whitaker or Whitacre in the vills of Simonstone and Padiham, in the parish of Whalley: the Whitakers of Holme and those of Henthorn branched off in the 15th century and those of Healy about 1620.

Here we go. The early entries have little or no information. the words in parentheses (25GGF) designates what relationship they are to Linda (Meeker) Knuppel.

Whitaker Family Early

(25GGF) Johias Whitaker (1042 – 1066)

(24GGF). Edwinus Whitaker (1060 – 1087)

(23GGF)  Sir Simon Whitaker (1080 – 1135) Knighted in 1100

(22GGF) Alanus Whitaker (1133 -1227)

(21GGF) Sir Jordan Whitaker (1200 – 1275) Knighted; married Phillipa Astleymil

(20GGF) Sir John Whitaker (1240-1331) Knighted in 1262; MAGNA CARTA confirmer

(19GGF) Sir John Whitaker (1275 -1330) married in 1316 to Amica Marmion

(18GGF) Sir Richard Whitaker (1300 -1375) Knighted by Edward III in 1327;  married Joan Culi

Notes on Sir Richard- Sir Richard de Whitacre (circa 1300-1375) was the Lord of the Manors of Nether Whitacre, Over Whitacre, Elmdon, and Freasley. He was the son of Sir John de Whitacre and Amica de Marmion and grandson of Sir John de Whitacre, a confirmer of the Magna Carta. His principal seat was at Whitacre Hall, a Medieval fortified manor house in Nether Whitacre.His family, being of Anglo-Saxon descent, were of the very few who were allowed to keep their lands after the Norman Conquest. In fact, his ancestor Johias Whitacre (1042-1066) died while fighting at the Battle of Hastings on the side of King Harold. Nevertheless, this family was allowed to keep their lands in Warwickshire and continued to rise to prominence throughout the Medieval period.Sir Richard was knighted by King Edward III in 1327. He fought in the King’s personal retinue during the English victories at Calais and Crecy during the Hundred Years’ War. For this, it is believed that he received lands in Padiham, Lancashire, where his descendants would eventually move to, settling at The Holme. He was a vassal of the Baron Tamworth, then in the Marmion family of which his mother was a part, who were lords of Tamworth Castle where Sir Richard is known to have fulfilled many of his Knight-services. It is also likely that he at times served the Earl of Warwick, although no records of this are in existence.Sir Richard is documented as having a few legal issues. In one case, after banding together with a group of about six relatives, he assaulted a rival family member from a nearby parish and caused him physical harm. When the lawyer who would be representing the prosecution traveled through Nether Whitacre, he was imprisoned, supposedly at Whitacre Hall, until after the trial was over. In another case, Sir Richard sued, successfully, a church for lands he felt he was entitled to. After marrying Joan Culi, he produced a few heirs, one of which, Sir Simon de Whitacre, would succeed him. He is thought to have died around 1375. It is not known where his final resting place is; however, the local church of St. Giles is the most likely place.

 

(17GGF) Sir Richard Whitaker (1380–1434) born and died at Symonston Hall, Lancashire, England.

(16GGF) Thomas Henry Whitaker (1405-1448) born and died at Symonstone Hall, Clivinger Burnley, Lancashire, England. He married Lady Elizabeth of Burnley in 1430. They had one son, Robert, born in 1440.

(15GGF) Robert Whitaker was born in 1440 in Lancashire, England and died abt 1531 in Yorkshire, England. He married Mary Greenwood (1440-1531) in 1458 and they had one child, Thomas Cromwell Whitaker, born in 1458. 

(14GGF) Thomas Cromwell Whitaker was born 1458 Simonstone Hall, Lancashire, England and died in 1529 at Simonstone Hall, Lancashire, England. He married Joanna Pritchard in 1480 and they had 13 children. He then married Mary Greenwood and they had one son in 1523. 

(13GGF) Richard Thomas Whitaker was born in 1480 in Burnley England and died in 1540. He married Margaret N. Wellascotts (1480-1545) in 1503 and they had four children: Thomas (1504-1598) ,Sir Henry (1506-1599). Margaret (1525-1567) and Sir Thomas Laurence lll (1528-1582).

(12GGF) When Thomas Whitaker was born on September 22, 1504, in Holme, Lancashire, England, his father, Richard, was 24 and his mother, Margaret, was 24. He married Elizabeth Nowell and they had eight children together: Richard Whitaker 1545–1597 Robert Whitaker Of Holme 1545–1581 William Whitaker 1548–1595   William A. “Rev Doctor Divinity” (Whittekers) (1548-1595) Frances Whitaker 1594–1687 Joseph Whitaker –1726 Willm. Whitaker –1738 Thos Dobson –1799

(11GGF) William A. “Rev Doctor Divinity” Whitaker was born in December 1548 in Lancashire, Lancashire, England. He married Susan Culverwell and they had 15 children together. He then married Lady Joane Paronite Fenner and they had one son together. He died on December 4, 1595, in Whalley, Lancashire, England, at the age of 47.

He was a prominent Protestant Calvinistic Anglican churchman, academic, and theologian. He was Master of St. John’s College, Cambridge, and a leading divine in the university in the latter half of the sixteenth century. His uncle was Alexander Nowell, the Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral and catechist. He wrote over 20 theology books. 

 

 

Whitaker Family Late 1500’s

(10GGF) William Whitaker was born in 1582 in Holme, Lancashire, England. He had two sons and two daughters with Katherine Deane. He then married Mary Liversidge and they had five children together: Robert, Maria, Isabell, Jeremiah and Jane.

He died in 1638 in Holme, Huntingdonshire, England, at the age of 56.

(9GGF) Jeremiah Whitaker was born in 1599 in Wakefield, England and died in 1654 in London. He married Chephizibah Peachy in 1629 and they had five children: William, Mary, Jeremiah, Richard and John.

He was an English Puritan clergyman, and an important member of the Westminster Assembly. After being educated at the grammar school there under the Rev. Philip Jack, he entered Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, as a sizar in 1615, two years before Oliver Cromwell. In 1619 he graduated in arts, and for a time was a schoolmaster at Oakham, Rutland.

In 1630 he was made rector of Stretton, Rutland; and on the ejection of Thomas Paske from the rectory of St Mary Magdalen, Bermondsey, in 1644, Whitaker was chosen in his stead. He was an oriental scholar, and preached, when in London, four times a week. When the Westminster Assembly was convened in June 1643, he was one of the first members elected, and in 1647 was appointed its moderator. In the same year he was chosen by the House of Lords, along with Thomas Goodwin, to examine and superintend the assembly’s publications

Whitaker died on 1 June 1654, and was buried in the chancel of St Mary Magdalen. 

 

Whitaker Family CAME TO AMERICA

 

(8GGF) Richard Whitaker was born in London in 1644 and came to the United States where he died in 1710 in Fairfield, New Jersey. He married Elizabeth Adkins Provoe in 1680 and they had six children. Abigail (1680-1718) Richard (1680-1720) Nathaniel (1681-1753) Peter (1683-) James (1689-1720) Katharine (1694-1718).

(7GGF) Richard Whitaker II (1680-1720) was born in 1680 in Fairfield, New Jersey. He married Abigail Hammond in 1700 in his hometown.They had four children: Nathaniel (1696-1752) Richard (1700-1759) Thomas (1702-1779)  Catherine (1704-) Elizabeth (1704-) James (1708-) Richard Whitaker II died on January 12, 1720, in Fairfield, New Jersey, at the age of 40.

(6GGF) Nathaniel Whitaker was born in 1694 in Fairfield, New Jersey when his father, Richard, was 14 and his mother, Abigail, was 18. He married Mary Ann Abbott Dixon on 18 Nov 1729 in Fairfield, Cumberland, New Jersey, United States. He then married Ruth Buck (1719-1752) on September 13, 1738, in New Jersey. 

He died on December 13, 1752, in his hometown at the age of 58.

(5GGF) Lewis W Whitaker was born in 1734 and married Anna Thompson (1737-1810) in 1753. They had three children: Lydia (1760-1830) Lewis (1764-1830)  Lemuel (1772-1849) Lewis died in 1773 at the age of 39. Anna Thompson was born on April 27, 1737, in Fairfield, New Jersey. She died in 1810 in her hometown at the age of 73.

(4GGF) Lemuel Whitaker was born on June 21, 1772, in Fairfield, New Jersey when his father, Lewis, was 38 and his mother, Anna, was 35. He married Ruth Barker on April 12, 1791, in his hometown. According to the 1810 Ohio Census, his first name was Leminnie. In subsequent Ohio census (1820, 1830,1840), he was listed as Lemuel. In 1805 he married Jannette Buchanan.

Children with Ruth: Harriet (1798-1881) Reuben Barker (1800-1868)

Children with Janette: Fanny A. (1806-1813)  Israel (1808-1880) Samuel P (1810-1886) Ruth J (1812-1880)  James Buchanan (1813-1893) Neri (1816-1890) Sarah (1818-1890) William B (1818-1890)  Lewis (1820-1890) 

 He died on January 13, 1849, in Brush Creek, Ohio, having lived a long life of 76 years.

 

(3GGF) Reuben Barker Whitaker was born in New Jersey on 8 Jan 1800. He married Frances (Fanny) Martin and their children were: David (1823-1850)  Lemuel (1824-1895) John Buchanan (1826-1872) Milton (1828-1863) Annis (1834-1913) Lewis (1838-1890) 

He married Margaret Hannah Smith (1813-1881) in 1853 and their children were: Adelia Mary (1854-1929)  Beth Ann (1858-1941) Ruth A (1858-) Seth (1868-)

He passed away on April 11, 1868 in Jefferson, Coshocton, Ohio, United States.

 

The Move to Illinois

 

(2GGF) John Buchanan Whitaker was born on May 13, 1826, in Muskingum, Ohio. He married Louisa Catherine Cheek. Their children: Henry Edward (1858-1923) Mary Ella Ellen (1861-1936) James Buchanan (1864-1952) William (1864-) Reuben S (1871-)

 He died on June 8, 1872, in Forest City, Illinois, at the age of 46.

(GGF) James Buchanan Whitaker was born July 16, 1864 in Forest City, Illinois. He married Ida May Barnes on January 1, 1893, in Mason, Illinois. Their four children were (John) Floyd (1894-1977) Nelda E (1897-1987) Edith Eugenia (1900-1990) (James) Leslie (1904-1962)

James Buchanan Whitaker and Ida May (Barnes) Whitaker

 

James B died in 1952 in his hometown at the age of 88.

 

(GM) Edith Eugenia (Whitaker) Meeker was born in 1900 and attended school in the Manito/Forest City area. She married Sam Meeker October 6, 1920. She supported her husband in his farming endeavor and was a loving and devoted wife and mother. They had four children.  (Paul, Clyde, Loren, Lyle) . Edith died of natural causes in 1990 and her husband Sam died a few hours later of the same thing (broken heart?).

 

In a Nutshell:

 

Johias Whitacre 1042-1066   (25th great-grandfather of Linda)

Edwinus Whitaker 1060-1087

Simon Whitaker 1080-1135

Alanus Whitaker 1133-1227

Jordan Whitaker 1200-1275

Sir John Whitaker 1240-1278

John Whitaker 1275-1330

Richard Simon Whitaker 1300-1380

Sir Richard Whitaker 1380-1434

Thomas Henry Whitaker 1405-1448

Robert Whitaker 1440-1531

Sir Thomas Cromwell Whitaker 1458-1529

Richard Thomas Whitaker 1480-1540

Thomas Whitaker 1504-1598

William A. “Rev” Whitaker 1548-1595

William Whitaker DR 1582-1638

Jeremiah Whitaker 1599-1654

Richard Whitaker 1644-1710

Richard Whitaker, II 1680-1720

Nathaniel Whitaker 1694-1752

Lewis W Whitaker 1734-1773

Lemuel Whitaker 1772-1849

Reuben Barker Whitaker 1800-1868

John Buchanan Whitaker 1826-1872

James Buchanan Whitaker 1864-1952

Edith Eugenia Whitaker 1900-1990

Paul Burton Meeker 1922-

Linda Lee Meeker 1952-

English Royalty

Finding Family on Friday

 

The Chichester Family of England

 

How did we get here? 

This is not from the Knuppel line but from my mothers as her maiden name was Sawrey. Her grandmother was a Virginia “Jennie” Hensley.  It was John Hensley, my 12th great grandfather,  that married Margaret Chichester. This is her family. I guess it is also my family!

 

Down Through the Generations

The holders of Raleigh through the 14th century were a family that took its name from the manor, the Raleigh family of Raleigh. The early ancestry of this Raleigh family, along with that of other Devon Raleigh families, has been studied in much depth, largely as a result of inquiries into the origins of the famous Elizabethan adventurer Sir Walter Raleigh, but no clear early pedigree has emerged. This Raleigh family also held the manor of “Auvrington” (Arlington, Devon), as recorded in the Book of Fees, held from the overlord Philip de Culumbars (died 1342), of Nether Stowey, 2nd husband of Eleanor FitzMartin, sister and one of two co-heiresses of William FitzMartin (died 1326), feudal baron of Barnstaple. Arlington was thus also inherited by the Chichesters from Raleigh.

Thomasine Raleigh, daughter and eventual sole heiress of Sir John de Raleigh of Raleigh married Sir John Chichester. Her Inquisition post mortem states that she died on 7 August 1402.

John Chichester (fl.1365) married in about 1365[8] Thomasine de Raleigh (died 1402), daughter and heiress of Sir John de Raleigh. He was lord of the manors of Treverbin in Cornwall and of Beggerskewish and Donwer in Somerset. According to Sir Alexander Chichester, Bart., he was the son of Sir Roger Chichester, who was knighted in 1346 at the Siege of Calais and later fought at the Battle of Poitiers in 1356. His father was John Chichester, 7th in descent from Walleran de Cirencester alias Chichester, himself descended from a brother of Robert of Chichester, Bishop of Exeter in 1155-1160. According to the Ledger Book of Tor Abbey, in 1237 Walleran did homage to William de Raleigh for the manor of South Pool.

Sir John Chichester (1385–1437) (son), who fought in the Battle of Agincourt (1415) in the retinue of the Sieur de Harrington. He married Alice Wotton, daughter and co-heiress of John Wotton of Widworthy. He survived his wife and died 14 December 1437.

Richard Chichester (1423–1496), (son), was a minor aged 14 on his father’s death. He served as Sheriff of Devon in 1469 and 1475. He married firstly Margaret Keynes, daughter of Nicholas Keynes of Winkleigh; secondly Elizabeth Sapcott (died 1502), who survived him, daughter of Sir John Sapcott. He died 25 December 1496 and his Inquisition post mortem was taken in 1498. His tomb slab exists set into the floor of the chancel aisle of Pilton Church. Their second son Richard Chichester married Thomasine de Hall (died 1502), the heiress of Hall, in the parish of Bishops Tawton, and founded that line of the family, whose descendants (in a female line) still own the estate in 2012. His heir was his grandson John Chichester (died 1537/8). He was predeceased by both his sons. His daughter Margaret married John Hensley and is my relative, too!

 

Ancestral Stories- Revolutionary War Lt Michael Shirley

This family member is my 5th great-grandfather and comes into the family from my moms line. (Sawrey-Hensley-McGuire)

He was born on December 18, 1732 in Würzweiler, Donnersbergkreis, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany.
He died on July 23, 1784 in Ft Boonesboro, Madison, Kentucky, United States, he was 51 years old.

 

Johann Michael Shirley, son of Charles “Carl” and Anna Esther Shirley. None of the known records refers to Michael as Johann except his birth certificate.

Michael was born in Germany December 18, 1732. He migrated to England and later he migrated to Spain (family tradition has a Shirley being sent as an ambassador to Spain and left stranded in Spain when England’s king was overthrown by a brother) before coming to America and landing at Plymouth Rock.

Michael Shirley enlisted Dec 1, 1777 in Capt. William Bentley’s company, 3rd Virginia regiment commanded by Colonel John Neville, formerly known at times as Captain Reubin Bisco’s company, and Charles West’s company, commanded by Colonel William Heth, in the Revolutionary War. His name appears on the company rolls until Nov 1779..

He was a bonded surveyor 1761-1769 in Augusta County, Virginia. Michael enlisted December 1, 1777 in Captain Bentley’s Company, 3rd Virginia Regiment, commanded by Col. John Neville, formally known at times as Captain Reuben Briscoe’s Company and Charles West’s Company and commanded by Col. Heath during the Revolutionary War. Michael’s pay vouches shows that he spent the winter at Valley Forge and the following spring he had pneumonia. His name appears on the company rolls until November 1779.

Michael married Katherine “Katie” Franz/Frantz. Katie lived in what is now Washington D. C. with an Aunt and Uncle. Her mother died shortly after they came to America. Her father returned to Europe with the two younger children to place them with relatives to be cared for and educated. He left Katie with her mother’s brother and wife until he could return to America, The ship was never heard from again and is susposed to have been lost at sea.

While at Washington (D. C.), Michael, as a young soldier, was passing in the line of march, saw Katie and later fell in love with her. Their wedding was opposed, as young Shirley was a “mere solider”. They lived in Washington and then moved to Pennsylvania. Later they moved to Fort Boonesborough and tax records reveals that Michael brought land that was patent by Daniel Boone.

Michael Shirley was shot by Indians at Station Camp, Kentucky. The Indians shot him, breaking both of his legs, and he fell from his horse behind a log. The Indians thinking him dead, left him and capture his horse. He crawled to a tree and from there he dragged himself back and forth to a stream of water. On a vine he cut with a pen knife how he was killed and marked each day he lived and on the sixth day, he said he felt death and as to whether he died that day or lived longer is not known. The family buried him where he was found and his buried place was marked by a stone with M. S. curved on it and the same was cut on the bark of the tree by which he was buried.

Michael Shirley enters 700 acres of land on part of a treasury Warrent No. 7422, Beginning at a black walnut tree with his initials M. S. at the mouth of a creek running into the Kentucky River about three miles below Miller’s Bottom, to run up the creek and down the Kentucky River for Quantity. Entered January 7,. 1783.

Children of Michael and Katie: Mary – Katie – Lizzie – George – Susan – Nancy – Charles – Sallie.

Located in front of the rebuilt Fort Boonesborough, Fort Boonesborough Historical State Park, Madison County, Kentucky is a monument that has the names of early pioneers having a connection to the original fort. Michael, his wife Katie and their son Charles names are inscribed on this monument.

 

THEIR DAUGHTER MARY ANN

 

Katy died January 23, 1825 in Madison County, Kentucky. Michael and Catherine “Katy” had eight children. One of them was a daughter born February 23, 1762, and they named her Mary Ann Shirley.

Mary Ann Shirley married William McGuire February 23 rd. 1878 in Shenandoah Valley, Rockingham County, Virginia. They were married by Rev. John Alderson. They were my 4th. great grandparents. They had a son and named him Michael after his grandfather.

William was a lieutenant in the Revolutionary War. Mary Ann went him and fought along side him. Many other wives also accompanied their husbands and fought with them and helped them. Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) state that Mary Ann molded bullets at the Battle of Saratoga in New York.

William and Mary Ann, and their son Michael (called Bennie), were taken prisoner by the British soldiers May 12 th., 1780 at Charleston, Virginia and were taken to Montreal, Quebec in Canada. William was 32 years old, Mary Ann was 18 and Michael was 2. They were held there for two years by the British. August 1, 1781 while still in prison, another son was born to them and they named him Thomas McGuire. (The lineage to me).

On September 16, 1782, William and Mary Ann, and their two sons Michael “Bennie” and Thomas, were placed on a list to be released and returned home. Shortly afterwards they were released, or escaped, the records are not too clear. William, Mary Ann and their two sons were making their way back to Virginia on foot, enduring the brutal Canadian winter. The records state that they wandered through deep snow and faced many hardships. When they were somewhere around the Lake Champlain area they stopped at a graveyard to spend the night. With their scanty blankets they tried to prevent the two children from freezing by lying down between two graves with the children between them. Mary Ann put Thomas, the baby, inside her clothing and buttoned her coat over him. Bennie lay between his parents, but during the night he froze to death. The grieving parents scratched out a shallow grave in the frozen Canadian ground, and with broken hearts they left their little boy there.

After the war William was awarded 200 acres as part payment for his war efforts. (This was common at that time as many other men received land also). They lived in Virginia for a time and then moved to Kentucky. Later they moved to Bedford County, Tennessee.

This is the house where Mary Ann and William McGuire, and their children lived in Bedford, County, Tennessee which was still standing when this picture was taken April 22, 2002. It was a log house but the logs have been covered with siding. There were originally two rock fireplaces, one on each end of the house, that have been removed. William and Mary Ann are buried in Horse Mountain Cemetery, which is just a short distance from the house.

 

More Ancestral Stories can be found HERE.

Ancestral Stories

Bartholomew Ball was Mayor of Dublin in 1553–54. He is my 12th Great Grandfather and comes through my mothers side of the family and more specifically a descendant of the Seagraves line.

He was the son of Thomas Ball and Margaret Birmingham. The Ball family owned lands in Dublin at Ballygall near Glasnevin and operated the bridge over the River Dodder after which Ballsbridge, Dublin, is named.

A merchant, Bartholomew Ball served as high sheriff of Dublin City for 1541–42 before becoming mayor for 1553–54.

He married Margaret Bermingham in 1530 and lived in Ballygall, County Dublin. They had ten children, of whom only five survived. Their sons Walter Ball and Nicholas Ball both served as Mayor of Dublin.

Bartholomew Ball died in 1573, and is buried in St. Audoen’s Church, Dublin.

 

Walter Ball was from a wealthy Irish merchant family. His father Bartholomew Ball, his brother Nicholas Ball and sons Robert Ball and Edward Ball all served as Mayor of Dublin. He married Eleanor Ussher, daughter of Alderman Robert Ussher. He conformed to the established religion (Anglican) to progress politically, and became Commissioner for Ecclesiastical Causes, imposing the Reformation on Dublin. This led to the conflict with his mother, Margaret Ball, whom he imprisoned for recusancy in Dublin Castle, where she endured conditions of appalling squalor for four years. Despite protests from other family members, especially his brother Nicholas, Walter defended his actions, arguing that he had shown clemency by sparing his mother’s life, and that she could free herself by swearing the Oath of Supremacy (although it was almost impossible for a Roman Catholic to do this in good conscience). He remained implacable and during his brother’s term as Mayor managed to thwart his efforts to free their mother. Margaret died in prison, and now is venerated as the Blessed Margaret Ball by the Catholic church for being Martyred for her faith.

Elected an Alderman in 1573, he served as mayor of Dublin from 1580 to 1581. He took great interest in the foundation of Trinity College Dublin, and was one of the collectors for its building. Along with John Terrel and William Usher, they took possession of the land of All Hallows Monastery. He died on 8 December 1598.

 

Nicholas Ball  served as Lord Mayor of Dublin, and MP for Dublin in the Parliament of Ireland. He was from a wealthy Irish Merchant family: his father Bartholomew Ball and brother Walter Ball were also mayors of Dublin. Unlike his brother who converted to Anglicanism, Nicholas remained a Roman Catholic like his martyred mother Blessed Margaret Ball. He married Begnet Luttrell and they had three children, Margaret, Jane and Bartholomew, The lived near Kells, County Meath.

Nicholas served as Master of the Merchants Guild, Sheriff of Dublin City, an Alderman of Dublin from 1574 and Mayor of Dublin from 1582-1583. During his time as Mayor he tried to have his aged mother released from Dublin Castle, where she had been imprisoned for recusancy on the orders of his brother Walter, but Walter, who seems to have been determined that their mother must die in prison, managed to thwart his efforts, and she died, still a prisoner, in 1584. In 1585 he was elected to serve in the Irish House of Commons for Dublin. He died in 1609 and is buried in St. Audoen’s Church, Dublin.

 

This is my 5th great grandfather, Charles Lynch, who ran away and made something of his life in America.

ANCESTRAL STORIES

This is another part of the Ancestral Stories of the Knuppel Family.

About 1720-25 Charles Lynch, a youth of about 15 or 18 years of age, ran away from his home in Galway, Ireland, and came to America. The immediate cause of his leaving home, according to the tradition repeated by his great-granddaughter, Mrs. Mary Ann Dearing, was the harsh and unjust treatment of his stepmother. According to another version, he was angered because of a punishment received at school. At any rate, soon after leaving his father’s roof, he met up with the captain of a vessel on the point of sailing for Virginia and was easily persuaded to avail himself of the opportunity of seeking his fortune in that far off land.

The ship on which he took passage was but a short distance from shore when young Lynch, his heart failing him, actually plunged into the sea and made for land. He was, however, taken up and the vessel resumed her course. On reaching America, the captain apprenticed young Lynch, for his passage over, to Christopher Clark, a well-to-do tobacco planter in what now is Louisa county, Virginia. But romance soon took a hand and Lynch lost his heart to Miss Sarah Clark, one of the four daughters of Christopher Clark, and they were finally married about 1733.

His son, Charles Lynch and my 5th Great Uncle, has been credited or blamed for the phrase and use of what is known as the “Lynch Laws.”

In 1767 Charles became a justice of the peace of Bedford County, Virginia but was disowned by the Quakers for taking an oath of office, something they were not permitted to do.

Lynch served in the Virginia House of Burgesses and the Convention from 1769 until 1778, when he became a militia colonel. After the Revolution, he served in the Virginia Senate from 1784 to 1789.

In several incidents in 1780, Lynch and several other militia officers and justices of the peace rounded up suspects who were thought to be a part of a Loyalist uprising in southwestern Virginia. The suspects were given a summary trial at an informal court; sentences handed down included whipping, property seizure, coerced pledges of allegiance, and conscription into the military. Lynch’s extralegal actions were legitimized by the Virginia General Assembly in 1782.

“Lynch’s Law,” referring to organized but unauthorized punishment of criminals, became a common phrase, as it was used by Lynch to describe his actions as early as 1782. The Oxford English Dictionary, however, notes, “The origin of the expression has not been determined.”

For more Ancestral Stories click here.

These are my relatives no matter good or bad. You can’t pick your ancestors!All of my research comes from Ancestry.

Ancestral Stories – Four More Family on the Mayflower

In my last writing about the relatives on the Mayflower, which you can find HERE, I talked about William Bradford and mentioned he worked with William Brewster. This is about Brewster and his trip aboard the ship “Mayflower.” On that trip he brought his wife and two sons. Yes, they were actually named Love and Wrestling. Brewster’s two daughters, Patience and Fear, stayed back in England and would come over on the next few years on the ship “Anne.”

This is from the Sawrey-Sherrod-Brewster line.

 

William Brewster

Mayflower Chaplain

11th Great-Grandfather

 

BIRTH: About 1566, in the vicinity of Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England, son of William and Mary (Smythe)(Simkinson) Brewster.
MARRIAGE: Mary, about 1592, probably in the vicinity of Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England.
CHILDREN: Jonathan, Patience, Fear, an unnamed child who died young, Love, and Wrestling.
DEATH: 10 April 1644 at Plymouth.

William Brewster was born about 1566, the son of William Brewster. He was educated in both Greek and Latin and spent some time at Cambridge University, although he never completed a full degree. He went into the service of William Davison, then Secretary of State, while his father back home maintained a position as the postmaster of Scrooby, Nottinghamshire. Under Davison, Brewster first traveled to the Netherlands. After Davison was removed as Secretary of State by Queen Elizabeth, Brewster worked himself into his father’s postmaster duties and maintained Scrooby Manor. Brewster was instrumental in establishing a Separatist church with Richard Clyfton, and they often held their meetings in the Manor house. Brewster and the others were eventually found and forced out, and fleeing prosecution and persecution they headed to Amsterdam in 1608, and moved to Leiden, Holland in 1609. Brewster became the church’s Elder, responsible for seeing that the congregation’s members carried themselves properly, both helping and admonishing them when necessary.

In Leiden, Brewster working with Thomas Brewer, Edward Winslow, and others, began working a printing press and publishing religious books and pamphlets that were then illegally conveyed into England. Brewster also employed himself teaching University of Leiden students English. By 1618, the English authorities were onto him and his printing press, and had the Dutch authorities in pursuit of him. Thomas Brewer was arrested and held in the University of Leiden’s prison, but Brewster managed to evade the authorities and went into hiding for a couple years.

When the Leiden church congregation decided to send the first wave of settlers to establish a colony that everyone could eventually move to, their pastor John Robinson decided to remain behind in Leiden with the majority of the congregation, intending to come later. The smaller group that went on the Mayflower desired the next highest ranking church official, Elder Brewster, to go with them; so he agreed. He brought his wife Mary and two youngest children, Love and Wrestling, on the Mayflower with him.

When the passengers of the Mayflower landed at Plymouth Colony, Brewster became the senior elder, and so served as the religious leader of the colony. He became a leader and was a signer of the Mayflower Compact. In the colony, he became a separatist leader and preacher, and eventually, as an adviser to Governor William Bradford. Brewster’s son Jonathan joined the family in November 1621, arriving at Plymouth on the ship Fortune, and daughters Patience and Fear arrived in July 1623 aboard the Anne.

As the only university educated member of the colony, Brewster took the part of the colony’s religious leader until a pastor, Ralph Smith, arrived in 1629. Thereafter, he continued to preach irregularly until his death in April 1644. “He was tenderhearted and compassionate of such as were in misery,” Bradford wrote, “but especially of such as had been of good estate and rank and fallen unto want and poverty.”

Brewster was granted land amongst the islands of Boston Harbor, and four of the outer islands (Great Brewster, Little Brewster, Middle Brewster and Outer Brewster) now bear his name. In 1632, Brewster received lands in nearby Duxbury and removed from Plymouth to create a farm there.

His wife Mary died in 1627, and he never remarried. n 1634, smallpox and influenza ravaged both the English and the Indians in the region. William Brewster, whose family had managed to survive the first terrible winter unscathed, lost two daughters, Fear and Patience, now married to Isaac Allerton and Thomas Prence, respectively He lived to be nearly 80 years old, dying in 1644. His estate inventory lists the titles of several hundred books that he owned.  Shortly after he died, William Bradford wrote a short but concise biography of Brewster in his history Of Plymouth Plantation, though he erroneously filed it under 1643 instead of 1644.

 

Ancestral Stories- “Sitting in the Governor’s Chair”

 

Have you ever been to Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee? How about Sevierville, also in Tennessee?

They are BOTH in Sevier County Tennessee.

It was named after John Sevier.

 

This is the story of Linda’s relative. (Hughes-Snodgrass-Sevier line)

 

John Sevier

Linda’s 4th Great Grandfather

 

John Sevier, pioneer, soldier, statesman and a founder of the Republic, was Tennessee’s first governor and one of its most illustrious citizens. Married and on his own at age sixteen, he was in the vanguard of frontier life and accomplishment from his late teenage years until his death. First and only governor of the aborted State of Franklin, six-term governor of Tennessee, and congressman for four terms from the eastern district, he was also a soldier of no mean accomplishment, having risen to the rank of general in the North Carolina militia.

Born near the present town of New Market, Virginia, Sevier was the oldest of seven children of Valentine and Joanna Goad Sevier. His forebears–the Xaviers–were of Huguenot religious persuasion who had fled France for England, anglicized their name, and become prosperous farmers. By 1740 Valentine had arrived in Virginia and settled in the Shenandoah Valley on Smith’s Creek.

Not much is known of Sevier’s early life. Educational opportunities were limited, but as a child he apparently learned to read and write; later his state papers and correspondence with Andrew Jackson and others exhibited a concise and direct style. Married in 1761 to Sarah Hawkins (1746-1780), a daughter of Joseph and Sarah Marlin Hawkins, the couple settled in the valley of his birth. There Sevier farmed, dealt in furs, speculated in land, ran a tavern, and fought Indians–along with raising an ever-increasing family.

By 1773 he lived on the Holston River, but three years later he had moved to a farm on the Watauga River near the present town of Elizabethton. In the same year, North Carolina authorities created the Washington District, which included the Watauga settlements, and Sevier was sent to the Provincial Congress of North Carolina as representative.

The Revolutionary War began in 1775, and in the following year Sevier was named a lieutenant colonel of the North Carolina militia and assigned first to protecting the frontier settlements. He fought elsewhere but was confined primarily to the South. The encounter for which he became best known was the battle of Kings Mountain (1780), in which he and his fellow frontiersmen fought Tories and British soldiers at a location just north of Spartanburg, South Carolina.

The British, having met with only moderate success in the middle and northern colonies, had turned in late 1780 to the soft underbelly of the rebellious provinces where they prevailed without difficulty in Georgia. Then they moved northward without serious opposition. Major Patrick Ferguson, assigned to the command of the British left flank, viewed the western settlements with disdain. Overconfident, he ordered frontiersmen to lay down their arms and give allegiance to the Crown; otherwise, he wrote, he would march over the mountains, “hang . . . western leaders and lay the country waste with fire and sword.” Sevier and others, accepting the challenge, gathered at Sycamore Shoals late in September 1780, determined to engage Ferguson before he could reach Watauga. They soon found him on a narrow ridge in northwest South Carolina where he, with perhaps one thousand men, had ensconced himself, claiming that even “the Almighty” could not drive him off. But the backwoodsmen ascended the heights and assaulted him from both south and west, taking care to remain well camouflaged behind trees, logs, and rocks. Although forced to fall back several times, the westerners rallied each time, and, after about an hour of fighting, claimed victory. They had lost fewer than one hundred men while the British had lost three times that number, including Ferguson. The victory turned the British from the West and pushed Sevier forward as the foremost figure among the people. Several months before Kings Mountain, Sevier’s wife of nearly twenty years died and was buried in an unmarked grave just outside Nolichucky Fort in Washington County. She and Sevier had raised ten children. Sevier later married Catherine (“Bonny Kate”) Sherrill (1754-1838), whom he had rescued four years earlier during a surprise attack by the Cherokees. They reared eight children.

Soon after the Revolution, Sevier became involved in a movement designed to secure separate statehood for the people living in Washington, Sullivan, and Greene Counties. The Continental Congress in 1780 had urged that lands claimed by North Carolina and Virginia should become states soon after hostilities might end. Thomas Jefferson had presented a plan whereby eighteen new states might be carved from the western territories. But North Carolina authorities objected vehemently when western leaders assembled in Jonesborough in August 1784 to make plans for statehood. When they chose Sevier as governor and drafted a constitution, claiming an “inalienable right” to form an independent state, Governor Alexander Martin threatened to “render the revolting territory not worth possessing” if North Carolina did not retain sovereignty over it. Attempts at conciliation divided the Franklin people into factions, and border warfare developed. Several men were killed or wounded, and two of Sevier’s sons were captured, threatened, and held briefly.

Sevier’s term as governor of Franklin expired in the spring of 1788, and for all practical purposes the state came to an end. Sevier was arrested and charged with treason but never tried. Within less than a year he had taken an oath of allegiance to North Carolina and was elected to the state Senate. A few months later he was restored to his rank of brigadier general in the North Carolina militia.

North Carolina permanently ceded its western lands to the central government in 1789, and in the following year President George Washington signed into law a measure for the governance of the region. Sevier probably was the choice of most of the western people for the post of territorial governor, but Washington appointed William Blount instead. Soon Sevier became a member of the Territorial Legislative Council–a group of five men provided for under the Congressional Ordinance of 1787 designed for the governance of territories. He was among those who urged Governor Blount to call the legislature into session to make plans for statehood as required under the ordinance. Blount complied, and early in 1796 leaders drafted a constitution and applied to Congress for admission. After several weeks of debate–at times acrimonious, as Federalists and Anti-Federalists haggled over terms and reasons for admission–Congress recommended statehood, and President Washington signed into law a bill creating Tennessee as the sixteenth state.

The new constitution had provided for a two-year term for governors with the right to serve “not . . . more than six years in any term of eight.” The other qualifications to hold the office of governor were simple. One must be at least twenty-five years of age, possess a freehold of at least five hundred acres, and be a citizen for four years. Sevier met these requirements and became the only serious candidate.

For months before the admissions bill was enacted, Tennesseans had been conducting affairs as though the state had been legally admitted to the Union. Elections were held in late February and legislators convened in late March. On March 29 they examined the returns of the gubernatorial race and determined that Sevier had won. On March 30 Sevier took the oath of office at Knoxville. In a brief inaugural address, he thanked voters for the confidence reposed in him and he pledged to discharge “with fidelity” the tasks of chief executive. A sixteen-gun salute ended the brief ceremonies. When Sevier became governor, the total population of the new state was only about 85,000, but by the end of his gubernatorial service it had increased to nearly 250,000.

Although the office of governor was not considered a full-time task, still Sevier faced the usual problems which the foibles of human nature are sure to create. Indian problems were vexatious as any, and Sevier met them with characteristic vigor. The Tellico and Dearborn treaties, negotiated in 1805 and 1806 respectively, did much to clear Indian claims in both east and west, but the attitude and actions of the federal government in its strict policy of enforcement angered Tennesseans.

Many disputes over military rank tried Sevier’s patience. Free men between eighteen and fifty were subject to military duty, and they elected their own officers. But allegations of fraud permeated the contests in many of the counties and at all levels, and the governor–who issued the commissions–had to decide who had been legally and duly elected. Although Sevier apparently handled these matters as judiciously as he could, he was frequently criticized in many counties for allegedly selecting political friends and favorites. His disputes with Andrew Jackson over these and other matters led to considerable bitterness between the two. Indeed, Jackson’s charges that Sevier was guilty of forgery and bribery in his procurement of lands brought challenges to duels and bitter words.

Internal improvements such as wagon roads interested Sevier from his early days as governor. He also frequently mentioned a need for “the encouragement of education,” and a measure chartering schools in most of the counties was enacted in 1806. Improving conditions in the state militia and the development of a better means of settling disputes over land titles were other matters of concern.

In March, 1809–a few months before his final term ended–Sevier ran before the legislature for the U.S. Senate but was defeated by Judge Joseph Anderson. Later in that year, voters in Knox County sent him to the state Senate. Then, in 1811, he was elected to Congress. His advanced years and his unfamiliarity with federal procedures resulted in his being an ineffective legislator on the national level, however.

Sevier died on September 24, 1815, while on a mission to the Alabama territory where he had gone with U.S. troops to determine the proper location of the Creek boundary. He was buried on the eastern bank of the Tallapoosa River near Fort Decatur.

Sevier was a product of the frontier and a hero to Tennesseans who understood and appreciated his varied career. When in 1887 his body was reinterred on the courthouse lawn in Knoxville, a monument was erected whose inscription well describes his life of public service:

“John Sevier, pioneer, soldier, statesman, and one of the founders of the Republic; Governor of the State of Franklin; six times Governor of Tennessee; four times elected to Congress; a typical pioneer, who conquered the wilderness and fashioned the State; a protector and hero of Kings Mountain; fought thirty-five battles, won thirty-five victories; his Indian war cry, ‘Here they are! Come on boys!’

 

 

For more Ancestral Stories visit HERE.

Ancestral Stories- “Our Ride on the Mayflower” part 1

This is the first of several articles concerning my (the Knuppel side) relatives that arrived in this country on the ship “Mayflower.”

 

William Bradford

My 11th Great-Grandfather

 

 

I will spare you the information about the voyage except for a few things. Several residents of England had wish for some religious freedom and decided to leave and head for America. A group of these people asked one of their own, William Bradford, to organize the trip. The ship left, after several complications and a bigger ship not showing up, on September 6, 1620. There were 102 people on a cramped ship making their way to a new land looking for a new life.

After several storms in the Atlantic Ocean, the Mayflower approached land, the crew spotted Cape Cod just as the sun rose on November 9. The Pilgrims decided to head south, to the mouth of the Hudson River in New York, where they intended to make their plantation. However, as the Mayflower headed south, it encountered some very rough seas, and nearly shipwrecked. The Pilgrims then decided, rather than risk another attempt to go south, they would just stay and explore Cape Cod. They turned back north, rounded the tip, and anchored in what is now Provincetown Harbor. The Pilgrims would spend the next month and a half exploring Cape Cod, trying to decide where they would build their plantation. On December 25, 1620, they had finally decided upon Plymouth, and began construction of their first buildings.

Before going ashore at Plymouth, Pilgrim leaders (including Bradford and William Brewster) drafted the Mayflower Compact, a brief 200-word document that was the first framework of government written and enacted in the territory that would later become the United States of America. The signing took place on a trunk that held all of William Brewster’s things he brought over. The ship remained in port until the following April, when it left for England.

A group of brave men went out into a storm looking for a place to set up a small camp or village. When the exploring party made their way back on board, Bradford learned of the death of his wife Dorothy. Dorothy (May) Bradford from Wisbech, Cambridgeshire fell overboard off the deck of the Mayflower during his absence and drowned. William Bradford recorded her death in his journal.

Elected Governor

Successful colonies require successful leadership. The man to step forward in Plymouth colony was William Bradford. After the first governor elected under the Mayflower Compact perished from the harsh winter, Bradford was elected governor for the next thirty years. In May of 1621, he performed the colony’s first marriage ceremony.

Under Bradford’s guidance, Plymouth suffered less hardship than their English compatriots in Virginia. Relations with the local natives remained relatively smooth in Plymouth and the food supply grew with each passing year.

By autumn of 1621, the Pilgrims had much for which to be thankful. After the harvest, Massasoit and about ninety other Indians joined the Pilgrims for the great English tradition of HARVEST FESTIVAL. The participants celebrated for several days, dining on venison, goose, duck, turkey, fish, and of course, cornbread, the result of a bountiful corn harvest. This tradition was repeated at harvest time in the following years.

Eventually, the new village began to thrive. Bradford met his second wife on the next ship. She was Alice (Carpenter) Southworth, age about 32and he married her in Plymouth on August 14, 1623. She had arrived on the ship Anne some weeks earlier. Alice was the widow of Edward Southworth. She was one of five daughters of Alexander and Priscilla Carpenter of Wrington, co. Somerset in England, all being of Leiden about 1600. Alice brought two sons to the marriage: Constant, born about 1612, and Thomas, born about 1617. Alice and William had three children. She died in Plymouth on March 26, 1670 and was buried on Burial Hill in Plymouth near her husband’s stone.

Bradford Writes It All Down

William Bradford kept track of everything. Because he did, we have a great piece of history in a diary he wrote that has been named Of Plimouth Plantation. It was written over a period of years by William Bradford, the leader of the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts. It is regarded as the most authoritative account of the Pilgrims and the early years of the colony which they founded.

The journal was written between 1630 and 1651 and describes the story of the Pilgrims from 1608, when they settled in the Dutch Republic on the European mainland through the 1620 Mayflower voyage to the New World, until the year 1647. The book ends with a list of Mayflower passengers and what happened to them which was written in 1651.

He died on May 9, 1657 in Plymouth Colony, Massachusetts.

 

 

The line for this story is Sawrey-Sherrod-Bradford

 

Look for more parts of “Riding on the Mayflower” as I identify other relatives on the ship. 

 

Ancestral Stories- Clay Family Massacre

Mary Obedience Clay is the 5th great-grandmother of my wife. She survived this horrible event. 

 

“In the month of August, Mitchell Clay had harvested his crop of small grain, and wanting to get the benefit of the pasture for his cattle, … he asked two of his sons, Bartley and Ezekial, to build a fence around the stacks of grain…

“While Mitchell Clay was out hunting, the two sons were building fence pens around the grain stacks. The older daughter, with some of the younger girls, was down on the river bank putting out the family washing. While this was in progress, a marauding body of eleven Indians crept up to the edge of the field and shot young Bartley Clay dead.

“When the girls … heard the shot that killed their brother, they lit out for the house for safety. Their path to the house was directly by where Bartley had fallen. An Indian attempted to scalp the youth and at the same time capture the older girl, Tabitha Clay. She was trying to defend the body of her brother…

“In the struggle the girl reached for the knife which hung on the Indian’s belt. Missing the knife, the Indian literally cut her to pieces before killing her…

“Ezekial Clay, about 16, was captured by another Indian…

“About the time of the Indian attack, a man named Lincoln Blankenship called at the Clay cabin. When Mrs. Clay saw her daughter Tabitha in her death struggle… she begged Blankenship to go and shoot the savage and save her daughter’s life. But Blankenship ran away from the scene and reported to settlers on New River that the Clay family had been murdered by the Indians.

“When the savages got the scalps of Bartley and Tabitha Clay, they left the area with Ezekial Clay as their prisoner. Mrs. Clay took the bodies of Bartley and Tabitha to the house and laid them on the bed. She then took her small children and made her way through the woods to the home of James Bailey, six miles distance.

“Meanwhile Mitchell Clay… retraced his steps homeward and discovered the scene of horror… Thinking all his family had been killed or captured, Mitchell Clay left his cabin and headed for the settlements on New River.

“A party of men under the leadership of Captain Matthew Farley went to the Clay cabin and buried the two Clay children. They then pursued the Indian party. They caught up with the Indians in present day Boone County. Several of the Indians were killed.

“Charles Clay, brother of the two murdered Clay children, killed one of the Indians… Ezekial Clay, the captive lad, was hurried away by the Indians who escaped the Captain Matthew Farley party and was taken to their towns in Ohio. There he was burned at the stake, the third of Mitchell Clay’s family to meet an untimely death at the hands of savages.”

This episode has significant connection to the history of Oceana and Wyoming County since Mary Clay (1772-184?), daughter of Mitchell and Phoebe Clay, sister of Bartley, Tabitha, and Ezekial Clay, and wife of Capt. Ralph Stewart, lived most of her life in Wyoming County and lies buried at Crany, a short distance from Oceana. Mary Obedience Clay, 11 years old at the time, was no doubt a witness to the Indian attack at Lake Shawnee. Mary Stewart’s brother, Henry J. Clay (1782-1866), who lies buried in the Stewart Cemetery at Matheny, was a mere babe-in-arms when the attack on the Clay family occurred.

Probably in the summer of 1787, the Indians, possibly led by Boling Baker, raided settlements along the Falls of New River, stealing about 20 horses. Capt. Charles Hull, with about 20 men, chased the Indians northward. Known as the Hull Expedition, this group, which included John Cooke and Thomas and Peter Huff, trekked its way to present-day Oceana. Crossing over a mountain and onto a stream, the Hull party was accosted by a band of Indians and Peter Huff was killed. After burying Huff the next morning, Hull and his men decided to return back to the New River settlements. The stream became known as “Peter Huff Creek,” a geographic locale that was used on land grants as early as 1789, now shortened to Huff Creek.

As I progress on my journey to “dig up” my ancestors, I stop every few days and delve into their personal history. Most are just regular persons that do their daily work and get married and have children. Nothing out of the ordinary. But every once in awhile, I find some nice tidbits about an accomplishment that I find interesting and perhaps historical.

This is one of those stories.

 

Douglas Clan of Scotland

How is this family part of my roots?

  1. The Douglas family joins when Catherine Douglas marries Joel Sherrod.
  2. Their daughter Mary Sherrod joins in matrimony to Henry Sawrey III.
  3. The name Sawrey is my moms maiden name.

 

Historical notation:

The Douglases were once the most powerful family in Scotland. The chiefs held the titles of the Earl of Douglas, and following their forfeiture the chieftancy devolved upon the Earl of Angus (see also: Duke of Hamilton). The 4th Earl of Morton held the chieftaincy during the 16th century, the Earldom of Morton was then a subsidiary title of the 8th Earl of Angus after the 4th Earl’s forfeiture and death in 1581.

William de Duglas’ name appeared on several official charters between 1175 and 1213. From him today’s Douglases can trace their roots.

Sir William “le Hardy” Douglas, was the first person of note to join William Wallace in his revolt against England. He was Constable of Berwick Castle in 1297 and a witness to the sacking of Berwick by Edward I “Longshanks” of England. Captured during Wallace’s revolt, William Douglas was taken to the Tower of London, where he died in 1298.

Four principle stems of the Douglas family wrote their great and often noble deeds into more than seven hundred years of turbulent Scottish history. The branches of the House of Douglas were: the Douglas of Douglasdale (the Black Douglases) who gained fame with Bruce; the Angus “Red Douglases” who played a significant part in the Scottish/English conflict between the mid-15th and early 18th centuries; the line of Morton, closely aligned with the fortunes of Mary, Queen of Scots; and the Drumlanrig and Queensbury Douglases who reached their zenith with the “Union of Crowns” in the early 18th century. Other, though no less important, branches of the Douglases were those of Annandale, Moray, Ormond, Forfar, Dalkeith, Mains, the Dukes of Touraine, Buccleuch, and Hamilton, and the Earls of Home.

Sir William’s son (“the Good” Sir James or “the Black Douglas”) was the foremost captain to Robert the Bruce during and after the Scottish “Wars for Independence.” Sir James was given the task of taking King Robert’s heart to the Crusades. He fell in battle against the Moors near Teba, Spain in 1330. His son, Sir William, inherited the family estates but fell in battle against the English at Halidon Hill in 1333. Sir William’s heir and uncle, Sir Archibald, was killed within an hour during the same battle.

Sir Archibald’s son, Sir William, became the first Earl of Douglas and later succeeded to the Earldom of Mar. The 2nd Earl, Sir James Douglas, fell fighting against Percy at the Battle of Otterburn in 1388. Sir Archibald “the Grim”, the 3rd Earl, was the natural son of “The Good” Sir James. He is known to have fought against the English at Poitiers in 1356 and is credited with the restoration of many church properties. Archibald “the Grim” subdued Galloway for the Scottish Crown built Threave Castle soon after. The 4th Earl, another Archibald, fought against Henry IV of England at the Battle of Shrewsbury in 1403, where he was taken prisoner. He became a general in Joan of Arc’s army, continuing to fight against the English. For his efforts, he was awarded the Duchy of Touraine. The 4th Earl was killed at the Battle of Verneuil. Sir Archibald Douglas, 5th Earl, died from a fever in Restalrig, Midlothian, and was buried at Douglas. Sir William, 6th Earl, and his brother David were murdered, on trumped up charges, in the presence of the young King James II in the so-called Black Dinner. Sir James Douglas, 7th Earl of Douglas, called “the Gross”, was also created Earl of Avondale in 1437. He was the great-uncle of the murdered Douglas lords and likely had something to do with it to obtain greater political power. William Douglas, 8th Earl of Douglas was the eldest son of James Douglas, 7th Earl.

In 1452 King James II sent one of Douglas’s friends with an invitation to Douglas to come to Stirling Castle under a safe-conduct. There James demanded the dissolution of a league into which Douglas had entered with two other powerful lords. Upon Douglas’s refusal, the king murdered him with his own hands, stabbing him 26 times, and had the earl’s body thrown out of a window. James Douglas, 9th Earl of Douglas, was the last of the ‘Black’ earls of Douglas. He succeeded to the earldom on the murder of his brother William Douglas, 8th Earl of Douglas by King James II and his entourage. He denounced his brother’s murderers and took up arms against the king. This rebellion culminated in the Battle of Arkinholm in 1455 where the power and fortunes of the Black Douglases was forever broken.

The “Red Douglas” line of Angus Earls originated through an illegitimate child of William, 1st Earl of Douglas. George, 4th Earl of Angus, was a third cousin of James, 9th Earl of Douglas but was more closely aligned to his Stewart cousins. As a result, the “Red Douglases” sided with King James II at Arkinholm and contributed greatly to the fall of the “Black Douglases.” The 5th Earl of Angus, Sir Archibald “Bell the Cat”, was involved in the conspiracy by a clique of nobles to remove the king’s favorite, Cochrane. When the tale of the mice tying a bell around the cat’s neck was related to the nobles, Sir Archibald stepped forward proclaiming, “I will bell the cat!” The nobles then captured Cochrane and hung him from Lauder Bridge in front of King James III. The two elder sons of “Bell the Cat” fell at the Battle of Flodden Field.

Andrew Douglas of Hermiston, younger son of Archibald I, Lord of Douglas and uncle of William “le Hardy” was the progenitor of the Douglases of Dalkeith , the Earls of Morton, and the Douglases of Mains. The 4th Lord Dalkeith succeeded to his estates upon the resignation of his father and was raised to the peerage as Earl of Morton prior to his marriage to Joanna, the deaf and dumb daughter of King James I. Sir James Douglas, 4th Earl of Morton, played an important role in the affairs of Mary, Queen of Scots. He became Regent of Scotland in 1572, for the infant James VI (and I.) However, once James VI reached the age of majority, Morton was implicated in the murder of James’ father, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley (in 1567), and was executed in 1581. Darnley was the second but eldest surviving son of Matthew Stewart, 4th Earl of Lennox, and his wife, Lady Margaret Douglas. Darnley’s maternal grandparents were Archibald Douglas, sixth Earl of Angus, and Margaret Tudor, daughter of Henry VII of England and widow of James IV, king of Scots. Darnley was a first cousin of Mary, Queen of Scots.

The titles of Douglas and Morton passed to the Earls of Angus who became heirs to the Dukedom of Hamilton. Their titles then passed to the 7th Duke of Hamilton while the estates have passed down to the Earl of Hume, the present Douglas of Douglas. The nature of Scottish law and how it pertains to titles and estates is convoluted and, as a result, it is unclear who the apparent Chief of Douglas might be.

 

 

NOTE- This is a big clan and I will be adding more stories to the Douglas Clan.