The story of our family...for my sons

Friday, January 31, 2014

..what ancient Europeans looked like...

Genetic tests reveal that a hunter-gatherer who lived 7,000 years ago had the unusual combination of dark skin and hair and blue eyes. It has surprised scientists, who thought that the early inhabitants of Europe were fair. The research, led by the Institute of Evolutionary Biology in Barcelona, Spain, is published in the journal Nature. The lead author, Dr Carles Lalueza-Fox, said: "One explanation is that the lighter skin colour evolved much later than was previously assumed."

Scandinavian links

Two hunter-gatherer skeletons were discovered in a cave in the mountains of north-west Spain in 2006. The cool, dark conditions meant the remains (called La Brana 1 and 2) were remarkably well preserved. Scientists were able to extract DNA from a tooth of one of the ancient men and sequence his genome. The team found that the early European was most closely genetically related to people in Sweden and Finland.

But while his eyes were blue, his genes reveal that his hair was black or brown and his skin was dark. "This was a result that was unexpected," said Dr Lalueza-Fox. Scientists had thought the first Europeans became fair soon after they left Africa and moved to the continent about 45,000 years ago. "It has been assumed that it is something that happens in response to going from Africa to higher latitudes where the UV radiation is very low and you need to synthesise vitamin D in your skin. Your skin becomes lighter quite soon," explained Dr Lalueza-Fox. "It is obvious that this is not the case, because this guy has been in Europe for 40,000 years and he still has dark skin."

The skeleton, as it was discovered in 2006 The bones of the 7,000-year-old man were discovered in a cave in Spain. The hunter-gatherer's genome also gave the team an insight into how humans had changed as they moved from foraging to farming. The early European would have subsisted on a diet of mainly protein, and his DNA reveals that he was lactose-intolerant and unable to digest starch. The ability to ingest dairy projects and starchy foods came after agriculture was adopted and people changed what they ate.

Commenting on the research, David Reich, from Harvard Medical School in the US, said: "The significance of this paper is that it reports the oldest European genome sequence reported to date - the first European genome sequence that predates the appearance of agriculture. "The dark skin is a very interesting finding, as light skin is nearly universal across Europe today. These results suggest that the light skin seen across Europe today is a development of the last at least 7,000 years." He added: "It will be very interesting to see how general this result is across ancient pre-agricultural Europe once additional genome sequences become available."

Early results of research that Prof Reich has been involved with were recently published on the biology preprint website and a paper has been submitted to a journal. He has looked at the genomes of several hunter-gatherers and early farmers in Europe. This work suggests that present-day Europeans derive from three ancient populations of early inhabitants of the continent.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Genealogy of the FitzAlans

Elizabeth Allen (FitzAlan) and James Ira Stewart were my great grandparents...

Dol is a small town on the north coast of Brittany; it is the site of many prehistoric stone circles and menhirs, and of Mont-Dol, a hill where the archangel Michael once battled with Satan. It was the home of St. Samson, the fifth-century Breton apostle, and some of the Dark Ages kings of Brittany were crowned here. The ancestors of the FitzAlans were stewards of the town for the Breton kings; but the earliest documented ancestor is Alan, who lived in the mid-eleventh century. His elder son Alan was living in 1097, but apparently had no children; his brother Flaald was steward of Dol after him, and was living in Wales by 1101. (A third son, Rhiwallon, was a monk in Wales). Flaald's son Alan FitzFlaald was lord of Oswestry and Sheriff of Shropshire in 1121. He married Aveline, daughter of Arnulf, seigneur de Hesdin in Picardy (son of Arnulf, of the family of the counts of Boulogne), and was the father of at least three children: (1) Jordan, hereditary Steward of Dol (living in 1130), who had two sons but no grandsons; his granddaughter Alice's husband Guillaume Epine became steward of Dol; (2) William FitzAlan, lord of Oswestry, Sheriff of Shropshire (died 1160), see below; and (3) Walter, who married Eschelyn or Eschynne de Londonnia of Molle in Scotland (see Lundin) and became first hereditary Steward of that kingdom - and ancestor of the Stewarts.

William FitzAlan, lord of Oswestry, Sheriff of Shropshire, married twice: first Christian, a niece of Robert FitzRoy, Earl of Gloucester, by whom he had one daughter, Christian, who married Hugh Pantulf; and second Isabel, daughter of Elias or Ingelgram de Saye, Lord of Clun in Shropshire. By her he had a son William FitzAlan, lord of Oswestry and Clun, Sheriff of Shropshire (died 1212-13), whose wife's name is unknown. [de Lacy. FMG.] They had two sons: (1) William, who had a son but no grandchildren; and (2) John FitzAlan, lord of Oswestry and Clun, Sheriff of Shropshire (c. 1164-1239), who married Isabel, daughter of William de Albini, Earl of Sussex, 3rd Earl of Arundel (see d'Albini). They were the parents of John FitzAlan, who inherited Arundel Castle by 1243 but does not appear to have been summoned to Parliament as Earl of Arundel. However, he is usually counted as the fifth Earl.

John FitzAlan
(died 1267) married Maud, daughter of Theobald le Botiller and his second wife Rohesia de Verdon (see Butler and Verdon). They had a son John (1246-1272), de facto sixth Earl of Arundel, who married Isabel, daughter of Roger de Mortimer, lord of Wigmore, and Maud de Braose. Their son Richard FitzAlan (1267-1302) was formally recognized as seventh Earl of Arundel by Edward III. His wife was the famous Alasia di Saluzzo, through whom the later British aristocracy was connected to many Italian noble families. Both died relatively young, but they had four (possibly six) children: (1) Edmund FitzAlan, 8th Earl of Arundel, see below; (2) Sir John FitzAlan; (3) Margaret, married William Boteler of Wemme, 2nd Lord of Wemme and Oversley (possibly our ancestors, still working on it); (4) Maud, married Sir Philip Burnell of Condover, Acton Burnell, etc - many descendants, but I think not us; see Lovel of Ticthmarsh; (5) Sir Richard FitzAlan of Arundel, not known to have descendants; and (6) Eleanor (died 1328), married Henry de Percy, 1st Lord of Alnwick, Regent of England - see Percy for our descent.

Edmund FitzAlan
, 8th Earl of Arundel (1285-1338) married Alice, daughter of William Plantagenet de Warenne, by Alice de Lusignan [NO! Alice le Brun de Lusignan was the mother of William Plantagenet de Warren. William's wife was Joanna de Vere.] (half-sister of Henry III) ; and sister and heiress [Nope, his wife] of John Plantagenet de Warenne, 8th [7th] Earl of Surrey. Six children: (1) Richard, 9th Earl of Arundel, see below; (2) Sir Edmund FitzAlan, whose only child Alice married Sir Leonard Carew of Carew and Mulsford, many descendants; (3) Alice, married John de Bohun, 5th Earl of Hereford, Earl of Essex, Constable, etc, no children; (4) Jane, married Warine Gerrard, Lord L'Isle; (5) Aline, married Roger leStrange, 5th Lord of Knokyn - our ancestors via Willoughby and Fitzhugh; and (6) Elizabeth, married William, 4th Lord Latymer - their only child Elizabeth married as his second wife Sir John Nevill, 3rd Lord of Raby and took the Latymer title into that family; but he is our ancestor only by his first wife (see Neville).

Richard FitzAlan, 9th Earl of Arundel (c. 1313-1376) married twice. His first wife (married when both were children) was Isabel, daughter of Hugh Despenser "the Younger" and Alianore de Clare. They were divorced in 1345, but had three children: (1) Edmund, who was bastardized and died unmarried; (2) Philippa, who married Sir Richard Sergeaux of Cornwall (a daughter married the 11th Earl of Oxford, and another daughter, Elizabeth, married Sir William Marney); and (3) Mary (died 1396), married John le Strange, 4th Lord of Blackmere - many descendants, but not us. The 9th Earl married second Eleanor (c. 1311-1372), daughter of Henry Plantagenet, 3rd Earl of Lancaster, Earl of Leicester (son of Edmund Plantagenet of Woodstock, "Crouchback", Earl of Chester, Leicester, Derby & Lancaster, Edward I's younger brother). They had further children: (4) Richard, 10th Earl of Arundel, see below; (5) John FitzAlan of Arundel, Lord Maltravers, see farther below; (6) Thomas FitzAlan, Bishop of Ely, Archbishop of York, Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Chancellor of England (died 1413); (7) Joan (died 1419), married Humphrey de Bohun, 2nd Earl of Northampton, 7th Earl of Hereford, Earl of Essex (their daughter Mary was the wife of King Henry IV); (8) Alice, married Thomas Holand, 2nd Earl of Kent - many descendants; their great-grandson Sir Humphrey Touchet, later Audley, is our ancestor - see Holand and Audley; and (9) Eleanor, married Robert de Ufford, no children.

, 10th Earl of Arundel (died c. 1398) married (1359) Elizabeth, daughter of William de Bohun, 1st Earl of Northampton. They had five children: (1) Thomas FitzAlan, 11th Earl of Arundel, married Beatrix of Portugal but died childless in 1415; (2) Elizabeth (died 1425), who married four times: first William de Montacute of Salisbury , no children; second (1385) Thomas de Mowbray, 1st Duke of Norfolk, Earl Marshal - they are our ancestors through several lines, see Mowbray; third Sir Gerard Ufflete, no children; and fourth Sir Robert Goushill of Heveringham, by whom she had two daughters: (a) Elizabeth, married first Sir Robert Wingfield of Letheringham - many descendants, and second William de Hardwycke of Hardwycke Hall; and (b) Jean, married Sir Thomas Stanley, 1st Lord, Lieutenant of Ireland - our ancestors via Stanley and Warburton.

John FitzAlan
of Arundel, Lord Maltravers, Marshal of England (died 1379), younger brother of the 10th Earl, married Eleanor (1345-1405), suo jure Baroness Maltravers (daughter of Sir John Maltravers). They had probably five or six children: (1) John FitzAlan, Lord Maltravers, see below; (2) Margaret, married William, 7th Lord de Ros (their daughter Margaret was the first wife of our ancestor James Touchet, 5th Lord Audley); (3) Joan, married Sir William Etchingham; (4) Sir William; (5) Thomas or Edward; and (6) Henry FitzAlan - the last two seem to have died young.

John FitzAlan, Lord Maltravers (1365-1391) married Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Edward Despenser, 1st Lord, and Elizabeth Burghersh. Three children: (1) John FitzAlan, Lord Maltravers, later 12th Earl of Arundel (died 1421), whose great-great-great-granddaughter eventually married the 4th Duke of Norfolk and took the titles into that family, today's Fitzalan-Howards; (2) Edmund; and (3) Sir Thomas FitzAlanof Beechwood, who married Joan, daughter of Henry Moyne (son of Henry le Moigne, son of another Henry le Moigne and Julian Chaundos), and had one daughter and heiress, Eleanor, who married our ancestor Sir Thomas Browne of Beechworth Castle, Sheriff of Kent.

The arms vary considerably over the centuries. The earliest FitzAlans bore Gules, a lion rampant or, as shown above; later there are various quarterings (often chequy azure and or, similar to the arms of their Stewart cousins), and sometimes different colors, though the lion rampant is usually there. The arms of the current earl, who is also the Fitzalan-Howard Duke of Norfolk, include the lion rampant and the chequy azure and or in two of the four quarters.

Friday, June 14, 2013

James Ira Stewart...Apache fighter...

My great grandfather, James Ira Stewart served in the 5th Infantry, Co. A, of the California volunteers from 1861 to 1865, and spent the Civil War in the territory of New Mexico "fighting hostiles". The regiment was ordered to concentrate at Albuquerque in the spring of 1861 for a move east, but the department commander persuaded Washington to leave the 5th on the frontier. In early 1862 a Confederate force from Texas invaded New Mexico. Four companies of the 5th formed the Union rear guard in the Confederate victory at Valverde on 21 February, after which the Confederates occupied Albuquerque and Santa Fe.

Two other companies of the 5th captured a field piece at the Battle of Glorieta Pass on 28 March, the beginning of the end for the Confederate forces. The 5th also fought in the action at Peralta on 15 April where the enemy lost a large part of their supply train. The Confederates ultimately withdrew to San Antonio, and the 5th spent the rest of the war on frontier duty, watching for another Confederate incursion, which never came. On 1 June 1863 John F. Reynolds officially became colonel of the 5th; however, he was on detached service as a Major General of Volunteers, commanding a corps of the Army of the Potomac. He was killed a month later on the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg. His replacement as commander of the 5th was another volunteer general, Daniel Butterfield, the composer of the bugle call "Taps". Butterfield, also wounded at Gettysburg, did not join the regiment during the war.

5th Regiment Infantry Engagements

Organized in California at large September to November. 1861. Attached to Depts. of the Pacific and New Mexico.
Ordered to Camp Latham, Southern California, February 1, 1862. Carlton's Expedition from Southern California through Arizona to Northwest Texas and New Mexico April 13-September 20 (Cos. "B" and "G"). Regiment garrison posts in Southern California and Arizona. Company "D" at San Diego. Companies "C," "F," "H," "I" and "K" at Camp Wright and Fort Bowie. Companies "A" and "E" at Fort Barrett. Companies "B" and "G" at Tucson until December, 1862. Company -- march to Tucson July 6, 1862. March from Tucson to the Rio Grande July 25-August 15, 1862 (Cos. "A," "B" and "G"). December, 1862, stationed at Tucson, Company "F"; at Fort Bowie, Companies "E" and "G"; at Fort Yuma, Companies "C" and "H"; at Camp Drum, Companies "D," "I" and "K." Engagement at Pinos Altos Mines January 29, 1863 (Co. "A"). To Tucson and Messilla February, 1863 (Cos. "C" and "H"). Engagement at Cajou de Arivaypo, Apache Pass, April 25, 1863 (Co. "K"). Stationed May, 1863, at Fort Stanton (Co. "A"), Fort Bowie (Co. "E"), Tucson (Cos. "C," "F" and "H"), Fort Craig (Cos. "B," "D," "G," "I" and "K"). Skirmish, Cajou de Arivaypa, May 7, 1863. At Fort Stanton June, 1863. Crook's Canon, N. Mex., July 24, 1863 (Co. "E"). Skirmishes, Chirlcahua Mountains, September 8-9, 1863. Skirmish, Gila River, November 5, 1863. Skirmish, San Andreas Mountains, January 26, 1864 (Detachment). Operations in New Mexico and Arizona February 1-March 7, 1864. Expedition from Camp Mimbres February 24-29, 1864 (Detachment). Pines Altos, Ariz., February 27, 1864. Skirmish at foot of Sierra Bonita April 7, 1864 (Companies "F" and "I"). Doubtful Canon, N. Mex., May 4, 1864 (Company "I"). Gila River Expedition, Arizona, May 25-July 13, 1864 (Companies "E," "I" and "K"). Expedition from Fort Craig, N. Mex., to Fort Goodwin, Ariz., May 16-August 2, 1864 (Companies "A," "C" and "E"). At Fort Goodwin until October (Cos. "A," "C" and "E"). June, 1864, stationed at Camp Mimbres, Ariz. (Cos. "A" and "F"), at Fort Bowie (Co. "K"), at Franklin, Texas (Cos. "G" and "H"), at Tucson (Co. "D"), at Fort Cummings (Co. "I"). Scout in Southeastern Arizona July 16-24, 1864 (Co. "A"). Expedition to Pinal Mountains July 18-August 7, 1864 (Co. "E"). Expedition to Southwest New Mexico July 23-October 10, 1864 (Cos. "B" and "F"). Ordered to Las Cruces October 8, 1864 (Cos. "A," "C," "D," "E," "I" and "K"). Company "F" to Fort Cummings October, 1864. Mustered out November 27 to December 14, 1864

The Battle of Mount Gray

The Battle of Mount Gray was a little known engagement of the Apache Wars fought at the foothills of Gray Mountain, then known as Mount Gray on April 7, 1864. A troop of the United States Army's California Column attacked a superior force of Chiricahua Apaches at their camp and routed them from the field.


When the American Civil War began in 1861, Confederate Arizona was established so the Union raised a volunteer force of Californians to march through Arizona to capture the territory and to reinforce the Union army in New Mexico. During the 900 mile journey in 1862 and 1863, the California Column constructed or occupied several camps and forts and when the column moved on, men were left behind to garrison them. One of these posts was Camp Mimbres. On March 15, 1864, Apaches raided a herd of livestock at Cow Springs. By March 27, the garrison of Camp Mimbres was informed of the attack so Captain James H. Whitlock organized an expedition to retrieve the stolen livestock. The expedition was made up of forty-six men from the 5th California Infantry along with ten men from the 1st California Cavalry. A few militia scouts also went along to be used as trackers. They headed towards Stein's Peak in the Sierra Bonita Mountains and when they arrived, an Apache trail was spotted and led north into the San Simon Valley. After a few more days of marching the Apache trail turned west and it was followed to the base of Mount Gray within present day Hidalgo County, New Mexico.


At about 4:00 am on April 7, while marching through the foothills, Captain Whitlock noticed campfires in the distance and he immediately assumed it to be an Apache camp. Quickly Whitlock advanced his troop to the camp where around 250 Apaches warriors were resting with the herd of livestock. Whitlock decided to separate his command into a few groups to surround the camp, they would then attack at first light. So when the sun rose above the horizon, the American soldiers began their assault. The captain led the charge into the Apache camp which was defended by the Chiricahua for over an hour before they retreated up the mountain. When the Americans were finally in control, they set fire to the wickiups and destroyed about 300 pounds of dried mescal, an Apache food source. While burning the mescal, thirty of the retreating Apaches turned around and attacked the soldiers to try to stop the destruction of their food but they were driven off by effective volleys of rifle fire. Twenty-one Apaches were killed and left on the field, others were wounded but escaped and forty-five horses and mules were captured. There were no American casualties. The battle at Mount Gray was one of the more significant engagements fought between the California Column and the Apache. Similar to the earlier Battle of Apache Pass, the Californians were outnumbered but managed to defeat a larger force of hardened warriors. Whitlock Valley and the Whitlock Mountains were later named after Captain Whitlock.

When the Civil War ended, the bulk of the Regular Army returned from war service in the east to frontier duty in the west. The 5th Infantry moved slightly in the other direction, transferring from New Mexico to Kansas. By October 1868 it was strung out across seven different posts in western Kansas, with headquarters at Fort Riley. That's where James Ira Stewart mustered out...and the life of a farmer in Kansas...thanks Gramps.

The 5th went on to fight at Little Big Horn

In the spring of 1876 the largest Indian confederation of the post-Civil War period formed in the northern plains, led by Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse of the Lakota Indians. The Army organized a three-pronged expedition to round up this force, but the Indians scored major victories against two of the three, stopping George Crook's southern pincer at the Battle of the Rosebud on 17 June and destroying half of the 7th Cavalry, vanguard of Alfred Terry's eastern column, at the Battle of the Little Bighorn on 25–26 June. Reinforcements were rushed in, including the 5th Infantry, which built Fort Keogh at the mouth of the Tongue River in Montana, and began operating from there. Miles and the 5th caught up to Sitting Bull at Cedar Creek in late October and, failing to negotiate his surrender, defeated his band in battle, forcing them to abandon most of their food and equipment. 2000 Lakota of this group surrendered on 27 October, although Sitting Bull himself escaped. 3 companies of the 5th pursued Sitting Bull along the Missouri River, capturing his camp and scattering his followers on 18 December.

Miles returned to the Tongue River with a force from the 5th and 22nd Infantry to pursue Crazy Horse. They captured several important prisoners in the valley below the Wolf Mountains on 7 January 1877, leading to a confrontation with the main body the following day. The 5th, attacking superior numbers in near-blizzard conditions, drove the Lakota and Cheyenne force off the high ground, forcing them to retreat. The 5th continued to pursue and round up bands from the broken confederacy into the summer of 1877.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


Picture: Hervor was a shieldmaiden in the cycle of the magic sword Tyrfing, presented in Hervarar saga and of which parts are found in the Poetic Edda.
She was a renowned shieldmaiden who dressed like a man, fought, killed and pillaged under her male surname Hjörvard

A shieldmaiden was a woman who had chosen to fight as a warrior in Scandinavian folklore and mythology. They are often mentioned in sagas such as Hervarar saga and in Gesta Danorum. Shieldmaidens also appear in stories of other Germanic nations: Goths, Cimbri, and Marcomanni. The mythical Valkyries may have been based on the shieldmaidens.

Historical accounts

There are few historical attestations that Viking Age women took part in warfare, but the Byzantine historian Johannes Skylitzes records that women fought in battle when Sviatoslav I of Kiev attacked the Byzantines in Bulgaria in 971.[2] When the Varangians had suffered a devastating defeat, the victors were stunned at discovering armed women among the fallen warriors.

When Leif Ericson's pregnant half-sister Freydís Eiríksdóttir was in Vinland, she is reported to have taken up a sword, and, bare-breasted, scared away the attacking Native Americans. The fight is recounted in the Greenland saga, though Freydís is not explicitly referred to as a shieldmaiden in the text.
Legendary accounts

Examples of shieldmaidens mentioned by name in the Norse sagas include Brynhild in the Volsunga saga, Hervor in Hervarar saga, the Brynhild of the Bósa saga ok Herrauds, the Swedish princess Thornbjörg in Hrólfs saga Gautrekssonar and Hed, Visna and Veborg in Gesta Danorum.

According to Saxo Grammaticus, 300 shieldmaidens fought on the Danish side at the Battle of Bråvalla, in the year 750. Saxo also records an account of Lathgertha who fought in battle for Ragnar Lodbrok and saved him from defeat through personally leading a flanking attack.

Two shieldmaidens appear in certain translations of the "Hervarar saga." The first of these Hervor's was known to have taken up typically masculine roles early in her childhood, and often raided travelers in the woods dressed as a man. Later in her life she claimed the cursed sword Tyrfing from her father's burial site and became a seafaring raider. She eventually settled and married. Her granddaughter was also named Hervor and commanded forces against attacking Huns. Although the saga remarks on her bravery she is mortally wounded by enemy forces and dies on the battlefield. Scholars Judith Jesch and Jenny Jochens theorize that shieldmaiden's often grim fates or their sudden return to typically female roles is a testament to their role as figures of both male and female fantasy as well as emblematic of the danger of abandoning gender roles.

Brynhildr of the Volsunga saga, along with her rival in love, Gudrun, provides an example of how a shieldmaiden compares to more conventional aristocratic womanhood in the sagas. Brynhildr is chiefly concerned with honor, much like a male warrior. When she ends up married to Gudrun's brother Gunnar instead of Sigurd, the man she intended to marry, Brynhildr speaks a verse comparing the courage of the two men:

"Sigurd fought the dragon
And that afterward will be
Forgotten by no one
While men still live.
Yet your brother
Neither dared
To ride into the fire
Nor to leap across it."

Brynhildr is married to Gunnar and not Sigurd because of deceit and trickery, including a potion of forgetfulness given to Sigurd so he forgets his previous relationship with her.[5] Brynhildr is upset not only for the loss of Sigurd but also for the dishonesty involved. Similarly to her male counterparts, the shieldmaiden prefers to do things straightforwardly, without the deception considered stereotypically feminine in much of medieval literature. She enacts her vengeance directly, resulting in the deaths of herself, Sigurd, and Sigurd's son by Gudrun. By killing the child, she demonstrates an understanding of feud and filial responsibility; if he lived, the boy would grow up to take vengeance on Brynhildr's family.

Gudrun has a similar concern with family ties, but at first does not usually act directly. She is more inclined to incite her male relatives to action than take up arms herself. Gudrun is no shieldmaiden, and Brynhildr mocks her for this, saying, "Only ask what is best for you to know. That is suitable for noble women. And it is easy to be satisfied while everything happens according to your desires.” In her later marriages, however, she is willing to kill her children, burn down a hall, and send her other sons to avenge the murder of her daughter, Svanhild. In the world of the sagas, women can be both honorable and remorseless, much like the male heroes. While a shieldmaiden does not fill a woman's typical role, her strength of character is found in even the more domestic women in these stories.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

...for my de Beauchamp cousins...

After the death of William Mauduit in 1267, the title and castle passed to his nephew William de Beauchamp, 9th Earl of Warwick. Following William's death, Warwick Castle passed through seven generations of the Beauchamp family, who over the next 180 years were responsible for most of the additions made to the castle. In 1312, Piers Gaveston, 1st Earl of Cornwall, was captured by Guy de Beauchamp, 10th Earl of Warwick, and imprisoned in Warwick Castle until his execution on 9 June 1312. A group of magnates lead by the Earl of Warwick and Thomas, 2nd Earl of Lancaster, accused Gaveston of stealing the royal treasure. Under Thomas de Beauchamp, 11th Earl, the castle defences were significantly enhanced in 1330–60 on the north eastern side by the addition of a gatehouse, a barbican (a form of fortified gateway), and a tower on either side of the reconstructed wall, named Caesar's Tower and Guy's Tower. The Watergate Tower also dates from this period.

Friday, April 12, 2013

David Ogden of Elizabethtown...Josh Mason of Elizabethtown...

Small world. Josh is working for Modern Age Tattoo Company in Elizabethtown, KY and Josh and Aaron's 8th great grandfather David Ogden on their mother's side lived in Elizabethtown, NJ. He was twin to his brother Jonathan, and came to eastern Long Island late in 1640, living with his family in South- or Northampton, Long Island (we lived in West Hampton, Long Island) until the family removed to Elizabethtown N.J. in 1665. He was twenty-six years old at the latter date, and is in that year named as one of the original Associates of Elizabethtown. He had taken oath of allegiance to the English government of New York on Feb. 19, 1665, probably while on Long Id., as the family settled at Elizabethtown, N.J. about the middle of the year.

"The 'Newark Town Records' of 1670 state that nearly all the trades and callings necessary to the convenience and comfort of the colony were represented; among them is mentioned 'a stone church builder, David Ogden.'

"On Sept. 11, 1673, he took oath of allegiance to the Dutch government of New Amsterdam. He applied for a survey of 120 acres Apr. 27, 1676, and about that time removed to Newark, N.J." On November 24, 1679, he was "to carry in Mr. Pierson's wood for one quarter of the year." At a Town Meeting held Jan. 1, 1679, David Ogden and others were chosen Town's Men for that year, 'having the same power as others formerly.' He was elected again by the Town Meeting held Jan. 4, 1680, at which meeting he was allotted one of the gates in the common fence to keep in repair, instead of his proportion of the common fence...

"At town meeting held Dec. 4, 1682, 'Joseph Walters and David Ogden are chosen to go each Man that stands indebted to the Town in the Treasurer's Book, and make Demand thereof, or desire them to reckon with the Treasurer within a Week's Time; and if they have neither Meat nor Corn to pay, the Treasurer doth engage to putt them in a Way to pay their Debts with Timber; but if they will not pay nor reckon, then the Constable shall come with a Warrant and distrain for it.'"

At Town Meeting held Jan. 1, 1683, David signed a resolution for penalty for missing Town Meeting. He also signed a resolution stating the pay and tax for the minister. He married Elizabeth Swaine, 1676, in Elizabeth, Union Co., NJ

Photo: Josh with Tray Benhem, InkMaster with the portrait he did of Tray.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

New photos of James Ira Stewart

James Ira Stewart circa 1865

James Ira Stewart with his young Elizabeth Allen taken in Mound City, MO. The boys are William, Fred and James (oldest to youngest).

Still researching the Civil War Pension.

...welcome to the family

Wayne and Mark Stewart, two new family members that are now swimming with us in the gene pool...WELCOME!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Dwight Fred Stewart, alias Robert Dwight Mason celebrates his centennial

My father, Robert Dwight Mason, born Dwight Fred Stewart, 23 January 1913, in Verdon, Nebraska, to Fred Uriah Stewart and Edna Iva Mahannah. The family was living in the train depot at Verdon, Nebraska since Fred was a telegrapher and station master for the railroad (researching which one). They lived an ideal life and little Dwight was the love of his mother and father. Some time after 1925, the Stewart's had to get out of town, because as family history has it, Fred did something that, well, called for a fast exit.

The family then moved to Santa Maria, California, where we believe Fred went to work for another railroad. Now this is where the Stewart's become the Mason's, and little Dwight becomes Robert "Bob" (named after his favorite cousin Robert Burns). So confusing because when Bob Mason went to Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles, everyone called him "Stew" as in Stewart. Anyways, Bob goes to Santa Maria High School, is head cheerleader, and a lifeguard during the summer in Santa Barbara. He does a lot of riding the rails during the summers, and finally heads to Los Angeles after high school (only completed his 2nd year).

Here's another weird thing, my dad is living with his folks (new stepmother LaVerne) during the 1940 census, and Bob says he's 3 years younger than he was, and his father says he's 6 years younger...somebody still running from the law? Meanwhile Bob has been skiing in the local mountains and has become very good. So good he starts teaching skiing in Minnesota, where he meets my mother, Helen Marie Skogerson. This was a very quick romance and marriage, with a ski vacation in Sun Valley, Idaho and other strange things happening. Also, as far as I can tell she married Dwight Stewart, because she didn't legally change her name to Mason until July of 1944, nine months before my sister and I were born.

As the story continues, working as an artist for Northrup Aviation at the start of WWII, dad then joins the Merchant Marines during World War II, sails around the world delivering death to every doorstep. Returns home, works for Douglas Aircraft as an artist, then heads for the mountains (Running Springs, California) to teach skiing at Snow Valley near Big Bear, California. Happy days growing up in the mountains going to a one room school house. Dad hears the call for adventure again and heads to Alaska and works at the Parson's Hotel as a desk person.

He returns to the family, now living in Sherman Oaks, California (I think this is when mom and dad separate and life starts sucking. Dad was a good man and raised another family which produced Mark, my hero and brother. Dad worked for many years for Aerospace Corporation, retired, stayed active skiing, biking, playing tennis and swimming. He eventually had a horrific bicycle accident and never really recovered. He had a wonderful friend in MaryLee, who cared for him until he died on 10 July 1989 of prostrate cancer...I miss you dad, very much...Happy 100th where ever you are.

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Quaker Allen's

Ralph Allen, my 7th great grandfather (1621 - 1691), the son of George Allen and his first wife, is believed to have been born in about 1615 in England. Although it has not been determined when he arrived in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, it is known that he did not travel on the same ship as his father, George. This Ralph, who is known to have held lands at Waymouth that originally belonged to his father, George, later moved to Rehoboth in what is now Bristol County, Massachusetts. He eventually settled at Sandwich in the New Plymouth Colony of Massachusetts, however, where his father lived.

According to available records, Ralph was generally referred to as a planter and wheelwright, and in certain documents he was also referred to as Ralph Allen, Sr.,such as the burial record of his daughter, Mary, in 1675. This was apparently to distinguish him from the other Ralph Allen who resided at Sandwich, was married to a woman named Esther Swift, and was a mason by trade. Although Ralph is thought to have been married sometime around 1630-1635, it is not known at this time whether he married in England, or after he arrived in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Our Ralph is believed to have been married to a woman named Susannah.

In 1657, while residing at Sandwich, Quakerism began spreading throughout the Colony, and Ralph and six of his brothers and sisters were apparently among the first to be "convinced." Unfortunately, the adoption of Quakerism by the Allen’s resulted in their being persecuted and fined for many years for practicing their faith. Their persecution was particularly acute for refusing to take the Oath of Fidelity which they felt was unlawful. During the years 1663 and 1664, Ralph purchased land at Dartmouth in the New Plymouth Colony (now within Bristol County, Massachusetts), which he later conveyed to his children. Even though he was living at Sandwich at the time of his death, it is believed that he and Susannah probably resided at Dartmouth for a few years. Ralph is mentioned in several deeds as being "of Dartmouth," and in 1684 he was involved in an agreement with three others to build a gristmill there.Ralph Allen was purported to have died during the month of March 1698 at Sandwich in what had then become Barnstable County, Massachusetts. His will, which had been written on 18 December 1691, was probated before the Barnstable County Court on 1 July 1698.

Ralph was subsequently buried, as directed by his will, "in the Friends Burying place at William Allen's in Sandwich. "With the exception of Philip, Benjamin, and Mary, the following children were named in Ralph’s will. Philip and Benjamin, identified in the records as being sons of Ralph Allen, died in the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. Mary, on the other hand, died at Sandwich and was also identified as being the daughter of Ralph Allen. All three of these children died prior to Ralph writing his will. The exact order of birth of the below listed children is not known. Issue: (Surname Allen)26. John ------------ b. in MA.m. Rebecca ( ) in MA.d. 1706 at Sandwich, Barnstable Co., MA.27. Benjamin ------ b. in MA.d. 1669 at Portsmouth, Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. (now within Newport Co., RI.)bur. 27 February 1669 at Newport, Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. (now within Newport Co., RI.)28. Philip ----------- b. in MA..d. 13 July 1671 at Portsmouth, Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. (now within Newport Co., RI.)* 29. Joseph -------- b. ca. 1642 in MA.m. (1) 1 July 1662 to Sarah Holloway(Holway) in New Plymouth Colony, MA.m. (2) 1680 to Sarah (Hull) Ridley in New Plymouth Colony, MA.(widow of Mark Ridley)d. 1704 at Shrewsbury, Monmouth Co., NJ.30. Patience ------ b. calc. 1645 in New Plymouth Colony, MA.m. 10 June 1680 to Richard Evans at Newport, Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. (now within Newport Co., RI.)d. 4 December 1711 at Newport, Rhode Island Co., RI.(now within Newport Co., RI.)31. Increase ------- b. in New Plymouth Colony, MA.m. Rachel ( ) in MA.d. 7 March 1723/1724 at Dartmouth, Bristol Co., MA.32. Ebenezer ----- b. 10 February 1649/1650 at Sandwich, New Plymouth Colony,MA. (now within Barnstable Co., MA.)m. ca. 1681 to Abigail ( ) in MA.d. 1725 in Bristol Co., MA.33. Zachariah ----- b. at Sandwich, New Plymouth Colony, MA.(now within Barnstable Co., MA.)34. Mary ----------- b. at Sandwich, New Plymouth Colony, MA.(now within Barnstable Co., MA.)bur. 18 April 1675 at Sandwich, Barnstable Co.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

James Ira Stewart at Gettysberg?

My great grandfather, James Ira Stewart fought in the Civil War and was collecting a Union pension when he died. The really big question is, was he a Californian, or a New Yorker fighting in a California regiment (A5 Calif. Inf. is on the pension application). There are many questions to be answered, but if he fought with regiment, which turned into the 106th at Gettysburg, what amazing action did he see?

Few Californians are aware that the final day of battle at Gettysburg, often called the "high-water mark" of the American Civil War, was partly decided by four California Regiments. The 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 5th California Regiments, then decimated by prior battles and reconstituted as the 71st, 69th, 72nd and 106th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiments, were assigned to defend the center of the Union line at a bent section of fence called "the bloody angle" and a copse of trees, that were the focus of Confederate Maj. Gen. George E. Pickett's disastrous attack on July 3, 1863.

The idea for these California regiments was that of Col. Edward Baker, an early California Republican and Oregon's first U.S. Senator. Col. Baker believed that units named to represent California would serve to cement California's loyalty to the Union. However, in one the California Brigade's first engagements, Col. Baker was killed and the unit was thereafter absorbed within regiments of the Philadelphia Brigade. At Gettysburg, the remnants of Bakers California regiments were almost entirely manned by Pennsylvanians, though despite the state's small population, nearly 17,000 Californians enlisted to fight and California ended up having more volunteers per capita in the Union Army than any other state, according to the California State Military Department.

So, where does great grandfather Stewart fit into all this? My job is to find out. Listed below are the "actions" that the 106th was involved in during and after Gettysburg:

June 11-July 24 Gettysburg Campaign
June 21 and 25 Haymarket
July 1-3 Battle of Gettysburg

The regiment was commanded at Gettysburg by Lieutenant Colonel William L. Curry. It brought 335 men to the field, losing 9 killed, 54 wounded and 1 missing.

From the monument on Emmitsburg Road by the Codori farmhouse:

July 2d. Morning. Companies A & B on skirmish line. Co. B. by order of Gen. Meade, advanced and uncovered enemy's position on Seminary Ridge.

Afternoon. Co. B advanced to Bliss House. Held by 16th Miss. where it was repulsed losing 1 officer, 11 men.

Later. In connection with 4 companies of 12th N.J. again advanced and captured the Bliss House & number of prisoners.

From the monument by the Copse of Trees:

"Position of the Regiment July 2, 1863. In the evening the Regiment assisted in repulsing a charge of the enemy on this line and made a counter charge to the Emmitsburg road in which 3 guns of Battery B, 1st Rhode Island were recovered and at the Codori House captured 250 prisoners."

"The evening of July 2nd the Regiment moved to East Cemetery Hill to reinforce the 11th Corps and remained there as indicated by monument. During the 3rd, companies A and B continued here an assisted in repulsing the final assault of the enemy on the afternoon of the 3rd."

July 5-24 Pursuit of Lee
September 13-15 Advance from the Rappahannock to the Rapidan
October 9-22 Bristoe Campaign
November 7-8 Advance to line of the Rappahannock
November 26-December 2 Mine Run Campaign
November 27 Payne's Farm
February 6-7 Demonstration on the Rapidan
May 4-June 12 Rapidan Campaign
May 5-7 Battles of the Wilderness
May 8 Laurel Hill
May 8-12 Spottsylvania
May 10 Po River
May 12-21 Spottsylvania Court House
May 12 Assault on the Salient
May 23-26 North Anna River
May 26-28 On line of the Pamunkey
May 28-31 Totopotomoy
June 1-12 Cold Harbor
June 16-18 Before Petersburg; Siege of Petersburg begins. Attached to 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, 2nd Army Corps
June 22-23 Jerusalem Plank Road
July 27-29 Demonstration on north side of the James at Deep Bottom
July 27-28 Deep Bottom
July 30 Mine Explosion, Petersburg
August 18-20 Demonstration on north side of the James at Deep Bottom
August 14-18 Strawberry Plains, Deep Bottom
August 25 Ream's Station
October 27-28 Boydton Plank Road, Hatcher's Run
February 5-7 Dabney's Mills, Hatcher's Run
March 25 Watkins' House, Petersburg
March 28-April 9 Appomattox Campaign
March 29 Vaughan Road, near Hatcher's Run
March 31 Crow's House
April 2 Fall of Petersburg
April 6 Sailor's Creek
April 7 High Bridge and Farmville
April 9 Appomattox Court House. Surrender of Lee and his army.
May 2 At Burkesville
May 2-12 March to Washington
May 23 Grand Review
June 30 Mustered out

Monday, January 7, 2013

Stewart's...outlasting the competition

The Stewarts were remarkable for the length of time that they held on to sovereign power - some 340 years, still nearly fifty years longer than the dynasty of Hanover-Windsor which came afterwards (due for its tercentenary in 2014), longer than the Bourbons in France (259 years), the Hohenzollerns in Prussia and Germany (217 years) or the Romanovs in Russia (304 years). Only one major dynasty in modern European history has exceeded their total: the Hapsburgs in Austria (645 years with gaps).

Yet compared to their longevity as a dynasty, the lives of the individuals were frequently violent and short. Of the fourteen Stewarts who wore a crown, eight failed to reach the age of fifty and only three (Robert II and Robert III of Scotland, James II of Great Britian) passed their sixtieth birthdays, bringing the average age at death to forty-seven. Six out of the fourteen died violent deaths: two were executed (Mary Queen of Scots and Charles I) and two were killed in battle (James II and James IV).

The premature deaths were inevitably followed by premature accessions; while their average age for inheriting the crown was twenty-three, six came to the throne before their tenth birthdays and by a miracle survived the machinations of those who sought to take advantage of their youth.

Of the uncrowned members of the main family at least another hundred were murdered and about the same number (plus one king - James II) were murderers themselves. At least double that number were executed and three times that many killed in battle.

We Stewarts are very good at dying the interesting death...

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Princess Beatrice di Savoy and the Kings of Aragon

Beatrice di Savoy, my 19th great grandmother on the Allen side, was the daughter of Thomas I of Savoy and Marguerite of Geneva. Beatrice married on (5 June 1219) Ramon Berenguer IV, Count of Provence. She was a shrewd and politically astute woman, whose beauty was likened to that of a second Niobe by Matthew Paris. After two stillborn sons, Ramon and Beatrice of Savoy had four daughters, who all married kings.

The medieval kingdom of Aragón (more or less northeastern Spain) started out as a county in the Frankish empire, at a time when most of the Iberian peninsula was under Muslim control. From the beginning down to the marriage of Ferdinand and Isabella, its dynastic history is very complicated. This page shows several lines of descent for us, and also some of the later monarchs.

Tradition says that the first recorded Count of Aragón, Aznar (died 795) was a son of Duke Eudo of Acquitaine - which is likely, but unproven. He had a son Gelindus (died 815), who had a son Ximen (died 803), who had a son known as Count Aznar I (not II). This count is well documented, and died in 839. His son Count Galindo married a woman named Guldregut (note the Germanic names in this family; there are a number of descents from the Visigothic kings who ruled parts of Spain after the collapse of the Roman empire). Galindo's sister Matrona married Garcia, who was also briefly count of Aragón and was also supposedly descended from the first Aznar.

Galindo's son Aznar II (died 893) married Oneca, daughter of Garcia I Iñiguez, Count of Pamplona. Later on, after her family died out, this united Pamplona (a large part of later Navarre) with Aragón. Their son Galindo II Aznar (died 922) married Acibella, daughter of Garcia I of Gascony. They had a daughter Toda who married Count Bernardo I of Ribagorza (I have not found a descent). Acibella died, and Galindo then married a cousin, Sancha, daughter of King Garcia II of Pamplona. They had two daughters, one of whom (Andregoto) married King Garcia III of Navarre, and we have descents from this marriage (see Navarre). Aznar II also had a sister,Urraca, who married King Sancho III of Navarre, and another sister, Sancha, who married (for diplomatic reasons) Muhammad Ali Tawill, King of Huesca.

Thus the first Aragonese male line died out, and the title was united for a time with the title King of Navarre, through Andregoto's descendants. Her oldest son, King Sancho II (c935-994) was also Count of Aragón, and married Urraca of Castile. (see below). Sancho II's sister Urraca also married into the Castile family.

Sancho II of Navarre (c. 935-994) and his wife Urraca were the parents of King Garcia IV (c964-c1004), who married Jimena Fernandez, a daughter of Count Fernando of the Asturias royal family. Their son was the first powerful Spanish monarch of the Middle Ages:

Sancho III "the Great," born either in 990 or 992, was the first leader since the Moorish invasion nearly three centuries earlier to pull the small Spanish kingdoms and counties together as a united force. He has been called the first 'real' king of Spain, but that is an anachronism. He inherited Navarre and Aragón but also brought Barcelona, León and eventually Castile under direct or indirect control. This proto-Spain did not last, because he divided his territories among his sons. He died in October 1035. His wife was Muña Mayor Sánchez, daughter of count Sancho I of Castile and Urraca of Castile (she died sometime after 1066). Their children: Garcia V "de Najera" (c. 1020-1054), King of Navarre (see Navarre for descendants; we are connected through the last 'native' Queen of Navarre, Blanche, who married the count of Champagne; the line continues down to Jacquetta of Luxembourg);Fernando/Ferdinand I, King of Castile and León (c1017-1065, married his first cousin Sancha of León, daughter of Alfonso V of León, Asturias and Galicia; our ancestor through various lines, including Sancha de Ayalá); Gonzalo of Sobrarbe and Bernardo of Navarre, no known descendants; Ramiro I, King of Aragón (died 1064, married Gisberga, daughter of Roger, Count of Bigorre, Foix and Couserans). Some sources claim that Ramiro was illegitimate, and thus not Muña's son.

Ramiro I of Aragón and Queen Gisberga had at least five children, and Ramiro also had some illegitimate offspring. The eldest was Sancho I, King of Aragón and Navarre (1042-1094), who married Isabella of Urgel; they had three sons, all of whom were kings of Aragón and Navarre in turn. Pedro I (1094-1104) and Alfonso I (1104-1134) had children but no grandchildren. The third brother, Ramiro II (c. 1075-1147) married Agnes of Poitiers, daughter of Duke William "the Troubadour" of Acquitaine and thus aunt of Eleanor of Acquitaine. Their only child Petronilla (1135-1174) inherited Aragón. She married Ramón Berenguer IV "the Saint" (1113-1162), Count of Barcelona, thus taking the Aragónese crown into a new dynasty.

Ramón Berenguer IV was closely related to all the families mentioned above but his male line goes back to the early Counts of Carcassonne (see Barcelona). He and Petronilla had a son Pedro, who died young; their second son was Ramón Alfonso II (1157-1196), who married Mafalda (c. 1149-1174, daughter of King Alfonso I of Portugal. They had no children; he then married Sancha, daughter of Alfonso VII of Castile and León. Of their nine children, we are descended from at least two: King Pedro II 'El Catolico' of Aragón (c. 1175-1213, see below) and Alfonso, Comte de Provence (1180-1209), who married Gersende, Countess of Forcalquier and was the father of Raimund Berengar I, Count of Provence and Forcalquier (1198-1245). Raimund Berengar I married Beatrice, daughter of Count Tommaso I of Savoy; they were the parents of Marguérite (1221-1295, wife of Louis IX of France; of Eleanor (1217-1291), wife of Henry III of England; and of Beatrice (1234-1267) who eventually inherited Provence and passed it on to the Angevin kings of Sicily (see Anjou). All three daughters are our ancestors.

Pedro II 'el Catolico' (c. 1175-1213) married in 1204 Marie, heiress of the seigneury of Montpellier. Their son Jaime I 'el Conquistador', King of Aragón, Valencia, Majorca, etc. (b 1207, d 1276) married first Leonor of Castile, and then Yolande (Violante) of Hungary (1215-1251), daughter of Andrew II (see Arpad) and Yolande de Courtenay, whose father was one of the usurping Latin emperors of Constantinople - in this way a claim to Constantinople passed into the Aragón family. They had at least ten children (those who died young are not mentioned here): Pedro III 'el Grande'(1239-1285), King of Aragón, ancestor of the 'main' Aragonese royal line, who married Constance, daughter of Manfred of Sicily (see Hohenstaufen) and was the father of Isabel of Aragón 'the Saint' (1271-1336), wife of Diniz I of Portugal and our ancestor via Castile and Plantagenet.

Jaime I 'el Conquistador' was also the father of Jaime II of Majorca, etc, whose descendants ruled the Balearics for some generations; Violante, who married Alfonso X 'el Sabio' of Castile (our ancestors via Pedro 'the Cruel' of Castile); and Isabelle (1247-1271), who married Philippe III of France and was a grandmother of Isabelle, wife of Edward II of England.

The male line of descent from Pedro III died out with Martín I in 1410; after two years of disputation the House of Trastámara took the throne: Fernando I (1412-1416) was the son of Juan I of Castile and Eleanora of Aragón, sister of Martín I. Fernando was the grandfather of Fernando or Ferdinand II, who married his cousin Isabella of Castile and unified Spain; they were the parents of Henry VIII's wife Catherine of Aragón and grandparents of the Emperor Charles V (I of Spain), ancestor of all the subsequent Habsburgs of Austria, Spain, Tuscany, etc.

Monday, December 24, 2012


...working in the silver mines of Mexico for eight years

Ángel Navarro, 6th great grandfather to Aaron and Josh,(1748–1808) was a leading citizen and merchant of Spanish Texas, was born about 1748 in Ajaccio, Corsica, and grew up during the Corsican revolution against Genoan rule. In 1762 he ran away from home, began working as a servant in various Mediterranean ports, and traveling eventually from Genoa to Barcelona and Cádiz, where he took passage on a ship to colonial Mexico. After arriving in 1769, he was employed by Juan Antonio Agustín and worked for him eight years in the silver mines of Vallecillo, about sixty miles south of Laredo, Texas.

In 1777, his employment with Agustín ended, Navarro moved to San Antonio to work for himself as a merchant. In 1783 he married María Josefa Ruiz y Peña, a sister of José Francisco Ruiz, who held the same political beliefs as the Navarros. Navarro built a house and a store on the corner of Presidio (now Commerce) and North Flores, facing the busy public market. According to his son Antonio, Navarro "by means of commerce was able to maintain the family in good circumstances and educate his children." Ángel Navarro also set an example of civic duty that was followed by his sons.

He served in various public offices from the time he became the town's first elected alcalde in 1790 until the year before his death, when he was again alcalde. He died on October 31, 1808, and was the first person buried in the new cemetery for which he had donated funds the year before. Of his twelve children, six survived him—four sons, José Ángel, Antonio, Eugenio, and Luciano Navarro,and two daughters, María Antonia and María Josefa. Josefa later married Juan Martín Veramendiqv, and their daughter Ursula married James Bowie.

John Ogden...Pilgrim

John Ogden, 10th great grandfather of Aaron and Josh, was one of our country’s earliest patriots – a man who stood tall against the intrusion of foreign intervention in colonial affairs. An accomplished stonemason, John Ogden was born in Lancashire, England in 1609. He immigrated to the New World in 1641, arriving in Rippowam (now Stamford, Connecticut) to build a dam and gristmill for the community. In 1642, he was hired to build the first permanent stone church in Fort Amsterdam, then but a small dusty settlement at the foot of Manhattan Island.

Leaving Stamford in 1644, Ogden spent the next twenty-one years on Long Island. Among other accomplishments there, he established the first commercial whaling enterprise in America.

In 1665 Ogden became one of the original patentees on the Elizabethtown Purchase, the first English settlement in the Colony of New Jersey. For the next nineteen years, until his death in 1682, he led the community though the difficult years of conflict between the settlers – who had purchased their land directly from the Indians – and the English proprietors, who attempted to usurp the settlers’ property and their government. On one occasion, he risked almost everything he owned rather than accede to a foreign authority that he felt had no legal standing. This single act of civil disobedience should allow him to stand with the foremost patriots in our history

Ogden’s service to his community included many stints as a magistrate, first at the town level and later at the East New Jersey colony level. He was also chosen on many occasions to lead delegations to deal with the Indians, who trusted him completely.

His years in New Jersey also saw Ogden develop and pursue many business interests. He built, with his own hands, a gristmill, a lumber mill, a tanyard, and a brickyard. He also conducted a successful trading business and built another whaling company.

No accurate information has been previously published about John Ogden’s earliest years in England. A one-hundred-year-old genealogical study on the Ogden family in America – which has served as the foundation for much of our information about the man – is inaccurate. Using both direct and inferential information, Jack Harpster has recreated that early time, providing the first-ever look at the ancestral home of the Ogdens and how they came to immigrate to America. Harpster has also delved deep into early colonial records to discuss the Ogden family’s life and times in America during the mid to late 1600s. The story is highlighted by many colorful incidents and descriptions, often told in the words on contemporary colonial Americans.

John Ogden, The Pilgrim (1609-1982): A Man of More than Ordinary Mark, provides new history – and often rewrites existing history – about an important colonial American pioneer. It is an absorbing, insightful biography set in an exciting but understudies period of American history.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Templar Knight William de Warenne

William de Warenne, my 25th great grandfather
, was the eldest son of the William de Warenne, 2nd Earl of Surrey and Elizabeth de Vermandois. He was generally loyal to king Stephen. He fought at the Battle of Lincoln (1141), and was one of the leaders of the army that pursued the empress Matilda in her flight from Winchester, and which captured Robert of Gloucester. Crusader Knight (1146-48)He was one of the nobles that, along with Louis VII of France, took crusading vows at Vezelay in 1146, and he accompanied the initial army of the Second Crusade the next year. He was killed by a Turkish attack while the army was marching across Anatolia (modern day Turkey) on their way to the Holy Land.

In Dec 1147 the French-Norman force reaches the Biblical town of Ephesus (I reached the same town in 1966) on the west coast of Turkey. They are joined by remnants of the German army which had previously taken heavy losses at Dorylaeum. Marching across Southwest Turkey and fight in a unsuccessful battle at Laodicea against the Turks on the border between Byzantine Empire and Seljuks of Rum (3-4 Jan 1148). On 8-Jan they battle again in the area of Mount Cadmus, where Turks ambush the main train of infantry and non-combatants because the main force is too far forwards.

King Louis and his bodyguard of Templar Knights and Noblemen sallied forth in a classic example of chivalry to protect the poor and valiantly charged the Turks. Most of the knights were killed, including William, and Louis barely escaped with his life. His army arrives later at the coastal city of Adalia. The battle is recorded by Odo de Deuil, personal chaplain to Louis, in his book De Profectione - pp 68-127.

He was a great-grandson of Henry I of France, and half-brother to Robert de Beaumont, 2nd Earl of Leicester, Waleran IV de Beaumont, Count of Meulan, and Hugh de Beaumont, 1st Earl of Bedford. William married Adela (or Ela), daughter of William Talvas, count of Ponthieu, who was the son of Robert of Bellême. They had one child, a daughter, Isabel, who was his heir. She married first William of Blois, second son of King Stephen, and who became earl of Warenne or Surrey. After he died without children in October 1159, she married Hamelin, half-brother of Henry II, who also became Earl of Warenne or Surrey. He took the de Warenne surname, and their descendants carried on the earldom.