The story of our family...for my sons

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Theodoric the Great

Theodoric the Great was king of the Ostrogoths (471 – 526), ruler of Italy (493 – 526), regent of the Visigoths (511 – 526), and a viceroy of the Eastern Roman Empire. His Gothic name Þiudareiks translates into "people-king" or "ruler of the people".

A son of King Theodemir, an Amali nobleman, Theodoric was born in Pannonia, after his people had defeated the Huns at the Battle of Nedao. Growing up as a hostage in Constantinople, Theodoric received a privileged education, and succeeded his father as leader of the Pannonian Ostrogoths in 471 AD. Settling his people in lower Moesia, Theodoric came in conflict with Thracian Ostrogoths led by Theodoric Strabo, whom he eventually supplanted, uniting the peoples in 484.

Subsequently Eastern Roman Emperor Zeno gave him the title of Patrician and the office of Magister militum (master of the soldiers), and even appointed him as Consul. Trying in vain to achieve further aims, Theodoric frequently ravaged the imperial provinces, eventually threatening Constantinople itself. In 488, Emperor Zeno ordered Theodoric to overthrow the Scirian warlord Odoacer, who had established himself as King of Italy. After a victorious three-year long war, Theodoric killed Odoacer with his own hands, settled his people in Italy, around 100,000 to 200,000, and founded a Kingdom based in Ravenna. Although promoting sepration between the Arian Ostrogoths and the Roman population, Theodoric stressed the importance of racial harmony. Seeking to restore the glory of Ancient Rome, he ruled Italy in it's most peaceful and prosperous period since Valentinian, until his death in 526. Memories of his reign made him a hero of Germanic legend as Dietrich von Bern.

Granny's church

While working on a branch of the tree today I remembered that my grandmother Frieda Marie Suess was a member of the Moravian Church. I remember she used to travel a great distance to go to church out near Pasadena back in the 1950's. I've looked into the church and found that it had some very different views based on a matriarchal theology. Moravians' beliefs centered on a feminized Holy Spirit, the right of women to preach, sacralizing the sex act, and metaphorically re-gendering Jesus Christ. These teachings were perceived as threats to more mainstream Christian articles of faith. The first Moravian missionaries came to the United States in 1735, from their Herrnhut settlement in present-day Saxony, Germany. They came to minister to the scattered German immigrants and to the native Americans. They founded communities to serve as home bases for these missions. The missionary "messengers" were financially supported by the work of the "laborers" in these settlements.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Good King Wenceslas...a real Saint

Wenceslaus I, c. 907 – September 28, 935, or Wenceslas I, was the duke (kníže) of Bohemia from 921 until his assassination in 935, purportedly in a plot by his own brother, Boleslav the Cruel.

His martyrdom, and the popularity of several biographies, quickly gave rise to a cult-like following and reputation of superhuman goodness, resulting in his being elevated to Sainthood, posthumously declared king, and seen as the patron saint of the Czech state. He is even the subject of a Saint Stephen's Day (celebrated on December 26 in the West) Carol, written in 1853 that remains popular to this day, Good King Wenceslas.

His mother was also "sainted" and has a holiday too.

Saint Ludmila (c. 860 - September 15, 921) is a saint and martyr venerated by the Orthodox and the Roman Catholics. She was born in Mělník as daughter of a Slavic prince Slavibor. Saint Ludmila was the grandmother of Saint Wenceslaus, who is widely referred to as Good King Wenceslaus.

Ludmila was married to Bořivoj I of Bohemia, who was the first Christian Duke of Bohemia. The couple was converted to Christianity around 871.[1] Their efforts to convert Bohemia to Christianity were initially not well received, and they were driven from their country for a time by the pagans. Eventually the couple returned, and ruled for several years before retiring to Tetín, near Beroun.

The couple was succeeded by their son Spytihněv, who ruled for two years before he died. Spytihněv was succeeded by his brother Vratislav. When Vratislav died in 921, his eight year old son Wenceslas became the next ruler of Bohemia. It was mainly Ludmila who raised her grandson.

Wenceslaus' mother Drahomíra became jealous of Ludmila's influence over Wenceslaus. She had two noblemen murder Ludmila at Tetín, and part of Ludmila's story says that she was strangled with her veil. Initially Saint Ludmila was buried at St. Michael's at Tetín. Sometime before the year 1100 her remains were removed to the church of St. George at Prague, Czech Republic.

Saint Ludmila is venerated as a patroness of Bohemia. Her feast day is celebrated on September 16. She is considered to be a patron saint of Bohemia, converts, Czech Republic, duchesses, problems with in-laws, and widows. She was canonized shortly after her death.

Polish Princess

Sigrid the Haughty, also known as Sigrid Storråda, was a Nordic queen of contested historicity. She is generally held to be apocryphal in modern scholarship, see e.g. Birgitta Fritz.

She has been variously identified as Świętosława, Saum-Aesa, Gunnhilda, daughter of Mieszko I, sister to Bolesław I Chrobry, King of Poland.

She is a character who appears in many sagas and historical chronicles. It is unclear if she was a real person or a compound person (with several real women's lives and deeds attributed to one compound person). But there is no reliable evidence as to her existence as she is described in the Norse sagas, which were composed generations after the events they describe.

It is possible that some accounts confuse one Sigríð, second wife to King of Denmark, Sweyn Forkbeard, and the daughter of Toste, with Saum-Aesa (Świętosława) of Poland, his first wife; another Norse source gives her the name Gunhilda, but this was a Norse name (not a Polish name) and was thus given to her by a later author.

The character of Sigríð is claimed to have first married Eiríkr the Victorious (King Eiríkr VI Sigrsæll) of Sweden, and to have had one son by this marriage: King Óláf II Eiríksson of Sweden, also called Olof Skotkonung. After that, the character is supposed to have married Sweyn Forkbeard in 994 under her Scandinavian name, Sigrid Storråda, and the marriage bore five daughters, half-sisters of Danish princes Harald and Canute the Great.

One daughter, Astrid Margaritte was the second wife of Richard II of Normandy (married 1017) after his first wife Judith (mother of three daughters & three sons, one of whom was Robert I, father of King William I, the Conqueror). Astrid later married Ulf Jarl, son of Thorgils Spragalaeg (the last king of Danish Scania (Ohlmarks), died at Svold 1005), great-grandson of Harald Bluetooth, King of Denmark. They had two sons: Bjorn and Sweyn II of Denmark.

The most commonly-held understanding is that Harald and Canute brought back Świętosława from Poland after their stepmother Sigrid left upon the death of their father.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Americas First Family...the Mason's

Yes it's true, we have all the bases covered for being first in North America:

The first were the the sagas because our genes were there...

Henry Sinclair married Jean Haliburton and became the 1st Earl of Orkney. In 1393, Henry sent a Venetian admiral, Nicolo Zeno, to carry out a survey of Greenland, in preparation for their journey to the New World. Before embarking on what was considered a risky endeavor, Sinclair made provisions for transferring some of his lands to his brothers and eldest daughter. He then took to the sea with 12 vessels, Zeno navigating, and 200-300 fellow voyagers, made up of monks and fugitive Templars. They set foot on American soil on June 2, 1398.

Though Christopher Columbus (Colon) was not the first European explorer to reach the Americas (having been preceded by the Norse expedition led by Leif Ericson), Columbus' voyages led to the first lasting European contact with America, inaugurating a period of European exploration and colonization of foreign lands that lasted for several centuries. They had, therefore, an enormous impact in the historical development of the modern Western world. Columbus himself saw his accomplishments primarily in the light of the spreading of the Christian religion and deadly disease.

Tripping back 15 generations we come to Henry Hudson (c. 1560 – 1611?) an English sea explorer and navigator in the early 17th century. Hudson made two attempts on behalf of English merchants to find a prospective Northeast Passage to Cathay (today's China) via route above the Artic Circle. Hudson explored the region around modern New York metropolitan area while looking for a western route to Asia under the auspices of the Dutch East India Company. He explored the river which eventually was named for him, and laid thereby the foundation for Dutch colonization of the region.

John Howland (c. 1591 – February 23, 1672/3) was a passenger on the Mayflower. He was an indentured servant who accompanied the separatists, also called the Pilgrims, when they left England to settle in Plymouth, Massachusetts. John was one of the first ten men to set foot on Plymouth Rock. He signed the Mayflower Compact and helped found Plymouth Colony.

10 generations back from me, through my great grandmother on the Stewart side, Edna Iva Mahannah, we see 4 married couples all coming from England to the Virginia Colony (Jamestown area) and starting new lives as some of the first "Americans". At the same time we also had relatives going to The Massachusettes Bay Colony. Here are the 8 souls that made the voyage to Virginia: Thomas Wilkerson 1612 - 1698, Elizabeth Lydall 1613 - 1687, Joseph Royall 1600 - 1655, Katherine Banks 1627 - 1686, Thomas Elam 1598 - 1687, Mary Shirecliff 1616 - 1695, Thomas Perrin 1610 - 1689, Elizabeth Chalford 1614 - 1657's all his fault

Yes, Columbus is in the tree...shaking it hard won't drop that nut. See Cristóbal Baca for the connection.

Direct Descendants of Cristóbal Colón (Christopher Columbus)
1 Cristóbal Colón, 1451 - 1506
+Philippa (Felipa) Moñiz Perestrella, 1455 - 1485*
2 Diego Colón (1st Duke of Veragua), 1474? - 1526
+María Toledo y Rojas,1499 - 1592
3 Juana Colón y Toledo, 1512 - 1592
+Captain of the Guard, Luis de la Cueva y Álvarez de Toledo, 1523
4 María de la Cueva y Colón, 1543 - 1600
+Carlos de Arellano, a Marshal of León, 1546 - 1580
5 Juana de la Cueva Toledo Colón, 1550 - 1573
+Francisco Pacheco y Coronado AKA, 1550 - 1572
6 Ana Ortiz Pacheco, 1563 - 1620
+Capitán Cristóbal Baca, 1567 - 1613
7 Alonso de Baca, 1589 - 1662
+(wife - Native American of Analio)
8 Capitán Cristóbal de Baca. 1635 - 1697
+Ana Moreno de Lara Trujillo, 1639 - 1693
9 Juana Francisca “la vieja” Baca, 1662 - 1718
+Francisco Xavier, 1655 - 1704 **
10 Miguel de San Juan de Luna, 1687 - 1732
+Ysa bel Montoya, 1695
11 Phelipe Luna, 1711 - 1790
+Bárbara Yturrieta, 1734 - 1829
12 José Manuel de Luna, 1767
+María Luisa García Jurado, 1776
13 Lorenzo de Luna, 1805 - 1865
+Marí a Bárbara Ortiz, 1811 - 1866
14 José de Luna, 1841 – 1929
+Juliana Chávez, 1848
15 María Ignacia Luna, 1863 -1930
+Jesús María Chávez

*Note: Philippa (Felipa) Moñiz Perestrella (b. 1455, d. ca 1485), daughter of Enrique Moñiz and Isabel de Costa, was born in Porto Santo, Madeira, Portugal, and died ca 1485. She married Christopher Columbus in 1479 in Lisbóa, Portugal, son of Domenico Colombo and Susanna Fontanarossa. Felipa Moñiz Perestrello: granddaughter of Gil Moñiz, knight companion to Prince Henry.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Welcome to the family Tommy

Finally found a family connection for a long time friend Thomas Quincy Byrne. Tommy's 14th great grandfather, Sir William, Earl of Castleton Murray is Aaron and Josh's 16th great grandfather! Tommy's heading down the path of the "royals" now with the addition of Tudors to his gene pool yesterday. I'm still looking for and have discovered that we also have Campbells, Erskines,Drummonds and Stewarts that are common...isn't life great! Welcome to our official family brother, uncle, father, son and holy goat.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Burned at the stake by Queen "Bloody Mary"

John Rogers went on to print the second complete English Bible in 1537. It was, however, the first English Bible translated from the original Biblical languages of Hebrew Greek. He printed it under the pseudonym "Thomas Matthew", (an assumed name that had actually been used by Tyndale at one time) as a considerable part of this Bible was the translation of Tyndale, whose writings had been condemned by the English authorities. It is a composite made up of Tyndale's Pentateuch and New Testament (1534-1535 edition) and Coverdale's Bible and some of Roger's own translation of the text. It remains known most commonly as the Matthew-Tyndale Bible. It went through a nearly identical second-edition printing in 1549.

John Rogers was born in 1500 in the parish of Aston, near Birmingham. He was a minister, Bible translator and commentator. John Rogers was the first English Protestant martyr to be executed by Mary I of England, a.k.a. “Queen Bloody Mary”. He was burned at the stake on February 4, 1555 at Smithfield.

Early Years of John Rogers
John Rogers, was educated at Pembroke Hall, Cambridge University, where he graduated with a B.A. in 1526. Six years later he was rector of Holy Trinity, Queenhithe, London, and in 1534 went to Antwerp as chaplain to the English merchants of the Company of the Merchant Adventurers. Here he met William Tyndale, under whose influence he abandoned the Roman Catholic faith. Rogers took a wife named Adriana, a native of Antwerp, who eventually bore him ten children.

John Rogers / Thomas Matthew and the 1537 Bible
After Tyndale's death Rogers pushed on with his predecessor's English version of the Old Testament, which he used as far as Second Chronicles, employing Myles Coverdale's translation of 1535 for the remainder and for the Apocrypha. The complete Bible was put out under the pseudonym of Thomas Matthew in 1537. John Rogers used the assumed name “Thomas Matthew” to avoid persecution and prosecution by the authorities who continued to forbid under penalty of death, the printing of the scriptures in the English language. As the work could obviously not be done safely in England, the Bible was printed in Paris and Antwerp by his wife Adriana's uncle, Sir Jacobus van Meteren.

John Rogers had little to do with the translation, but he contributed some valuable prefaces and marginal notes -- often cited as the first original English language commentary on the Bible. Rogers also contributed the Song of Manasses in the Apocrypha which he found in a French Bible printed in 1535. His work was largely used by those who prepared the Great Bible of1539-40, out of which in turn came the Bishops' Bible of 1568 and the Authorized Version of King James in 1611.

Read more:

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Banner bearer for Sir William Wallace

During the Wars of Scottish Independence the Clan Scrymgeour were supporters of Sir William Wallace. They were confirmed as banner bearers by Sir William Wallace and Parliament on 29 March 1298. The document in which this is recorded is the only contemporary document to have survived in which the names of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce are mentioned together. At this time the chief of the clan was Alexander Scrymgeour he was later captured by the English and hanged in Newcastle in 1306 on the direct orders of King Edward I of England. He was succeeded by another Alexander Scrymgeour who rode as royal banner bearer when the clan fought at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314.

Large amounts of land came to the Scrymgeors at Glassary in Argyll in around 1370 with the marriage of Alexander Scrymgeour to Agnes, heiress to Gilbert Glassary.