The story of our family...for my sons

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.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Countess Elizabeth de Bohun Fitzalan

Elizabeth de Bohun, Countess of Arundel, Countess of Surrey, my 17th great grandmother (c.1350- 3 April 1385), was the first wife of Richard Fitzalan, 11th Earl of Arundel, Earl of Surrey, (1346- 21 September 1397 Tower Hill, Cheapside, London), a powerful English nobleman and military commander in the reigns of Edward III and Richard II. She was the mother of his seven children.

Family and lineage
Elizabeth de Bohun was born around 1350, the daughter of William de Bohun, 1st Earl of Northampton and Elizabeth de Badlesmere. Her older brother Humphrey de Bohun, 7th Earl of Hereford married Joan Fitzalan, a sister of the 11th Earl of Arundel, by whom he had two daughters. Elizabeth had a half-brother Roger Mortimer, 2nd Earl of March by her mother's first marriage to Sir Edmund Mortimer.

Her paternal grandparents were Humphrey de Bohun, 4th Earl of Hereford and Elizabeth of Rhuddlan, daughter of King Edward I of England and Eleanor of Castile. Her maternal grandparents were Bartholomew de Badlesmere, 1st Baron Badlesmere and Margaret de Clare.

Elizabeth's parents both died when she was young, her mother having died in 1356, and her father in 1360.

Marriage and children
On 28 September 1359, by Papal dispensation, Elizabeth married Richard Fitzalan, who succeeded to the earldoms of Arundel and Surrey upon the death of his father, Richard Fitzalan, 10th Earl of Arundel.

At the coronation of King Richard II, Richard carried the crown. In the same year, 1377, he was made Admiral of the South and West. The following year, 1378, he attacked Harfleur, but was repelled by the French.

Fitzalan allied himself with the King's uncle Thomas of Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester, who was married to Fitzalan's niece Eleanor de Bohun, who was also his wife's niece. The two men eventually became members of the Council of Regency, and formed a strong and virulent opposition to the King. This would later prove fatal to both men.

Richard and Elizabeth had seven children:

1. Thomas Fitzalan, 12th Earl of Arundel, Earl of Surrey KG (13 Oct1381- 13 Oct 1415), married 26 November 1405, Beatrice, illegitimate daughter of King John I of Portugal and Inez Perez Esteves. The marriage was childless.
2. Lady Eleanor Fitzalan (c.1365- 1375), on 28 October 1371, at the age of about six, married Robert de Ufford. Died childless.
3. Lady Elizabeth FitzAlan (1366- 8 Jul 1425), married firstly before 1378, Sir William de Montagu, secondly in 1384, Thomas Mowbray, 1st Duke of Norfolk, by whom she had four children, thirdly before 19 August 1401, Sir Robert Goushill, by whom she had two daughters, and fourthly before 1411, Sir Gerard Afflete. The Howard Dukes of Norfolk descend from her daughter Margaret Mowbray who married Sir Robert Howard.
4. Lady Joan FitzAlan (1375- 14 Nov 1435), married William de Beauchamp, 1st Baron Bergavenny, by whom she had a son, Richard de Beauchamp, 1st Earl of Worcester and a daughter Joan de Beauchamp, wife of James Butler, 4th Earl of Ormond.
5. Lady Alice Fitzalan (1378- before Oct 1415), married before March 1392, John Cherlton, Lord Cherlton. Had an affair with Cardinal Henry Beaufort, by whom she had an illegitimate daughter, Jane Beaufort.
6. Lady Margaret Fitzalan (1382- after 1423), married Sir Rowland Lenthall, of Hampton Court, Herefordshire, by whom she had two sons.
7. Son Fitzalan (his name is given as either Richard or William).

Elizabeth de Bohun died on 3 April 1385 at the age of about thirty- five. Her husband married secondly Philippa Mortimer on 15 August 1390, by whom he had a son John Fitzalan (1394- after 1397).

Richard Fitzalan was executed by decapitation on 21 September 1397 at Tower Hill Cheapside, London for having committed high treason against King Richard. His titles and estates were attainted until October 1400, when they were restored to his son and heir Thomas Fitzalan, 12th Earl of Arundel by the new king Henry IV who had ascended to the English throne upon the deposition of King Richard in 1399.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

King Bernard

King Bernard, King of Italy Carolingien

Bernard, my 35th great grandfather, (b. 799 Vermandois, Normandy, France; d. 17 April 818 in Milan, Italy) was the king of Italy from 810 to 817, when he was deposed by his uncle Emperor Louis the Pious. In 818, he was killed by a traumatic blinding procedure, an act of retributive justice for his revolt.

Bernard was the illegitimate son of King Pepin, the third son of the Emperor Charlemagne. In 810, he was made king of Italy. Bernard married Cunigunda of Laon in 813. They had one son, Pepin, Count of Vermandois.

Bernard's uncle, Holy Roman Emperor Louis the Pious gave Italy to his eldest son Lothair when the empire was partitioned among his three sons in 817.[1] Feeling his position was in endangered, Bernard rebelled against his uncle with the support of Bishop Theodulf of Orléans. Bernard met with the emperor on a safe conduct guarantee, but was convicted before even realising he was on trial. Louis had Bernard blinded and imprisoned. The blinding procedure was so traumatic that he died as a result.[2] His death grieved Louis, and his display of penance to the court in 822 at Attigny reduced his prestige and respect amongst the Frankish nobility.

In 810, Pepin died from an illness contracted at a siege of Venice; although Bernard was illegitimate, Charlemagne allowed him to inherit Italy. Bernard married Cunigunda of Laon in 813. They had one son, Pepin, Count of Vermandois.

Prior to 817, Bernard was a trusted agent of his grandfather, and of his uncle. His rights in Italy were respected, and he was used as an intermediary to manage events in his sphere of influence - for example, when in 815 Louis the Pious received reports that some Roman nobles had conspired to murder Pope Leo III, and that he had responded by butchering the ringleaders, Bernard was sent to investigate the matter.

A change came in 817, when Louis the Pious drew up an Ordinatio Imperii, detailing the future of the Frankish Empire. Under this, the bulk of the Frankish territory went to Louis' eldest son, Lothair; Bernard received no further territory, and although his Kingship of Italy was confirmed, he would be a vassal of Lothair. This was, it was later alleged, the work of the Empress, Ermengarde, who wished Bernard to be displaced in favour of her own sons. Resenting Louis' actions, Bernard began plotting with a group of magnates: Eggideo, Reginhard, and Reginhar, the last being the grandson of a Thuringian rebel against Charlemagne, Hardrad. Anshelm, Bishop of Milan and Theodulf, Bishop of Orléans, were also accused of being involved: there is no evidence either to support or contradict this in the case of Theodulf, whilst the case for Anshelm is murkier.

Bernard's main complaint was the notion of his being a vassal of Lothair. In practical terms, his actual position had not been altered at all by the terms of the decree, and he could safely have continued to rule under such a system. Nonetheless, "partly true" reports came to Louis the Pious that his nephew was planning to set up an 'unlawful' - i.e. independent - regime in Italy.

Louis the Pious reacted swiftly to the plot, marching south to Chalon. Bernard and his associates were taken by surprise; Bernard travelled to Chalon in an attempt to negotiate terms, but he and the ringleaders were forced to surrender to him. Louis had them taken to Aix-la-Chapelle, where they were tried and condemned to death. Louis 'mercifully' commuted their sentences to blinding, which would neutralise Bernard as a threat without actually killing him; however, the process of blinding (carried out by means of pressing a red-hot stiletto to the eyeballs) proved so traumatic that Bernard died in agony two days after the procedure was carried out. At the same time, Louis also had his half-brothers Drogo, Hugh and Theoderic tonsured and confined to monasteries, to prevent other Carolingian off-shoots challenging the main line. He also treated those guilty or suspected of conspiring with Bernard treated harshly: Theodulf of Orleans was gaoled, and died soon afterwards; the lay conspirators were blinded, the clerics deposed and imprisoned; all lost lands and honours, his Kingdom of Italy was reabsorbed into the Frankish empire, and soon after bestowed upon Louis' eldest son Lothair.

In 822, Louis made a display of public penance at Attigny, where he confessed before all the court to having sinfully slain his nephew; he also welcomed his half-brothers back into his favour. These actions possibly stemmed from guilt over his part in Bernard's death. It has been argued by some historians that his behaviour left him open to clerical domination, and reduced his prestige and respect amongst the Frankish nobility. Others, however, point out that Bernard's plot had been a serious threat to the stability of the kingdom, and the reaction no less a threat; Louis' display of penance, then, "was a well-judged gesture to restore harmony and re-establish his authority."

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving in Truckee with Toni, Hunter (yes, he's still eating) and Marley

Sunday, November 18, 2012

...heading to Truckee for Thanksgiving with my sister

...Toni and me at home in Running Springs, California circa 1949

Ragnar Lodbrok...snake bit and singing

Ragnar Lodbrok, my 37th great grandfather was a Viking king who claimed to be a direct descendant of the god Odin. One of his favorite strategies was to attack Christian cities on holy feast days, knowing that many soldiers would be in church.His titles included King of Sweden and King of Denmark. He was at one point to be married to the infamous female Viking Lathgertha. In the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Ragnar was said to be the father of three sons, Halfdan, Inwaer (Ivar the Boneless), and Hubba (Ubbe), who led a Viking invasion of East Anglia in 865 seeking to avenge Ragnar's murder.

Ragnar Lodbrok (Ragnar "Hairy-Breeks", Old Norse: Ragnarr Loðbrók) was a Norse legendary hero from the Viking Age who was thoroughly reshaped in Old Norse poetry and legendary sagas.

The namesake and subject of “Ragnar’s Saga”, and one of the most popular Viking heroes among the Norse themselves, Ragnar was a great Viking commander and the scourge of France and England. A perennial seeker after the Danish throne, he was briefly ‘king’ of both Denmark and a large part of Sweden. A colorful figure, he claimed to be descended from Odin, was linked to two famous shieldmaidens, Lathgertha in the Gesta Danorum, and Queen Aslaug according to the Volsunga Saga.

He told people he always sought greater adventures for fear that his (possibly adoptive) sons who included such notable Vikings as Björn Ironside and Ivar the Boneless would eclipse him in fame and honor. Ragnar raided France many times, using the rivers as highways for his fleets of longships. By remaining on the move, he cleverly avoided battles with large concentrations of heavy Frankish cavalry, while maximizing his advantages of mobility and the general climate of fear of Viking unpredictability. His most notable raid was probably the raid upon Paris in 845 AD, which was spared from burning only by the payment of 7,000 lbs of silver as danegeld by Charles the Bald. To court his second wife, the Swedish princess Thora, Ragnar traveled to Sweden and quelled an infestation of venomous snakes, famously wearing the hairy breeches whereby he gained his nickname. He continued the series of successful raids against France throughout the mid 9th century, and fought numerous civil wars in Denmark, until his luck ran out at last in Britain. After being shipwrecked on the English coast during a freak storm, he was captured by Anglian king Ælla of Northumbria and put to death in an infamous manner by being thrown into a pit of vipers.

As King Ælle's men were preparing to throw Ragnar Lodbrok into a pit of vipers, he sang this song: "It gladdens me to know that Balder’s father makes ready the benches for a banquet. Soon we shall be drinking ale from the curved horns. The champion who comes into Odin’s dwelling does not lament his death. I shall not enter his hall with words of fear upon my lips. The Æsir will welcome me. Death comes without lamenting… Eager am I to depart. The Dísir summon me home, those whom Odin sends for me from the halls of the Lord of Hosts. Gladly shall I drink ale in the high-seat with the Æsir. The days of my life are ended. I laugh as I die."

After he was thrown into the pit and slowly dying from the poisonous bites of the vipers, Ragnar exclaimed: "How the little pigs would grunt if they knew the situation of the old boar!" These words would prove prophetic. A year later, upon learning of their father's cruel murder at the hands of King Aelle, Ragnar's sons Ivar and Ubbe crossed the North Sea leading the Great Heathen Army. They sacked Jorvik (York), captured King Aelle, and subjected him to the Viking traditional vengeance of Rista Blodorn ("Blood Eagle"). The Rista Blodorn is performed by cutting away the ribs from the spine, pulling the ribs open so they resemble the spread wings of an eagle, pulling out the lungs and coating them in salt so that the victim endures scalding agony while suffocating to death.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Viking-Maya the possibilities

While doing genealogy on the Bengston side (Aaron and Josh's mother), I was thinking about the conquistadors and their reception by the Aztec. Were they waiting for the Vikings to return? Not much on this subject, but it really sturs the imagination.

The Legend of Quetazlcoatl

The Quetzalcoatl legend is known throughout Mesoamerica . Some legends refer to Quetzalcoatl as a god, others a stranger from a distant land who sailed to their shores upon a “magic raft of serpents."

The feathered serpent god is commonly referred to as Quetzalcoatl. The name Quetzalcoatl has Toltec/Aztec origins. A series of invasions by the Toltecs, which led to a blending of cultures, introduced the feathered serpent god to the Mayas, where he was later referred to as Kukulcan.

Two male heroes similar to the god Quetzalcoatl appear in Mayan lore. Itzamna and Kukulcan were both portrayed as bearded men who led their ancestors into the Yucatan. Itazmna was known as a guide who helped build up the great cities and who invented the letters that make up the Mayan language. Kukulcan, was referred to as a great architect, a builder of pyramids.

Could all of these legends be based on one real person? And could that person have been a Norseman?

The Murals

A red-bearded man’s likeness appears on many stone carvings in the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza in the Yucatan, Copan, Honduras, and other places in Latin America. There are also murals depicting bearded warriors dressed in armor and helmets which could be relating an account of a foreign invasion by some ancient people.

Early Viking Voyages

It has been established that both Eric the Red and Leif Erickson reached the New World 500 years before Columbus. To date, the only truly authenticated Viking site is L’Anse aux Meadows, at the northern tip of Newfoundland, where the remains of Norse-style dwellings and artifacts have been found.

The Lost Viking Ship

Around 967 AD, it was recorded that a Viking ship led by Ullmann on the way to Iceland was driven by strong ocean currents and blown off course. Could this ship have ended up in Central America?

Was such a Voyage Possible?

The likelihood that Vikings may have touched upon Caribbean shores was not given much credibility because it was believed such a voyage would not have possible. Then, in 1947, Thor Heyerdahl tested the possibility by recreating a reed boat using materials such as the Vikings, Phoenicians and other cultures would have used at that time. The Kon Tiki’s voyage of over 4,300 miles proved that ancient navigators could have sailed much farther than originally believed.

A link between the Vikings and the early cultures of the Yucatan and Central America has never been proven. If Viking artifacts ever existed, they have been lost with the passage of time. If the Vikings ever did visit Central America, the only traces left are the curious images of a red-bearded man caved in stone.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012 with balls

...with only driftwood, trash and expired food from the supermarket, these two Vikings spent 9 months snowboarding and surfing north of the Artic Circle...BIG BALLS BOYS

...well, it does

...classic beauties

Francisco Vasquez De Coronado...another explorer in the family

Most of you who will read about our family will say that I'm making up all these famous members of our two families up. Sorry, but genealogy doesn't lie, so test it for yourself. We may be a "poor" family now, but our wealth is in "experience".

Francisco Vásquez de Coronado y Luján (Aaron and Joshua's 15th great grandfather) (1510 – 22 September 1554) was a Spanish conquistador, who visited New Mexico and other parts of what are now the southwestern United States between 1540 and 1542. Coronado had hoped to conquer the mythical Seven Cities of Gold.

Coronado was born into a noble family in Salamanca, Spain, in 1510, the second son of Juan Vásquez de Coronado y Sosa de Ulloa and Isabel de Luján. Juan Vásquez held various positions in the administration of the recently captured Emirate of Granada under Iñigo López de Mendoza, its first Spanish governor.

Francisco Vásquez de Coronado went to Mexico in 1535 at about age 25, in the entourage of its first Viceroy, Antonio de Mendoza, the son of his father's patron who had died. In Mexico, he married Beatriz de Estrada, called the Saint (la Santa), sister of Leonor de Estrada, ancestor of the de Alvarado family and daughter of Treasurer and Governor Alonso de Estrada y Hidalgo, Lord of Picón, and wife Marina Flores Gutiérrez de la Caballería, from a converso Jewish family. Coronado inherited a large portion of a Mexican estate from Beatriz and had eight children by her.

Coronado was the Governor of the Kingdom of Nueva Galicia (New Galicia, a province of New Spain located northwest of Mexico and comprising the contemporary Mexican states of Jalisco, Sinaloa and Nayarit). In 1539, he dispatched Friar Marcos de Niza and Estevanico, more properly known as Estevan, the diminutive form being a Spanish nickname. Estevan was a survivor of the Narváez expedition, on an expedition north from Compostela, in the present state of Nayarit, toward New Mexico. When Marcos de Niza returned, he told about a city of vast wealth, a golden city called Cíbola, and that Estevan had been killed by the Zuni citizens of Cíbola. Though he did not claim to have entered the city of Cíbola, he claimed that the city stood on a high hill, that it appeared wealthy and as large as Mexico City.

Coronado assembled an expedition with two components. One component carried the bulk of the expedition's supplies, and traveled via the Guadalupe River under the leadership of Hernando de Alarcon. The other component traveled by land, along the trail Friar Marcos de Niza had used. Coronado and Viceroy Antonio de Mendoza invested large sums of their own money in the venture. Mendoza, Coronado's friend and fellow investor, appointed him as the commander of the expedition, with the mission to find the seven golden cities. This is the reason he pawned his wife's estates and was lent 70,000 more pesos ($5,630 in today's pesos).

In the autumn of 1539, Viceroy Mendoza ordered Melchor Diaz, the commander of San Miguel de Culiacán, to investigate Friar de Niza's findings, and on November 17, 1539, Diaz departed on the trail to Cíbola, with fifteen horsemen. At the ruins of Chichilticalli, he turned around because of "snows and fierce winds from across the wilderness". Diaz encountered Coronado before he had departed San Miguel de Culiacán, and reported that initial investigations into Friar de Niza's report disproved the existence of a bountiful land. Diaz' report was delivered to Viceroy Mendoza on March 20, 1540.

Coronado set out from Compostela on February 23, 1540, at the head of a large expedition composed of about 400 European men-at-arms (mostly Spaniards), 1,300 to 2,000 Mexican Indian allies, four Franciscan monks (the most notable of whom were Juan de Padilla and the newly appointed provincial superior of the Franciscan order in the New World, Marcos de Niza), and several slaves, both natives and Africans. There also were many other family members and servants.

He followed the Sinaloan coast northward, keeping the Sea of Cortez to his left until he reached the northernmost Spanish settlement, San Miguel de Culiacán, about March 28, 1540, whereupon he rested his expedition before they began trekking the inland trail on April 22, 1540.[6] Aside from Diaz's mission to verify Fray de Niza's report, he also took notice of the forage and food situation along the trail, and he reported that the land along the route would not be able to support a large concentrated body of soldiers and animals. Coronado decided to divide his expedition into small groups and time their departures so that grazing lands and water holes along the trail could recover. At intervals along the trail, Coronado established camps and garrisoned soldiers to keep the supply route open. For example, in September, 1540, Melchior Diaz along with "seventy or eighty of the weakest and least reliable men" in Coronado's army remained at the town of San Hieronimo, in the valley of Corazones, or Hearts.[7] Once the scouting and planning was done, Coronado led the first group of soldiers up the trail. They were horsemen and foot soldiers who were able to travel quickly, while the main bulk of the expedition would set out later.

After "leaving Culiacan on April 22, Coronado followed the coast, "bearing off to the left," as Mota Padilla says, by an extremely rough way, to the Sinaloa. The configuration of the country made it necessary to follow up the valley of this stream until he could find a passage across the mountains to the course of the Yaquimi. He traveled alongside this stream for some distance, then crossed to Sonora river. The Sonora was followed nearly to its source before a pass was discovered. On the southern side of the mountains he found a stream he called the Nexpa, which may have been either the Santa Cruz or the Pedro of modern maps. The party followed down this river valley until they reached the edge of the wilderness, where, as Friar Marcos had described it to them, they found Chichilticalli.[8] Chichilticalli is in southern Arizona in the Sulfur Springs Valley, within the bend of the Dos Cabeza and Chiricahua Mountains. This fits the chronicle of Laus Deo description, which reports that "at Chichilticalli the country changes its character again and the spiky vegetation ceases. The reason is that . . . the mountain chain changes its direction at the same time that the coast does. Here they had to cross and pass the mountains in order to get into the level country."[9] There he met a crushing disappointment. Cíbola was nothing like the great golden city that Marcos had described. Instead, it was just a complex of simple pueblos constructed by the Zuni Indians. The soldiers were upset with Marcos for his mendacious imagination, so Coronado sent him back to Mexico in disgrace.

It should be noted that the accompaning map has become outdated since it was created. On-the-ground research strongly indicates that Coronado traveled north between Chichiticalli and Zuni primarily on the New Mexico side of the state line, not the Arizona side as has been thought since the 1940s. Also, most scholars believe Quivira was near the great bend of the Arkansas river, about 60 miles southwest of the location on the Kansas River depicted on the map.
Conquest of Cíbola

Coronado traveled north on one side or the other of today's Arizona-New Mexico state line, and from the headwaters of the Little Colorado he continued on until he came to the Zuni River. He followed the Zuni until he found the region inhabited by the Zunis. The members of the expedition were almost starving and demanded entrance into the village of Hawikuh, which the Zuni spell as Hawikku. The natives refused, denying the expedition entrance to the village. Coronado and his expeditionaries attacked the Zunis. The ensuing skirmish constituted the extent of what can be called the Spanish "Conquest of Cíbola." During the battle, Coronado was injured. During the weeks the expedition stayed at Zuni, he sent out several scouting more:

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Stewart, Drummond, Sinclair and Christopher Columbus

While reading "The Lost Colony of the Templars: Verranzano's Secret Mission to America" I was amazed to see connections between the Bengston's (Aaron and Josh's mother) and the Mason's. The Bengston side goes back to Christopher Columbus (17th great grandfather), and the Mason's (Stewart) goes back to Henry Sinclair (19th great grandfather), Lord of the Orkney Islands. Henry's daughter Elizabeth married John Drummond, uniting two of Scotland's most powerful families. John was nephew of Annabelle Drummond (18th great grandmother) who married Robert III Stewart (18th great grandfather), King of Scotland. John's son John moved to Madeira (an island in the Atlantic off the coast of Afica) and married into the Perestrello family, and was know as John the Scotsman (Escorcio). Columbus married Doña Felipa Perestrello (17th great grandmother) in 1479 uniting the families. This is a part of history that I'm studying now and will let you know what I find out later.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

House of Plantagenet

Ingelger, Count of Anjou
, my 33rd great grandfather, (died 888) was a Frankish nobleman, who stands at the head of the Plantagenet dynasty. Later generations of his family believed he was the son of Tertullus (Tertulle) and Petronilla.

Around 877 he inherited his father Tertullus's lands in accordance with the Capitulary of Quierzy which Charles the Bald had issued. His father's holdings from the king included Château-Landon in beneficium, and he was a casatus in the Gâtinais and Francia. Contemporary records refer to Ingelger as a miles optimus, a great military man.

Later family tradition makes his mother a relative of Hugh the Abbot, an influential counselor of both Louis II and Louis III of France, from whom he received preferment. By Louis II Ingelger was appointed viscount of Orléans, which city was under the rule of its bishops at the time.[2] At Orléans Ingelger made a matrimonial alliance with one of the leading families of Neustria, the lords of Amboise. He married Adelais, whose maternal uncles were Adalard, Archbishop of Tours, and Raino, Bishop of Angers. Later Ingelger was appointed prefect (military commander) at Tours, then ruled by Adalard.

At some point Ingelger was appointed Count of Anjou, at a time when the county stretched only as far west as the Mayenne River. Later sources credit his appointment to his defense of the region from Vikings, but modern scholars have been more likely to see it as a result of his wife's influential relatives. He was buried in the church of Saint-Martin at Châteauneuf. He was succeeded by his son Fulk the Red.

House of Plantagenet

The House of Plantagenet ruled the Kingdom of England, Kingdom of France, Lordship of Ireland, Principality of Wales. The House of Anjou was the parent house. Titles Plantagenet's held:

King of England
Count of Anjou
Lord of Ireland
Duke of Normandy
Duke of Aquitaine
Count of Maine
Duke of Brittany
Prince of Wales
Lord of Cyprus
King of Jerusalem

Cadet branches:

House of Lancaster
House of Beaufort
House of Tudor
House of York

The House of Plantagenet (IPA: [planˈtadʒɪnɪt] or First House of Anjou) is a royal house founded by Henry II of England, son of Geoffrey V of Anjou. The Plantagenet kings first ruled the Kingdom of England in the 12th century. Their direct ancestors had ruled the County of Anjou since the 9th century. The dynasty gained several other holdings building the Angevin Empire, which at its peak stretched from the Pyrenees to Ireland.

In total, fifteen Plantagenet monarchs, including those belonging to cadet branches ruled England from 1154 until 1485. The initial branch ruled from Henry II of England, until the deposition of Richard II of England in 1399. After that, two Plantagenet branches named the House of Lancaster and the House of York clashed in a civil war known as the Wars of the Roses over control of the house. After three ruling Lancastrian monarchs, the crown returned to senior primogeniture with three ruling Yorkist monarchs; the last being Richard III of England who was killed in battle during 1485.

A distinctive English culture and art emerged during the Plantagenet era, encouraged by some of the monarchs who were patrons of the "father of English poetry"; Geoffrey Chaucer. The Gothic architecture style was popular during the time, with buildings such as the Westminster Abbey and York Minster remodelled in that style. There was also lasting developments in the social sector, such as John I of England's signing of the Magna Carta. This was influential in the development of common law and constitutional law. Political institutions such as the Parliament of England and the Model Parliament originate from the Plantagenet period, as do educational institutions including the University of Cambridge and Oxford.

The eventful political climate of the day saw the Hundred Years' War, where the Plantagenets battled with the House of Valois for the control of the Kingdom of France, related to both claiming House of Capet seniority. Some of the Plantagenet kings were renowned as warriors; Henry V of England left his mark with the victory against larger numbers at the Battle of Agincourt, while earlier Richard the Lionheart had distinguished himself in the Third Crusade and was later romanticised as an iconic figure in English folklore.

The name Plantagenet itself has its origins as the nickname of Geoffrey V of Anjou. The name is derived from the plant common broom, which is known in the Latin language as planta genista. It is most commonly claimed that the nickname arose because he wore a sprig of it in his hat. Its significance has been said to relate to its golden flower[3] or contemporary belief in its vegetative soul.[3] The surname Plantagenet has, since the 15th century, been only retroactively applied to the descendants of Geoffrey of Anjou, and was not used as a contemporary term, as the house itself used no surname until the legitimist claimant Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York, father of both Edward IV and Richard III, assumed the name about 1448.

...the eyes have it in Ireland

Monday, October 29, 2012

Indians in the fields...

In September, 1697, one of the greatest calamities that ever befel the town of Lancaster, Massachusetts, was experienced. And the event seems doubly sad because peace had already been declared between the great belligerent parties (French and English) in Europe. Before dawn, on the eleventh of September, the treaty had been signed. But in those days of slow communication, war, like a wounded serpent, though killed in the head, could continue to strike with its far-reaching extremities. The good news of peace was many weeks in coming to our shores.

On the twenty-second of September, eleven days after the signature of the treaty, and eight days after London had hailed the event with bon-fires, bell-ringings and general rejoicings, the Indians entered Lancaster under five leaders, but one chief. They had been lurking in the woods for some time, sending in scouts by night to observe the posture of the town.

"Having done this, they determined to begin the attack on Mr. Thomas Sawyer's garrison." This was near the barn of John A. Rice, in South Lancaster. The firing there was to be a signal to all the other divisions "to fall on in their respective stations" When the inhabitants, on the morning of the twenty-second, "suspicious of no enemy," says Harrington, from whom we often quote, "were gone out to their labor, they came in several companies into the town, and were very near surprising said Sawyer's garrison, both the gates being left open; but that Mr. Jabez Fairbank, who was at his own house half a mile's distance, and designing to bring his little son from said garrison, mounted his horse which came running to him in a fright, and rode full speed into the gate, but yet nothing suspicious of an enemy."The Indians, who were just ready to rush through the open gates into the garrison, supposing they were discovered, desisted from their design upon Sawyer's garrison, but in their retreat, fired upon the people working in the fields.

Detached parties seem to have made havoc in different parts of the town, to such an extent, that at no time, according to "Willard, "excepting when the town was destroyed, was ever so much injury perpetrated, or so many lives lost." The Rev. John Whiting was met at a distance from his garrison, by the enemy, who surprised and killed him. He was offered quarter, but chose rather to "fight to the last than resign himself to those whose tender mercies are cruelty."

At the same time, twenty others were killed; two were wounded, but not mortally, and six were carried away as captives, of whom five returned. Here follow the names of those who were killed. Rev. Mr. Whiting, Daniel Hudson (my 9th great grandfather), his wife and two daughters (luckily my 8th great grandfather, Nathaniel, his son, was spared); Ephraim Roper, wife and daughter; John Skait and wife; Joseph Rugg, his wife and three children; the widow Rugg; Jonathan Fairbank and two children.

The captured were the wife of Jonathan Fairbank, widow Wheeler, Mary Glasier, and a son each of Ephraim Roper, John Skait and Joseph Rugg. The names indicate that the larger part of those killed and captured belonged to South Lancaster. At the same time two garrison houses and two barns were burned. "On this sorrowful occasion," says Mr. Harrington, "the town set apart a day for prayer and fasting." There was mourning in many households, and sympathy in all; and doubtless as the people crowded their house of worship, on that day, and joined with some neighboring minister who stood in their beloved pastor's place, leading them in their devotions, their tears fell fast. Their only comfort was unfaltering faith in God.

...will it happen?

The Treasurer and history...

Jamestown resident Captain John Thomas Clay was my 9th great grandfather. In Feb 1613 (6 years after the founding of Jamestown), John Thomas Clay arrived in Jamestown aboard the Treasurer. John was called "The English Grenadier". His wife, Anne Nicholls, did not join him until August 1623, when she arrived on the Ann. John probably travelled back and forth from Virginia to England during this ten years before Anne joined him in Virginia. John and Anne were married about 1612 in England.

They settled at Jordan's Journey in Charles City, 21 Jan 1624/25. Together, John and Anne had eight children. A soldier in the British Army, John gained the rank of Captain by the age of 21 and was sent to Virginia to control problems that were developing. John was placed in charge of the fifty Muskateers aboard Captain Samuel Argall's ship, the Treasurer, which was sent to protect the settlers at Jamestown.

The "Treasurer" aka "The African Mayflower"

We are all taught the story of the Pilgrims and the ship, the Mayflower that brought them to Plymouth Rock in late autumn of 1620. The following year, the Governor of the Plymouth colony proclaimed a day of "Thanksgiving" to celebrate their first harvest in America.

On the other hand, little is known or taught about the Africans who arrived in the Jamestown Colony in 1619, more than a year before the arrival of the Mayflower in America. Jamestown, which was established in 1607, was the first permanent English Colony in North America. Although there were already blacks living in Jamestown prior to 1619, the arrival of approximately 20 Africans in 1619 marks the official beginning of slavery in what would become the United States of America.

In April of 1619, the Governor of the Jamestown colony, Sir George Yeardley, sent an English ship named the Treasurer on a supposed "routine trading voyage." The Treasurer was accompanied by a Dutch "Man of War" ship. The Captain of the Dutch ship was named Jope. In fact, the Treasurer's true purpose was to act as a privateer and raid Spanish shipping and the Dutch ship was to cover its activities. Both ships were owned by an Englishman, Robert Rich, the Earl of Warwick, my 11th great granduncle.

While on their joint voyage in the West Indies, the two heavily armed vessels captured a Portuguese merchant-slaver ship named the San Juan Bautista. Included in the plunder taken from the Portuguese ship were approximately 100 Africans. The Dutch ship returned at the end of August of 1619 to Old Point Comfort (near Jamestown) with approximately 20 of the Africans. The Dutch sold most of the Africans to Governor Sir George Yeardley and the colony's wealthiest resident, a merchant named Abraham Peirsey. Smaller vessels smuggled the stolen Africans from Old Point Comfort to Jamestown.

The Portuguese had considered the Africans to be slaves. However, because slavery had been eliminated as a classification in English law, the Africans had to be legally classified as "indentured servants". Based on a census taken in March of 1619, there were already 32 blacks (15 men and 17 women) "in the service" of Jamestown planters prior to the August arrival of the Dutch ship.

There are indications that, after years of servitude, some of the 20 stolen Africans brought to Jamestown eventually obtained their freedom. However, unlike most white indentured servants who voluntarily contracted their services for a specific period of time, these Africans were not given such options and most of them probably remained in servitude for the rest of their lives. Indeed, by 1625, the Jamestown census listed ten "slaves." Over the next decades, the number of African slaves in the colonies would increase by the thousands.

Shortly after the return of the Dutch ship to America in late August of 1619, the Treasurer also returned to America and dropped off an African slave woman named Angela. She was the first African-Virginian whose name is known. The Treasurer then set sail for Bermuda with 29 of the original 100 Africans stolen from the Portuguese ship.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

...the Botelers (Bulters) did it

Sir Almeric Alberic Lord Warrington Le Boteler, my 20th great grandfather showed that there was practically nothing known about the early history of the town or the family. The Romans formed a camp at Wilderspool called Veratinum in the year AD 79. Excavations on the site of the encampment have revealed the foundations of a great rampart which is supposed to have been destroyed in 607 by Ethelfrith the Saxon King of Northumbria and also the remains of iron and glass makers’ furnaces and potter’s kilns of a very primitive type. In those days the main road to the north and a road from Chester met at Latchford and led to a ford by which the Mersey was crossed at a point opposite the Parish Church and Wash Lane. This ford and a ferry which was subsequently added, served for many centuries as the only means of crossing the Mersey between Liverpool and Manchester, and as the key to Lancashire it was of great importance.

After the departure of the Romans, Warrington fell into the hands of the Saxons who invaded this country in 449 and they named it Werington. Before the Norman Conquest it became the head of a hundred.

Warrington is mentioned in history for the first time in the Domesday Survey of 1086, where it states that Edward the Confessor held Waluntine with three berewicks and one hide of land. St Elphin, the patron saint of the Parish Church, held one carucate of land free of all tax except the gelt which was the amount usually given for the erection of a church. The whole manor with the hundred rendered to the king a farm rent of £15 less 2s, and the population of all the parishes including Warrington, Prescot and Leigh was only 340, .most of whom were dependent on agriculture.

William the Conqueror bestowed the land on one of his followers, Roger of Pictou on the understanding that he should support and defend it. Unable to do this, Roger transferred the manor and hundred on the same terms to Paganus de Villars. First Lord of Warrington, Paganus was the ancestor of the famous Boteler family who figured prominently in the life of the town for four hundred years. To Matthew, the son of Paganus, Henry II ascribed the gift of the Parish Church of St Elphin, then a humble structure of wood, dating probably from the seventh century. According to Beamont the local historian, it continued to be the only place of worship until the middle of the thirteenth century. About that period Sir William Boteler, the seventh Baron, brought to Warrington a body of hermit friars of the order of St Augustine, gave them a small endowment and built them a house on Friars Green. The house was dissolved in 1539 and was sold by the Crown. The buildings subsequently fell into ruin.

The Botelers made a better access to the town by erecting a wooden bridge to take the place of the ferry. In 1322 William le Boteler was enabled by charter to levy tolls towards paving the town and in the time of Henry VIII Leland mentions as a peculiarity of Warrington that it was a paved town and had a better market than Manchester.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

...two families are one from the beginning...

Photo: Great Grandparents James Ira Stewart and Elizabeth Allen

The Stewarts and Allens/FitzAlans have been together since the beginning of the House of Stewart. Our heritage goes back to the beginnings of time and history, with a long line of warriors and royalty. Both lines were brought together through the Scandinavian blood of the Goths, Franks, Saxons, and Normans (Northmen), thanks to the "conquest" in 1066. But before that our Viking blood was beings mingled and spilt across world.

Alan FitzFlaad (1078 - 1114) was a Breton knight who held the feudal barony and castle of Oswestry in Shropshire. His duties as a "valiant and illustrious man" included supervision of the Welsh border.

Alan was the son of Flaad, who was in turn a son of an Alain who had been the crusader (in 1097) who was Dapifer to the Archbishop of Dol, which is situated near Mont-Saint-Michel. "Alan, dapifer" is found as a witness in 1086 to a charter relating to Mezuoit, a cell of St. Florent, near Dol.EnglandFlaad and his son Alan had come to the favorable notice of King Henry I of England who, soon after his accession, invited Alan to England with other Breton friends, and gave him forfeited lands in Norfolk and Shropshire, including some which had previously belonged to Ernulf de Hesdin and Robert de Belleme.Religious notices"Flaad filius Alani dapiferi" was present at the dedication of Monmouth Priory in 1101/2, and his son Alan was a witness to two charters of Henry I confirming the foundation of Holy Trinity Priory, York, as a cell of Marmountier. Alan also founded Sporle Priory on land he held in Norfolk (probably at Sharrington), as another cell of St. Florent.MarriageAlan FitzFlaad married Ada (or Avelina), daughter of Ernoulf de Hesdin (killed on crusade at Antioch). Their issue was: William, eldest son (d. 1160), made High Sheriff of Shropshire by King Stephen of England in 1137. He married a niece of Robert, 1st Earl of Gloucester. His son William (d. c1210) acquired by marriage the Lordship of Clun and he became designated "Lord of Clun and Oswestry". William is ancestor of the FitzAlan Earls of Arundel.

Walter Fitzalan, second son, became 1st hereditary High Steward of Scotland.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Red Bull Rampage 2012 USA Full Recap

Spainish Street Art

By Borondo, born 1989 is a Spanish street artist .
Graduated in art college IES Margarita Salas Madrid, he continues his fine arts studies in Madrid Complutense University. In 2012 he lands in Roma, Italy for an Erasmus cultural exchage program at Accademia di Belle Arti di Roma”. More information about him at Gallery 999Contemporary.

...back to Kapoho and off-the-grid

Heading back on December 9th...

The Patron Saint of Cabin Porn

Of all the many cabins I seen and read about, Richard Proenneke’s is the king. In 1968, at the age of 51, Dick left a life of ranching, carpentry and heavy machine repair to retire to Twin Lakes, Alaska in what is now Lake Clark National Park. Deposited by float plane, and carrying only the simplest of tools, he set out to build a homestead and survive the winter, alone in the wilderness.

Proenneke documented his efforts and experiences exhaustively, through both journals and hundreds of hours of 16mm film, and his actions and words embody the highest virtues of cabin life: ingenuity, patience, vitality, reflection and craft. Ultimately, he would spend the next 30 years living in his remote and challenging paradise. single unbroken bloodline...Allen

I've traced one unbroken male family line back to King Walterus of the Franks (54th Great Grandfather), about 200 AD. This was done through my great grandmother, Elizabeth Allen, who was married to James Stewart. This line is important because it goes back to FitzAlan/FitzFlaad, which is the beginning of the House of Stewart. So both my great grandmother and great grandfather are of the same "house"...Stewart. All of the Franks were the 14% Eastern European in my DNA test.

The Franks (Latin: Franci or gens Francorum) were a confederation of Germanic tribes first attested in the third century AD as occupying land on the Lower and Middle Rhine. In the 3rd century some Franks raided Roman territory, while others joined the Roman troops in Gaul. The Salian Franks formed a kingdom on Roman-held soil that was acknowledged by the Romans after 357. After the collapse of imperial authority in the West, the Frankish tribes were united under the Merovingians. During the 6th century they succeeded in conquering most of Gaul. They were active in spreading Christianity over western Europe and had created one of the strongest and most stable 'barbaric' kingdoms.

The Merovingian dynasty, descended from the Salians, founded one of the Germanic monarchies which replaced the Western Roman Empire. The Frankish state consolidated its hold over large parts of western Europe by the end of the eighth century, developing into the Carolingian Empire. This empire would gradually evolve into the state of France and the Holy Roman Empire.

The term Frank was used as a synonym for 'Roman Catholic' in the Middle Ages, as the Franks were rulers most of western Europe and were closely affiliated with the Church in Rome.

King Waltherus Walter de Franks
King Dagobert I, The Franks
King Genebald I, 1st Duke of the Sicambrian Franks
King Dagobert II, Sicambrian Franks
King Clodius I, Sicambrian Franks
King Marcomir de Franks
King Pharamond, King of the Franks
King Clodius "Long Haired" , King of West Phalia Merovee
King Merovaeus "the Young" , King of Franks Mérovée
King Childeric I de Franks
King Clovis I France
King Clotaire I "The Old" de Meroving Franks
Guntram (Gontran) de Franks
Garnier De Bourgogne
Ansound DeTreves
Bodilon De Poitiers
Guerin De Autun
St. Lievin Bishop Of Treves
Gui Du Franks
Count Lambert von Hornbach
Comte de Nantes Gui I Guido Graf von Hornbach
Lambert I Comte De Nantes
Paskwitan (Pasquite) I Count of Vannes DeBretagne
Ridoredh Vannes, King De Bretagne
Alain LeGrand DeBretagne...the first "Alain/Alan/Allen" appears...
Matuedo Depoher DeBretagne
Alain De Bretagne
Hamon De Dinan
Flaald de Dol
Alan Senescal
Fledaldus Senescal
Alan of Lochabar, Baron FitzFlaad...the start of the Stewart Clan...
William I, Lord of Oswestry FitzAlan
William II FitzAlan
John FitzAlan
John, Lord of Clun and Oswestry, FitzAlan
John FitzAlan
Richard FitzAlan
Edmund, Earl of Arundel FitzAlan
Sir Richard "Copped Hat", 10th Earl of Arundel & Earl of Warenne FitzAlan
John Lord Arundel, Sir 1st Lord 1st Earl of Arundel & Surrey FitzAlan
John FitzAlan (Allen)
Thomas Allen
Thomas Allen
Richard Allen
Ralph Allen
George Allen
Ralph Allen
Zachariah Allen
William Allen
Zachariah Allen
William Allen
Robert H. Allen
Elizabeth Allen, wife of James Ira Stewart
Fred Uriah Stewart
Dwight Fred Stewart
Ronald Mason Stewart
Aaron & Joshua Mason Stewart

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

13,000+ twigs on the tree...

...taking it up the arse...ouch!

Edward II was King of England from 1307 until he was removed and murdered in 1327. John de Maltravers, my 15th great grandfather, was part of the plot to remove and imprison the King.

Edward II was not a well-liked King. By all accounts, he was nothing like his sure and confident father, Edward I. When Edward II left England to marry Isabella of France, he left his friend, Piers Gaveston to enforce his rule. The land barons of the time detested Gaveston, and had him banished from the country. When Edward II returned to his throne, he recalled Piers Gaveston back into his favor. However, Earl of Lancaster and his baron allies, executed Gaveston before he could return. Edward II was determined to cause much grief to the barons. He began to confiscate land and give it to Gaveston's relatives, increasing the anger of the barons. In 1322, Edward II attempted to strike down all laws that limited his power.

France became increasingly irritated with Edward II, because he refused to pay France for land that the King had occupied. Edward II's wife, Isabella of France, returned to her home country to forge a peace treaty. However, while in France, she formed an alliance with Roger Mortimer to overthrow Edward II on their return. When Edward II learned of the plan, he summoned up his great army to fight Mortimer's troops, but Edward's army refused to fight for him. The King fled, but Henry of Lancaster, part of Mortimer's forces, caught him and taken to Kenliworth. Edward's supporters were executed, but the King remained a prisoner. Isabella and Roger Mortimer did not know what to do with him. Laws prevented them from executing a King without a trial for treason. However, they both thought that Henry of Lancaster was too accomodating of a jailer for Edward II, so they turned over the responsibility of imprisoning the King to Sir John de Maltravers, for the purpose of using whatever means necessary (torture) to drive the King mad.

He was held by both John de Maltravers and Lord Berkeley in Berkley's castle. However, the population seemed to side with Edward. Religious sermons condemned the actions of Isabella and Roger Mortimer, and they knew that their assumption of the King's powers could be rightfully challenged at any time. On October 11, 1327, two officers from Isabella's and Mortimer's forces entered the castle where Sir John de Maltravers and Lord Berkley were guarding Edward II. That evening, screams from the King's chambers were heard by people outside of the castle. The next morning, Edward II was dead. The prevailing rumor was that the King was killed by the insertion of a red hot metal rod into his rectum. This was accomplished by the insertion of a tube into the King's anus, and then a red hot rod was inserted through the tube into the rectum and intestines, which would have left no burn marks on the outside of the King's buttocks. There was no official investigation of the death, and Edward II was quickly interred in the abbey church of Saint Peters, Gloucestershire.

Eleanor Plantagenet...15th Great Grandmother

Directly back through the Stewarts and Allens we come to the House of Plantagenet, a royal dynasty that produced the fourteen Kings of England who ruled England for the 331 years from 1154 until 1485. The male line Plantagenets descended from the Angevin Counts of Anjou. It is claimed the name arose because Geoffrey V of Anjou wore a sprig of the common broom in his hat, this became his nickname Plantegenest [1] derived from the broom's Latin name Planta genista. His nickname was not an hereditary surname and only began to refer to the dynasty from the mid-15th Century.

Geoffrey married the Empress Matilda, the daughter of Henry I of England, who vied with Stephen of Blois for the English throne for a twenty-year period in what became known as the Anarchy. After Stephen's death in 1154 the English crown passed to Henry II, Geoffrey and Matilda's son, under the terms of the Treaty of Winchester. By this and his marriage to Eleanor of Aquitaine Henry accumulated a vast and complex feudal holding, the so-called Angevin Empire, that at its peak stretched from the Pyrenees to Ireland and the border with Scotland.

The Royal House ended in 1399 as the dynasty splintered into two competing cadet branches: The House of Lancaster and The House of York. Richard III, the last Plantagenet king, was killed in the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 and the legitimate male line became extinct with the execution of his nephew, Edward, Earl of Warwick in 1499.

The era was typified by intermittent but frequent conflict between the Plantagenets, Roman Catholic Church, the English Barons, the Kings of France, the Welsh, Scots, Irish and in later years a developing middle class. This included what is now called the the Anarchy, First Barons' War, the Second Barons' War, the Hundred Years' War, the Peasants' Revolt, Jack Cade's rebellion and the Wars of the Roses. To be a successful Plantagenet monarch required military success and some of the Plantagenets were renowned as warriors. Richard I of England had distinguished himself in the Third Crusade. Edward I of England was known as "Hammer of the Scots". This comes from the Latin inscription on his tomb, which reads Edwardus Primus Scottorum Malleus hic est, 1308. Pactum Serva ("Here is Edward I, Hammer of the Scots, 1308. Keep the Vow").[2] Edward, the Black Prince gained fame at the fields of Crécy and Poitiers, but died on campaign before succeeding to the crown. Henry V of England left his mark with a famous victory against larger numbers at the Battle of Agincourt.Out of this conflict largely driven by the English Barons' reluctance to support the Plantagenet's personal continental ambition developed lasting social developments sector such as Magna Carta. This was often driven by weakness in the Plantagenet position forcing them to compromise in accepting constraints on their power granting rights and privileges in return for financial and military support.Winston Churchill, for example, argued that "[w]hen the long tally is added, it will be seen that the British nation and the English-speaking world owe far more to the vices of John than to the labours of virtuous sovereigns".[3]

The reign of the Plantagenet Kings saw a re-adoption of what was to become the English language. The Norman and Angevin aristocracy had little or no understanding of the language of the greater part of the population. They spoke Norman French or the Langues D'Oc and Latin was the language of record. In 1362, at the high point of the Plantagenet kingship Edward III made English the official language of royal courts and parliaments with the Statute of Pleading.[4] English was transformed from the language of serfs into one fit for poetry and scholarship. Among others the Pearl Poet, Geoffrey Chaucer, John Gower and William Langland created a distinctive English culture and art.

The Plantagenets transformed the English landscape with significant building and patronage of the arts. Westminster Abbey, Windsor, York Minster, the Welsh Castles and the golden age of cathedral building in the Gothic style are the most significant examples of this. Richard I foundered Portsmouth as a military town, King John Liverpool and Henry III Harwich. London prospered and brick building was reintroduced for the first time since the Romans