The story of our family...for my sons

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sir Walter Devereaux

Sir Walter Devereaux is my 16th great grandfather on my fathers side. Sir Walter married Agnes Ferrers before 1446. Agnes was born in 1438. She was the daughter of Sir William de Ferrers and Elizabeth Bealknap. She died on 9 Jan 1468/1469 . They were married by 1446 (Anne being at most 7 years of age at the time of the marriage). Anne died on 9th January 1468/9, and Sir Walter remarried to Jane (family name unknown). Sir Walters father (Sir Walter) was appointed Lord Chancellor of Ireland in 1449. His term was brief and likely uneventful. In 1451, Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland appointed his son, the 8-year-old Edmund, Earl of Rutland, as the new Lord Chancellor. Since Rutland was under age, his duties were taken over by Deputy Chancellor Edmund Oldhall.

Sir Walter was the 1st Baron Ferrers of Chartley, K.G., M.P., was born in 1432 and died in battle on 22nd August 1485 at Bosworth Field in the famous battle of the Roses in which Henry Tudor defeated King Richard III and succeeded to the English throne. Sir Walter sided with Richard III (Yorkists) - bad move! Sir Walter had assumed the title of Baron through his marriage to Anne Ferrers, whose father William, Baron Ferrers of Chartley had died without male heir.

The Battle of Bosworth Field (August 22, 1485) was Lancastrian Henry Tudor's defeat of Yorkist King Richard III, ending the Plantagenet dynasty to begin a new Tudor dynasty. Historically, the battle is considered to have marked the end of the Wars of the Roses, although further battles were fought in the years that followed as Yorkist pretenders unsuccessfully fought to reclaim the crown.

Henry Tudor had landed in Pembrokeshire, the county of his birth, on 7 August with a small force — consisting mainly of French mercenaries — in an attempt to claim the throne of England. Richard III had fought similar battles with Lancastrian usurpers in the past, and though Henry did not have his opponent's military experience, he was accompanied by his uncle, Jasper Tudor, 1st Earl of Pembroke (later 1st Duke of Bedford) and John de Vere, 13th Earl of Oxford, each of them being a brilliant and seasoned soldier. Henry gathered supporters in the course of his journey through his father's native Wales, and by the time he arrived in the Midlands, he had amassed an army of an estimated 5,000 men. The King, by contrast, could command nearly 8,000.

Richard reached Ambion Hill first and his troops were well-rested going into the battle, while Henry's men had trouble lining up on the rough ground below; it is unclear why. Richard might then have charged, slaughtering the disorganised Lancastrians, but he missed his chance. When Henry finally was ready, his men used cannon and arrows to force Richard to come down from his hilltop. When Richard did, he called for the Earl of Northumberland, who commanded the right wing of his army, to join in with fresh forces. But Percy refused, holding his forces back from action.

The decisive factor in the battle was to be the conduct of the Stanley brothers (more of our relatives) — Sir William Stanley and Thomas Stanley, 2nd Baron Stanley, the latter being Henry's stepfather. Henry Percy, 4th Earl of Northumberland, with Lord Stanley and Sir William Stanley and their troops, watched the beginning of the engagement as the rest of Richard's army fought Henry's French mercenaries and loyal exiles. The Stanleys seem to have taken up a position some distance away from the two main armies.

The two notorious vacillators were the young John Talbot, 3rd Earl of Shrewsbury, and the older more experienced Lord Stanley. They acted with a circumspection that bordered on deceitfulness, consistently holding back from final commitment to either side, and always keeping on good terms with the winners. Richard's commander, John Howard, 1st Duke of Norfolk, was slain, and the waiting armies of Lords Stanley and Northumberland still did not commit to any side.

Richard himself was rumoured to have been killed by the poleaxe of a Welshman, and even sources of a hostile slant agree that he died fighting bravely. Richard III (Duke of Gloucester) was the last king of England to die in battle. Richard III was the only English king with a strongly northern association and powerbase, and the last of the Plantagenet kings. The battle proved to be decisive in ending the long-running civil wars later to be known as the Wars of the Roses.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Genetic Memory

Genetic Memory has a lot of definitions but today I'll be focusing on one view and definition of genetic memory, the one that states, "Genetic memory is a process in which a memory is passed down through the generations without the individual having to experience first-hand the topic of the memory." I believe this memory is stored in our DNA helix, just like a hard drive. It is a psychological and sometimes spiritual theory that can be best illustrated through our primitive fears.

Across the globe a good portion of people are afraid of snakes, even if a great many of them have never seen a snake. According to the Genetic Memory Theory this is because when our species was evolving our ancestors lived in tropical climates where snakes were often venomous and it proved to be wise to stay away from them. Apparently it was such a big part of our survival that it became hardwired into our genes, even long after people moved away from the danger. Genetic Memory is at best a controversial theory, but I'm really starting to believe that it is a valid theory. There's really no hard proof of it, just a collection of social observations that could be attributed to it, but also may have other explanations.

Most scientists believe fear of snakes is more inherited by watching the behavior of others around you in your formative years then in your genetic code. If a parent or authority figure reacts wildly whenever they see a snake then you're likely to grow up with the same fears, regardless of whether or not the snake poses any real threat anymore. None-the-less, I can truly say that my fear of large brown bears has nothing to do with observing my parents being afraid of brown bears, or myself have ever come into contact with them, so I think that deep in my genome I've been imprinted with the "fear" because of experiences with brown bears during my "past lives" living in northern Europe over many generations (I'm not afraid of being alone in the woods with black bears, mountain lions or anything else).

I think about how my father, myself and my sons are/were all given the ability to create art (drawing/painting). As I do my genealogy I try to understand how my ancestors lived, what talents they had and how they might have passed the good and bad to me and future generations. With the advances we are seeing in genetic research, I truly believe that we will see genetic memory go from a pseudo-science to theoretical-science to a proven science.

Looking back on my life I have many experiences that explain to me how genetic memory works. One example stands out the most: Up to the time of high school, I'd never been in a fist fight. At that time I had only seen a few black and white fights on TV, and never had seen one "live". I was in a class with an old girlfriend (her current boyfriend was a tackle on our football team), and was just talking to her, when he just came up to me (I was sitting in a school desk chair), picked me up by my shirt out of my seat. Now at this time I was probably 145 lbs. soaking wet, and he was probably about 210 lbs. What happened next was what can best be described as a "genetic memory episode". I don't remember a thing, but I was told that when he picked me up he said, "I going to smash your face in". Witnesses told me that I blocked the punch like a pro, and then proceeded to hit him with 3 punches to the face knocking him across two rows of chairs into a radiator. He was laying there stunned and bloody, I was being held back by two classmates who said that I was "crazy" with rage. Needless to say, we were both expelled from school for fighting. I can't explain it anymore than saying it was genetic memory from my Viking past (proven through genealogy) that "killed the giant".

Genetic memory has been tested on animals, too...and all in humane ways. One of the most famous tests is when a first generation group of mice were taught how to find their way through a maze. Initially, it took them weeks or months to learn how to get through it. A year later, the same scientists took the offspring of those mice and had them go through the same maze. They all seemed to find their way through it in half the time their ancestors had. The third generation was even faster. By several generations in--a new generation of mice had been created who knew how to get through that maze in less than 30 seconds without ever having seen it before.

Another example: why did my grandfather decide to change his last name from Stewart to Mason. He didn't know that years later that when I was following his genealogy back that we are directly related to George Mason (and many more Mason's). Why choose the name Mason out of thousands of choices? I believe that deep in our DNA we have information that links us to the "past". This is my spiritual side, not religious, that gives me hope and explains a lot about who I am.

Much more to come...

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Another Mason...Congressman, Senator and Trouble Maker

The Mason's come directly from my fathers side (Robert Dwight Mason) of the Stewart's. The Mason family of Virginia is a historically significant American political family whose prominent members are known for their accomplishments in politics, business, and the military. The progenitor of the Mason family, George Mason I (5 June 1629–1686), arrived at Norfolk, Virginia on the ship Assurance in 1652. Mason was a Cavalier member of the Parliament of England during the reign of Charles I of England. George Mason I's great-grandson was George Mason IV (11 December 1725–7 October 1792), an American patriot, statesman, and delegate from Virginia to the U.S. Constitutional Convention. Along with James Madison, George Mason IV is known as the "Father of the Bill of Rights." For these reasons, Mason is considered one of the "Founding Fathers" of the United States and raised the Mason family to national political prominence.

George Mason II (1660–1716) and his son George Mason III (1690–5 March 1735) both served as a member of the House of Burgesses, Stafford County sheriff, Stafford County county lieutenant, Stafford County militia colonel, planters, and businesspersons. George Mason III's son and George Mason IV's younger brother, Thomson Mason (14 August 1733–26 February 1785), was a patriot, statesman, and delegate from Virginia to the U.S. Constitutional Convention. Thomson Mason's son, Stevens Thomson Mason (29 December 1760–9 May 1803 served as a colonel in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, a member of the Virginia state legislature, and as a Republican U.S. Senator from Virginia (1794–1803). Another of Thomson Mason's sons, John Thomson Mason (15 March 1765–10 December 1824) was a jurist and Attorney General of Maryland in 1806. Thomson Mason's grandson John Thomson Mason (8 January 1787–17 April 1850) was a lawyer, United States marshal, Secretary of Michigan Territory from 1830 through 1831, land agent, and an important figure in the Texas Revolution. His son Stevens Thomson Mason (27 October 1811–4 January 1843), was also territorial governor of the Michigan Territory, and later governor of the state of Michigan. He was first appointed acting Territorial Secretary at the age of 19, then became acting Territorial Governor in 1834 at the age of 22. George Mason IV's grandson James Murray Mason (November 3, 1798 – April 28, 1871 was a United States Representative and United States Senator from Virginia and represented the Confederate States of America as appointed commissioner of the Confederacy to Great Britain and France between 1861 and 1865 during the American Civil War.

James Murray Mason
James Murray Mason was a grandson of George Mason. James Murray Mason (November 3, 1798 – April 28, 1871). He practiced law in Virginia and was a delegate to the Virginia constitutional convention in 1829, and a member of the State house of delegates. A Jackson Democrat, he was elected to the Twenty-fifth United States Congress in 1836. In 1847 he was elected to the Senate after the death of Isaac S. Pennybacker, and was reelected in 1850 and 1856. Mason famously read aloud the dying Senator John C. Calhoun's final speech to the Senate, on March 4, 1850, which warned of disunion and dire consequences if the North did not guarantee the South permanently equal representation in Congress. Complaining of personal liberty laws that "Although the loss of property is felt, the loss of honor is felt still more, "Mason also drafted the (second) Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, enacted on September 18, 1850 as a part of the Compromise Measures of that year. Mason represented the majority view in leading the Senate committee which investigated the John Brown raid on Harper's Ferry of October 1859. (Thus the document published as the U.S. Congress, Senate Select Commission on the Harper's Ferry Invasion (June 15, 1860) is often referred to as the Mason Report.) Mason was President pro tempore of the Senate during the Thirty-fourth and Thirty-fifth Congresses but was expelled from the Senate in 1861 for support of the Confederacy.

While traveling to his post as Confederate envoy to Britain and France, on the British mail steamer RMS Trent, the ship was stopped by USS San Jacinto on November 8, 1861. Mason and John Slidell were confined in Fort Warren, Boston Harbor, precipitating the Trent Affair that threatened to bring Britain into open war with the United States of America. He was released in January 1862 and proceeded to London, where he represented the Confederacy until April 1865. Until 1868 he lived in Canada, and then returned to Virginia. He died on 28 April 1871 at Clarens in Fairfax County, Virginia at age 72, and was interred in Christ Church Episcopal Cemetery, Alexandria, Virginia.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Thor of Tranent, the Sheriff of Lothian

Thor of Tranent, also known as Thor, son of Sveinn or Thor, son of Swain (fl. 1127 x 1150), Lord of Tranent and Sheriff of Lothian, was a landlord and chieftain active in Lothian in the reign of King David I of Scotland. He is attested in a large number of charters during King David's reign in Lothian, both as a charter witness on charters granted by other patrons and on charters he himself issued. His name appears either as Thor son of Sveinn or "Thor of Tranent", the latter appellation deriving from his ownership of the "barony" of Tranent, East Lothian, lands including a wide area around the modern town, including, for instance, Prestonpans.

This is the modern building of Tranent parish church, controlled by Thor and granted to Holywood Abbey circa 1150; the older church was replaced around 1800.His earliest attested appearance is probably that of 1127, when he witnessed as Thor de Trauernent a charter of King David granting land in Edinburgh to the church of St Cuthbert of Edinburgh. As Thor filius Swani (written Thoro filio Swani), in 1130 he witnessed a favourable grant by King David to Dunfermline Abbey regarding rights over ships trading at Inveresk, East Lothian.

In a charter issued at Stirling granting a salt pan to Kelso Abbey in 1143, he appeared as Tor vicecomite, Thor the Sheriff. Sometime in the following year, he was at Edinburgh Castle, witnessing a grant by the king of land in Dalkeith to Holyrood Abbey.

Appearing once more as "sheriff", at an uncertain point between 1143 and 1147, he was witness to a royal grant issued at Edinburgh of a toft in the burgh of Haddington, East Lothian, to Dunfermline Abbey. During the same period, he witnessed a grant issued from the same location by Earl Henry of lands at Duddingston to Kelso Abbey.

Around 1150 he witnessed a grant by Robert, Bishop of St Andrews, passing over the church of Lohworuora (later renamed Borthwick, Midlothian) to Herbert, Bishop of Glasgow.[8] There was a charter to the Manuel Priory, now lost, dating to Máel Coluim IV's reign (1153–1165), that mentions a perambulation of the lands of Manuel conducted by Thor son of Sveinn and Geoffrey de Melville.

He is almost certainly the Durandus vicecomes, mentioned in two charters dating between 1140 and 1150, issued by king David and his son Earl Henry, granting the land of Clerchetun (i.e. Clerkington) to the church of St Mary of Haddington. Durand is a Normanisation of the Scandinavian name Thor.

His sheriffdom's name is unclear, and perhaps did not have one originally; at later stages it was called, variously, Edinburgh, Haddington, Lothian, and Linlithgow, and so for that reason he is sometimes called "sheriff of Lothian".

As it happens, one of Thor's own charters survive in a copy in the cartulary of Holyrood Abbey. The charter is a grant of his parish church at Tranent to that abbey, made around 1150. It was witnessed by William, Bishop of Moray, Osbern, Abbot of Jedburgh, Thor, Archdeacon of Lothian, Aiulf (Æþelwulf), Dean of Lothian, Nicholas, royal clerk (future Chamberlain of Scotland), as well as by Thor's own seneschal Gille Míchéil, and the lesser known figures Neis flius Chiluni, Eadmund son of Forn, Bernard son of Tocce, Eadmund of "Fazeside" and perhaps a man called "Alden".

Ruins of Crawford Castle, built in the land Thor's son Sveinn II passed to the de Lindsey familyThree of Thor's sons are known, Sveinn, Alexander and William, all of whom appear in charters in the reign of William the Lion. His eldest son might have been Sveinn, who in addition to his estates in East Lothian appears to have become lord of Crawford in Clydesdale; Sveinn appears to have left only an heiress as his successor, the latter marrying the Anglo-French mercenary William de Lindsey, Justiciar of Lothian and ancestor of the Lindsay earls of Crawford. appeared. A "Sveinn son of Thor" was lord of Ruthven in the Angus-Gowrie borderlands.

His two other known sons Alexander and William both had non-Scandinavian names. Alexander seems to be the same "Alexander son of Thor" who is attested as Sheriff of Clackmannan between 11205 and 1207. Alexander's own son William was lord of Ochiltree near Binny, West Lothian.

The other son, William, was Sheriff of Stirling in a document dated circa 1165, and by 1194 at least William's son Alexander (fl. 1189 x 1223) had succeeded him. William is also known to have granted the church of Kirkintilloch in Clydesdale to Cambuskenneth Abbey, suggesting he shared in the fruits of the family's expansion into that western region.

Two settlements in Lothian, Thurston (East Lothian) and Swanston (Midlothian), mean "Thor's village" and "Sveinn's village" respectively, and were probably founded in this period. Through some unknown mechanism, in William the Lion's reign the land of Tranent was under the control of the incoming de Quincy family.

Thor of Tranent Lord of Tranent and Sheriff of Lothian (1127 - 1150)
is my 27th great grandfather
Alesta Eva Mar (1149 - 1210)
Daughter of Thor of Tranent
Walter FitzAlan 3rd High Steward of Scotland Stewart (1180 - 1246)
Son of Alesta Eva
Sir Alexander Thomas 4th High Steward Stewart (1214 - 1283)
Son of Walter FitzAlan 3rd High Steward of Scotland
James 5th High Steward of Scotland Stewart (1243 - 1309)
Son of Sir Alexander Thomas 4th High Steward
Walter 6th High Steward of Scotland Stewart (1293 - 1326)
Son of James 5th High Steward of Scotland
King Robert II, 7th High Steward of Scotland Stewart (1315 - 1390)
Son of Walter 6th High Steward of Scotland
Isabel Eupheme Princess Scotland Stewart (1344 - 1410)
Daughter of King Robert II, 7th High Steward of Scotland
King Robert Sir 3rd Baron of Clackmannan Bruce III (1375 - 1406)
Son of Isabel Eupheme Princess Scotland
Sir David, 4th Baron of Clackmannan, Bruce (1390 - 1428)
Son of King Robert Sir 3rd Baron of Clackmannan
Sir John 5th Loard of Clackmannabshire Bruce (1420 - 1473)
Son of Sir David, 4th Baron of Clackmannan,
David Sir Bruce of Clackmannan II (1445 - 1500)
Son of Sir John 5th Loard of Clackmannabshire
Sir David Bruce (1470 - 1506)
Son of David Sir
Sir David Bruce (1495 - 1568)
Son of Sir David
Archibald Bruce (1517 - 1606)
Son of Sir David
Robert Bruce (1570 - 1606)
Son of Archibald
Robert Bruce (1600 - 1671)
Son of Robert
David Bruce (1629 - 1673)
Son of Robert
David Bruce (1651 - 1704)
Son of David
Margaret Bruce (1680 - 1759)
Daughter of David
William Henderson (1699 - 1770)
Son of Margaret
William Barton Henderson (1720 - 1770)
Son of William
Samuel Henderson (1740 - 1782)
Son of William Barton
Samuel Henderson (1764 - 1841)
Son of Samuel
Nancy Henderson (1802 - 1878)
Daughter of Samuel
Benjamin Cothren (1833 - 1900)
Son of Nancy
Sarah Nettie Cothran (1867 - 1900)
Daughter of Benjamin
Edna Iva Mahannah (1890 - 1949)
Daughter of Sarah Nettie
Dwight (Robert) Stewart (Mason) (1913 - 1989)
Son of Edna Iva
Ronald Richard (Stewart) Mason

Sunday, April 15, 2012

George Mason...founding father

George Mason IV (my 8th great grandfather) was an American Patriot, statesman and a delegate from Virginia to the U.S. Constitutional Convention. Along with James Madison, he is called the "Father of the Bill of Rights." For these reasons he is considered one of the "Founding Fathers" of the United States. Like anti-federalist Patrick Henry, Mason was a leader of those who pressed for the addition of explicit States rights and individual rights to the U.S. Constitution as a balance to the increased federal powers, and did not sign the document in part because it lacked such a statement. His efforts eventually succeeded in convincing the Federalists to add the first ten amendments of the Constitution. These amendments, collectively known as the Bill of Rights, were based on the earlier Virginia Declaration of Rights, which Mason had drafted in 1776.

George Mason was born on December 11, 1725 to George and Ann Thomson Mason at the Mason family plantation in Fairfax County, Virginia. His father died in 1735 in a boating accident on the Potomac, when the boat capsized and he drowned. After this event the younger Mason lived with his uncle John Mercer. On April 4, 1750, he married sixteen-year-old Ann Eilbeck, from a plantation in Charles County, Maryland. They lived in a house on his property in Dogue's Neck, Virginia. Mason completed construction of Gunston Hall, a plantation house on the Potomac River, in 1759. He and his wife had twelve children, nine of whom survived to adulthood. Mason's first child, George Mason V of Lexington, was born on April 30, 1753.

Mason served at the Virginia Convention in Williamsburg in 1776. During this time he created drafts of the first declaration of rights and state constitution in the Colonies. Both were adopted after committee alterations; the Virginia Declaration of Rights was adopted June 12, 1776, and the Virginia Constitution was adopted June 29, 1776. Mason was appointed in 1786 to represent Virginia as a delegate to a Federal Convention, to meet in Philadelphia for the purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation. He served at the Federal Convention in Philadelphia from May to September 1787 and contributed significantly to the formation of the Constitution.

"He refused to sign the Constitution, however, and returned to his native state as an outspoken opponent in the ratification contest." One objection to the proposed Constitution was that it lacked a "declaration of rights". As a delegate to Virginia's ratification convention, he opposed ratification without amendment. Among the amendments he desired was a bill of rights. This opposition, both before and during the convention, may have cost Mason his long friendship with his neighbor George Washington, and is probably a leading reason why George Mason became less well-known than other U.S. founding fathers in later years. On December 15, 1791, the U.S. Bill of Rights, based primarily on George Mason's Virginia Declaration of Rights, was ratified in response to the agitation of Mason and others.

At the convention, Mason was one of the five most frequent speakers. Mason believed in the disestablishment of the church. Mason was a strong anti-federalist who wanted a weak central government, divided into three parts, with little power, leaving the several States with a preponderance of political power. An important issue for him in the convention was the Bill of Rights. He did not want the United States to be like England. He foresaw sectional strife and feared the power of government.

A Virginia planter, Mason owned many African slaves. Like some of his contemporary slave owners (e.g. Thomas Jefferson and George Washington), Mason conceded that the institution was morally objectionable, once calling it a "slow Poison" that "is daily contaminating the Minds & Morals of our People." Mason favored the abolition of the slave trade, but he did not advocate for the immediate abolition of slavery. Like Jefferson, he owned slaves whom he did not manumit. Two of Mason's stated reasons for opposing the U.S. Constitution were seemingly contradictory: on the one hand, he said that the draft Constitution did not specifically protect the right of states to let slavery continue where it already existed, and on the other hand he also said that the draft Constitution did not allow Congress to immediately stop the importation of slaves.

Mason's immediate concern was to prevent more slaves from being imported, and to prevent slavery from spreading into more states. He was not eager to ban slavery where it already existed: "It is far from being a desirable property. But it will involve us in great difficulties and infelicity to be now deprived of them." Mason ostensibly balanced his anti-slavery argument that importation should stop, with a pro-slavery argument that the draft Constitution should protect slavery from being taxed out of existence; however, the latter argument had already been incorporated into the Constitution according to James Madison. Because of his efforts to stop the spread of slavery, and his recognition of the undesirability of slavery, some historians have said that Mason should be categorized as an abolitionist.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Clan MacDougall

Catherine MacDougall married Robert Stewart about 1349, and they had a son, Sir John, Lord Lorne Stewart in 1350. Our lines cross more than once. The MacDougalls take their name from Dugall, son of Somerled, from whom they are descended. From Dougall, his son Duncan received the lands of Lorn. Duncan’s son, King Ewin of Argyll, although he made allegiance to Norway, refused to join King Haco in his ill-fated expedition of 1263.

Ewin’s son, Alexander, married a daughter of the Red Comyn who was slain at Dumfries, and in consequence the MacDougalls were bitter enemies of Robert the Bruce. In one battle with the MacDougalls, Bruce is alleged to have excaped only by discarding his cloak with his brooch, afterwards known as the Brooch of Lorn, and now a treasured possession of the chief of the clan.

When Bruce secured his throne he retaliated on the MacDougalls for their opposition, and after their defeat, Alexander submitted to the King, but his son John, fled to England, where he was appointed an Admiral of the English fleet. He was later captured in the Western Isles and imprisoned first in Dunbarton and afterwards in Lochleven. On the death of King Robert, John of Lorn was released and his lands restored to him. He married a granddaughter of Robert the Bruce and his son, John, was the last MacDougall of Lorn. He died without male issue, and the lands passed, through his daughters, to the Stewarts, Lord of Lorn in 1388.

In 1457, John Stewart, Lord of Lorn, granted to John MacAlan MacDougall, the lands of Dunolly. The clan joined the Rising of 1715, and under their chief, Iain Ciar, were present at Sheriffmuir. On the failure of the Rising the chief’s lands were forfeited, but restored when the clan remained loyal to the Crown in 1745.

Crest: An arm in armour embowed fessways couped, proper, holding a cross fitchy, gules. Badge: Bell heath, Crpress. War Cry: Buaidh no Bas ( Victory or death.) Pipe music: Caisteal Dhunolla ( Dunnolly Castle).

Thursday, April 12, 2012

10,033 family members and counting...

Aso, 1,986 photos...not bad for an novice

Scottish Knights Templar

Additional information regarding Henry St. Clair (Sinclair), Knight Templar. I still believe that Henry DID sail to North America, and with that, brought the "Hooked X" to America a hundred years before Columbus.

Since the mid nineteenth century myths, legends and anecdotes connecting the Templars to the Battle of Bannockburn have been created. Degrees in Freemasonry, such as the Royal Order of Scotland, allude to the story of Rosslyn and the Scottish Knights Templar. This theme was repeated in the pseudohistory book The Temple and The Lodge by Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, first published in 1989. On the subject of a possible Bruce connection, Masonic Historian D. Murray Lyon wrote "The fraternity of Kilwinning never at any period practiced or acknowledged other than the Craft degrees; neither does there exist any tradition worthy of the name, local or national, nor has any authentic document yet been discovered that can in the remotest degree be held to identify Robert Bruce with the holding of Masonic Courts, or the institution of a secret society at Kilwinning."

St Clair — Sinclair speculation
The St. Clair, later Sinclair, Earls of Rosslyn or Roslin have also been connected to Templarism in Scotland, but Mark Oxbrow and Ian Robertson in their recent book, 'Rosslyn and the Grail', note that the St. Clair of Rosslyn testified against the Templars at their trial in Edinburgh in 1309. Dr. Louise Yeoman points out that the Rosslyn/Knights Templar connection is false, having been invented by 18th century fiction-writers, and that Rosslyn Chapel was built by William Sinclair so that Mass could be said for the souls of his family. It should be noted that William St. Clair, 1st Earl of Caithness, is cited as not only having testified against the Knights Templar in 1309 but also founding Rosslyn Chapel in 1446 which are clearly conflicting claims. The Sinclair well documented connections are with Scottish Freemasonry which has a Templar degree. William St. Clair, (William Sinclair) 3rd Earl of Orkney, Baron of Roslin and 1st Earl of Caithness built Rosslyn Chapel. A later William Sinclair of Roslin became the first Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Scotland.In Michael T.R.B Turnbull's book Rosslyn Chapel Revealed he states that "Eighteen years after the suppression of the Order, Sir William Sainteclaire, in the role of a Crusader(not Templar), made a brave and honourable bid to fulfil the wishes of his late monarch, King Robert The Bruce". He then explains that he and his wife Lady Margaret Ramsay of Dalhousie produced a son (also Sir William)to succeed him as the 8th Baron of Rosslyn. Turnbull States that "His father could never have been a Knight Templar, as his wealth and marriage would have broken two of the three Templar vows — Poverty and chastity".

Templar survival in Scotland
John Graham of Claverhouse, "Bonnie Dundee", a Tory and Episcopalian, was killed at the Battle of Killiecrankie on 27 July 1689. He is said to have been the Grand Master of a Jacobite "Convent" the Temple in the Montrose area, appointed on the authority of Dom Calvet and was found to be wearing the Grand Cross of the Order under his breast plate. After his death the Mar is said to have held the office, and then Atholl. There no references to Templars continuing to the present day in Scotland known to scholars of the medieval and early modern periods, including the Medieval Hospice & The Preceptory of St Anthony, which suggest that the Order survived. Unfortunately, There is no proof or evidence to suggest that any Modern Order claims descent from the Original Order. No current Order in Scotland can claim true lineage from the Original Order.

Eighteenth Century Revival
Templarism experienced a revival of interest in the eighteenth century through Freemasonry with a Scottish influence. The first record of this is in Ramsay's Oration in Paris in 1737. Andrew Michael Ramsay was tutor to the Young Pretender, Prince Charles Edward Stewart. He claimed that Freemasonry had begun among crusader knights and that they had formed themselves into Lodges of St John. The next development was with Karl Gotheif, Baron Von Hund, and Alten-Grotkau, who had apparently been introduced to the concept by the Jacobite Lord Kilmarnock, and received into a Templar Chapter by a mysterious "Knight of the Red Feather". Baron von Hund established a new Masonic rite called the "Strict Templar Observance". The "Knight of the Red Feather" has been identified subsequently as Alexander Seton better known as Alexander Montgomerie, 10th Earl of Eglinton, a prominent Freemason in the Jacobite movement.

The modern revival
The modern revival of Templarism in Scotland starts with Alexander Deuchar. The records of one of Scottish Freemasonry's most prestigious lodges, the St Mary's Chapel Lodge of Edinburgh, describe the visit of a "...deputation from the Grand Assembly of the High Knights Templar in Edinburgh… headed by their most worshipful Grand Master, Alexander Deuchar...the first time for some hundred years that any Lodge of Freemasonry had been visited by an assembly of Knights Templar, headed by their Grand Master." This implies that there was an Order in existence 100 years earlier. In 1811 with a Charter from the Templar Grand Master in England, the Duke of Kent, Alexander Deuchar established the Grand Conclave of Knights of the Holy Temple and Sepulchre, and of St. John of Jerusalem. Controversially in 1836 " was proposed that non-Masons be admitted to the Order, at the same time the ritual was adapted in order to allow this to happen. Previously only Royal Arch Masons in Good Standing were allowed to join. Only the Royal Grand Conclave was allowed to admit non-Masons and these men were never members of any Encampments, only of Grand Conclave." The modern non Masonic Order Militi Templi Scotia claims descent from Alexander Deuchar who was a Freemason.

Masonic and non-Masonic orders
Templarism in Scotland has been claimed as the root of both Masonic and non-Masonic Orders. The Masonic Movement is generally referred to as the Knights Templar, but the full Style and Title of this body is "The United, Religious and Military Orders of the Temple and the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes and Malta".

European influence
In 2006 the "Commandery of St. Clair" No S1, Edinburgh, was chartered by the OSMTH Grand Priory of France.[17] The Commandery recently received affiliation of OSMTH International [18] at Commandery Status under the Mentorship of the Grand Priory of France. Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolymitani - The Grand Priory Of The Knights Templar In Scotland Ltd is registered with Companies House in the UK[19] and is working under the authority of The Commandery of St Clair, Edinburgh, No S1,Grand Priory of France (GPFT), OSMTH International.

The Scottish Templar Cross
Knights Templar Internationally use the Cross pattée, including The Commandery of St. Clair in alignment with the International Order OSMTH, The Grand Priory of the Scots (mainly American Scots) a Cross with two branches, and other Scottish Knights Templar Groups use the Eight Pointed Cross coloured red more commonly but not exclusively known as the Maltese Cross, of the Knights Hospitaller or Order of St. John or Cross of Amalfi. The Scottish Templar use of the Maltese Cross probably dates to the 1960s although the Cross itself is much older.

Scottish Knights Templar Tartan
The Scottish Knights Templar of OSMTH International have their own tartan. It was ratified and approved by the Grand Conclave of Militi Scotia S.M.O.J in Perth 28 March 1998. The original name was "Scottish Knights Templar of Militi Templi Scotia International." but it was changed to "Scottish Knights Templar of OSMTH International" in 2006. OSMTH stands for; "Ordo Supremus Militaris Templi Hierosolymitani".

William Sinclair, 1st Earl of Caithness

William Sinclair (1410–1484), 1st Earl of Caithness (1455–1476), 3rd Earl of Orkney (1455–1470), Baron of Roslin was a Scottish nobleman and the builder of Rosslyn Chapel, in Midlothian.

He was the grandson of Henry Sinclair, 1st Earl of Orkney and son of Henry Sinclair, 2nd Earl of Orkney, for a time protector of the young James Stewart/Stuart, the later James I of Scotland. He was Lord High Admiral of Scotland, and was Lord Chancellor of Scotland from 1454 to 1456. He became the first Lord St. Clair in Scotland 1449.

He made several big territorial transactions during his life.

The first important one was the exchange of his inherited lordship of Nithsdale to the estates of the earldom of Caithness - which soon led to his obtaining the title of Earl in the peerage of Scotland.

King James III gained his hold and rights of the Norwegian Earldom of Orkney for the Scottish Crown in 1470 (see History of Orkney), against a promised compensation (it turned out to be lands of Ravencraig, in 1471); and William Sinclair was thereafter Earl of Caithness alone until he resigned the Earldom in favour of his son William in 1476.

In 1471 James bestowed the castle and lands of Ravenscraig in Fife on William Sinclair, in exchange for all his rights to the earldom of Orkney, which, by an Act of the Parliament of Scotland, passed on 20 February 1472, was annexed to the Scottish crown.

He was married three times, first to Lady Elizabeth Douglas, daughter of Archibald Douglas, 4th Earl of Douglas; secondly to Marjory Sutherland, daughter of Alexander Sutherland, and lastly to Janet Yeman.

He fathered two known children with Lady Elizabeth Douglas. Their son (William Sinclair, 2nd Lord St. Clair) was, in the opinion of the father, a wastrel, whereby he was disinherited consequently. His family received only the Castle of Ravenscraig in Fife. Their daughter (Elizabeth Sinclair) would marry Andrew Leslie, Master of Rothes.

He fathered four known children with Marjory Sutherland; Eleanor Sinclair, Catherine Sinclair, Sir Oliver Sinclair, and William Sinclair, 2nd Earl of Caithness.

The earl's third son (William Sinclair, 2nd Earl of Caithness), of his second marriage became the designated heir of the Earldom of Caithness, and continued that title. The Barony of Roslin went to his second son (Sir Oliver Sinclair).

All in all, the Sinclair ancestry is well and thoroughly represented in Scottish and British high nobility, thanks to marriages of his daughters and other descendants.

William's daughter of his second marriage, Lady Eleanor Sinclair, married John Stewart, 1st Earl of Atholl, a relative of the kings. Lord Henry Darnley and his son James I of England descend from Eleanor, and through them, quite a many royal house of Europe. His other daughter by this marriage, Catherine Sinclair, married Alexander Stewart, 1st Duke of Albany, a nephew of the said Atholl.

Read more:,_1st_Earl_of_Caithness

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Matthew Rodham

Matthew Rodham was one of the colorful characters who was a part of the history of Kent Island. Matthew Rodham was one of 73 free men on Kent Island in 1642 and was summoned to attend the General Assembly. The land granted to Matthew Rodham was described as being on the western shore of Chesapeake Bay across from Kent Island. That location would be in present day Ann Arundel County which was formed in 1650.
In 1664 Matthew and his wife, Elizabeth, executed a deed of gift to Richard Kenner (another relative), "inconsideration of a marriage already had between Elizabeth my daughter and sd. Richard Kenner, ye plantation whereon I now live in ye county of Northumberland, 750 acres..."

Matthew was one of twenty-three men whose names appear on a list dated April 3, 1638, "Entred by Capt. George Evelin for the Manor of Evelinton in the Baronie of St. Maries." "Then in 1639 Matthew was released from his covenant with Clobery & Company." "These are to Certify all men whom it may concerne that Mathew Rhoden of the Isle of Kent in the Province of Maryland planter hath served his full time of Service due by Covenant with William Clobery & Company of London Merchants. Wittness my hand this 28th day of October 1639." /s/ Leonard Calvert."

One reference to Matthew, e.g.,comes from one George Turtle giving testimony before the Court of Admiralty about events of the previous year. Within the paragraph he mentions Matthew as articulate. (Matthew would have been about 17 at this time.) Cochran says of use of the word "articulate," that this "indicated that Rodham expressed himself well and was probably an educated man." He goes on to say that "if Matthew Rodham was educated and had funds of his own, those factors would have gone a long way in helping him gain acceptance in the colony even though he was very young." Another reference by Cochran refers to Matthew joining with his neighbors to sign the Oath of Allegiance to the Commonwealth of England: "That document exists to this day and Matthew's signature appears in a neat and precise hand. Many of his neighbors signed with a mark, others wrote their name in a laborous scrawl."

Matthew Rodham was one of the early English settlers in Northumberland County, VA, being first located in Accomack County in 1634 at age 14. In a 1653 deposition, he stated he was about 33 years old. Listed as an inhabitant on Kent Island 1 Apr 1642 (Archives of Maryland 4:69). He was assessed taxes in the amount of 32 lbs. on 2 Aug 1642 (Proceedings & Acts of the General Assembly of Maryland, Jan1637/8-Sep 1664, published as Archives of Maryland 1:143) He is variously listed as Mathew Rodan, Rodam, Rodham, Rhedon and others but signs his name as Matthew Rodham. He was living in Chiacone parish, Northumberland County, VA by 1651 and his daughter, Hannah, was then living. He is described as the son-in-law of Hannah Lee, wife of Hugh Lee, and widow of Robert Huett (another relative). His wife is listed as Elizabeth. He was listed as Mr., served as a justice and in the parish vestry at Chiacone. He owned several hundred acres of land, some of which had previously belonged to his wife' parents. He had at least three servants. He met his wife on Kent Island, her father Robert Huett was there as early as 1640. The Huetts had moved to Northumberland County in 1648 as the county was organized that year. The will of Matthew has not been located although it is mentioned in his wife's will.

A reference in Maryland Marriage Records, 14:183 states that Westmoreland County court book in 1684 has Susannah Rodham, daughter of Mathew Rodham and wife of Robert Mason, Sr. The only court book inexistance for that year is the order book. But kinship is clearly proven between Susanna and Elizabeth Huett Rodham by the latter's will. Matthew was "intimately acquainted with Samuel Lane" who was Reverend of Long Houghton parish, Northumberland, England and later lived on Kent Island, Maryland, dying in Anne Arundel County. Samuel had married Barbara Roddam, daughter of Edmund Roddam, of Roddam in Ilderton parish, Northumberland, England. The Roddam family also owned property in Long Houghton parish. While Matthew is not listed in the pedigree of the Roddam family, the circumstantial evidence indicates that he was a son of Emund Roddam and Margaret Grey. The ties which Matthew had to Samuel Lane, the correct time period, the uncommonnness of the name of Rodham, not to mention the fact that Margaret Grey had a brother-in-law named Matthew Forest, who was sheriff of Northumberland County, England in 1620, all suggest that Matthew may well have been the son of Emund and Margaret.

Edmund died in 1632 without a will. His administration mentions several children. Edmund Roddam entered his pedigree in the Visitation of 1615 but of course, Matthew would not have been born until five years later (ascalculated from his age in 1633). Margaret, the widow of Edmund, was buried in 1647 at Long Houghton. Matthew, a younger son, was likely bound as an indentured servant after his father's decease and brought to America, thereby not being recorded in the subsequent pedigree.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Family Found!

Welcome to the "family" Kent and Liz Skogerson. My cousin, whom I haven't seen in 60 years, contacted me through Our family rocks!