Royal Roots

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Long Line

It is week three in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge. This week’s prompt is titled Long Line.

I immediately thought of the many lines I have traced back through history the farthest. A few years ago, I became fascinated with identifying and proving lineage for several “gateway ancestors,” colonial immigrants whose ancestry can be traced to Old World gentry, nobility, or royalty. So far, I have determined that the following ancestors are direct descendants of Charlemagne: Edward Foulke (1651-1741) of Pennsylvania, my spouse’s 8th great-grandfather; Lawrence Smith (1629–1700) of Virginia, my 10th great-grandfather; Edmund Hawes (1612–1693) of Massachusetts, my 11th great-grandfather; and Peter Worden (1569-1639) of Massachusetts, my 12th great-grandfather.

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Categories: Brickwall Ancestors, Cole-Marriner Line, Royal Roots, Spangler-Kenney Line, Taylor-Thomas Line, Watts-Stark Line, Williams-Stott Line | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sancha of Léon

On this day, 7 November 1067, Sancha of Léon passed away. She was my 29th great-grandmother through her granddaughter Urraca di León y Castile and my 30th great-grandmother through her granddaughter Teresa of Léon.

Born circa 1018, Sancha de Léon was the daughter of Alfonso V of León by his first wife, Elvira Menéndez. She joined brother Bermudo III of León, born a year earlier.

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Categories: Famous Faces and Places, On This Day, Our Families' Faithful, Royal Roots, Watts-Stark Line | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Ultimate Sacrifice

Today is Memorial Day in the United States, a day to spend with your family and for remembering those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their county.

Early this morning, as I was preparing my homemade potato salad and cole slaw for tonight’s picnic, I gave thanks for our ancestors who have taken up arms through the centuries, particularly those who have perished while serving their country or cause, including:

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Categories: Cole-Marriner Line, Everyday People, Famous Faces and Places, Royal Roots, Watts-Stark Line, Williams-Stott Line | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Llywelyn ap Iorwerth

On this day, 11 April 1240, Llywelyn “Fawr” ap Iorwerth (Llywelyn the Great), the longest reigning ruler of Welsh principalities, died in Aberconwy, Gwynedd, Wales. (He was my 23rd and 24th great-grandfather.)

Born circa 1173, Llywelyn ap Iorwerth was the only child of Iorwerth “Drwyndwn” ap Owain and Marared ferch Madog. Llywelyn’s father was the eldest surviving son of Owain Gwynedd, prince of Gwynedd. In 1174, Iorwerth ap Owain died in at the Battle at Pennant Melangell. His mother was the daughter of Madog ap Maredudd, Prince of Powys. Through her, Llywelyn is descended from Rhodri Mawr, king of Wales.

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Categories: Cole-Marriner Line, Famous Faces and Places, On This Day, Royal Roots, Watts-Stark Line | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Joan of Valois

My genealogical researches have uncovered dozens of devout ancestors. This is the ninth installment of a series of posts titled “Doing God’s Work: Our Families’ Faithful”, documenting the lives of those who served God.

In the previous post of this series, I discussed the life of Marie of Brabant (my 23rd great-grandmother), who entered monastic life after the death of her husband. In this post, I will discuss the life of my ancestress, Joan of Valois, who became a nun after her husband’s death.


On this day, 7 March 1342, Joan of Valois, Countess of Hainault, passed away. She was my 22nd great-grandmother through her grandson Thomas of Woodstock, my 23rd great-grandmother through her grandson Lionel of Antwerp, three-times 20th and three-times 21st great-grandmother through her grandson John of Gaunt, and my 21st great-grandmother through her grandson Edmund of Langley.

Born circa 1294, Joan of Valois was the second eldest daughter of Charles of Valois and Margaret of Anjou.

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Categories: On This Day, Our Families' Faithful, Royal Roots, Watts-Stark Line | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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