Royal Roots

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

Marie of Brabant

My genealogical researches have uncovered dozens of devout ancestors. This is the eighth 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 Ela of Salisbury (my 24th and my 25th great-grandmother), an abbess. In this post, I will introduce Marie of Brabant (my 23rd great-grandmother), who entered monastic life after the death of her husband.


On this day, 12 January 1322, Marie of Brabant passed away.

Born on 13 May 1254, in Leuven, Vlaams-Brabant, Belgium, Marie was the youngest child and only daughter of Henry III, Duke of Brabant, and Adelaide of Burgundy. She joined brothers Henry (born circa 1251), John (born 1253), and Godfrey (birthdate unknown).

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Categories: Famous Faces and Places, On This Day, Our Families' Faithful, Royal Roots, Watts-Stark Line | Tags: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Diarmait Mac Murchada

Diarmait Mac Murchada in “Expugnatio Hibernica”

On this day, 1 May 1171, Diarmait Mac Murchada passed away. He was my 27th great-grandfather through his daughter Órlaith of Leinster and my multi-times great-grandfather through many, many lines via his daughter Aoife “Eva” MacMurrough’s granddaughters: Matilda “Maud” Marshal, Isabel Marshal, and Eva Marshal. (I started getting a headache from trying to trace all these connections. What a tangled web of familial connections…)

Born circa 1110, Diarmait Mac Murchada was a son of Donnchad mac Murchada, King of Leinster and Dublin. His father’s grandmother Derbforgaill was a daughter of Donnchad, King of Munster and a granddaughter of Brian Boru.

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Categories: Cole-Marriner Line, Famous Faces and Places, On This Day, Royal Roots, Watts-Stark Line | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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