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The Descent of Hughes
Page 1 - Introduction

(including pedigrees of the Milne, Senior, Ham(m)ersley and other families, together
with some pictures of family homes and other places)

'Y Gwir Yn Erbyn Y Byd' ('The truth against the world') - Hughes motto.

This motto is carved on fireplaces at the Hughes' one-time family home at Donnington Priory, Newbury, Berkshire, as pictured below.

'Squire Brown, J.P. for the County of Berks' (John Hughes, J.P. 1790-1857; my great-great-great-grandfather)
An illustration from 'Tom Brown's Schooldays'.

'Their name must ever be respectable. They exhibited virtues from which human esteem is as inseparable as the shadow from the substance - a severe adherence to principles, an uncompromising sincerity, individual disinterestedness and consistency.'

Here is a simplified Hughes family tree in Adobe Acrobat format (see also here).

Catherine Tudor of Berain
by Lucas de Heere (1568)

Great grand-daughter of Henry VII (according to the Dictionary of Welsh Biography) and thereby a cousin of Elizabeth I and, according to various theories, mother of the true William Shakespeare. She is known as 'The Mother of Wales'. During World War II this painting was stolen in Holland by Goering and was rescued by Allied troops at the end of the war.

She was the ancestor of -

Jane Elizabeth Hughes ('Jeanie')
by George Frederick Watts (1859)

Philanthropist and social reformer, co-founder of the British Red Cross, first female civil servant in Whitehall, sister of Thomas Hughes, author of 'Tom Brown's Schooldays'. She was also painted by Millais and was the model for Dorothea, heroine of George Eliot's 'Middlemarch', the greatest work of fiction in the English language; so the brother and sister, Thomas and Jane, are the basis of two of the most famous English literary characters; 'Dorothea' of 'Middlemarch' and 'Tom Brown' of 'Tom Brown's Schooldays'.

Great-great-great-grandmother of -

Georgina Milne ('Georgie')

Nassau Thomas Senior (d. 24 Nov 1789 or 23 June 1786), Governor of the Company of Merchants Trading to Africa.

Great-grandfather of -

Nassau John Senior (1822-1891), barrister, husband of Jane Hughes (above)

Great-great-great-grandfather of -

James Nassau Gordon Milne

Introduction
'I was simply knocked out by your astonishing webpage.' - A reader's comment, April 2006.

I think perhaps your family tree is one of the most extensive, incredible, well-illustrated family tree/histories on-line that I have ever seen. It took me more than an hour just to read through some of it.' - A reader's comment, June 2006 (a Professor by the way).

'A magnificent achievement.' - A reader's comment, October 2006.

'Absolutely fascinating and a tour de force... what an incredible voyage through history (and geography).' - A reader's comment, February 2007.

'I was so fascinated by your amazing site and the immensely readable format that I was up until the small hours, reading... many congratulations on putting together such an astonishing document.' - A reader's comment, March 2008.

'Your website is a gem and I will return to it whenever I have rainy days and idle time on my hands. Thank you for sharing it.' - A reader's comment, November 2008.

'zzzzzzzzzz' - The five other readers.

"Comrade Rossiter. I shall be delighted to furnish you with particulars of my family history. As follows. Soon after the Norman Conquest, a certain Sieur de Psmith grew tired of work - a family failing, alas! - and settled down in this country to live peacefully for the remainder of his life on what he could extract from the local peasantry. He may be described as the founder of the family which ultimately culminated in Me. Passing on." Psmith in the City by P G Wodehouse

Very many families have connections to people who have done interesting or worthwhile things (someone must have invented the traffic light) but in my own researches I have been surprised at how many of these there are. Not all of these connections are exactly 'worthwhile' but they certainly provide variety. Here, off the top of my head, are some of them:

  • one of the men who financed Christopher Columbus' discovery of America and was never repaid (I'm still trying to figure out a way to make some money out of that - what does 500 years cumulative compound interest work out as, I wonder?);
  • the same man was the only man who ever sued the Inquisition and won (and he was a Jew at that);
  • an English Duke (the last of his line), a personal friend of the late Queen Mother, who was a member of a real-life 'League of the Scarlet Pimpernel' which concealed some 4000 Jews and Allied soldiers from the Nazis during World War II. This story was made into a famous film starring Gregory Peck (OK, it's called 'The Scarlet & The Black'), which some say was his best film. This Duke also played a key part in a plot in 1940, which involved the Pope (Pius XII) and certain German generals, to overthrow Hitler. Had this plot worked it would have averted the Second World War;
  • a man who tried to assassinate General Rommel;
  • two Prime Ministers, one of whom was assassinated;
  • a Spanish knight, a member of one of the most illustrious families in Spain, who was one of the leaders of the first modern revolution (called 'The War of the Communities' 1520-1521), executed in 1521, who is one of the great heroes of Spanish history (with a curious connection to The Mask of Zorro). He and his companions were known as the 'Caballeros Comuneros' (that is effectively 'Communist Knights') and they rose against against the Holy Roman Empire of Charles V - but the Empire struck back;
  • a recent pretender to the throne of Portugal (not related) who 'nicked' (illegally adopted) a title granted to a branch of my mother's family, namely 'Countess of Penafiel';
  • another woman, related by marriage to my mother's family, who was, at that time, according to some, the real Queen of Portugal;
  • a possible link to one of the richest treasure wrecks in the world (mainly gold, rubies and diamonds) estimated to be worth $1 billion, which has been lying in deep water 18 miles off the Azores for the last 400 years (If you feel like lending me, say, $10 million on the security of any legal interest I might have in this treasure, please get in touch. Quite a good bet I would have thought. No? Oh well, just an idea.);
  • the first Governor of a united Canada, who declined the office of Chancellor of the Exchequer - he was killed in a riding accident;
  • the man who sentenced Mary, Queen of Scots, and Guy Fawkes to death.
  • a family home which featured in 'The 39 Steps', the adventure story by John Buchan.
  • the house which was the inspiration for Toad Hall in 'The Wind in the Willows'.
  • a man who some believe was the real William Shakespeare (based on de-cyphering a secret message on Shakespeare's tombstone amongst other things);
  • another (unrelated) man whose portrait, it appears, has long been held to be the best portrait of Shakespeare ('the Mona Lisa of Shakespeare portraits'), which has caused a huge row between the Stratfordians and the Oxfordians, the two principal protagonists in the Shakespeare 'authorship debate';
  • the author of 'Tom Brown's Schooldays' (who was also one of the founders of the Trade Union Movement);
  • his sister, who was one of the founders of the British Red Cross, who Florence Nightingale described as 'a noble army of one' (on account of her work for pauper children), who was the first female civil servant, who was painted by Millais and who was the model for the heroine of the greatest work of fiction in the English language; that is 'Dorothea' in 'Middlemarch' by George Eliot;
  • his daughter, who lived and worked amongst the poor in the East End of London and was practically a living saint (as well as a Communist); it was said of her that 'Her lice were her glory' (She got lice from her contact with the poor and destitute). Gandhi insisted on meeting her when he visited London in 1931;
  • his father, 'Squire Brown', the archetypal English squire;
  • the founder of the Amateur Athletics Association;
  • a man who fought at the Battle of Khartoum and who later commanded the 11th Division at the landing at Suvla Bay (Gallipoli campaign) on 6 August 1915, the greatest military disaster in British history;
  • 'Waterloo William', the youngest officer at the Battle of Waterloo;
  • a kind bank manager (possibly the only one in the history of the world);
  • a Victorian woman, who seems to have been a walking disaster area and who 'grew up to wreak havoc on almost everyone she met' (her recent biography is called 'Inside flap, The Disastrous Mrs. Weldon: The Life, Loves and Lawsuits of a Legendary Victorian');
  • the 'father of the Brigade of Guards' who was (and remains) the longest serving General in the British army;
  • 5 members of the same immediate family who, amongst them, worked for over 90 years (1880-1972) for Barnardos, the children's charity;
  • a man who found an enormous fortune and then died saying "Gold! All for you, everything is straight in London." and without telling anyone where it was. Curses! Actually I suspect that these are Funds in Chancery, and I think the chap had found proof of his entitlement as heir or co-heir of unclaimed funds or property, possibly lands in Staffordshire, but I am too lazy to follow it up;
  • an Earl who died in 1972 without issue leaving an estate which today must be worth tens of millions pounds (Liverpool City Council are still looking for the rightful heirs);
  • a banker to the royal family (and the Secret Service) who died penniless in 1840. My personal theory is that he loaned the money for the rebuilding of Windsor Castle and wasn't repaid; I'm thinking of a repossession order. Just joking. He did in fact lend lots of money to the Prince Regent (a very silly thing to do given that the Prince Regent was a complete spendthrift) who did spend vast amounts on various building projects, including the Brighton Pavillion;
  • another banker, from the same family, whose family bank also went bankrupt in 1923 (that's two family banks that have gone under), as a result, I suspect, of being defrauded by a close friend and business partner of the 1st Duke of Fife (who married Princess Louise, the third child and eldest daughter of King Edward VII). When the fraudster, an earl, died in 1923 investigations into his almost certainly criminal activities were not pursued, primarily, I suspect, on account of this royal connection and the possibility of embarassing disclosures;
  • Britain's most famous gardener - a lady;
  • a reputed lover of Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia;
  • a great-aunt who was painted by John Singer Sargent;
  • the man who invented the Victorian workhouse system, with the best of intentions, and about whom Karl Marx was rather rude (no manners some people). I think he is the original 'toady of the bourgeoisie', though actually he was a man of iron principle and was sacked for his support of the Catholic Church in Ireland (he suggested that the rich, minority Protestant Church in Ireland might like to give some of its money to the impoverished Irish Catholic Church - an idea that went down like a lead balloon). He was also responsible for giving people, for the first time, a legal right to medical treatment (s.54 Poor Law Amendment Act 1834) thus effectively setting up a national health system or 'national health service';
  • this same man also prevented a war between Great Britain and the United States;
  • a man who escaped from the Black Hole of Calcutta, received an enormous 'gift' (read 'bribe'), equivalent to many millions of pounds in today's money, from the Nawab of Bengal (I like to think of a casket of jewels) and who used the money to buy an estate back in England (there's a picture of his house);
  • the man who led the 'Mutiny on the Bounty' (actually an extremely distant relation by marriage but I had to put him in);
  • a baronet and his wife (a famous seller of up-market ladies underclothing) who escaped from the Titanic in a half-empty lifeboat (actually, a letter written shortly after the disaster has come to light (in 2007) which makes it clear that they were completely blameless);
  • a vicar and his wife who didn't escape from the Titanic (she refused a place in a lifeboat in order to stay with her husband);
  • a lady, the mother of the Shakespeare suspect (above), who is reputed to have poisoned three of her four husbands and who had so many children she is known as 'The Mother of Wales';
  • one of her husbands, the instigator of the London Stock Exchange, whose house is reputed to have been built by the Devil (actually this idea was dreamed up by some brainless locals who, I suspect, saw brick kilns burning in the dark - it was the first brick-built house in Wales apparently);
  • a Knight of the Carpet (I've no idea either - it sounds like some after-dinner game);
  • the man to whom Shakespeare wrote his most mysterious poem, The Phoenix & The Turtle (it's supposed to be some sort of secret Rosicrucian code - but actually it is a very beautiful poem about love, the phoenix, and constancy, the turtle dove);

Beauty, truth, and rarity,
Grace in all simplicity,
Here enclosed, in cinders lie.

Death is now the phoenix' nest
And the turtle's loyal breast
To eternity doth rest,

Leaving no posterity:
'Twas not their infirmity,
It was married chastity.

Truth may seem, but cannot be:
Beauty brag, but 'tis not she;
Truth and beauty buried be.

To this urn let those repair
That are either true or fair
For these dead birds sigh a prayer.

  • the man who de-cyphered the secret plans of the Spanish Armada;
  • a man who shot his lover's husband as they were coming out of church after their wedding, carried the lady off and married her on the same day, so that she was 'maid, widow and wife twice in the same day';
  • the man generally held to have been the flower of chivalry and the greatest knight in Christendom - ever (his name was William Marshall (1146-1219), Earl of Pembroke, and I seem to remember that, at one tournament, he broke 47 lances in one day - he is one of the Knights Templar buried in the Temple Church, London);
  • the Blue Knight of Gwent (he fought at Agincourt) and his wife the Star of Abergavenny;
  • the man who reputedly crowned Henry VII on the battlefield after Bosworth;
  • a reputed bastard son of Henry VII, brought up by Henry VII at Court, described in an elegy written shortly after his death as 'a man of earl's blood and of kingly line'. Henry VII recorded personal information in a secret notebook but this notebook was stolen and destroyed by a pet monkey, so by a preposterous turn of fate the truth about Henry's possible son has been lost to posterity;
  • a man (called 'Sir John of the Thumbs' because he had two thumbs on each hand) who killed a dragon - and don't you dare tell the people of Denbigh ('Dimbych' means 'no more dragon' in Welsh) that their dragon didn't exist;
  • a hook-nosed Norman knight, nicknamed 'The Wolf', who kept his father-in-law in a cage (sounds like the ideal Sunday lunch guest - 'A small sherry perhaps, Mr. Wolf?');
  • the owner of the smallest palace in the United Kingdom - namely me (undiscovered until 2002);
  • the man who owned the poshest kitchen sink in the world, made from pink marble;
  • El Cid, Lady Godiva, who were real people, Alfred the Great and King Arthur, who it seems pretty certain was also a real person;
  • all the usual suspects, including kings, queens, princes, dukes, earls and so on and so forth;
  • several Saints;
  • and, of course, me - 41st Baron of Mordington (which title - being a lordship of regality or palatinate (legally a little kingdom), no less - I acquired by mistake, believe it or not), clearly the most distinguished of the lot!

I have been trying to find a descent from the man who invented the 'whoopee cushion' but without any luck so far.

The pedigree which follows is, I would guess, fairly typical for an English family of gentle descent ('gentle' being a euphemism for bad barons, mischievous marquesses and dastardly dukes) and it is of interest for that reason. Many such families will include amongst their ancestors kings and queens, princes and princesses, heroes, villains, cowards and thieves; men who have fought (and some who have left their bones) on the most famous battlefields in history, including Crecy, Agincourt, Flodden Field, Bosworth, Khartoum, Waterloo and Inkerman (to name but a few); some who were victorious and some who weren't; some who were executed for treason or who suffered for their beliefs (but usually their greed!) and many who, in the words of Thomas Hughes, have 'for centuries, in their quiet, dogged, homespun way, been subduing the earth in most English counties, and leaving their mark in American forests and Australian uplands'. There is also a noticeable preponderance of men of the church, the army and the law and there are many connections to people who, in one way or another, have made some small contribution to the rich tapestry of English, Welsh and Scottish history.

Background

The following is an extract from a document called 'The Descent of Hughes', with later additions, which was prepared by a local historian (Ivy Curzon), who was not related, and given to my grandfather, Oliver Senior, many years ago. The original document traced a single line of descent from Henry VII's reputed natural son, Sir Roland de Velville (1474-1535). I have amended this to show a proven line of descent from Edward I, 'Hammer of the Scots'. There are numerous lines back to Edward I and earlier kings and further lines to Edward IIII. Some of these are indicated.

Conventions

Where I have been unable to read the original clearly this is indicated with a question mark in brackets. Question marks not in brackets are question marks on the original document. I have also added some comments and minor details. These are preceded by an asterisk. In a number of instances, I mention that one individual is descended from another i.e. Anne Perceval from Henry I, King of France. Where this is the case it means I have a pedigree tracing the descent.

The investigation

The story behind my investigation into this family tree may be of interest - it is something of an Internet success story. My grandfather gave me the pedigree (page 1, page 2, page 3) in about 1980, along with some other papers. A year or so later I was visiting a bookshop in Tunbridge Wells and came across a biography of Henry VII. This mentioned Sir Roland de Velville but said that he was probably a Breton mercenary who came to England with Henry VII, then plain Henry Tudor, in 1485. This was not unexpected - although the Dictionary of Welsh Biography, under Katheryn of Berain, describes Sir Roland as 'a natural son of Henry VII'. I took no further action until 1997, some 17 years later, when I wrote to the College of Arms to see if they had any further information. They pointed me in the direction of two articles about Sir Roland. Reading these I quickly became convinced that Sir Roland was Henry VII's son but it was also evident that definitive proof was unlikely to be forthcoming.

I decided to look into various other families mentioned in the family tree, such as Salusbury (of Lleweni as I later found) and Griffith of Penrhyn. The Descent of Hughes mentions that Sir Roland's wife was a lady called 'Agnes Griffith, daughter of William Griffith Fychan of Penrhyn' but went no further. 'Agnes Griffith' didn't sound like the sort of person who might have interesting connections (How wrong I was!) but, nonetheless, I searched for the words 'griffith' and 'penrhyn' on the Internet using HotBot. It found this, which is a list of books about Welsh genealogy in the Library of Congress. This list included the following entry:-

The Welsh families of Penrhyn : a genealogical history of the Griffith family, Lords of Penrhyn, and the Williams family, of Cochwillan and Penrhyn 1985 E.H. Douglas Pennant. [Bangor, Gwynedd] : E.D. Pennant, 1985. LC: CS71.G853 1985 Dewey: 929/.2/0942

Not being a genealogist (at that time - I am now a confirmed bore on the subject) and having no idea where to look (the Library of Congress isn't exactly round the corner), progress might have been slow or non-existent had I not made contact, through the soc.genealogy.medieval newsgroup, with some very helpful people, both in the UK and the US. One of these very kindly sent me a huge GEDCOM file with details of about 5,000 people, which enabled me to link the Griffith family to most of the feudal aristocracy and royal houses of Europe. Other people have sent me pages and pages of information on various families, numerous photocopies of articles and pages from books, photographs, inscriptions and so on. I was really amazed at (and grateful for) the reaction.

Since then I have checked all the people shown below to other sources and have fleshed out some of the detail. I have also discovered a number of additional genealogical links. Through the Internet and the extraordinary kindness of others I was able to achieve in months what could well have taken years.

Interesting aspects

One interesting aspect of this family tree is that over a period of 500 years (1200 to 1700 or thereabouts), of 13 families shown 10 were of royal descent and 1 was descended from a reputed royal child and also from one of the 15 'royal tribes' (i.e. families) of Wales. The two remaining (Goushill and Troutbeck) may have a royal descent but I am not aware of it. Most of the 10 families have more than one line back to royalty so there are numerous lines back to William the Conqueror, more than I would care to count (Note - I have now written a program which can count descents. At the moment I have over 20,000 distinct lines of descent from Charlemagne). Some of these are indicated. Two other families shown here (after 1700), the Edens and the Hammersleys, also have numerous royal descents, in fact the Edens more than any other.

The 13 families referred to are as follows. Those with a royal ancestry are indicated with an asterisk.

  • De Bohun*
  • Badlesmere*
  • Fitzalan*
  • Goushill
  • Stanley*
  • Troutbeck
  • Griffith of Penrhyn*
  • Stradling of St. Donat's*
  • Bulkeley of Beaumaris*
  • Wynn of Gwydir*
  • Salusbury of Lleweni
  • Norris of Speke*
  • Perceval*

Most of these families go back, one way or another, to a number of royal houses, including those of England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland (including the High Kings of Tara), France, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, The Holy Roman Empire, Byzantium, Wessex and the early English kingdoms, Italy, Holland, Luxembourg, Poland, Burgundy, Portugal, Hungary, Bohemia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Kiev (through the marriage of Henry I, King of France, to Anne of Kiev), Novgorod and so on. It is also worth noting that most of the families mentioned here have died out in the male line and also that most of the marriages shown are between cousins, sometimes quite close cousins. Some quite interesting people from whom the Hughes are descended are not listed here. They include Lady Godiva and El Cid.

Sources

All the people shown have been checked to secondary sources (usually more than one), such as the Dictionary of National Biography or other publications. One error in the original document was found, which came from 'Burke's Landed Gentry', as shown below. Almost all of these sources have been pointed out to me by others, so I claim no credit. The sources include:

  • The Dictionary of National Biography
  • The Dictionary of Welsh Biography
  • Harleian Visitations (various)
  • The Marquis de Ruvigny's 'The Plantagenet Roll of the Blood Royal'
  • The Complete Peerage
  • Britain's Royal Families by Alison Weir
  • Burke's Peerage and Baronetage (Various editions)
  • Burke's Landed Gentry (Various editions)
  • Burke's Dormant and Extinct Peerages
  • Burke's Extinct Baronetcies

On the Hughes Welsh ancestors:

  • Byegones relating to Wales and the Border Countries
  • Ormerod's Miscellanea Palatina
  • Calendars of Salusbury Correspondence
  • Denbighshire Pedigrees by Lewis Dwnn
  • History of the Gwydir Family by Sir John Wynn
  • History of Powys Fadog
  • A Genealogical History of the House of Yvery (in The Society of Genealogists in London)
  • Ancient & Modern Denbigh by John Williams
  • Pedigrees of Anglesey and Caernarvonshire Families by J. E. Griffiths
  • Morganiae Archaiographia
  • Old and Extinct Familes of Glamorgan

The American connection

Some descendants of the Hughes listed here emigrated to the US. Further information on the Hughes family in America can be found in 'An American Saga - William George Hughes (1859-1902)' by Garland Perry, PO Box 200, Boerne, Texas 78006-0200 (ISBN 0-9646196-1-1 and CIP 95-75913), which has a useful bibliography.

William Hastings Hughes (1833-1909). He established a business importing sherry. After his first wife's death in Spain in 1864 he and his four children lived with his sister Jeanie at Elm House, Battersea. In 1878, following Jeanie's death in 1877, he moved to New York and, a few years later, to his brother's (Thomas) Utopian settlement in Rugby, Tennessee. In 1858 he married Emily Clarke (1838-1864) daughter of George Clarke (1809-1874), Archdeacon of St. David's, and Anna Eliza Frances Senior, sister of Nassau William Senior. They had four children:

William George Hughes (1859-1902). He emigrated to the USA in 1878 and built up a substantial ranch of about 7,000 acres near Boerne, Texas. He employed an ex-member (reformed) of the Jesse James gang. He married Lucy Caroline Stephenson in 1888 and had three children, Jeanie (b 1889), George (b 1892) and Gerrard Hastings (b 1895).
Gerard (1861-1894). He emigrated to the USA in 1882 and became a partner in his brother's Texas ranch. No issue.
Henry ('Harry') (1862-1896). He emigrated to the USA in 1879 and became a partner in his brother's Texas ranch and later worked for John Murray Forbes (see below). No issue.
Emily (b 1864). Following Jeanie Senior's death in 1877 she accompanied Jeanie's mother, Margaret, to Thomas Hughes's Utopian colony at Rugby, Tenessee in 1881. She married Ainslie Marshall in 1902 and had one child, Harry, who farmed at Sotik, Kenya. Harry did not marry and died in 1964. She probably died in Kenya after 1936. Her last letter to Oliver Nassau Senior, her cousin, is dated 1936.

William Hastings Hughes married, secondly in 1887, Sarah Forbes (1853-1917), daughter of the great American railway magnate, John Murray Forbes of Boston (1813-1898). They had two children:

Walter Scott Hughes (1888-1953). He married, firstly in 1924, Dorothy Pease (1896-1956), by whom he had one son, John Hastings Hughes (1925-1985), and, secondly in 1931, Paula Mason (1903-1995), by whom he had three children, Margaret (1932-1979), Kathryn (b 1937) and Arthur (b 1943).
Dorothea Hughes (1891-1952). She married David Simmons (1889-1960), a wealthy planter of Castle Daly, Jamaica, in 1929. They had no children.

Thomas Hughes (1822-1896). Author of 'Tom Brown's Schooldays', founded the historic town of Rugby, Tennessee in 1880. He had nine children as follows:

Maurice (1850-1859) He died young.
Evie (1851-1856) She died young.
James ('Jim' or 'Pip') (1853-1914) He emigrated to the USA in 1874 and established a business selling racehorses and polo ponies.
Caroline (1854-1906) She married Rev. Fraser Cornish of London.
John ('Jack') (1856-1888)
Mary ('May') (1860-1941) She dedicated her life to the poor and needy of the East End of London and eventually became a Communist. She did not marry.
Arthur (b 1863)
George ('Plump') (b 1865) He emigrated to the USA in 1882 and became a rancher in Kansas, eventually establishing his own ranch at Stanley Farm, North Topeka. He married Lena Cogdell and had three children, Tom, George and Caroline.
Lilian ('Lily') (1867-1912) She married Rev. Ernest Courtenay Carter in 1889, vicar of a poor parish (St Judes) in the East End of London. They had no children and were both drowned in the Titanic disaster of 1912.

See here for more detail.

What's not included

The original document included a list tracing Alfred the Great's descent from Adam, as presented to the Pope by Ethelwulf during his visit to Rome, but this is not included here. Of more interest perhaps is Charlemagne's ancestry, which apparently goes back to Roman senatorial and imperial families, or the pedigrees of the Welsh princes, which apparently go back to about 100 B.C. The ancestry of the British royal family can also be traced back to Byzantine Emperors, the High Kings of Tara (Ireland) and to Muhammad, though the latter is disputed (but not apparently by Muslims). This document only goes back as far as Mérovée, founder of the Merovingian dynasty. I have seen lineages traced back to, amongst others, Julius Caesar, Constantine the Great and Joseph of Arimathea, from whom the Welsh princes claimed descent. The oldest genealogies in Europe are, I am told, those of the High Kings of Tara (Ireland), which are supposed to go back to 1934 BC. I have added a possible line from King Alfred to King Arthur - see below.

Other sites

You might also like to visit:-

How to find out more

If you would like to find out more about the families mentioned here then the best places to look are the Dictionary of National Biography (DNB), which is available in most public libraries in the UK, and the Dictionary of Welsh Biography (DWB). Almost all the families in this pedigree, down to the Hughes, are listed in one or the other. Of the Hughes family and later, only Nassau William Senior, John Hughes, Thomas Hughes and Jane Elizabeth Hughes (Mrs. Nassau Senior) have an entry in the new DNB. The other places to look are Burke's Peerage, Burke's Landed Gentry and Burke's Dormant and Extinct Peerages. There are numerous sites on the Internet where people are listed. The best is probably The Directory of Royal Genealogical Data, which includes various members of the Hammersley family, amongst others listed here. The other place to try is Google.

How to contact me

Please E-Mail me if you have any comments, queries or suggestions.

All the best,

Graham Senior-Milne
Norham
October 2010

'Be it known, then, that when our gentleman had nothing to do (which was almost all the year round) he passed his time in reading books of knight-errantry, which he did with so much application and delight, that at last he wholly left off his country sports and even the care of his estate.' - The Life and Achievements of Don Quixote de La Mancha.


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