In this section, I will be creating articles of general interest to all genealogists. These articles are often connected with discoveries I have made in my own research.
Only a few families can truly trace their surnames to the “Domesday Book”, and even fewer can go back even tentatively to the pre-Conquest Anglo-Saxon era. The only families that have been able to prove an ancestry to Anglo-Saxon ancestors are the Arderns from Aelfwine and the Berkleys from Eadnoth.
A few months ago, when searching for some information I found a reference to one of my ancestors on a site called Royal Blood. Royal Blood is a site that claims to list people who can trace their ancestry to European Royalty, in particular Charlemagne the Great - Holy Roman Emperor (742-814).
The ancestor I was searching for information about was “William Dawtrey” who was my 12th great grandfather.
In researching my Nurse ancestors in the Chew Magna area of North Somerset, I came across the following entry in the Chew Stoke parish register.
“5 Jan 1695 – Robert Nurse was buried
Rebecca Nurse of Chew Stoke hath made affidavit before Robert Payne ___, of Norton Malreward in the presence of Mary Lassey and Jone Walker for burying in woolen. – January 12 1695”
While I don’t remember being taught this at school, both my Mum and Dad insisted they had learnt the Kings and Queens of England using this mnemonic verse (or a variant thereof).
Shortly after William the Conqueror captured England he granted most of the lands that had been in the hands of English nobility to his followers, as he had done for William de Noers.
He also ordered twenty years later, in 1085, that a census be taken of all his newly acquired lands. It was the most extensive census that had ever been taken of any lands and remains to this day one of the most complete records of its kind. The census took about a year to complete.