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  • #43 Royal Descents, Notable Kin, and Printed Sources: New – and Deleted – Immigrants of Royal Descent

    Gary Boyd Roberts

    Published Date : February 16, 2000
    In this column and the next, I shall review progress through 15 February 2000 in my ongoing revision of The Royal Descents of 500 Immigrants (1993), the second edition of which I hope to publish in late 2001 or 2002. To date I have added forty new immigrants and deleted twelve (before deleting three more, I shall undertake a bit more research). In the next few months I shall add, or at least investigate, another thirty or so additions, and then send the manuscript to a half-dozen or more scholars for further review. Today I wish to cover briefly the forty new immigrants to date. The twelve who have been deleted so far are Daniel and Hugh Harry of Pa., Oliver Cope, Robert Lloyd, and Dr. Thomas Wynne of Pa., Mrs. Margery Maude Fisher of Del., Mrs. Mary Fulford Lovecraft of N.Y., Henry and Walter Norton of Me. and Mass., and the Carter progeny of Mrs. Diana Skipwith Dale of Va., as per NEXUS 13 below and several subsequent TAG articles, plus John Goode of Va. on the authority of Paul C. Reed, and John Underhill of N.Y. on the authority of the late Ludlow Elliman, Neil D. Thompson, and Harry Macy. In the next column I shall review major adjustments in the royal descents of immigrants already covered in RD500.

    Over a dozen of the forty new immigrants were discussed in my Summer 1996 NEXUS column (13: 124-30). These were Countess Plater-Zyberk (Maria M. P. W. R. L. J. Wielopolska) of Pa.; Hon. Mrs. Joanna Frieda Hare Breyer of Mass., wife of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Gerald Breyer; George Mackay of Washington, D.C.; Mrs. Beatrice Maud Boswell Eliott Burton of N.Y.; Mrs. Maria Jo[h]anna Somerset Lowther Smith of Md.; the brothers Philip and Thomas Nelson, Jr., of Mass.; George Alexander Mackay of Mass.; William Kennedy of North Carolina (brother of colonial official Archibald Kennedy of N.Y.); Rev. William Skepper/Skipper of Mass.; Robert and Francis Yonge of S.C.; Mrs. Elizabeth Haynes Cooke of Mass.; Christopher Calthorpe of Va.; John Ashby of S.C.; Mrs. Joan Price Cleeve of Me.; and William Snelling of Mass. Mrs. M. J. S. L. Smith was noted in NEXUS as a newly discovered immigrant treated in the 1st edition (GPC, 1996) of The Plantagenet Ancestry of Seventeenth-Century Colonists by David Faris. I am pleased to report the recent arrival of the 2nd edition (1999), published by NEHGS. Derived from this new edition are Samuel Levis of Pa. (two of whose sisters also immigrated there; one, Sarah Levis, wife of Thomas Bradshaw, left descendants); Kenelm Cheseldine, atty. gen. of Md., son-in-law of Thomas Gerard of Md. and a first cousin once removed of the Marbury sisters of R.I.; and Thomas Booth of Va., an ancestor of dancer Ted Shawn.

    Among various 20th-century immigrant descendants of recent European kings, a great-great-granddaughter of Ferdinand II, King of the Two Sicilies (d. 1859) is Maria Immaculata Pia, Countess von Habsburg, of N.Y., former wife of art museum curator John Howard Dobkin of the Cooper-Hewitt Museum, the National Academy of Design, and Historic Hudson Valley (an immigrant I culled from reviewing a new compendium by Daniel Willis, formerly Brewer-Ward, The Descendants of Louis XIII [1999]). Data on advertising executive David Mackenzie Ogilvy and several other immigrants have or may emerge from my recent buying spree of biographies, mostly remaindered at bookshops put out of business by Internet competition. Ogilvy’s mother was a first cousin of Dame Rebecca West, novelist and lover of H. G. Wells; Ogilvy’s father was the great-grandson of a Mackenzie baronet descended from James V, King of Scots. Noted pediatrician and educator Josiah Ralph Patrick Wedgwood was a grandson of the 1st Baron Wedgwood, great-great-grandson of a brother of Mrs. Charles Robert Darwin (and great-uncle of composer Ralph Vaughan Williams). The recent Wedgwood clan, master potters of Etruria and cousins of the Cecils of Salisbury, are descended from George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence (brother of Edward IV and Richard III), and are treated in a supplement to Ruvigny’s Clarence volume (published in the later Essex volume) of The Plantagenet Roll of the Blood Royal. Penelope Eleanor Elphinstone-Dalrymple of Mass., whose 2nd husband was Sandwich historian Russell Lovell, Jr., was the daughter of a 7th baronet and a descendant of Anne Plantagenet, sister of Edward IV and Richard III, via St. Leger, Manners, Constable, Babthorpe, Cholmley, Strickland, Cochrane, Heron and Heron-Maxwell. Leighton Wilson of Georgia is one of the new immigrant discoveries of Brice McAdoo Clagett and will appear, along with twenty or more other immigrants of royal descent, in Brice’s forthcoming multi-volume work covering twenty generations of his children’s ancestry. Wilson’s maternal grandfather, Basil Wood of Bristol (brother of a Rev. Leighton Wood of Va. and Philadelphia), is also treated in the Essex volume of Ruvigny’s Plantagenet Roll.

    The actor brothers Ralph and Joseph Fiennes, known respectively for The English Patient and Shakespeare in Love, are covered in the splendid new 1999 Burke’s Peerage in a junior branch of the barons Saye and Sele. Their descent from James IV, King of Scots is through viscounts Harberton, Colleys (including a great-uncle of Wellington), and earls of Abercorn. Among several ancestors of the children of former NEHGS trustee Shirley Goodwin Bennett who have been traced by Mrs. Bennett and Paul C. Reed of Salt Lake City, is Robert Baillie of Ga., son-in-law of John Mohr Mackintosh of Ga., and descended via Bertrams of Nisbet, Murrays of Cardon, and Flemings of Gilmerton from the 1st earl of Wigtown, great-grandson of James IV. Patrick Falconer of Conn. and N.J., grandson-in-law of Gov. Theophilus Eaton of the New Haven Colony and Mrs. Anne Lloyd Yale Eaton of Conn., was the great-grandson of a Douglas of Glenbervie, descended from the earls of Angus and Robert III. A first cousin twice removed of Patrick was Alexander Falconer of Md., nephew of the wife of Quaker apologist Robert Barclay and husband of a Duvall kinswoman of President Truman and the Duchess of Windsor.

    I first suggested the royal descent of Mrs. Elizabeth Mansfield Wilson of Boston, wife of Rev. John Wilson, in my bibliography of early Middlesex County testators in the July 1999 Register. Elizabeth’s siblings John Mansfield and Mrs. Anne Mansfield Keayne Cole also immigrated to Massachusetts but left no known or traceable descendants beyond immediate progeny. Research on this line was undertaken by John C. Brandon of Columbia, S.C. and a joint article by him, Robert Charles Anderson, and perhaps others will probably appear in a future issue of the Register. The humorist P. G. Wodehouse, sometime of New York, was the great-great-grandson of a 5th baronet (the head of the family is now earl of Kimberley) descended via Cottons and Howards from Surrey the poet, dukes of Norfolk and Buckingham, earls of Northumberland, Sir Henry “Hotspur” Percy, and Edward III. Wodehouse (whose RD was first brought to my attention by Robert Battle of Tacoma, Wash.) and Aldous Huxley (see below) are both covered in the new American National Biography (24 vols., 1999). Royal official Thomas Lechmere of Mass. (for whom the subway stop and late store chain were ultimately named) was descended via Sandys, Bulkeley, and Savage from the Somersets, earls of Worcester (later dukes of Beaufort), who were patrilineally Plantagenets through one illegitimacy and one legitimation. This line was first brought to my attention by Davida Symonds of the NEHGS advisory council. Hon. Mrs. Cynthia Burke Roche Burden Cary of Newport, R.I., a great-aunt of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, and matrilineal great-grandmother of the actor Oliver Platt, was a daughter of the 3rd baron Fermoy. In addition to sharing the New England and mid-Atlantic ancestry of Princes William and Henry of Wales, Mrs. Cary was also descended from Edward III via Boothby, Curzon, Vernon, Ludlow, Vaughan or Grey, Touchet/Audley, Holand, and Constance Plantagenet, daughter of Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York.

    Barbara Mitford, first wife of Rev. Hawte Wyatt of Va., has been the subject of much study by Thomas S. Erwin of Raleigh, N.C. Her father Philip was almost certainly the son of John and Barbara (Lawson) Mitford of Seghill, Northumberland, the former descended from Widdringtons, a junior Percy line, “Hotspur” again, and Edward III. Lydia M. Latrobe of N.Y., wife of engineer and steamboat builder Nicholas J. Roosevelt, was the daughter of the architect and civil engineer Benjamin Henry Latrobe (1764-1820) and his first wife Lydia Sellon (who died in England), subject of an unpublished typescript by NEHGS colleague Henry B. Hoff that traces Lydia’s descent through Speir, Castillion, St. John, Iwardby, and Carew to Sir Roger Fiennes and Elizabeth Holand. This last is identified in the new Plantagenet Ancestry of Seventeenth-Century Colonists as a daughter of John Holand, 1st Duke of Exeter (half-brother of Richard II), and Elizabeth Plantagenet, daughter of John of Gaunt and his cousin Blanche of Lancaster, and granddaughter of Edward III.

    I treated the ancestry of Aldous Leonard Huxley, of California after 1937, author of Brave New World, in NEXUS 16 (1999): 72-73. A nephew of novelist Mrs. Humphry Ward, a great-nephew of poet and literary critic Matthew Arnold, Huxley was descended via Penrose, Vinicombe, Ford, and Chudleigh from the Fortescues (later earls), Chichesters (later baronets), and Bourchiers, barons Fitzwarren and earls of Bath, from Thomas of Woodstock, youngest son of Edward III. Henry Hoff has also undertaken considerable work on the ancestry of Mrs. Abigail Brewster Burr of Conn. (Henry is descended from Roosevelts and Latrobes, but from only a possible, and perhaps doubtful, younger sister of Mrs. Burr – Sarah, wife of Jonathan Smith of Smithtown). Abigail, her possible sister Sarah, and their brother John (whose later history is unknown) were children of Rev. Nathaniel Brewster of Brookhaven, L.I. (husband secondly, almost certainly, of Sarah Ludlow) by his first wife, ---- Reymes, daughter of John and Frances (----) Reymes, granddaughter of William Reymes and Anne Evans, and great-granddaughter of William Reymes and Mary Payne, this last a daughter of Thomas Payne and Elizabeth Boleyn, first cousin of Queen Anne Boleyn. Both of Elizabeth Boleyn’s parents were descendants of Edward I; her father via Bohun and Butler, her mother via Seagrave, Mowbray, Welles, and Tempest.

    Thomas Danvers of Pa., husband of a Truxton and great-grandfather of NEHGS trustee Jayne S. Huntington, has been discovered by Jayne and Maryan Egan-Baker to descend from a younger branch of the Danverses of Shepshed, Leicestershire, from Cokes of Melbourne and Babingtons of Gisburne Hall (ancestors of evangelical leader Thomas Babington). Maternal ancestors of these Babingtons include Beaumonts, Suttons/Dudleys, Sancha de Ayala, and Staffords descended from Edward I. The 40th new immigrant I have added to date is Gov. Thomas Greene of Md., whose descent appears in line 16E of the new 5th edition of Magna Charta Sureties by Weis, Sheppard, and Beall. Greene’s father was a third cousin of Margaret Sandys of Va., wife of Sir Francis Wyatt, colonial gov. of Va., brother of Rev. Hawte Wyatt named above.

    Among the 30 or so immigrants I shall add to RD500, or further investigate, in the next several months are various Carys of New England and Virginia, plus the mother of George Cleeve of Me. (a line suggested by John Plummer); Percival Lowell of Mass. (a new hypothesis by Douglas Richardson); James Taylor of Lynn and Boston (developed by David C. Dearborn); Archibald Dunlop and Samuel Hotchkiss of Conn.; Emmanuel Woolley of R.I.; Humphrey Underhill of N.Y. (replacing his distant cousin John – a line also largely developed by Henry Hoff); Thomas Brassey of Pa. (developed by Anthony Hoskins); Henry Sewall of Md. and Mrs. Elizabeth Mallory Rivers of S.C. (developed by Brice Clagett); Gov. John Seymour of Md. (and other immigrants covered in British Roots of Maryland Families by Robert Barnes); Robert Drury, Thomas Keene, and Evan Ragland of Va.; and among recent immigrants the sometime U.S. resident Noel Coward, also covered in American National Biography, several more British actors or actresses now residing in America who are covered in the new Burke’s Peerage or recent volumes of the Landed Gentry, and a Buller and Trelawney descendant now allied with the progenies of tycoons H. M. Flagler and Andrew Mellon. I hope this review of new discoveries proves interesting or useful to many readers; in my next column, as noted above, I will discuss some major recent revisions in the lines of immigrants already included in RD500.
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