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Saturday, October 31, 2015

52 Ancestors Year 2 #45: Jacquetta of Luxembourg, part water witch?

     Jacquetta of Luxembourg is most well known for being the mother of Elizabeth Woodville, Queen of England as the wife of Edward IV.  This is a family history blog, not a history site and it is Halloween night, so I am just emphasizing the tales of witchcraft associated with her.  Jacquetta was born probably in 1416 to Count Pierre I of Luxembourg and St. Pol and Margueritte Debaux.  On her mother's side she was a descendant of the Plantagenet Kings of England, on her Father's she was of the Royal family of Bohemia a cousin of the holy Roman Emperor and a descendant of Duke John II of Brittany. The history of the House of Luxembourg started with a legend. This is that the first count, Siegfried, the water goddess, Melusina.  She caused the castle to appear on top of the rock it sat on.  They were happily married until Count Siegfried broke his vow of allowing her privacy once a month. He spied on her in the bath and discovered that she was actually part fish, a magical being like a mermaid.  Angrily, Melusina disappeared.  This legend was accepted as history by the family and I'm sure it would have influenced Jacquetta.

     In 1432 a sixteen year old Jacquetta married John, Duke of Bedford, aged 43.  She became the first lady (in precedence) of France and second only to the King's mother in England. The Duke of Bedford had a fine library and employed alchemists so Jacquetta would've been exposed to these.The Duke had assigned a young knight named Richard Woodville to be Captain of Calais and he and Jacquetta would've known each other.  After the Duke died in September 1435, Richard was assigned to take Jacquetta home to England. They married secretly on the way. This was very shocking, she was the highest lady in the land next to the Queen Richard Woodville was a "mere" knight.  Also the King had told her that she couldn't marry without his permission.  He likely planned to wed her to a supporter of his own.  The King was very angry but ended up merely fining her and by the time their first daughter, Elizabeth, was born they were again in his good graces.  Richard was made 1st Earl Rivers in 1448.  Jacquetta was related to both the King and the Queen and was a favorite of the Queen.

     Richard and his wife were on the Lancaster side in the War of the Roses.  When Edward IV of York won and became king Richard retired to his lands.  He and Jacquetta had fourteen children.  The first accusation of witchcraft is that Jacquetta used it to induce Edward to marry her daughter, Elizabeth.  However, by every description of her at the time she was a very beautiful woman so it seems unlikely that witchcraft would have been necessary.  Jacquetta used this family fortune to secure advantageous marriages for her children. She made an enemy of Richard Neville who turned against his former protege, Edward, and executed Jacquetta's husband and one of her sons.

     Neville charged Jacquetta with witchcraft and had her brought to trial. Evidence was a lead figure of a knight broken in the middle and bound with wire which she was accused of making and it was said that she had made one of King Edward and another of her daughter Elizabeth.  These charges were dismissed by the king, her son in law. They were revived later by Richard III as a justification for declaring Elizabeth's marriage to Edward invalid and their children illegitimate thus allowing Richard to take the throne. It is unknown if there is any validity to these charges. What is clear is she was a woman of amazing intelligence and strength of will.  Who could marry for love and come out on top, navigate the politics of the English during such a tumultuous period and die a natural death in the bosom of her family still in the height of power.  Her descendants include Henry VIII and Elizabeth I and she is the ancestress of most of the royal houses of Europe to the present day.

     Her story is told beautifully by Phillippa Gregory in The Lady of the Rivers and The White Queen.  She also wrote a history book called The Women of the Cousins' War which covers Jacquetta's life.  I was very thrilled to find her in our family tree!

Friday, October 30, 2015

52 Ancestors Year 2 #44: Jonas Danielsson, Hemmansbrukare, Swedish farm owner

     Jonas Danielsson is my 4th Great Grandfather. He was born on 29 Aug 1741, the son of Daniel Thorsson and Karin Jonsdotter, in Linneryd, Kronoberg, Sweden.  I know very little about him.  He married Helena Johansdotter on 18 Jun 1775 in Linneryd.  They had a son named Daniel and a stillborn child in 1783.  Helena also died at or following that birth.  Jonas remarried three years later on 18 Apr 1786 in Almeboda, Catharina Jacobsdotter.  They had seven children, two of whom died as infants.  Their first son and second child was Magnus Jonasson, my 3rd Great Grandfather. About 1800 the family moved to Nobbele, Kronoberg, where Jonas died on 23 Jan 1807 at the age of 66 of "breast fever" (brostfeber) or pneumonia.

     In the early days of my genealogy research, in 1979, I went to the LDS Family History Library in Los Angeles a number of times.  They have a very large library of microfilms and such.  I found a microfilm of parish records for Dadesjo, Kronoberg, Sweden. This is where my Great Grandfather, Adolph Peterson, Magnus' grandson, was born.  I found his birth record, his parents wedding record and I thought I found Magnus' birth record. I went on from there and put it all on my tree. Years later, in 2009, I posted my tree on Ancestry.  A man who was also descended from Magnus sent me a message that he had a totally different set of parents for Magnus. He had gotten it from a tree posted on line and he sent me the url. I contacted the Swedish man who had posted the tree and asked how he knew that he had the right ancestors for Magnus. He sent me a copy of the Husforhors, or household record that showed Magnus and his family. This said that Magnus was born in Linneryd, not Dadesjo. There was no arguing with it as it showed Magnus with the wife I knew was correct and the children including one that I knew to be my 2nd Great Grandmother.  He also sent me a copy of the whole tree which was fabulous! He was descended from my 2nd Great Grandmother's brother.  I sent him some data about her which he didn't have. This enabled me to correct my tree and discover Jonas Danielsson on it.

     What I learned is that just the same name is not enough to make an identification, especially in Sweden where there were few family names but just each child taking the first name

of its father.  There were a small number of first names in use so you will find very many people of the same name.  Thus the household records are very important!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

52 Ancestors Year 2 # 43: Edward Buck

     Edward was the older brother of my 2nd Great Grandmother, Elizabeth Buck. I mostly know of him through family letters that were in the possession of Jim Brown, some he sent e and some he sent me copies of.  Edward was born on 31 Aug 1841 in Manchester, England as shown on the Family Bible record.  He was the first born on John Buck and Sarah Lane, both of whom I have written blog posts on.  His father died 16 Dec 1846 when he was 4.  In 1850 his entire family (Mother, sister, Grandparents and Uncle and his family) moved to Buffalo, New York.  His Grandparents, William and Hannah Lane, his Uncle and his Mother are listed in the 1850 US Census but, for some reason, the grandchildren and his Uncle's wife are not.  I think the Census taker asked William Lane the names of his wife and children but didn't ask for any grandchildren or sons or daughters in law so William didn't volunteer them!

     Edward's mother, Sarah Lane Buck, remarried on June 14, 1853, Thomas Kay, also from Manchester.  He had a son, Robert, and he and Sarah soon had three daughters.  So by 1857, Edward had a younger step-brother, a younger sister and three younger half-sisters.  By 1859 the family had moved to Bayham, Elgin, Ontario, Canada. Here Edward's half-brother, William, was born.  The 1861 Census of Canada shows Edward along with his grandparents, Thomas and Sarah Kay, and all the siblings. Edward and his sister, Elizabeth, are living in a 1 1/2 story frame house with their grandparents, William and Hannah Lane.  Thomas and Sarah Kay, his son and their four children are living next door in another 1 1/2 story frame house.  Edward is 20 years old and his profession is listed as Laborer. Uncle William Frederick Lane and his wife and children had been living in Canada as early as 1851 but by 1860 they had moved to Cleveland, Ohio.

     About 1870 Thomas Kay and family moved to Saginaw, Michigan.  Thus the letters between Cleveland, Saginaw and Canada. In 1864, Edward joined the Vienna Volunteer Company of Infantry.  He was appointed First Corporal.  I don't believe he saw any fighting in it.  This company is interesting, though, as in 1866 it combined with four other nearby volunteer companies to form the 25th Elgin Battalion of Infantry.  This Battalion fought in WW I and in WWII, one company from it took part in D-Day, coming ashore in Normandy in 1944.  This is still a unit in the Canadian Forces, the 31 Combat Engineer Brigade, "The Elgins".  On August 19, 1865, William Frederick wrote to his father to say that Edward had gone to Chicago on his way to Cleveland and discovered an ad for Carpenters wanted.  This was for the Mobile and Ohio Railroad  which needed a bridge and tracks repaired after being destroyed in a Civil War Battle.  Edward went to Columbus, Kentucky to work for the RR.  He and his Uncle had been planning to find work together in the South following the devastation of the war.

     Not long after this on 13 Nov 1865, William wrote to his sister that he had received a letter from Columbus telling of the death of Edward. He died of "congestive chills" on 28 Aug 1865 and was buried in Columbus.  Congestive Chills was an old term for Malaria.  It is tragic as he seems to have been a cheerful and bright young man. In another letter that Jim read me but, sadly, didn't send, Edward mentions that the people he knows in Canada don't know that he is "a gentleman".  I didn't know either and I am taking that as a clue to his Great Grandfather's parentage, still unknown.  Without the letters I wouldn't have known what had happened to him.  I am glad to have been able to tell Edward's story!


Saturday, October 10, 2015

52 Ancestors Year 2 #42; Llewellyn "Mawr" Ap Iorwerth, Llellwyn the Great, Prince of Wales

         Llewellyn Ap Iorwerth (son of Iorwerth) was a  Prince of Wales from 1194-1240.  Only two Welsh rulers are called "the Great".  We are descended from him through Lucy Gifford who married Daniel Noyes Cookson in 1801. He is my 21st Great Grandfather! He had a tumultuous life and the  story is full of Welsh names and places, battles and castles. So I am not going to try to do a full bio.  Anyone can look him up in Wikipedia for that.

         Llewellyn was born in approximately 1173 in Abberffraw Castle in Anglesley, Wales.  This is a large island off the northern shore of Wales. Llewellyn's father was Iorwerth ap Owain Gruffyd.  Owain was the ruler of North Wales or Gwynedd (Southern Wales was Powys). As the oldest son,  Iorwerth should have ruled after his father but he died young (when Llewellyn was an infant). After Owain's death in 1170 two other sons split the kingdom of Gwynedd and ruled.  Llewellyn felt he was the rightful heir (eldest son of the eldest son) and from a young age he sought to rule. He was a descendant of the other Welsh king known as "the Great", Rhodri Mawr, who ruled from 844-878.  Llewellyn began a campaign to rule at an early age and by 1200 was the sole ruler of Gwynedd. By a combination of war and diplomacy he dominated Wales for 40 years and basically ruled the entire country.

        The history of Wales seems to be constant warfare among themselves and between them and the English.  Llewellyn was a master of shifting alliances as well as warfare.  He was allied with the English King John I (of Robin Hood fame) and married his illegitimate daughter, Margaret. He later joined with the barons who made John sign the Magna Carta. It is clear, though, that through all the ins and outs of the times his chief concern and devotion was to the good of Wales and its people. Which is undoubtedly why he is still greatly admired and honored in that country. In 1234 he made a truce with Henry III, King of England, which was for two years but he kept extending it so that for the last six years of his life the country was at peace. Only six years but a long period of peace for that time and place.

        John Edward Lloyd said this of him, "Among the chieftains who battled against the Anglo-Norman power his place will always be high, if not the highest of all, for no man ever made better or more judicious use of the native force of the Welsh people for adequate national ends; his patriotic statesmanship will always entitle him to wear the proud style of Llewellyn the Great."

        My interest in him stems from his appearance in my favorite series of historical romance novels, the Rosalynde Chronicles by Roberta Gellis.  He appears as a character in several of these books.  When I found him on my family tree I was very excited!

Friday, October 2, 2015

52 Ancestors Year 2 #41: Maria Magdalena Pastore

     Maria Magdalena Pastore was the wife of Giuseppe Tinetti who I wrote about recently-he's the man who may have lived for a time in Monaco as a baker.  As his wife, Maria would have lived there, too. Maria was unique in that she died on her birthday.

     Maria Magdalena Pastore was born on 21 Oct 1790 in San Martino Canavese, Torino, Italy.  She was the oldest daughter of Bartolomeo Pastore and Giovanna Motto.  She married Giuseppe Tinetti on 11 Feb 1805 in San Martino.  They had at least seven children, probably more, their youngest son, my 2X great grandfather, Giovanni Tinetti, being born in 1825.  The family moved to San Giovanni around 1810 where most of their children. Possibly they lived in Monaco from 1825 to 1848, after which they returned to San Giovanni.  After 1855 and before Oct 1865, Giuseppe died.  Maria apparently moved in with her youngest son, Giovanni, as she was living with him when she died on 21 Oct 1865.  Her death record says she was 81 but it looks like she was actually 75 years old.

     We have no photos of Maria but we do have photos of the towns she lived in: San Martino, San Giovanni and Vallia, Torre Canavese.  They are pretty towns at the foot of the Alps. She probably ate cherries from the Cherry tree that still stands in the back of the Tinetti house in Vallia.