Once upon a time – how we “could” be descended from royalty

Image from www.history.org.uk

You are of royal descent, because everyone is. You are of Viking descent, because everyone is. You are of Saracen, Roman, Goth, Hun, Jewish descent, because, well, you get the idea. All Europeans are descended from exactly the same people, and not that long ago. Everyone alive in the tenth century who left descendants is the ancestor of every living European today, including Charlemagne, and his children Drogo, Pippin, and, of course, not forgetting Hugh. If you’re broadly eastern Asian, you’re almost certain to have Genghis Kahn sitting atop your tree somewhere in the same manner, as is often claimed. If you’re a human being on Earth, you almost certainly have Nefertiti, Confucius, or anyone we can actually name from ancient history in your tree, if they left children. The further back we go, the more the certainty of ancestry increases, though the knowledge of our ancestors decreases. It is simultaneously wonderful, trivial, meaningless, and fun[1]”.

Proving the connection of course is much, much, much more difficult. The following chain was taken from www.familysearch.org in February 2022. The first ten generations starting from my Grandad are from my research, the very earliest agreed by historians. The bit in the middle is likely simple guesswork. When I went back to family search just a few weeks later the middle bit had been disconnected, so we are likely just descended from the peasantry (which would better ensure our Yorkshire roots so suits me). Nonetheless this “could” be how we are descended from King John and from there to both William the Conqueror and Alfred the Great. Not sure it’s the king I would choose……

  1. George Houseman (1921 – 1987) (Grandad)
  2. George Houseman (1868 – 1937)
  3. Thomas Houseman (1834 – 1908)
  4. Sarah Stansfield (1804 – 1885)
  5. Catherine Andrews (1778 – 1836)
  6. William Andrew (1728 – 1809)
  7. William Andrew (1696 – 1761)
  8. Ellen Inglesant (1663 – ?)
  9. Elionar Holme (1632 – ?)
  10. Ann Sympson (1595 – 1671)
  11. William Sympson (1567 – )
  12. Thome Sympson
  13. Thomas Simpson (1501 – 1545)
  14. William Simpson (1480 – 1524)
  15. Thomas Sampson (1439 – 1539)
  16. George Sampson (1422 – 1458)
  17. Margery Felbrigg (1407 – 1476)
  18. Sir John Bigod Felbrigg (1390 – 1475)
  19. Margaret Margery de Aspale (1356 – 1419)
  20. John de Aspall (1332 – 1377)
  21. Mirabella Wake (1310 – 1355)
  22. Hugh Wake (1272 – 1315)
  23. Lady Hawise de Quincy of Steventon (1250 – 1285)
  24. Elen (the Elder) ferch Llywelyn (1207 – 1253)
  25. Joan, Lady of Wales (1188 – 1237)
  26. King John of England (1166 – 1216)

[1] A brief history of everyone who ever lived. Adam Rutherford. Quoting from Joseph Chang’s mathematical paper.

5 Replies to “Once upon a time – how we “could” be descended from royalty”

  1. Hello cousin,

    You have another cool royal line through William Sampson’s wife Margaret de Bures. Margaret was the granddaughter of Sir Andrew de Bures and Alice de Reydon/Raydon. This Alice descends from the Bardolf and Poynings families which in turn descend from several interesting historical figures.

    1. Ooh, I’ll look at this one, thanks. Although I have my doubts about getting from Simpson to Sampson in the middle. Where do you fit in? Was wondering where our cousin connection was.

    1. Thanks. I need to look at this properly, still got a lot to learn about website development so appreciate the tip

  2. Hello Natasha,

    I’m happy you saw my message, thanks for your comments.

    We are cousins via your Thomas Sampson (1439 – 1539) :
    [ I have Thomas as dying 12/21/1483 … he married Elizabeth Say. According to my sources Thomas and Elizabeth had one son Thomas, and one daughter Margery. I descend from Margery who married Robert Felton. Also according to my sources the son Thomas died without issue, and because Thomas died, the manor of Playford (originally from the Felbrigg family) came into the Felton family.]

    You have a William Simpson descending from the above Thomas Sampson. It is possible that your William Simpson is an illegitimate son (Spelling was not really standardized at this period). If William Simpson was a legitimate son he would have retained the Playford manor instead of having it passed to his sister’s husband Robert Felton.

    I hope I haven’t created an issue for you, but it does seem entirely possible that your Sampson could become Simpson by a stroke of the pen, I have often seen that kind of stroke of the pen change family name spelling.

    I am happy to send you my sources if you are interested. We’ll be cousins until you tell me otherwise.

    Best regards,

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