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  #71  
Old 15th April 2018, 07:58 PM
benowicz benowicz is offline
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Okay, so to summarize: Attempts to pursue the origin of the Cheshire Gerard family who appear within the core FGC28370+ go back to the circle of the de Montalt stewarts of the first Norman earls, but the well-publicized claim that they are a branch of the Dukes of Leinster is clearly wrong.

I thought I had found a very clever correspondence between the first well-documented members of this family, William son of Gerard (fl. 1232) and the de Brunell stewards of the de Warren earls, but that was based on an anachronistic view of the heraldry of the Crewton cadets of the Gerard family.

To test Ormerod's original hypothesis that the Gerards represent a cadet line of the de Montalts themselves, we could compare to documented Y chromosome haplotypes for the Maude family of Yorkshire, their modern descendants.

https://www.familytreedna.com/public...frame=yresults

None of those participants seem to make a direct claim of descent from the de Montalts, but there are two very intersting high-resoltion kits in Group # 3.

One of them claims a Scottish earlist known ancestor named "Moffett" and the other doesn't specify geographic location, but the surname is "Maude". They're about GD of 13 at 67 against one another, but belong to the same subclade, R-U106. One has tested at least up to L48 and the other to A5616, which is a descendant clade, so there is no obvious conflict.

This is interesting because Moffett is often said to be a variation of the Scottish Mowatt, itself the usual rendering in Scotland of de Montalt. This branch of the family is said to have become established in the reign of king David I (1124-1153). A genetic distance of 13 at 67 markers would be at about the 33% confidence level if they had a most recent common ancestor born around 1100.

To my knowledge, neither of these donors claim to have a supportable paper trail leading to the historic de Montalts, but the "Maude" participant is likely the administrator of Ysearch.org kit Q8RJ6, which states his family is from Yorkshire, and Burke's makes it sound as if the de Montalts did have recognized branches there.

So, tentative though it may be, this evidence leads me to doubt that the FGC28370+ people are an agnatic branch of the de Montalts, even if they are someday proven to be male line descendants of William fitz Gerard.

I guess it was always a long shot, considering that the specific relationship of William fitz Gerard to Roger de Montalt was "avunculus". But it also demonstrates the perils of over-interpreting heraldry.

I started this thread, not knowing of the significance of FGC28370, but impressed by the distribution of its parent clade, FGC23343, by suggesting a relationship to the Neel de Saint Sauveur viscounts of Cotentin. Maybe that is still a viable hypothesis. The Neel barony of Halton, Cheshire became extinct in 1149, but considering the web of relationships surrounding the early de Montalts, it might not be impossible that they represent a cadet line prevented from inheriting by reason of illegitimacy.

Another curious point: By the mid-1400s, a cadet family of the Garnetts of Lancashire held Rainhill, near Widnes, which had previously been held by William fitz Nigel, 2nd baron of Halton, by right of his mother, heiress of the last Saxon baron. Although ostensibly of a distinct agnatic origin, the Garnetts and Gerards seem to have intermarried extensively. I don't know the deep history of Rainhill, but it may be worth hypothesizing that it wound its way to the Garnetts through the Gerards and the 1st Norman barons of Halton.
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  #72  
Old 15th April 2018, 09:39 PM
benowicz benowicz is offline
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Originally Posted by benowicz View Post
. . . I started this thread, not knowing of the significance of FGC28370, but impressed by the distribution of its parent clade, FGC23343, by suggesting a relationship to the Neel de Saint Sauveur viscounts of Cotentin. Maybe that is still a viable hypothesis. The Neel barony of Halton, Cheshire became extinct in 1149, but considering the web of relationships surrounding the early de Montalts, it might not be impossible that they represent a cadet line prevented from inheriting by reason of illegitimacy.

Another curious point: By the mid-1400s, a cadet family of the Garnetts of Lancashire held Rainhill, near Widnes, which had previously been held by William fitz Nigel, 2nd baron of Halton, by right of his mother, heiress of the last Saxon baron. Although ostensibly of a distinct agnatic origin, the Garnetts and Gerards seem to have intermarried extensively. I don't know the deep history of Rainhill, but it may be worth hypothesizing that it wound its way to the Garnetts through the Gerards and the 1st Norman barons of Halton.
There may be actual, contemporary documentary evidence that supports this theory, however indirectly:

https://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi...65&style=TABLE

If this version of Roger de Montalt's parentage is correct--I have seen several--his mother, Leucha, brought several legacy Fitz Neel manors into the family as part of her dower. If the William or Gerard mentioned in the 1232 charter were "avunculus" to Roger, it would most likely be as brother or half-brother to Leucha, although I guess it is possible that the relationship was only by marriage.

Last edited by benowicz; 15th April 2018 at 09:41 PM.
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  #73  
Old 16th April 2018, 08:37 AM
benowicz benowicz is offline
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Originally Posted by benowicz View Post
There may be actual, contemporary documentary evidence that supports this theory, however indirectly:

https://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi...65&style=TABLE

If this version of Roger de Montalt's parentage is correct--I have seen several . . .
I see part of the confusion now. The Roger from our 1232 charter was the nephew of the man referred to above.

https://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi...cat3&id=I19649

That may not invalidate my point, however. An "avunculus major" would be a maternal great uncle. The use of the dative singular case for both William and the "avunculus" in the original charter gives the strong impression that they would be speaking only of a regular "avunculus", but it's not a crazy interpretation. And in any event, whoever William, son of Gerard was, he was close to the Fitz Neel circle.
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  #74  
Old 16th April 2018, 10:28 AM
benowicz benowicz is offline
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Actually, according to Ormerod, at least until the mid-1300s, Cheshire was crawling with agnatic relatives of the Fitz Neel family--the Hattons and Duttons, coming from sons of Neel's father, Ivo.

I kind of exhausted myself looking through the various branches, but I think these particular Duttons, at least, died out in the direct male line in the mid-1300s. Easily enough time for one of them to have become the mother of the Roger de Montalt from the 1232 charter which contains such valuable clues to the origin of the Gerard family of Kingsley.
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  #75  
Old 16th April 2018, 12:17 PM
benowicz benowicz is offline
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Ormerod's earliest notices of the Gerard family pertain to Gerard, father of the William who appears as "avunculus" (maternal uncle) of Roger de Montalt in the charter of 1232. This Gerard received lands in Hawarden and the manor of Ledsham at some point during the reigns of John and Henry III, a period extending from 1199 to 1272.

The significance of Hawarden is that it was one of the primary estates of the de Montalts.

The manor of Ledesham, according to Ormerod, partially confirmed by the Domesday Book, was owned by Walter de Vernon in 1086. The significance of this place may be twofold:

One: The de Vernons derive in some way from the de Reviers family. Nehou, the former caput of the Neel dynasty, was later among the de Vernon family estates. The wife of Neel II, the 2nd vicomte de Saint Sauveur was a member of this family. Page 8.

https://books.google.com/books?id=ck...eur%22&f=false

Interestingly, one of their sons was named Girard, though this cannot be our man, who, based on the context of the 1232 charter, was probably born around 1140, or perhaps 100 years after the son of this de Reviers woman.

Two: The adjacent manor of Neston was among those cited as having come into the de Montalt family by marriage to a daughter of William Fitz Neel.

https://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi...65&style=TABLE
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  #76  
Old 16th April 2018, 01:02 PM
benowicz benowicz is offline
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Originally Posted by benowicz View Post
. . . Two: The adjacent manor of Neston was among those cited as having come into the de Montalt family by marriage to a daughter of William Fitz Neel.

https://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi...65&style=TABLE
Ormerod says that during the reign of Richard II (d. 1400), the Gerard family held Ledsham from the earl of Salisbury. Those earls, of the Montacute family, were descendants of this very same Roger de Montalt from the 1232 charter to William fitz Gerard. Given the relative isolation of this manor from the main Montacute holdings, it seems very likely to have passed through all these families from Roger's Fitz Neel grandmother.

Therefore, the 1232 charter may contain a slight error. In context, it was probably Gerard, not his son William, who was maternal (great) uncle of Roger de Montalt.
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  #77  
Old 16th April 2018, 04:18 PM
John McCoy John McCoy is offline
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Just a possible fly in the ointment, SOME medieval scribes use "avunculus" to mean ANY uncle, whether maternal or paternal, in preference to the classical "patruus", paternal uncle. Other scribes are relatively consistent in following the classical usage, and if you discover that a particular scribe uses "patruus" correctly -- in any passage -- I think that's a step in the right direction!

Also, unfortunately, I have seen many situations where "maternal" and "paternal" are incorrectly used by medieval scribes, such as a "paternal grandfather" who was in fact, according to the rest of the text in the same paragraph, actually what we would call a maternal grandfather. I've encountered these non-standard situations recently in 15th Century manuscripts of Swiss feudal tax records. Always best to review the original manuscripts, if possible, to be sure there are no inconsistencies in grammar, usage, and syntax. It's all part of the fun!
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  #78  
Old 16th April 2018, 04:42 PM
benowicz benowicz is offline
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Originally Posted by John McCoy View Post
Just a possible fly in the ointment, SOME medieval scribes use "avunculus" to mean ANY uncle, whether maternal or paternal, in preference to the classical "patruus", paternal uncle. Other scribes are relatively consistent in following the classical usage, and if you discover that a particular scribe uses "patruus" correctly -- in any passage -- I think that's a step in the right direction!

Also, unfortunately, I have seen many situations where "maternal" and "paternal" are incorrectly used by medieval scribes, such as a "paternal grandfather" who was in fact, according to the rest of the text in the same paragraph, actually what we would call a maternal grandfather. I've encountered these non-standard situations recently in 15th Century manuscripts of Swiss feudal tax records. Always best to review the original manuscripts, if possible, to be sure there are no inconsistencies in grammar, usage, and syntax. It's all part of the fun!

Good point.

But in the current state of evidence, it appears that the de Montalt lineage was R-U106, which obviously conflicts with the FGC28370+ status of the Gerard and other families we are talking about here.

http://forums.familytreedna.com/show...3&postcount=71

That fact is interesting in itself, suggesting to me that perhaps the de Montalts were part of the regime of the first Norman earl of Chester, Gerbod the Fleming, going by the general distribution of the clade.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerbod...arl_of_Chester


These conclusions are tentative, but at this point they are consistent with an interpretation of "avunculus" as a maternal rather than paternal uncle.

Though I suspect that there may indeed be something technically incorrect about the use of the specific term "avunculus". I wonder if "avunculus magnus" ("great uncle), referring to Gerard himself rather than William fitz Gerard, may be more technically correct.

But from the transcription provided by Ormerod, both "avunculo" and William's name appear in the dative singular case, whereas Gerard's name appears in the genitive singular case. So reading strictly--although it may not have been factually correct--it is clear that they were referring to William as "avunculus".

Last edited by benowicz; 16th April 2018 at 04:56 PM.
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  #79  
Old 16th April 2018, 06:54 PM
benowicz benowicz is offline
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Two other points that lead me to discount Ormerod's theory that the Gerards were cadets of the de Montalt family:

One: Ormerod cited the similarity of the families' heraldry in support. But it was actually quite a usual practice for families to adopt a version of their feudal superior's arms without any claims to an agnatic relationship. The first example that occurs to me is the Carteret family of the channel islands, who adopted the arms of the Daubeney family. One of the Carterets married a daughter of the Daubeneys, so there was also a maternal family relationship, but the Carterets are documented as having large estates on the Cotentin well before that time, so there is no question of an agnatic relationship.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Carteret

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giles_...Baron_Daubeney


Two: I managed to find a partial transcription of two early charters granting lands in Hawarden to William fitz Gerard. One grant is made out by a Richard Pauwe--whose name is not to be found in any account of the de Montalt family that I've seen, rendering the association not as significant as the mere fact of his ownership of land there would make it seem.

https://archives.library.wales/downl...te-records.pdf

The other grant is by Robert de Montalt--the father of Roger, from the 1232 charter I've discussed so much. The land in question is at a place called "Hepegreve". I found only one other reference to such a place, being located near (S)tephen's Cross.

https://sites.google.com/site/crumbl...ilyhistory/ban

Based on some other discussions of landmarks in the area, it seems to have been very near the modern city of Chester, not at all in Hawarden. Page 116.

https://books.google.com/books?id=iG...eshire&f=false

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Pa...72!4d-2.901758


I've seen some later charters related to the Gerard family associated with this part of the county, so it wasn't a complete shock.

Moreover, that brief abstract of this deed makes no reference to any familial relationship, let alone one specific to a common patriline. If this is one of the deeds that Ormerod discussed, he apparently did not find such a reference in his perusal. And he seemed curious enough by the use of the word "avunculus" in 1232 to have made a concerted effort to look for it.

All in all, making the Gerards agnatic relations to the de Montalts was probably a good working hypothesis, but it just doesn't appear to be borne out by the available evidence. Maybe some will come to light in the future, but I tend to doubt it, given Ormerod's authority and the evident interest he took in the matter.


Maybe I could make another, tentative third point: Other than this hypothesized relationship, I have found no instance of the use of the name 'Gerard' in the early de Montalt family. However, although I probably shouldn't make too much of it, given how common the name was generally, 'Gerard' does appear in the early family tree of the Neel and de Reviers families of Saint Sauveur and Nehou, who also were the first lords of Ledsham, among the earliest Gerard family possessions.

Last edited by benowicz; 16th April 2018 at 07:00 PM.
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  #80  
Old 16th April 2018, 07:22 PM
benowicz benowicz is offline
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Originally Posted by benowicz View Post
. . . The other grant is by Robert de Montalt--possibly the father of Roger, from the 1232 charter I've discussed so much. . .
Given the probable dates associated with this document, presumably this is Robert II de Montalt, steward to the earl of Chester.

As I've mentioned before, there are a couple different versions of the de Montalt pedigree floating out there, and I may have gotten myself a bit confused in my earlier posts. There was a Roger, son of Robert II de Montalt, and his nephew, a Roger, son of Ralph de Montalt, both living around 1232, I believe.

This link is one of the more fully sourced accounts of the family that I've seen, so it may help clear things up.

https://wc.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi...cat3&id=I19562

Ormerod's account of the "avunculus" reference dates the charter to William fitz Gerard as no later than 1232, so most likely we are talking about Roger, the son of Robert II de Montalt--whose wife was apparently a daughter of William Fitz Neel.

So the answer may have been in front of my eyes the whole time. No need for tortured re-interpretations of "avunculus", just a straight up maternal uncle.

It would be nice to understand if there is any specific documentary trace of any bastards of William Fitz Neel, since, clearly, neither Gerard nor William inherited the barony of Halton. But that would be an incredible piece of luck.
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