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  • #76
    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.

    Comment


    • #77
      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!

      Comment


      • #78
        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, 05:56 PM.

        Comment


        • #79
          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, 08:00 PM.

          Comment


          • #80
            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.

            Comment


            • #81
              Originally posted by benowicz View Post
              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.

              Wait a minute--Leucha, the wife of Robert II de Montalt couldn't have been BOTH a daughter of William Fitz Neel AND Gerard, father of William.

              I know that it has been assumed that she was a daughter of William Fitz Neel because she brought to the de Montalt family a handful of the manors formerly in Fitz Neel's possession. But what if those manors were transferred from William Fitz Neel to Gerard between 1086 (i.e., Domesday Book) and 1170 (the approximate birth year of Roger, Leucha's son)? It would be nice to know whether the history of these places (e.g., Neston) is inconsistent with this idea.


              Using a standard 30-year generation, that would put Leucha's birth year around 1130, and Gerard's at around 1100. But if Gerard was just a little bit older, he could have indeed been the younger brother to William Fitz Neel, who probably appears as "Guillaume", son of Neel II and Adele de Reviers in this chart by Van Torhoudt. Page 8.

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

              This specific scenario could easily account for Gerard not appearing in the Domesday Book, although it would conflict with that great source Wikipedia (?!), which give William Fitz Neel's mother as the daughter of the last Saxon baron of Widnes.

              I think Ormerod cited a document describing the widow of William fitz Gerard as still alive in 44 Hen. III (i.e., 1260). This would make our scenario a bit of a stretch, but not impossible if William were born much later than Leucha, and his widow much younger. It kind of reduces the margin of error, but nothing in these assumptions is demographically unusual.

              Two other things that make this scenario appealing:

              One: It explains the de Reviers/de Vernon connection to the Gerard family at Ledsham quite neatly.

              Two: It obviates the need to explain why the barony of Halton did not come into Gerard's possession.

              Maybe this isn't the last iteration of theorizing, but it feels like a vast improvement over past efforts.

              Comment


              • #82
                Here is a graphic representation of the first pass of a comprehensive hypothesis of the origins of the currently identified core FGC28370+ people--assuming there is some related significance to the presence of the parent clade FGC23343 in Shetland.
                Attached Files
                Last edited by benowicz; 17th April 2018, 09:43 AM.

                Comment


                • #83
                  Originally posted by benowicz View Post
                  Here is a graphic representation of the first pass of a comprehensive hypothesis of the origins of the currently identified core FGC28370+ people--assuming there is some related significance to the presence of the parent clade FGC23343 in Shetland.
                  Oops. Obvious typo with regard to Imhar. That's the year of death, not birth. I've corrected it on my local copy, but I'm not sure anyone else cares.

                  Comment


                  • #84
                    Originally posted by benowicz View Post
                    Oops. Obvious typo with regard to Imhar. That's the year of death, not birth. I've corrected it on my local copy, but I'm not sure anyone else cares.
                    Actually, maybe this file is worth updating because some additional information with possible relevance to Dorey, Ysearch.org ID DEAGD, from Jersey, in the channel islands, has come to light. These very same de Vernons were also lords of Sark. Van Torhoudt mentions the close ties of the Neel family of Saint Sauveur to Guernsey, so probably this should not be a surprise.

                    https://www.theislandwiki.org/index....Normandy_rolls

                    https://www.theislandwiki.org/index....ds_before_1204

                    https://books.google.com/books?id=Mk...20Sark&f=false
                    Attached Files

                    Comment


                    • #85
                      Originally posted by benowicz View Post
                      Actually, maybe this file is worth updating because some additional information with possible relevance to Dorey, Ysearch.org ID DEAGD, from Jersey, in the channel islands, has come to light. These very same de Vernons were also lords of Sark. Van Torhoudt mentions the close ties of the Neel family of Saint Sauveur to Guernsey, so probably this should not be a surprise.

                      https://www.theislandwiki.org/index....Normandy_rolls

                      https://www.theislandwiki.org/index....ds_before_1204

                      https://books.google.com/books?id=Mk...20Sark&f=false

                      Some revision required. An apparent citation from an established authority:

                      "Néel II, selon M. L. Delisle, fait intervenir dans une de ses chartes, Adèle, sa femme, ses quatre fils: [Neel], Roger, Guillaume et Gérard, ses trois filles Emma, Bileul et Mathilde (i). Il est permis de supposer, dit M. L. Delisle, qu'Adèle appartenait à la famille de Reviers. On voit, en effet, dans le cartulaire de Saint-Père-de-Chartres, qu'en 1060 Richard de Reviers, sur son lit de mort, dans le château de Thimert, appela près de lui Néel, mari de sa sœur, pour lui faire part du désir qu'il avait de se réconcilier avec l'Eglise, d'être enterré à Saint-Père et de laisser à cette abbaye le tiers du domaine de Gourbesville (2)."

                      No idea where this is from, but it apparently quotes a contemporary document.

                      "5. GERARD . "Niellus vicecomes" donated six churches on Guernsey to the abbey of Marmoutier, for the souls of and with the consent of "uxore mea Adila…filiis nostris Rotgerio…et Willelmo, alteroque Willelmo et Girardo…cum sororibus eorum Emma, Bilelde atque Mahelde", by charter dated to [1060][1448]."

                      So the Gerard I was looking at was alive, and maybe even grown, by 1060. Far too early to be the father of William fitz Gerard of Ledsham. Maybe a grandfather, or uncle, though. But at least it provides some support for the de Reviers/de Vernon connection.

                      Comment


                      • #86
                        Apparently, the idea that the male line of William fitz Nigel, 2nd baron of Halton, survived through illegitimate, non-inheriting descendants is not so far fetched after all. Here is a thoroughly sourced explanation of just such one theory, beginning on page 142.

                        https://books.google.com/books?id=Gg...ter%22&f=false

                        So we should be looking for any descendants of a Constable family of east Yorkshire who have done Y DNA testing, for purposes of comparison.

                        Given the tentative tracing of the Swift cohort within FGC28370 to Rotherham before 1560, this might provide a valuable clue as to how the identified lines diverged.

                        Also, given the probable birth year of Roger, son of Robert II de Montalt, Roger's mother was extremely unlikely to have been the daughter of the 2nd baron, anyhow. A daughter of a son of the baron seems more likely.

                        Finally, judging by the heraldry of this Constable family, they apparently opted to associate themselves with their maternal relatives, too, rather than assume a variation of the arms for the barony of Halton. Given the hostile jealousy that the assumption of the Halton arms may have raised among the powerful possessors of those properties, it was probably a wise choice.

                        Comment


                        • #87
                          Looking a bit weaker, but it is what it is.
                          Attached Files

                          Comment


                          • #88
                            William fitz Nigel, so-called 2nd baron of Halton, definitely had multiple brothers and sons, according to the charter establishing Runcorn priory in 1115--though none of them are specifically named in this extract. Page 1.

                            https://books.google.com/books?id=70...gel%22&f=false

                            But the identification of his family with the Neels of Saint Sauveur is controversial, there apparently being no contemporary documentation in the public domain which establishes this beyond a doubt.

                            https://groups.google.com/forum/#!to...al/crPwI7jrrr0

                            https://groups.google.com/forum/#!to...al/URNC8wemJyU

                            In fact, based on a 1925 book, extracts of which can be found at Google Books, there are widespread claims that William fitz Nigel, 2nd baron of Halton, had a brother named Richard--whose name is conspicuously absent from all other accounts of the Saint Sauveur family. The implication being that the Cheshire family were NOT descended from Neel II c. 1092--although I guess this does not preclude them being agnatic relations.

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

                            But, of course, the possibility also exists that Richard fitz Nigel was simply born after 1060, the date of the charter establishing the standard account of Neel II's family. Or that Nigel, so-called 1st baron of Halton, was a grandson and not son of Neel II.

                            The proximity of de Vernons and d'Avranches families to the Neels of Saint Sauveur in Normandy and in Cheshire leads me to believe there must be a connection of some sort, but at this point it's just not proven.

                            Comment


                            • #89
                              Contributing to the confusion of relationship of the first Norman barons of Halton to the family of Saint Sauveur may be the fact that there is apparently no contemporary record of a Neel/Nigel holding that office, despite traditional accounts placing him as first. The earliest record I have seen are the Domesday entries, which list William fitz Nigel.

                              I don't know why that would be relevant. Why couldn't one of the two Williams who appear in the 1060 charter as sons of Neel II of Saint Sauveur have been the first Norman baron of Halton? Why must Neel necessarily have been first baron?

                              The fact that William fitz Nigel had a brother Richard, whose name does NOT appear in the 1060 charter establishing the standard account of the Saint Sauveurs is important, but maybe not decisive. It is only a snapshot from one point in time. There is no reason that I am aware of that Richard could not have been born AFTER 1060. Of that long list of children--is it 10 or so?--only one appears to sign on his own behalf, suggesting that at least some, if not most of the children were minors.

                              More to the point regarding whether the Gerard family of Kingsley, Cheshire were an agnatic branch of the barons of Halton, there are multiple accounts of a charter dated around 1135 whereby the Haltons acquired the last residual share of manor of Neston from the monks of St. Werburgh. So Leucha, wife of Robert II de Montalt, whose dower portion included Neston, must have been a very close relation of William fitz William, so-called 3rd baron of Halton, even though her name does not appear directly as such in any surviving contemporary documents.

                              So to make Leucha a niece of William fitz William, and daughter of the Gerard whose son is described as "avunculus" of Roger de Montalt (d. 1232) is probably a good fit. Her uncle making these arrangements would make especially good sense if Gerard had already passed away by the time of her marriage. Leucha herself need not have been illegitimate, but bastardy could help explain why William fitz Gerard did not eventually become heir to the barony. From what I can tell, William fitz Gerard seems to have acquired most of his properties through the de Montalts in his adult years.

                              If we can accept this as a reasonable hypothesis, then the presence of the name Gerard in this pedigree could help reinforce the speculative connection to the family of Saint Sauveur.

                              Eh. Not great. Reasonable, but still speculative. The only really compelling pieces of this are Leucha's dower rights in Neston and the description of William fitz Gerard as "avunculus" to Roger de Montalt. William fitz Nigel did acknowledge multiple unnamed sons in 1115, so it is at least a technical possibility.

                              Comment


                              • #90
                                Updated version of the hypothetical pedigree, with dashed lines to emphasize the unproven character of these key relationships.
                                Attached Files

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