Tuesday, April 24, 2012

All Nine Barons

All Nine Barons Went Flying Out the Window

My family search started after my father died, when I found a handwritten copy of his mom's application to the DAR. She was Florence, known as Muddy Flo, membership No. 13033 in 1896. One look at that and I was off to the races. (I recently learned that Flo was dropped from the DAR for nonpayment of dues.)

 A computer crash four years ago destroyed my FTM 16 file. I reconstructed it from earlier saved files, but now I'm seriously cleaning up my data, which is a challenge because, how do I say it, FTM 2011 has too many bells and not enough whistles, or the other way around. Anyway, I'm finding plenty of errors, omissions, and misunderstandings.

No source for Mother's grandfather’s birth date? I know it’s accurate, but where did I get it? and What on earth made me think Joanna Duncan was a Garland?? and Who was Daddy’s first wife? I know she was a New York fashion editor named Dot. I found the divorce decree and discovered she was Dorothy Wayland of New York City. A fashion editor? I keep searching for her online. 

This error stands out in my mind.

I told The Washington Post I was George Washington’s third cousin once removed. DAR researchers, genealogy journals, online cousins, and distinguished family historians have long asserted that the Washingtons in Westmoreland and Surry counties (VA) were related. But I learned a year or so ago from The National Society of Washington Family Descendants  that there is no evidence for the kinship. A considerable amount of work has been done on the question here, here and here.

I get a splendid visual image whenever I have to lop a branch off the old family tree. It comes from this post that Nathaniel Taylor wrote in 1996 about a purported George Washington pedigree.

Many years ago—I was 15 or so—the mother of a friend of mine, a woman nee Daubney, which she insisted had once been d'Aubigny and meant she was related to Queen Adelicia and the earls of Arundel, gave me a lovely chart, complete with coats of arms, of The Descent of George Washington from King John and Nine Baron Sureties of the Magna Carta. I noticed that all these descents were joined by one weak link: Joyce Holland, wife of a Baron de Tibetot, from whom the Washingtons could reliably trace their descent. 

Joyce, the document claims, was a granddaughter of Joan Plantagenet, the Fair Maid of Kent, mother of Richard II. But no list of the many daughters of her two eldest sons (Eleanor, Margaret, Anne, Joan) mentions a "Joyce" or the Tibetot marriage. This disheartens me: I have liked to think of the Revolution as a succession conflict between ninth cousins twice removed, Geo III and Geo Washington, and if Joyce was NOT one of THOSE Hollands, it ain't so. None of it is so. All nine Barons go flying out the window.