# The Queen's ancestor?

• M

#### MAGolding

I don't see how most people would be descended from Charlemagne or the often mentioned Edward III (I think it's that Edward?) and so on.

What about social class? You had the mass of peasants plodding about in the fields and then the, tiny by numbers, aristocracy. Why would they ever meet, let alone marry and have children together? People married within their own class. Pedigree Collapse happened within your own class
Charlemagne lived from 742 to 814, Edward III from 1312 to 1377, and Edward I from 1239 to 1307.

If one assumes that over many generations the average generation length will be somewhere between 25 and 35 years, then one might calculate that:

Edward III was born 706 years before 2018 and thus should have about 20.17 to 28.24 generations of descendants born by 2018.

Edward I was born 779 years before 2018 and thus should have about 22.25 to 31.16 generations of descendants born by 2018.

Charlemagne was born 1276 years before 2018 and thus should have about 36.45 to 51.04 generations of descendants born by 2018.

Assuming that in each generation there are on average two children who live long enough to have children of their own besides the children who don't have any children. That would be the case whenever the population was static. Each pair that reproduced would have to have a pair of children who reproduced in addition to any children who did not reproduce. Of course the population has usually been increasing during most of the time since Edward III, Edward I, or Charlemagne, and so the average couple would have had to have slightly more than two children who reproduced..

Going with two reproducing children per generation, the average generation size would be two reproducing children, four reproducing grandchildren, eight reproducing great grandchildren, sixteen reproducing great great grand children, and so on.

Generation 1: 2 reproducing descendants.
Generation 2: 4 reproducing descendants.
Generation 3: 8 reproducing descendants.
Generation 4: 16 reproducing descendants.
Generation 5: 32 reproducing descendants.
Generation 6: 64 reproducing descendants.
Generation 7: 128 reproducing descendants.
Generation 8: 256 reproducing descendants.
Generation 9: 512 reproducing descendants.
Generation 10: 1,024 reproducing descendants.
Generation 11: 2,046 reproducing descendants.
Generation 12: 4,096 reproducing descendants.
Generation 13: 8,192 reproducing descendants.
Generation 14: 16,384 reproducing descendants.
Generation 15: 32,768 reproducing descendants.
Generation 16: 65,536 reproducing descendants.
Generation 17: 131,072 reproducing descendants.
Generation 18: 262,144 reproducing descendants.
Generation 19: 524,288 reproducing descendants.
Generation 20: 1,048,576 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Edward III.
Generation 21: 2,097,152 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Edward III.
Generation 22: 4,194,304 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Edward III or Edward I.
Generation 23: 8,388,608 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Edward III or Edward I.
Generation 24: 16,777,216 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Edward III or Edward I.
Generation 25: 33,554,432 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Edward III or Edward I.
Generation 26: 67,108,864 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Edward III or Edward I.
Generation 27: 134,217,720 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Edward III or Edward I.
Generation 28: 262,144,000 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Edward III or Edward I.
Generation 29: 524,288,000 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Edward I.
Generation 30: 1,048,576,000 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Edward I.
Generation 31: 2,097,152,000 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Edward I.
Generation 32: 4,194,304,000 reproducing descendants.
Generation 33: 8,388,608,000 reproducing descendants.
Generation 34:16,777,216,000 reproducing descendants.
Generation 35: 33,554,432,000 reproducing descendants.
Generation 36: 67,108,864,000 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Charlemagne.
Generation 37: 134,217,728,000 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Charlemagne.
Generation 38: 262,144,000,000 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Charlemagne.
Generation 39: 524,288,000,000 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Charlemagne.
Generation 40: 1,048,576,000,000 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Charlemagne.
Generation 41: 2,097,152,000,000 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Charlemagne.
Generation 42: 4,194,304,000,000 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Charlemagne.
Generation 43: 8,388,608,000,000 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Charlemagne.
Generation 44: 16,777,216,000,000 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Charlemagne.
Generation 45: 33,554,432,000,000 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Charlemagne.
Generation 46: 67,108,864,000,000 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Charlemagne.
Generation 47: 134,217,728,000,000 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Charlemagne.
Generation 48: 262,144,000,000,000 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Charlemagne.
Generation 49: 524,288,000,000,000 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Charlemagne.
Generation 50: 1,048,576,000,000,000 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Charlemagne.
Generation 51: 2,097,152,000,000,000 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Charlemagne.

With generation 36 I reached the limit to the number of digits my calculator can display. So for succeeding generations I simply multiplied the number of descendants ten generations earlier by 1,000. That is actually an underestimate since the 10th generation would have 1,024 times as many descendants as the first.

Note that having a relatively static population with each couple having an average of two children who reproduced, in addition to those who did not reproduce, is the reverse of the situation with ancestors. in each generation the number of ancestors doubles.

So each baby born in 2018 would have the same number of ancestors in the lifetime of Edward III, Edward I, or Charlemagne, as Edward III, Edward I, or Charlemagne would have descendants in 2018 according to this calculation. Actually of course the numbers are not so much the numbers of separate ancestors or descendants but the number of slots or positions for ancestors or descendants. Because of constant intermarriage between people related more or less closely the actual number of separate individual ancestors or descendants will be much smaller though still very great.

In genealogy a gateway ancestor is someone who marries into a previously rather closed community and introduces new ancestry into it. Someone would have to assume that a group, even a group of peasants living in an isolated village, was a very, very, very closed community in order to believe that no gateway ancestor with descent from Charlemagne or other medieval royalty ever entered that community in the past 400 years or so.

• #### Sindane

Charlemagne lived from 742 to 814, Edward III from 1312 to 1377, and Edward I from 1239 to 1307.

If one assumes that over many generations the average generation length will be somewhere between 25 and 35 years, then one might calculate that:

Edward III was born 706 years before 2018 and thus should have about 20.17 to 28.24 generations of descendants born by 2018.

Edward I was born 779 years before 2018 and thus should have about 22.25 to 31.16 generations of descendants born by 2018.

Charlemagne was born 1276 years before 2018 and thus should have about 36.45 to 51.04 generations of descendants born by 2018.

Assuming that in each generation there are on average two children who live long enough to have children of their own besides the children who don't have any children. That would be the case whenever the population was static. Each pair that reproduced would have to have a pair of children who reproduced in addition to any children who did not reproduce. Of course the population has usually been increasing during most of the time since Edward III, Edward I, or Charlemagne, and so the average couple would have had to have slightly more than two children who reproduced..

Going with two reproducing children per generation, the average generation size would be two reproducing children, four reproducing grandchildren, eight reproducing great grandchildren, sixteen reproducing great great grand children, and so on.

Generation 1: 2 reproducing descendants.
Generation 2: 4 reproducing descendants.
Generation 3: 8 reproducing descendants.
Generation 4: 16 reproducing descendants.
Generation 5: 32 reproducing descendants.
Generation 6: 64 reproducing descendants.
Generation 7: 128 reproducing descendants.
Generation 8: 256 reproducing descendants.
Generation 9: 512 reproducing descendants.
Generation 10: 1,024 reproducing descendants.
Generation 11: 2,046 reproducing descendants.
Generation 12: 4,096 reproducing descendants.
Generation 13: 8,192 reproducing descendants.
Generation 14: 16,384 reproducing descendants.
Generation 15: 32,768 reproducing descendants.
Generation 16: 65,536 reproducing descendants.
Generation 17: 131,072 reproducing descendants.
Generation 18: 262,144 reproducing descendants.
Generation 19: 524,288 reproducing descendants.
Generation 20: 1,048,576 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Edward III.
Generation 21: 2,097,152 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Edward III.
Generation 22: 4,194,304 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Edward III or Edward I.
Generation 23: 8,388,608 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Edward III or Edward I.
Generation 24: 16,777,216 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Edward III or Edward I.
Generation 25: 33,554,432 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Edward III or Edward I.
Generation 26: 67,108,864 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Edward III or Edward I.
Generation 27: 134,217,720 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Edward III or Edward I.
Generation 28: 262,144,000 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Edward III or Edward I.
Generation 29: 524,288,000 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Edward I.
Generation 30: 1,048,576,000 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Edward I.
Generation 31: 2,097,152,000 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Edward I.
Generation 32: 4,194,304,000 reproducing descendants.
Generation 33: 8,388,608,000 reproducing descendants.
Generation 34:16,777,216,000 reproducing descendants.
Generation 35: 33,554,432,000 reproducing descendants.
Generation 36: 67,108,864,000 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Charlemagne.
Generation 37: 134,217,728,000 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Charlemagne.
Generation 38: 262,144,000,000 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Charlemagne.
Generation 39: 524,288,000,000 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Charlemagne.
Generation 40: 1,048,576,000,000 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Charlemagne.
Generation 41: 2,097,152,000,000 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Charlemagne.
Generation 42: 4,194,304,000,000 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Charlemagne.
Generation 43: 8,388,608,000,000 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Charlemagne.
Generation 44: 16,777,216,000,000 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Charlemagne.
Generation 45: 33,554,432,000,000 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Charlemagne.
Generation 46: 67,108,864,000,000 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Charlemagne.
Generation 47: 134,217,728,000,000 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Charlemagne.
Generation 48: 262,144,000,000,000 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Charlemagne.
Generation 49: 524,288,000,000,000 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Charlemagne.
Generation 50: 1,048,576,000,000,000 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Charlemagne.
Generation 51: 2,097,152,000,000,000 reproducing descendants. Possible number of present descendants of Charlemagne.
With generation 36 I reached the limit to the number of digits my calculator can display. So for succeeding generations I simply multiplied the number of descendants ten generations earlier by 1,000. That is actually an underestimate since the 10th generation would have 1,024 times as many descendants as the first.
Even if this 'possibility' were true, obviously it isn't, it is irrelevant to my point, simply, that the two social classes did not mix. We could use the same calculations for two separate groups and arrive at the same joint numbers of population

Note that having a relatively static population with each couple having an average of two children who reproduced, in addition to those who did not reproduce, is the reverse of the situation with ancestors. in each generation the number of ancestors doubles.
No, your ancestors do not continually 'double' at each generation. If you go back far enough, your ancestors begin to decrease. This is known as Pedigree Collapse.
Going back far enough, a family tree does not spread out like branches. It starts to go inward, it becomes egg shaped. This is because people were marrying their near or distant cousins, so would have ancestors in common. So their offspring would have less ancestors than the 'slots' and 'possibles' you mention

So each baby born in 2018 would have the same number of ancestors in the lifetime of Edward III, Edward I, or Charlemagne, as Edward III, Edward I, or Charlemagne would have descendants in 2018 according to this calculation. .
But we would still arrive at the the same numbers if the two social classes never ever married. Not saying it never happened, in rare cases it did but the same numbers can be achieved anyway, separately

Actually of course the numbers are not so much the numbers of separate ancestors or descendants but the number of slots or positions for ancestors or descendants. Because of constant intermarriage between people related more or less closely the actual number of separate individual ancestors or descendants will be much smaller though still very great.
Yes but not that 'great' in numbers. Our trees begin to collapse in on there selves

In genealogy a gateway ancestor is someone who marries into a previously rather closed community and introduces new ancestry into it. Someone would have to assume that a group, even a group of peasants living in an isolated village, was a very, very, very closed community in order to believe that no gateway ancestor with descent from Charlemagne or other medieval royalty ever entered that community in the past 400 years or so.
It isn't so much about 'closed communities' . It is more about the restrictions of social class. A peasant was seen as a kind of workhorse, seen as a 'different breed'. Intermarriage would have been extremely rare.
As the song went...
The rich man in his castle,
The poor man at his gate,
God made them high and lowly,
And ordered their estate.

• M

#### MAGolding

Even if this 'possibility' were true, obviously it isn't, it is irrelevant to my point, simply, that the two social classes did not mix. We could use the same calculations for two separate groups and arrive at the same joint numbers of population
Your claim that the two social classes didn't mix is false because:

1) there were more than two social classes in medieval Europe. For example, citizens of towns and cities were far fewer than peasants, whether free or serf, but were probably at least as numerous as nobles in even the least urbanized medieval societies.

And:

2) sometimes the different social classes did mix to reproduce.

No, your ancestors do not continually 'double' at each generation. If you go back far enough, your ancestors begin to decrease. This is known as Pedigree Collapse.
Going back far enough, a family tree does not spread out like branches. It starts to go inward, it becomes egg shaped. This is because people were marrying their near or distant cousins, so would have ancestors in common. So their offspring would have less ancestors than the 'slots' and 'possibles' you mention
In my post number 81 I wrote:

So each baby born in 2018 would have the same number of ancestors in the lifetime of Edward III, Edward I, or Charlemagne, as Edward III, Edward I, or Charlemagne would have descendants in 2018 according to this calculation. Actually of course the numbers are not so much the numbers of separate ancestors or descendants but the number of slots or positions for ancestors or descendants. Because of constant intermarriage between people related more or less closely the actual number of separate individual ancestors or descendants will be much smaller though still very great.

But we would still arrive at the the same numbers if the two social classes never ever married. Not saying it never happened, in rare cases it did but the same numbers can be achieved anyway, separately
Actually members of different social classes can reproduce without marriage. Illicit affairs are a quite common human activity. Some of them result in the birth of children. Sometimes the father acknowledges the children and supports them, and sometimes he doesn't. And sometimes illegitimate children are supported by other men, such as relatives of the mother.

And I would like to see you try to prove that any specific percentage of medieval royalty or nobility married women of exactly their own social class. Many medieval kings, for example, married women who were not royalty but nobility, of a lower social class. And in many cases the personal name of a king or noble's wife is recorded but nothing about her family. In many other cases there is no mention of the names of the mother(s) of a king or noble's children. Such cases are more and more common the farther back in history one goes.

It is sensible to assume that in the vast majority of cases the mother(s) of a king or noble's children were of high and roughly equal social status. But assuming that was the case 100 percent of the time would be very foolish in light of what is recorded about the mothers of some children of some kings and nobles.

Yes but not that 'great' in numbers. Our trees begin to collapse in on there selves
Two thousand years ago was about 57 to 80 generations ago, when one would have positions for about 134,217,728,000,000,000 ancestors 47 generations back and for about 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 ancestors 80 generations back.The actual number of separate ancestors one would have 2,000 years ago would have to be equal to or lower than the total number of separate people alive in the world at that time.

It is estimated that the world population two thousand years ago was about 150 million to 330 million. So if someone alive today is descended in 47 generations from every single person alive 2,000 years ago, he would have to be descended from each of those ancestors about one billion times over. If he was descended from only about 150,000 to 330,000, or 0.001, of the people alive then that would require that he was descended from each of those ancestors a trillion times over. If he was descended from only about 150 to 330, or 0.000001, of the people alive then that would require that he was descended from each of those ancestors a quadrillion times over.

So there are certainly extreme variations in the degree of pedigree collapse which is possible over centuries and millennia.

It isn't so much about 'closed communities' . It is more about the restrictions of social class. A peasant was seen as a kind of workhorse, seen as a 'different breed'. Intermarriage would have been extremely rare.
As the song went...
The rich man in his castle,
The poor man at his gate,
God made them high and lowly,
And ordered their estate.
And I remind you that throughout the animal kingdom the normal and by far the most common form of sex is with a member of the opposite gender of the same species, where there is a possibility of producing offspring, but there are many examples of animals having sex with partners they can't possibly have offspring with. For example, during mating season male sea turtles will attempt to mate with any creatures they encounter, including human divers.

And I remind you that in the antebellum South of the USA slaves were considered to be literally, not figuratively, nonhuman, members of a similar but separate species of animals separately created by God Almighty for the purpose of serving true humans as their slaves. And yet there were still many examples of white men having sex with slave women and girls, often resulting in offspring. Some of those offspring were treated as members of their fathers' families while others were treated like slaves. Thus today many African Americans are partially descended from white slave owners, and some can trace their ancestry to specific slave owners.

In medieval Europe the peasants and the townspeople didn't look so obviously different as slaves of African ancestry looked in the South, and the prevailing ideology probably didn't claim there was such a vast gulf between nobles and the peasants and townspeople as the ideology of the South claimed was between whites and slaves. Thus one would expect that reproduction between nobles and townspeople and peasants would have been more common than reproduction between slave owners and slaves in the South.

• #### Sindane

1) there were more than two social classes in medieval Europe. For example, citizens of towns and cities were far fewer than peasants, whether free or serf, but were probably at least as numerous as nobles in even the least urbanized medieval societies.

And:

2) sometimes the different social classes did mix to reproduce.
I disagree but even if this were true, it does not mean that every European is directly descended from Charlemagne or Edward III

In my post number 81 I wrote:

So each baby born in 2018 would have the same number of ancestors in the lifetime of Edward III, Edward I, or Charlemagne, as Edward III, Edward I, or Charlemagne would have descendants in 2018 according to this calculation. Actually of course the numbers are not so much the numbers of separate ancestors or descendants but the number of slots or positions for ancestors or descendants. Because of constant intermarriage between people related more or less closely the actual number of separate individual ancestors or descendants will be much smaller though still very great.
Yes I know. It was me who first mentioned Pedigree Collapse

Actually members of different social classes can reproduce without marriage. Illicit affairs are a quite common human activity. Some of them result in the birth of children. Sometimes the father acknowledges the children and supports them, and sometimes he doesn't. And sometimes illegitimate children are supported by other men, such as relatives of the mother. .
Yes people have affairs but where is the opportunity for a turnip picker in Cumbria, or anywhere, to have an affair with Edward III or any brothers?

And I would like to see you try to prove that any specific percentage of medieval royalty or nobility married women of exactly their own social class.
It is impossible to prove. Records for the vast majority of family tree researchers run out at a about 1700, or 1600 at a push.
It never ceases to amaze me how many people claim to be a direct descendant of some King or Emperor, but when you ask for the complete line, the names, dates and places , they cannot provide any evidence . I understand they might not want to give the Grandparent name or even Great Grandparent for privacy reasons, but a mid 19th century name is a start. But they do not provide the lineage, and the reason is often that others can check online in records if an agricultural labourer in 1850 suddenly, out of the blue, gets back to a gateway ancestor. Also something to consider is that there are so many wrong trees out there, fake 19th century genealogies and even royal family lines are disputed.

Many medieval kings, for example, married women who were not royalty but nobility, of a lower social class. And in many cases the personal name of a king or noble's wife is recorded but nothing about her family. In many other cases there is no mention of the names of the mother(s) of a king or noble's children. Such cases are more and more common the farther back in history one goes.
KIng's has mistresses yes and they had children together, but those mistresses were removed from their old life and given a house, property and an annuity. The sons were given title . Those sons didn't usually go back to their mothers everyday roots and marry the local shoe makers daughter.
For example
Dorothea Jordan - Wikipedia
Her notable descendants include:

It is sensible to assume that in the vast majority of cases the mother(s) of a king or noble's children were of high and roughly equal social status. But assuming that was the case 100 percent of the time would be very foolish in light of what is recorded about the mothers of some children of some kings and nobles.
I didn't say 100 percent of the time

Two thousand years ago was about 57 to 80 generations ago, when one would have positions for about 134,217,728,000,000,000 ancestors 47 generations back and for about 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 ancestors 80 generations back.The actual number of separate ancestors one would have 2,000 years ago would have to be equal to or lower than the total number of separate people alive in the world at that time.

It is estimated that the world population two thousand years ago was about 150 million to 330 million. So if someone alive today is descended in 47 generations from every single person alive 2,000 years ago, he would have to be descended from each of those ancestors about one billion times over. If he was descended from only about 150,000 to 330,000, or 0.001, of the people alive then that would require that he was descended from each of those ancestors a trillion times over. If he was descended from only about 150 to 330, or 0.000001, of the people alive then that would require that he was descended from each of those ancestors a quadrillion times over.

So there are certainly extreme variations in the degree of pedigree collapse which is possible over centuries and millennia.
This is number crunching again. It doesn't mean anything.
We know that two distinct classes of people could potentially live totally independently of each for thousands of years and we would still end up with the same numbers

And I remind you that throughout the animal kingdom ...
And I remind you that in the antebellum South of the USA slaves ....
In medieval Europe the peasants and the townspeople didn't look so obviously different as slaves of African ancestry looked in the South, and the prevailing ideology probably didn't claim there was such a vast gulf between nobles and the peasants and townspeople as the ideology of the South claimed was between whites and slaves. Thus one would expect that reproduction between nobles and townspeople and peasants would have been more common than reproduction between slave owners and slaves in the South.
I don't see the relevance of any of this part. Sorry

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• #### Sindane

In medieval Europe the peasants and the townspeople didn't look so obviously different as slaves of African ancestry looked in the South, and the prevailing ideology probably didn't claim there was such a vast gulf between nobles and the peasants and townspeople as the ideology of the South claimed was between whites and slaves. Thus one would expect that reproduction between nobles and townspeople and peasants would have been more common than reproduction between slave owners and slaves in the South.
...The 'gulf'? The class divide?
Even in the 1980's there were complaints that Princess Diana was not a suitable marriage partner for Charles because she was a 'commoner'. Diana was a direct descendant of Henry VII and Charles II. This is her ancestors house . She still wasn't considered good enough by some

• #### stanilic

Through my late mother the Queen and I share an ancestor back in the 12th century. Like all posh people in those days he was a Norman thug.
Mother wasn't too keen on Diana Spencer as her family were new rich. This is a posh description for sixteenth century sheep farmers who had the cash to buy up just about every spare estate in Northamptonshire.

• M

#### MAGolding

Through my late mother the Queen and I share an ancestor back in the 12th century. Like all posh people in those days he was a Norman thug.
Mother wasn't too keen on Diana Spencer as her family were new rich. This is a posh description for sixteenth century sheep farmers who had the cash to buy up just about every spare estate in Northamptonshire.
Who was your 11th century ancestor?

Like all posh people in those days he was a Norman thug.
seems very Anglocentric. Were all "posh people" in 11th century Spain Norman thugs? Were all the "posh people" in 11th century Bohemia or Russia Norman thugs? Were all the "posh people" in the 11th century Byzantine Empire or Abbasid Caliphate or Sultanate of Delhi or Song dynasty China Norman thugs?

So your mother considered the Spencers to be new rich since they had only been rich for a mere 400 years? This reminds of a famous story:

In the late 16th century, the latter Sir John Spencer's grandson Sir Robert Spencer (1570–1627) represented Brackley in Parliament. In 1601, he was made a Knight of the Garter, and created Baron Spencer, of Wormleighton, in the Peerage of England in 1603. During the reign of King James I he was reputed to be the richest man in England. The humble origins of the Spencers as sheep farmers once caused a heated exchange of words between wealthy yet then upstart Spencers with the more established Howards whose FitzAlan ancestors had been the Earls of Arundel since the 13th century. During a debate in the House of Peers, Lord Spencer was speaking about something that their great ancestors had done when suddenly the Earl of Arundel cut him off and said "My Lord, when these things you speak of were doing, your ancestors were keeping sheep". Lord Spencer then instantly replied, "When my ancestors as you say were keeping sheep, your ancestors were plotting treason."
Spencer family - Wikipedia

• #### stanilic

Go easy on the Anglo-centric as it was on the Scottish side which also produced a couple of usurping Irish High Kings.
These guys had to be violent to maintain their reward for the feudal obligations they owed their king. It was the way the system worked. Many went on Crusade to Palestine.
I live close to the landscape where the Spencers were once extensive land-holders. I keep coming across them in my own land researches. I know how they made their money and it wasn't through loving their tenants.
By the way there are Howards on my father's English side.

• #### Speculatin'

In my sprawling tree which is nearing 2500 people, there is an interesting distant ancestor to Robert E. Lee of Virginia (I haven't placed him in my tree, however). Anyway, Isabel de Cornwall, the ancestor I referred to, has her father's line going straight back to King John via the younger brother of Henry III. And her mother's maternal line goes back to (I forget her name off hand) an illegitimate daughter of King John and one of his mistresses, who married Prince Llewelyn-the-Great of Wales.

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• #### norenxaq

that daughter was named joan