Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Genealogy Place Names - D

“D” is for . . .

A word about Wikipedia (it is free and needs our support – please donate any time and especially when they are having a fund raiser!) – these alphabetical reports to my family on the locations of our ancestors are best described in words, maps, and pictures using this great resource. These alphabetical reports are a bit skeletal and need to be fleshed out by following the links provided.  I am learning a lot about the lands of our forefather and mothers and how their lives may have been shaped by these distinctive places.

Dacre, Cumberland, England (this small village is now in the Lake District National Park)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dacre,_Cumbria  Open this link to see a very interesting history of Dacre.
http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/place/5066  This link let’s you easily see where Dacre is located. 

The ancestor:  Sir Randolph de Dacre  1240-1286 – this is my 20th great grandfather and when the line reaches America it is one of our strong, Quaker lines. 

https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Dacre-17   This link shows that our ancestor, Sir Randolph, was the Sheriff of Cumberland and York.


Photo Dacre Castle by Jim Barton, Wikipedia

“D” is for . . .

Dyfed, Wales

Ancestor:  Gwenllian verch Gwyn 977-1069

ancestry.com tree said she was born in Dyvet and I see her father is Lord Dyvet. I could not find a mention of “Dyvet” online when looking for that location. Aha! I found it with the spelling “Dyfed” This is the place!

She is my 26th great grandmother and this is our first look at Wales.  If you look at her husband’s family you will see the early Tewdwr (or Tudor) that eventually produces the kings and queens of England.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caernarfonshire  Here is a link to the county in Wales. This county wasn’t created until the 1200s but it shows a map and location.  The place names would have been there in the 900s. It says she was born in Llechwed Ucha, Dyfed, Caernarvonshire, Wales. Each county is divided into ‘hundreds’ (or 100 acres). Llechwed Ucha would be one of these Hundreds, Dyfed is the village (or castle with village).

This line goes back one more generation to her father, Gwyn ap Rhytherich, Lord of Dyvet (Dyfed). In the Welch naming tradition ‘ap Rhytherch’ would mean that he is the son of Rhytherch.  His daughter’s name is “Gwenllian verch”  the word verch indicates 'daughter'. This line, like the de Dacre family, comes down through our Quakers and to my father.

Looking in the history of ‘Dyfed’ this is an interesting article of the  ‘whoa variety’ of historical (or fictional) tales about Irish settling in this region of Wales.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D%C3%A9isi

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_Dyfed  This article talks of Viking invasion at the time our ancestors were living there.  In the article you’ll see a lot of difficult names – Welch is a very different language. The article mentions Cadell ap Rhodri. He is my 29th GG.  But, whereas, Gwyn and Gwenllian and Randolph are from my father’s family. Cadell and his kin are from my mother’s family. It happens that their families are in the same areas over and over – no wonder they were attracted to each other and married.  

Post-Roman Welsh petty kingdoms. Dyfed is the promontory on the southwestern coast. The modern Anglo-Welsh border is also shown.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Genealogy Place Names - C

C is for . . .  Cadbury, England

This report on the letter “C” of place names in our family starts with a mistake. Although mistakes that are found on ancestry.com are frustrating it demonstrates why I consider the website and it’s wonderful tree a worksheet in progress and not a family tree cast in stone. I started off with Cadbury – a great name with a sweet connotation – all those wonderful Cadbury Easter eggs. Then, as you will see, I find that someone has placed a wrong child in a family and it is not our line at all! And, to top that off Cadbury eggs come from London, not Cadbury!  If you are an Anglophile you will enjoy these Wikipedia articles of this area rich in history. The article on Wynebald de Ballon (not out family) is a good example of an early Norman Lord.  It is part 2 of this alphabetic report that holds a treasure – a truly great man. 

Be sure to read part 2 about Ebergard “Evrard’ di Friuli I and the fabulous wine making area that was part of his domain. 
Cadbury, Somerset, England 
(Yes, those wonderful Cadbury eggs come from England and were founded by John Cadbury, but they are headquartered in London.)
How romantic – Cadbury Castle and the area seem to be Camelot! (Control – click on links)
Mabilia de Ballon  1125-1156 
The Normans (French) were conquerors of England in and around 1066 a great deal of English land was granted by William the Conqueror to the Norman lords. Wynebald de Ballon was one of those lords.  He took over North Cadbury Manor in Somerset between 1086 and 1092. It apparently was his primary residence although he had multiple land holdings. The manor then passed to his daughter Mabilia’s husband, Henry de Newmarch. Certainly in a perfect world she would have inherited her father’s estates but by English law she could not.

It is with this alphabetic exercise and Mabilia of Cadbury that I’ve uncovered a mistake in the family tree. Someone placed a cuckoo in her nest – a child that was clearly not hers and he was our ancestor.  I’ve had to disconnect our family from this Cadbury family – they are not our great grandparents. We did have many who were Norman lords, so I will keep Cadbury here as an example of the Normans who represent a great deal of our family in France.
Above is a later version of the birthplace of the Wynebald de Ballon and his brothers.  This is Donjon de Ballon, know as the Gateway to Maine 12 miles north of Le Mans, capital of the ancient province of Maine. (The modern region of Pays-de-la-Loire in France. ) The area was conquered by William, Duke of Normandy (William the Conqueror) in 1066 before his invasion of England. The de Ballon brothers must have joined William at this time but it is not known if they fought in the Battle of Hastings. [The Battle of Hastings was a huge turning point for France and England, so check it out on Wikipedia!]

C is for . . .
Cysoing, Nord, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France

Ebergard “Evrard’ di Friuli I, ‘Saint’ Margrave of Friuli  820-866
Our 32nd (34, 35) Great Grandfather - Can you imagine – we have a ‘Saint’ as an ancestor. Well, we have several. This is one I’d like to travel back in time to meet. He is also called ‘Margrave’ which most often meant Military Governor. 

This is a famous wine making area. See below:
This is the link to follow to learn about the life of Eberhard and his connection to Cysoing. This was one of the great men of his time and for the ages. If you read only one article in this post  – read the article on the Find A Grave site. It is excellent.
A link to Eberhard’s wife – a Princess.
Cysoing – Chateau de l’Abbaye – photo by Musette Thierry
Once again a big thank you for the wonderful information from Wikipedia. Please support them financially as you can.
Also, a special thank you to Find A Grave, now owned by ancestry.com, for the great entry for Ebergard “Evrard’ di I

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Genealogy Place Names - B

In my last blog post ‘Genealogy Place Names – 'A' I introduced a project for my family that looks at the places where our ancestor’s lived. Where they lived is important as it helped shape who they were. I started with Aachen, a German city that contains Charlemagne’s glorious cathedral. Aachen was the primary residence of Charlemagne, and we are Charlemagne’s children. By now he has millions of descendants and we stand among them – which means that area of hot springs and easy access to Belgium and The Netherlands is part of our bones. Each alphabetic report draws from the first and last place names of that letter. The second place for ‘A’ is Ayrshire, Scotland.  
Now in this post we will look at the ‘B’s.  These are random picks on my part and what came up was Babenberg Castle and the area that became Bamberg, Germany. Then at the end of the ‘B’s I found that city with the ever shifting name: Byzantium, Turkey – or, if you will, “Istanbul, not Constantinople”.   
A word about multiple generations.  Heinrich Franconia, Margrave of Austrasia is listed as my 30th great grandfather. That’s ridiculously far back. He, no doubt, has millions (literally) of descendants.  Are we special because this is our dear 30th great grandpapa? Well, we have to take all of this with a grain of salt. Our ancestor chart blooms exponentially to a point, but cousins marry and that pyramid shaped chart turns into a diamond. I get it, but I’m not very good at explaining it. Here is a link to an article that will keep us humble.


From now through to the letter Z I’ll post the alphabet reports I’ve done for my family. I hope my blog readers will find these places interesting and will be inspired to study up on their ancestors’ homes.
Badenberg Castle

B is for Badenburg and Byzantium
Badenburg Castle, Holzkirchen, Bavaria, Germany

Heinrich ‘Henry’ Franconia, Margrave of Austrasia  abt 820 – 886 AD
30th Great Grandfather – (my mother's line)

Keep in mind that although this was the Badenburg dynasty the city and castle eventually became Bamberg, Germany
Henry of Franconia

Henry (died 886), possibly a son or grandson of Count Poppo of Grapfeld, was one of the first Babenbergs, was the most important East Frankish general during the reign of Charles the Fat. He was variously titled Count or Margrave of Saxony and Duke of Franconia.

Henry was the ancestral lord of a castle, Babenberg, on the River Main, around which the later city of Bamberg was built. He enjoyed the favor of Charles the Fat and was his right-hand man in Germany during his reign. He led a surprise strike on a force of Vikings prior to the Siege of Asselt, but it was unsuccessful. When, in 885, Charles summoned Hugh, Duke of Alsace, and Godfrey, Duke of Frisia, to a court at Lobith, it was Henry who arrested them and had Godfrey executed and Hugh imprisoned on Charles' orders.

In 884, when Charles succeeded to the throne of West Francia, he sent Henry there to lead the March of Neustria against the Vikings. In 886, he was sent to aid the besieged of Paris. He did not stay long but returned later that year with Charles. However, Henry died in a skirmish with the Vikings while en route.

As you can see this is just a teaser for Henry’s very eventful life. He died in the field and his death is described by his men.


Wiki article on Badenburg Dynasty:

"B" part 2

Byzantium, Turkey

Euphrosyne of Kiev 1130-1186  (related to me; my husband, Jim; and my step-father – making us all cousins)
She is my 24th great grandmother - (my mother's line)

Byzantium is how it came up on the place report but that isn’t exactly accurate. By the time Euphrosyne came along it was called Constantinople, and of course it is now Istanbul.  Whoa, this is exciting stuff – see below.

From Wikipedia”
Euphrosyne of Kiev (also Euphrosine of Novgorod;[1] c. 1130 – c. 1193) was Queen consort of Hungary.)

Euphrosyne was the first daughter of Grand Prince Mstislav I of Kiev and his second wife, Ljubava Saviditsch. In 1146, at the age of 16, Euphrosyne married King Géza II of Hungary.
During her husband's reign Euphrosyne did not intervene in the politics of the kingdom, but after his death on May 31, 1162, her influence strengthened over their son, King Stephen III. The young king had to struggle against his uncles Ladislaus and Stephen to save his throne, and Euphrosyne took an active part in the struggles. She persuaded King Vladislaus II of Bohemia to give military assistance to her son against the invasion of the Emperor Manuel I Komnenos.

Euphrosyne's favorite son was the youngest, Duke Géza of Hungary. When King Stephen III died on March 4, 1172, she was planning to ensure his succession against her older son, Béla, who had been living in the court of the Emperor Manuel I Komnenos. However, Béla came back, and he was crowned on January 13, 1173, although the Archbishop Lukács of Esztergom denied his coronation. Shortly after, King Béla III arrested his brother, which increased the tension between Euphrosyne and her son. Duke Géza soon managed to escape, probably with Euphrosyne's help, but in 1177 he was again arrested.

In 1186, Euphrosyne tried to release her younger son again, but she failed. King Béla III ordered the arrest of Euphrosyne and kept her confined in the fortress of Barancs (Serbian: Braničevo). Shortly after, Euphrosyne was set free, but she was obliged to leave the kingdom for Constantinople. From Constantinople she moved to Jerusalem where she lived as a nun in the convent of the Hospitallers [That’s the Knights Templar, right?], and then in the Basilian monastery of Saint Sabbas.

I’m pretty stoked that this fierce woman is on our tree! This is the stuff of epic movies!
Pictured here: Euphrosyne's Grandfather Valdimir II Monomakh of Keiv  - isn't he a good looking fellow.

Credit: Most of the above information comes from Wikipedia.