You may address me as “Your Royal Highness.”

Susan M - July 7, 2008

I am, after all, a direct descendant of this guy:

That’s right. I’m the great-(times 23) granddaughter of Edward Longshanks. You know, the evil king in Braveheart.

I may not have inherited his height or his sexy curls, but I like to think I have a streak of cruelty in me a mile wide.

I am also a descendant of Philippe Du Trieux, who came to America from France (via the Netherlands) in 1624. He settled on Manhattan Island. Too bad I didn’t inherit that property.

He had a daughter, Maria, who was quite the colorful character. She had two children by two different men before getting married. The father of her first child was already married. However he took responsibility for the child legally (there’s an actual acknowledgement of paternity that the father signed). She married the father of her second child, who was about 30 years older than she was, and they opened a tavern. When he died, she remarried, and continued to run the tavern. She got into trouble for selling liquor after 9pm, selling liquor on Sundays, and selling liquor to the Indians. Eventually she got banished from the colony altogether for selling liquor to Indians.

She sounds just like most of my family members today.

I also have some ancestors who lived in Palmyra when the Smiths were living there. I figured for sure they’d be the ones tarring and feathering Joseph, but apparently they were friendly to the Smith family and even helped them out financially. Or at least, my direct ancestor’s brother did (Lemuel Durfee).

I’m also the great-(times 25) granddaughter of Sir Geoffrey Luttrell. He seems like a cool guy. Signed the Magna Charta, how bad could he be?

Do you think I could reclaim the family castle?

I don’t have any Mormon pioneer ancestors. But boy, once you tie into royalty, you can go way back. Like, to Charlemagne.

What crazy stories/people do you have in your family tree?

35 Comments »

  1. Great post Susan! Unfortunately, all the lines I know of in my tree come from peasantry, but at least our family is keeping that tradition alive:)

    The first that comes to mind is my great grandfather, Freeman Clifton, son of southern Alberta Mormon colonists who’d at one point quite smoking. One day a friend of his came over and wanted to go out for a smoke with him. He refused a number of times till one day his wife told the guy to leave him alone, he’d quit and didn’t want to smoke with him anymore to which Freeman replied, “No petticoat is goin’ to tell me what to do!” and went and had a smoke with his friend. Took him years till he quit again.

    Stubbornness is another family tradtion:)

    Comment by Bret — July 7, 2008 @ 12:13 pm

  2. How about prohibition-era shine-runners? see: Family History: Moonshine.

    Comment by C. L. Hanson — July 7, 2008 @ 12:43 pm

  3. The clan Macbeth (castle and all) and Pocahontas.

    Comment by AHLDuke — July 7, 2008 @ 1:37 pm

  4. I’m descended from Charlemagne, too. By way of William the Conqueror.

    Comment by Kullervo — July 7, 2008 @ 2:14 pm

  5. You are so totally lucky!

    Comment by meems — July 7, 2008 @ 2:54 pm

  6. Eh, you’re probably descended from all these people, too. It’s how the math works out, really.

    Unless you have no European ancestry, of course. But then you’re probably descended from all kinds of interesting kings, rulers, pirates, and criminals from wherever your own ancestors are from.

    Comment by Kullervo — July 7, 2008 @ 3:06 pm

  7. Yeah, our list of ancestors grows exponentially each generation. It’s crazy when you get back far enough just how many there are.

    Comment by Susan M — July 7, 2008 @ 3:10 pm

  8. Erik the Red and Rebecca Nurse.

    Yeah, explains a lot.

    Comment by SilverRain — July 7, 2008 @ 4:42 pm

  9. Marry, Queen of Scotts and an Indian Princess (Native American, that is). You can still see some of the Indian Features in my Mom’s face.

    Comment by Misty — July 7, 2008 @ 4:52 pm

  10. I’m a descendant of Jesus through Mary Magdalene.

    Comment by Dan Brown — July 8, 2008 @ 4:02 am

  11. Along this line, my great-grandmother was born in Iceland, and from there it isn’t hard to get tied into the old Sagas. One that really appealed to me as a youth when my grandfather was going through his pedigree charts with me was a 42nd-great-grandfather who died from an ax to the head on a frozen lake in Norway. I wish I remembered his name.

    Comment by John Mansfield — July 8, 2008 @ 7:40 am

  12. I have no documentation for it, but there’s a family story (on my dad’s side) that one of our colonial-era ancestors was put in the stocks for stealing, of all things, Bibles. That’s pretty awesome. ;-)

    Comment by RCH — July 8, 2008 @ 10:38 am

  13. I’m related to some Red Coats during the Revolutionary War. Then there’s a Holt I’m related to that landed in Jamestown with the original colonists.
    Also, there’s a relative through my dad’s side that signed the Mayflower Compact.
    Ooh. And Charlemagne. Totally related to him, too.

    My husband’s directly desecended from the Cherokee tribe, as well as some level of Hispanic origin (not sure where Great-great grandmother/father are from. I need to do some research), and his grandmother is German and met Hitler.

    Bret-
    All of my great-grandparents (four sets) were Utah Mormon Pioneers that settled in southern Alberta. I just got back from visiting that awesome province.

    Comment by cheryl — July 8, 2008 @ 11:40 am

  14. Actually, the number of our ancestors does not expand exponentially each generation.

    The doubling of ancestors with each generation ends when ancestors end up marrying each other. It could be that uncle from West Virginia who married his niece. But it’s more likely that it was two distant relatives who married each other.

    Assuming four generations a century, my grandchildren’s 37th great-grandparents would have been living in the year 1000. There would have been 2E39 of them, assuming no intermarriage, or approximately 550 trillion. Even 10 generations ago, you would have had 1,048,576 ancestors, had there been no intermarriage. At some point, you run out of unique individuals, and there has to be intermarriage.

    Comment by Mark B. — July 8, 2008 @ 12:08 pm

  15. Cheryl,

    What town? Mine are in Magrath, Clifton and Coleman mostly but it sounds like your ancestors would want to stay away from my jack mormon ancestors:)

    Comment by Bret — July 8, 2008 @ 12:54 pm

  16. I learned in one of my family history classes at BYU that the average western European goes back to Charlemagne approx 600 times, since there were not many people living back then. On the pedigree charts everyone is going back to the same small amount of people over and over

    Comment by no one — July 8, 2008 @ 1:52 pm

  17. Wouldn’t be surprised, but I only know the one line.

    Comment by Kullervo — July 8, 2008 @ 2:34 pm

  18. Oh, but Bret, my grandfather quit school at 16 to work his parent’s ranch (near Glenwood) and smoked like a…well…cowboy? Anyway, he smoke and drank, married the town floozy, divorced her (they had two kids) after she got preggers with her sister’s husband baby, and then the Stake President approached him and said: “You’re to be the first Branch President out in Rosemary. Quit smoking and find yourself a wife!”
    My grandpa quit smoking and drinking that very day, 2 weeks later met my grandmother, and 6 months later married her in the Cardston, Alberta Temple. I think it was in 1955.
    So, he was kind of jack-Mormon for a while. :)

    My family settled in Glenwood, Raymond, and Stirling. My parents were raised in Lethbridge (after my grandfather’s cattle all froze in the winter of 1966), and both sets of grandparents still live there –well, except for the grandfather I just wrote about. He died ten years ago next month.

    Comment by cheryl — July 8, 2008 @ 2:36 pm

  19. I am going to be speaking about this very thing at the Sunstone Symposium in August. My session is #275. If you are coming Susan, I would love to meet you.
    Fun post. You have interesting ancestors. I have some fun ones too. For example, Mareen Duvall born about 1625, a Jacobite French man who was sold as an indentured servant for being a Huguenot. He ended up being one of the most influential and wealthy men of Maryland.

    Comment by JA Benson — July 8, 2008 @ 9:02 pm

  20. Quiter a variety, including one of the Salem witches and Sir Robert Rich, one of the owners of the Mayflower.

    Comment by meri — July 9, 2008 @ 3:11 am

  21. Roger Williams is the only famous name in my direct line.

    I have lots of mayflower early settler types but they are all regular folks. Most of my American lines seem to be hard put up farmers in the South struggling to survive. Or poor yankee farmers who lived around Palmyra NY.

    My great great aunt was the first wife of Lorin Wooley who helped found the LDS fundie movement (there is a claim to fame)

    My wife is descended from BY and Daniel Wells and her great whatever was the woman who was shot at in the doorway at Hauns Mill

    Comment by bbell — July 9, 2008 @ 8:21 am

  22. I think I’ve got Roger Williams in ther somewhere, too.

    Comment by Kullervo — July 9, 2008 @ 9:21 am

  23. JA: I’m not going, but that sounds like a fun session.

    BBell, who is Roger Williams? We’re probably related from way back in the 1600/1700s.

    Comment by Susan M — July 9, 2008 @ 10:19 am

  24. One of my ancestors got off an airplane and walked into the propeller and was decapitated. I like to think he was fighting Indiana Jones.

    Roger Williams founded Rhode Island, didn’t he? Or something like that…

    Comment by tracy m — July 9, 2008 @ 11:38 am

  25. Roger Williams founded the state of Rhode Island

    My family name back then is Ensign.

    Comment by bbell — July 9, 2008 @ 11:38 am

  26. Nice to meet another descendant of Philippe Du Trieux!

    Comment by Becky — July 9, 2008 @ 6:37 pm

  27. Susan – Not only did your great X23 grandfather (Longshanks) kill Braveheart but he also killed the last King of Wales (my ancestoral home). The last King of Wales, King Llywelyn, was initially the designated as the first Prince of Wales after England conquered Wales but then he Llywelyn was killed after he led an uprising against Edward. Since that time the first born male decendent of the English monarchy has held the title of “Prince of Wales.” My grandfather was named Llewellyn (slightly different spelling) and my youngest son has the same name for a middle name (he’s never really appreciated the history of that name.)

    In my professional life I have formed close friendships with native Scots and Irishman and they have taught me that, because of our history, all of us (Scots, Irish and Welsh) should have total contempt for the English. So…..I guess I do. Sorry. Nothing personal.

    Comment by lamonte — July 10, 2008 @ 5:18 am

  28. That’s a luxury reserved for those with pure ancestry, Lamonte.

    But with my Butler ancestors from Hertfordshire and Sumsion ancestors from Wiltshire and Hughes ancestors from Carmarthenshire and the Maxwells from somewhere in Scotland (we assume–the trail grows cold before crossing the Atlantic), how do I figure out whom I should have total contempt for? :-)

    Comment by Mark B. — July 10, 2008 @ 7:19 am

  29. Mark B – Yes, contempt comes so much easier for some of us! ;-) A sister in our ward recently did an incredible thing by tracing the ancestory of every active member and publishing a soft bound book. I was somewhat perplexed to find that one of my distant relatives actually came from England. But I guess I just put it out of my mind. It’s also interesting that although I am a fifth generation American I am still of pure Welsh blood (expect for the one Englishman). The little home town where I grew up is full of Welsh immigrants and my wife and I are the first generation to have escaped from there.

    Comment by lamonte — July 10, 2008 @ 10:12 am

  30. I’m a direct descendant Lt. Col. Joseph Bartholomew, who fought and was wounded in the battle of Tippecanoe. Bartholomew County in Indiana was named after him. I don’t think I’ve ever been to Indiana.

    I’m not sure about any royalty.

    Comment by danithew — July 11, 2008 @ 4:51 am

  31. My great-grandfather, George Cosgrove, was a US Deputy Marshal in the Dakota Territories (think “Deadwood”). He helped carry out Wild Bill Hickok after Hickok was shot to death while playing poker. He also knew Calamity Jane — perhaps a bit too well (see here, search for “Cosgrove”). It also appears, sadly, that he was involved with at least one Indian massacre. ..bruce..

    Comment by bfwebster — July 12, 2008 @ 8:44 am

  32. Me, personally, I don’t think I have anyone “famous” in the line. Thor’s line is filled with LDS folk. Direct descendant of David H. Cannon, John Taylor, and has cool pirate types from the Isle of Man who gave up the ill gotten gain to join the church. Other “aunt/uncle” -indirect lines that also have church “names” of notoriety. A grandpa of his set the keystone in the stone bridge in Zion Nat. Park. Interestingly our Bishop is a direct descendant of George Q. Cannon, David H’s temple President brother. It’s kind of a good kid/black sheep type of thing, but cool to have the present day relationship so close at hand.

    Comment by s'mee — July 13, 2008 @ 10:10 pm

  33. Very cool! I am a direct descendant (great granddaughter – I forgot how many times) of King Rhodri Mawr, the last King of Wales. No mormon ancestry, I don’t think.

    Comment by S.Glisson — August 29, 2008 @ 6:13 pm

  34. #11

    I recall his name. Ole Axinheadson

    Comment by Cullen Atwood — October 9, 2008 @ 3:35 pm

  35. I’m also a Great Great etc etc granddaughter of Sir Geoffrey! I just wish people could pronounce the Luttrell name right for once. I’m tired of being called Lutterwhale and such.
    I’ve been plotting to reclaim the castle for awhile, haha! But now that it’s being converted into some kind of resort it’s lost much of its appeal.

    Comment by KL — December 15, 2008 @ 11:58 pm

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