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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Miles of Gloucester (? – Dec 24 1143) AKA Miles FitzWalter; Miles de Pitres

Miles of Gloucester (? – Dec 24 1143)
          AKA Miles FitzWalter; Miles de Pitres

Miles is my 25th great grandfather and is known as the 1st Earl of Hereford. He was the son of Walter of Gloucester and therefore is also known as Miles FitzWalter of Gloucester.  Walter’s wife was known as Berta. Some references refer to her as a relative of Hamelin de Balun, Lord of Abergavenny, but does not confirm de Balun as her family name. Walter’s father was Roger de Pitres, who was the Sheriff of Gloucester, from about 1071 to about 1083. At that time Roger’s brother became Sheriff and remained so until about 1096. The title then passed to Walter, Roger’s son, who had the favor of King Henry I.

A charter dated to (1123) records that "Walt de Gloec" gave Little Hereford in fee to "Willo de Mara nepoti suo".  "Walter de Gloecestria, Milo fili ei…Willelm de Mara" witnessed the charter dated to (1127) (Round: Ancient Charters. Part 1, 11 p.19)  This charter establishes that Walter of Gloucester gave Little Hereford to his nephew (nepoti suo), William de Mara or William de la Mare, whose mother was Walter’s sister. This does establish a family connection, yet “nepot suo” could mean grandson. However the dates are more in line with William being Walter’s nephew. There are other, earlier, charters (1101) that mention Walter and his wife Bertha donated Westwode in Jerchenfeldf (Erchenfeld), for the memory of Walter’s mother and father and for his brother, Herbert.

Walter’s son, Miles married Sybil de NeufmarchĂ©, daughter of Bernard de NeufmarchĂ©. Sybil was the great granddaughter of Gruffydd ap Llywelyn, King of Wales and his wife Edith of Mercia.  King Stephen of England granted to Miles  the honor of Gloucester and Brecknock in 1136 and appointed him Constable of Gloucester Castle. Miles met Empress Matilda on her arrival in England in 1139, acting as her Constable. He was created Earl of Hereford at Oxford 25 Jul 1141, by Empress Matilda. He was also granted the castle of Abergavenny.

Miles was Sheriff of Gloucester by about 1128 and Sheriff of Staffordshire by 1130. Together with Pain FitzJohn, who was Sheriff of Herefordshire and Shropshire, they ruled the entire Welsh border. By 1137 Miles had contributed property to Llanthony Abbey. When Miles was killed in a hunting accident on Dec. 24 1143, he was laid to rest at this abbey. His wife and others of his family were also buried there. 
                                                     Ruins of Llanthony Abbey

Miles and Sybil had 5 sons and three daughters. All five sons died without issue.
Of the three daughters, Margaret married Humphrey de Bohun III, Bertha married William de Braose and Lucy married Herbert FitzHerbert.

When Miles’ son Roger died (d.s.p.) in 1155, the Earldom became extinct. In 1200, Henry de Bohun (1176-1220), grand nephew and heir of Earl Roger FitzMiles, was granted the Earldom by King John.

Miles’ sister, Margaret, had a son, also named Humphrey (IV) after his father. This Humphrey married Margaret of Huntingdon, daughter of Henry of Scotland 3rd Earl of Huntingdon and granddaughter of David I, King of Scotland. 

Their son was Henry de Bohun who was restored to the Earldom in 1200. He married Maud de Mandeville and they had Humphrey (V). This Humphrey was married twice, first to Maud de Lusignan of Normandy, France and then later to Maud d’Avenbury.  Next the son of Humphrey (V) and his first wife, Maud of Lusignan, Humphrey (VI) married Eleanor de Braose. This marriage connects two of the daughters of Miles of Gloucester, Margaret and Bertha, as Humphrey (VI) is the 3x gt. grandson of Miles and Eleanor is his 3x gt. granddaughter. This would make Humphrey and Eleanor 4th cousins.

This continues on with the de Bohun’s who eventually married into the Plantagenet family, children of various Royal branches.

Bertha’s son, William de Braose (2nd) has become a rather infamous historical figure. He lured three Welsh Princes to a Christmas feast at Abergavenny Castle, under the guise of peace, and then had the three men murdered. He was exonerated and then accompanied King Richard I to Normandy. When King Richard died, he then supported King John’s claim to the throne. Standing in the way was Arthur, the son of John’s older, deceased brother, Geoffrey. Prince Arthur disappeared when he was 16 and the mystery of who, how, what, when and where is still to be solved. William de Braose has been suspected of dealing the same fate to Arthur as he did to the three Welsh Princes, but nothing has ever been found to prove it. It is believed that, if nothing else, he was aware of the who, how and when. He received lands from King John and the speculation has been that these were rewards for his service and his silence. However, he fell out of favor and was soon being hunted, diligently, by King John’s men. William’s wife, Maud de St. Valery and their son, William, were starved to death in 1210, while being held prisoner, in Corfe Castle. In the dungeon, they were walled in, alive. William (the husband and father) died the following year in France. Although William and his mother died in the castle, William had been married and had four sons, John de Braose being the eldest son. John’s mother was Maude de Clare. John married Margaret ferch Llewelyn ap Iowerth, the  granddaughter of King John, by his daughter, Joan of England.
I have browsed many documents, books and other information concerning the de Braose family. It seems they became more obscure after the 1300’s and some lines may have daughtered out. To be sure there are descendants, but they may not carry the name de Braose. I have several lines to different de Braose families, most of whom are women. I will leave the sorting out to those who have the interest.

              Ruins of Abergavenny Castle





Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Newfoundland and Labrador

                                           This mini-map is of the Conception Bay area.

I’ve been asked several times just where Newfoundland and Labrador are located. It’s an island Province in Canada, off the coastline of eastern North America, in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. It comes in two parts, one a very large island and the rest, part of mainland Canada, sharing a border with Quebec and stretching far north. Its farthest northern tip is on an equal level with the southern coast of Greenland. Its coastline is a continuous line of bays, inlets and small islands, giving some areas an almost fjord-like look. The island of Newfoundland is separated from mainland Newfoundland and Labrador by the Strait of Belle Isle.
The northern areas are considered tundra and the southern is taiga, a moist subarctic area dominated by spruce and fir trees. It begins where the tundra ends. Newfoundland was completely covered during the last ice age, so literally every living thing was scraped from its surface. The soil is shallow and in the northern areas, permafrost is only about a meter (approx. 39 inches) below the surface. This makes it difficult for trees to take root since they can’t get through the permafrost. Many animals have been introduced over the years, but Newfoundland has no snakes, raccoons, skunks or porcupines.
A yearly phenomenon is the ice floes and ice bergs that float past both east and west coasts. Many of these originate in Greenland where they calve off the glaciers. Others are from the northern Labrador regions.

Fishing off the Grand Banks has been the mainstay of this province for nearly five centuries. It drew both local and International fishing fleets. It was said that the waters teemed with Cod, enough so you could scoop them into a boat with a hand net. But in 1992, the Canadian government feared the dwindling numbers of fish foreshadowed extinction and placed an indefinite moratorium on fishing. This put about 30,000 people out of work and ended a way of life in many of the smaller communities. Now, after twenty + years, the fish are making a comeback, slowly, but it gives hope for a positive recovery.
Newfoundland remained an English colony until 1907 and then was given Dominion status, which, basically, made it self-governing and relatively autonomous from British rule. In 1927, Labrador officially became part of the Dominion of Newfoundland. The British government passed the British North America Act which officially joined Newfoundland as a part of Canada, in 1949. It should also be stated that the official and correct abbreviation for Newfoundland and Labrador is NL, replacing NFLD. It was noted while reading some articles that some Newfies are offended by the use of the old version. It would be my guess that this is not widely known. I certainly was unaware of it and I read articles about Newfoundland and Labrador every week.
Fishing seems to have begun here sometime in the 1500’s. The fishermen came from England, Ireland, France and Portugal then returned home, heavily laden with the bounty of the sea. Soon, it became economically wiser to have the fishing fleets stay for the entire fishing season before returning home. Eventually, homes and villages began to spring up all along the coast.  Some of the families who came and then stayed have descendants still living in NL.
The Earl (later Earle) family came from Devon and settled in the Conception Bay area; The Garlands were around Carbonear before 1675; James Howell’s family claimed to have been there also by 1684 and Abraham King was residing there in 1708.  Thomas Pike is listed for Carbonear for 1690 and John Snow’s family, from Dorset, claimed to have been around since 1678. The Clark’s, from Devon or Cornwall, were in Crocker’s Cove by 1705 and the Tuckers were in Port de Grave by the late 1600’s. John Pynn was appointed Commander of the Garrison as a reward for his bravery in 1708. In 1729, William Pynn and Charles Garland were Justices of the Peace for the Carbonear district, which ran from Bay de Verde to Cape St. Francis. By 1747 there were more Moores, Parsons, Butts and Pikes living in the Conception Bay area. To clarify a bit, Carbonear is a district within the Conception Bay locality.
In 1770-71, Thomas Reynolds and John Power were in Crocker’s Cove. The Noel families, possibly from Jersey, came to Harbor Grace around this time too. Thomas Burden is mentioned in 1790 and Elisha Pye arrived about 1799. The early settlers were mostly Church of England immigrants from the West Country of England and The Channel Islands.
Along Conception Bay’s northern shore is Mulley’s Cove where James Reynolds, from Devon, settled in 1749. It hasn’t been discovered how Thomas and James Reynolds may be connected, if at all. A visitor to the area in early summer 1837, remarked on how deserted the towns were along the shore from Carbonear to Victoria to Small Point and Blackhead. This was because the families moved to the Labrador sometime at the end of March and didn’t return again until September or later. This was fishing season and the whole family participated, with the men and young boys hauling the fish while the women, girls and younger children worked on the beaches to prepare the fish for drying and salting. I can only think of what back breaking labor that was and how the children of today would react to that kind of life style.

Cecil J. Reynolds, a descendant of James Reynolds the indentured servant, believed that the Vatchers, LaGrows, Mulleys, Milleys and, probably, the Thistles, all had their origins in the Channel Islands, while the King family probably came from the West Country of England, where the name was quite numerous. James Reynolds (Rennolls) came from Rockebeare, Devon aboard a ship with a cargo of leather for Robert Lacey, a boot and shoemaker. James was an indentured servant to Lacey for 7 years. When his indenture was up, the American Revolution had begun causing the food supplies to dwindle, since they came from the colonies. James signed on for another 7 year hitch with Lacey and was around the age of 33 when he was finally released. It was then he married a teenage girl named Elizabeth Kennedy. James Reynolds and Richard Moores had plots for fishing rooms next to Michael Thistle as reported in the 1783 Plantation Book for Conception Bay North.
Finding the old histories has been time consuming, to say the least.  Some are so general, no names are mentioned. Others are so detailed it takes hours to extract the information you want. I wanted to see how many of my ancestors were involved in the early days of Newfoundland and was pleasantly surprised at the number I found. I am directly descended from the Pyes, Laceys, Reynolds, Kennedys, Pikes, Thistles and Snows and I’m related, by marriage, to the Butts, Sopers, Milleys, Kings, Slades, Clarkes, Powers, Pynns, Coopers, Rumboldts, Harwood, Georges, Stones, Lewis, Davis, Heralds and LeGrows.
I found March to be a very disruptive month in ways that interfered with writing any blog. I’m hoping all that is behind me now and that I can get back to putting out a blog on a more regular basis.



Thursday, February 25, 2016

Book Titles by Thornton Burgess

·                 1905 The Bride's Primer (contributor)
·                 1910 Old Mother West Wind[8]
·                 1911 Mother West Wind's Children
·                 1912 Baby Possum Has a Scare
·                 1912 Baby Possum's Queer Voyage
·                 1912 Mother West Wind's Animal Friends
·                 1912 The Boy Scouts of Woodcraft Camp
·                 1913 Little Animal Stories for Little Children
·                 1913 Mother West Wind's Neighbors
·                 1913 The Adventures of Reddy Fox
·                 1913 The Adventures of Johnny Chuck
·                 1913 The Boy Scouts on Swift River
·                 1914 A Glad Time Made a Sad Time
·                 1914 Danny Meadow Mouse Learns Something
·                 1914 Fun with Farmer Brown's Boy
·                 1914 How Unc' Billy Possum Met Buster Bear
·                 1914 Jack Frost Helps Paddy the Beaver
·                 1914 Jerry Muskrat Begins to Build
·                 1914 Jerry Muskrat Is Laughed At
·                 1914 Jerry Muskrat Wins Respect
·                 1914 Jumper the Hare Cannot Sleep
·                 1914 Mr. Toad and Danny Meadow Mouse Take a Walk
·                 1914 Old Mr. Toad Gets His Stomach Full
·                 1914 Peter Rabbit Puts on Airs
·                 1914 Striped Chipmunk's Secret Joke
·                 1914 The Adventures of Jerry Muskrat[13]
·                 1914 The Adventures of Mr. Mocker
·                 1914 The Adventures of Peter Cottontail[14]
·                 1914 The Adventures of Unc' Billy Possum
·                 1914 The Boy Scouts on Lost Trail
·                 1914 Unc' Billy Possum Has a Fright
·                 1915 Mother West Wind "Why" Stories
·                 1915 My Own Bedtime Story
·                 1915 Peter Rabbit's Get Acquainted Party
·                 1915 The Adventures of Chatterer the Red Squirrel
·                 1915 The Adventures of Danny Meadow Mouse[14]
·                 1915 The Adventures of Grandfather Frog
·                 1915 The Adventures of Sammy Jay
·                 1915 The Bedtime Story Calendar
·                 1915 The Boy Scouts in a Trapper's Camp
·                 1915 Tommy and the Wishing Stone
·                 1915 Tommy's Wishes Come True
·                 1916 Little Animal Stories for Children
·                 1916 Mother West Wind "How" Stories
·                 1916 The Adventures of Buster Bear
·                 1916 The Adventures of Old Man Coyote
·                 1916 The Adventures of Old Mr. Toad
·                 1916 The Adventures of Prickly Porky
·                 1917 An Important Meeting at the Smiling Pool
·                 1917 Busy Folks and Sleepy Folks
·                 1917 Four little Mice at School and Play
·                 1917 Johnny Chuck Loses His Temper
·                 1917 Mother West Wind "When" Stories
·                 1917 Paddy the Beaver Gives Warning
·                 1917 Peter Rabbit Introduces His Big Cousin
·                 1917 Peter Rabbit Learns from Striped Chipmunk
·                 1917 Striped Chipmunk Has a Secret
·                 1917 The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver
·                 1917 The Adventures of Poor Mrs. Quack
·                 1918 Happy Jack
·                 1918 Happy Jack Squirrel's Thrift Club
·                 1918 Mother West Wind "Where" Stories
·                 1918 The Adventures of Bobby Coon
·                 1918 The Adventures of Jimmy Skunk[14]
·                 1919 Mrs. Peter Rabbit
·                 1919 The Adventures Bobby White
·                 1919 The Adventures of Ol' Mistah Buzzard
·                 1919 The Burgess Bird Book for Children[14]
·                 1920 Bowser the Hound
·                 1920 Old Granny Fox
·                 1920 The Burgess Animal Book for Children[14]
·                 1921 Lightfoot the Deer
·                 1921 Tommy's Change of Heart
·                 1922 Blacky the Crow
·                 1922 Buster Bear Invites Old Mr. Toad to Dine
·                 1922 Grandfather Frog Stays in the Smiling Pool
·                 1922 Whitefoot the Woodmouse[13]
·                 1923 Buster Bear's Twins
·                 1923 The Burgess Flower Book for Children
·                 1924 Billy Mink
·                 1925 Animal Pictures
·                 1925 Little Joe Otter
·                 1926 Jerry Muskrat at Home
·                 1926 The Christmas Reindeer
·                 1927 A Frightened Baby
·                 1927 A Great Joke on Jimmy Skunk
·                 1927 A Woe-Begone Little Bear
·                 1927 An Imp of Mischief
·                 1927 Cubby Bear Has a Mind of His Own
·                 1927 Cubby Finds an Open Door
·                 1927 Cubby Gets a Bath
·                 1927 Cubby in Mother Brown's Pantry
·                 1927 Digger the Badger Decides to Stay
·                 1927 Grandfather Frog Gets a Ride
·                 1927 Happy Jack Squirrel Helps Unc' Billy
·                 1927 Longlegs the Heron
·                 1927 Milk and Honey
·                 1927 The Neatness of Bobby Coon
·                 1927 What Farmer Brown's Boy Did
·                 1928 Bobby Coon Has a Good Time
·                 1928 Bowser the Hound Meets His Match
·                 1928 Grandfather Frog Fools Farmer Brown's Boy
·                 1928 Happy Jack Squirrel's Bright Idea
·                 1928 Peter Rabbit Learns to Use His New Coat
·                 1929 Farmer Brown's Boy Becomes Curious
·                 1929 Little Joe Otter's Slide
·                 1929 The Burgess Seashore Book for Children
·                 1929 Wild Flowers We Know
·                 1929 Wild Flowers We Should Know
·                 1930 Betty Bear's Lesson
·                 1930 Whitefoot's Secret
·                 1932 Big Book of Green Meadow Stories
·                 1932 The Burgess Big Book of Green Meadow Stories
·                 1933 Birds You Should Know
·                 1933 Jimmy Skunk's Justice
·                 1933 Peter Rabbit's Carrots
·                 1935 The Wishing-Stone Stories
·                 1937 Big Thornton Burgess Story-book
·                 1937 Tales from the Storyteller's House
·                 1937 The Book of Animal Life
·                 1938 Mother Nature's Song and Story Book
·                 1938 While the Story-Log Burns
·                 1940 A Merry Coasting Party
·                 1940 A Robber Meets His Match
·                 1940 Bobby Coon's Mistake
·                 1940 Paddy's Surprise Visitor
·                 1940 Peter Rabbit Proves a Friend
·                 1940 Reddy Fox's Sudden Engagement
·                 1940 The Three Little Bears
·                 1940 Young Flash the Deer
·                 1941 Little Pete's Adventure
·                 1941 The Little Burgess Animal Book for Children
·                 1941 The Little Burgess Bird Book for Children
·                 1942 Animal Stories (also published as The Animal World of Thornton Burgess)
·                 1942 Little Chuck's Adventure
·                 1942 Little Red's Adventure
·                 1942 Thornton Burgess Animal Stories
·                 1944 On the Green Meadows
·                 1944 The Feast at Big Rock
·                 1944 Why Peter Rabbit's Ears Are Long and Three Other Stories
·                 1945 At the Smiling Pool
·                 1945 The Big Book of Burgess Nature Stories
·                 1946 The Crooked Little Path
·                 1947 The Dear Old Briar-Patch
·                 1949 Along Laughing Brook
·                 1949 Baby Animal Stories
·                 1949 Nature Almanac
·                 1950 A Thornton Burgess Picture Story Book
·                 1950 At Paddy the Beaver's Pond
·                 1953 Everybody Lends Jerry Muskrat a Hand
·                 1953 Peter Rabbit's Prank
·                 1953 Reddy Fox Takes a Bath
·                 1954 Peter Rabbit and Reddy Fox
·                 1954 The Littlest Christmas Tree
·                 1955 Aunt Sally's Friends in Fur
·                 1955 Stories Around the Year
·                 1956 50 Favorite Burgess Stories
·                 1956 Little Peter Cottontail
·                 1957 How Peter Cottontail Got His Name
·                 1958 Read Aloud Peter Rabbit Stories
·                 1959 Bedtime Stories
·                 1959 Nature Stories to Read Aloud
·                 1960 Now I Remember: Autobiography of an Amateur Naturalist
·                 1963 The Million Little Sunbeams
·                 1965 Mother West Wind Stories to Read Aloud
·                 1965 The Burgess Book of Nature Lore[15]