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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Jonathan Cole, 1728-1813, Swansea to Sackville

A brief recap of some of the history concerning the Maritime Provinces will help to make this all more understandable. The French had long been settled in those provinces, had built up their farms, built sturdy home and raised their families.  But along came the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. This was a peace treaty of sorts, more like a series of peace treaties. So nearly 100 years after the first French settlers arrived, King George of Britain decided there were too many of them and that they were a decided threat to his territories. It was then the Grand Derangement began, lasting from about 1755 - 1763. The French were driven from their homesteads, some were returned to France, some went to Maine, others scattered from Quebec to Georgia and many more ended up in LA. This is not meant to be a history of the politics of that time. It was not a peaceful time. It was time of the French and Indian War. There were skirmishes and battles. The French often destroyed their buildings and their crops before departing. The Indians also burned and looted. The population of the area was depleted which created the need to invite new settlers to these lands. In 1758, Governor Lawrence issued his first proclamation inviting New Englanders to come to Nova Scotia to settle the lands vacated by the French. This created a huge amount of interest and finally led to a considerable number of New Englanders settling in various parts of the Province. In some cases, the government offered to pay for the transportation of whole families to move them to Nova Scotia.  Many of these people were of the Baptist faith and whole congregations left as a group. In the 1760’s Nova Scotia included all the land that later became New Brunswick. For those doing any family research into the Sackville and Amherst areas of New Brunswick, it’s good to keep in mind that until about 1820 or so, those locations were still in Nova Scotia.

Jonathan Cole was still living in the area of Swansea/Warren/Barrington when he married Elizabeth West in 1750. She was from Rehoboth MA, the d/o Abigail Wheeler and John West. Elizabeth was the great granddaughter of Richard Bullock through her father John West, who was a Mayflower descendant through the Soules. Jonathan Cole was a great, great grandson of Richard Bullock through his father’s mother, Hannah Eddy. They were 3rd cousins once removed. Jonathan and Elizabeth had two sons, James and Edward. But then Elizabeth died in 1755 leaving Jonathan with two young boys to care for. As often was the case, Jonathan then married a young widow, with three children. This was Abigail Martin Estabrooks, widow of William Estabrooks.  To complicate things just a bit more, Abigail was the half sister of Jonathan’s first wife, Elizabeth West. Their mother, Abigail Wheeler, had married John West first and later married Ebenezer Martin. So now Jonathan and Abigail had five children, two of his and three of hers. They were married in 1756 in Warren RI. They then had three more children all born in Warren by 1762. At some time after the third child was born, they joined the exodus to Nova Scotia and appear on the rolls of grantees in 1763.

It’s time for another sidebar. When Abigail Martin Estabrooks entered the scene, she brought with her the connection to the Wheelers. Her grandparents were James Wheeler and Grizzell Squire. Their daughter, Abigail Wheeler (who first married John West and then Ebenezer Martin) is my 5x gt. grandmother. Abigail’s brother James Wheeler (jr.) married Elizabeth West, sister of John West.  This James Wheeler and his wife Elizabeth West Wheeler are 7x gt. grandparents of President George W. Bush. That means President Bush and I are 7th cousins twice removed.

Another interesting connection has been found through the Bullocks. Richard Bullock had three daughters who have played a role in the ancestry of many people. Elizabeth Bullock married Caleb Eddy; Abigail Bullock married Obadiah Bowen and Mehitable Bullock married John West (the father of the above John West). The Eddys and the Bowens are integral parts of the Cole family tree. Mehitable and John West were the parents of Elizabeth, the one who married James Wheeler jr. Therefore the Bullocks are also ancestors of the Bush family. But there’s more. Mehitable Bullock and John West are the 4x gt. grandparents of James A. Garfield, 20th President of the United States, also making him my 5th cousin twice removed, the common ancestor being Richard Bullock, Mehitable’s father.
Back to Jonathan Cole and the migration north – It’s not known if the whole family traveled with him and arrived en masse or not. Many lists of people taking advantage of the land exist, but in that day, women weren’t mentioned often so it’s difficult to know how many of the women and families were actually in Nova Scotia during the early stages of settlement and development. In 1763, nearly 70 people made application for lands in the Cumberland area, Jonathan Cole, Jonathan Eddy, Elijah, Obadiah and Joseph Ayre. Nehemiah Ward and Josiah Throop among them. There were also people named King, Peck, Walker, Winslow, Martin, Danks and Gardner. Many of these people came and settled, clearing land and building roads and homes, yet not all of them stayed. An Isaac Cole of Providence Plantation in RI was one such man. (Many farms were called plantations. Isaac had a farm in or near Providence.) He was a 2nd cousin of Jonathan Cole, going back to Hugh and Mary Foxwell Cole as the common ancestors. Isaac was married to Sarah Estabrooks. She may have been related to the William Estabrooks who was Abigail Martin Estabrooks Cole’s first husband, but I haven’t tracked it yet, so I don’t know of any connection. The Estabrooks played a large role in the development of the new lands and the name shows up on a list of subscribers for the Township lying on the Tantramar River in 1761. A word of caution, this name has a variety of spellings, all of them for the same family. If you’re researching this name in Canada, look at all spellings. I’ve seen the name spelled three different ways all in the same document.  But Isaac Cole apparently did not go to Nova Scotia or settle there. He may have had good intentions, but for some reason, they fell through. Because Isaac did not settle in NS, it appears that Jonathan Cole was the only member of his family to go north. Other than Isaac, he is the only one named Cole to appear of any of the early lists.

Jonathan, his two sons, James and Edward, his wife Abigail and her three children, Elizabeth, Grizzell and William Estabrooks, and the three new Cole children Ambrose, Patience and Martin (all born in RI) settled in what is today Sackville, New Brunswick. Two more children were born in NB, Jonathan and Ebenezer (1767). Not much is known about Jonathan so it is possible this child died young. Ebenezer is my 3x gt. grandfather.


April 19 1775 the shot heard round the world was fired as the Minutemen and the Redcoats clashed at Lexington and Concord. This put considerable stress on all the families who had moved into Canada. They were still British citizens but many had deep loyalties toward the colonists and especially, family members who remained in New England. Some of the new settlers moved back to New England, some others joined various components of the Continental Army. It was a time of upheaval all up and down the eastern seaboard. How this affected Jonathan Cole’s family in Sackville, NB will be the subject of the next blog.

The Chignecto Isthmus and its First Settlers, Howard Trueman, 1902  

The History of Sackville, Dr. W. C. Milner, 1934


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Cole Family Goes to Swansea

James and Mary Tibbes Cole had at least four children. As mentioned earlier, it is not known where these two died or where they are buried. Their son Hugh acquired land in Swansea MA, near Rehoboth, which had already been settled. It’s possible that James and Mary were able to make that move with him, but that’s simply speculation. Their son, James, Jr., stayed behind and ran the family business, an ordinary.

This James married Mary Tilson Dec 23 1652 in Scituate, MA. They had six children, the youngest of who was Martha, b. 1672. Martha’s birth mother seems to be in question in many of the reports I read. Mary Tilson Cole died c 1679 and James, Jr. then married Abigail Davenport. The confusion seems to concern Mary’s death date. I have seen it stated that she died before 1660, that she died after 1670 and a variety of dates in between.  The most consistent date I have seen is 1679 so I will stick with that until it is proven false.  The reason I bring this couple into view as a tangent is because they became the ancestors of a very important historical figure.  Obviously, their children were all Mayflower descendants and all their progeny are also entitled to make that claim.  James Cole, Sr., of 1633 Plimouth, was the grandfather of the following Martha Cole.

 This is how the generations fall:

1. James Cole Sr. and Mary Tibbes
2. James Cole, Jr. and Mary Tilson
3. Nathaniel and Martha Cole Howland  
4. Nathaniel and Abigail Burt Howland
5. Joseph and Lydia Bill Howland
6. Susan Howland and John Aspinwall, Jr.
7. Mary Rebecca Aspinwall and Isaac Roosevelt
8. James Roosevelt and Sarah Delano
9. Franklin Delano Roosevelt
This is such a neat piece of history and FDR’s ancestry is so well documented. This makes me a 7th cousin 2x removed to the 32nd President of the United States.  How cool is that?!


But I really wanted to continue on with Hugh Cole who helped settle the area around Swansea MA. He and his wife Mary Foxwell had ten children. One of the boundaries of Hugh Cole’s land was a river, Coles River, which has the same name today. Parts of it are tidal and some of the area has been developed for recreational purposes.

Coles River at Ocean Grove
Their ten children were:

James Cole 1655-1717, m. Mary Cadman
Hugh Cole, Jr. 1658-1738, m. Deborah Buckland
John Cole 1660-1748, m. Susannah Gray
Martha Cole 1662-1711, m. Henry Sweeting
Anna Cole c. 1666-1693, Nathaniel Luther
Joseph Cole 1668-1705

Ebenezer Cole 1671-1719, m. Mehitable Luther
Mary Cole 1676-1756, m. Jonathan Kingsley
*Benjamin Cole 1677-1748, m. Hannah Eddy

Hugh Cole, the elder, is buried at Tyler Point Cemetery in Barrington RI. This land was all once part of the original lands purchased inn 1667. Over the years, the boundaries changed several times until finally, the land Hugh owned now resides in both RI and MA.  

His youngest son, Benjamin with his wife Hannah Eddy, continue the line I am following. Benjamin was a deacon in his church until his death. He was a farmer in the Swansea area. Benjamin and Hannah are both buried in the Kickemuit Cem. in Warren RI.

Their children were:

Hopestill, b. 1703, m. Joseph Butterworth
*Jonathan Cole 1704-1785, m. Elizabeth Bowen
Benjamin Cole 1706-1776, m. Elizabeth Nelson
Foxtil Cole, b. 1708
Israel Cole 1710-1789, m. Susannah Wheaton, moved to Shaftsbury VT
Ebenezer Cole 1712-1794, m. Mary Bosworth, moved to Shaftsbury VT
Andrew Cole 1714-1787, m. Priscilla Luther
Hannah Cole b. 1716, m. Ebenezer Ormsby


The eldest son, Jonathan, who married Elizabeth Bowen, continues the Cole line in the Swansea MA and RI areas. Jonathan and Elizabeth were 2nd cousins, since Elizabeth’s grandmother, Abigail Bullock, and Jonathan’s grandmother, Elizabeth Bullock were sisters.

 Their children were:

Hope Cole - no dates
Rebecca Cole – no dates
Welthian Cole – no dates
Elizabeth Cole – 1727-1755
*Jonathan Cole – 1728-1813
James Cole – 1730-?
Rufus Cole – 1736-1810
Ambrose Cole – 1738-1770
Patience Cole – c 1745-?
Obadiah Cole – 1749-?

There is a totally unsubstantiated story about Elizabeth Bowen’s ancestry. It claims that Elizabeth Bowen’s paternal grandmother, Abigail Bullock, was the granddaughter of Elizabeth Ingraham.  That the first name was Elizabeth seems to be correct, but there is no – none – proof that her surname was Ingraham. The Ingraham line in this tale has very definite Royal connections and was apparently used for that reason. Richard Bullock, the husband of a woman named Elizabeth, died intestate, leaving few records about him or his wife behind. To claim that this Elizabeth was an Ingraham was pure fantasy. I might add that this pedigree was first put forth in the 1800’s when it was a true feather in your cap to have a Royal connection. But it did not stand the test of time and the scrutiny of today’s sharp-eyed researchers.

Jonathan Cole, the son of Jonathan and Elizabeth Bowen Cole is the ancestor who completely changed the family history for my mother’s maternal family tree. If you notice the dates are well into the 1700’s when so much was changing and happening, eventually leading to the American Revolution and our independence from Britain. This next Jonathan Cole was faced with many challenges, successes and sorrows.

My next blog will continue with Jonathan Cole, 1728-1813.


Monday, December 3, 2012

James Cole, Plimouth, 1633

Thanksgiving always brings back a plethora of childhood memories, family gatherings, cold, invigorating air, warm toasty house, smells of turkey and pies, lots of people around the table – oh! What a great tradition and what great fun.  This year it also brought back a reminder that I have another Plymouth connection. This is not a Mayflower connection, just a very early Plymouth one.

 As a child I heard conversations that we had ancestors who had been in Plymouth very early but no one was sure if they had come on the Mayflower. My gt. grandmother had claimed that there was money back in England for the person in the family who would be so brave as to go find/get it. I never knew of anyone who had attempted this and like all other family stories it got filed away.
As the years went by, my sister and I began to take very serious paths in the study of our family branches. I began to more intensely research the paternal ancestors and she took off on the trail of our maternal lines.

My grandmother Broderick lived with us and her maiden name had been Chambers. Her mother had been Rebecca Cole and both ladies had been born in Dorchester, NB, on the Bay of Fundy. It’s amazing to me that I have both maternal and paternal connections to Plymouth, but three out of four of my grandparents were born in Canada. The only one to be born in the USA was my grandfather, John Broderick, who parents were Irish immigrants just prior to his birth.

I’ve already spoken about my paternal connections to Stephen Hopkins and William Brewster, so I thought it was the appropriate time to speak of my mother’s ancestors.  My sister did hours, weeks, months of research in the day before computers when everything was on microfilm or microfiche. It was tedious viewing and you could only borrow the film for a certain length of time.  Bit by bit she pieced together the line of decent from James Cole of Plimouth Plantation to our Gt. Grandmother Rebecca Cole Chambers.

The information she had at the beginning of her research, although accepted at that time, has now proven to be inaccurate. Robert C. Anderson in his The Great Migration Begins states that James Cole was b. c 1600, based on his age at marriage.  It isn’t known where he was born or who his parents were, but there is a marriage record for James and Mary Tibbes in Barnstaple, Devonshire on May 1, 1625. There is information out there that says James Cole was the son of William, of Enniskillen, Ireland. This just isn’t true. I have seen the family tree of this William Cole of Enniskillen and although he had children there was not one named James for several generations after him.

 James and Mary had four children, the first two, James and Hugh, were baptized in Barnstaple, Devonshire. James was bapt. on Feb. 11, 1626/1627 and Hugh on June 29 1628. Another son, John, b. Nov. 21, 1637 and a daughter, Mary, b. 1639, were born in Plymouth. At this point it’s necessary to mention that there were at least two other men by the name of James Cole in the colonies at the same time. One went to Saco, ME and the other went to Boston. To add to all the confusion Daniel Cole and his family were also in Plymouth at about the same time and he had children with similar names. To date, no known family connection has been discovered between the Daniel Cole and James Cole families.

James Cole, his wife and children arrived in Plymouth sometime prior to 1633, when he was listed as a freeman. He has been called a sailor, a shoemaker and an innkeeper. He also was a surveyor of highways, served on several juries and was a constable for Plymouth. He must have had some education to be considered reliable for these positions. The land that became known as Cole’s Hill, was first known as Burial Hill. This is where it is said the Pilgrims buried their dead that first winter, 1621, so the Indians would not be aware that their numbers had dropped by half. There are many entries in the records of Plymouth concerning James as an innkeeper. He had many difficulties with the laws of Plymouth. He was fined for allowing people to become drunk, for selling spirits on the Sabbath, for selling spirits to the Indians and for being drunk himself. He lost his license to operate his tavern, but he continued to run his inn regardless. He was obviously a colorful figure in Plymouth society.
In 1670 his tavern was succeeded by his son James, Jr. The business operated smoothly after that as James, Jr. stayed well within the regulations set forth by the Plymouth magistrates.

 Today, Coles Hill has a roadside marker and other memorials to him and the Pilgrims. It faces Plymouth Rock and the Ocean. It was a good vantage point for seeing any approaching vessels bent on doing harm to them. One of the memorials says:

"In memory of James Cole
Born London England 1600
Died Plymouth Mass 1692
First settler of Coles Hill 1633
A soldier in Pequot Indian War 1637
This tablet erected by his descendants1917"

 There were no other entries in the Plymouth records concerning James after the late 1670’s. To follow him and his family we need to go to Swansea MA. It appears that James Jr. may have remained in Plymouth, while Hugh went to find new lands to farm. At first this whole area was known as Warren RI, until sometime later when the boundaries were redefined. It’s believed this is where James, Sr. died. Although there are no records to show where he died or where he was buried.

 Hugh Cole, in 1667, along with others, purchased 500 acres along a river from the Indians. This river became known as Cole River and is still so called today. Hugh’s allotment was 50 acres.  Hugh was also a shipwright, a civil engineer, and a selectman of Swansea for many years and a representative to the General Court.  He was a friend of King Philip, Indian Chief. King Philip's warriors organized against the colonists and terrorized the area for about a year.  In June of 1675, two of Hugh's sons were taken prisoner by the Indians and taken to Philip at Mount Hope.  Philip ordered them freed, but told Hugh he could no longer restrain his warriors.  He advised Hugh to take his family to Rhode Island, immediately.  Hugh did this and within the hour his house was in flames.  In 1677, he returned to Swansea and built a house.  There is no mention of James Sr. through any of this history so one assumes he may not have lived long enough to move to Swansea.

Hugh married Mary Foxwell, daughter of Richard and Ann Shelley Foxwell. The Foxwells left London on Sept. 16 1632 on board the ship Lyon, William Pierce, Master. Hugh and Mary had 10 children, 6 boys and 4 girls. When Mary died, Hugh married Elizabeth Lettice, and then after her death he married Mary Shelley. There are some discrepancies on dates in the various histories I have consulted. Hugh’s children all seem to be the offspring on his first wife. I have found no children attributed to the 2nd and 3rd marriages, but because all the dates don’t agree, I can’t be certain Mary Foxwell was the mother of all of them.

 My next blog will continue with a few more generations of the Coles. I’ve been so busy with substitute teaching that I haven’t been able to put much time into a  blog.



Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Pye in PyePlate Part V

To retrace a bit, Walter Pye, b. c. 1170, married a woman named Elizabeth de la Bere. This is the Norman way of presenting this name, but not all records use this. In quite a few instances she was known as Elizabeth Barry.  She and Walter had at least three sons, Thomas, John and Walter. To date, no information for John and Walter has come to light. Thomas, as mentioned in an earlier blog, married Joan (Jane) Bromwich, daughter of Richard Bromwich. They are most likely related to the Bromwiches of The Midlands, but no direct connection has been made yet.

Their son, John, married Elizabeth Scudamore and three of their sons were John, Walter and Jenkin.  The previous blog followed Jenkin; this one will follow John Pye. His wife was Agnes (Anne) Andrews, daughter of Richard Andrew ap Ithell of Brown’s Place.

So far, only one male child has been found for John and Agnes Pye. His name is also John and he became known as John Pye O’The Mynde.  In the passage of time, Brown’s Place became The Mynde, located in Much Dewchurch, Herefordshire. The Mynde is considered the ancestral home of the Pye family.

This region of Herefordshire is also called Ergyng and Archenfield. Located within this area is a place called Wormelow Tump, near Much Dewchurch, and it’s believed to be the ancient location of ‘Licat Amr.’ The 9th century historian, Nennius, wrote that ‘Licat Amr’ is the place where King Arthur executed his traitorous son, Mordred and buried him there.  There are many strong legends connecting King Arthur to Much Dewchurch. Although some are folklore, there is strong evidence that a definite historical person, perhaps a Celtic leader or Chieftain fought against the Saxons in the 6th century. Arthur’s mother, Igraine (Ygema) is said to be the daughter of Amlawdd Wledig, a member of the Royal House of Dumnonia. Ergyng was an ancient British Kingdom known as Ariconium by the Romans, later called Archenfield and today is known as South Herefordshire.

Now to get back to John Pye O’ the Mynde and his very interesting history. All accounts that have any records of him agree that he was married three times. His three wives were Anne de la Bere (Anne Barry), Elizabeth Whitney and Anne Brydges. Having three wives was not all that unusual for the 15th century. So many women died in childbirth, leaving young children to be cared for and perhaps a newborn as well. So multiple marriages were fairly common. What was unusual for this John Pye was the fact that he was b. in 1444 and died in 1550. He lived 106 years in a time when people were doing well if they made it to the age of 50.  The other amazing fact concerning this man was that he had 42 children by his three wives and is said to have fathered an additional 22 children by various other women.

He is said to be buried at Much Dewchurch and the following inscription is said to be his epitaph:

‘1550. “Here lyeth the Body of John Pye of Minde, a travayler in far countryes, his life ended; he left behind him Walter, his son, heire of Minde; a hundred and six yeares he was truly, and had sons and daughters two and forty! John Pye of the mynde, sone of Jon. pye, seconde sone of Jon. pye of Sadlebowe, esq., married 3 wiefes; his first wief was Anne, da. to Sr. Richard Delabyre, knight; his second wief was Anne Brigees; and his third wief was alrothes, da. to Sr. Robert Whitney, lord of Whitney. Hee had bye theme 42 children; And hee had by Concubines 22 Children.’ (Spelling is from the original epitaph.)

It is said that during the reign of Queen Victoria, this epitaph was removed from public view. It was considered offensive to the Victorian sensibilities.

It’s difficult to believe that any one person could father that many children. What is even more difficult to deal with is that very few of them have been named. It would seem there has to be some kind of record, somewhere, that listed the children of this man. Granted, there could have been records which have been lost to time, mildew, water damage, fire, what have you. But this enormous family seems to have vanished. John and Anne de la Bere were said to have had three sons, Walter, John and Edmund. No children can be found for Anne Brydges and only one daughter, Elizabeth, has been discovered for Elizabeth Whitney.

In the course of several years, trying to learn more about this family, I have come across so many people researching the Pyes. They come from all over England and all seem to have one thing in common. They all have a brick wall.  All these 40+ children had to go somewhere and I would hazard a guess that they might trace back to John and one of his three wives. The custom of the day was for the eldest son to inherit the estate. Even if there were numerous property holdings, there most likely would not be enough to go around. This family must have dispersed in all directions of the compass.

As luck would have it, my Pye family line descends from two sons of John and Anne (de la Bere) Pye, one who ventured off to Cornwall and the other, who remained at the Mynde.




Monday, October 29, 2012

A Branch of Pye

When I last left the de Kilpecks, the family had daughtered out. They had married Walerand, Plugenet and Marmion. Philip Marmion died c. 1292. But there were other branches of the de Kilpecks, other sons of Hugh de Kilpeck (1076-11??), John de Kilpeck and Thomas de Kilpeck.

The easy one is Thomas. No spouse has been found for him and only one daughter has been discovered. Her name was Margaret and she married Stephen de la Bere. Margaret and Stephen had two daughters.

John de Kilpeck probably had children though none have been firmly established. The family names continue to repeat themselves in generation after generation, often muddying the waters and making true identification nearly impossible. Even Sir John Burke in the many books he put together on the peerage, nobility, baron, baronetcies, extinct and dormant titles, has mixed and confused some of the Robert Pyes, the Walter Pyes and the John Pyes. This is not to pass judgment on him and his volumes of works, but is offered as an example of how even dedicated researchers have been thwarted by the repetition of names throughout the generations.

John de Kilpeck had a son named Thomas. No wife has been discovered for him, but some secondary sources say he was the father of Walter Pye of Saddlebow.  I offer this, in this way, because there seems to be no clear cut evidence that Thomas and Walter were father and son, yet it is referred to often enough to give it some pause for thought. This is one of those pieces of information that need to be checked out in dusty old church or record books, not at my disposal.
Walter is claimed to have married Elizabeth de la Bere, daughter of Stephen de la Bere and his wife Margaret Pye (mentioned above). At this point, I want to mention that there are many 1st and 2nd cousin marriages through the early years in the Pye pedigree. It was a very common practice and helped to consolidate land holdings and generate loyalty within families. Many, if not most, marriages were contracts and had little or nothing to do with romance.  This seems to have been a general practice and occurs frequently in other families as well. Walter and Elizabeth had a son, Thomas, who married Joan Bromwich.  Walter, and his son Thomas, are referred to as ‘of Saddlebow.’ Saddlebow is a geographical area in Herefordshire, which may no longer exist on any map of today. I have seen references to an area south of Hereford that is in the general area of Kilpeck, Orcopp and Much Dewchurch which was called Saddlebow. Using today’s maps it’s very difficult to determine the location of the 14th century saddlebow.  These lands were most likely some of the holdings of the earlier Pyes and were given off to the younger sons, while the older sons inherited Kilpeck.

I have seen several references to Thomas and Joan Bromwich being the parents of Walter Pye. I have seen just as many saying they were the parents of John Pye. Maybe they had two sons, John and Walter. Whatever the case, I have found both names married to Elizabeth Scudamore. Elizabeth is rather an important figure and it’s sad that I can’t do more justice to her by saying which man is her correct husband. Elizabeth is the daughter of Sir John ‘Hen’ Scudamore and his wife Alice Glendower. The story goes that Sir John secretly married Alice and that they were able to keep the secret for 20 years. He was working for the King in subduing the Welsh. When the marriage was finally discovered, John was stripped of all his honors and castles that he held. Alice is the daughter of Owain Glyndwr, the National Hero of Wales. He studied law at Westminster, was esquire to the Earl of Arundel and rebelled against King Henry IV, declared himself Prince of Wales and established an independent Welsh Parliament. He was defeated at the Battle of Shrewsbury but continued to fight for Welsh independence until his death. He was knighted by King Richard II. The Scudamore family was anciently seated in Kentchurch, Holme Lacy and Ewyas, both in Herefordshire. Their name had a variety of spellings before it became Scudamore. The name continued to evolve as some of its members sailed for the New World. There the name became Skidmore.

A little bit of a tangent there but it is important to note that the Pyes were on the same social level as the Scudamores of the day. As far as I’ve been able to find, there are only three children listed for Elizabeth and John/Walter Pye. They had John, Walter and Jenkin. Jenkin married Elizabeth Selwick and had a son, Robert. Robert married a Monington, but no first name has come forth.  Their son John married a Vaughan, again no first name. This family had Elizabeth and Griffith Pye. Elizabeth married Thomas Catchmer and Griffith married a daughter of Thomas Walwyn.  Elizabeth and Thomas Catchmer’s daughter, Catherine, married Sir John Vaughan, Knt.  Griffith and his Walwyn wife had John and Robert. The Welsh name Vaughan spears frequently in marriages with the Pye family. The spelling has been Anglicized from its Welsh form of Vychyn.  John, son of Griffith, was the 2nd husband of Margaret Bodenham. There have been no children discovered from either marriage for Margaret.  Robert, the other son of Griffith, married a woman named Parry (ap Harry in the Welsh tradition) and they had at least one son, also named Robert.

To continue with this family line, I will need to leave this particular branch, retrace my steps a bit and pick up another Pye line in a different geographical location.  They won’t be far. They’re still in Herefordshire, but they are, by this time, considered distant relations.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Arabian Horse

And God took a handful of South wind and from it formed a horse, saying:
"I create thee, Oh Arabian. To thy forelock, I bind Victory in battle.
On thy back, I set a rich spoil And a Treasure in thy loins.
I establish thee as one of the Glories of the Earth...
I give thee flight without wings."
-- from Ancient Bedouin Legend

(Byford, et al. Origination of the Arabian Breed)

Noble, graceful, intelligent and beautiful are just a few of the attributes that can be used to describe this magnificent breed of horses. They have the distinction of being the oldest breed of horses and the ONLY true purebred in existence.  The name Arab or Arabian has nothing to do with nationality but everything to do with the desert.  They were desert horses, nomads, as opposed to being associated with any established village or town. No one knows the origin of the Arabian horse but the lineage does date back about 5000 years. It’s believed the earlier ancestors of the Arabian horse were slightly smaller, but many of their unique physical characteristics still hold true today. Early paintings show the same dished profiles, large nostrils and eyes, arched necks, tiny muzzles and tails lifted and flaring in the breeze that are found in today’s Arabian horse.   

To the Bedouin tribesmen of 1500 BC or so, their horses were essential to their very existence. The Bedouin could recite the lineage of their horses equally as well as the lineage of their families. They were used for work, riding, racing and war. Often the horses were kept within the same tents as the family. Their bond with humans is several thousand years old. The stallions were of prime importance but it was the mares that became war horses. They were brave, courageous and trustworthy. They had stamina, agility and speed.  It was considered a high honor to receive a mare as a gift.

There are several characteristics that seem to be found only in the Arabian horse.  The chiseled face, wide spaced, large eyes, large nostrils, arched neck and tail held high are all qualities found in horses of this breed. They come in a variety of colors such as bay, chestnut, gray, roan and brown. Occasionally there is a black and sometimes you’ll see a white. The white horse may have begun life as a chestnut, which then may have become a dark grey. This color will lighten as the horse ages until it appears nearly pure white. The grays can be dappled or appear as a roan.  Purebred Arabians do not come in Palomino or Paint colors. Horses in those color categories would be registered as half-Arabians.

These nimble steeds soon became known to areas in Europe where they had been breeding massively big horses for centuries.  They needed huge horses to carry a knight and all his armor into battle. The Europeans had no other horse breed similar to the Arabian. They had ponies but nothing even close to the fleet horses of the desert. When the style of war changed, the Europeans no longer had a need for huge horses. These heavy, draft breeds found new work on the farms and canals. In the meantime, they used the Arabian horse to begin streamlining the drafts and produced lighter horses for riding and carriages. 

Because of the Arabian Horses long association with humans, they are known to be affectionate, friendly and willing to work. This breed has been used in all types of competitions, including English show, Western Pleasure, gaming, endurance trials, trail riding, hunter/jumper, dressage, racing and several others. The Native Costume class is impressive with horse and rider decked out in Bedouin attire. These horses have also been used successfully in therapy programs for individuals with a variety of handicapping histories.

Without going into elaborate descriptions of all the famous Arabian Horse farms of the last 100 years, let it be said that Stud farms of significance were established in England (Crabbet for one), Poland (Jaslowski), Russian (Tersk, most were imported from Poland and England) and the USA (Kellogg, Brown, Davenport). Over the last several hundred years, Arabians have been bred with other horse breeds to increase stamina, refine confirmation, improve performance. They are in the breeding background of Thoroughbreds, Quarter Horses, Percherons, gaited horses, pacers, trotters, Morgans, warm-bloods, Appaloosas and many more.

Over the last 20 years, it’s been my pleasure to have four Arabians in my stable. Sadly, I lost my best friend last Feb. We had spent the last 20 years together. He was 28 and had arthritis and other old age issues. Free Spiritt was a great grandson of the famous Bask***, an imported Polish stallion and on his dam’s side, he had a long history of Egyptian Arabian lines. He personified everything I’ve ever heard about Arabian horses.

Arabian Horses – Drinkers of the Wind

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Pye in Pyeplate #3

Hugh de Kilpeck lived from about 1076 and was still living in 1131 when he was the Censor of the Forest of Dean.  There is an interesting legend concerning Hugh who went on the first crusade. A disclaimer is necessary at the very beginning because absolutely no proof or evidence of any kind has ever been authentically identified to show there is even a grain of truth to it. Hugh was supposedly captured on the crusade and held captive by the Emir of wherever he was. The Emir’s daughter fell in love with him and they had a daughter named Susan. Then the Emir’s daughter helped him to escape. He returned to England and his former life. Susan is reported to have married Gilbert Beckett, the known father of St. Thomas Beckett. This alludes to Susan Pye being the mother of Thomas. Again, there is not one shred of proof. There are several legends, in poem form, that romanticize this story. I hesitate to say it’s a complete falsehood. After all, where there’s smoke, there’s fire. The story did start somewhere, but it may have changed in dozens of ways in the telling when the courts were being entertained. I have to take the side of rational thinking and believe it is merely an altered story devised to entertain the Lords and Ladies of the day and may be about anyone or may be purely fictional.

Hugh had four known sons, Hugh, John, Thomas and Henry. This second Hugh is one of the brick walls. Nothing much can be found on him, at least nothing that fits. John had at least three sons, Walter, John and Thomas. No name of his wife has been found yet. Hugh’s son, Thomas, had at least two daughters, Margaret and another whose name has not been discovered. Finally there is Henry, who inherited the lands of Kilpeck upon his father’s death. 1193 - John de Kilpeck, son of Henry, purchased the barony of Purbeck [Pulverbach], for £100; from Emma, wife of Herbert de Castello. (S) A History of Shropshire, Page, 1968, P134. [Emma d/o Reginald de Pulverbatch.] In 1200, John de Kilpeck and his heirs were granted the jurisdiction of all the forests of Herefordshire in perpetuity by King John.

A recap here:          William de la Mare c. 1058 – 1114

                              Hugh (de la Mare) de Kilpeck  c. 1076 – 1169

                                (Had sons Hugh, John, Thomas and Henry)

                              Henry de Kilpeck  c. 1130 – 1183 – Inherited Kilpeck

                              John de Kilpeck  c. 1165 – 1204  (wife’s name Julianna)

John died young leaving his wife Julianna with a minor age son, another Hugh. Hugh’s wardship was given to William de Cantilupe, Sheriff of Herefordshire, 1n 1205, until the boy reached the age of majority.  Hugh came of age in 1209, however Cantilupe continued to administer the estate for some time. Between the years 1211 and 1214 King John visited Hugh de Kilpeck and William de Cantilupe several times. I have often looked into this relationship between Cantilupe and de Kilpeck. Hugh’s mother’s name was Julianna and that female name occurs in the Cantilupe family. Still, I have found neither record that shows what her last name might have been nor any other record that indicates any familial connection through blood or marriage between the two families. In 1216, Hugh de Kilpeck received orders from the king, now King Henry III, to pay his usual panage of pigs in the wood of Trivelle to Walter de Lacy to store in the castle at Hereford. In 1222, Hugh was granted the right to rebuild his house at Rokel, Wiltshire. In 1223, Hugh received letters entitling him to collect the scutage of Montgomery in five counties. In 1231 Hugh de Kilpeck and William FitzWarine were 2 of 8 barons to negotiate a truce with Llewlyn, Prince of Wales who had invaded Montgomery and Brecon. There are many more references of minor consequence that refer to Hugh de Kilpeck, thus proving his existence and demonstrating his ownership of many lands, not within the county of Hereford. Hugh lived c. 1191 – 1244 and died leaving two daughters, Isabel and Joan.  Before going to that next generation, this is the place where Hugh’s sister, Joane de Kilpeck needs to be mentioned. Dates of her birth and death are not known but we do know she married Alan de Plugenet. There are a variety of spellings, but Plugenet seems the most commonly used, so for sanity sake, I will used it here.  Joane and Alan had at least two children, Joan and Alan (let’s add to the confusion!!!!). Joane married Henry de Bohun but died childless. Joane’s brother Alan de Plugenet married a woman named Sybillia but no children have been found for this couple.  The de Plugenets had descendancies from the de Berkeleys and the de Rochedords.

Back to Hugh. His older daughter, Isabel, married William Walerand. The younger daughter, Joan, married Philip Marmion. Isabel and William Walerand held the lands at Kilpeck.

 Another recap:      John de Kilpeck c. 1165 – 1204

                              Hugh de Kilpeck c. 1191 – 1244  His sister Joane married                                                                                     Alan de Plugenet

                              Isabella de Kilpeck m. William Walerand  Her sister, Joan,                                                                                               married Philip                                                                                                    Marmion

Therefore Kilpeck passed from Hugh on his death in 1244 to his daughter Isabell de Kilpeck de Walerand. No children who survived Isabel and William can be found, so the lands at Kilpeck passed to William’s brother Robert de Walerand who then granted them to his nephew Alan de Plugenet. This Alan died in 1298 and the estate passed to his son, another Alan, who died without issue in 1325. At this point, the lands passed to Joane de Plugenet de Bohun, (sister of Alan, d. 1325).  In 1327 she granted Kilpeck to Eleanor de Bohun at Queen Isabella’s request and ‘in consideration of her affection.’ Eleanor became the wife of James Butler, the Earl of Ormond I.  When James died in 1338 he held Kilpeck, lands in Pipard, the FitzJohn manors of his grandmother and two manors in Hampshire and Lancashire.

Based on the documents that pertain to Kilpeck, by 1327, it was no longer in the possession of any descendant of William de la Mare or Hugh de Kilpeck.





Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Pye in PyePlate Part 2

Now to carry on with the de la Mare name which evolved into de Kilpeck sometime during the 12th century, I return to the person named as ‘grandson’ of William FitzNorman de La Mare, in many documents. At this point, I must point out an error. Many of the earlier records show statements that refer to Hugh as being the “grandson of” William FitzNorman de la Mare. I believe this to be an error but really can’t prove it. My own records place Hugh firmly in the position of “son” not “grandson.” For the purpose of this on going saga, I would like to put Hugh in the position of “son” and continue from there. Some records do indicate that William did have a “grandson” named Hugh as well, which I’m sure has led to the confusion. However there are some significant dates and times lines which show William had a son named Hugh. I might as well clear up another inaccuracy while I’m on a roll. This same Hugh de la Mare, son of William FitzNorman de la Mare has, for a long time, had a ‘prove or disprove’ item inserted with his name. The note said he had married Meirig ap Gruffydd. I have often wondered about this. Was it a careless notation using the ‘son of’ designation or was this just plain wrong? In The Welsh Kings: Warriors, Warlords and Princes, by Kari Maund, it became apparent that Meirig (there are various spellings) was a man and was not married to Hugh de Kilpeck. This Hugh had children, but now there is no spousal name associated with him.

This man named Hugh de Kilpeck and his family had lived along the Welsh border for quite a number of years. Assimilation had occurred amongst the border people. Customs had been shared, names blended, families married and a host of other traditions became the norm for the people of the area. One custom was naming the children of the family using some form of ‘son of’ or ‘daughter of.’ In the Welsh tradition, the son of Owen was called John ab Owen. This eventually became the surname Bowen. Another example would be the son of Rhys (Rice, who would have been called Henry ap Rhys, which later became Price.  Daughters were referred to by ferch or verch, meaning daughter of. Since they usually married, their names didn’t have the same impact in changing the sound or spelling of surnames. Another example is William FitzNorman de la Mare. In this case, the Norman tradition of using Fitz (son of and being a corruption of the French word fils, also meaning son of) show that William is the son of Norman. We think of FitzGerald being Irish, but its roots are in Norman antiquity. A study of Patronymics shows a great diversity among the Gaelic speaking people of the time in how they designated ‘son of’ and daughter of.’
So following the Welsh tradition, male children of Hugh were called ap Hugh.

Various spellings of this have been found such as Apee (say Apay), Opie, Pie and possibly Pugh. In some locations, this eventually became the name Pye. It was with Hugh that the name change began and some traces of his children, listed as ap Hugh, can be found. But, in general, he was known as Hugh de Kilpeck. The use of two surnames confuses the lines when researching, but awareness of it helps to lighten things up.

It was this Hugh who went on the First Crusade and when he returned he commissioned the building of the Church of SS. Mary and David.. Nothing can be proved but it appears he may have employed the same builder who had erected a church in Shobdon, which is now in ruins. Oliver de Merlimond, the steward to the Lord of Wigmore, Hugh de Mortimer, had been on pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostello in Spain. When he returned, he built the church at Shobdon in the style he had seen in southern France. The church at Kilpeck reflects this influence.

Some church histories on Kilpeck say that Hugh de Kilpeck was a kinsman of Hugh de Mortimer. It is possible that de Kilpeck was a cousin, of some degree, to de Mortimer’s wife, but this has not been verified. In its 870+ years, the church has been refitted and maintained, but otherwise nothing much has changed. If you should ever be able to walk through its doors, you will be in the same building used by people who prayed there over 800 years ago. For those with an opportunity, church services are still held there every third Sunday.

In the Middle Ages, Kilpeck was a fortified village and home to a thriving community. The castle, which was still in use at that time, was large and important enough that King John visited three times within four years. Kilpeck was allowed three medieval fairs, one of them weekly on Fridays. By this time the Hugh de Kilpeck in residence was the grandson of the above named Hugh. 

Hugh did have children though, at least 4 sons that can be found, a Hugh seems to be the oldest. Here we will throw another Hugh into the mix to further muddy the stew. This Hugh appears to have been born in Pulverbatch, Shropshire, rather than in the family digs back in Kilpeck. This would show the mobility of the times as they moved from one land holding to another. This son, Hugh, appears to have inherited lands in Shropshire which can be seen in Shropshire: Its Early History and Antiquaries, by John Corbett Anderson and The Notices of the Ellises, by William Smith Ellis, Esq. Many connections to the de la Mares can be found in Shropshire. Unfortunately, the names seem to have daughtered out and I haven’t pursued those lines of research.

The other three children believed to be sons of Hugh were John, Thomas and Henry. Another segment will continue the history of Kilpeck, de la Mares, Pyes and associated families.



Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Pye in PyePlate

When you’re a little kid and your last name is Pye, there are moments in your day when you wish your name was Smith or Jones or Williams, anything but Pye. After a while, you got used to, or immune to, all the various ways the meanies could twist your name into some barbed dart. I used to plague my father with questions about where the name came from. I’m sure he spent his childhood dodging the same name calling missals I did, as did every other kid who grew up with the last name of Pye.

Fortunately, for me, other, older members of my family had not only questioned the source of the name but had actually done something about finding the history behind it. This led my life long interest in history, archeology, genealogy and a whole lot of other…-ology type studies. Using the framework provided by earlier family researchers, I have been able to verify a great deal of what had been done and discredit some statements and conclusions drawn by others. I have always kept in mind that in the era ‘bc’ (before computers), data mining was done in a laborious way in dusty town halls, records offices and in the stacks at libraries. The other thing that I have had to remember well, is that sources available 70-80 years ago were considered reliable, yet today have been soundly discredited. There was a time, in polite society, where it was considered a feather in your cap to have a highly connected, if not Royal, pedigree. People paid good money to have the ‘proper’ pedigrees drawn up for them, just so they could circulate in the upper echelon.  The upshot of this is that many pedigrees are skewed or may be totally inaccurate. 

So my labor of love began sometime when I was a teenager. I started gathering information about anyone named Pye. I borrowed or bought books on Medieval England and studied the cultural, social and political conditions of the day.  I soon discovered that really serious historians did not put much stock in names and dates before 1000 AD. That was still a time of oral tradition and many, if not most, things were not recorded. It was after the year 1000, at some point, that recorded history began to happen. So the first thing I did was put aside anything  that claimed to be a carved in stone birth, marriage or death, if it was before the year 1000.

There were many claims that the Pyes sailed with William the Conqueror across the channel to The Battle of Hastings in 1066. The Falaise Rolls and The Battle Abbey Rolls have both been discredited as reliable sources concerning the men who left Normandy for the English shore. There are only about 15 names that have been verified out of the many who must have been in that army. He obviously had many more than 15 men to help him defeat King Harold. The Battle Abbey Rolls date to the 16th century, but the original has been lost to time. A resurrection was created in 1889 by Catherine Powlett, Duchess of Cleveland, and contains many biographical details of Anglo-Norman families of Victorian times. The Falaise Rolls were created in 1931 for a dedication. There are only 3 unimpeachable sources of names for the men in William’s Army:

1.  Gesta Guillelmi II Ducis Normannorum ("The Deeds of William II, Duke of the Normans") by William of Poitiers, written between 1071 and 1077

2.  Historia Ecclesiastica ("The Ecclesiastical History"), by Orderic Vitalis (1075-1142)

3.  The Bayeux Tapestry – 11th Century

There is a list of Probable, Likely and Maybes who were in that army. William’s Army was made up of men from Normandy, Brittany, Flanders, France, and some from as far away as southern Italy. They were a mixed bag of nobles, mercenaries and troops, more horse than foot, as the Norman Army carried the reputation of the best cavalry in all of Europe. It would be hard to determine which list the Pyes were on. I believe they would be on ‘Probable’ because they did receive lands as compensation for serving William.

An older cousin had been to England several times and had dug into the old and dusty books looking for records of the Pyes. It was definitely a hit or miss thing for him. He did have some help though. More recent generations of Pyes, living in Newfoundland, confirmed the family had originated in England, although different branches of the family came from different locations in England. The pivotal point seemed to be Herefordshire, so that is where he began. This is where the progenitor of the Pye family was located. But, of course, he was not a Pye. Surnames didn’t come into common use until the 12th/13th century, so this family was known by its Norman name – de la Mare, which means “of the sea.” The people from this area of France were known as Normans, or Northmen because they had invaded, conquered and then settled this piece of the French coastline. They were said to be from Norway and Denmark. A great many of the men from this region joined William’s Army and fought at Hastings. The de la Mares must have been one of them as they had been awarded lands along the Welsh border, including a castle called Kilpec. It was their duty to help protect the border from the unruly and warlike Welsh. Castles dotted the entire border of Wales and these noblemen were called Marcher Lords.  The de la Mare’s had other duties as well. They were to be the overseers of the King’s hunting lands, The Forest of Dean and the Forest of Hay. They were also required to send a certain number of men off to join the King’s Army, should he put out a call to prepare for war.

William FitzNorman de la Mare was in evidence in the area of Erging, or Archenfield, a fiefdom of the old British Kingdom. In 1086, the Domesday Survey, shows Kilpeck (registered as Chipeete) was given by William the Conqueror to William FitzNorman. The castle is thought to have been built in 1090.
One reference says the de la Mares were ‘kinsman of King William I’, which leaves the connection wide open. This is taken from the “Guide to the Parish Church of SS. Mary and David”, Kilpeck, p.1.  It states: “After the Conquest Kilpeck was given by the Conqueror to his kinsman William Fitz Norman. William was the builder of the castle (some slight remains lie to the west of the church) and William’s grandson Hugh – by this time styled De Kilpeck – was the builder of the church.” The Domesday Book also shows William holding lands in many other areas, for example:

Place name:
Suckley, Herefordshire
180v Great Domesday Book
Domesday place name:
People mentioned within entire folio:
Abbey of Sainte-Marie of Cormeilles; Abbey of Sainte-Marie of Lyre; Aelfric; Aethelric brother of Bishop Beorhtric; Alweard; Ansgot; Ansgot, man of William fitzOsbern, Earl of Hereford; Beorhtric; Burgess of Worcester; Drogo fitzPons; Druward; Durand of Gloucester, the sheriff; Earl Edwin; Earl Oda; Earl of Roger de Breteuil Hereford; Earl of William fitzOsbern Hereford; Godwine; Gruffydd ap Maredudd, the boy; Herman; Hubert; Hugh l'Asne; Ilbert; Joscelin the huntsman; King William as landholder; Leofwine Latimer; Eadgifu, Abbess of Leominster; Lyfing, Bishop of Worcester; monks of Abbey of Sainte-Marie of Lyre; Osbern; Queen Edith; Ralph de Bernay; Ralph de Mortimer; Ralph de Tosny; Ramkel; Regenbald the chancellor; Richard; Roger de Lacy; Saumur, Abbey of Saint-Florent of Saumur; Siward, thegn and kinsman of King Edward; Urse d'Abetot; Walter de Lacy; William d'Ecouis; William fitzBaderon; William fitzNorman; Wulfgeat

This was found at:  The National Archives:

So at this point, we see how the de la Mare name has been changed to the de Kilpeck name. As the names were changing, it’s important to remember that not all the de la Mares took the de Kilpeck name. Only those entitled to inherit the castle and lands seemed to have kept that name. Others moved on to neighboring territories and their names became something completely different.  For the purpose of this blog, William FitzNorman will be considered the progenitor of the people who became known as Pye.