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, theSo following the Welsh tradition, male children of Hugh were called ap Hugh.
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 .
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.’ Norman
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
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 Church
of SS. Mary .
When he returned, he built the church at Shobdon in the style he had seen in
southern Spain .
The church at Kilpeck reflects this influence. France
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,
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.