Many times in family history research you hear the verbal claim ‘our family is supposed to be descended of the Plantagenet’s Royal Bloodline!’
In one of my trees I had heard such a claim. Fortunately with the help of a little contextual history and some online resources and a little forensic genealogy I have traced the soruce of the claim and found that a member of the family does marry a daughter of a Baronet descended from the Plantagenets. Now some years later, with better tools and resources I will be pleased to better understand the connections to Champion de Crespigny family, which by the name alone suggests a French origin echoing down the ages.
So what’s available, well for me I needed to trace some history and understand exactly who the Plantagenets were and how this mingled with the blood of the Anglo Normans.
You can see some of the information we have been able to pull together and here we are wanting to combine this with some source materials to further inform the link of the historical context with the specific links to our particular family tree.
Spurred on, pardon the pun with the wonder of the current BBC cycle of Shakespeare’s History Plays which started with Richard II, son of Edward the Black Prince and Joan of Kent, Henry IV (Henry Bolingbroke, son of John of Gaunt Duke of Lancaster, King of Castile and Leon, and Duke of Aquitaine via his Plantagenet connections) who usurped Richard to secure the the throne and realm eventually as Henry V. This has led us to seek what documented family lines can be accessed and examined deeply by each of us, with however a tenuous link to the nobility and royal lines. Good fun stuff whatever the results and oodles to learn, if like me you were NOT a history graduate…
The historic connections to famous and distinguished members of society is rather like Hello Magazine for Historians I know, but their Intriguing Families where they lived worked and played and with whom they were connected is definitely fascinating and insightful.
What interests us ,is to be able to create a toolkit that enables us to correlate the Wider history with specific interests in place, family and social history. Maybe that is really an excuse for having some fun exploring how to connect using Maps, Timelines, Data the big canvas of the history of our leaders but good fun it is.
So where to start well here we go:
- EBooks make marvelous resources especially when out of print or only available with restricted access in academic and national libraries. Worth Trying this one for starters from the excellent Open Library ” The Plantagenet Roll of the Blood Royal since Edward III, all 711 pages of it! What is even better is the wide range of major file formats available for download. you can just browse and read online, or download in your preferred file format including; PDF, plain text, Daisy, ePub, DjVu, Mobi (Kindle.)
- The Genealogist Peerage Gentry and Royalty enables you to at least search the indexes of leading publication that will help you track down connections, but you may need access to the originals to take you enquiry further. Here is an example screen from The Genealogist
, you can click to see an enlarged version or use the system online (requires subscription and sign-up.)
- Ancestry Subscription enables Direct Search of the Plantagenet Roll here using a name I have a research interest in Champion de Crespigny are some example results. Here following is a screenshot of some of the results returned: