Learning about ancestors

This book is the outgrowth of a boy’s attempt — many years ago — to learn something about his ancestors.

It has been calculated that, during the period 1620-1640, upwards of 22,000 Puritans and Independents (the figures have been placed as high as 50,000, showing that no exact record was kept) came to New England from English and Dutch ports. Those from the latter being Independents who had previously fled from England to Holland, to escape religious persecution.

It is obvious that it would be futile to attempt to locate the homes from which this throng started. In comparatively few cases the record or tradition has been preserved, but with a vast majority of these pilgrims, it is impossible to ascertain even the names of the counties from which they came.

Immediately after the Conquest, Aldingham was granted to Michael Flandrensis, or le Fleming, sometimes called Michael de Furness.

Sir Michael, son of William le Fleming, being drowned in the Leven, and dying without issue, his sister Alice carried the inheritance by marriage into the family of Cancefeld of Cantsfield, in Tunstall parish.

The abbot of Furness demised the manor of Aldyngham to Sir Robert Haverington, a.d. 1273, having come to his hands by the death of William, brother of John de Cansfeld.

William de Cancefield the last of the male line, was succeeded by his sister Agnes, who marrying Robert de Harrington of Harrington in Cumberland, constituted him lord of Aldingham.

The fret, that is borne on the arms of the Fleming and Harrington families, shows plainly that the Herald’s College considered a connecting link between the Fleming and the Harrington families.

via Full text of “A history of Thomas Canfield and of Matthew Camfield, with a genealogy of their descendants in New Jersey”.

Journal of John Winthrop

For 350 years Governor John Winthrop’s journal has been recognized as the central source for the history of Massachusetts in the 1630s and 1640s.

Winthrop reported events—especially religious and political events—more fully and more candidly than any other contemporary observer.The governor’s journal has been edited and published three times since 1790, but these editions are long outmoded.

Richard Dunn and Laetitia Yeandle have now prepared a long-awaited scholarly edition, complete with introduction, notes, and appendices. This full-scale, unabridged edition uses the manuscript volumes of the first and third notebooks (both carefully preserved at the Massachusetts Historical Society), retaining their spelling and punctuation, and James Savage’s transcription of the middle notebook (accidentally destroyed in 1825).

Winthrop’s narrative began as a journal and evolved into a history.

As a dedicated Puritan convert, Winthrop decided to emigrate to America in 1630 with members of the Massachusetts Bay Company, who had chosen him as their governor. Just before sailing, he began a day-to-day account of his voyage. He continued his journal when he reached Massachusetts, at first making brief and irregular entries, followed by more frequent writing sessions and contemporaneous reporting, and finally, from 1643 onward, engaging in only irregular writing sessions and retrospective reporting.

Winthrop built lasting significance into the seemingly small-scale actions of a few thousand colonists in early New England, which is why his journal will remain an important historical source.

via The Journal of John Winthrop, 1630-1649 — John Winthrop, James Savage, Richard S. Dunn, Laetitia Yaendle | Harvard University Press.

Sempringham Priory

Sempringham Priory survived until 1538 when it was dissolved by Henry VIII.

The estate was purchased by the Clinton family, the monastic buildings pulled down, and a large Tudor house erected. This grand house eventually fell into decay and it too has disappeared, leaving only earthworks.

The only tangible reminders of the important priory and the Gilbertines are the parish church where the priory had its roots, and a holy well.

There was a Saxon church at Sempringham, in the marshy fens.

Around 1100 Jocelin of Sempringham replaced that Saxon building with a new church dedicated to St Andrew. Jocelin had a son named Gilbert.

Gilbert of Sempringham was trained as a clerk in France. He entered the household of the Bishop of Lincoln, and in 1129 was appointed Vicar of Sempringham and West Torrington by the Bishop.

In 1131 Gilbert built a simple range of buildings against the north wall of the church, with accommodation for seven local women, who vowed to live a life of charity, obedience, chastity, and humility.

This was the beginning of the Gilbertine Order, the only completely British monastic order during the Middle Ages. The original monastic buildings proved inadequate, and in 1139 Gilbert received a grant of land from Gilbert de Gant (Ghent) to erect a new priory about 350 yards away to the south west.

Sempringham Priory was a double house, with provision for both men and women (though the genders were segregated) and grew to provide a home for 200 nuns and 40 canons.

Gilbert became friends with Henry II and the Gilbertine Order were granted royal protection.

via Sempringham Priory, Church and Holy Well | Historic Lincolnshire Guide.

Cambridge Agreement

26 August, 1629

"the whole Government, together with the patent for the said Plantation" shall go with them to the new settlement.

In effect, they are resolved to establish full independence of the plantation from any authority in England.

The full Court of the Company, within a few days and after much discussion, agreed to this proviso, no doubt influenced by the signatories’ resolve, and the fact that their willingness to settle the plantation hinged upon this point.

Previous patents had defaulted due to lack of action, and so the Company’s adventurers as a whole acquiesced to this loss of their authority to those of the Company who were ready to risk their lives and the lives of their families in an attempted settlement in New England. A majority of the adventurers, Puritans of a like mind, supported them.

Their foresight in taking the Charter with them to the new settlement proved crucial when, in 1635, King Charles and Archbishop Laud sought to destroy it and force a viceregal dictatorship upon the settlers. Their efforts were thereby delayed until Parliamentary victories made the Massachusetts Bay Commonwealth secure in its rights.

via The Winthrop Society: Descendants of the Great Migration.

via Agreement of the Massachusetts Bay Company at Cambridge, England

Lord Say and Sele

via Collins’s Peerage of England; Genealogical, Biographical, and Historical, Volume 7 pages 17 to 39

William de Say son and heir was Lord of Berling Seale &c in Kent and in 1260 Governor of the castle of Rochester and having espoused Sybyl daughter of John Marshall of Len ton was by her father of an only son at his death in 1272 and also of a daughter Agnes the wife of Sir Alexander de Cheney William de Say the only son and heir of William had summons to parliament on June 8th 1294 and departing this life in 1295 left by Mary his wife an only son Geoffrey de Say the fourth of that name who had summons to parliament in 1314 and at his death 1322 had an only son and heir by Idonea his wife daughter of William and sister and heir of Thomas Lord Leybourne Geoffrey only son had summons to parliament from 1326 to 1350 was admiral of the fleet and made a Knight Banneret 1336 He married Maud daughter of Guy de Beauchamp Earl of Warwick and by her was at his death in 1359 father of 1 William de Say who had summons to parliament from 1362 to 1369 and by a Beatrice daughter of Sir Thomas Bruce his wife had two children viz John who died unmarried 1383 and Elizabeth who was successively wife to John de Fal vesley and Sir William Heron but had issue by neither of them and died in 1428 2 Idonea the wife of John third Lord Clinton 3 Elizabeth who was wedded to Thomas de Aldone but brought no children And 4 Joan who was married to Sir William Fienes after whose death she espoused Stephen de Valence and became coheir to her brother Sir William Fienes only son of the said Sir William Fienes by Joan de Say was b Sheriff of Surrey and Sussex in 1 297 as also in 1300 c and in 6 Henry IV was found to be d son of William son of John Fienes and Joan his wife third sister and coheir to William de Say He had to wife Elizabeth daughter and heir of William Batisford by Margery heir to Simon Peplesham and by her had issue two sons I Sir Roger who by Elizabeth his wife daughter to John Holland left a son Richard who marrying Joan daughter and heir of Thomas Lord Dacre was declared Lord Dacre in 37 Henry VI See that title in Vol VI a MS St George predict c Rot Fin 1 Henry IV m 3r VOX VII b Rot Fin 20 Richard II m 25 1 Ibid 6 Henry IV m 7 C LORD SAY AND SELE 1