FAMILY TIES

Magna Carta descendants preparing for 800th anniversary

Posted April 05, 2013, at 12:44 p.m.
Roxanne Moore Saucier
Roxanne Moore Saucier

I would guess that there aren’t as many lineage societies now as there were during the year of our country’s Bicentennial in 1976, but there still are plenty. In this corner of the United States, the best-known include the Mayflower Society, the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Sons of the American Revolution, the Daughters of Union Veterans (of the Civil War) and the Sons of Union Veterans.

One of the primary goals of these organizations is educating others about the importance of the event and the service of those who participated in it.

Copies of the Mayflower Compact, for example, are distributed to many schoolchildren as a way to help them realize how important the Pilgrims’ efforts in 1620 at managing their community has been to all of the governing that has taken place here since then.

The National Society Magna Charta Dames and Barons, which will hold a big dinner on April 13 in Washington, D.C., wants everyone to know that there will be big celebrations in 2015 to mark the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta (what is nowadays the more common spelling) by King John in England.

Differences between the barons and the king had come to a head, especially when John first refused to sign the Magna Carta. The barons went on to declare they no longer had allegiance to him and marched on London, capturing the city.

King John eventually decided to sign the document, and did so at Runnymede on June 15, 1215. The Magna Carta pertained to the barons and their relationship to the king, but it also bore the roots of English civil liberties in a more general sense.

Information on the organization of descendants, the Magna Charta Dames and Barons, is available online at magnacharta.org.

Lewis L. “Ted” Neilson Jr., chancellor of the organization, writes that special events connected to the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta will include a display of the Magna Carta at the Library of Congress Nov. 28, 2014 through February 2015.

Check the website for more information, including not only the names of the barons who took on King John, but many of the emigrant ancestors who came to this country and are descended from those barons.

For information on researching family history in Maine, see Genealogy Resources under Family Ties at bangordailynews.com/browse/family-ties. Send genealogy queries to Family Ties, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402, or email familyti@bangordailynews.com.

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