The July 22 birth of His Royal Highness, Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge, son of Prince William and Duchess Catherine, has prodded me to dig out one of my own royal lines.
It’s true. I, a 34-year-member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and descendant of a handful of Mayflower passengers, also count these prominent British “cousins” among the relatives who keep me interested in their past — and their present.
To put it as simply as possible, or as simply as one can express more than 1,200 years of history, let’s keep in mind that the current British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, has more than one descent from Alfred the Great, who lived 849-899.
I, too, have more than one line back to Alfred, something that’s also true of countless Americans with old New England ancestry, including two I will mention from the Maine towns of Greene and Lincoln.
To help us picture Queen Elizabeth’s (and my) royal lines, I visited the website britroyals.com and clicked on the link for “Alfred to Queen Elizabeth II”, which actually shows more than one of her lines.
I followed one of her bloodlines down, rather than just the royal line, which sometimes has to detour when a monarch such as Queen Elizabeth I has no children.
From Alfred the Great, here are 13 generations of a bloodline I share with Queen Elizabeth down to King Edward I:
1 King Edward the Elder
2 King Edmund I
3 King Edgar the Peaceful
4 King Ethelred II the Unready, who was just 10 years old when he inherited the crown from his brother.
5 King Edmund II Ironside
6 Edward Athling
7 St. Margaret of Scotland, who married King Malcolm III of Scotland
8 Matilda who married King Henry I Beauclerc
9 Matilda who married Geoffrey Plantagenet
10 King Henry II who married Eleanor of Aquitaine
11 King John Lackland
12 King Henry III
13 King Edward I Longshanks, 1239-1307
Queen Elizabeth’s line continues through Edward’s son, King Edward II. The royal line I shared with her for several generations “daughters out” for me here because my ancestor is Edward II’s sister, Joan of Acre, born in Palestine, who married Gilbert de Clare.
The first cousins, then, are the next generation — Edward II’s son, King Edward III and Joan’s daughter, Margaret de Clare, who married Hugh, Earl of Gloucester.
If we follow both lines down, Queen Elizabeth II is a 23rd cousin of my great-grandmother, Rena (Bennett) Bennett of Abbot.
Since I am three generations down from Rena, I am a 23rd cousin, three times removed from Queen Elizabeth II.
To fill in the gaps here, Prince Charles is a 24th cousin of my grandmother, Ione (Bennett) Moore. Prince William is a 25th cousin of my dad, Gayland Moore Jr. Prince George, who is two weeks old on Aug. 5, is my 26th cousin.
My sons, therefore, are 26th cousins once removed from Prince George. Three of my grandchildren — Dylan and Emilee Saucier of Maine, and Aidan Saucier of Minnesota, are 26th cousins twice removed from Prince George. My older grandchildren, Lexis and Andrew Perry, are likely also cousins of Prince George, but I have more work to do on their Wilcox-Perry lines. However, I would add that all five of my grands have Franco-American ancestry, which may well be another royal connection for them “across the pond,” also known as the Atlantic Ocean, since many of the British kings married French women.
In case you’re wondering where I came up with my royal line, I found it on pages 442-443, titled “The Royal Descent of Mrs. Edward G. Stoiber of Denver, Colo.” in the seventh edition of “Americans of Royal Descent” by Charles H. Browning, published in 1986 by Genealogical Publishing Co. in Baltimore. Many libraries have one edition or another of this book.
Mrs. Edward Stoiber, the chart explains, was Lena Allen Stoiber, whose parents were Mary Jane Smith, born in 1835 in the Maine town of Lincoln, and George W. Allen, born 1828 in Exeter. Also part of Mary Jane’s royal lineage were daughter Esther Allen Jobes of Spokane, Wash., and children Alfred W. Harrison and Marcia Laura Harrison, the last two by Mary Jane’s second husband, J. Harrison of Minneapolis.
My connection to this royal line comes down through the d’Arcy and other families through Silas Harris, born 1766 in Greene, who was Mary Jane Smith’s grandfather and my great-great-great-great-great-grandfather. Silas’ ancestors of this line in this country include Ellis Barron III of Dracut, Mass.; Mary Sherman; and Mary Launce of Watertown, Conn.
Silas’ Harris line down to me is: Deborah Harris who married William Cummings, Silas Harris Cummings, Mary Alice Cummings, Rena Bennett, Ione Bennett, Gayland Moore Jr., Roxanne Moore Saucier.
Deborah Harris, of course, is an ancestor of the Cummings and Walden families in Greenville, so these cousins also share this royal line with me.
Now if you look at the line down from Alfred, you may note that some kings are not named. And where is William the Conqueror? This chart traces one bloodline only, so therefore doesn’t include Ethelred the Unready’s brother who died without children. Nor does it include William the Conqueror, who didn’t inherit his kingship, but rather claimed it in battle, (though he was a nephew to a royal connection.
There are, of course, royal descents from William the Conqueror. King Henry I Beauclerc was William’s son.
So back to the young man of the hour. With the birth of a future King George, I do think that Duchess Catherine, the former Kate Middleton, should become a princess, with the right to be called Her Royal Highness.
Meanwhile, I think it’s fine if us commoners practice the royal wave should we ever need it — “below the crown, above the pearls.”
University of Maine marine archaeologist Warren Riess, the author of “Angel Gabriel:The Elusive English Galleon,” will speak about his new discoveries and his work as a national expert in marine archaeology of the New England and mid-Atlantic regions at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 8, at Stephen Phillips Memorial Library, Penobscot Marine Museum, 11 Church St., Searsport.
Riess is known internationally for directing the work on an 18th-Century British merchantman discovered on Water Street in Manhattan; for his archaeological work on the Revolutionary War Penobscot Expedition, his articles and book on the Angel Gabriel, which was wrecked at Pemaquid on Aug. 15, 1635, and his investigation of the ship found in 2010 at the World Trade Center.
Tickets in advance are $8 members, $10 nonmembers. At the door, tickets are $12 members, $15 nonmembers. Buy advance tickets online at http://wriess.eventbrite.com or call 548-2529.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.