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The Plantagenet-De La Pole-Mullenax Royal Connection

The Plantagenet-De La Pole-Mullenax Royal Connection

The Plantagenet and De La Pole lines, which eventually connect with our Mullenax Irish branch, has a lengthy pedigree, and includes Welsh, French, English, and Irish lineages:

Note about Welsh names: “Ap” is used to identify a man as “son of” the surname, so Caradog was the son of Lles. Likewise, Caradog’s son Gwrydr is called Gwrydr Ap Caradog. For women, the term used for daughter is “Verch” or “Ferch,” so Gwrydr’s wife Morfydd is the daughter of Owain Ynyr.

Note on Ddu or Dhu: This is a nickname meaning ‘black’ or ‘dark’ and referred to someone either with dark hair or complexion.

Note on dates: For centuries, people of Europe paid particular attention to the date of death while being unconcerned about details of birth (except to verify legitimacy in the case of nobles and royals). The reason for this is simple: to Christians, the day a person dies and goes home to God is far more important than when s/he was born. The focus was on one’s spiritual journey, not the vagaries of birth. We begin with my 31st great-grandfather:

 31. CARADOG Ap LLES was born about 874, in Montgomeryshire, Wales, son of 32. LLES LLAWDDEOG Ap CEIDO, brother of Gwynnog Farfsych Ap Lles. He married Unknown in Wales. They had one child during their marriage. He died in 1000 in Picardie, France, at the impressive age of 100. This is our oldest ancestor in this line and he and his family are shrouded in myth and mystery. Caradog’s son was:

30. KING GWRYDR Ap CARADOG, born about 920-5 in Gwent, Glamorgan, Powys, Montgomeryshire, Wales and died 1038 in Crickpowell, Wales. He married 30a. MORFYDD (Ddu) Verch (OWAIN) YNYR about 933, in Wales. She was the daughter of 31. Ynyr ‘Fychan’ Ap Meurig of Gwent and 31a. Joyce De Baladon. She died 9 Jan 1019 in Wales. They had three children during their marriage: Neiniad Ap Gwaethfoed (another form of Gwrydr) died 1027, Cydrych Ap Gwaithfoed born 1019, and

29.Gwaithfoed Ap Gwynnan (Gwrydr), Lord of Powys born 933-940 in Llangynyw, Montgomeryshire, Wales, died 1038 Wales. He married 29a. Morfydd Verch Ynyr (born 925 in Gwent, Glamorgan, Wales; died 9 Jan 1019 in Powys Castle, Montgomeryshire, Wales. They also had 3 sons, 2 named for his brothers and one for himself: Neiniad Gwaethfoed (1000-1057), Cydrych Ap Gwaithfoed (1019-1076), and

28.Gwerystan Ap Gwaithfoed, Lord of Cibwyr in Gwent born about 954-8 in Powys, Wales and died in 1005 in Wales. When GWERYSTAN Ap GWAITHFOED was born, his father, GWAITHFOED, was 25 and his mother, MORFYDD, was 33. He married 28a. NEST Verch CADELL and they had six children together between 976 and 1005.  Nest Verch Cadell was born in 960 in Powys and died after 1005, leaving children: Nest Verch Gwerystan (976-1005), Elinor Verch Gwerystan (987-1002), Letitia Nest Ferch Gwerystan (1005-1041), Annesta Verch Gwerystan (1004-1063), and

27. Cynfyn Ap Gwerystan, (Interim) King of Powys born 978 in Powys and died 1023 in Powys. He married 27a. Angharad Verch Maredydd (born 982 in Deheubarth, Wales, died 1058 in Rhuddlan, Wales) and they had 5 children: Angharad Verch Cynfyn (1000-1094), Caradoc Ap Cynfyn (1018-), Iwerydd Verch Cynfyn (1024-1048), Gwenwyn Verch Cynfyn (1025-), and

26. Bleddyn Ap Cynfyn, King of Gwynedd, born 1025 in Montgomeryshire, Wales, died 1075 in Powys Castle, Welshpool, Montgomeryshire, Wales. He married 26a. Haer Verch Cynyllyn born in 1025 in Gest, Dolbenmaen, Caernarvonshire, Wales, and died 1050 in Caernarvonshire. She was the daughter of 27. Cynyllyn Ap Blaidd, Lord of Gestyn. They had 8 children: Cadwgan Nannau Ap Bleddyn (1050-1112), Rhirid Ap Bleddyn (1052-1088), Gwladys Cynfyn (1054-), Gwenllian Verch Bleddyn (1056-), Efa Verch Bleddyn (1058-), Hunydd Verch Bleddyn (1067-), Mael Ap Bleddyn (1067-), and

25. Maredudd Ap Bleddyn, Prince of Powys born 1047 in Montgomeryshire and died 9 Feb 1132 in Powys. He married Cristin Verch Bledrus (1062-) and had Cadwgon Ap Maredudd (1081-1163) and Madoc Madog (1091-1160). He then married 25a. Hunydd Verch Einudd (born 1063 in Dyffryn Clwyd, Denbighshire, Wales, died 1132), daughter of 26. Einudd Ap Morien, Lord of Duffryn & 26a. Efa (Eva) Verch Llywelyn and they had 3 children: Iorwerth Ap Maredudd (1080-1109), Madog Ap Maredudd (1091-1160), and

24. Gruffudd (Griffyd, Gruffydd) Ap Maredudd born 1093 and died 1128, both in Montgomeryshire. He married 24a. Gwerful Verch Gwrgeneu born 1097 in Radnorshire, Wales, daughter of 25. Gwrgeneu Ap Hywel (1082-1125) & 25a. Margred Verch Rhys (1075-1130). She died 7 March 1137 at Powys Castle. and they had 3 children: Margred Verch Gruffudd (1119-), Rhird Ap Gruffudd (1120-), and

[Somewhere in these next generations, the family surname became Atte Pool or De La Pole, for reasons yet to surface. Still looking! It is striking that the new surname appears at about the same time that this family begins marrying women from England. I suspect that the Welsh family began to settle on one surname rather than the confusing “ap” or “verch” someone, following the British custom of identification.]

23. Owain Ap Gruffudd (Griffyd) born 1117 in Montgomeryshire, Wales, died 1197 in Stratta Marcella, Montgomeryshire. He married 23a. Gwenllian Verch Owain born 1130, died 1197, and they had 15 children, of whom the family connection is 22. Gwenwynwyn Ap Owain, born 1151 in Montgomeryshire, Wales and died 1216. He married 22a. Margred Corbet (born 1170 in Cause, Shropshire, England, died in Wales) and they had Rhys Gryg Gwenwynwyn (?-1253), Madog Ap Gwenwynwyn (1183-1270), Jane Verch Gwenwynwyn (1210-1255), and

  1. Gruffudd Ap Gwenwynwyn (De La Pole) born 1200 in Montgomeryshire, Wales and died 21 Feb 1286. He married Margaret Verch Howel but had no children. He married 21a. Hawise Le Strange who was born 1234 in Cheswardine, Shropshire, England and died 1310 in Montgomeryshire. They had 8 children, of whom our ancestor was 20. Owain Ap Griffith De La Pole (atte Pool), Prince of Upper Powys, born 1257 in Montgomeryshire and died 15 Oct 1293 in Powys Castle, Montgomeryshire, Wales. He married 20a. Joan or Johanna, Lady De Corbet who was born about 1274 in Castle Moreton Corbet, Wern, Shropshire, England and died 29 Sept 1348 in Castle Harley, Shropshire. Their children: Lewis De La Pole (?-1294), Hawyse Gadarn (1290-1349), Griffin Ap Owen De La Pole (1293-1309), unknown De La Pole (1295-?) and

  1. William Ap Gruffyd De La Pole (Atte Pool) born 1275 in Ravenser Odd, Yorkshire, England and died 13 Dec 1328 in Hull, Yorkshire. The Welsh family, now using the surname De La Pole, has left Wales and now resides in Yorkshire, England. In 1300 William married 19a. Elena Rotenhering (Rotenheryng) who was born in 1280 in Hull and died 20 Apr 1338 in Hull. Their children are John De La Pole (1298-1318), Richard De La Pole (1300-1345), Catherine De La Pole (1314-1366), Joan De La Pole (1322-), and

King Edward III

King Edward III

18. Sir William De La Pole (Atte Pool), Baron of the Exchequer, Mayor of Hull who was born 21 June 1302 in Ravenser Odd, Yorkshire and who died 21 June 1366 in Hull. According to tudorplace.com, he is buried at the Carthusian Priory in Hull. He is listed in The Complete Peerage XII p. 1, 434-7. He was a wool merchant from Hull who became a key figure during the reign of Edward III after the collapse of the Bardi and Peruzzi families, when he emerged as Edward’s chief financier. He married 18a. Margaret (Catherine) De Norwich, daughter of 19. Walter De Norwich and 19a. Catherine De Hadersete, born 1306 in Stoke, Norfolk, England and died 28 Jan 1382 in Hull, Yorkshire. They had 10 children, of whom our ancestor is

17. Michael De La Pole (Atte Pool), 1st Baron De La Pole and 1st Earl of Suffolk, born 1331 in Hull Castle, Kingston-upon-Hull, East Riding, Yorkshire and died 5 Sept 1389 in Paris, Seine-et-Marne, Ile-de-France, France. Burial in the Carthusian Priory, Kingston upon Hull, East Riding, Yorkshire, England (findagrave.com). He was an English financier and Lord Chancellor of England. He was the oldest son of Sir William De La Pole of Hull and Catherine Norwich, daughter of Sir Walter Norwich. His younger brother was Edmund de la Pole (Captain of Calais). Michael enjoyed even greater popularity at court than his father, becoming one of the most trusted and intimate friends of Edward’s successor, Richard II. He was appointed Chancellor in 1383, and created Earl of Suffolk in 1385, the first of his family to hold any such title. However, in the late 1380s his fortunes radically altered, in step with those of the king.

King Richard II

King Richard II

During the Wonderful Parliament of 1386 he was impeached on charges of embezzlement and negligence, a victim of increasing tensions between Parliament and Richard II. Even after this disgrace, he remained in royal favor, although soon fell foul of the Lords Appellant. He was one of a number of Richard’s associates accused of treason by the Appellants in November 1387. After the Appellants’ victory at Radcott Bridge (December 1387) and before the Merciless Parliament met in February 1388, De La Pole shrewdly fled to Paris, thus escaping the fate of Sir Nicholas Brembre and Chief Justice Robert Tresilian. He remained in France for the remainder of his life. Sentenced in his absence, his title was stripped from him. Jean Froissart’s references to De La Pole in the Chroniques (II.173) portray a devious and ineffectual counsellor, who dissuaded Richard from pursuing a certain victory against French and Scottish forces in Cumberland, and fomented undue suspicion of John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster (who is the ancestor of the York and Lancastrian families who fought for the crown in the War of the Roses until Henry Tudor usurped the throne of Richard III and established the Tudor Dynasty, whose most notable descendants were Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth). De la Pole’s descendants by Catherine Wingfield were key players in the political life of the next two centuries at Wingfield Castle in Suffolk:

His son Michael de la Pole, 2nd Earl of Suffolk (my 16th great grandfather) was a supporter of Henry IV and opponent of Richard. He regained his father’s title on Henry’s

King Henry IV

King Henry IV

accession in 1399, and died at the Siege of Harfleur. His eldest grandson Michael de la Pole, 3rd Earl of Suffolk died at the Battle of Agincourt. His younger grandson William de la Pole, 1st Duke of Suffolk was appointed Lord Chamberlain under Henry VI, before being murdered in exile. His great-great grandson was Edmund de la Pole, 3rd Duke of Suffolk, who led a botched rebellion against Henry VII (the Henry Tudor who usurped the throne) in 1501.

He married 17a. Katherine Wingfield, who was born 1349 in Wingfield, Suffolk, England and died 10 Oct 1386 and is buried in the Church of Carthusians, Kingston upon Hull, England. They had about 18 children! The family ancestor is 16. Sir Michael De La Pole, 2nd Earl of Suffolk, born 1361 in Wingfield, Suffolk and died 14-17 Sept 1415 in Harfleur, Seine-Maritime, Haute-Normandie, France at the Siege of Harfleur.  He was an English nobleman who supported Henry IV against Richard II.  For over a decade, Michael made vigorous attempts to recover the lands confiscated from his father, and obtained most of them piecemeal between 1389 and 1392, following his father’s death. However, his close association with the Lords Appellant, particularly the Earl of Warwick and the Duke of Gloucester, prejudiced Richard II against him. He finally obtained the restoration of the earldom in January 1398.

Michael married Katharine de Stafford, daughter of Hugh de Stafford, 2nd Earl of Stafford. They were parents to at least eight children:

Michael de la Pole, 3rd Earl of Suffolk (1394–1415)

William de la Pole, 1st Duke of Suffolk (1396–1450)

Alexander de la Pole (d. 1429), killed at the Battle of Jargeau

Sir John de la Pole (d. 1429), died a prisoner in France

Thomas de la Pole (d. 1433), a clerk, died in France while a hostage for his brother William

Katherine de la Pole, abbess at Barking Abbey

Isabel de la Pole (d. 1466), married Thomas 5th Lord Morley.

Elizabeth de la Pole, married first Edward Burnell, son of Hugh 2nd Lord Burnell, second Sir Thomas Kerdeston.

While Michael De La Pole obeyed the summons of the Duke of York to defend the kingdom against Henry Bolingbroke in July 1399, he did not object to the disbandment of York’s army and consented to the deposition of Richard II. While the first Parliament of Henry IV technically upheld the forfeitures of the Merciless Parliament, Michael’s estates and title were immediately restored by Henry IV for his support. However, he would spend the remainder of his life trying to obtain possession of the estates which had not been restored.

He played a relatively small role in national politics, although he regularly attended Parliament. He took part in the campaign in Scotland in 1400, naval operations around 1405, and was the senior English diplomat at the Council of Pisa. Suffolk (Michael De La Pole) was also a lieutenant of the Duke of Clarence during his campaign of 1412–1413. However, most of his energies were spent on re-establishing De La Pole influence in East Anglia. He was a justice of the peace in Norfolk and Suffolk from 1399, and assembled a considerable following among the local gentry. He completed his father’s building plans at Wingfield, Suffolk and enlarged the local church. Suffolk brought 40 men-at-arms and 120 archers with him on the 1415 campaign of Henry V. He died of dysentery before Harfleur, and was succeeded by his eldest son Michael, who was also present there. (Sources: Walker, Simon (2004). “Pole, Michael de la, second earl of Suffolk (1367/8–1415);” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press; wikipedia).

On 23 Nov 1391, he married 16a. Lady Catharine Stafford (born 1376 in Staffordshire, England and died 8 April 1419 in Wingfield, Suffolk, England). She was the daughter of 17.Hugo 2nd Earl Stafford and 17a.Philippa Beauchamp. They had 12-13 children, of whom the following is our ancestor:

  1. Sir Richard Pole (De La Pole) born 1400 in Southampton, Cheshire, England and died 2 May 1450 in Dover, Kent, England. Sources show him marrying a Catharine Stafford, but there must be some mistake, unless she’s a cousin or something to his mother (Catharine Stafford!). In any case, he had Isabel De La Pole (1395-1467) and his heir, 14. Sir Geoffrey De La Pole (Pole) who was born 1431 in Worrell, Cheshire, England and who died 1474 in the Monastery at Bisham Priory, Berkshire, England. He is said to have married Bona Danvers (1440-?) but had no offspring. In 1461, he married 14a. Edith St John, daughter of 15. Oliver St John (1400-1440) and 15a.Margaret Beauchamp (1410-1482). They had Eleanor Pole (1463-1481), Michael De La Pole (1466-1487), Suffolk (1470-1541) and

  1. Sir Richard De La Pole born 1462 in Isleworth, Middlesex, England and died 18 Dec 1501 in London, Middlesex, England. Sir Richard was a Welsh supporter of Henry Tudor (Henry VII) who created him Knight of the Garter and gave him Margaret Plantagenet, 8th Countess of Salisbury, as a wife to reinforce the Tudor/Plantagenet alliance. On 22 Sept 1494 he married 13a. Margaret Plantagenet, daughter of 14. George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence, and 14a. Isabel Neville. As a Member of the Garter, Richard’s title was the King’s Butler, as he and others helped take care of the King’s rooms, clothing, etc. Margaret Plantagenet, 8th Countess Salisbury, is my 13th great-grandmother and was caught up in the machinations at the court of Henry VIII during his many marriages, losing most of her sons and finally her own life to the cruel tyrant who feared that the White Rose of the Plantagenets could rally the people against the Tudor usurpers. Margaret was born 14 Aug 1473 in Farleigh Hungerford Castle, Bath, Somerset, England and died 28 May 1541, executed for treason at the Tower of London. She had been threatened and alternately praised or vilified, depending upon the King’s whim. Finally, after two years in the tower, she was to be beheaded. However, she refused to be still as other prisoners had done; instead, the headsman had to strike her about 11 times before she died. She is buried at St Peter ad Vincula within the Tower. (more on this in a separate article).

To be continued…

© 2015 Dr Linda L Labin

Mom Was a Riveter Just Like Rosie

Mom Was a Riveter Just Like Rosie

During World War II, my mother was a riveter and buckaroo, building bombers and troop ships for the Fairchild Aircraft Factory in Hagerstown, MD. If not for her and millions like her, our Armed Forces would have been hard-pressed to defeat the Nazis and Fascists. In the 1940s, when most women were expected to stay at home and have babies, a new era was born out of the necessity created by the greatest war our country has ever known. Every able-bodied man was expected to fight in the war that no one really wanted, and so the women of America had to leave their homes and families to work in factories across the land, doing “men’s work” to produce goods, ships, planes, weapons, and ammunition to feed the war machine. For the first time in American history, women were “allowed,” even required, to learn mechanical and technical skills necessary for the nation’s work. About 6 million women went to work for the first time and others, already employed, moved up to the better-paying jobs in the war industry.

To encourage women to go to work, the government sponsored campaigns emphasizing the “patriotic duty” of everyone to do the work formerly done by men. “Rosie the Riveter” became an icon for these women; the term was popularized in a 1942 song written by Redd Evans and John Jacob Loeb and recorded by big-band leader Kay Kyser. Some of the lyrics:

All the day long,

Whether rain or shine

She’s a part of the assembly line.

She’s making history,

Working for victory

Rosie the Riveter.

Keeps a sharp lookout for sabotage,

Sitting up there on the fuselage.

That little girl will do more than a male will do. …

There’s something true about,

Red, white, and blue about,

Rosie the Riveter.”

“Rosie the Riveter” became the nickname for the millions of women from all backgrounds and across the country who worked in wartime industries and support services, including aircraft factories, shipyards, steel mills, foundries, lumber mills, warehouses, offices, hospitals and daycare centers. Norman Rockwell painted his own tribute to these brave women, which appeared on the cover of the popular Saturday Evening Post (May 29, 1943–Memorial Day). Other illustrators added their own touches as the image of hard-working, earnest women in war plants across the country became as important to morale as similar images of our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines. Rockwell’s version is more realistic (and less flattering) than later drawings which softened the image of hard-working, yet still feminine, American women.

Sheridan Harvey, a researcher of Rosie the Riveter as WWII icon, says that Rockwell’s version of Rosie has contradictory messages:

“She is big and dirty. She’s over-sized, with working-class brawn. She wears goggles and a shield. In reality, it’s unlikely that she would have worn both.The leather arm-band provides protection on the job. She has no wedding ring. On her lapel you can see various pins–for blood donation, victory, her security badge.

She’s wearing overalls. Women didn’t wear pants in public much before World War II; but during the war it became common to see women on the way to and from work in overalls or trousers.She’s wearing loafers. Only after July 1943 were safety shoes with metal toes produced for women. There had been no need to manufacture these shoes in women’s sizes before because women didn’t customarily work in dangerous jobs where such shoes were needed. Most women wore their own shoes. She cradles a very large riveting gun in her lap, and it links visually to Adolf Hitler’s book, Mein Kampf, beneath her feet. The implication is clear: through her defense job, she will help to crush Hitler.

The American flag background, red, white, and blue, adds to the patriotism of the cover. Rosie is powerful, competent, and womanly. But there are contradictions in the image: She’s masculine: look at the size of her arms, which are a real focus of the cover. She’s working with a very large and heavy riveting gun. She’s dirty; she’s doing a man’s job. She’s wearing overalls, men’s clothes. Yet she’s feminine: She’s wearing rouge and lipstick. Makeup is essential to women’s mental health, according to some articles of the time. Her compact and handkerchief peek out of her pocket; she has nail polish on; her curly red hair and upturned nose feminize her; her visor almost looks like a halo, providing an angelic side to this strong woman. She is depicted eating, like these real women, an activity linked with the home and thus showing her domestic side: women/food/home. She isn’t seen working.”

When the image appeared that 1943 Memorial Day, some viewers recognized a model for Rosie. …Michelangelo’s Prophet Isaiah from the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. The resemblance is remarkable.” 

Rosie became a recruitment tool aimed at getting more women into the war effort and emphasized that it was their duty to build the planes and ships to bring their men home. Of course, women in poor circumstances had always worked, but WWII was the turning point for massive employment of white, middle-class women and the first wave of feminism.

Besides the Fairchild Aircraft factory in Hagerstown, MD, nearby facilities included Glen L. Martin in Essex, MD, the Sperry Gyroscope plant in Brooklyn, NY, and the Proving Grounds in Aberdeen, MD. Working in the defense industry, women like my mother built airplanes like the C82s, C119s, and even the huge troop ships (C123s—you could drive tanks into them!) as well as wings for the PBM-3 bombers.

Mom and her coworkers were given specialized training to perform essential riveting on American planes. The rivets that held the planes together had to be placed accurately, perfectly, for the protection of the men flying them. Often, because of her small size (5’4” and weighing about 98 pounds), Mom was expected to do the riveting in tiny places the men couldn’t reach. Supervisors soon discovered that the women performing these duties were more precise and detail-oriented than the men had been.

A riveter operated the heavy tool that forced rivets into holes between sheets of metal (forming parts of the planes) to secure them. These rivets had to withstand the stresses of high-speed flying as well as high and low altitudes, not to mention bullets and rockets shot by enemy combatants. A buckaroo stood on the other side of the riveter, holding a ‘buck’ (a steel bar) against the back of the rivet to help secure it in place. Rivets went in ‘hot’ and soft, so the partners had to know how far the rivet had to go in (the length) and how flat the buckaroo had to make the other end. If it wasn’t right, they had to remove it and start over. A former Rosie explains the riveting process:

You’ve got to drill the holes. There were all different size rivets 1/4 inch, 50, er, 40, 30, you know, size rivets. You had to drill the hole, and if you made a flat rivet you had to countersink the hole. You had to countersink it. You had a tool that countersunk. Lots of different sizes, 1/4 inch, 3/16, 1/8 and all different sizes. You had to know exactly what went where before you drilled the hole. I worked in fuselages and on the wing and everything.”

Rivets could cause severe damage to the riveter or buckaroo if not placed correctly. When I was in college, I worked as a riveter making television aerials in a dirty, noisy factory and I witnessed first-hand how dangerous riveting can be. The man who had trained me on the riveting machine mishandled his device one day, shooting a rivet through his thumb, breaking a bone and causing massive tissue damage. A bloody accident–Not for the faint of heart!

The average pay for riveters in the 40s was a whopping 75¢  an hour (starting wage was 50¢ an hour, with a 5-cent bump for 2nd and 3rd shifts), but the women were given regular raises. The foremen and supervisors were all men, yet no one questioned that then. At the Fairchild Aircraft plant, women making 55¢ an hour increased from 20 % of the force to almost 70% by war’s end. Statewide, four of every five defense jobs was held by a woman. The E ribbon was awarded to every woman who worked at Fairchild; it signified Excellence in production of the planes necessary to the Armed Forces.

A Little History of Fairchild Aircraft:

In the 1920s, Sherman Fairchild invented an aerial camera that enabled pilots to take pictures of the landscape below. He partnered with a small airplane manufacturer in Hagerstown, MD (Kreider-Reisner), and built P19s. When the war arrived, Fairchild devoted every inch to the manufacture of planes for the war effort, so that as many as 30 different plants were involved in the Hagerstown area. They even produced a newpaper for the airplane workers. The first edition noted the introduction of women to the workforce:

First Girls Go to Work in Experimental on Production.” It goes on to reveal the transitions made: “From selling shoes to sheet metal work, from working on furs to working on the assembly line, from waiting on tables to welding, from being a housewife and mother to riveting, these are the transitions which women… have made.”

Later, the paper celebrated the flight of Fairchild’s first plane under the new system employing women:

“Fairchild’s giant aircraft the C82 [called the Packet] the first airplane designed exclusively to carry military cargo took off from north south runway bordering Plant 2 for its first flight test on Sunday, September 10, thus turning into reality the dreams of hundreds of men and women who have labored day and night for many months in an all out effort to get the plane into the air in record time.”

Not content to merely build planes, management insisted on safety:

“Close to 2000 women workers will blossom in the new Fairchild safety cap next Monday signaling the start of a “no accident” campaign which began in all plants on Wednesday. of this week and will continue through December.”

This 1944 story in the Fairchild paper suggests that 2000 women were employed at this one Hagerstown, MD factory. This number would grow to 10,000! Yet, skilled workers were so scarce that the factory advertised just one month before VE Day (Victory in Europe, the end of the war in Europe when Germany surrendered):

“Fairchild to boost employment drive with downtown movie and a C82 flight. Leaflets to be dropped in flight over the city. Prospective applicants, who will work on the C82 packet, are soon to get a good look at the big cargo plane and right in their own back yard if they choose. In an effort to stimulate the employment drive at Fairchild the C82 will fly over Hagerstown later this month to tell citizens of the community that many more workers are needed to build the airplane in large quantities for the army.”

America and the world owe a debt of gratitude to all the women who served in the military or in war industries during WWII, for, without them, we would not be here.

Some sources: 

http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil; The Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park http://www.nps.gov/rori/; Work & wait, Allegany County : the home front years, 1941-1945, compiled by Allegany High School Social Studies Department, Cumberland, MD : Allegany High School, c2003; Western Maryland Regional Library, 100 South Potomac Street, Hagerstown, Maryland 21740; http://www.whilbr.org/rosie/index.aspx;  .

©2015 Linda L Labin, PhD

DNA and Family Trees

A couple of years ago, I was asked by ancestry.com to participate in their pilot program taking DNA samples and comparing the scientific analysis of the results with my own family-tree research. Just this month, I received word that they had updated their analysis of my ethnic background, based on further testing (and additional subjects). The new information is more thorough, but is likely to be more confusing as well. I am a big fan of genealogy and ancestry.com is my go-to site for research, and I really like the added science of DNA analysis. That said, I think we have to recognize that the results of these studies are preliminary and subject to change. If more people are encouraged to submit samples for genetic analysis, the process will get better. Meanwhile, we should be cautious about accepting these limited, partial findings since they may change in a short time.

The results of a few years ago were:

Percentage of Ethnicity Location

61.00%

British Isles (England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales)

34.00%

Central Europe (France, Germany, Scandinavia)

5.00%

Uncertain

These findings were not surprising to me at the time, because of my own research into the family history, which showed that we descended from people of England, Scotland, and Ireland, with some connections to France and Germany, as well as Scandinavia. I have even traced a couple of lines back to the Vikings, and I have over 16,000 family members in my tree. Our family is the stereotype of a WASP–white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant–not totally, but there it is. That 61% reinforced the family view of our ancestry.

The new results, though, were astounding:

Percentage of Ethnicity Location

41.00%

Western Europe (France, Germany)

24.00%

Great Britain (England and Scotland)

22.00%

Ireland

8.00%

Scandinavian

4.00%

Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal)
<1% Finland
<1% Eastern Europe

I’m sharing this to give readers an idea of how quickly the details of ethnicity can change when more subjects add their DNA to the pool. We knew that we had quite a bit of Irish in our background but the earlier study had lumped it in with English and Scots heritage. The most surprising finding for me is that 5% Uncertain which is now 4% Iberian (Spanish). I knew we had a smidgeon of Finnish blood but have not found any Spanish or Eastern European connections until now. We have family lore about ancestors in one of my paternal grandmother’s line who may have been Native American (Shawnee), but that begins to look untrue now, given recent results. I’m a bit disappointed if indeed we have no Indian ancestry; it would have been nice to see a bit of color among our pale, pale British faces.

I guess that disappointment must join a long list of such problems. Exploring family history is fascinating for me because it is very much like delving into a deep, dark mystery. It is a great intellectual exercise, but it also makes history itself come alive, when I can place blood relatives in the midst of historic events like the Civil War. In discovering more than the bald facts of birth, death, and so on, my excitement builds as I see a story unfold about some of the ancestors, as if they are speaking to me from long ago. It is exciting and interesting, but also maddening. For example, when I discover that this man was the first to trade with the Indians and owned much of eastern Virginia and Maryland, I try to imagine what that must have looked like, felt like. Then I am angered by the reality that his land, traded legally with the Native Americans, was then stolen from him by his own government.

The men and women who came before us suffered so much more than we moderns can think of, to make America a better place, to make our lives better than theirs. It is thrilling and it makes me proud to be their descendant, but it also makes me sad for those who were cheated, killed, pushed beyond the breaking point, yet kept struggling in spite of it all. I am eager to see even more details once I can convince my brother to take the DNA test. Only male descendants have genetic material passed down father to son, since only males have that Y-chromosome. So, we need that analysis, too, which could take our genetic history back hundreds or even thousands of years.

©2015 Linda L Labin, PhD

WV Genealogical Research

Genealogical Research in West Virginia

Examining county lines becomes important in performing genealogical research in many states because most records are still kept at the county seat. Knowing when a county was formed or broken up into smaller counties is essential when trying to locate particular individuals. Often, I have been unable to locate ancestors in counties in which they lived, and so I have been forced to delve into materials relevant to county formation to determine where these “vanishing” ancestors were. If you encounter similar problems, be sure to visit websites for your state and/or county to discover similar information. The details presented here pertain to West Virginia, but the rationale can be employed for other states as well.

Formation of western Virginia counties that became West Virginia (1863)–By Year

Year of Formation

From This County

To New County

1743

Orange

Frederick

1745

Orange

Augusta

1754

Augusta, Frederick

Hampshire

1770

Augusta

Botetourt

1772

Frederick

Berkeley

1772

Botetourt

Fincastle

1772

Augusta

Monongalia

1772

Augusta

Ohio

1772

Augusta

Yohoghany (Yohogania)

1777

Fincastle

Kentucky

1777

Fincastle

Montgomery

1778

Botetourt, Montgomery

Greenbrier

1778

Augusta

Illinois

1780

Kentucky

Fayette

1780

Kentucky

Jefferson

1780

Kentucky

Lincoln

 

Formation of western Virginia counties that became West Virginia–By County

From This County

To This New County

Year of Creation

Augusta, Frederick

Hampshire

1754

Augusta

Botetourt

1770

Augusta

Monongalia

1772

Augusta

Ohio

1772

Augusta

Yohogany

1772

Augusta

Illinois

1778

Botetourt

Fincastle

1772

Botetourt, Montgomery

Greenbrier

1778

Frederick

Berkeley

1772

Fincastle

Kentucky

1777

Fincastle

Montgomery

1777

Kentucky

Fayette

1780

Kentucky

Jefferson

1780

Kentucky

Lincoln

1780

Orange

Augusta

1745

Orange

Frederick

1743

 

In 1792, Kentucky county became the state of Kentucky. Illinois included all the lands of Augusta County that were north of the Ohio River and this property was ceded to the Federal Government in 1784. It is also significant that the State of Virginia claimed extensive tracts of land that became the basis of boundary disputes for years. You should keep in mind that contemporary histories or public records reflect which county and state had jurisdiction at the time the records were produced, so a relative in PA might be in VA, for instance.

Virginia claimed land in present-day western Pennsylvania by right of charter, and had a presence at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers by 1754. Many of the earliest residents considered themselves Virginians, having previously lived in the Potomac River watershed. Ohio County originally included a western segment of Greene and Washington Counties in Pennsylvania. Monongalia County included the remainder of Greene County, a southern section of Washington County and a western slice of Fayette County, Pennsylvania. Yohogania County, which became extinct less than a decade later, encompassed those parts of Beaver and Allegheny Counties south of the Ohio and Allegheny Rivers, the remainder of Washington and Fayette Counties and all of Westmoreland County. Residents of this area may appear on Pennsylvania and Virginia military records, as units were recruited from the area. Virginia regiments departed for operations on the western frontier from bases at or near Fort Pitt (today’s Pittsburgh, PA). The pioneers in southwestern Pennsylvania, northwestern Virginia and West Virginia considered themselves Virginians even a century after Ohio and Pennsylvania, for example, had control and dominion over those areas.

After the Revolutionary War, veterans who had served three years or more were awarded bounty land warrants. Most of western Virginia had already been given away, so Revolutionary War vets received land grants in the Virginia Military Reserve areas in Ohio and Kentucky (called the Western Reserve). The Library of Virginia preserves original documents such as testaments from superior officers and fellow soldiers, most of which are available in microfilm or fiche, or may be digitized. Also of interest are ‘public service claims’ made by civilians who assisted the Patriot army with food, horses, mules, weapons, and ammunition.

James Mullenax Bounty

James Mullenax Bounty

For Civil War records, try to establish whether your ancestor was in the Union or Confederate forces. Only Union veterans and their widows were eligible for pensions. West Virginia is especially difficult because, despite the new state’s creation when it refused to secede with other southern states, those who fought were equally represented on both sides, blue and gray. For Union soldiers and sailors, search theWest Virginia Adjutant General’s and National Archives records, For decades, it was assumed that in WV Union soldiers outnumbered Confederates by about 3 to 1, but we now know that the ratio was about 50/50.

James Plum 15th VA Infantry

James Plum 15th VA Infantry

Once you have located your ancestor in the alphabetized indexes, determine his regiment, whether he was in the infantry, cavalry, artillery, or navy. You can then determine the company letter, age, enlistment date, muster-out date, and even enlistment and/or discharge papers listing the soldier’s physical characteristics and home county. The muster rolls may indicate illness, whether he was wounded or killed, and the battles in which he and his regiment fought. You may also discover charges against his pay for losing a canteen or whatever. If he died during service, his death notice may show his parents’ names and other details. Officers’ records are more extensive. You can search these materials online, and you can order photocopies of your ancestor’s military records from the NARA (National Archives) website for a fee (NATF form 85). If he has unclaimed medals, you can claim them by proving you are a direct descendant.

15th WV Infantry

15th WV Infantry

Confederate records can be accessed in the same way, although these tend to be incomplete. For Confederate ancestors, you might find an Oath of Allegiance which all rebels had to sign after the end of the war. These may offer invaluable information. Most Confederates did not receive pensions, but you should check the Library of Virginia‘s website anyway.

You can then proceed to examine regimental histories (available online and in printed form), which have specific information about troop movement and battles fought, casualties, and so on. Don’t forget to look for manuscripts collections, wartime newspapers, and even local histories. More histories have been written about Confederate regiments than for Union outfits, but you should still search. I found a detailed history of my great-grandfather’s WV regiment which helped me picture its activities and locations.

The 45th US Colored Infantry  was the only black regiment assigned to West Virginia. Most of these men were from Virginia, West Virginia, or Pennsylvania. These soldiers were either escaped slaves eager to serve to establish their “free” status, or “freedmen” from different states placed together near the conclusion of the war after African-American troops had proven their effectiveness in battle.

Many soldiers began their service in local militia units and remained there, being called Scouts or Home Guards. Regular army soldiers tended to look down upon these home-grown militia, yet they were often the first line of defense, protecting railroads and fighting Rebel guerillas. There is scant information about these individuals and you may find that an ancestor who applied for a pension after the war was denied such because the government which used these men did not choose to recognize them as legitimate claimants. This is true for the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the Civil War.

James Plum 1890 Vets

James Plum 1890 Vets

Stone Walls—the regular 1890 Federal Census was burned, making our trek through the past more difficult. However, there remains the 1890 Veterans’ Census which contains material on Union soldiers as well as some Confederates. Search the alphabetical index and then access microfilm or fiche. Note that many of these records are being digitized and may soon be available online.

When in doubt, search your favorite genealogical website (ancestry.com or familysearch.org, for example), but also Google everything. Remember, too, to search the Library of Congress website, for they hold zillions of original records, manuscripts, and even photographs and other images relating to our country’s history.

Sources for further assistance

A Guide to Virginia Military Organizations in the American Revolution, 1774-1787.

Jack L. Dickinson,Tattered Uniforms and Bright Bayonets. (Confederates)

Michael F. Doran, Atlas of County Boundary Changes in Virginia: 1634-1895.

Howard L. Leckey (Greene County historian), The Tenmile Country and Its Pioneer Inhabitants.

Tim McKinney,West Virginia Civil War Almanac.(Union)

Reddy, West Virginia Revolutionary Ancestors.

The Roster of Union Soldiers, 1861-1865 (Broadfoot Pub).

 

 

 

Cunningham History Part I

My maternal grandfather’s mother was a Cunningham and I have written about the first Cunninghams to come to America from Ireland and spread their proud Scots-Irish branches during the birth and development of our country. While the family tree from my great grandmother Mary Ann Cunningham is on firm ground, with sources verifying our direct line to Hugh Cunningham and his wife, the Irish and Scots connections are still a bit tenuous. For once, then, I write of the Cunningham history from the first Cunningham through his many descendants and their accomplishments and struggles.

Around 500 AD, the Dalriada Scots emigrated from Ireland to Scotland, only to confront the Britons and Picts. In the twelfth century, Hugh De Moreville granted the manor of Cunninghame and most of the parish of Kilmaurs to his loyal warrior, Wernebald, progenitor of the Earls of Glencairn. The land Wernebald received had been named Cunninghame for centuries, eventually encompassing the northern third of Ayrshire. Following custom, Wernebald’s offspring assumed the name Cunningham, as did the serfs and villeins who worked for the family.The Cunninghams were Lowlanders who looked down on their ‘savage’ neighbors and were often called to fight Highlanders by the Kings of Scotland.

Finlaystone

Finlaystone

Finlaystone, the ancestral home of Clan Cunningham, is located along the River Clyde in Renfrewshire, west of Glasgow. It came to the Cunninghams in 1399 when Sir William Cunningham, Lord of Kilmaurs, married Margaret, the daughter of Sir Robert Danielston of that Ilk, who presented his new son-in law with Finlaystone in Renfrewshire, Glencairn in Dumfriesshire, Danielston and Kilmarnock. 

Wernebald (Warnebald) was a vassal of Hugh De Moreville, Constable of Scotland, who gave him the Cunningham lands. Wernebald sounds Scandinavian, perhaps Danish. His son Robert De Cunynghame De Kilmaurs is probably the same Robert who married Richenda De Barclay (Berkeley) and gave the patronage of the Church of Kilmaurs to Kelso Abbey.  He was succeeded by his son, Robert De Cunynghame De Kilmaurs, who had three sons: Robert, William, Sir James. Of the last two there is no descent known. The eldest son, Robert, succeeded him.

Robert De Cunynghame of Kilmaurs is listed as son and heir of Lord of Kilmaurs in a donation to Paisley Abbey about 1240. His son, Hervey De Cunynghame of Kilmaurs, participated at the Battle of Largs against the Danes in 1263 and was granted a charter in 1264 for his gallant service. He died before 1268. He married the heiress of Riddell of Glengarnock, by whom he had two sons: Galfridus–the second son–was ancestor of the Cunninghames of Glengarnock. His eldest son, Sir William Cunynghame, succeeded Hervey in Kilmaurs. He appears in records dated 1269 and 1275 and died in 1285.

He was succeeded by his son, Edward Cunynghame of Kilmaurs, who appears in a record in 1290. His second son, Richard, was ancestor of the Cunninghames of Polmaise. His eldest son, Gilbert Cunynghame of Kilmaurs, was one of Robert De Bruce’s nominees in the competition with John Balliol for the Crown. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Sir Robert Cunynghame of Kilmaurs. He swore fealty to Edward I in 1296, but afterwards joined De Bruce, and was rewarded by him with valuable lands in Kilmaurs. His second son, Andrew, was ancestor of the Cunninghames of Ballindalloch, Drumquhassel, Balbougie, Banton, etc. He died about 1330, and was succeeded by eldest son Sir William Cuninghame of Kilmaurs.

Sir William appears in records in 1350, 1354 and 1364. He married Eleanor Bruce, Countess of Carrick; and in her right was created Earl of Carrick; they had no children. By a previous marriage he had three sons. His third son, Thomas, was ancestor of the Cunninghames of Caprington. The eldest son predeceased him, without issue. He was succeeded by his second son, Sir William Cuninghame of Kilmaurs, who acquired land by marriage with Margaret, the eldest co-heir of Sir Robert Danielston. His part of that vast property was the lands or baronies of Danielstoun and Finlaystoun in Renfrewshire, Kilmarnock in Dunbartonshire, Redhall and Colintoun in Midlothian, and Glencairn in Dumfrieshire, afterwards the chief title of the family. He died in 1418. His second son, William, was ancestor of Cunninghamhead.  His third son, Henry, appears in 1417 in a transaction at Irvine.

He was succeeded by his eldest son, Sir Robert Cuninghame of Kilmaurs. He married Anne, the only daughter of Sir John De Montgomery of Ardrossan in 1425, by whom he had two sons. The second son, Archibald, was the first of the Cunninghames of Waterstoun, now extinct. He was succeeded by his eldest son, Alexander Cunningham, the first Earl of Glencairn.

The Earls Of Glencairn:

  1. (1488): Alexander Cunninghame–Alexander became the Earl of Glencairn in 1488, taking his title from the family’s estate in Dumfriesshire. His title prior to being granted the earldom was Lord Kilmaurs. Receiving his title for battle services at Blackness, Alexander was killed in the same year at the Battle of Sauchieburn beside his king.
  2. (1488-1503): Robert Cunninghame–When the Earldom was rescinded by King James IV, Robert was left with only the title of Lord of Kilmaurs.
  3. (1503-1540): Cuthbert Cunninghame–The title was restored to Cuthbert who created the Burgh or Barony of Kilmaurs in 1527. This was introduced in the form of a charter which granted 280 Scots acres to 40 “tennamenters”, each of whom would hold a fortieth part of the total area.
  4. (1540-1547): William Cunninghame–The 4th Earl was active in the cause of the Protestant Reformation. He was loyal to the Crown at first, but when he witnessed the atrocities of the English, he joined the forces of the Reformation and played no small part in the cause.
  5. (1547-1574): Alexander Cunninghame– He supported the Reformers and openly encouraged John Knox to return to Scotland. Known as the “good earl,” Alexander and Knox became firm friends. It is said that Knox gave his first communion under the yew tree which still stands at Finlaystone. On the battlefield, Alexander mustered and led 2,500 men to Perth to defend the cause and also opposed Mary Queen of Scots’ return to Scotland. He disavowed her marriage to Darnley and in the name of the Protestant forces, was in the forefront in the battles of Carberry Hill and Langside.
  6. (1574-1581): William Cunninghame–He concentrated on trying to cool the on-going blood feud between the Cunninghame and Montgomerie families. He was somewhat successful in establishing bonds of friendship with Campbells, Montgomeries, Boyds, Wallaces, and his own family. This allowed arbitration to adjudicate disputes between families.
  7. (1581-1629): James Cunninghame–James did not support the work of his father. Thus, the Cunninghame-Montgomerie feud was renewed in local skirmishes and bloody battles followed the murder of Hugh, 4th Earl of Eglinton at Stewarton by Cunninghams. Although he denied knowledge of the affair, James was never able to remove suspicion until he took legal action to counter the charges laid against him. These charges reached the Scottish Parliament, and while litigation dragged on, many of the Cunninghames and Montgomeries were killed or fled the country. In the end James was exonerated and agreed to friendly negotiations with the Montgomeries. He subsequently commissioned the erection of a sculptured mural in that part of the Parish Church known as the Glencairn Aisle.
  8. (1629/30-1631): William Cunninghame–William’s reign as the Earl was short and it is unclear when he assumed the title because the exact date of his father’s death is open to question.
  9. (1631-1664): William Cunninghame–A consistent supporter of Charles I, the 9th Earl was forced to forfeit his title to the Scottish Parliament, but when he realized the possibility of Scotland being drawn into the feud between Charles and his Parliament in London, William’s support quickly evaporated. His title was restored and, following the execution of Charles I, William fought with the Highland clans against General Monk when Cromwell invaded Scotland. Following a personal duel and skirmishes in the ranks he withdrew his forces, then engaged Monk’s columns at Dumbarton where overwhelming odds forced him to surrender on honorable terms. He returned home but was thrown into prison on suspicion of plotting against Cromwell’s government. When the kingdom was restored, Charles II rewarded him with an appointment as Privy Councilor. He was elevated to Lord Chancellor but further political intrigues reduced his powers to almost nothing and he died a disillusioned, broken man.
  10. (1664-1670): Alexander Cunninghame–His time as Earl was spent in comparative peace concentrating salvaging family property from litigation stemming from family feuds of former days. On his death his brother John succeeded to the title.
  11. (1670-1703): John Cunninghame—John was a committed Royalist and was appointed a Commissioner of the Crown, empowered to enforce laws abhorrent to the Covenanters’ cause. This role earned him the dislike of many in Western Scotland, as the Covenanters considered that the new laws (which affected the Church and its ministers) were a return to the days before the  reformation. John’s enthusiasm for enforcement waned and he and other Cunninghames became supporters and defenders of the Covenanter cause.
  12. (1703-1734): William Cunningham–His 31 years as Earl were uneventful. He was appointed Privy Councilor and served as the Governor of Dumbarton Castle, previously held by his father. The Cunninghams by this time were residents at their Finlaystone home in Renfrewshire but still had business interests in the Kilmaurs. William and his wife lost seven of their eight sons.
  13. (1734-1775): William Cunningham–Like his forebears William was involved in the affairs of the Church and became embroiled in bitter wrangling in the Laigh Kirk in Kilmarnock. The root of the problem was internal politics of the Church which occasioned Robert Burns to write “The Ordination.” William’s presentation of a “New Light” minister displeased the congregation to the point of rioting. His marriage to Elizabeth Macquire was not approved of by the aristocracy, as his wife was the daughter of a carpenter and traveling fiddler. From this marriage his son, James, succeeded to the title.
  14. (1775-1791): James Cunningham–To Burns enthusiasts, James is the best known of the Cunninghams. As a Representative Peer he had great influence in Edinburgh. On reading the first published work of Robert Burns he became an avid supporter and patron of the bard. James was responsible for the support given to Burns by the Caledonian Hunt who subscribed “one and all” towards the publication of the Edinburgh Edition of the poet’s work. James’ journey back from Portugal ended at Falmouth where he died of a severe illness on 30 January 1791. Burns was greatly affected by the news of his patron’s death and his great tribute to James, “Lament for James, Earl of Glencairn,” is an emotional eulogy for the Earl.
  15. (1791-1796): John Cunningham–John was the brother of the 14th Earl and early in his career was an officer in the Dragoons. Later he took orders in the Church of England (Anglican!), much to the dismay of his friends in the Scottish Church. On his death he was buried in St. Cuthbert’s, Edinburgh and the title of Earl of Glencairn has remained vacant since. 

Select Sources

Scots Peerage

Clan Cunningham (http://clancunninghamusa.org/history.htm)

Ayrshire History (http://ayshirescotland.com/clans/cunningham.html)

Part 2 will focus on the Cunninghams who moved from Scotland to Ireland on the Ulster Plantation.

Possible Samuel Roes

My mother’s maternal grandfather was Samuel J Roe, born 6 March 1862 in Devon, England. We know nothing of his parents or other family, and family lore may be lies or exaggerations. He came from England to America under mysterious circumstances, moved to WV; in October 1895 in Garrett County, MD, he married Vernie Plum (daughter of James H Plum and Mary C Plum) when she was just 15-16 and had 11 children. He died 22 Feb 1947 in Parsons, WV, just shy of 85 years of age.  He and his wife are buried at Layton Cemetery, Tunnelton, Preston Co, WV. Their Children were:

Mary Elizabeth Roe Mullenax (1894 – 1949) (my maternal grandmother)
Anna M. Roe Smith (1897 -)
James Gilbert Roe (1898 – 1927)
Pierce Edward Roe (1900 – 1967)
Nora Mae Roe Nicholson (1903 – 1977)
Samuel Summerville Roe (1905 – )
Isabelle Virginia Roe McGinnis (1907 – 1959)
Jessie Catherine Roe Hebb (1913 – 1981)
Maggie Roe (1915 – 1917)
William Alfred Roe (1916 – 1961)
Willard Lee Roe (1920 – 1967)


 

He was a large man, over six feet, and when young he had a large head of red hair (a trait he passed down to some descendants). The story my mother heard was that he had ‘jumped ship’ in America, and hid out in the area of Tunnelton, WV on a small farm with a coal mine. By all accounts, he was rather paranoid and fearful of strangers. Every census, his purported age changed! As the years went on, his birth year shifted so that, unlike real humans, he became a few years younger every 10 years. After some 35 years of research, I have been unable to verify the story about his ‘jumping ship,’ despite the fact that my mother always claimed that her mother still had the pardon papers signed by Queen Victoria. I have found no proof that he was in the Royal Navy, although there were in fact quite a few Samuel Roe’s listed all over England (particularly from Devon, a major seaport) and appearing in ship censuses. I searched as well in the criminal files pertaining to the RN but found no one listed who could have been my great grandfather.  Having sifted through every UK census record for any Samuel Roe, Row, Rowe born near the 1862 reputed birth date of our relative, I have narrowed the possibilities to the following:

1.) 1871 UK Census–Samuel Row Age: 7 Est. Birth Year: abt 1864 Relation: Son Father’s Name: Elias Mother’s Name: Elizabeth Where born: Harrabridge, Devon, England. Civil Parish: East Murton Ecclesiastical parish: St Andrew Town: Greenhill Cottage and Murton Colliery County/Island: Durham Country: England Registration district: Easington Sub-registration district: Easington ED, institution, or vessel: 14 Household schedule number: 99 Household Members:

Name                       Age

Alfred Row                  9

Elias Row              47

Elizabeth Row     49 

Fredric Row              13

Helina Row                5

Jessice Row              11

Samuel Row          7

William Row            15

————–

1A.) 1881 UK Census Samuel Rowe Age: 16 Est Birth Year: abt 1865 Relation: Son Father’s Name: Elias Mother’s Name: Elizabeth Where born: Whitechurch, Devon, England Civil Parish: Haswell County/Island: Durham Country: England Street address: Eight Rows Five Occupation: Driver (Coal Mine) Registration district: Easington Sub-registration district: Easington ED, institution, or vessel: 2. Household Members:

Name                             Age

Alfred John Rowe           19

Elias Rowe                   52

Elizabeth Rowe          55 

Malinda Rowe                  14

Samuel Rowe              16

This is the strongest contender for our ancestor: Samuel Row or Rowe born about 1864 or 1865 in Devon, England to Elias & Elizabeth Row(e). We have both the 1871 and 1881 UK Census for this family. According to the 1871 details, they were living in Murton Colliery, indicating that the father, Elias, was a coal miner. Ten years later, they’ve moved to Eight Rows Five in County Durham and Samuel indicates his occupation is driver in a coal mine. Eight Rows Five is an odd name for a town, but suggests to me that they were living in a coal town that was built for the miners and their families on the actual site of the coal mine. This was a common occurrence in 19th century England. In an odd coincidence, this Samuel Rowe was born in Murton Colliery, which is where Ann Tennant was born (she’s my Dad’s paternal grandmother)!


 

 

These listings are possibles, but are, I think, less likely to be our Samuel Roe.

2.) 1871 UK Census Samuel Rawe Age: 8 Estimated Birth Year: abt 1863 Relation: Son Father’s Name: William Mother’s Name: Mary Where born: Drewsteignton Civil Parish: Drewsteignton Town: Teignholt County/Island: Devon Country: England Registration district: Okehampton Sub-registration district: North Tawton ED, institution, or vessel: 9 Household schedule number: 16. Household Members:

Name                              Age

Mary Rawe                 45 

Samuel Rawe               8

William Rawe           44

Carolene Vanston            9


 

3. 1871 UK Census–Samuel H A Rowe Age: 6 Estimated Birth Year: abt 1865 Relation: Grandson Mother’s Name: Emma G Gender: Male Where born: Morice Town, Devon, England BORN IN DEVON, LIVING IN CORNWALL Civil Parish: Landrake With St Erney County/Island: Cornwall Country: England Registration district: St Germans Sub-registration district: Saltash ED, institution, or vessel: 2 #2 Household schedule number: 85 Household Members:

Name                       Age

Emma G Rowe        27

Emma M Rowe         2

Jane Rowe               60

Samuel Rowe          60

Samuel H A Rowe    6

The Grandfather Samuel is listed as a Greenwich RN pensioner. The father is not listed, so might have been at sea or dead. Cornwall was another big site for mariners and Royal Navy.


1871  Samuel Rowe Age: 9 Estimated Birth Year: abt 1862 Relation: Son Father’s Name: James Mother’s Name: Matilda Where born: Plymouth, Devon, England Civil Parish: St Andrew Ecclesiastical parish: Holy Trinity County/Island: Devon Country: England Registration district: Plymouth Sub-registration district: St Andrew ED, institution, or vessel: 30 Household schedule number: 220  Household Members:

Name                                      Age

Elizabeth Rowe                         5

Harriet Rowe                           11

Henry Rowe                               1 month

James Rowe                            41

James Rowe                            17

John Rowe                               19

Matilda Rowe                         40

Matilda Rowe                          13

Samuel Rowe                       9

Thomas Rowe                           2

William Rowe                         16

This last family fits in terms of birth date and place. In such a big family, it would make sense that 10 years later, Samuel would be moving on.

© Copyright 2015 Linda L Labin, PhD

Cunningham Connection

Cunningham Coat of Arms

Cunningham Coat of Arms

      Coat of Arms: Silver with a black shakefork. Motto: Over Fork Over.

The coat of arms of the Cunninghams usually features rabbits, which lends credence to the theory that the name came from a Scots term for rabbit (coney). The Cunningham district in Ayrshire, Scotland is so-named for Robertus Cunningham, who received the grant of the lands of Cunningham  1160-1180. Some argue that the name originated with Malcolm, one of the sons of the Flemish knight Freskin. The Cunninghams fought for Scotland during the Scottish War of Independence under Robert the Bruce. Despite this, the family appeared on the Ragman Roll of 1296 pledging loyalty to King Edward I. Bruce rewarded the Cunninghams with land in Lamburgton, added to Kilmaurs in 1319.

During the uprisings of the 17th century, the 9th Earl of Glencairn (the Cunningham title) fought for King Charles II of England (the grandson of James I of England, James VI of Scotland), a Catholic, against the Protestant Roundheads. In 1653 Cunningham raised an army of Highlanders for Charles and voiced his ambition to raise Scotland against Oliver Cromwell. Cromwell’s army defeated the king and the Cunninghams were forced to leave Scotland for Ireland. After the Restoration, Cunningham was appointed Lord Chancellor of Scotland and died in 1664.

Ulster Settlement Map

Ulster Settlement Map

During the 17th century the Cunninghams left Scotland to become part of The Plantation of Ulster. This was an effort by English kings to control the ‘Irish problem’ by stealing lands from the Irish Catholics and giving or selling the lands to Scottish Presbyterians and some English Anglicans. The English thought that the Scots and Irish would intermarry—which they did—and the Protestant Scots would keep the Irish Catholics docile to their overlords. It didn’t work, but it did lead to the evolution of the bravest and strongest fighting men and women, the Scots-Irish, many of whom would go to the New World, fight a revolution, and create a democratic republic.

My mother’s paternal grandmother was 1.Mary Ann Cunningham (b. 21 March 1842 in Indian Creek, Harrison or Ritchie Co, VA; d. 4 Jan 1929 in

Mary Ann Cunningham Mullenax

Mary Ann Cunningham Mullenax

Girton, Ritchie Co, WV; married to 1a.Jacob Mullenax (1842-1892) 23 Sept 1865 in Ritchie Co, WV). Mary Ann and husband Jacob, along with Jacob’s older brother Washington J. Mullenax and his wife and family, moved to Sherman, Putnam Co, MO (where Jacob’s father Solomon and stepmother Susan Moats had moved). Some of their children were born in MO, but Jacob and Mary Ann moved back to Ritchie Co, WV in the 1870s and stayed there until their deaths. After Jacob’s death from consumption (tuberculosis), acquired during his army service in the Civil War, Mary Ann applied for and received a Widow’s Pension from the government. My grandfather Melvin was just 9 years old when his father died. Likewise, Mary Ann had been only 10 when her own mother passed on.

1.Mary Ann Cunningham was the daughter of 2a.Mary Ann Clevenger (1822-1852) and 2.Abraham Cunningham (b. 14 Nov 1806 in Harrison, Charles Co, VA; d. 16 Sept 1886 in Harrison, Charles Co, WV; married Mary Ann Clevenger 1 Jan 1840 in Harrison and m. Rachel Minney 23 Dec 1853 in Ritchie Co, VA). Like many of the Cunninghams, Abraham was a farmer. His parents were 3a.Anne Randall (1757-1817?) and 3.Walter Cunningham (b. Dec 1749 in Dublin, County Mayo, Ireland; d. Simpsons Creek, Harrison Co, VA; married Hannah Leith in 1768 in Harrison, and married Anne Randall 23 Dec 1804). Walter had 12 children with Hannah Leith, who died in 1803, and had four children with Anne Randall. Walter Cunningham served in the Virginia colonial militia before the break with England and fought in the Revolutionary War and was placed on the pension rolls on 2 Feb 1833 for his service as a private in the VA Militia. His pension was $20 a month. He enlisted in Shenandoah Co, VA in 1776 and served six months under Captains Scott and Rador in the Virginia Line. He had supporting affidavits from Gass Winters and Anthony Kuhn. He was stricken from the pension rolls in March, 1835, probably because he died. 

Walter was one of the Scots-Irish Protestants born and raised in Ireland who emigrated to the US and fought in the Revolutionary War as well as in the French and Indian Wars, the War of 1812, and pioneered this country. He came from Ireland with his parents and brothers. Walter was one of about 16 children; his mother was 4a.Nancy O’Neil (O’Neal) (1712-1807) and his father was 4.Hugh B. Cunningham (b. 1708 in Dublin, County Mayo, Ireland; d. 1789 in Bingamon Creek, Harrison Co, VA or 9 Aug 1782 in Battle of Blue Lick, Madison Co, KY; married Nancy O’Neil in 1728 in Ireland).

With their 8 sons Hugh B. Cunningham and wife Nancy O’Neill (O’Neal)  took ship at Dublin, IRE for America, finally landing in Fairfax Co, VA, near Alexandria, in 1748. Adam, Walter, Edward, and Thomas came to Harrison Co, VA.  Hugh died at the Battle of Blue Licks, KY during the Revolutionary War. Walter and his brothers settled on the banks of the Potomac, Fairfax, VA; after the Revolutionary War, they came to Harrison Co, VA and patented large tracts of land under the “tomahawk title” on Bingamon Creek.

[Unproven speculation: Many historical sources state that Hugh Cunningham was killed in the Battle of Blue Licks, KY, but they may be in error. Would a 74-year-old man be readily accepted into the Militia? The battle was preceded by a 44-mile night ride through the wilderness. Not a likely feat for an elderly man. Also, there is no record of Alexander’s son Hugh migrating to KY. Recent info suggests that the Hugh Cunningham involved in the Blue Licks battle was a much younger man, b. abt. 1741 and dying in 1820 in Lincoln Co, KY. His will was probated Dec 1820, leaving each of his sons, Thomas, James, and John, a third of his estate. A grandson was also mentioned. His wife’s name may be Elizabeth. The Hugh of Blue Licks was captured, not killed. This Hugh (b. 1740, d. 1819) was probably the son of Jacob and grandson of James Cunningham. He settled in Augusta Co, VA near Solon, north of Staunton.]

This Hugh (not my 4th great grandfather) and his family suffered two Indian raids by the Shawnees, in 1762 and 1764. His parents were killed in the 1st raid and his daughter, although scalped, lived through the ordeal. On the 2nd raid, the Indians discovered the young girl who had been scalped previously. This being quite a trophy, they took her back to camp and paraded her through various villages, wearing her scalp as a hairpiece. In this last raid, Hugh was severely wounded and his wife killed. At the time, Virginia extended to the Mississippi River and Hugh pushed on to Lincoln, Jefferson Co, KY. He remarried and joined the VA Militia. During the Battle of Blue Licks, Hugh was captured and taken to Canada by the British and their Indian allies. Hugh and his 11 fellow captives were released at the conclusion of the Revolutionary War and returned to Lincoln, KY. Hugh rejoined the Militia as a Ranger-Spy the day of his return. He had been officially declared dead months before and his estate turned over to his wife Elizabeth.

4.Hugh B. Cunningham was the son of 5a.Mary Rebeka Burns (1668-1749) and 5.Alexander Cunningham (b. 1653 or 1663 in Dublin, Ireland or Scotland; d. 1749 or 1747 in Ireland; married 1701 in Leinster, Ireland). Alexander was the son of 6a.Rachel Bruce (1611-1651) and 6.David Cunningham (b. 1607 in Scotland; d. 1691 in Ireland; married 1651 in Leinster, Dublin, Ireland). David and his family were evidently sent to Ireland to settle in the Ulster Plantation scheme of King James I of England (James VI of Scotland). His parents were 7a.Nancy Mary Blessington (1570-1640) and 7.Joseph Cunningham (b. 1568 in Scotland; d. 1637 in Scotland or Ireland; married 1605 in Leinster, Dublin, Ireland). Joseph’s parents were 8a.Sarah Wallace (1531-1631) and 8.John Cunningham (b. 1520 in Scotland; d. 1602 in Ireland; married in 1566 in Leinster). John was the son of 9a.Mary Robinson (1503-1528) and 9.Alexander Cunningham (b. 1498 in Kilmaurs, Ayrshire, Scotland; d. 1579 in Ireland or Scotland; married 1528 in Leinster). So, my 9th great grandfather connects our family to Kilmaurs, Ayrshire and the estates of the Earls of Glencairn, the traditional holdings of the Cunningham family. More later.

 

© Copyright 2015 Linda L Labin, PhD