Oct 13, 2020

On the Parentage of Mahala Ann Hopkins

Mahala Ann Hopkins was a mystery during my childhood in the 1950s in Northwestern Florida. She was my great great grandmother, but a woman everyone among my grandparents generation in Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida tried their best to erase from the family's collective consciousness. After many annoying inquiries on my part, what I learned was only that she was a white woman who ran off with a black man, after having had a child, my great grandmother, by my great great grandfather Gibeon Jefferson Sullivan, a local Civil War hero. It has taken almost 60 years of off and on research by myself and, earlier, by Dr. Neal Thompson, the best professional genealogist of his time in America, to piece together a coherent story.

The trail of discovery began with the death certificate of my great grandmother, Mary Ellen Sullivan. That document revealed that her mother's name was Matilda Hopkins. However, the 1860 census my great grandmother as living with my great great grandfather and his wife Susan Lane under the name of Ellen Evans. This fits with family tradition that my great grandmother was Gibeon Sullivan's illegitimate daughter and was raised by him and his wife Susan Lane. Obviously, in her childhood, possibly out of sensitivity to the feelings of Susan, Ellen bore her legal name which, under the common law of that era, would have been that of her birth mother at the time of her birth and not that of her biological father. Thus, her mother, at the time of birth, must have been an Evans who family name at birth was Hopkins. This, in turn, means that Evans was a name my great grandmother's mother acquired through marriage. 

Help came through a descendant of Gibeon Sullivan and Susan Lane who also alerted me to the fact that my great grandmother's mother was, indeed, a woman by the name of Evans and that I could find her in the 1870 census with two other of her daughters by another man living in the vicinity of various close relatives of Gibeon Sullivan. Moreover, the just mentioned individual also informed me that one of the two daughters I would find later married a younger brother of Gibeon Jefferson Sullivan. Indeed, there was a Mahala Evans living in the right location who had a daughter Nancy who, indeed, could be shown to have married a younger brother of my great great grandfather, Gibeon Sullivan, which meant that Gibeon could not have been the father of this woman's younger children. 

The death certificate could, therefore, be assumed to have used the maiden name of my great grandmother's mother as this woman's maiden name as her surname and to have perhaps purposely given perhaps a different name from the name she normally used, perhaps even a disused middle name, as her forename on her daughter's death certificate.

The search for a Hopkins/Evans marriage in Alabama turned up two such marriages in the 1840s and 50s in Alabama, both marriages being entered into by the same couple, Mahala Hopkins and Jesse Evans. The first time they got married was in 1844 in Mobile, Alabama, and the second time was in 1846 in Washington County, Alabama, a neighboring county of Mobile. Presumably, some type of legal impediment must have existed in 1844 which did not exist in 1846, but the exact nature of that impediment is still not clear.

Jesse Evans may be presumed to have died by 1850, when Mahala had a short relationship with my slightly younger great great grandfather Gibeon Sullivan which ended in the birth of my great grandmother Ellen Evans (later, at the time of her marriage, Mary Ellen Sullivan). According to a relative from a different line of the 

Sullivan family, upon the marriage of Gibeon to the somewhat younger Susan Lane, Mahala brought her still infant daughter to Gibeon's house and left her saying "She's yours. You raise her." Considering the obvious awkwardness of the situation, Gibeon and his wife Susan seem to have done good job.

There was a long period of confusion on my part and Dr. Thompson's on account of the fact that there was a woman by the name of Mahala Ann Evans in the Illinois census of 1880 who was a widow and who had been born in Alabama in 1825 to a father born in Ireland. Assuming that this must have been the same Mahala Ann Evans appearing in the 1870 census in Washington County, Alabama, as a widow born in Alabama in 1825, things seemed extremely complicated, indeed. Moreover, this made the important question of the location and identity of the black man Mahala lived more of a mystery.

A recent closer examination of the 1870 and 1880 census entries, however, showed important differences between the two women. For one, the Washington County, Alabama Mahala Ann Evans was listed in the 1870 census as being able to read and write, whereas the woman in Illinois in 1880 was not. More importantly, in the 1870 census, if a person's parents had been born outside the United States, then their country of birth was supposed to be written down. In the case of Mahala Ann Evans in Washington County, Alabama in 1870, this was left empty meaning that both her parents had been born in the United States, whereas in the case of Mahala Ann Evans of Illinois in 1880, her father had been listed as being born in Ireland. Clearly, we were dealing with two women.

The only Hopkins household to have a daughter in Southern Alabama listed in the census of 1840 who could have been the right age to be Mahala Ann Evans of 1870 was a Samuel Hopkins of Mobile, Alabama, a merchant. In 1844 he married, Angelica Marinot Pescay, a well off widow of Catholic French origin in Mobile. This was the year that Mahala first married Jesse Evans.

It was possible to locate Samuel and Angelica Hopkins and their combined families in New Orleans in 1850 and in succeeding censuses and these censuses seemed to indicate that Samuel was a widower at the time of his marriage to Angelica who was a widow and that his youngest daughter had been born shortly before his marriage, indicating that his first wife had only recently died.

What was unexpected was that Samuel was listed as being born in Massachusetts and Angelica in Pennsylvania and that neither had any ancestral connection with the deep South of the United States. In an attempt to prove whether Samuel was actually the father of Mahala or not, it became important to establish his date of birth. On his death certificate, it was written that in March of 1885 when he died, he was 82 years old, meaning that he had to have been born between April of 1802 and February of 1803. 

A search of Massachusetts records for a Samuel Hopkins born during this time frame came across exactly one who was born in July of 1802 and, more importantly, unlike for his siblings, there was no other information was available about him. His family was described as being of of Wilmington, Massachusetts. A further search showed that a marriage had taken place in 1824 in Massachusetts, between a Nancy Nichols, born in 1800 and a Samuel Hopkins, and that this couple thereafter disappear from the record in Massachusetts.

The 1840 census showed that Samuel Hopkins of Mobile was still less than 40, but that he was living with a woman who was 40 years of age or more and that in his household was a young woman of 15 to 20 and two young women under the age of ten. Everything fell in place, the ages of Samuel and Nancy and Mahala and Samuel's daughters in the later Louisiana censuses of 1850, 1870, and 1880 matched perfectly with the age ranges of the individuals described in the 1840 Alabama  census. Taken together, they indicated that Samuel's first wife Nancy died, possibly in childbirth, in 1843.

Though none of Mahala's sisters left descendants surviving into the 21st century, Ancestry.Com DNA match checks did confirm a relationship with various individuals ancestral to Samuel and Nancy, thus confirming that Samuel and Nancy were, indeed, the parents of Mahala.

Concerning Mahala, as is mentioned above, she was born in 1825. In 1844 she tried to marry Jesse Evans in Mobile County. For some reason now unknown, she and Jesse Evans went two years later to Washington County, Alabama, to get married again when she would have turned 21. Interestingly, Mahala signed her own name, whereas Jesse used an X, confirming Mahala's claim in 1870 that she could read and write. Mahala and Jesse seem to have had a daughter born a year before their first marriage. As this daughter, like my great grandmother, always appears in the censuses as white, the presumption is that Jesse, too, was white and not the man Mahala later chose to live with. 

An extensive search, however, has so far failed to locate an appropriate Jesse Evans (there are many, though, whose details don't fit). He does not seem to have had an independent household in the 1840 census or earlier and he does not seem to appear in the 1850 census or later, which would indicate a death not long after his second marriage. It is also not clear where Mahala was during the 1850 census. 

Though Mahala Evans of Randolph County, Illinois, has sometimes been identified with our Mahala,  it is not at all clear that this was the actual case, even though the age and place of birth match. What is clear is that Mahala had to have been in Alabama in 1851. Around 1854, genetic testing of her descendants show that she entered into a long-term affair with Jerome Chastang of Alabama and had at least two, but possibly as many as four daughters by him. Jerome was listed in the various Alabama censuses as mulatto and, under the laws of that era, marriage would not have been allowed with a white woman. 

In 1870, Mahala appears in Washington County, Alabama, under the name of Mahala Evans with two daughters (Nancy, age 13, and Ann, age 11). Mahala's daughter Nancy later marries Gibeon Jefferson Sullivan's younger brother Thomas R. Sullivan and proceeds to have a census history as complicated as her family history. In 1870 Nancy is listed as white. In 1880, she and her husband both become black, but in 1900 her husband becomes white once again while she and her children become Indian. In 1910 she becomes a mulatto. When she dies, her death certificate lists her as white. 

Mahala Ann Hopkins' life was dramatic and complicated and still poses many unanswered questions, but, nevertheless, the many records her life experiences engendered enables the reconstruction of her immediate Hopkins ancestry when taken together with autosomal dna data from David Cotton and another Ancestry.Com user and with mitochondrial dna data taken from two female line first cousins of David Cotton.

Concerning my great grandmother and Mahala's daughter, Mary Ellen Sullivan, she was well raised by her father and his wife Susan Lane. Though her father was illiterate, she was able to read and write. She was famed for her gentleness, her devotion to biblical study, and her good works. She married David Buford Thompson in 1876 and raised a large family, having had 9 children of whom eight were still alive in 1900, including my grandmother.

Aug 6, 2020

On a Possible Line of Descent of Jesse Hopkins of Georgia (born 1785±9)

According to Ancestry.Com, a certain individual showed up as a 3rd to 4th cousin in terms of shared dna with my older brother whose family tree I am working on. I checked the publicly available family tree of this presumed 3rd cousin and realized that she was probably related to my brother and me through our great great grandmother, Mahala Hopkins. I did about 20 hours of research over a several day period, comparing census records and other government generated records with autosomal and mitochondrial dna test results and was able to reconstruct a possible family relationship to use for further testing which tied us to a common ancestor in the person of Jesse Hopkins, who was born toward the end of the 18th century and who lived in Georgia. Upon further testing, however, I realized that this person's Hopkins ancestry was quite different from that of my brother and myself. As the ancestry of Mahala Hopkins deserves its own posting, I would like to discuss Jesse Hopkins and one line of possible descent from him.

The reconstruction based on the results of my original research were as follows:

Generation 1. Jessee Hopkins, to use the spelling found in the 1820 census, was born between 1776 and 1794 (1785±9), and seems to have married in 1807 to a woman by the name of Judanna Williams. She seems to have been born between 1791 to 1794. Her parentage is still unknown. Jessee and his wife seem to have had a second son William in Georgia around 1810. Unfortunately, the 1810 census for Georgia is missing; but, as Jessee does not appear in the Georgia 1812 tax list, it is unlikely he and his wife had fully established themselves by then, being involved in trade and small scale manufacturing, rather than in farming. In the 1810s they had yet another son and a daughter (names unknown). Jesse was engaged in manufacturing and had one slave in 1820. His son William eventually moved to Alabama where he had several children before moving to Mississippi. Concerning this generation and the next, however, one should remain aware that the identification of William as a son of Jesse and Judanna is based on the fact that they conveniently fit with regard to the 1820 census, a census which does not give the names of children, only rough ages. No doubt there are other possibilities, too, which I might have overlooked.

Generation 2. William, the presumed second son of Jesse, who would have been born right about 1810, married a woman by the name of Sarah. Her family name has, so far, resisted discovery. The 1860 census indicates a possible birth year of 1832 and that her place of birth was Alabama. Sarah and William would have married by 1847, at the latest, if the birth years given to the census taker are accurate and if they married before having children. Neither individual was literate, nor were their children. They would have moved to Clarke County, Mississippi after the birth of their fourth child (and third son) James in Alabama in 1853. Their oldest son Z. T. was born in 1848, William C. their second son in 1850, and their daughter Sarah in 1852. William and Sarah seem to be missing in the 1870 census, but appear in the Mississippi state census of 1866 which indicates that Sarah had already died. Her final surviving child a son (the 1866 census does not provide names) would have been born between 1860 and 1866 (1863±3). Presumably, if they survived the Civil War, Z. T. had become a laborer and his sister Sarah had gotten married. William C. and James were still living with his father. Two individuals of the right age to be William Sr.'s mother-in-law and father-in-law were living with him.

Generation 3. William C. Hopkins, the son of William Hopkins the elder and Sarah had little interest in his origins. He gives his birth place as Mississippi in the 1880 and 1910 censuses, but as Alabama in the 1900 census. Likewise, he gives his mother and father's birth places as being Mississippi in 1880 and 1910, but as Alabama in 1910. He gives his year of birth as 1854 in 1880, as August 1850 in 1900, and as 1845 in 1910. His wife, Sarah C. Duvall (married 16 February 1871) shows less variation in her year of birth than her husband, being 1855 in the 1880 census, 1853 in 1900, and 1854 in 1910. They had 11 children, all of whom were still alive in 1910. Though William C. Hopkins and Sarah Duvall were both illiterate, they seem to have understood the value of education. All their children were able to read and write. A fairly careful search did not reveal William C. Hopkins in the 1920 census, but there is a William C. Hopkins born in 1850 appearing in an index of California deaths for 1917.

Jul 29, 2020

Links to genealogical tables related to the Cottons of Cotton Edmunds


There are currently several million people who can trace their descent in one way or another from the male and female members of the Cotton family of Cotton Edmunds (Cheshire, England) which can now be traced, depending on the person, for up to 26 generations. From the seventh generation, with the marriage of Joan Fitzherbert to John Cotton of Cotton Edmunds and Hampstall Ridware as his second wife, the descendants of this family share in a descent from many important figures in British and continental European history, including Alfred the Great, William the Conqueror, and Charlemagne. This ancestry can be proven, in all cases, based on primary records as sources of evidence and not on merely the fantasies of others currently abounding on the internet. I am currently uploading two ancestral tables for Joan Fitzherbert Cotton, beginning with a table which took several hundred hours of research, a table outlining her long line of Welsh ancestors. A connected table outlining her Irish ancestry is given. The reason for starting here is because as many as half of all the descendants of the Cottons of Cotton Edmunds can trace their origin in this marriage. Other tables connected, both with her, and other individuals connected with the Cottons of Cotton Edmunds will appear as time permits.

The Welsh ancestry of Joan Fitzherbert Cotton


The Irish and Viking ancestry of Joan Fitzherbert Cotton


Jul 3, 2020

The English Ancestry of Three Cotton Lineages

4 July 2020

In terms of y-chromosome DNA analysis, it has been shown that the man often called Sgt. William Cotton of Boston and whose estimated birth year is always shown as 1610, has the same male line ancestry as the 17th century Virginia immigrant Walter Cotton. Recently, it has proven possible to document Walter Cotton's English ancestry through the use of records contemporary with his lifetime. Also in terms of male-line ancestry, it has been proven genetically that the ancestors of Col. James Thomas Cotton of American Revolutionary War fame also share the same male-line ancestry. This last mentioned gentleman's ancestry can be taken back in the male line to the beginning of the 17th century to a certain Thomas Cotton who worked as a secretary for Thomas Weston, one of the financiers of the Mayflower Plymouth colony. This family falsely assumed without proof that it was a branch of the Viscount Combermere Cotton family and, due to the wealth they had earned in the mid-17th century, were accepted as such. As a result, the coat of arms which they used was not their own. Walter Cotton's proven (and not assumed) ancestry goes back to a mid-13th century individual called William Cotton, whose manor was eventually called Cotton Edmunds (in Cheshire) after William's great grandson and ancestor of Walter, Edmund Cotton. At present, all known male-line members of the Cottons of Cotton Edmunds family descend from Edmund Cotton's son, yet another William Cotton, and at least 90% of these from this William Cotton's grandson, John Cotton of Hampstall Ridware and John's second wife, Joan Fitzherbert. The likelihood of finding a common ancestor is, thus, greatest in this last-mentioned lineage and is where a search should first begin.

A further point in common between the three sub-lineages mentioned above is that they were either active non-conformists in the case of the William and Thomas Cotton or reluctant conformists in the case of Walter Cotton's ancestors and this, too, would suggest a fairly near relationship. This seems, in fact, to have been due to Thomas Cotton having been a secretary of Thomas Weston who was a non-conformist ironmonger who was heavily involved in financing the founding of the Mayflower Plymouth Rock colony. As a result of his association with Thomas Weston, Thomas Cotton seems to have not only become a convinced non-conformist, but also an ironmonger, himself, eventually founding an iron foundry dynasty which controlled a significant portion of the iron production of England during the 17th century. However, because the family was non-conformist, the traditional means of being able to use Anglican parish birth, marriage, and death records was cut off completely very early in the 17th century, making it impossible in the past to carry the family line any further back than Thomas, himself.

As part of a search done for me (Hikaru Kitabayashi, doctor of linguistics and professor emeritus of Daito Bunka University) by Dr. Neil D. Thompson to better determine my own y-chromosome Cotton ancestry, Dr. Thompson put together in a report dated 10 November 2009, in which he provided a complete list transcribed from a microfilm of the original parish record of all Cottons who, up to the end of the 17th century, were christened, married, or buried in various likely Staffordshire parishes, including Penkridge (a fairly active market town) where an exceptionally large number of Cottons appeared to be concentrated. Though his transcription was far more detailed in the information provided (identifying many of the Cottons as being of Penkridge, Bickford, or Whiston) than anything then available through online sources, nothing found was useful in determining my ancestry until the marriage record of Walter's brother and sister-in-law and fellow immigrants to Virginia was recently uncovered in the parish records of Uttoxeter. That provided the key piece of data that tied everything else found in the records of earlier centuries together, allowing ancestral Walter's line to be verified with absolute certainty. 

Deciding, on a whim, that Dr. Thompson's data regarding Penkridge deserved careful analysis, I spent the better part of the week working on it. Without DNA analysis showing that three lines of descent have to have a close relationship, the analysis would not have led anywhere, but, having an intimate knowledge of the family history of the Cottons of Cotton Edmunds due to previous research done by me and Dr. Thompson at the Family History Library of the Church of the Latter Day Saints in Salt Lake City and later by me alone for a year at the Institute of Historical Research of the Unversity of London, I was in a position to identify possible connections which would have been invisible to others. One key piece of data with regard to the ironmonger Thomas Cotton is that he had a son Edward who was born in 1624, though the birth month and day had not been identified. Exactly such an individual appeared in the Penkridge records at a time where Thomas appears for the first and last time as Thomas Cotton of Wollaston, yeoman, indicating that he had come into possession of land in Wollaston, Shropshire, and was rising in prosperity. Other earlier siblings also appear at the times one would expect. The only one of Edward's siblings not to appear in Penkridge records was his slightly younger brother, William, who would seem to have been christened in a non-conformist church.

Additional analysis of Dr. Thompson's Penkridge parish records showed the existence of an Edward Cotton and his immediate family, for whom dates would suggest that, in comparison with other Cottons found in Penkridge, they had to have an especially close relationship with Thomas. The ultimate conclusion was that Thomas and Edward had to be brothers and that Thomas probably named his son born in 1624 for his brother. The parish record dates would suggest that Edward and Thomas also had an older brother named Francis. Even more helpful was that the transcript specifically identified the older Edward Cotton as the son of Humphrey Cotton of Penkridge. Moreover, a further examination of the transcript strongly indicated that Humphrey Cotton had a younger brother by the name of Richard. These individuals were born in the 16th century at a time when it was customary to name at least one of one's sons after one's father and often other sons after the child's father's father or mother's father, or after other family members or after the godfather of the child being christened. Only in fairly seldom cases, when there were many surviving sons, did people choose entirely new names. Thus, considering the relative rarity of the name Francis who seems to have been Humphrey Cotton of Penkridge's oldest son and that the next two names of individuals who could be placed as children were Thomas and Richard, we would do well to look for a Humphrey who was the son of Francis and the grandson of either a Humphrey or a Richard. In fact, there is a line of descent from John Cotton and Joan Fitzherbert which would fit this pattern. It starts with Richard Cotton, a younger son of the just mentioned couple. Richard, by his second wife, Alice Savage, in addition to an older son, Humphrey Cotton who was an ancestor of the Virginia immigrant Walter Cotton, had a younger son Francis who can be shown to have survived to adulthood and who then disappears from the record in the 1540s when his parents pass away. Thus, Richard, who was born about 1570, by Alice Savage, had a son Humphrey born about 1509 and another son Francis born about 1516. Francis would have settled in Penkridge where he had an older, though not oldest, son Humphrey who was perhaps named after the brother of Francis and would have been born in about 1542. Francis eventually had a younger son Richard who would have been named after his father who was born around 1556. This, however, would normally indicate the possibility of their having been a son named Richard (born about 1540 and dying around 1550) who was born before Humphrey, but who died in childhood after Humphrey was born, leading to the next son to be born being named Richard.

Francis's presumptive son, Humphrey, was a shoemaker who appears to have had three sons to survive with his oldest being Francis who would have been born around 1565, his second surviving son being Edward who would have been born in the years leading up to 1575 when Penkridge parish records begin and Thomas who was born in 1585 and whose christening is listed in the parish records. The oldest brother, Francis, seems to have been a farmer, the second brother Edward seems to have remained in Penkridge all his life, though his occupation is unclear. Thomas, however, can be identified with the ironmonger Thomas Cotton already mentioned.

There are also two William Cottons in the Penkridge parish records. One was born to William Cotton of Penkridge and Alice Birche in 1610, but whose burial appears in the church records for 1612. However, the father of the child concerned does not appear to be of the same Cotton family as the Cottons mentioned above and cannot presently be traced to John Cotton and Joan Fitzherbert. The other William Cotton for which there is a christening is Edward Cotton's son by Anne Hare who was born in 1603. As this would make the ironmonger Thomas Cotton mentioned above as the child's presumed uncle, it also provides an explanation for William becoming a Puritan and immigrating to Massachussetts.

In any case, the William, who was born in 1603, seems to have survived to adulthood, as there is no burial record for him but there is for his father Edward Cotton in 1635 as well as his younger brother John's infant daughter Margaret in 1643. It would seem that Edward took whatever inheritance he had and used it to immigrate to Boston, as he cannot be traced further in English records and only William's much younger brother John (born in 1616) remained in Penkridge. This is the man I would identify as being the William Cotton who settled in Boston as a butcher (probably the same profession he had in the market town of Penkridge but with fewer prospects for bettering his position in life), got married, had a family, bought property, became a sargent in the local militia, and settled down into a happy life of peaceful obscurity. His descent from the earliest known 13th century Cotton of the Cotton Edmunds family of Cheshire would have been: William -- Simon -- William -- Edmund -- William -- John -- John (the husband of Joan Fitzherbert) -- Richard (the husband of Alice Savage) -- Francis -- Humphrey -- Edward -- William (immigrant to Masachussetts). Being, in all likelihood, the brother of Edward, Thomas would have been one generation less.

The Cottons of Cotton Edmunds, as all families recognized as armigerous by the college of arms, were considered as being part of the untitled nobility of England and, when it was convenient to do so, were considered suitable marriage partners for members of the families of the titled nobility, but, with feudal law generally excluding younger sons from inheriting family lands and with both Richard and his son Francis being younger sons, from the generation of Francis onward, the descendants of this lineage had to work hard for a living and, consequently, they soon lost their identity as being members of the untitled nobility of England. By the time of William, the immigrant to Boston, memory of this descent would not have either been known, nor, if it were remembered, would it have been seen it as something to rejoice in, even though it entitled William to the use of at least five different coats of arms, being the original Cotton coat of arms and those of the heiresses of the various armigerous families his ancestors had married (Ridware, Basinges, Waldshief, and Fauconer).

Nevertheless, in the time of John Cotton and Joan Fitzherbert, the Cottons of Cotton Edmunds were a very well connected family. John, himself, was a sheriff of Staffordshire and a first cousin was the Queen's treasurer, while on Joan's side, her father had also been a sheriff of Staffordshire and a member of parliament as had two uncles. Two first cousins of her mother had been archbishops of York, her nephew became the chief justice of England, as also did a grandson of Joan and John, themselves. However, they and their descendants were, for the times in which they lived, not only incredibly fertile, but more incredibly also produced large numbers of healthy children reaching adulthood, which meant that younger sons, while possessing access to a better social network than most, nevertheless had to work for a living, doing whatever it would take to get ahead.

A note concerning Joan Fitzherbert and her daughter-in-law Alice Savage, their ancestry was equally illustrious. Joan was a descendant of the kings of Gwynedd and Powys in Wales, the Irish kings of Leinster, the Viking kings of Dublin, as well as the English king Henry I. Alice Savage was a descendant of king Edward I of England as well as being a grand-neice of the first earl of Derby, the third husband of Margaret Beaufort, who was the mother of king Henry VII.

Now back to William of Boston. Due probably to his presumed uncle, Thomas, various members of the family had not only become committed to puritanism, but also had an intimate connection with Massachussetts from the time of the Mayflower. It would have been only natural for him to have chosen the opportunities offered by the expanding Massachussetts economy of the 17th century when compared with the difficulty in making a go of it in Penkridge. As for Thomas, becoming a wealthy businessman enabled him and his family to ascend back into the ranks of the gentry, England's untitled nobility, once again, but on the unfounded assumption that he belonged to a different Cotton family, that of the future Viscounts Combermere. It was his great grandson, the non-conformist Reverend Thomas Cotton, who married a daughter of Leonard Hoare, a president of Harvard University whose descendants decided to make America their permanent home.

The line of the Virginia immigrant Walter Cotton diverges from the two other lineages mentioned by descending from the older (but not oldest) brother of Francis, Humphrey Cotton of Bolde. Thus, from John Cotton and Joan Fitzherbert, their line was: John -- Richard -- Humphrey -- William -- Walter -- William -- Walter (the immigrant to Virginia), with William Cotton of Boston being a third cousin of the father of Walter Cotton of Virginia.

Jun 2, 2020

The Descent of the Cottons of Cotton Edmunds from 1275 to the Present as Proven by Documentary Evidence and DNA Analysis

31 May to 7 June of 2020

Documentary evidence has previously been available to connect the 13th century lords of the manor of Cotton Edmunds to various British gentry families, including the Cottons of Crakemarsh. Additionally, the descent of various Cotton families in America could be documented beyond doubt up to the point of Walter Cotton's arrival in Virginia in the second half of the 17th century. DNA evidence has suggested a possible connection, but without documentary evidence, the proof of connection could not be considered complete. Research efforts over the last week, from 31 May to 7 June 2020, have enabled the uncovering and confirming of the necessary evidence connecting the two.

Research began in America in the 1990s on the origins of what later became known as Cotton/Cotten Family 4 of the Cotton/Cotten DNA Project. This research resulted quite quickly in the identification of Walter Cotton, a certain 17th century immigrant from England as being the common ancestor of a now very large American Cotton lineage. The discovery was due to the discovery of a very early 18th century will of a certain Thomas Cotton of Virginia, describing his wife Mary Hyde Cotton as being a loving wife and a William Cotton and yet another Thomas Cotton as “cousins” and specifying that this second Thomas Cotton was the son of Walter Cotton without describing Walter Cotton's relationship with himself. Frustratingly, no documentary evidence concerning the exact nature of the relationship between the presumably older Thomas Cotton and Walter Cotton could be found even after extensive research into the matter was done at the Family History Library of the Church of the Latter Day Saints in Salt Lake City, nor later at the Institute of Historical Research of the University of London. Indeed, the wording of the will raised more questions than it answered as to the exact nature of these relationships. 

In addition, the issue was further confused by previous generations of genealogists identifying these people as belonging to the John Cotton of Bertie County (usually known for the sake of the convenience of genealogists as John “Bertie” Cotton to distinguish him from other John Cottons), North Carolina. It was, in the late 1900s, assumed by most family historians that Thomas and Walter Cotton were somehow or other members of John "Bertie" Cotton's immediate family, either as his children or the children of the supposed father, yet another John Cotton.

A DNA project initiated in 2003, in spite of the primitive nature of genetically based DNA research at the time, very quickly showed that the descendants of William and Thomas, the two men mentioned as "cousins" in the will of Thomas Cotton of Virginia were, genetically speaking, a completely different different Cotton family from that of John “Bertie” Cotton. It also established that the older cousin William (the husband of Mary Hyde Cotton's granddaughter, Mary Smith) and the younger cousin Thomas Cotton (the husband of Mary Hyde Cotton's youngest daughter Jane Hyde) had to have been brothers. An assumption was then made that the older Thomas Cotton of Virginia and his cousin Thomas's father Walter were brothers and that the two young men were, in fact, his nephews.

This was justified by the fact that the word "cousin" was being used as it commonly had been in England in previous centuries to indicate any relative other than one's children, direct ancestors, or the siblings of oneself or one's direct ancestors. Thus, during the middle ages, even a grandchild was often referred to as a cousin in legal documents. Though this no longer seems to have been the case with regard to grandchildren during the 18th century and though the use of nephew and neice begins to appear in 17th century documents, in the early 18th century it would seem that its use as a way of referring to the children of one's siblings still remained as a possible use of the word. 

A search was then made of English parish records which soon yielded two brothers of more or less the right age, Walter and Thomas, being born to a certain William Cotton of Wolverhampton. On the basis of this, an identification was made with the brothers Walter and Thomas Cotton of Wolverhampton as very likely being Walter and Thomas of Virginia. Though this later proved to be a problematic identification, it should be noted that many thousands of dollars were spent on researching the matter for a more positive identification. Nevertheless, positive documentary evidence never appeared that could directly substantiate this identification.

Eventually, research uncovered in Staffordshire records an additional two sets of contemporaneous Thomas/Walter Cotton sets of brothers, all being born in the same general area of that county and all being close in age to each other. Besides the Thomas and Walter of Wolverhampton, another set was Thomas and Walter Cotton of Crakemarsh in Uttoxeter and a third set was Thomas and Walter of Fulfen in Burntwood (near Lichfield). Nevertheless, by the time these two other sets of brothers by the names of Thomas and Walter Cotton were discovered, Thomas and Walter of Wolverhampton, having been uploaded to the internet, had acquired an aura of orthodoxy and were already widely accepted by genealogists and family historians.

Research also uncovered a problem as to the Wolverhampton identification with regard to Walter of Virginia. The ca. 1701 and 1702 Virginia militia muster rolls provide evidence that Walter Cotton of Wolverhampton would have been too young to have been Walter Cotton of Virginia and that another Walter Cotton would make a better fit chronologically. In the muster roles of 1701 Walter does not appear, while in those of 1702 Walter Cotton is mentioned as being too old to serve in the militia. According to the then English common law which was applicable to Virginia at that time, men were liable for militia duty from the ages of 16 to 60, meaning that Walter had to be 60 or older in 1702 and so could not have been born later than 1642. The Cottons of Wolverhampton in the mid-17th century appear to have been Church of England adherents which encouraged infant baptism, due to the high infant mortality rate of the times and out of a desire to ensure that no matter how soon after birth a baby died, it, having been christened, would have a place as a christian in heaven. Some groups of non-conformists did not believe in this practice and christened children having reached the age of reason outside of the Church of England in their own churches, thus resulting in their births not being included in parish church records maintained by law since 1535. There is every reason to believe that Walter of Wolverhampton was christened probably within a week or so of birth, as Wolverhampton was an important regional urban center and travel time to church would not have limited opportunities for baptism. If so and if he were still alive, Walter Cotton of Wolverhampton would have been 59 years old and, thus, liable for militia duty in 1702 and Thomas of Wolverhampton would have been 55. This, in turn, threw doubt on the initial assumption identifying Thomas and Walter of Wolverhampton with Thomas and Walter of Virginia, and suggested that perhaps the two Virginians were not brothers, but cousins in the modern sense of the word. As various possibilities existed, the matter remained unresolved.

After many years, being retired and having free time, I initiated in late May of this year (2020) a search into the Cottons of Alkingtons, a gentry family whose members include Sir Allen Cotton, the Lord Mayor of London is 1625 to 1626, believing that I might be able to establish a link between this family and that of the John “Bertie” Cotton family of North Carolina previously referred to above. In doing so, a critical piece of information regarding the identification of the first Thomas Cotton of Virginia was uncovered in a search done on 31 May 2020 by means of the familysearch.org website. Instead of uncovering information I was looking for with regard to the Alkington Cottons, what caught my eye was a record of the marriage of Thomas Cotton and Susannah Haewood on 8 November 1664 in Uttoxeter, the parish of the Crakemarsh Cottons. Presumably, this is the same as the Susannah Haywood who was christened on 2 February 1650 in Coleshill, Warwickshire, England and listed as the daughter of John Haywood. More importantly, as the Wolverhampton Cottons always used their parish church in Wolverhampton, this meant that the Thomas Cotton and Susannah Haywood getting married in Uttoxeter could be identified with Thomas Cotton of Virginia and his first wife Susannah who appears in the colonial records of Virginia, especially as the name Susannah was a rather rare one for the time. It also meant that Thomas Cotton of Virginia had to be the same Thomas Cotton who was christened on 19 May 1636 in Uttoxeter and was, thus, the son of William Cotton, esq. and an older brother of Walter Cotton who was christened in Uttoxeter on 14 November 1639, a man who would have been 60 or 61 when the muster list of 1702 was drawn up. This, in turn, lead to a quick unraveling of the relationships between the three Thomas and Walter sibling sets and showed that the Wolverhampton set had a second cousin relationship with the other two which had a first cousin relationship among themselves. It also firmly established beyond all doubt that Cotton/Cotten DNA project family 4 is to be identified with the family consisting of the descendants of the lords of the manor Cotton Edmunds in Cristleton near Chester in Cheshire, England, the medieval Cotton family from whom the Cottons of Crakemarsh in Uttoxeter were descended.

To better understand the nature of these relationships, we need to turn to the 1654 will of Thomas Cotton of Burntwood, where he names his kinsman Rowland Cotton of Crakemarsh (the oldest brother of Thomas and Walter Cotton of Crakemarsh) as his executor, establishing that the Cottons of Crakemarsh and Fulfen in Burntwood are of the same family. To get a clear understanding of the origin of the Burntwood Cotton family, we must go back to a certain Thomas Cotton who, because of transaction in 1612 by this person and his wife Frances, giving up future rights to the grandfather of Thomas and Walter of Crakemarsh for certain property in various places in Staffordshire, including Crakemarsh, it becomes clear that the Burntwood Cotton family clearly must descend from this Thomas Cotton and that he may be further identified as a Thomas Cotton appearing in a Staffordshire Visitation of the College of Arms as one of two younger sons (the other being Philip) of William Cotton and Elizabeth Malory and the brother of Walter Cotton of Crakemarsh, the father of William Cotton of Crakemarsh and the grandfather of Rowland, Thomas and Walter, individuals who have been previously mentioned above. However, it is also clear chronologically that the Thomas Cotton writing the will of 1654 cannot have been the Thomas Cotton of the land transactions, who would have been at least one generation older.

In fact, an online examination of Lichfield Parish record data by means of the familysearch.org website showed a Thomas Cotton whose spouse, Francis, is buried at Lichfield on 15 November 1619. A further examination of church records at Lichfield showed the birth of this family's children, being Thomas Cotton (christened 4 March 1606), William Cotton (christened 11 August 1614), Edward Cotton (christened 3 October 1615) and Susana (christened 1 February 1617). Another of this Thomas's children would be Humfry who was buried at Lichfield in 1618, possibly would have been a baby who died at birth. On 7 March 1654/5, the will of Thomas Cotton of Fulfin in Burntwood was proved by his widow Dorothy. The only marriage appearing in Church of England parish records between between a Thomas Cotton and a Dorothy during that period of the 17th century when a marriage would have had to have taken place in order to produce four sons by 1654 (including a son Walter who married Abigail Stringer in Lichfield on 22 January 1656) is in 1628 between Dorothy Russel of Churcheaton and Thomas Cotton of Whiston in Penkridge, but this couple have a family which can be documented in Penkridge and have children whose names do not match those of Thomas and Dorothy Cotton of Burntwood. The explanation is either that their marriage took place during a time when there is a gap in the records of the church they were married in or that they were non-conformist, something which would have led to no records surviving.

The oldest son mentioned in the will of 1654 of Thomas Cotton of Burntwood is a Walter Cotton who is certainly the Walter Cotton who marries Abigail Stringer on 22 January 1656, making a total of three Walter Cottons who had brothers by the name of Thomas and who were of the same generation living in the same English county (Staffordshire). The other two Walter Cottons known to have existed at that time in Staffordshire were Walter Cotton of Wolverhampton, born in 1643, and Walter Cotton of Crakemarsh, born in 1639. Neither would have been old enough to have been likely to have gotten married in 1656, thus making it certain that the concerned person can only be Walter Cotton of Burntwood. The oldest son of this couple, Edward, was christened in Marchington on 28 January 1658/9, but was buried at Lichfield on 31 March 1662. Furthermore, Abigail was buried at Lichfield on 28 January 1671/2 and then Thomas on 18 December 1676.

William, the proginator of the Wolverhampton Cottons is to be identified with the younger brother of the Thomas Cotton of Fulfen in Burntwood listed above as being christened on 4 March 1606. This William would have been the same William Cotton who married Anne Edge on 8 September 1633 in Trentham, Staffordshire. Though most certainly the Anne Edge christened in Uttoxeter on 25 June 1612 as the daughter of Sampson Edge, she belonged to a family which had family members living in Wolverhampton at this time and Wolverhampton became the parish of choice of this couple.

Concerning the children of Thomas Cotton of Burntwood and Dorothy, Abigael Stringer (the daughter of John Stringer and Marie, christened in Lichfield on 23 April 1636) can be shown as marrying their oldest son, Walter Cotton, gent. on 22 January 1656 at Lichfield. Walter and Abigael can also be shown as having a child by the name of Edward who was christened on 22 January 1658 in Marchington, Staffordshire (and not Lichfield). Nevertheless, two succeeding children Francis (30 July 1662) and Elizabeth (7 July 1664) were christened at Lichfield. However, there is record of the Thomas and Dorothy's son, William residing in Burntwood as a gentleman in 1664 and being listed as liable for a national hearth tax levied in 1666. There seems to be no other record of the fourth brother Humphrey, other than his father's will, but the third brother Thomas would have been the Thomas Cotton who became a resident of Marchington, where this Thomas Cotton who, on 10 September 1663, married Margrett Boulton (christened on 10 February 1643 at Dilhorne, Staffordshire, as the daughter of George and Mar(y)ia Boulton) and by whom he had several children who were christened in Marchington, a place where he may be presumed to have resided and where, from the times the times of this Thomas Cotton's great-great-grandfather Humphrey, the Cotton family had land interests.

As for Walter and Thomas Cotton, the sons of the first William Cotton of Wolverhampton, neither can be traced at present, though parish church records make it clear that another of William's sons, also named William remained in Wolverhampton and raised a family there.

The above discussion has implications for the ancestry of all the branch families of the Cottons of Cotton Edmunds that are included under the category of Family 4 on the excellently managed Cotton/Cotten DNA Project (http://www.skylinc.net/users/cottondna/family4.htm) website maintained by Michael Cotton. For this reason, I am now working on a family tree that, on a very preliminary basis, can be used to trace family relationships among these various branches. Anyone wishing to contact me regarding this work should do so at hkitabayashi@gmail.com. I will gladly provide information and exchange opinions regarding the current state of my research on this family tree.

Feb 11, 2017

The makings of a grand theory medieval Mallory genealogy

Due to very heavy obligations with work-related research, both for myself and my graduate school doctor's and master's program students, I have been unable for a long time to do new medieval Mallory family research. Instead, in my free time commuting back and forth by train to and from work, I have focused on the most elegant way to tie together the disparate strands of evidence into a workable theoretical whole. As my thoughts developed, I occasionally uploaded the current state of my thinking to help others in their research. I now would like to state the outlines of what I see as the beginnings of a comprehensive theory of English medieval Mallory research, which must also tie together research on the Segrave, Zouche, Cantilupe, Grene, Russel, Pappeworth and Palmer families.

One key figure is Thomas Mallory II (roughly 1245 to 1315) of Kirkby Mallory. He figures as the 
widowed father of a daughter in whose name he sues for land as her inheritance in 1274 or 75. (I am composing this from a sometimes faulty memory.) He appears later as the father of Ralph, his successor as lord of Kirkby Mallory and of Robert, the husband of Ala, who was a daughter of Thomas Brocket, through whom Robert was endowed with certain lands in Kirkby Mallory. The surviving historical record does not clarify whether Thomas II was the father or grandfather (through Ralph) of Ralph's successor, Anketil nor does it specify the relationship of either with Anketil's contemporary Henry Mallory. A College of Arms Visitation specifies that a certain Thomas Mallory who seems to be identifiable with Thomas Mallory II, by a daughter of Lord Zouche, had a son Christopher who married the heiress of Hutton Conyers. Another visitation specified that a Thomas Mallory who would fit chronologically with Thomas II was the son of William Mallory and the brother of Roger Mallory was the father of Ellen who was a co-heiress of her father and that he was older than his brother Roger. This Roger is then shown as the father of John who was the father of Anketil (married to Alice de Driby).

Another key figure in the puzzle is Anketil Mallory who, unlike Thomas Mallory II, appears to be more than one person. There is an Anketil Mallory (lord of Tachebrook Mallory) of the second half of the 12th century who played a rather spectacular role in a revolt by King Henry II's son against his father. Then there was another Anketil Mallory who best fits the picture chronologically as the first Anketil's grandson. This Anketil seems to have gone with the earl of Leicester on a crusade. There is yet a different Anketil Mallory who must be different from the crusader but is provably the first Anketil's grandson and who was a highly trusted servant and adviser to Henry III. Then there is another Anketil (son of John son of Gilbert) who is the grandson of the preceding Anketil's brother. Then there is the previously mentioned Anketil, the husband of Alice de Driby, who is said to be the son of John the son of Roger. In addition, there is another Anketil of Sudburgh who is listed as the brother of the Archbishop William la Zouche of York. This last Anketil has a brother William who seems to have no connection with the archbishop. Finally, there is the afore-mentioned Anketil Mallory who was the lord of Kirkby Mallory, but who is recorded as having lent a sizable sum of money to Anketil Mallory of Sudburgh. These two Anketils must be closely connected, but Anketil Mallory of Kirkby Mallory is a priest who gives Kirkby Mallory to the church rather to see it inherited by his natural heirs, but who also gives other property to individuals who also must be relatives but do not bear the Mallory name. The priest must be either a son or grandson of Thomas II of Kirkby Mallory and the Anketil Mallory of Sudburgh who is the "brother" of the Archbishop must belong to the Tachebrook Mallory line of Mallories for whom the male-line ancestry is quite separated indeed.

Another key figure is the Archbishop himself, who can rather conclusively be shown to be the son of Roger la Zouche of Lubbesthrorp and his wife Juliana. There is much evidence to indicate that the archbishop was devoted to his family and their interests. The archishop's oldest brother (with whom he remained close all his life) was a Roger. He also had brothers named John and Alan who disappear from the record and may have died when the archbishop was quite young. No sisters are recorded, but this does not precude their existence. Juliana remarried as his second wife Reginald Mallory who was the son of John Mallory and the brother of one of the Anketil Mallories mentioned above. She could very well have been the mother of the Anketil Mallory of Sudburgh and therefore a half-brother of the archbishop. In such a case, the lack of interest by the archbishop in Anketil's brother William could be explained by William having been a son of Reginald by his first wife Joan. The various relationships, however, can be alternatively explained by Juliana being the mother-in-law of Anketil of Sudburgh, with Anketil's wife having been a daughter of Juliana by her first husband, Roger la Zouche of Lubbesthorpe. In such a case, Anketil and William would be identifiable with sons of those names of Reginald's father and, if so, due to the documentably long life of Anketil of Sudburgh, the sons of a later marriage than to the woman who would have been Reginald's mother. 

The archbishop's father Roger can be documented as being the son of a William la Zouche, but which William is a matter of debate. The two primary candidates would be William la Zouche of Black Torrington and the other being this man's uncle whom surviving records would indicate was the father of only one child a daughter whose descendants inherited his entire estate. Things are further complicated by precise relationship between the Zouches of Lubbesthorpe and those of the barons who descend from the older William's possibly youngest brother Eudon, the husband of the great heiress, Millicent de Monte Alto (nee Cantilupe). Lubbesthorpe, itself, was a possession of Millicent which she entrusted the care of to Roger of Lubbesthorpe's father and then deeded to Roger around the time of what would have been his marriage to Juliana, thus causing previous generations of scholars to speculate that Juliana would have been a close female relation of Millicent, possibly even a daughter, and that Lubbesthorpe constituted a dowry of sorts. Other relationships, however, remain conceivable.

The problem remains, though, of the mother of Christopher Mallory who must have had a close familial relationship with the archbishop as he was much favored by the archbishop and appears in his will. In any case, the Christopher Mallory previously mentioned, if a son of Thomas Mallory II of Kirkby Mallory, would fit best chronologically as the son of a late third marriage of Thomas to a sister of the Archbishop's father or, if not, as an unrecorded daughter of Eudon la Zouche and Millicent de Monte Alto. Thus, Ralph and Robert Mallory would have been sons of a second marriage and unconnected by blood ties with the archbishop, thus explaining his seeming lack of interest in them.

Concerning Anketil of Sudburgh who is described as the archbishop's brother, it is clear that he must have a blood connection with the Anketil Mallory who was the husband of Alice de Driby as this couple's descendants appeared to have considered lands in Sudburgh as their rightful inheritance. They also appear to have considered themselves as late as the early 17th century as the as co-heirs of Kirkby Mallory and its alienation an unfortunate whimsy of Anketil the priest.

The arguments tying these various strands together into a whole would take up a full book. The conclusions of one subset of this narrative, however, seems clear enough in my mind to justify the following theory. It is that Tomas Mallory II of Kirkby Mallory married a first time at a very early age and possibly had his first child, a daughter, at around the age of 20. His wife, an heiress, died early and he married a second time. By this marriage he had at least two children who survived him, being Ralph his heir and Robert, the husband of Ala, and with her the father of John. I assume that this wife died and that, after the age of 50 he married a sister of Roger of Lubbesthorpe or less probably a daughter of Eudon la Zouche and Millicent de Monte Alto. By the woman he had a son Christopher who would have been either a first cousin (or, less probably, a second cousin) of the archbishop. This woman might have also been the mother of Thomas's daughter Ellen Fenton.

Thomas Mallory II's daughter by his first wife would fit as a second wife to John Mallory of Tachebrook Mallory and Walton on the Wolde. She would have been the mother of Anketil Mallory of Sudbrugh and of William Mallory.

By his first wife, John would have been the father of Reginald Mallory whose second wife was the archbishop's mother Juliana. Anketil of Sudbrugh best fits if he were the husband of a daughter of Juliana by her first husband, Roger la Zouche of Lubbesthorpe. In terms of the canon law of the time, this would have made Anketil the archbishop's brother and would provide an explanation for the favoritism shown him by the archbishop.

The relationship between Anketil the priest and Anketil of Sudbrugh can be best explained by assuming that a daughter of John Mallor of Tachebrook Mallory by his first wife and, thus, a full sister to Reginald and a half-sister to Anketil of Sudbrugh married her very distant cousin Ralph of Kirkby Mallory and became the parents of Anketil the priest and Henry. Henry seems to have later died during the Black Death at the end of the 1340s and in the 1360s Anketil the priest alienated Kirkby Mallory to the church. In this scenario, Anketil of Sudbrugh would have been both a first cousin as well as an uncle of Anketil the priest. The priest, though, would have been unconnected with the archbishop who seems to have done nothing to promote his career.

Anketil had a daughter Ala who married Thomas Grene. In his old age he found himself heavily in debt and turned over his interest in the lordship of one third of Kirkby Mallory to his daughter and her husband. A John Mallory appears who must have been Anketil's son as the descendants of the Anketil Mallory who married Alice de Driby keep up for many years a fight with the descendands of Ala Mallory over the rights to 50 acres of land in Sudbrugh which they claim by inheritance. Thus, Alice de Driby's husband was the son of John who was the son of the first Anketil Mallory of Sudbrugh, a man who was more probably the archbishop's brother-in-law and less probably his half-brother. The first Anketil Mallory of Sudbrugh, thus, appears to be the son of John Mallory of Tachebrook Mallory and a daughter of Thomas Mallory II of Kirkby Mallory. 

The mother of Alice de Driby's husband can now be seen as best fitting, if she were a sister of the last Pappeworth lord of Pappeworth St Agnes rather than a distant relation as I have elsewhere previously proposed.

Going back to Thomas Mallory II of Kirkby Mallory, according my new theory, his likely father-in-law by his third wife would have been a William la Zouche and his wife's brother a Roger, thus accounting for him having a father by the name of William and a brother Roger when his real father's name can be shown to have been a Henry. The alienation of Kirkby Mallory to the church can probably be seen as a function of the black death eliminating those heirs with whom Anketil the priest would have been comfortable with. 

Though I know that the above is far too complicated for the average reader to easily absorb and that much has been left out that should have been ideally included, my hope is that, should I be unable to provide for some unexpected reason to provide my research in published form, then at least the outlines of my conclusions might be of help to other researchers and might save them time in creating a better theory.

Jun 1, 2015

The implications of Henry and Stephen Segrave being brothers on Mallory genealogy

This is to report that I have found proof that Henry Segrave and Stephen Segrave were brothers, making Henry's daughter Christina, Stephen Segrave's neice. This has long been proposed by others but proof, corroborating such suppositions, has, to date, not been offered in print. As one Christina was the wife of the first Thomas Mallory of Kirkby Mallory (born around 1202) and as canon law would have prohibited a marriage of near relations, one may assume that Thomas Mallory, himself, was not a nephew by blood of Stephen Segrave, something which has also been proposed. 

Other Mallories connected with Stephen Segrave are Robert Mallory (probably born around 1205) and Gilbert Mallory (born around 1201) who was the husband of Stephen's sister, Cecilia, who could have been born no later than 1200 if the daughter of Stephen's father who passed away in 1199. If Cecilia were first married to Thomas Mallory's father Richard and secondly to Gilbert, she could not have been Thomas's mother, though, if born in 1190 or earlier could have been Robert's mother. Though considering that she lived into the early 1280s, it is more likely than less that she was either born in the last year of Stephen's father's life or was the daughter of Stephen's mother by a second husband. Also, a marriage with Richard (His widow is a Cecilia, who does not appear to be Thomas's mother), if it took place, would seem to fit with 1216 or 1217 at the beginning of the reign of Henry III.

In any case, it is highly unlikely that Robert Mallory was a brother of Cecilia's second husband, Gilbert (a second cousin of her presumed first husband), by another unidentified sister of Stephen as this would have effectively acted as a bar to marriage between the two.

The most likely assumption, based on an analysis of charter witness lists, would be that Robert was a brother of Christina's husband Thomas, but not a son of Cecilia. Though no direct proof is available, it would be easiest to see Thomas and Robert as both being the sons of Richard by a first wife who was the daughter of Thomas le Despencer and a sister of the first wife of Stephen Segrave. This, thus, would have allowed Robert Mallory to be designated as the nephew of Stepen Segrave, as well as allowing Thomas Mallory to marry Christina Segrave and both Richard and Gilbert Mallory to marry Cecilia.

This is a reiteration of a hypothesis mentioned in an earlier posting, but with the clear identification of Henry and Stephen Segrave as brothers, the hypothesis is now proven in part and strongly reinforced as a whole.

1 June 2015