I often wonder how best to sum up genealogy and why we do it. So this week is a collection of quotes on the subject.
“It is indeed a desirable thing to be well descended, but the glory belongs to our ancestor” Plutarch
“Money doesn’t grow on trees but ancestors do”.
“A family tree can wither if nobody tends its roots”.
“If we know where we came from, we may better know where to go. If we know who we came from, we may better understand who we are.” Anonymous
“We don’t own our family history. We simply preserve it for the next generation.” Rosemary Alva
Days gone by – “The special book upon the shelf, was made with many hands. Our ancestors who posed back then, all came from different lands. Their pictures were all tucked away, and rarely did we see, the importance of these treasures, the start of you and me. The history of our families, now here in black and white, preserved with special care and time, each page is done just right. When time permits we take it down and think of days long past. Our hopes, our dreams, our heritage all safe and made to last” Unknown.
“To forget one’s ancestors is to be a book without a source, a tree without a root”. Chinese proverb.
“I am bond to them, though I cannot look into their eyes or hear their voices. I honour their history. I cherish their lives. I will tell their story. I will remember them.” Unknown
“If you could see your ancestors all standing in a row, would you be proud of them or not? Or don’t you really know? But here’s another question which requires a different view. If you could meet your ancestors would they be proud of you?” Nellie Winslow Simmons Randall
“The more you know of your history the more liberated you are.” Maya Angelou.
“The challenge I give you as a genealogist is to reach beyond the vital statistics to a new world of understanding, both of your ancestors and of yourself. Preserve those details of your family in written form that will bring understanding to many others and truly enable their hearts – along with your own – to turn to their fathers. Someone has said that there is little point in digging up an ancestor if your aren’t going to make him live. If that is true – and I believe it is – your job is not finished until you feel a bit of what he felt, have shared vicariously in his joys and heartaches – perhaps shed a tear with him in his sorrow, laughed at the humor in his life, and felt pride in his accomplishments.” Val D Greenwood
Dear Ancestor. “Your tombstone stands among the rest neglected and alone. The name and date are chiseled our on polished marble stone. It reaches out to all who care it is too late to mourn. You did not know that I exist you died and I was born. Yet each of us are cells of you in flesh and blood and bone. Our blood contracts and beats a pulse entirely not our own. Dear ancestor, the place you filled one hundred years ago. Spreads our among the ones you left who would have loved you so. I wonder how you lived and loved I wonder if you knew. That someday I would find this spot and come to visit you.” Walter Butler Palmer
“If you don’t know your history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree.” Michael Crichton
“You’re never alone, even during what you think are your weakest moments. You have thousands of years of powerful ancestors within you, the blood of the divine great ones in you, supreme intellect and royalty in you. Infinite strength is always on tap for you. Know that.” Author Unknown
And know for my favourites the humour based quotes.
“Genealogists: I disturb the dead and irritate the living”
“My family coat of arms ties at the back is that normal?”
“Genealogy. It’s not the size of the tree that matters it’s the quality of the nuts you find”
“Genealogist – proving once and for all that insanity is hereditary.”
“Eventually all genealogists come to their census”.
“If you think your family is normal then you’re probably not a genealogist”. Unknown.
“Genealogy is not fatal, but it is a grave disease”.
“I regretfully decline your offer to interact socially, I’m doing genealogy”
“Genealogy is like a jigsaw puzzle. You’re always looking for the missing pi”
Well we’ve had the monarch awards of England/Great Britain and Scotland/Great Britain. We’ve also had the consort awards for England/Great Britain. Now it’s the turn of the Scottish consorts.
Consorts whose children didn’t become monarch:
12 consorts of Scotland had no children become monarch. The first was Ethelreda of Northumbria the consort of the 6 month King, Duncan II. The last female consort to not have a child become monarch was Madeleine of Valois the consort of James V who died within 6 months of her marriage. There were no monarch heirs for 2 of the 3 male consorts, Francis II of France and the Earl of Bothwell, both consorts to Mary Queen of Scots.
Consorts who had more than on monarch/consort as children:
Two consorts have this accolade. Suthen the wife of Duncan I gave birth to King Malcolm III and King Donald III. Saint Margaret the second wife of King Malcolm III went one better than her mother in law and had 3 children become monarchs of Scotland in King Edgar, King Alexander I and King David I.
Consorts who had no children:
In the period 1000 to 1603 Scotland had 30 consorts. Of these 8 had no children or no surviving children with the monarch. Gruoch the wife of Macbeth didn’t have any children by him but her son did become King briefly. David II (1329-1371) was married twice to Joan of the Tower and Margaret Drummond. He had children by neither of them. The last consort not to have children by the monarch was King Francis II of France the husband of Mary Queen of Scots. You could say it was Mary’s third husband the Earl of Bothwell but she did have twins by him but she suffered a miscarriage.
Consorts to have the most children:
Well the winner is Elizabeth Mure the first wife of King Robert II. She gave him 10 children but she was never consort as she died before Robert became King. In second place was St Margaret who gave her husband King Malcolm III 8 children. If you include all the children a consort had by all her husbands than Joan Beaufort the consort of King James I wins. She had 8 children with James and 3 with her second husband the Black Knight of Lorne.
The consort who reigned the longest was Joan of the Tower. She was the consort of King David II and reigned for 33 years, 3 months and 1 day. The shortest reign was James Hepburn, the Earl of Bothwell who was consort to Mary Queen of Scots for 2 months and 20 days before Mary abdicated.
Age at accession:
The oldest lady to become consort was Arabella Drummond the wife of King Robert III. She was approximately 40 years old when her husband ascended the throne. The youngest was Joan of the Tower. She was 7 years and 11 months when she married the 4 year old King David II.
Number of Marriages:
Well not surprisingly the winner was a Tudor. Margaret Tudor was the older sister of King Henry VIII. She married King James IV in 1503 when she was 14 years old. After his death (1513) she married Archibald Douglas the 6th Earl of Angus in 1514 and divorced him in 1527. The following year she married Henry Stewart, 1st Lord Methven who she remained married to until her death in 1541, although she did want to divorce him but her son wouldn’t let her. So yet again a Tudor with multiple marriages.
Some other facts:
Of all the consorts 3 had siblings who were also consorts of European monarchs. Joan of England’s (Alexander II) sister Isabella was the consort of Emperor Frederick II of the Holy Roman Empire. Margaret Tudor’s sister Mary was the consort of King Louis XII of France for 3 months before his death. Finally King Francis II of France consort of Mary Queen of Scots has 2 sisters who became consorts. Elizabeth of Valois married King Phillip II of Spain after the death of his 2nd wife Queen Mary of England and Margaret of Valois married the future King Henry IV of France.
The house of Valois was the family name of one branch of the French royal family. They provided 2 consorts to the Scottish monarchy. Madeleine was the consort of King James V and her nephew King Francis II who was consort to Mary Queen of Scots. They were related to the 2 Valois consorts of England in Isabella wife of King Richard II and Catherine wife of King Henry V and Owen Tudor. There common ancestor was King Charles V of France. Catherine and Isabella where his granddaughters, Madeleine was his 3 times great granddaughter and Francis was his 4 times great grandson.
In the same vein Joan of England was the paternal aunt of Margaret of England and the twice great aunt of Joan of the Tower. Margaret of England was the great Aunt of Joan of the Tower.
There were 3 male consorts to Scottish monarchs and all were the husbands of Mary Queen of Scots.
10 consorts were the children of European monarchs. 6 were the daughters of the English monarch, 2 of the Danish monarch and 2 were the children of the French monarch.
The pointless questions and their answers
The names of the British monarch’s consorts since 1707 are:
George, Caroline, Charlotte, Adelaide, Albert, Alexandria, Mary, Elizabeth and Philip.
The decade in which a monarch died from 1000 to 2000 were:
1060’s, 1090’s, 1120’s, 1130’s, 1230’s, 1280’s, 1270’s, 1320’s, 1360’s, 1370’s, 1380’s, 1400’s, 1440’s, 1460’s, 1540’s, 1530’s, 1560’s, 1570’s, 1610’s, 1660’s, 1700’s, 1720’s, 1730’s, 1810’s, 1820’s, 1840’s, 1860’s, 1920’s, 1950’s, 2000’s.
The consorts whose children (if they had any some of these listed didn’t) were never Monarch since 1154 are: Joan of England, Margaret of England, Yolande of Dreux, Joan of the Tower, Margaret Drummond, Euphemia de Ross, Madeleine of Valois, King France II of France and James Hepburn Earl of Bothwell, Catherine of Braganza the wife of Charles II. Mary of Modena the wife of James VII (II). Prince George of Denmark the husband of Queen Anne. Caroline of Brunswick the wife of George II. Caroline of Brandenburg the wife of George IV and finally Adelaide Saxe-Meiningen the wife of William IV.
If you want to read the other blogs in the monarchy awards you can find them at:
I got to thinking the other day about what major national and world events happened in our ancestors lives? What did they experience? So I thought I’d have a look at the events that happened in the birth decades of my ancestors.
Well with my maternal grandparents the biggest even was WW1. Grandpa was only 4 months old when his dad went off to war and 4 of his family never came home again.
In the 1920’s John Logie Baird first demonstrated the TV. Can you imagine what a revolution that was? Admittedly most people didn’t get TV’s in their homes until the 1950’s or 1960’s but even so the technological revolution had begun.
Great Grandparents 1870’s/1880’s/1890’s/1900’s
So the 1870’s brought the prototype of the telephone curtsey of Alexander Graham Bell (and others). It wasn’t until the 20th century that they entered people’s homes but the fact that one day you would be able to phone family and friends and not have to rely on letter must have been longed for by our ancestors.
In the 1883 the world saw the major destruction when the volcano Krakatoa erupted. Now in the UK this meant little unless you had family living in the area but for those with Australian ancestors the explosion was heard in Perth, Western Australian. Thousands died as a result of the explosion and the ash clouds and the world’s weather did change for several years due to the ash clouds.
In the late 1890’s the novel War of the Worlds by HG Wells was first published. It gave a view of what would happen if aliens invaded earth. What a different novel for our ancestors to read.
Then in the 1900’s saw the death of Queen Victoria. She had reigned over the country for 63 years. How did our ancestors feel and did they worry how the country would change in the reign of her son King Edward VII the notorious playboy.
Great great Grandparents 1840’s/1850’s/1860’s
In 1842 an act was passed that very likely impacted on the lives of your ancestors, especially in coal mining areas. The Mines Act stated that no females could work underground at the coal face and also no children under 10 years old could work under ground. This act was passed after 26 boys and girls died in Silkstone, West Riding of Yorkshire after the mines ventilation shaft flooded. It did mean some families lost valuable income. It didn’t help the 3 10 year old boys and one 4 year old along with 36 men who died when the Garden Pit in Landshipping, Pembokeshire died when the mine flooded. The mine was owned by the local conservative MP whose party passed the act!
The big event of the 1850’s was the Crimean War. The Russians tried to move into the Ottoman Empires lands and war began. Britain sided with the Ottoman’s along with French amongst others. Much of the war took place in modern day Ukraine. The most famous battle for the British was the Battle of Balaclava and the Charge of the Light Brigade when 278 men from a regiment of 700 were killed.
By the 1860’s our sea fairing ancestors got the Suez Canal in Egypt. This meant no longer would ships have to sail all the way round Africa to get to the Indies and Australia. They could sail through the Mediterranean and in to the Indian Ocean. This meant faster sailing times and tea getting to our tables much quicker.
Great great great Grandparents 1800’s/1810’s/1820’s/1830’s
So in 1801 the road locomotive took to the street of London for the first time. It was a steam engine one wheels that could carry 6 passengers and was called the Puffing Devil. It was developed by Richard Trevithick the Cornish inventor and engineer. Think a steam powered mini bus sort of.
Mines got safer in 1815 thanks to Sir Humphrey Davy. Just as a side I met him once. He gave a talk alongside Jonny Ball and Marie Curie at Hallam University (they may have been actors except Jonny Ball). Davy developed the miner’s lamp which stopped methane from the burning flame entering the atmosphere and thus stopped mine explosions. So safety increased, if they had the lamps and not just the candles which were causing the explosions.
In 1825 the Stockton and Darlington Railway was opened. It was the world’s first public railway. People travelled in open carriages. It paved the way for rolling the railway network out across country and thus meant our ancestors could travel more easily.
Now for genealogists the Marriage act of 1836 was a big thing. Before the act couples had to marry in either a Church of England church, a Synagogue or a Quaker Church. The act allowed people to marry by civil ceremonies meaning marriages could take place in all other religious chapels, such as Baptist and Methodist as well as Registry Offices which was great for those who the established church wouldn’t marry such as those who put the cart before the horse so to speak, hi ancestors! The Act also meant that from the 1st January 1837 marriage certificates were given and thus made the life of the genealogist so much easier.
So although these events may or may not have impacted directly on our ancestors they did affect the world they lived in and some made the lived of the descendent better.
A couple of months ago I held the Monarchy awards for the Monarchs of England/Great Britain as a result of watching an episode of Pointless Celebrities. So I decided to answer the same questions for the monarch of Scotland from the year 1000 up until the merger of the thrones with King James VI (of Scotland I of England) in 1603.
Monarchs not succeeded by their children:
Scotland has had 14 monarchs who were not directly succeeded by their children. The first was King Malcolm II (1005 – 1034). He was succeeded by his grandson Duncan I. Malcolm had only daughters and Duncan was the son of his eldest daughter Bethoc and her husband Crinan the Thane. Duncan I himself was not immediately succeeded by his sons but they had to get rid of Macbeth first. The last of the Scottish monarchs not to be succeeded by a child was David II (1329 – 1371). Despite 2 marriages David never had any children so he was succeeded by his nephew Robert II.
Monarchs succeeded by more than one child:
Only 2 of the Scottish monarchs have this accolade. The first was Duncan I (1034 – 1040). Duncan died in battle against Macbeth who then became king followed briefly by his stepson Lulach. Lulach was killed and Duncan I eldest son became King Malcolm III (1058 – 1093). His brother Donald III later also became king (1093 – 1097) with a brief break when Malcolm III son Duncan was king. The second monarch was King Malcolm III. 4 of his sons became King of the Scots. They were Duncan II (1094), Edgar (1097 – 1107), Alexander I (1107 – 1124) and David I (1124 – 1153).
Monarchs with no children:
Of the 27 monarchs of Scotland from 100 to 1603 7 had no children. 3 were the children on Malcolm III. One was the famous Macbeth, although he did have a stepson who succeeded him. Then there was Malcolm II and finally Queen Margaret but she was only 3 when she came to the throne and 7 when she died.
Monarchs with most children:
The records with the Scottish monarchs goes to King Robert II (1371 – 1390). With his wife Elizabeth Mure they had 10 children. After Elizabeth died he married Euphemia de Ross and had a further 4 children. He is also alleged to have had at least 13 illegitimate children.
The longest Scottish reigning monarch was James VI. He was king of Scotland from 1567 until 1625. In total he was King for 57 years, 8 months and 4 days.
The shortest reign was King Duncan II. He was king for 6 months in 1097 when he temporarily usurped his Uncle who assumed the throne when Duncan II’s father died.
Age at Accession:
In 1093 Donald III to the crown of Scotland when his brother died usurping the rightful heir Duncan II. Donald was approximately 61 years old.
The youngest person to become monarch of Scotland was Mary Queen of Scots. She was just 6 days old when her father King James V died and she became Queen.
Number of Marriages:
Well the winner in this category is Mary Queen of Scots. She was married 3 times and widowed twice. He first husband was the dauphin of France Francis who would become Francis II of France, thus making Mary Queen consort of France as well as Queen of Scotland. After Francis death aged 16 in 1560, 18 year old Mary returned to Scotland. In 1565 she married Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley. He died in an explosion in February 1567 (probably murdered on Mary’s order or by James Hepburn) leaving her widowed again with a young son. She next married (possibly by force) James Hepburn the Earl of Bothwell in May 1567. It was a combination of the murder of Lord Darnley and her marriage to James Hepburn that lead to her being forced to abdicate. What was it with those of Tudor descent? Mary was the great Granddaughter of Margaret Tudor, the sister of King Henry VIII of England.
The pointless questions and their answers
The names of the British monarchs since 1707 are: Anne, George, William, Victoria, Edward and Elizabeth.
The decade in which a monarch died from 1000 to 2000 were:
1030’s, 1040’s, 1050’s, 1090’s, 1100’s, 1120’s, 1150’s, 1160’s, 1210’s, 1240’s, 1280’s, 1290’s, 1310’ , 1320’s, 1370’s, 1390’s, 1400’s, 1430’s, 1460’s, 1480’s, 1510’s, 1540’s, 1580’s, 1620’s, 1640’s, 1680’s, 1690’s, 1700’s, 1710’s, 1720’s, 1760’s, 1820’s, 1830’s, 1900’s, 1910’s, 1930’s, 1950’s, 1970’s.
The monarchs who were never succeeded by their offspring since 1154 are:
Malcolm IV (brother William I), Alexander III (granddaughter Margaret), Margaret (John Balliol chosen by nobility), Charles II (brother James II), Anne (cousin George I), George II (grandson George III), George VI (brother William IV), William IV (niece Victoria), Edward VIII (brother George VI).
If you want to read the other blogs in the monarchy awards you can find them at:
Hello and thank you for taking the time to read my Family History Ramblings on genealogy and history in general. I hope you find it informative and hopefully funny!