If you are like me, you started off happily researching your immediate family history until you made a break through to colonial America.For me this was a discovery that I am descendent of John Eaton, one of the 5 major branches of immigrant Eaton’s (with Francis Eaton of the Mayflower, John Eaton of Haverhill and Salisbury [Nova Scotia Eatons], Jonas Eaton of Reading, William Eaton of Reading).Spurred on, I became determined to go back as far as I could.However, as I became more involved in my genealogy hobby it became more important to me to properly document and site sources.The purpose of this long winded post is to point out what has been published by professional genealogists, to provide source references that I am aware, to encourage others to put new discoveries with sources in these forums, and to spur research in this line.
I eventually found abook familiar to many of you - the History of the Eaton Families, 1911 by N.Z.R. Molyneaux.On page 101 of this book is a 20 generation pedigree which goes from Banquo, Thane of Lochabar down to John Eaton of Dedham.This pedigree is on almost all pedigrees you find on the web.
As noted by Don Eaton (post #2196) Banquo is no longer considered the G-grandfather of William Fitz Alan and thus is not the originator of the House of Stewart, the english Fitz Alans or (possibly) of the Eaton/Eytons.Don refers to the The Scots Peerage, vol. 1 pub 1904 by Sir James Balfour Paul.These books are still probably the best source on the peerage of Scotland.Pages 9-15 detail the descent from William Fitz Alan to Robert II, King of Scots and contain the statement that recent research has discredited "the traditional account of the descent of the family of Stewart."The recent research referred to is actually found in the rather well known Studies in Peerage and Family History, pub. 1901 by Dr. J.H. Round pages 115-146 in the chapter "The Origin of the Stewarts."
Dr. Round notes previous research by Chalmers in 1807 established that Alan son of Flaad was the origin of the Stewarts and the Fitz Alans; however Chalmers erred in calling Flaad a Norman who came with the Conqueror and identifying his wife as daughter of Warin, Sheriff of Shropshire (an error I have still seen on the web).Up to this point the origin of Flaad was unknown.Until "no less an authority than Mr. Eyton" investigated the subject.Anyone who has a chance to browse the 12 volume Antiqities of Shropshire by Robert Eyton will be impressed with the enormous volume and depth of his research.He however was prone to making suppositions based on rather small amounts of data.This I believe has led to errors being introduced into the record.Both Molyneux and Round were very well aware of this work.
Why did Molyneux identify Flaad as the son of Banquo, Thane of Lochabar?I believe this comes primarily from following the work of Robert Eyton.In Antiquities Vol. 7 pg 221-233 Eyton goes through a line of rather hypothetical reasoning.He initially disproves the commonly held notion (at that time) that Flaad was a Norman, and that he obtained the Castle of Owestrey from William the Conqueror; he also proves that Alan Fitz Flaad did not marry the daughter of Warin but was in fact married to Aveline de Hesdin d. of Ernulf de Hesdin.This is where Eyton gets hypothetical.English and Scottish legend stated that the Stewarts derived from Banquo.It was said that Banquo had a son Fleance who had fled Scotland during the reign of Macbeth and taken sanctuary with Gruffyth ap Lewellyn.With a daughter of his protector Fleance had a son named Walter.He goes on to put forth the notion that this Walter was in fact identical with Alan Fitz Flaad.I’ll leave to you read all of the assumptions which must be true for this to have been correct.Eyton did not put this forward as fact; however, in vol. 7 page 228 he publishes tree which shows Flaad as the son of Banquo.I believe this chart was copied by Molyneux.A second reference used by Molyneux also has the Banquo line, The Burke’s Peerage of 1900.This was a "new" descent to this edition and I believe that it was removed from later editions.Dr. Round discusses on pg 131-134 how this false descent came to be included in Burke’s Peerage.
This brings us back to Dr. Round’s research in to this area.If Molyneaux in 1911 was following the lines put forth by Eyton in 1854 and Burke’s peerage in 1900, she was not aware of Studies in Peerage and Family History printed in 1901.In this chapter Dr. Round goes through a whole series of charters to show that Alan Fitz Flaad was the son of Flaad from Dol, Brittany and that he was the son of Alan, Dapifer of Dol. The correct lineage thus being: Flaad, Dapifer of Dolfl. 1032-1064 I Alan, Dapifer of Dolca. 1080 (3 sons) I 1. Alan, Dapifer of Dol d.s.p. 2. Flaad 3. Rhiwallon, Monk of St. Florent I Alan Fitz Flaad I William Fitz Alan
Finally it should be noted that The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 1962 v. 116 p. 21-26 has "The Origins of the Stuarts and the Fitz Alans."This article describes a newly discovered charter containing a 2nd Rhiwallon, son of Hamon, Vicomte of Dinan.Witnessing the charter is our Flaad, Dapifer of Dol (the one at the very top).The article suggests that Flaad and the 2nd Rhiwallon may have been brothers based on this.This is a very weak connection.It is just as likely that Flaad witnessed the document as was his right and duty as a lord of the area. In NEHGR 1965 v. 119 p. 234 Notes and Corrections, George Washington points out Round was not the first to discover the origin of Flaad.Mr. A.S. Ellis published in 1888 in Notes and Queries v. 6 pg 355 his finding of Flaad in Brittany.Dr. Round was not aware of Mr. Ellis’ work.
You’ll notice that I have not stated that Robert de Eyton was a son William Fitz Alan as it is presented in the Molyneux pedigree.I wish to save this for a future post as this is likely to be a very complicated issue.Despite the enormous amount of information Molyneux, Eyton, and Round added to our family history it is obvious that they also all made mistakes.I am aware of no other published document which has this link.It is obvious to me that this was not an original connection made by Molyneux suggesting that there is another source out there that I don’t know of yet.However, Eyton states that Robert de Eyton is a direct descendant and heir of Warin (yes, same guy) (Eyton vol. VIII p. 27).Don Eaton in his post #2196 states he believes Robert de Eyton is in fact a son of William Fitz Alan, though perhaps by his first wife, based on the manors held by Robert de Eyton.I noted Don made the error of calling Adeliza a daughter of Warin (Don see Antiquities v. 7 p. 213 and Round’s Peerage p. 116).This is also a line of research I wish attempt, though I am not as optimistic that I will prove Mr. Eyton wrong with his own work.
Lastly, I ran across the Visitations of Shropshire Taken in the Year 1623 which turns out to be the apparent source of Molyneux’s generations VII to XVII.I will post separately on this as it contains some very interesting bits of info I wish to research (just who is Katherine Talbot wife of Sir Nicholas Eaton?).
Sorry for being so long but I wanted to lay out some of the reasoning behind this stuff.
Ref: Studies in Peerage and Family History, by Dr. J.H. Round. pub. 1901. pages 115-146, "The Origin of the Stewarts" Antiquities of Shropshire XII volumes, by Robert William Eyton. Pub 1854-1858. Esp. vol VII pages 203-293."Upton Magna" NEHGR, 1962 v. 116 p. 21-26 has "The Origins of the Stuarts and the Fitz Alans." NEHGR, 1963 v. 117 p. 234a minor correction NEHGR, 1965 v. 119 p. 234 "Horace Round and the Stuarts" again a minor update