There is no argument that John Washbourne (1479 - 1546) m. to Emme, d. Bengeworth, Worcestershire, England, was the founding patriarch and direct paternal ancestor of John (1597 - 1670) d. Mass.and his brother, William, (1601 - 1659) d. Hempstead, LI, NY.
There remains some question as to whether John 1479 was a son of John (1451 - 1517) of Wichenford and his first wifeJoan Mytton. This is because John 1451's will did not include a son named John.
A Refutation of Barnard:
One primary source of this question is the 1914 book "Some Notes on the Evesham Branch of the Washbourne Family" by E.A.B. Barnard.
On page 42, he refers to the 1907 book "The Washbourne Family of Little Washbourne and Wichenford, in the County of Worcester" by James Davenport.He acknowledges Davenport's extensive knowledge of the Washbourne family.James Davenport was the Vicar of Wichenford and he based his conclusions upon close study of the best records available to him. Davenport gives no suggestion of any doubt that John 1479 was a son of John 1451 and Joan Mytton.Mr. Barnard describes his opinions as being hypothetical: "Mr. Davenport gives strong hypothetical reasons" for John Washbourne of Bengeworth having been born to Joan Mytton at Wichenford.He does admit that given Mr. Davenport's extensive knowledge of the subject, "any other theory may be plainly untenable."But then he says "...it still has to be born in mind there is no direct evidence for it in the Visitation Pedigrees."He bases his dismissal of John's Wichenford origins on the basis that John is not listed in the Visitations.Well - that statement is absolutely not true. Here is a link to the Visitation of Worcester 1569 - wherein the John of Bengeworth, discussed by Davenport - is clearly listed as a son of John and Joan Mytton.
The Washbourne pedigree is given on page 142.
John Washbourne of Wichenford 1451, d. 1517, Will:
According to the Visitation of Worcester (see link above), John Washbourne 1451 had a total of six sons.with Joan Mytton, he had four sons: Robert, John, Walter and Francis.He than had two more sons with his second wife, Elizabeth Monington: Anthony and Richard, who were mere schoolboys at the time of his death in 1517.The will only mentions three sons:Walter, Robert (Robert being already deceased it is assumed that he meant Richard) and Anthony - the two other sons he had with Joan Mytton, John and Francis, are not mentioned. A daughter, Ann, is also given in the will; Ann does not appear in the Visitation pedigree.
I have seen many examples of a father leaving children out of a will - sometimes because they had already taken their part of the inheritance and moved on, sometimes because of a family rift. Simply being left out of a will,does not definitively remove one from a family, especially when extant Visitation records place you in that family.
YDNA tests have been done on descendants of John Washbourne, 1597 and of those who descend from the line of Robert Washbourne, the oldest son of John 1451 and Joan Mytton, whose own oldest son inherited the lands and titles held by his grandfather, John, 1451 and whose parentage is not questioned. For many years, prior to these tests being done, genealogists who wanted to disprove John of Bengeworth 1479 by virtue of his exclusion from John 1451's will, even went so far as to say that the Washbourne family of Bengeworth/Evesham were not related, at all,to the Washbournes at Wichenford; even though Barnard himself clearly states that they were anciently of the same origins.Well, the YDNA tests definitively prove that both families descend from exactly the same paternal line.Unfortunately, the tests do not prove that John 1479 was born to John and Joan, it might have been from a generation or two back or even several generations back.But, thanks to the YDNA evidence, we can say, without a doubt, that John of Bengeworth, 1479 was descended from the Norman (haplogroup I1) Knights Washbourne in his male line. We just don't know from which generation.
Ties Between Wichenford and Evesham/Bengeworth:
There are many examples of connections between the Washbournes of Wichenford or families closely associated with them, and the Washbournes living in or near Bengeworth.For example, we know that John 1479, left Wichenford and set up on his own land near Bengeworth, after his father married his second wife or at the time of his father's death in 1517.Almost 100 years later, we see another son of Wichenford, his cousin Giles, do exactly the same thing when he leaves Wichenford for land near Bengeworth, in 1606, after his own father remarries. When John Washbourne 1597 leaves Bengeworth for the Colonies, it is to Giles Washbourne, that he sells his land.
Other examples occur throughout both the Davenport and Barnard books, showing generations of close relationship between families associated with the family at Wichenford and the Washbournes at Bengeworth/Evesham.A link to the Barnard book is here:
A link to the Davenport book is here:
Along with his father's second marriage and being a younger son, I believe that there may have been another reason for John to move from Wichenford to Bengeworth - religion.Examination of the wills of the Washbournes that stayed on in Wichenford, for several generations, clearly show a more "Catholic" tendency - they mentionsaints and the Virgin Mary.John of 1479's will mentions neither.For example, his father's will called upon "our blessed lady virgin and all the holy company in heaven."In comparison, John 1479's will:
" Ibequethe my soule unto Almyghty God, & my body to be buryed w'in theeccliasticall sepulture of my pishe church of bengeworthe"
He mentions no Virgin, no saints - this is a more Reformist tone.
The year John died,1517, marked the beginning of the Reformation in England; but John Wycliffe's Reformist works had already gained currency in England by the mid 1300s - it is possible that John 1479 had already begun to contemplate these ideas.In 16th century England, religious disagreement was extremely serious and could certainly have contributed to a rift in a family already struggling with a the death of a mother and introduction of a stepmother and competing heirs.
Anecdotally - my grandmother Willets told me that her family was descended from Royalty in England and France and that there were still cousins among the Royals living there (the Willets married into the Wasbourne family in the early 1600s).And here is another example of feisty family lore found on Genforum (Maltby is a primary contemporary proponent of the "John was not Mytton's son" position):
"To John A. Maltby:
I don't know where you fit into the Washburn's but I come down through the Chipmans and since Amanda Washburn and her
husband were decendents of Pilgrims...our
family has been very interested in our Ancestors for a very long time. The first thing I need to point out is our family tradition that says that the Washburns were
related to the Royals in England... A very old decendency
chart made by the SOCIETY OF CHARLEMAGNE. Idon't know when it was made...It was in my grandmother's records. The last decendent is Amanda Washburn b. 1804. It shows her
ancestry goes through John Washburn and Joan Mytton....Now I know that Societies such as the DAR and the Mayflower Society require proof of Ancestry. I assume it is
so with the SOCIETY OF CHARLEMAGNE. We don't have proof but I assume that Amanda Washburn did. Family bibles, diaries, birth records etc. that would serve as the proof that theSociety of Charlemagne required.
I am also in possession of the Old Washbourne Book....and in the "Old Washbourne Family Tree" where he lists that John D. Botetourt married Maud Grey.....at the top he says:
"It is taken from a book of the Willett familywho married into the Washburns" He also says , "It does help to explain some of the portions of the family shields noted in the English tombs."
Comment:John Botetourt did 1st marry Maud Grey; 2nd Joyce la Zouche.
There is rarely absolute certainty in genealogy - butI believe that the evidence suggesting that John Washbourne, 1479 was a son of Joan Mytton is quite compelling and that the burden of proof is on those who would prove that he was not.