Re: Ancestry of Sir John ERNLE or ERNLEY (ca 1464-1520), Chief Justice, Common Pleas
Yes, I have indeed found new information on the family. I am in the midst of compiling a fully sourced account of the ERNLE family from the earliest extant records.
So far, I have traced the lineage back to Lord Chief Justice Sir John ERNLE's great-grandfather, William ERNELE, who was enfeoffed in his Sussex estates, along with his first wife, Isabella, in 1406, viz.:
Wiltshire and Swindon Archives
reference (Money-Kyrle papers) 1720/229 year1406
Power of attorney by John atte Lee, John atte Hove, and Thomas Daltone, chaplain, to William Rumbregge, to give seisin to William Ernele and Isabella his wife, of the manor of Ernele in the parish of Sydelesham, which they had from John Cotes, John son of William Cheyne, senior, and William Aldefeld.
As for the pedigree before that. I have various references to the family in Sussex, Hampshire, and London before1406, but progress in proving the pedigree is slow. I am far from the records repositories and the expense of investigating them all is considerable. The best likely source for information relating to their pre-1406 pedigree is the Chancery suits at the National Archives, held at Kew (London).
Harleian manuscripts at the British Library also need to be consulted as do various wills in Berkshire, Yorkshire, and elsewhere which I have yet to obtain.
Then there is the problem of telling a record which relates to a true member of the family from a non-member due to the wide variation in spellings of the surname, and the frequent lack of substantiating evidence in many records. Mediaeval genealogy is painstaking work. I do not want to repeat the errors of the past in which members families with similar names, perhaps derived from the same Anglo-Saxon root words, but just as likely unrelated genealogically, are added to the mix to create a joined up pedigree that won't bear careful scholarly examination.
In tracing the pedigree, I have to sift through many disparate references to the name in all its variations, dates of appearance, and localities. I spend a lot of my time gathering and examining these references in an attempt to determine their relevance to my study.
Increasingly, I see the need to document each case where I have come to some sort of opinion or decision about the relevance of each doubtful or hitherto overlooked reference providing my reasons for judging the item(s) to refer to a family member or not. This is part of an effort to leave no stone unturned in my study of the entire ERNLE sib. I do, of course, welcome all reference to the name in England. I have also gathered a number of references from other parts of the British Isles, notably Wales (one burial in Glamorgan which I have yet to place in the pedigree or eliminate, and a number of lawsuits) and Ireland (where the royalist officer Sir Michael Ernle and his chaplain brother, Thomas, served during the mid-17th century).
So far my typescript history of the family covers 476 pages, of which more than 180 are devoted to the joined up indented narrative pedigree of the family starting with William ERNELE and his first wife Isabella NN, who were flourishing as a married couple at Ernele in Sidlesham, Sussex, in 1406. From them I have traced the family in all its lines I have so far uncovered up to its apparent extinction in the male line in the 12th generation. I have traced some female line up to the 21st generation. My own mother belongs to the 18th generation and her great-granddaughter, my great-niece, to the 21st (as does Elizabeth the five-year-old daughter of the celebrated modern explorer, Sir Ranulph Twistleton-Wykeham-Fiennes, Baronet, b. 1944, at least along one route of descent).
I have made no attempt to trace all lines of descendants as this would probably extend to many millions of progeny all over the world (though no doubt it would be an interest exercise in itself, perhaps for future generations to pursue).
I hope this goes some way toward answering your question.
All the best,
British Columbia, Canada