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Christopher Branch - a weak link in his royal line?

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Stewart Baldwin

Jul 29, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/29/98
A claimed descent from Henry I, king of England to the American
immigrant Christopher Branch of Virginia (an ancestor of Thomas
Jefferson, third President of the United States), is given by Gary
Boyd Roberts in "Royal Descents of 500 Immigrants", page 407. (The
same line is also given in his "Ancestors of American Presidents".)
The first 13 generations of this line overlap with a line which is of
interest to me in my own research, and include one generation for
which I have been unable to find any proof, and might therefore be
regarded as a weak link in the said line. (I mentioned this weak link
briefly a few weeks ago as part of a posting which could easily have
been missed because of the unrelated subject line.) I will list the
generations as given by Roberts, along with my comments.

1. Henry I, king of England.
2. Robert, earl of Gloucester (illegitimate) md. Mabel FitzHamon.
3. Maud of Gloucester md. Ranulph de Gernon, earl of Chester.
4. Hugh Kevelioc, earl of Chester.
5. Amicia (illegitimate) md. Ralph de Mainwaring.
6. Bertrade de Mainwaring md. Henry de Audley.
7. Emma de Audley md. Gruffudd ap Madog, prince of Powys Fadog.

Some of these links are not adequately proven by the authorities cited
by Roberts, but they are proven in "The Complete Peerage" (and
authorities cited therein), which Roberts does not cite here for some
reason. (Look under "Tuchet" for the link between generations 6 and
7, and under the obvious headings for the others. Of course, the
[il]legitimacy of Amicia [#5] was once the subject of a[n] [in]famous

8. Margred ferch Gruffudd md. Sir John Arderne.

As far as I can tell, none of the sources cited by Roberts is
sufficient to prove the link between generations 7 and 8. Proof that
Gruffudd's daughter Margred (Margaret) was the wife of John de Arderne
is given in a Calendar of Enrollments (item 46 on page 16) of "A
Memoir of the Cheshire Domesday Roll" by George Ormerod (1851,
available on FHL film number 1656913), which is an enrollment of grant
by Peter de Arderne, Lord of Aldford, to John his eldest son, and
Margaret his wife, daughter of the Lord Griffin of Bromfield [as
Gruffudd ap Madog was sometimes called] of the entire manor of
Congleton. Gruffudd had no known wife other than Emma, who is
adequately attested as the mother of Gruffudd's sons, so this link
between Emma and Margred looks reasonable, although it would still be
nice to have better evidence that Margred was also Emma's daughter.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

9. Agnes Arderne md. Sir John Whetenhall [Wettenhall]

This is the possible weak link, for which I have not been able to find
any proof. Ormerod vol. 2, pt. 2, p. 755 states the following:

"19 Edw. III. John de Arderne and Elen his wife, levied a fine of the
manor in favour of the said Robert de Hampton and John de Motlowe, who
in the same year, but on what ground does not appear, were sued by
Agnes, who was the wife of John de Wetenhale, (and sister of Sir
John), for dower of that manor and of Alderley."

It is not clear whether the parenthetical statement "(and sister of
Sir John)" is intended to be an explanatory comment by the author or
was actually stated in the source (not explicitly stated). However,
the former seems more likely, as the Plea Rolls of Cheshire show the
following entry with no relationship between Agnes and John explicitly
stated (28th Report of the Deputy Keeper of Public Records, p. 45):

"19 Edw. 3. Wetenhale, Agnes who was the wife of John de, against
Robert de Hampton, parson of the church of Alderelegh, and John son of
Roger de Motlowe. Dower of the manors of Aldeford and Alderlegh. [19
& 20 Edw. 3. m. 3, 12]"

In his account of Wettenhall, Ormerod states that "John de Wetenhale,
senior, and Agnes his wife, obrtained the manor of Wetenhale, by fine,
from Margery, daughter of John de Arderne," giving "Williamson's
Cheshire Evidences, p. 12" (of which I have never seen a copy) as the

The above sources certainly suggest a connection between the Arderne
and Wettenhall families, but I do not see how the exact nature of the
likely connection can be proven by the sources indicated. (The
Cheshire Plea Rolls are not indexed, and I could have easily missed a
relevant reference in my perusal of them.) Based on the sources cited
and/or quoted by Ormerod, it looks likely that the exact
Arderne-Wettenhall link was actually only a conjecture by Ormerod,
done by assigning Agnes as a daughter of the chronologically most
likely Arderne.

Can this link be solidified?

10. Margaret Whetenhall md. Adam Bostock.
11. Adam Bostock md. Janet Bradshaw.
12. Sir Ralph Bostock md. Isabel Lawton.
13. Sir Adam Bostock md. Elizabeth Venables.

Generations 9 through 13 appear to be well documented, based on
Inquisitions post mortem and other documents abstracted by Ormerod. I
have not examined copies of the original documents themselves, but
there seems to be no good reason to expect a problem with these

From this point on, my interest in the Bostock family follows a
different branch from the one said to be ancestral to the immigrant
Christopher Branch. I suspect that my ancestor, the Quaker immigrant
John Simcock of Chester co., PA, was a descendant of the above Sir
Adam Bostock, but there is still one seriously weak link between Adam
Bostock and John Simcock (plus a couple of others which wouldn't be
hurt by some extra support). Thus, even if the Arderne-Wettenhall
weak link can be fixed, I still need more Bostock data from the late
fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries to satisfy my own research
goals. I have not examined the remaining generations down to
Christopher Branch, which are given here from RD500 without any
comment, positive or negative, regarding their potential reliability:

14. Nicholas Bostock md. Catherine Mobberley.
15. Hugh Bostock md. Joan Del Heath.
16. George Bostock md. Joan Horne.
17. Joan Bostock md. William Jennings.
18. Thomas Jennings md. Alice Bright.
19. Catherine Jennings md. William Branch.
20. Lionel Branch md. Valentia Sparkes.
21. Christopher Branch of VA, the immigrant (ancestor of President
Thomas Jefferson).

Stewart Baldwin

Raymond l. montgomery

Jul 29, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/29/98
I have a Bostocke in my ancestry that perhaps you could help me with, at
the same time i want to appoligize that i am not able to help you at the
same time!
My Bostocke ancestress is Katherine Bostocke Born about 1560 and married
to John Lane mayor of dublin,
do you know what her ancestry is, and if they tie in to the Bostockes of
yours that follow????

You don't need to buy Internet access to use free Internet e-mail.
Get completely free e-mail from Juno at
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D. Spencer Hines

Jul 29, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/29/98
Vide infra.

Bully piece, Stewart.

Nuanced, not too long and you've discovered *some* of the manifold benefits
of the paragraph --- as viewed on a computer monitor.

Why, you even resisted your usual impulse severely to flog Gary Boyd Roberts
publicly. We know you are jealous of his commercial success and
international reputation and love to put him down --- but you backed off
somewhat on the flogging to make good solid coherent points --- and where
you had a knowledge deficit or simply didn't know --- you said so.

Good Show!

D. Spencer Hines

Exitus Acta Probat

D. Spencer Hines --- "Cave ab homine unius libri." --- Anonymous

Stewart Baldwin wrote in message <6pm9kf$jh6$>...

>A claimed descent from Henry I, king of England to the American
>immigrant Christopher Branch of Virginia (an ancestor of Thomas
>Jefferson, third President of the United States), is given by Gary
>Boyd Roberts in "Royal Descents of 500 Immigrants", page 407. (The
>same line is also given in his "Ancestors of American Presidents".)



Jul 30, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/30/98
Hi Stewart:

We read Thomas Jefferson as a cousin to Botts since Jane Randolph's cousin
Susan Frances Randolph marries Alexander Lithgow Botts in 1818). I assume
Christopher Branch is upstream of Mary Branch in Jefferson's ancestry. Could
you link Christopher to Mary so we can tie entries #14-20 into the Database?


Dave Botts

Leslie Mahler

Jul 30, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/30/98

Vide infra.

Bully piece, Stewart.
----- <unnecessary senile ranting deleted>

you had a knowledge deficit or simply didn't know --- you said so.

Good Show!

D. Spencer Hines

Exitus Acta Probat

---- Ah, more senseless tripe from the master of endless drivel. In your
long absence, I was wondering if your neighbors had perhaps done us all
a favor and sacrificed you to the volcano god -- but alas, one can only

So, do you have any new works to be published, or any new lines of
research?? Or is there nothing else for you to do but antagnonize
others?? I hope they are taking good care of you at the convalescent

Futue te ipsem et caballem tuum.

Stewart Baldwin

Jul 30, 1998, 3:00:00 AM7/30/98
to (DavidBotts) wrote:

>Hi Stewart:

The generations, as given by Roberts in RD500 (not checked by me) are:

21. Christopher Branch of VA (the immigrant) md. Mary Addie
22. Christopher Branch Jr. md. _____
23. Mary Branch md. Thomas Jefferson
24. Thomas Jefferson Jr. md. Mary Field
25. Peter Jefferson md. Jane Randolph
26. President Thomas Jefferson

Stewart Baldwin

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