Genealogical Research Summary

Some of you will know that for the past couple of years I’ve been carrying out occasional research into my ancestral origins. At first I didn’t even know the names of most of my great-grandparents, and I’ve come a long way since then. This article will discuss some of my findings, including my probable descent from Charlemagne. Most things described here are not 100% definite, since most of my research has been done using online resources and even then, as with anything which happened centuries ago it’s difficult to know for sure. However I’d feel confident in claiming descent from the ancestors mentioned here.

The Belcher family has long had its roots in Pontefract, which is a town not far from where I live. The first known Belcher who I can trace back to was George Belcher (sometimes spelt Belshaw) who was born around 1748, my great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather. After him the trail goes cold, although he married his wife Ann Senior in Darfield near Barnsley, South Yorkshire so that may be a lead. The patrilineal line from him to me is as follows:

George Belcher (b. 1748)
Richard Belcher (b. 1785)
William Belcher (b. 1809)
John Belcher (b. 1839)
John Belcher (b. 1869)
Frederick Belcher (b. 1900)
Kenneth Belcher (b. 1939)
Kevin Belcher (b. 1965)
Adam Belcher (b. 1998)

The furthest ancestor I could find on my paternal grandfather’s side was from the Medley family, and was my great-x16-grandfather. His name was Thomas Medley, born sometime in the 1450s; we’re not sure where he was from, although his son John was from Dewsbury, West Yorkshire. In 1639, Grace Medley married into the Dixon family, who lived in Thornhill not far from Dewsbury. Then, in 1765, Mary Dixon married Benjamin Boldy, who lived in Kirk Smeaton, near Pontefract; their grand-daughter Jane married into the Moverley family, and in turn her daughter Elizabeth married my great-great-great-grandfather John Belcher. Here’s the full line from Thomas Medley:

Thomas Medley (b. 1450s)
John Medley (b. 1479)
Benet Medley (b. 1515)
William Medley (b. 1545)
John Medley (b. 1569)
Michael Medley (b. 1594)
Grace Medley (b. 1621)
George Dickson (b. 1648)
George Dickson (b. 1685)
Edward Dixon (b. 1715)
Mary Dixon (b. 1738)
William Boldy (b. 1775)
Jane Boldy (b. 1806)
Elizabeth Moverley (b. 1839)
John Belcher (b. 1869)
Frederick Belcher (b. 1900)
Kenneth Belcher (b. 1939)
Kevin Belcher (b. 1965)
Adam Belcher (b. 1998)

An interesting side-note here is William Boldy’s wife Jane Asquith. The Asquith family’s most famous member was the great Liberal Prime Minister, H.H. Asquith, so it’s clear why I might want to try and find a link here. The Asquiths were in fact from West Yorkshire, and it’s a fairly unique name, so I reckon it’s pretty likely there is a connection. However, I couldn’t get any further than Jane’s grandfather Joseph Asquith (b. 1717) due to two sets of contradictory evidence. The Asquiths were non-conformists so they don’t always appear on the usual registers, which makes the task more difficult.

As far as I can see, most of my paternal grandfather’s ancestors seem to have come from Yorkshire. An exception is the Fox family, which was his mum’s family; they came from the West Bromwich and Dudley areas just west of Birmingham. The earliest known ancestor of this family is John Phipson, who was born in Cleobury Mortimer, Shropshire in 1640.

Much less is known about my paternal grandmother’s family. I don’t know any ancestors of her dad, and the only thing I know about him is that he apparently committed suicide. Her mum’s family were the Forder family, who seem to be from the south originally.

My maternal grandfather’s family is the Hall family. The oldest confirmed Hall in the family tree was Thomas Hall, born in 1806 in Guiseley, West Yorkshire, my great-great-great-great-grandfather. There are quite a few known ancestors on this side, but most of them aren’t very interesting, except that one of them once shot a policeman, according to my grandad. Very little is known about my maternal grandfather’s mum’s family, the Kelly family, except that they came from Ireland.

My maternal grandmother’s family is where things start to get really interesting. Her family was the Boxall family, which comes from Lewes in East Sussex. The Boxall line has been traced all the way back to Richard Boxall, born in 1586. He is my common ancestor with a fellow micronational leader, Emperor Jonathan of Austenasia, whose mum is a Boxall. He did this part of the research for me in order to find out if we were related, which, it turns out, we probably are, although there was one link in the chain which couldn’t be conclusively proven. This would make Jonathan my 11th cousin once removed. The line from Richard Boxall to me:

Richard Boxall (b. 1560)
Richard Boxall (b. 1586)
Richard Boxall (b. 1612)
Thomas Boxall (b. 1650)
Thomas Boxall (b. 1676)
Thomas Boxall (b. 1700)
Richard Boxall (b. 1740)
Richard Boxall (b. 1775)
John Boxall (b. 1807)
Henry Boxall (b. 1843)
Edgar Boxall (b. 1901)
Winifred Boxall (b. 1945)
Jayne Hall (b. 1968)
Adam Belcher (b. 1998)

Henry Boxall’s wife Charlotte Hazel is where the heavyweight genealogy comes in. Her mum was from the Ilott family from south-west Oxfordshire, near the border with Berkshire and Wiltshire. Starting from William Ilott (b. 1780) and following a long, mostly matrilineal line, we eventually arrive at Susan Hungerford, the daughter of Sir John Hungerford. Now that we’re dealing with a higher class, most of the research had already been done, so at this point I could just transcribe from existing family trees. The Hungerford family were the first notable family I came across; Sir John Hungerford’s father Sir Anthony Hungerford (b. 1485) was an MP and the High Sheriff of Berkshire and Oxfordshire. Going further back, we find Thomas Hungerford, who was the very first officially-recorded Speaker of the House of Commons. His son Walter Hungerford was also a Speaker of the Commons and later became the 1st Baron Hungerford.

Walter Hungerford’s wife, Catherine Peverell, was one of the Peverells of Cornwall, and was born in 1380. Her great-grandfather Jacob Peverell was married to Margaret of Cornwall, a daughter of Walter of Cornwall. This Walter was, in fact, an illegitimate son of Richard Plantagenet, the 1st Earl of Cornwall, with his mistress Joan de Valletort. Richard was the son of John, the King of England. From here, since medieval royalty were so horrifically interbred, it was a fairly trivial process linking King John to such great names as William the Conquerer, Kenneth MacAlpin (the first King of Scots), Alfred the Great, the Capet dynasty of France, and, of course, Charlemagne, who united the Franks and was crowned Emperor of the Romans by Pope Leo III in 800 AD. Charlemagne would be my great-x39-grandfather. The full line of descent from Charlemagne is as follows:

Charlemagne, Emperor of the Romans (b. 742)
Louis the Pious, Emperor of the Romans (b. 778)
Charles the Bald, Emperor of the Romans (b. 823)
Judith of Flanders (b. 843)
Baldwin II, Margrave of Flanders (b. 865)
Arnulf I, Count of Flanders (b. 890)
Baldwin III, Count of Flanders (b. 940)
Arnulf II, Count of Flanders (b. 961)
Baldwin IV, Count of Flanders (b. 980)
Baldwin V, Count of Flanders (b. 1012)
Matilda of Flanders, Queen Consort of England (b. 1031)
Henry I, King of England (b. 1068)
Empress Matilda, Lady of the English (b. 1102)
Henry II Plantagenet, King of England (b. 1133)
John Plantagenet, King of England (b. 1166)
Richard Plantagenet, 1st Earl of Cornwall (b. 1209)
Sir Walter of Cornwall (b. 1254, illegitimate)
Margaret of Cornwall (b. 1280)
Sir Hugh Peverell (b. 1300)
Sir Thomas Peverell MP (b. 1340)
Lady Catherine Peverell of Hungerford (b. 1380)
Sir Edmund Hungerford (b. 1409)
Sir Thomas Hungerford (b. 1440)
Sir John Hungerford (b. 1460)
Sir Anthony Hungerford (b. 1485)
Sir John Hungerford (b. 1513)
Susan Hungerford (b. 1554)
Mary Cox (née Choke) (b. 1573)
Margaret Buck (née Cox) (b. 1609)
William Buck (b. 1635)
Joan Bunney (née Buck) (b. 1667)
Joan Cook (née Bunney) (b. 1688)
Martha Ball (née Cook) (b. 1713)
Sarah Ilott (née Ball) (b. 1742)
William Ilott (b. 1780)
James Ilott (b. 1807)
Martha Hazel (née Ilott) (b. 1846)
Charlotte Boxall (née Hazel) (b. 1876)
Edgar Boxall (b. 1901)
Winifred Boxall (b. 1945)
Jayne Hall (b. 1968)
Adam Belcher (b. 1998)

Through the common ancestor of King John, this would make me the 24th cousin twice-removed of Queen Elizabeth II, and the 26th cousin exactly of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge.

Finally, over to my maternal grandmother’s mum’s family. She was descended from the Manns family, which came from Lancaster, and the Lunn family, whose ancestors the Nottingham family came from the area north-east of Pontefract, which is split between North and East Yorkshire. As we reach the opposite end of the family tree, here is the known matrilinleal line:

Elizabeth Kent (b. 1763)
Hannah Stainton (b. 1800)
Jane Pulleyn (b. 1823)
Sarah Nottingham (b. 1860)
Lily Lunn (b. 1882)
Ruby Manns (b. 1911)
Winifred Boxall (b. 1945)
Jayne Hall (b. 1968)
Adam Belcher (b. 1998)

To finish up, a bit of fun: the earliest confirmed ancestor of Charlemagne – and thus my earliest recorded ancestor – was Saint Arnulf of Metz, born around 582 AD. Written out in full, he would be my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather (that’s great-x44).

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One comment on “Genealogical Research Summary

  1. […] On the 12th of July, the Emperor announced that, as a result of genealogical research, he had concluded that he was probably descended from Charlemagne. A summary of his findings can be read on his personal blog here. […]

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