Saturday, March 10, 2012

Is it a Fist? or is it a Fish?

April's Tree
Half the records I see show that Alan de la Zouche held his manor at North Molton, Devonshire, England.  The other half show it to be at North Melton. So, Molton or Melton?  What a difference one letter makes...

Such questions may often be resolved with a quick query on Google.  Not so fast with these ambitious young knights, though. They often received manors from the king in more than one part of the country. How to discern from the wrong side of the Atlantic which one it was?

Let the GENUKI decide it! That is the Genealogy of the United Kingdom and Ireland. It's their parish, surely they know where it is.

"NORTH MOLTON is a large village on the ... river Mole...This large parish extends ... to the sources of the Mole and Duns Brook, among the lofty hills on the borders of Somersetshire and Exmoor Forest... There is a woollen mill at Heasley, and the village has two cattle fairs, on the Wednesday after May 12th, and the last Wednesday in October. It had formerly a weekly market and a fair on All Saints' day, granted in 1270 to Roger le Zouch, whose family obtained the manor from King John, . . .  " [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]

I found North Molton, but North Melton doesn't seem to really exist, except as a typo multiplied by the fast and fearless Internet. Such are the perils of hunting my ancestors from about 5,000 miles distance and nearly 800 years forward in time.

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