Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Magna Charta Surety Barons - 6th and 7th out of nine

From Leo's Tree:
Of the twenty-five barons who were elected by their peers to be sureties to keep King John to the terms of the Great Charter, eight barons did not have descendants past the fourth generation.  Of the remaining seventeen, I have discovered nine who are our ancestors.

The majority of the barons on the field at Runnymede were related to each other by blood or marriage. As previously shown by Roger and Hugh Bigod, some were father and son. So also are the next two - Richard and Gilbert de Clare. Again, we see for the eldest son, the label over the father's shield of arms.

Above are the arms for Sir Richard de Clare. His blazon is:

  Or three chevrons gules

  Sir Richard de Clare, Earl of Hertford, Lord Clare of Castle Tonbridge, Magna
Carta Surety Baron 1215,  lived 1153-1217.

The arms for Sir Richard's eldest son Sir Gilbert de Clare are:

  Or three chevrons gules a label azure

  3rd Earl Gloucester, 7th Earl of Clare, Earl of Hertford, Magna Carta Surety Baron 1215, lived 1180-1230.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Rudyard Kipling (1865 – 1936)

                                       What Say the Reeds at Runnymede?
At Runnymede, at Runnymede,
What say the reeds at Runnymede?
The lissom reeds that give and take,
That bend so far, but never break.
They keep the sleepy Thames awake
With tales of John at Runnymede.

At Runnymede, at Runnymede,
Oh, hear the reeds at Runnymede: -
“You mustn’t sell, delay, deny,
A freeman’s right or liberty.
It wakes the stubborn Englishry,
We saw ‘em roused at Runnymede!

When through our ranks the Barons came,
With little thought of praise or blame,
But resolute to play the game,
They lumbered up to Runnymede,
And there they launched in solid line
The first attack on Right Divine -
The curt, uncompromising ‘Sign’
That settled John at Runnymede.

At Runnymede, at Runnymede,
Your rights were won at Runnymede!
No freeman shall be fined or bound,
Or dispossessed of freehold ground,
Except by lawful judgment found
And passed upon him by his peers
Forget not, after all these years,
The Charter signed at Runnymede.”

And still when Mob or Monarch lays
Too rude a hand on English ways,
The whisper wakes, the shudder plays,
Across the reeds at Runnymede.
And Thames, that knows the moods of kings,
And the crowds and priests and suchlike things,
Rolls deep and dreadful as he brings
Their warning down from Runnymede!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Magna Carta Surety Barons - 4th/5th of nine: Sir John de Lacie; Sir William III de Lanvalay

April's tree

Below left is the shield of arms for Sir John de Lacie, Knight.  His blazon is:  Or a lion rampant purpure

Sir John de Lacie, 1192-1240, Magna carta Surety 1214, 7ty Baron of Halton Castle, High Sheriff of Cheshire, governor of the Castle of chester, 5th Lord Bowland, herediatry Constable of Chester, 2nd Earl of Lincoln (4th creation; in right of his wife).

To the left is the shield of arms for Sir William III de Lanvalay, Knight. His blazon is:

 gules a lion passant Or

  Sir William III de Lanvaly, 1195-1217; Magna Carta Surety 1215, Constable of Colchester Castle, Lord of Stanway Castle.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Our Magna Carta Baron Ancestors - third of Nine: Sir Robert de Roos

From Leo's Tree:
Above is the shield of arms for Sir Robert de Roos, Knight. His blazon is:
 gules three water bougets argent

  Sir Robert de Roos, Magna Carta Surety Baron 1215, 4th Baron Hamlake, builder and Lord of castles Helmsley (Yorkshire) and Werk (Northumberland), lived circa 1170-1227.

Armies in ancient times had occasions to bring their water supply with them. If the water was captured or compromised, it could mean defeat, and death.  To be in charge of the water bougets was to be in a post of great trust and importance. Thus, certain families who held that post displayed it on their shields.

When I began researching the Surety Barons of Magna Carta, I discovered details that changed my previous notions of what really happened.  One of the most shocking things to my modern sensibilities was the discovery that the Pope excommunicated all twenty-five barons who were surety to make King John keep the agreement.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A New Series: Magna Carta and our Ancestors the Surety Barons - first 2 of nine: Sir Hugh Bigod and his son Roger Bigod

From Leo's Tree:
Above left is the shield of arms for Sir Roger Bigod, Knight.  His blazon is:

 Or a cross gules

  Sir Roger Bigod, circa 1140-11221, Magna Carta Surety Baron 1215, 2nd Earl of Norfolk and Suffolk, Keeper of Hereford castle, Ambassador to kings, Chief Judge in the King's Court 1195-1202.

Second shield above left is the shield of arms for Sir Hugh Bigod, Knight, son of Sir Roger Bigod. His blazon is:

 Or a cross gules and a label azure

 The father's arms with a label was usually a variation carried by the eldest son.  Sir Hugh Bigod, 1178-1225, Magna Carta Surety Baron 1215, 3rd Earl of Norfolk; Earl of Pembroke [in right of his wife].

A note about the arms on the shields:  for the Magna Carta Barons, I have used the arms as provided by Reed M. W. Wurts to "Brookfield Ancestor Project - Surety Barons"; and also as shown on banners by the Baronial Order of Magna Charta.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Genealogy Software - the top three

Top Ten Reviews website put out a review of the top ten genealogy software programs of 2012. You can read the results here.

I use the two tied for first place: Family Tree Maker 2012 with Sync, and Legacy.  Because of the Sync feature that works with Ancestry online, and also the incredible collections of records, and also their seamless partnership with My Canvas, where I can create a genealogy book using the records in my tree at, I am using FTM 2012 almost exclusively this year.

The third of the top ten programs is Roots Magic. I have investigated the screens and the features, and appreciate the color coded family trees, but it isn't enough to beat out the time saving features of Sync.

Whatever your choice, I strongly recommend buying the best manual available to go with your program.  Being able to look up how to do something in a reference manual has saved me hours of time and frustration.