Sunday, September 9, 2012

Documenting Legendary Trees

AETHELBERHT I,  who married Bertha of Paris, was King of Kent, England from about 580 or 590 to his death  24 February 616. He is thought to have been born around 552 to 560.

(1) In his Ecclesiastical History of the English People, the eighth-century monk Bede lists Aethelberht as the third king to hold imperium over other Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. In the late ninth century Anglo-Saxon Chronicle Æthelberht is referred to as a bretwalda, or "Britain-ruler". He was the first English king to convert to Christianity.

Although Saint AEthelberht died one-thousand four-hundred fifty-two years ago, his Wikipedia biography references six primary sources and nine secondary sources.

The concept that people contemporary with my 40th great-grandfather wrote about him, and those writings are known to us today, may be the most mind-boggling fact from a tree full of surprises. Or perhaps the most astounding fact is that people who are far more qualified and experienced than I, who have traced their trees far back in time with these sources, have shared them on the Internet. I am grateful that people like me can find where our ancestors may merge with their tree.

 Mr. Marlyn Lewis, of Portland, Oregon is one such compiler, and for anyone doing research in New England, Virginia, England, France, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Germany or Switzerland, I recommend his site, Our Royal, Titled, Noble and Commoner Ancestors & Cousins.

 Whether one regards such ancient branches on the family tree as mere legend, or as documented history, it is fascinating to me to view the events of the past through the lens of an ancestor. I hope to add more posts about Legendary Trees in the future. 

(1) from Wikipedia - Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; see Æthelberht of Kent

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