Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Snubbed by the Royal Family

All this coverage for the upcoming wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton got me curious about my Marbury ancestors who I knew had some “royal blood” in their ancestry line.

Could I actually be related to “Wilkate, their royal highnesses” somehow? Should I be flying to London for the wedding this week? Did my invitation get lost in the royal mail?

In case you were curious, I checked and you can still fly coach
to London this week for $871.60 but there were only three tickets left.

Click to enlarge
l to r: Guy and Virginia Brantley Lovelace with son Bobby, Hardy Marbury, Cordelia
Brantley Jacocks, Betty Brantley Sullivan, Lena Booth Marbury, Willie and Allie Marbury Brantley
Photo taken in the mid 1930s.
My great grandmother, Allie Marbury (second from the end on the right), the mother of my mother’s mother (the girl holding the baby) was born, lived and died in Haywood County, TN as did her father, Hardy Joyner Marbury, and his father, Benjamin Franklin Marbury and his father, Robert Green Marbury. Counting my grandmother, that would be five generations who all lived and died there in Haywood County.

But where is the royal connection I am sure you are wondering?

Stay with me here. It can get a little confusing. I am not a professional genealogist so if you are using this to find a kidney donor, you need to look elsewhere.

Robert Green Marbury’s father was John Marbury whose father was Leonard Marbury whose father was Francis Marbury whose father was Leonard Marbury whose father was Frances Marbury whose father was also Francis Marbury (who first arrived in the new land) whose father was Euscbius Marbury whose mother was Elizabeth Cave whose father was Henry Cave whose mother was Margaret Throckmorton whose mother was Lady Vaux whose mother was Elizabeth Fitzhugh whose mother was Alice Neville whose father was Richard Neville whose mother was Joan de Beaufort whose father was John “of Gaunt” Beaufort, Duke of Lancaster.
l to r: King Edward III, John Beaufort, Katherine Swynford
Joan de Beaufort, Queen Elizabeth, and Prince Charles
That makes John Beaufort my 21st great grandfather if I am counting right. 

He was the third surviving son of King Edward III.

The children from his first marriage included Kings Henry IV, Henry V, and Henry VI. His other legitimate descendants included his daughters Queen Philippa of Portugal, wife of John I of Portugal and mother of King Edward of Portugal, and Elizabeth, Duchess of Exeter, mother of John Holland, 2nd Duke of Exeter.

The Duke met my 21st great grandmother Katherine Swynford and she became his mistress and had four children with him. Eventually, she was also appointed official governess to his two daughters by his first wife.

After the Duke’s second wife died, he and Katherine married in 1396 and the Beaufort children, three sons and a daughter, were legitimized by royal and papal decrees.

In addition to me, descendants of this marriage included Henry Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester and eventually Cardinal; Joan Beaufort, Countess of Westmorland, grandmother of Kings Edward IV and Richard III; John Beaufort, 1st Earl of Somerset, the great-grandfather of King Henry VII; and Joan Beaufort, Queen of Scots, from whom are descended, beginning in 1437, all subsequent sovereigns of Scotland, and successively, from 1603 on, the sovereigns England, of Great Britain and Ireland, and of the United Kingdom to the present day.

Anya Seton's "Katherine" is a historical novel that tells the story of the love affair between Katherine Swynford and John of Gaunt. In 2003, "Katherine" was ranked 95 in the BBC's Big Read survey of Britain's best-loved novels and is commonly regarded as a prime example of historical fiction.

So anyway, if you boil it down, Prince William and I are like 21st cousins, a million times removed…or something like that.
St. Paul's Cathedral
One other interesting note…John of Gaunt was buried beside his first wife, Blanche of Lancaster, in the nave of "old" St. Paul's Cathedral in an alabaster tomb and this is the site of the church where Cousin William's mother and father were married…the “new” St. Paul’s Cathedral (If you can call 300 years old, new).

Even though they are family, I am afraid I’ll have to miss the wedding although if the past few days is any indication, I am sure I will hear about it. I could always watch the royal wedding procession on Google earth, download a 3D App which features a 3D view of Westminster Abby, watch a streaming version of the wedding on YouTube, or preorder the $11.99 album on itunes that will feature all of the live music from the royal wedding, including performances by The Choir of Westminster Abbey, Band of Welsh Guards and the readings and vows in the ceremony. Really.

Click to enlarge
Allie Marbury Brantley in the late 1970s
My own closest connection to royal family, Allie Marbury, died on Thursday, November 30, 1995 at the age of 97 and was buried next to her husband, William Day Brantley, at Zion Baptist Church Cemetery in Haywood County, TN. You can read more about her and my Marbury ancestors on HaywoodCountyLine.com.

Is it my imagination or does she actually look a little like Queen Elizabeth?


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Hey Scott,
    Great article. Must be something to this as I remember my mother saying "Daddy always treated mother like a queen."

    Betsy S. Waddell

  3. You're not alone, I recently realized I'm also a decedent of royalty, Joan De Beaufort is where we become cousins... who knows how many time removed.

  4. You're not alone, I recently realized I'm also a decedent of royalty, Joan De Beaufort is where we become cousins... who knows how many time removed.