The Search for Edward II’s Descendants 9) – An Exciting New Contribution from a Reader

Just a few days ago, via our good friend Kathryn Warner, a superb genealogist dealing with the medieval period got in touch with us to share his research on the matrilineal line descending from Eleanor of Castile, carrying the same mitochondrial DNA as King Edward II. His name is Kevin McKenzie, and as well as being a sollicitor, he says “I have been a pretty obsessive genealogist since my early teens!”

Kevin wrote to us with his own original research into the matrilineal line, which, like the research previously provided by Kathryn Warner, brings us to the late 17th century, possibly even the early 18th century, following another line. This is a huge leap forward, and we are extremely grateful to Kevin for sharing this information with us. Family tree researchers out there – please, if any of the women Kevin lists below are in your family trees, get in touch with us! You may carry the mitochondrial DNA of King Edward II!

Kevin writes:

“I was surprised to see from the Auramala Project website (see The Search for Edward II’s Descendants #5) that two of the individuals given with a matrilinear descent from Eleanor (in fact through Joan of Acre), where they are looking for possible living matrilinear descendants, are Philippa Bonville and her sister Margaret Bonville who married Sir William Courtenay of Powderham Castle.

I have information for you regarding Margaret Bonville’s matrilineal line descendants at least as far as the late c17th and I do know that the lady which the matrilinear section of my tree ends with – my ancestress Mary Drake – had a very large number of children.

I also think I can clear up the question of Margaret Bonville’s maternity and whether this was Eleanor’s matrilineal descendant Margaret Grey or instead one “Margaret Merriet”.  Helpfully it seems that Margaret Merriet is a confusion with Sir William Bonville’s grandfather’s wife, Margaret daughter of Sir William d’Aumale, cousin and heir of Sir John Meriet, junior (see extracts from Rootsweb posts as marked in yellow below) – and so the Auramala Project will I am sure be very interested in this – as I can give them an answer to their request for information on this which is a positive one from the matrilineal lines research point of view!

The tree goes as follows and, as you will see, this section of it is entirely matrilinear:

1  Margaret Grey (not Margaret Merriet) = Sir William Bonville, KG (1393 – 1461)

2  Margaret Bonville = Sir William Courtenay of Powderham Castle  (Margaret’s sister Philippa married Sir William Grenville and was thereby the ancestress of Sir Richard Grenville of the Revenge)

3  Joan de Courtenay = William Carew of Mohun Ottery

4  Cecily Carew (sister of Admiral George Carew of the Mary Rose) = Thomas Kirkham

5  Thomasine Kirkham = Thomas Southcote

6  Mary Southcote = Sir William Strode of Newnham Park (d 1637) (a direct descendant of Gregory, son of Thomas Cromwell, and his wife Elizabeth Seymour, sister of Queen Jane)

7  Joan Strode (sister of William Strode MP, one of the famous Five Members) = Sir Francis Drake, 1st Baronet (nephew of Admiral Sir Francis Drake)

8  Mary Drake = Elizeus (or Ellis/Elisha) Crymes of Buckland Monachorum, Devon, MP, Colonel of the Parliamentary  garrison of Plymouth during the Civil War (their son Lewis (or Ludovic) is an ancestor of mine, but not in the seamless matrilinear line).”

Thank you once again Kevin for this extremely valuable information!

Ivan Fowler.


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