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Speak my name and I am not dead...tell the tales of my life and I shall live forever...
About From Pauper to King and in Between
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"The people who do not revere the deeds of their ancestors will never do anything to be remembered by their descendants."

~ Thomas Babington Macaulay.


"To Forget One's Ancestors
Is To Be A Brook Without A Source
A Tree Without A Root"

~ Chinese Proverb




~ Anonymous


Welcome! Thank you for stopping by. My name is Tonya Marie Christensen Brown. My site is ongoing and you will see that I add new information and also correct existing information as I continue my research. I try to not only to include my family information, but also all and any that I dig up.
(Scroll down to bottom of page to view list of Last Names in Alphabetical order, and to learn how to navigate this site).

 I try to confirm my sources by at least three other matching Sources. Still, I am sure there will be source and data errors, mismatched links, incorrect information, and other blunders so,

please contact me for corrections, revisions, links, etc.

Some lines are based solely on speculation. They are open for further research and amount to an educated guess based on research, family connections, groupings, etc. collected thus far.

Some genealogies are mythical, fictional or fabricated pedigrees, usually to enhance the status of the descendant. Many claimed ancestries are considered by modern scholars to be fabrications, especially the claims of kings and emperors who trace their ancestry to gods or the founders of their civilization. I have included many of these genealogies for fun.

Most of the "immediate" generations in my family have been verified. Some lines however I am still gathering documentation.

My love for genealogy has turned into an obsession at this point. I have been working on my family history now for about seven years. I think it is so important to know where you came from. I have found great joy in uncovering my families past. It took a lot of work and a lot of research. I hope that my daughters will pick up were I leave off and continue to record/research our family. I have only entered a small portion of our family history on this web site. I still have so much information to enter. It is a lot of work! My family's ancestry traces back to mainly Norway, Denmark, England, Ireland and Scotland. However the farther back I go in history there is also France, Spain, Portugal, Wales, etc. I guess you can call me a Euro mutt. Chris my husband's family traces back to Sweden, England, Ireland and Scotland on his mother's side. On his fathers side, he is part Cherokee Indian. I have gathered my information from census records, birth, baptism, marriage and death records. Also, war records, wills, probates, obituaries. I have found a lot of information from web sites such as Family Search, which is maintained by the L.D.S.church, Ancestry.com as well as similar web sites and also look ups done by volunteers from all over the world. These people are willing to look up any information from land/farm records to census/church records and they will also translate any documents one may have written in another language. It has been both frustrating and wonderful uncovering my ancestry. It took me several years of footwork, detective work, time and money. The information I have found is in some ways more than I dreamed of. At times it has been like reading a history book and then other times a romance novel. I pray the information I have been able to find will never be lost again. So with this I will record all my research, my frustration, my sweat, my love. And so it begins...




Family Surnames worth mention: Benkestok Photobucket

click here to see BENKESTOK ANCESTRY

The research for this family history is from the book Slægten Benkestok, written by Wilhelmina Brandt, published in 1985. The first publication of the book was in 1901.The translation from Norwegian to English was by Marit Blatman Falk.

The Family Benkestok, is one of the early families of nobility in the history of Norway. They are one of the few noble families of Norway to survive the middle ages. A part of their genealogical line back to our day is only made possible through the records produced by women of the family. The earliest records of the family date back to Trond Benkestok born in about the year 1437.

During the Middle Ages, Norway was ruled by a number of small kingdoms. It was during this period of time, that the life of one the king's was threatened by his enemies, which caused him to flee for his safety. He fled into the countryside with the enemy in pursuit. As they drew closer and closer, he felt it would be prudent to seek refuge. He happened upon a farm where those living there were friendly, and offered to hide him from his pursuers. There are two legends telling where they hid him. One has it that the farmer hid the king from his pursuing enemies in a large hollow log (stok). The other, they hid him in a large trunk at the foot of a bed where blankets and bedding were stored. Which is right is of no consequence, since the life of the king was saved. After the rebellion was put down and under control, the King expressed heartfelt gratitude to the family for saving his life. For their bravery, loyalty, faithfulness, and fidelity, he conferred titles of nobility on them, and a new family name Benkestok. In addition he gave them a large island estate which they named Melø. It was located in Rødø Helgeland, Nordland, Norway.
During the ensuing years due to their aristocracy they became very wealthy, accumulating a large fortune in the service of the king. Eventually they became one of the wealthiest families in Norway. It was reported that the amount of money they possessed was so huge that they were unable to count it. It is thought that they kept track of it by weight rather than by count. The women and men alike had the finest clothing to be had, made from brocaded silks and linens. They adorned themselves with jewelry made from gold and silver, and the finest attainable jewels. They had the finest quality of everything befitting their high station in life, and lived the life of royalty.

Due to their titles of nobility the king had his artisans design and make a family coat of arms and signet-ring for them. The ring was made of gold with a large black agate stone in the center. The stone was engraved with the family coat of arms, and three initials T.B.S. The initials were taken from the name Trond Benkestok. This ring was used to imprint the wax which was used to seal all-important family documents and letters. The signet ring was passed on to the oldest son of the following generation.


In the year 1565, Trond the grandson of the first Trond, sponsored a very large wedding for his daughter Brynhilda in Bergen, Norway. All of the nobility, and aristocracy living in the city and surrounding area attended the wedding, which was a befitting honor to this noble family.

Denmark had a famous poet by the name of Holberg. He was a Baron, and a member of the Danish Aristocracy. His niece, with the surname of Tosterup, traveled to Nordland Norway where she met and married a Benkestok. The Tosterup family was very wealthy. They were engaged in a large jewelry and silver business, in Denmark, and Norway. This marriage created a new dynasty joining together two of the wealthiest families in Scandinavia.

The last Benkestok to live on the estate at Melø was Ermegaard. She was the daughter of Trond Benkestok, who died 1607, and Gjertrude Peitersdatter. She married Jon Gunderson from Meløen, who proceeded her in death. She died in 1695. Her son's, Trond and Gundar Gunderson inherited the estate Melø.

As the family grew in size, the family fortune and the estate Melø, was divided, many, many times during the ensuing years. With these divisions of wealth the noble name Benkestok began disappearing with the passage of time until all family members were finally reduced to middle class citizens, farmers and fishermen. There are many people still living in and around Melø who remember this noble family and are descendants of "The Benkestok's."

Bruce Photobucket
click here to see BRUCE ANCESTRY

 The House of Bruce originated in Normandy in the 11th century, where the family took its name from Bruis (present-day Brix). It was here that the earliest known member of the family, Adam de Brus, built a castle. His descendant, Robert de Brus, was a Norman knight who came to England with William the Conqueror and was granted lands in Yorkshire. His son, the second Robert de Brus (c.1078-1141), received from David I of Scotland the lordship of Annandale, in Scotland. He renounced his lordship of Annandale after supporting the English in the Battle of the Standard 1138, but it was later restored to his younger son, the 2nd Lord of Annandale.

His grandson, Robert, 4th Lord of Annandale, married in 1219 Isabella, the second daughter of David of Huntingdon and the great-granddaughter of David the 1st. This marriage provided the Bruces with an important link to the Scottish Royal House, and a future claim to the throne. The 5th Lord of Annandale, Robert the Bruce's grandfather, was named as heir-presumptive to the childless Alexander III, but never gained the throne as Alexander later fathered three children. Bruce's grandfather was also a competitor for the throne in 1292, but his claim was ignored in favor of that of John Balliol.

Capet Photobucket

click here to see CAPET ANCESTRY

House of Capet, or The Direct Capetian Dynasty, (French: Les Capétiens, la Maison capétienne), also called The House of France (la maison de France), or simply the Capets, which ruled the Kingdom of France from 987 to 1328, was the most senior line of the Capetian dynasty - itself a derivative dynasty from the Robertians. As rulersof France, the dynasty succeeded the Carolingian dynasty. The name derives from the nickname of Hugh, the first Capetian King, who was known as Hugh Capet.

The direct House of Capet came to an end in 1328, when the three sons of Philip IV all failed to produce surviving male heirs to the French throne. With the death of Charles IV, the throne passed to the House of Valois, the direct descendants of Charles of Valois, a younger son of Philip III. It would later pass again, to the House of Bourbon and the House of Orléans (both descended from Louis IX), while always remaining in the hands of agnatic descendants of Hugh Capet.

The first Capetian King of France was Hugh Capet (c.940-996), a French nobleman from the Île-de-France, who, following the death of Louis V of France (c.967-987) the last Carolingian King secured the throne of France by election. He then proceeded to make it hereditary in his family, by securing the election and coronation of his son, Robert II (972-1031), as co-King. The throne thus passed securely to Robert on his father's death, who followed the same custom as did many of his early successors. The Capetian Kings were initially weak rulers of the Kingdom they directly ruled only small holdings in the Île-de-France and the Orléanais, all of which were plagued with disorder; the rest of France was controlled by potentates such as the Duke of Normandy, the Count of Blois, the Duke of Burgundy (himself a member of the Capetian Dynasty after 1032) and the Duke of Aquitaine (all of whom facing to a greater or lesser extent the same problems of controlling their subordinates). The House of Capet was, however, fortunate enough to have the support of the Church, and with the exception of Philip I (1052-1108), Louis IX (1215-1270) and the shortlived John the Posthumous (1316) were able to avoid the problems of underaged Kingship.



click here to see DISHINGTON ANCESTRY

The surname of DISHINGTON is that of a family prominent first in Angus and afterwards in the East Neuk of Fife, from the early 14th century to the 16th century. Through intermarriage the DISHINGTONS became connected with many prominent families.

The first of the name recorded in Scotland appears to be Sir William de DYSSINGTOUN, who received from Robert I, a charter of the lands of Balglassy in the thanedom of Abirlemenache in Angus. William de DYSSINGTOUN witnessed a donation by Henry de Aynestrother to the Abbey of Dryburgh, circa 1330.

The first people in Scotland to acquire fixed surnames were the nobles and great landowners, who called themselves, or were called by others, after the lands they possessed. Surnames originating in this way are known as territorial. Formerly lords of baronies and regalities and farmers were inclined to magnify their importance and to sign letters and documents with the names of their baronies and farms instead of their Christian names and surnames.

The abuse of this style of speech and writing was carried so far that an Act was passed in the Scots parliament in 1672 forbidding the practice and declaring that it was allowed only to noblemen and bishops to subscribe by their titles.

Later instances of the name include Sir William DYSSHYNGTON, who was a Scottish hostage in England in 1427, and John DYSHYNTON, a Scotsman, was granted a safe conduct to travel into England in 1447. A branch of the family of DISHINGTON settled in Orkney about the end of the 16th century, and John DISCHINGTOUN appears there as depute of the earl of Orkney at the Castle of Scaloway in 1602.

Some DISHINGTONS emigrated to Norway and appear there as DESSINGTON. In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe.


Seal of William "The Hardy" Douglas

click here to see DOUGLAS ANCESTRY

Clan Douglas, also referred to as the House of Douglas, is an ancient family from the Scottish Lowlands taking its name from Douglas, South Lanarkshire, and thence spreading through the Scottish Borderland, Angus, Lothian and beyond. The clan does not currently have a chief, therefore it is considered an Armigerous clan. The Douglases were once the most powerful family in Scotland. The chiefs held the titles of the Earl of Douglas, and following their forfeiture the chieftancy devolved upon the Earl of Angus (see also: Duke of Hamilton). The 4th Earl of Morton held the chieftaincy during the 16th century, the Earldom of Morton was then a subsidiary title of the 8th Earl of Angus after the 4th Earl's forfeiture and death in 1581. The family's original seat was Douglas Castle in Lanarkshire, but they spread to many properties throughout Southern and North-Eastern Scotland. [1]

Folkunga / Bjelbo Photobucket

click here to see FOLKUNGA ANCESTRY

The House of Bjelbo (Swedish: Bjälboätten), also known as the House of Folkung (Folkungaätten), was an Ostrogothian Swedish family that provided for several medieval Swedish bishops, jarls and kings.

The traditional name of this house is "House of Folkung", which is still the most commonly used in Swedish works of reference. This name is probably derived from the oldest known member of the family who is certain to have existed, i.e. Folke who lived about the year 1100, or their legendary forefather Folke Filbyter who lived in pagan times. In an effort to avoid confusion with the Folkunge Party some modern historians have argued that "House of Bjälbo" would be a better name because Birger Jarl lived there and it is the family's oldest known manor. Bjälbo is located in Östergötland, outside of Skänninge in the present-day commune of Mjölby. In any way the members of this dynasty never used a name to refer to themselves since family names were not widely adopted in Sweden until the 16th century, thus there is no "correct name" of the dynasty which would have precedence over the other.

Sweden history dates back to 9000 B.C. when a high concentration of petroglyphs can be discovered in different regions of Sweden. The early Sweden had been born out of a display of warfare. The first king of Sweden about whom the historians have reached a conclusion is Olof Skötkonung who ruled over Svea and Göta Riken. The dynastic struggles in Sweden continued in the 12th century. The Erik and Sverker clans often got engaged in the struggles. During that period, a new clan came to the throne. This new one was the Folkunga dynasty which was formed after a third clan married into the Erik clan. The Folkunga dynasty brought a stability in the Sweden history of empires. This dynasty gradually brought together the pre-Kalmar-Union Sweden to an actual nation. This amalgamated state of Sweden included the modern Finland

The Folkunga family - a power behind the throne in 12th and 13th century Sweden The Folkunga family(the name is a fifteenth-century construction)from Ostergotland first comes to prominence in written sources with the appearance of Birger Brosa as "jarl of the svear and gotar" in the late twelfth century. During the following seventy years six jarls, two bishops and three lawmen came from this family, until one of its members, Valdemar Birgersson, was elected king in 1250. This paper will argue that the highly regionalised nature of early medieval Sweden made the friendship and cooperation of other nobles with local power bases essential for kings to govern effectively, and examine how the members of the Folkunga family used this to their advantage. For the purpose of comparison reference will also be made to the factions of neighbouring Norway and Denmark, for which there is more plentiful evidence.

In 1275 King Magnus Ladulås adopts the coat of arms of the Folkunga dynasty, which incorporates the symbol of a yellow lion on a blue background.

But the stability of the Sweden history of empires did not last long. There were frequent civil wars in Sweden. Finally after the Black Death, Queen Margaret I of Denmark took a bold decision to bring peace in the land of Sweden. She had talks with the Swedish nobility and with their approval forwarded to unite the Nordic countries in the Kalmar Union in 1397. But unfortunately, this decision could not bring peace in the nation. The Swedes and the Danes often led themselves into serious conflict.

The modern Sweden history starts in the 16th century when Gustav Vasa fought to bring independence in Sweden. This attempt ultimately led to the foundation of modern Sweden. The Reformation was established in Sweden followed by the break with the Roman Catholic Church. Sweden engaged in a war last in 1814. Since then, the Sweden history has not witnessed any major bloodshed.



Click here to see GALTUNG ANCESTRY

Galtung was a Norwegian noble family dating from the ennoblement of Lauritz Galtung in 1648. However, when he was ennobled, it was expressed that there existed an older noblement. A connection between these two families in male-line has however not been found, though it has been suggested reliable genealogic connections in female-line between them.

The first family called Galte, belongs to what is called the uradel in the middle ages. The Galte family apparently died out in male-line about 1413. They had their main seat at Torsnes in Hardanger. It is believed the families are related to present day reminisicient and that is the oldest surviving noble family in Norway.

The legend of origins the name Galtung family of Thorsnæs:
It sounds like something out of Hans Christian Andersen. But since there is no accompanying documentation, it can only be treated here as a legend. In summary this is the story.

A poor peasant couple in Hardanger had a son whom they considered worthless. After he grew up, he left for foreign lands. Somewhere in his travels he was instrumental in saving a royal prince from his enemies by hiding him in a sack and rowing away in a boat. Whenever he was stopped and questioned about the contents of the sack, he replied that he had in it a galte-ung (young pig or boar). In this manner the prince escaped his pursuers.

When the prince was restored to power, he rewarded his rescuer by raising him to noble rank, giving him the name Galtung. Later the young nobleman returned to his fatherland and sailed into the Hardangerfjord with banners flying and drums beating. At Thorsnæs he found his aged mother, who did not recognize him. He asked if she had any children, and she said she once had a son but that he had gone abroad on a great ship and had never been heard from again. The stranger then asked whether she could recall some mark or other identification by which she could know her son, and she said he had a bent little finger. The stranger reached out his hand to reveal just such a finger, and mother and son were happily reunited.

The legend does not even suggest a time period, but it is said that Gaute Erikson Galtung, who lived about 1400, was a descendant who served as a member of a government council. Erik Gauteson Galtung, his son, distinguished himself in a battle with German pirates who stormed Bergen in 1429.

The other family can be traced in male-line back to Laurits Johanneson who was born around 1519. It was his great-grandson Lauritz Galtung who later renewed the nobility of the family in 1648, then to Galtung rather than Galte. The present family belonged to an influential family circuit in the Hardanger-area, amongst others on the farms Aga and Torsnes, and had many well-known naval officers and admirals.

Historian H. J. Huitfeldt-Kaas said, in 1885, that in the period 1670-1870 the family started marriyng commoners, and thus, they lost their nobility (later to be rumoured that it was further influenced by the Danish and their succession of their own nobility. The whole family lived around 1800 on the old family farm of Torsnes, where members remain at present. By the end of the 18th century, many of the family's members did however end up in the cities' higher classes as lawyers, doctors and such.

Living descendants today, includes sociologist Johan Galtung, recognised for his contributions to peace research and practice of conflict-solving, the so called transcend-method. According to Statistics Norway 100 persons have Galtung as their surname as of 2009.



click here to see HAMMERAAS ANCESTRY

The Picture here is the Hammeraas monument at Vestnes, Romsdal. It was raised between 1980-85 as a memorial to the Hammeraas family who started the shipbuilding era there. The old Hammeraas wharf is now long ago gone.
One of the Main ships built by the Hammeraas family was the the full-rigged ship "SS Herman Lemkuhl", built between 1873-75 at the Hammeraas wharf at Vestnes. It was the largest sail-ship built of wood of it's day.

Lars J. Hammeraas Hammerås (1821-1904) was the pioneer who laid the foundation for shipbuilding in Vestnes. A shipyard he founded in Helland, had several major construction projects. Full Rig holder Herman Lehmkuhl was built here in 1873-75. The once largest sailing ship built in Norway Length: 214 feet. Built on the road Vestnes had moved to the Lars Hammaraas would fit in their life work. Something that he got fined for. The end of the story is classic. The store went bankrupt. The owner of the ship died just after she was finished. An owner in Arendal bought cutter. Eventually, the ship left port in the mend, perhaps because of pest or mutiny. At 47 degrees north and 10 degrees west in the Atlantic, it was found with five feet water in the pumps. A paddle steamer took her in tow, but cut tow is when the water was a foot below the deck. November 1897 the ship set for the last time.


Vartan Mamikonian

click here to see MAMIKONIAN ANCESTRY

Mamikonian or Mamikoneans was a noble family which dominated Armenian politics between the 4th and 8th century. They ruled the Armenian regions of Taron, Sasun, Bagrevand and others.

The origin of the Mamikonians is shrouded in the mists of antiquity. Moses of Chorene in his History of Armenia (5th or 6th century) claims that three centuries earlier two Chinese noblemen, Mamik and Konak, rose against their half-brother, Chenbakur, the Emperor of Chenk, or China. They were defeated and fled to the king of Parthia who, braving the Emperor's demands to extradite the culprits, sent them to live in Armenia, where Mamik became the progenitor of the Mamikonians.

The first known Mamikonid lord, or nakhararq, about whom anything certain is known was a certain Vatche Mamikonian (fl. 330-339). The family reappears in chronicles in 355, when the bulk of their lands lay in Tayk. At that point the family chief was Vasak Mamikonian, a commander-in-chief (sparapet) of Armenia. Later, the office of sparapet would become hereditary possession of the Mamikonians. Vassak Mamikonian was in charge of the Armenian defense against Persia but was eventually defeated through the treachery of Marujan Ardzruni (c. 367-368).

Following that defeat, Vasak's brother Vahan Mamikonian and multiple other feudal lords defected to the Persian side. The Emperor Valens, however, interfered in Armenian affairs and had the office of sparapet bestowed on Vasak's son Mushegh Mamikonian in 370. Four years later Varazdat, a new king, confirmed Musel in office. The latter was subsequently assassinated on behest of Sembat Saharuni who replaced him as sparapet of Armenia.

On this event, the family leadership passed to Mushegh's brother, Enmanuel Mamikonian, who had been formerly kept as a hostage in Persia. The Mamikonids at once broke into insurrection and routed Varazdat and Saharuni at Karin. Enmanuel, together with his sons Hemaiak and Artches, took the king prisoner and put him in a fortress, whence Varazdat escaped abroad. Zarmandukht, the widow of Varazdat's predecessor, was then proclaimed queen. Enmanuel came to an agreement with the powerful Sassanids, pledging his loyalty in recompense for their respect of the Armenian autonomy and laws.

Upon the queen's demise in 384, Enmanuel Mamikonian was proclaimed Regent of Armenia pending the minority of her son Arsaces III and had the infant king married to his daughter Vardandukh. It was Enmanuel's death in 385 that precipitated the country's conquest by the Persians in 386-387.

Another 5th-century Armenian historian, Pawstos Buzand, seconded the story. In his History of Armenia, he twice mentions that the Mamikonians descended from the Han Dynasty of China and as such were not inferior to the Arshakid rulers of Armenia. This genealogical legend may have been part of the Mamikonians' political agenda, as it served to add prestige to their name. Although it echoes the Bagratids' claim of Davidic descent and the Artsruni's claim of the royal Assyrian ancestry, some Armenian historians tended to interprete it as something more than a piece of genealogical mythology. A theory from the 1920s postulated that the Chenk mentioned in the Armenian sources were not the Chinese but probably from a different ethnic group from Transoxania, such as the Tocharians. Edward Gibbon in his The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire also believed that the founder of Mamikonian clan was not Chinese but merely from the territory of the Chinese Empire and ascribes a Scythian origin to Mamgon stating that at the time the borders of the Chinese Empire reached as far West as Sogdiana. Today, some historians are of the opinion that the Mamikonians were probably descended from chieftans of the Tzans (Chanik-in medieval Armenian, Tzannoi in medieval Greek). The Tzans were a tribe that once inhabited a mountainous region to the south of Trebizond. They postulate that the tradition of the Chinese origin arose out of the similarity of the name Chanik to the Armenian word for China, Chen-k.

Hamazasp Mamikonian was recorded as the family leader in 393. His wife is known to have been Sahakanoush, daughter of Saint Sahak the Great and descendant of the Arsacid kings. They had a son, Saint Vartan Mamikonian, who is revered as one of the greatest military and spiritual leaders of ancient Armenia.

After Vartan became Sparapet in 432, the Persians summoned him to Ctesiphon, forcing him to convert to Zoroastrianism. Upon his return to home in 450, Vartan repudiated the Persian religion and instigated a great Armenian rebellion against their Sassanian overlords. Although he died in the doomed Battle of Vartanantz (451), the continued insurrection led by Vahan Mamikonian, the son of Vartan's brother, resulted in the restoration of Armenian autonomy with the Nvarsak Treaty (484), thus guaranteeing the survival of Armenian statehood in later centuries. Saint Vartan is commemorated by an equestrian statue in Yerevan.

After the country's subjugation by the Persians, Mamikonians sided with the Roman Empire, with many family members entering Byzantine service. Not only did they rise to the highest offices of Constantinople, but even some of the emperors - conceivably Leo the Armenian and Basil I - could have been their descendants. Theodora the Byzantine regent and her brothers Bardas and Petronas the Patrician were also of Mamikonian heritage. Unsurprisingly, Mamikonians form a crucial link in the postulated descent of modern European nobility from antiquity.

Natt och Dag 


click here to see NATT-OCH-DAG ANCESTRY

Direct translation: Night and Day

The coat of arms above, to the left is from the Middle Ages, but exactly how far back is only known by myth. The earliest known official document is from 1280 and is preserved at the National Archives of Sweden in Stockholm.
is a Swedish Noble family and the oldest still existing family of pure Swedish extraction; officially known since the year 1280, according to documents at the Swedish National Archives. The oldest established ancestor is the knight, chief judge, and councilor of Värend, Nils Sigridsson ( 1299 at the earliest), known since May 11th, 1280. From his grandson's grandson's son, the chief judge, knight, and counsellor of Närke, Magnus Bengtsson ( between 1473 and 1477) stems the currently known family and his grandson's grandson was the person who was introduced at the House of Nobility in Sweden in the year 1625. The family members first started to use the name Natt och Dag in the 18th century, why many members names are written with the family name within parentheses, i.e. (Natt och Dag). The name refers to the golden and blue fields in the family's coat of arms. In the early 16th century, the Swedish coin was mint-marked with the Natt och Dag coat of arms, due to members of the family being regents of Sweden. Gabriel Anrep, a Swedish genealogist of the 19th century, wrote: That this family stems from Sigtrygg, a rich man, who, according to Sturlesson, in the year 1030 lived in Nerike and, during the winter, housed the Norwegian King Olof Haralsson the Holy, and that Sigtrygg's son Ivar thereafter became a distinguished man, may be true but lacks evidence December 31st, 2006, 55 persons carried the name Natt och Dag in Sweden. Branches residing in USA are named DeRemee and Dagg.



click here to see PLANTAGENET ANCESTRY

The House of Plantagenet, also called the House of Anjou, or the First Angevin dynasty, was originally a noble family from France, which ruled the county of Anjou.

They later came to rule the Duchy of Normandy (1144/1204 and 1415/1450), the Kingdom of England (1154/1485), the Kingdom of Jerusalem (1131/1205), and the Duchy of Aquitaine (1153/1453).

The name Plantagenet is derived from the plant common broom, which is known as "planta genista" in Latin. It was originally spelled Plante Genest or Plantegenest or Plantaginet. It originated with Geoffrey of Anjou, father of King Henry II of England.

It is most commonly claimed that the name arose because he wore a sprig of it in his bonnet[1] though perhaps otherwise that he planted broom to improve his hunting covers [2] or used a broom to scourge himself. Its significance has been said to relate to its golden flower[3] or contemporary belief in its vegetative soul.[4]

The surname Plantagenêt has been retroactively applied to the descendants of Geoffrey of Anjou as they had used no surname. The first descendant of Geoffrey to use the surname was Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York, father of both Edward IV and Richard III, who apparently assumed it about 1448.[5]


Ptolemy I Soter
click here to see PTOLEMY ANCESTRY

The Ptolemaic dynasty (sometimes also known as the Lagids, from the name of Ptolemy I's father, Lagus) was a Hellenistic Greek royal family which ruled the Ptolemaic Empire in Egypt for nearly 300 years, from 305 BC to 30 BC.

Ptolemy, a somatophylax, one of the seven bodyguards who served as Alexander the Great's generals and deputies , was appointed satrap of Egypt after Alexander's death in 323 BC. In 305 BC, he declared himself King Ptolemy I, later known as "Soter" (saviour). The Egyptians soon accepted the Ptolemies as the successors to the pharaohs of independent Egypt. Ptolemy's family ruled Egypt until the Roman conquest of 30 BC.

All the male rulers of the dynasty took the name Ptolemy. Ptolemaic queens, some of whom were the sisters of their husbands, were usually called Cleopatra, Arsinoe or Berenice. The most famous member of the line was the last queen, Cleopatra VII, known for her role in the Roman political battles between Julius Caesar and Pompey, and later between Octavian and Mark Antony. Her suicide at the conquest by Rome marked the end of Ptolemaic rule in Egypt.




Sinclair is one of the oldest surnames in Europe, first adopted by our ancestors in Normandy after a local saint, Saint Clare, and also spelled numerous ways, such as Sinkler and St. Clair.

Clan Sinclair is a Scottish family of lowland extraction with lands in the north of Scotland, the Orkney Islands, and the Lothians which they received from the Kings of Scotland.

The Sinclairs were a lowland noble family which has its origins in Saint-Clair-sur- Epte, in Normandy, France. William "The Seemly" Sinclair, among others, accompanied William the Conqueror in 1066 on his invasion of England. He also accompanied Margaret, daughter of Edward the Exile to Scotland in 1068, where she eventually married Malcolm III of Scotland. In return for his efforts, the king supposedly granted Sinclair the barony of Roslin "in free heritage".

Battle of Alnwick, Northumbria England, 1093. Sir Henry Sinclair (1060 - 1110) led a successful attack on England at Alnwick Castle. After the battle during a ceremony where the keys to the castle were to be handed over to the Scottish King an Englishman speared Malcolm III of Scotland to death. Today the castle still remains a very impressive fort with a central keep and a massive encircling wall.

Battle of the Standard, 1138. Here Sir Henry Sinclair (1100_1165) won high distinction in defending Scotland and was rewarded lands in Cardaine. He was later sent to England as a Scottish ambassador to resolve land disputes. He also succeeded in claiming back Northumberland for Scotland.

Legend has it that the Earls of Caithness engaged in a long succession of feuds with their neighbours and within the family. Many of the clans most notable battles were between them and the Clan Sutherland. Rebellion of the Sinclairs, 1222. This Sinclair rebellion does not seem to have been recorded in any chronicle or record accounts and is completely unknown to scholars of the period. The origins of the story probably rest in 18th century romantic literature. The story goes that the trouble was over tithes imposed by the Bishop of Caithness whose seat was at Dornoch, and is probably based on a diocesan dispute resolved by King Alexander. The Sinclair Earls of Caithness (according to the story, but in fact the Sinclairs would not become northern landowners for another century) had long resented the fact that the bishopric was under Sutherland control and decided to exploit the discontent over tithes, to get rid of the bishop and have the seat moved. There was soon a riot, said to be incited by Sinclair gold. The unfortunate bishop was roasted alive and his cathedral was set on fire. The rioters then headed north to join up with their Sinclair allies. Once again the Lord of Sutherland was given responsibility by the crown for restoring law and order, and for punishing Sinclair for his instigation of the incident. The Sutherland force was gathered and the far northeast was laid waste in a campaign of revenge and repression. Wick and Thurso were burned and the Sinclair stronghold razed to the ground. Eighty men were tried at a summer court session at Golspie and there was strict punishment for the rioters. Four of the ringleaders were roasted and then fed to the town dogs for good measure.



click here to see SMØR ANCESTRY
Smør, or after the coat of arms, "Leopard's head (under chevron)", was the name of a Norwegian medieval family of the high nobility. The family was one of the few original noble families of Norway, as it unlike many other families did not originate from Denmark or Sweden. The family owned land many different places in Norway, as well as on the Faroe Islands and Shetland (which at the time was Norwegian overseas possessions). The male line of the family however died out already in the late 15th century.

The contemporary use of the family name Smør has however been contested, as it has been suggested that the name was more of a epithet for only some of the members, as not all members of the family are known to have used it. Regardless, the, at least informal, use of the name Smør for the entirety of the family has, already since the 16th century, been a common standard.

The word "smør" is the Norwegian term for the dairy product butter, which in the Norwegian middle ages was the most important item of payment, and often one of the standard products of paying taxes with. As such, the family was named after one of the most important goods in the society.

The first person that can possibly be regarded as the earliest known member of the family was Jon Smør. He was a knight, riksråd (cabinet minister), and one of the powerful men in his time.

His great-grandson Svale Jonson Smør is one of the more well-known members of the family as he became one of the most poweful men in Norway during the early 15th century. He was among other thing, a knight and Lord of Bergenhus Fortress.

One of Svale's children was Jon Svaleson Smør, also a knight, riksråd, and in 1482 was promoted to the highest title known of a member of the Smør-family, as he was elected regent of Norway in the midst of a two-year interregnum. Jon, however, died of drowning the year after, in 1483, as the last man of the direct male-line of the family.

By female members of the family, the family however survived, by among others, the noble families "Orm", Galte and Benkestok, into modern times. As such, some Norwegians, at least in Western Norway, can trace their ancestry back to some of the members of the Smør-family.

Stuart/Stewart Photobucket


The House of Stuart or Stewart was a royal house of the Kingdom of Scotland, later also of the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Ireland, and finally of the Kingdom of Great Britain. Mary Queen of Scots adopted the French spelling Stuart while in France to ensure that the Scots Stewart was pronounced correctly. The name itself originates from the ancient hereditary Scottish title High Steward of Scotland.

The House of Stuart ruled the Kingdom of Scotland for 336 years, between 1371 and 1707. Queen Elizabeth I of England's closest heir was King James VI of Scotland via her grandfather King Henry VII of England, who was founder of the Tudor dynasty. At Elizabeth's death, James Stuart ascended the thrones of the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Ireland and inherited the English claims to the French throne. From 1603, the Stuarts styled themselves "Kings/Queens of Great Britain", though there was no parliamentary union until the reign of Queen Anne, the last monarch of the House of Stuart. The Stuarts were followed by the House of Hanover, under the terms of the Act of Settlement 1701. Members of various cadet and illegitimate branches still survive today.

The earliest known member of the House of Stewart was Flaald I (Flaald the Seneschal), an 11th century Breton follower of the Lord of Dol and Combourg. Flaald and his immediate descendants held the hereditary and honorary post of Dapifer (food bearer) in the Lord of Dol's household. His grandson Flaald II was a supporter of Henry I of England and made the crucial move from Brittany to Britain, which was where the future fortunes of the Stewarts lay. Walter the Steward (died 1177), the grandson of Flaald II, was born in Oswestry (Shropshire). Along with his brother William, ancestor of the Fitzalan family (the Earls of Arundel), he supported Empress Matilda during the period known as the Anarchy. Matilda was aided by her uncle, David I of Scotland, and Walter followed David north in 1141, after Matilda had been usurped by King Stephen. Walter was granted land in Renfrewshire and the position of Lord High Steward. Malcolm IV made the position hereditary and it was inherited by Walter's son, who took the surname Stewart. The sixth High Steward of Scotland, Walter Stewart (1293-1326), married Marjorie, daughter of Robert the Bruce, and also played an important part in the Battle of Bannockburn currying further favour. Their son Robert was heir to the House of Bruce; he eventually inherited the Scottish throne when his uncle David II died childless in 1371.

In 1503, James IV attempted to secure peace with England by marrying King Henry VII's daughter, Margaret Tudor. The birth of their son, later James V, brought the House of Stewart into the line of descent of the House of Tudor, and the English throne. Margaret Tudor later married Archibald Douglas, 6th Earl of Angus, and their daughter, Margaret Douglas, was the mother of Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley. In 1565, Darnley married his half-cousin Mary, the daughter of James V. Darnley's father was Matthew Stewart, 4th Earl of Lennox, a member of the Stewart of Darnley branch of the House. Lennox was a direct descendant of Alexander Stewart, 4th High Steward of Scotland, also descended from James II, being Mary's heir presumptive. Therefore Darnley was also related to Mary on his father's side and at the time of their marriage was himself second in line to the Scottish throne. Because of this connection, Mary's heirs remained part of the House of Stewart. Because of the long French residence at Aubigny, held by Darnley's branch in the Auld Alliance, the surname was altered to Stuart. In feudal and dynastic terms, the Scottish reliance on French support was revived during the reign of Charles II, who had an illegitimate son by Louise de Kérouaille, Duchess of Portsmouth. This descent received the main Stuart appanages of Lennox and Aubigny, as well as the main Tudor appanage of Richmond.

French connections were notoriously unpopular and resulted in the downfall of the Stuarts, whose mutual enemies identified with the emergent Protestant nationalism and urban mercantilism as opposed to Catholic feudalism and rural manorialism. The Glorious Revolution caused the deposition of James II in favor of his son-in-law and his daughter, William and Mary. James continued to claim the thrones of England and Scotland, and encouraged revolts in his name, and his grandson Charles led an ultimately unsuccessful rising in 1745, becoming ironic symbols of conservative rebellion and Romanticism. Due to the identification of the Roman Catholic Church with the Stuarts, Catholic Emancipation was not passed until Jacobitism (as represented by direct Stuart heirs) was extinguished. Despite the Whig intentions of tolerance to be extended to Irish subjects, this was not the preference of Georgian Tories and their failure at compromise played a subsequent role in the present division of Ireland.

Tudor Photobucket

click here to see TUDOR ANCESTRY

The Tudor dynasty or House of Tudor (Welsh: Tewdwr) was an English royal dynasty that lasted 118 years, beginning in 1485. It was founded by Henry Tudor, who, of his patrilineage, was a grandson of the mere Welsh courtier Owen Tudor but who, after years of engaging and surviving the horrific political battles of England's civil Wars of the Roses, triumphed, and acceeded to the English throne as Henry VII.

Of his matrilineage, Henry descended (via an illegitimate son) from John of Gaunt, first Duke of Lancaster and a son of King Edward III of England through his mother Lady Margaret Beaufort; and he descended on a separate line from Edward I through his great-grandmother, Margaret Holland who married John Beaufort, that illegitimate son of John of Gaunt.

Himself of the house of Lancaster, Henry allied himself early on with the Lancastrian King Henry VI; later, after the Yorkist Edward IV's return to the throne in 1471 and through the political influence of his remarried mother, Lady Margaret he was permitted to pledge allegiance to Edward. Finally, emerging victorious over Yorkist Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field, Henry gained the throne himself in 1485 and moved to end the Wars of the Roses.

He united the two fractious royal houses by marrying Elizabeth of York; and thereafter he implemented critical reforms that consolidated and modernised the national government.

Henry Tudor was succeeded by his second son, who became Henry VIII, the famous king who married six wives, and who established the Church of England, then broke off its fealty to the Roman Catholic Church.

Henry VIII was succeeded by his devoutly Protestant son, Edward VI, who attempted to cement the establishment of Protestantism by introducing and requiring the Book of Common Prayer. His half-sister and successor, the equally devout Catholic Mary I, attempted to reverse Edward's reforms, and burned hundreds of Protestants at the stake for heresy. Mary's efforts, however, were overtaken in turn by her half-sister Elizabeth I, who re-introduced Protestantism during her long forty-five-year reign between 1558 and 1603.

None of Henry VIII's children had any children of their own. After Elizabeth I's death in 1603, the crown passed to Henry VII's great-grandson, James VI of Scotland, who became James I of England. The Tudor dynasty was succeeded by the House of Stuart


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