"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
YOUR TOMBSTONE STANDS AMONG THE REST, NEGLECTED AND ALONE
THE NAME AND DATE HAVE WORN OFF THE WEATHERED MARBLE STONE
IT REACHES OUT TO ALL WHO CARE, IT'S NOW TOO LATE TO MOURN
YOU DID NOT KNOW THAT I'D EXIST, YOU DIED....AND I WAS BORN
YET EACH OF US ARE CELLS OF YOU, IN FLESH, IN BLOOD, IN BONE.
OUR HEARTS CONTRACT AND BEAT A PULSE ENTIRELY NOT OUR OWN
DEAR ANCESTOR, THE PLACE YOU FILLED SOME HUNDRED YEARS AGO
SPREADS OUT AMONG THE ONES YOU LEFT WHO WOULD HAVE LOVED YOU SO
I WONDER HOW YOU LIVED AND LOVED, I WONDER IF YOU KNEW
THAT SOMEDAY I WOULD FIND THIS PLACE AND COME TO VISIT YOU.....
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
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:
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
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
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
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."
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.
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
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.
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
Seal of William "The Hardy" Douglas
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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. 
Folkunga / Bjelbo
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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
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
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
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
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
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.
click here to see
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
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
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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
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.
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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
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
It is most commonly claimed that the name arose because he wore a sprig of it in his
bonnet though perhaps otherwise that he planted broom to improve his hunting covers
 or used a broom to scourge himself. Its significance has been said to relate to
its golden flower or contemporary belief in its vegetative soul.
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.
Ptolemy I Soter
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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.
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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
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.
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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
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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
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
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.
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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
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