It's a long time since I last posted in this blog.
Truth be told I took a break from genealogy for a while after our very successful Middlebrook Reunion, but I decided I needed a boost to get myself back into the swing of things so I ordered a DNA test from Ancestry.com.
Initially I was a little disappointed. There were 80 pages of DNA matches but it seemed very few were attached to trees who even just had common names with me. Additionally many of the matches had trees that were private or had no tree attached at all.
I could see at least one match I knew to be a known relative ( on my Goodwin side) and another I very quickly worked out the connection for ( Wheatcroft branch)
So I got busy messaging the first few matches on my list who's tree I couldnt see.
Yesterday I got a reply from one of them which included some very exciting news.
Yes there definitely was a connection - between my 4th Great Grandmother Esther Attwood ( who married Ralph Deakin of Shrophsire) and her 4th Great Grandfather William Attwood who was the brother of Esther.
This branch of the family is proving to be rather exceptional.
It seems that it leads back directly to the very highest nobility of England via the Sutton Family of Dudley .
Esther Attwood's G G Grandfather was Richard Attwood and he married into this prestigious family when he married Eleanor Sutton Dudley . Eleanor's Great Grandfather was Lord Edward Sutton 5th Baron of Dudley ( 1567-1643)
Here is a layout I just completed
(I smudged out the last couple of generations just for privacy sake)
Most of the text here is from Wikipedia and a few other sources combined
Edward was baptised on 17 September 1567, so presumably born shortly before that date. In 1580, aged only 13, he was sent to Lincoln College, Oxford, and in the following year was married to Theodosia Harington of Exton, Rutland. She was the daughter of James Harington of Exton, Rutland, a lawyer and long-serving MP. The Haringtons were the most important landowners in Rutland and Theodosia's eldest brother, John, was created Baron Harington of Exton in 1603. Dudley and Theodosia had a son and four daughters:
+Ferdinando Sutton (1588-1621), who married Honora Seymour, a daughter of Edward Seymour, Viscount Beauchamp, who was considered by some a potential claimant to the throne on the death of Elizabeth I.
+Mary Sutton (1586-1645), who married Alexander Home, 1st Earl of Home.
+Anne Sutton (died 1615), who married Hans Meinhard von Schönberg, the Palatine Ambassador to England: their son was Frederick Schomberg, 1st Duke of Schomberg.
+Margaret Sutton, who married Sir Miles Hobart of Halford, Buckinghamshire: they were without issue.
Lord Dudley also had a longtime mistress Elizabeth Tomlinson, the daughter of collier William Tomlinson and his wife Agnes Dues of St Thomas in Dudley,
who bore him a large family of illegitimate children
+Robert Dudley (1587-1653) m. Margaret
+ Elizabeth Dudley (1588-1647) m. Jeffrey Dudley
+ Jane Dudley (b.1588) m. Richard Parkhouse
+ Catherine Dudley (1589-1675) m. Thomas Dudley
+ Martha Dudley (b.1590) m. Thomas Wilmer
+ Alice Dudley (b.1592) m. George Guest
+ Susan Dudley (1594-1601)
+ John Dudley (1597-1604)
+ Dud Dudley (1600-1684) m. Eleanor Heaton (1606-75)
+ Dorothy Dudley (b.1606) m. Thomas Brooke
+ Eleanor Dudley (1606-1659)
+ Edward Dudley (1608-14)
Lord Dudley provided for this second family. The eldest Robert Dudley was given a small estate at Netherton in Dudley. Another son Dud Dudley was given a lease of Chasepool Lodge in Swindon, Staffordshire. A daughter Jane was grandmother to ironmaster Abraham Darby .
At the Star Chamber, Gilbert Lyttelton attempted to discredit Dudley by claiming that he had abandoned his wife in London without support in order to live with Elizabeth Tomlinson, "a lewd and infamous woman, a base collier’s daughter." The Privy Council ordered Dudley to pay his wife an allowance, which he failed to do. In August 1597 he was sent to the Fleet Prison. He was released after a few days, on condition that he pay maintenance of £100 annually for his wife, and £20 for each legitimate child. In less than 18 months he was back before the Privy Council, having got into arrears.
Dudley spent most of his life pressured by the authorities to meet debts that were beyond his ability to pay, partly inherited from his father, and partly the result of his own poor management of his resources.
Lord Dudley, like his immediate ancestors, owned substantial estates around Dudley Castle including the manors of Dudley, Sedgley and Kingswinford. He developed the mineral resources of these estates, building (probably) five blast furnaces on them. He obtained a licence to use the patent of John Robinson (or Rovenson) for making iron with pitcoal that is mineral coal in 1619, and in 1622 renewed this patent in his own name. He brought Dud Dudley home from Balliol College, Oxford to manage his ironworks, but this was not entirely successful. Ultimately he fell out with Dud and expelled Dud from the new coke-fired furnace that he had built at Hasco Bridge on the boundary between Gornal and Himley. Debts continued to grow and by 1593 the estate had been sequestrated.
Dudley's legitimate son, Ferdinando, predeceased him, leaving a daughter Frances. Dudley married this granddaughter to Humble Ward, the son of a wealthy goldsmith, William Ward, who was one of his creditors.
Dudley died on 23 Jun 1643 and was buried in St Edmund's Church, Dudley. Frances Ward inherited the estates, with their debts, and became Baroness Dudley suo jure. Humble Ward paid the debts and redeemed the estates for the benefit of themselves and their descendants.
This isnt the end of the story regarding this DNA match - because this line goes straight back to John of Gaunt and King Edward III who would be my 19th Great Grandfather!!- There are definitely more posts on this connection in my future!!