Royal Blood – The White Queen

Kind of a misnomer, really (royal), as most of us in Europe and the West have descended from some royal line, somewhere, usually due to some “illegitimate” son or daughter best hidden and remaining outside the “realm” until DNA or excellent genealogy uncovers the wayward seed.

Well, here we are in the 21st century when the wayward Lancaster and York roses of the 15th century and beyond were cast into the countryside, and on board ships, and off to the New World. And here I am, one of the little sprouts that dared live outside the bounds of religious or political order. A wayward daughter (myself) who sprung from a Queen who is mostly unknown, and was never a royal in the first place!

Elizabeth Woodville wife of King Edward III

Elizabeth Woodville

Queen Consort to King Edward IV (her second marriage)

  17th Great Grandmother of Krista Moore (and many others)

1437 – 1492

Elizabeth Woodville (Wydville), the mostly obscure “White Queen” of  author Phillipa Gregory’s novels and televised miniseries, originally a commoner, married John Grey of Groby (from whom I spring), who died during the battle at St. Albans for the Lancaster side. At a chance meeting on the road, King Edward IV, a Yorkist, fell in the love with Elizabeth when she pleaded to keep her land; he was so transfixed, he married her secretly in 1464, to the detriment of his own reign.

The Cousins War or “War of the Roses” continued to rage on, and after the death of King Edward IV (natural causes), her son ascended as Edward V only to be killed; she was displaced and her two younger royal sons removed and murdered in the Tower of London by the King’s ambitious brother, Richard, who later became King Richard III, later to be thwarted by the first Tudor King Henry VII.

Elizabeth exhibited bravery and some cunning as well, to protect her lands, and to enrich the lives of her many relations who benefited greatly from her increase in stature.   She survived the changing of the guard and the many tragedies in that violent time, retiring as a dowager queen at Bermondsey Abbey, where she died in 1492.

Due to the discovery of Richard III’s bones, and a DNA sample, many are now finding a direct relation to his family, mine not included. I am on the other side of that history, the Woodville and Grey family who also have fascinating histories (including Sir Thomas Grey, 1st Marquis of Dorset, a relation of Lady Jane Grey who was beheaded later down the road by King Henry VIII, a distant cousin), and Elizabeth Woodville’s mother, Jacquetta of Luxembourg, “Lady Rivers” who was accused of witchcraft and apparently descended from a water deity (mermaid) named “Melusine” (who also entranced a man and became a woman; hence, the modern fable, The Little Mermaid!).

Quite a heritage for a little known queen.

Did I stumble upon this through my DNA? No, I inherited this story accidentally, having dusted through my family tree far back enough to piece together the past 17 generations to arrive in utter amazement at this unknown queen.

Elizabeth Woodville, my 17th Great Grandmother…

What does this mean? Not a thing. But fascinating nonetheless! Of course, I have to give her the credit for my stubborn assumption that I must have had royal blood somewhere, to justify my aversion to physical labour and my joy of leisure – not that she had any! I will take my obscure modern life, any day.

 

Elizabeth Woodville; Queen Consort to Edward IV of England (1437 – 1492)
17th great-grandmother
Sir Thomas Grey; 1st Marquis of Dorset (1455 – 1501)
Son of Elizabeth Woodville; Queen Consort to Edward IV of England
Thomas Grey 2d Marquis of Dorset (1477 – 1530)
Son of Sir Thomas Grey; 1st Marquis of Dorset
Katharine Grey
Daughter of Thomas Grey 2d Marquis of Dorset
Lady Joanna Jane FitzAlan (1537 – 1578)
Daughter of Katharine Grey
Thomas Lumley (1560 – 1626)
Son of Lady Joanna Jane FitzAlan
Elizabeth LUMLEY (1585 – 1632)
Daughter of Thomas Lumley
Sgt. Thomas Edward Barber (1612 – 1662)
Son of Elizabeth LUMLEY
Mercy BARBER (1651 – 1725)
Daughter of Sgt. Thomas Edward Barber
Samuel GILLETT (1677 – 1739)
Son of Mercy BARBER
Samuel GILLETT (1702 – )
Son of Samuel GILLETT
John G GILLETT (1732 – )
Son of Samuel GILLETT
Charles GILLETT (1765 – )
Son of John G GILLETT
Eunice GILLETT (1791 – 1862)
Daughter of Charles GILLETT
Barton R KEECH (1823 – 1856)
Son of Eunice GILLETT
Hiram KEECH (1851 – 1926)
Son of Barton R KEECH
Harold Leroy KEECH (1891 – 1965)
Son of Hiram KEECH
Helen Blanche Keech
Daughter of Harold Leroy KEECH
John Harold Moore
Son of Helen Blanche Keech
Krista Marie Moore
You are the daughter of John Harold MOORE
From Ancestry.ca
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DNA May Solve Family History Blocks

Hello everyone!

It has been almost 3 years since my last confession! Seriously, it just tells you how time flies when doing family history research. I hit a roadblock in my search for the Moore Family, and kind of put it aside.

Just this spring, I decided to have my DNA test done with ancestry.com and am now awaiting the results.

In the meantime, it is important to follow the trail. I have reached out to 3 possible cousins so far that found me via ancestry, one in Ireland, one in Australia and another here at home, only a stones throw away.

Next is a family reunion. Perhaps that will pull us all together, and reveal some threads that have long been awaiting completion.

I will let you know as soon as the results are in!

Krista

How the Past Can Heal Us

Krista in front of oldest tree in Maberly, where Morrow Hotel once stood.

Krista in front of oldest tree in Maberly, Ontario

It occurs to me that in family tree hunting we sometimes forget the most important things: story.  After all these years I have to ask myself, someone trained to live in the present, why going back so far to people who lived before me, who perhaps share some remote traces of my DNA, matters.  What is it that draws me to them, and arguably them to me?  What makes them eternal in my mind, and connects me to their story?  And why does the mystery of what we do not know tantalize us so, so that we never give up wanting to know more?

Funny enough, I am also trained through my hypnosis practice to study and explore past lives – I mean mine, not someone else’s – what some would call reincarnation.  You may not believe in such a thing, and it may go against your spiritual or religious beliefs – or perhaps you believe we are here for a good time, not a long time, and that’s it – dust to dust.  End of story.

Then why the insatiable curiosity?  Whether it be past lives through our ancestors or past lives through our own subconscious or “superconscious” (higher) mind or cellular DNA memory, what links us all together and makes the past come alive – makes US come alive with questions, with desires, with feelings?  Why do we cry when we hear about a hardship our ancestors suffered, or a good story ending in triumph or reconciliation?  It seems I am asking more questions than offering suggestions, but give me a moment.

These questions answer themselves.  The fact is, we do want to know.  Not everyone, to be sure.  Some people may rightly feel that to look back is to get lost in the past. And some may simply not want to hear what might trouble them in the present.  But those who do ask, have a burning desire to know not just for the sake of a good story, but because it tells them something about themselves.  It answers the question: Who Am I? and Why am I here?

If we can look at our lives or the lives of others in retrospect, we see patterns, shapes, stories.  We see parallels.  We see PURPOSE.  And we see PROMISE.  We understand that hardship and suffering can be followed by breakthroughs, and that even death does not stop life from continuing on – we are evidence of that.

Our past stories are collective. What a prominent psychologist, Carl Jung called “the collective unconscious”.  Everything that has ever happened to anyone, and all its apparent meanings, is held there – along with all the wisdom and “knowings” that sometimes  cannot be explained by our current, more limited thinking.  These pieces, these stories have a common source, a common thread through human history, through human consciousness.  It doesn’t matter the time or the place – we find ourselves in its reflection.

Once a year I follow the popular American TV show (now on TLC) “Who Do You Think You Are?” – featuring prominent Americans (mostly celebs) who want to discover something about their ancestry, and the origins of their family.  Notice, the show title is not, “Who Do You Think They Are?”  but rather “Who Do You Think YOU Are.”  Because their tears, their AHAs, their curiosity, and their sense of compassion and forgiveness is not only about their ancestors – it reaches across time and teaches them something about themselves – and even goes so far as to heal their own sense of self, history, story.

We all have a personal destiny, and we want to know that not only will we survive, but that our story will teach those who follow us – it will outlive us – extend us – “eternalize” us.

The truth is, we are already eternal.  But while we are sloshing around here on earth trying to make a living, learning lessons and putting up with the hardships and trials, heartbreaks and breakthroughs – it helps to know that someone will be staring back at us through time and saying, “Wow! I’m really glad so and so lived…  How brave he/she was, how honest, how strong, how compassionate… I want to be more like that.”

When we look back, we want to emulate the best we see, and forgive the worst.  Because when we can do that, we become the greater part of history, we become an extension of it, fulfilling its ultimate purpose – not only to tell a good story, but to teach how to live a good life.   And so we become the living proof of what it means to us, what it offers us, and to our kids and grandchildren.  We are its living, breathing, connections that link past present and future in one eternal loop.

And even as audience, witnessing someone else’s history, we see ourselves – beyond family blood barriers, beyond time itself.  We can identify meaning and purpose without any regard to dates and names.  Those provide the colour and fabric, the identity so to speak.  But the picture is worth more than its parts. One human family struggling to live – and learning to really LIVE – one lesson, one story, one life at a time.

Happy journeying.

 

Krista