Is there a category for oldest common descendant of the 15 Magna Carta Sureties listed in the relationship finder?

+9 votes

I see that I am listed as a direct descendant of all 15 Magna Carta Sureties listed in the relationship finder.

My 12th great grandfather, Sir Christopher Hildyard Knt (b. Yorkshire, England-d.1537), is earliest common direct descendant ( in my ancestry) of all 15 Magna Carta Sureties listed in the relationship finder. 

That got me wondering how common this is, who is the ultimate closest common descendant, and is there a category for such profiles that Sir Christopher could be added to?

Added clarification:

These individuals are 'gateways' through which all 15 lines pass and they are always the 'earliest such individual' of their particular branch of descendants.

WikiTree profile: Christopher Hildyard
in The Tree House by Ro Hull G2G6 Mach 1 (11.5k points)
edited by Ro Hull
Thanks for your response and previous comments Mr. RJ Horace!  Nicely stated and very understanding.  Yes, most of my connections (15 but not connected to all of them on WikiTree, at least not yet) are through Grace CHETWODE, my 9th GG and one of my known Gateway Ancestors.  Keep up your great work!
I am descended from all 17 of Surety barons who had descendants but only due to three different lines of forebears.
Hello, Anne!  It looks like we share two known Gateway Ancestors that connect us to the Surety Barons.  And, according to WikiTree, you are my 9th cousin once removed!  Great to know you!
RJ they sometimes categorize the barons into a mainly northern faction who tended to be new up-and-coming "honorial barons" in England since Henry I, and then a hard core of as-yet un-purged old Norman families, mostly based in the south. Obviously the two groups had already had or three generations to inter-mingle. In terms of the old baronies in Sanders, the southerners were starting to collect multiple baronies, whereas the northerners tended to either have new baronies, or pseudo-baronies that were actually collections of bits of older lordships which did not get treated as baronies for taxation purposes.

After reading through most of the comments about the possible creation of a list of Australian Gateways I thought about possible Gateways that immigrated to other countries besides the United States and Canada.  I immediately thought of my great   grandfather who was of Scottish/English  ancestry (born in Paris, France) and later immigrated to Honduras.  His name is Berlioz-Kirkpatrick-1 (Eduardo Berlioz-Kirkpatrick) and has 1 unique ancestor and 3 duplicate ancestors (additional lines of descent from a unique ancestor)within 20 generations who meets the Magna Carta Surety Barons list criteria.  He is connected to John (Clavering) FitzRobert, a Magna Carta Surety Baron and my 22nd GG.

In short, Eduardo Kirkpatrick is not considered a traditional “Gateway” but he did immigrate to America.

Perhaps we should also create a list of Gateways that arrived in the American Continent as opposed to just British Colonial America.

Furthermore, many of the English and British monarchies and aristocratic families intermarried with the French, Spanish and Portuguese monarchies and noble families. Many of their descendants immigrated throughout all of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Anne and Enrique - I am with you. I am pretty sure I have the name number of links. Still new to WikiTree.
Greetings cousin ;)
I think that any such work, either for the Australians and Kiwis, or for the Carribeans, could be done as a project, and it could use some of the work done by the North Americans, but of course it will face different issues in terms of how to define the scope.

For now I think many of us just use the American trails when they help. For Australians it means we then have a few more centuries to bridge.

Andrew:  Thanks for your reply and I agree with your comments.

By the way, we’re 15th cousins once removed through John Smyth.

Thank you so much. Even though I have read several cautions about relationships to the Surety Barons both on WikiTree and on Ancestry, this was helpful reinforcement.

Melissa Kelly

6 Answers

+5 votes
Best answer

I am not entirely sure I understand the question on who you would be categorizing.  Here's what I get from it:

1) 15 surety barons, with descent

2)  people who descend from all 15

I don't think one can go with the wording ''oldest common descendant'', since there may be more than one in the same generation.

Since these baronial families are nobility, I imagine that they intermarry fairly frequently, as do their early descendants, small population group basically.  So the effect you are looking at probably happens fairly early on historically, and can have been repeated over and over.

In order to get the correct picture of who is involved eventually in your proposed category, there would have to be concerted work to get all the surety barons' descent entered with all the marriages etc.  An ongoing project I'm sure.

I know very little about England in this era, I'm just familiar with the effects of small population base on somebody's tree (mine looks like spaghetti). laugh  Not sure if a category would answer for what I perceive you want.

by Danielle Liard G2G6 Pilot (493k points)
selected by Melissa Kelly
The scope of the Magna Carta Project (from it's inception) is the direct relationship trails between colonial Gateway Ancestors  (200+ Gateways as documented in Douglas Richardson, ''Magna Carta Ancestry'') and one or more Magna Carta surety barons.  For project purposes these documented lineages do not extend past the Gateway Ancestor. Gateway Ancestors are often directly related to more than one surety baron.  There are both project templates and categories specifically for these Richardson documented Gateway Ancestors and their validated lineages.

What you seem to be referring to appears to be the earliest common ancestors that are directly related to all (15) of the surety barons with lines to a present day descendant.  This is outside the scope of the Magna Carta Project.  

I hope that I understood your question correctly.

Just a point of trivia about the signing of the Magna Carta.  Of the 25 barons that were chosen as sureties not one signed the Magna Carta.  The Magna Carta was an edict of King John and as such contains his seal, but not his signature.  True or False ?
Thank you David yes you understood my question completely correctly and thank you for giving an answer that responds to my question. If you had answered as an answer rather than reply I would have picked you as best answer.

 While I have your attention, the live cast on Saturday mentioned an interest in the project for having Gateway ancestors to Australia listed. Can you describe what qualifies as a gateway ancestor to Australia as my ancestor came to Australia and he was a descendant of Sir Christopher Hildyard.
Interesting that you should bring this up. I was having a conversation with Liz Shifflett about this very subject in the last few days,  For Magna Carta purposes a Gateway Ancestor is a colonial immigrant (the British American colonial period extended from 1607-1776) that has a direct parent-child relationship to one or more Magna Carta surety Barons.   These Magna Carta Gateways (the ones that are currently recognized as such) are documented by Douglas Richardson and his work is the basis for the scope of the project.  There is no similar work for Australian colonials that I am aware of,  That would involve exploring a whole new group of Gateways Ancestors.  We talked about the possibility of a sub project that would cover the Magna Carta connections of our Australian cousins.   No decision has been made as yet as to whether this would be feasible given our small group of active participants and the research challenges that this would present.  Building such a project from the ground up would tax our current resources and knowledge base.   

There may be a project sticker that could be used to identify individuals with Magna Carta ancestry (potential or validated lineages) but that is not my area of expertise,  For that answer we would need to speak to Liz Shifflett.  She is the project's categoization, template and sticker expert.
I see - so that clarifies the situation as uncertain at this time.  :)

I was also listening to the video and wondering the same.

Hullo David 

Thank you for the response regarding Australia Gateway.

On re-reading this thread, I have a clarification to what you previously said in your first comment...

"What you seem to be referring to appears to be the earliest  ancestors that are directly [DESCENDED FROM] all (15) of the surety barons with lines to a present day descendant." 

I also removed the word 'common' because its use appears incorrect  or unnecessary with the way you have paraphrased my question. 

These individuals are 'gateways' through which all 15 lines pass and they are always the 'earliest such individual' of their particular branch of descendants.

+6 votes
I mean at some point, in the surprisingly recent past ( a few thousand years ago), there is a single person who is the ancestor of all living people:

and the European most recent common ancestor lived probably around the time of Charlemagne. It's pretty straightforward math.

I don't think that there's much value in trying to categorise all the different ways that lineages converge like this. It would be a lot of work, the answers we find would be wrong, and there's no real genealogical value to the effort that I can see.
by Brad Foley G2G6 Mach 5 (56.9k points)
Are there two thoughts about that:

 1) we talking about the earliest common descendant not the most recent common ancestor and

2) wikitree already has the Magna Carta project so this is most relevant to that project and part of that project is Gateway ancestors and verifying their trails. Surely anyone who is a descendant of all those Magna Carta originals that are listed as having descendants into the modern era qualifies as a significant descendant of that project because anyone such as this man is a gateway ancestor to all of the MC Sureties.
But having a category that is "the oldest single person who descends from all the original 15 signers" is a category of one. So not helpful. Having a category that is "all people descended from the original 15" is basically everyone of European descent. So, not helpful.
No Brad, again you demonstrating that you are not understanding what I am asking.  It is neither a category of 1 nor a category of everyone.   You have twice demonstrated an unreasonable negative attitude that is in no way addressing the category specifics of my question.

Perhaps the wording of my question has assumed a knowledge of gateway ancestors but has not explained it. I am sorry.

Let me try to break it down. Brad, have you checked if you are a direct descendant of all 15 Magna Carta Surities? Yes or no?

If yes, are you related to all 15 through 1 of your ancestors?

If yes, is that ancestor part of the European Aristocracy?

It is neither a category of 1 nor a category of everyone but a select group of qualifying ancestors that could be significant to those interested in the descendancy aspect of the Magna Carta Project.
I'm sorry that you found my comments so negative. You're right, I didn't understand that when you wrote: "who is the ultimate closest common descendant" you actually meant "collection of verified gateway ancestors".
+7 votes
I looked this up for my family after the live feed Saturday on Magna Carta. My earliest ancestor who descends from all 15 Sureties is . Not as early as yours.
by Ben Molesworth G2G6 Pilot (146k points)
Thanks for answering Ben. Very interesting. Thank you for your answer!

I do like the comment re this that you have left on your ancestor's profile.
I was thinking it would be an interesting project trying to find the nearest descendant to all of the 15 Sureties listed, but I think if you put Sureties into the relationship finder, it would probably only search back through ancestors, and not search for a connection through descendants. I wonder though. Maybe I'll try it a little later.
Interestingly, my ancestral line to Sir Christopher Hildyard appears to be the only one of my ancestral lines that can claim such a diect line of descent.
Yes I was thinking that without a category to collect this information such research work as you're suggesting will be lost with no collection Point.  

However, thinking about it further, even if the Magna Carta Project did not support such a categorisation of these significant descendants Gateways a free space page  with this title could be started as a collection point for this information
Robert Molesworth is the only line that I have that can claim such descent too. What I did, was a relationship search for all 15, and took a screen shot of each line for comparison. So, it is at Robert that all of them came together. Up higher than him, his father's side had 11, and his mother 4. But this could be wrong too. It may have just shown it that way, because the connection for 11 is closer on his fathers side, and 4 closer on his mothers side. I may discover that there could be a common connection higher still.
Yes I started with the same basic search process

just a note - there are 17 barons with descendants past the 4th generation. Two pairs of father/son have been combined in the Relationship Finder Quick Links list for Magna Carta surety barons (I've asked that the pairs be separated - over a year ago at least, if I recall - and I believe this is on Team Wiki's list, but it's not a high priority).

The pairs in the Quick Links are set up to check for a connection to the son (if you connect to the son, you'll also be a descendant of the father). However, most all of the barons had large families (which is why if you connect to one, you likely connect to a bunch), and there are many connections that run to the fathers through a child other than their sons who are also surety barons (Hugh Bigod-1 & Gilbert Clare-673, sons of Roger & Richard, respectively).

So... check also for connections to Roger Bigod-2 & Richard de Clare-651 (if you're using Chase's app, it will check those separately for you).

Cheers, Liz

Thank you for making it easy to check those extra two. Yep, he is descended from them through his fathers' mother too. Both through Nicholas St John.
+6 votes

Hi again! I just posted a comment/reply about 17 vice 15 barons with descendants past the 4th generation.

However, having now finished reading all of the comments/answers (as of about an hour ago - 1:30 pm Eastern Time on the 19th of October), I wanted to address the question of Australian Gateways.

As David said, the Magna Carta Project does not have the resources for a sub-project. But we would love to have someone submit the trail for an Australian Gateway (or two or three...) for review for inclusion in the Project.

After the LiveCast Saturday, we followed up with Ben & the result was to add a Magna Carta Project section to Molesworth-137, who immigrated to Australia. The number of barons a Gateway Ancestor descends from is irrelevant for this. And my apologies, but I'll be going "off question" now.

The subject of having Gateways who immigrated to Australia has come up several times in the past, but no one who was interested thought it worth the effort to find primary documentation for parent/child relationships from the Australian immigrant to someone documented in Richardson's works, which is what the Magna Carta Project requires before looking to add someone to its "Gateway Ancestors" who is not documented as such by Richardson. (We generally also require the potential Gateway to be a pre-1700 immigrant... the pre-1700 bit would be waived for Australian colonists because colonization of Australia was much later - specifics of a time constraint for Australian immigrants have not been explored yet.)

The subject of having non-immigrant Gateways added to the project has also come up, but not been pursued. However, this does not seem to be what you're asking either.

I don't quite understand what you're asking, but have some ideas that I'll post as a different answer.

Cheers, Liz

by Liz Shifflett G2G6 Pilot (539k points)
I would agree that avoiding the word "gateway" is probably indeed best, because it is a more-or-less defined term in America.

I would also say that any such project should be discussed with the country projects one by one, and only started if there is real interest, because the immigration histories are all different.

Third point I'd make is that a key decision is scope: As in America, you'd want to limit to some cut-off date. In the case of Australia, I'd say that probably needs to be 1900? In case there would not be much point making it earlier than 1850 because there would only be a very small number before then? My Louisa Barwell came in 1859. Her brothers and sisters went to NZ.
How about a free space project? Use it put together some initial lists of 19th-century immigrants. There would be quite a few immigrants with medieval ancestry that don't have a descendant who is an active member of WikiTree. I can think of about 4 of the top of my head that I have added or adopted.

I'm thinking of something similar to "Gateway Descendants from Edward III" but with a broader scope to include medieval barons.

Two 19th-century Australian immigrants have been identified there.

I'm not keen on using "gateway" ancestor for a 19th-century immigrant but I'm not opposed to others using it.
I suggest always using "gateway" with scare quotes if we are not referring to the American ones.

I don't believe medieval "gateway" study should be limited to people with connections to barons or even lords of manors in cases like these. If you can trace to a 15th century "citizen" in London or King's Lynn, then that's also great, and often even more interesting. In general I think those of us working on medieval periods should work as much as possible on going beyond the various types of "lords".

Of course, as already stated above, any such project should, in the spirit of how wikis work, set a limited "scope" which will not be too ambitious, but I don't think allowing for the "bourgeoisie" will overwhelm any such project. I think setting the cut-off year is more important.

Concerning scope here is a wiki style idea. First start a project that allows immigrants up to say 1870, rather than 1900, and see how that goes. I suspect that as we near 1900 there will be a landslide of better off immigrants?

Firstly lots of better off immigrants among early settlers. Especially younger sons. However there is a landslide of immigrants from the 1850s with the gold rushes.

State based Pioneers groups have various dates of cutoff.

Port Phillip Pioneers before separation in 1851

Swan River first ten years 1829 - 1838

South Australia first ten years ie 1836 - 1846

Yes I was also thinking about the different character of the immigration in the distinct colonies. I tend to focus on NSW, which had the biggest and earliest immigration, but quite a different style at first.
Thanks for those websites, Ann.

Agree with including any medieval ancestor. A merchant or a town mayor can be a lot more interesting than a king or baron. Also medieval female ancestors.

Yes, start with earlier 19th-century immigrants up to 1870 or 1880. It could be expanded to include later immigrants up to 1900 if there is enough interest in it.

What would be a suitable name for this potential project?

Thanks Charlene. 

I think we need to take account of existing Australian projects

I don’t think we are talking “Gateway” but what we are identifying are Immigrants whose ancestry has been identified with confidence to 1500s and earlier. This is usually, but not always, because of connections to notables, land owning classes ... You are going to need documents like probate and deeds before parish records became widespread.

One feature of this group is that they would have usually been conscious of their genealogy. For example my 3rd great grandfather Philip Chauncy wrote of his forebears in his memoirs. I am sure knowing your family history influenced who you were and of course your attitudes to colonialism and your role in the British Empire. I can’t think of a pithy way to identify them though yet.

I suppose indeed you need to define the aim a bit, keeping in mind that the aim might evolve and you want to leave room for that too.

One aim is simply to provide an option for Australian genealogists to share usage of a tag/category, but a slightly more ambitious approach would be to require some sort of review process in order to deserve the tag. The American Magna Carta trails have a multiple step process and a registered team. They also have the advantage of a whole genre of books, most recently Richardson, to help them. So maybe this project should take an easier and less ambitious approach such as allowing self-placed categorization, but then encouraging project members to review the proposed chain of descent and post any concerns on G2G or some fixed place.
There is a descendant sticker which can be altered to point to any medieval ancestor.

This profile uses it for several kings:

We could set up some subcategories under the category "Descendant Studies."

Medieval Descendants, New Zealand Immigrants

Medieval Descendants, New South Wales Immigrants

+5 votes

Hi again, again!

Not sure if I understand your question, but here are some thoughts.

I think that your question is looking at gateway from a different perspective than the Magna Carta Project... from the barons to a person, rather than from a person to _a_ baron. The Project's focus for a Gateway is on the immigrant - the gate being where the "Gateway Ancestor" landed... that person opening the gate/door for all the Americans who are descended from a surety baron.

The Project's focus for those immigrant Gateway Ancestors is to have a badged trail to a surety baron - "a" as in one. What you're asking about would require the identified person to have badged trails to all 15 - if 15, then the two Dads are there too. I say badged trails because trails badged by the Project have been reviewed by the Project and found to be valid. The likelihood that all of the trails returned by the Relationship Finder or Chase's app are valid are slim to none.

So we'd need to find the ancestor(s) of the Project's Gateways who had badged trails to all 15 barons. I don't know of a way to easily do that. Tediously, you could go to Gateway Ancestors category & run up the trail/s of each badged Gateway, checking the categories for each badged profile until you found one with 17 Descendant categories - see the Glossary for the Project's definition of a badged trail and the Surety Baron Index for links to the Descendant categories. NOTE please that the Descendant categories are maintained by the Project and should include ONLY those profiles that are in a badged trail to that baron. The profile you're asking about, Christopher Hildyard is not in any badged trail, but his mother is, to 6 barons... see her categories.

All that said, what you are asking could possibly be the basis for identifying "non-immigrant" Gateways. As I said in my other answer, the question has come up before but not been pursued - mostly because setting criteria presented too much of a headache. But if we only included the "last badged" descendant of all 17 barons, that might work.

For example, Christopher would not be eligible, but once the profile for his mother was connected to all 17 barons, she would be. Or maybe we could lighten the criteria a bit and say 6 or more (or 6 or more excepting those descended from Albini-39 or Lanvallei-3 - they're the two who seem least connected; if you connect to the others, you'll probably connect to most of them).  Maybe add a time constraint? Living between 1415 and 1515? 

I mentioned in the LiveCast one of the Project's co-leaders, Michael Cayley, who did not have a Gateway Ancestor since Michael's still in England, but looking at his ancestry, you find lots of trails to surety barons. Crawling around his tree, I find the badged profile of Robert Wingfield (who is in three badged trails).

With the criteria of a badged profile for someone living between 1415 and 1515 who is in badged trails to 6 or more barons, includes both Christopher Hildyard's mother and Robert Wingfield's ancestor Margery (Despenser) Wentworth. Then living descendants of these "Never Left" Gateways could use a tailored Descendant sticker to point to them - see the Project's tailored stickers [here].

With criteria as stated (badged to 6 or more, except the 2 barons mentioned & living between 1415 and 1515), I could set up and monitor a "Category: English Gateway Ancestors to Surety Barons". The Project would not actively pursue populating the Category, but would monitor it to ensure only profiles meeting the criteria are included. So... not an official "Never left Gateway" subproject, but would it meet what you're looking to establish?

Cheers, Liz

by Liz Shifflett G2G6 Pilot (539k points)
edited by Liz Shifflett
+5 votes
The main problem that bedevils these investigations is that there's no single standard of Truth.  You don't get very far before you run into a controversial connection, and then everything beyond that is provisional, and hedged with ifs and buts.

The Richardson books are quite conservative on the whole, but they do have the occasional "probably", or in a few cases "possibly".  And they have connections that are disputed, even without a "probably".

When looking at Plantagenet genealogy, you bump into Gladys Ddu, who might or might not connect a large number of people to King John.  Richardson shows that line, but some wouldn't.  Even Geni doesn't.

Behind Gladys, there's Christine Mowbray, maybe a Henry II descendant, or maybe not.  Richardson doesn't accept that line.

Gladys isn't a Magna Carta issue, but Christine is.

Looming larger on the Magna Carta front is the Burghersh - Weyland - Braose - Rus line, which is Christopher Hildyard's route to Huntingfield. Richardson doesn't show it.

However, Aleš's new CF has the facility to block lines.  This means you can tailor the genealogy without having to customize WikiTree.  In principle you could make it never show a non-book line when going from a book Gateway to a baron, though you might need a long blocklist.

As regards "Richardson genealogy", only 3 Gateways have the full house of 17 barons - Bladen and the Harlestons.

In the Harleston case, I think their grandmother Jane Wentworth has 16 barons.  She has the Weyland route as well, but without that, she needs her husband to bring in his obscure Huntingfield line.

On the Bladen front, Ursula Tyrwhitt seems to have all 17, but she'll need both parents.

(If you allow the Weyland route, then 7 more book Gateways (Farrar, Skepper, Blakistons, Mansfields) are added to the full-house list)
by Living Horace G2G6 Pilot (573k points)
edited by Living Horace
Yes, I have this problem. My shortest most direct line to most of the Magna Carta barons goes through the problematic William Grenville and Philippa Bonville. I do have a longer more solid link to the barons via the Fulford's and Bourchier's but the basic relationship calculator only shows that line for two of them. For the other's I have to do a two-step calculation.

Where do I find the new facility to block lines?
The full drill

1 - On your profile menu, or anybody's, choose Connections or Connection To Me.

2 - Enter the target baron in the right-hand box and select "Connection through a common ancestor".  Run it.

3 - Check the baron in the last box.  If it says "(his son)", block the father by clicking the X in the previous box.  It reruns automatically.

4 - Likewise block mothers and siblings until you get a direct descent.

5 - If it's a line you don't want to see, X the person you want to avoid.

6 - If this brings up something more hideous, just keep going.
Wow!! Thanks so much RJ. Especially for answering the "how many connect to all" 17 question!
I think the X option is new? If not, then in any case thanks RJ. Makes me wonder why we can't just have a tool which gives the option of avoiding all half siblings, parents and spouses.
OK, so running it with Connection through a common ancestor only gives the problem of parents, and if you remove those it is basically the Relationship Finder?
yes, but with the ability to say "don't go through" a specific person. I hit tons of sureties, but too many go through double "Uncertain" relationships (I'm not convinced that the Thomas Harris connected to my brick wall as father is actually his father and his relationship to his father is also marked uncertain).
Oh yes it is important to note that without being critical I have direct links to all sureties. That is not difficult. Wikitree still has a LOT of those links.
Thanks for those instructions RJ.

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