Is Edward Fitz Randolph (Fitz_Randolph-42) no longer a proven gateway ancestor?

+9 votes
Edward Fitz Randolph (Fitz_Randolph-42) is a long proven gateway ancestor reaching back to John of Gaunt (Plantagenet-66) and to the English royal line. I've checked this previously on wikitree and it was so. Today I checked again and found that they are no longer connected except as distant cousins. Has new documentation emergered? When did this happen and why? Did I miss something?
WikiTree profile: John of Gaunt
in Genealogy Help by Leila Schutz G2G2 (2.7k points)

Can you post what you think the line was? And  then we can tell you where and why it was broken.

2 Answers

+4 votes
Best answer

OK, I think I understand this all now.  The simple answer is, no, Edward Fitz Randolph the immigrant is not a known descendant John of Gaunt, Edward III or have any other known connection to the kings of England.

The connection comes from: L.V.H. Randolph. Fitz Randolph Traditions. (New York, 1907), p. 120.  It is complete garbage.  This book made the Fitz Randolph line go:

Edward Fitz Randolph -- Emigrant,

son of Edward Fitz Randolph of Langton Hall d. 1635

son of Christopher Fitz Randolph

son of Randolph de Neville

5th son of Ralph (or Randolph) de Neville -- Duke of Westmoreland d. 1565.

No, the Fitz Randolphs are not descended from the Dukes of Westmorland and the spectacular ancestry that would go with it.  They are thought to descend from the Fitz Randolph family of Spennithorne, co. York (no connection to the Dukes of Westmorland). 

This family had been traced back quite a few generations to Ranulph Fitz Robert who married Mary le Bigod, daughter of the Magna Carta Surety, Roger Le Bigod.  The line appears in early editions of Magna Carta Sureties and in Douglas Richardson’s 1st editions of Magna Carta Ancestry.  However, there is an unproven or doubtful generation (John Fitz Randolph who m. Joan Conyers is not proven to have had a son John) and the line has been removed from Richardson’s most recent work Royal Ancestry.  The line remains in WikiTree.


NEHGR vol. 97 (1943), 275-277 and  295-298

NEHGR vol. 99 (1945):335-336.

Weis. Magna Carta Sureties 5th edition (1999): line 164, for old line.  There is a good discussion of both the evidence and of the problems with the line by the noted genealogist John Insley Coddington

Richardson. Magna Carta Ancestry 1st ed. (2005):342-343, for old line.

See Richardson.  Royal Ancestry vol. IV (2013):226, sub Neville. showing the line removed.

by Joe Cochoit G2G6 Pilot (213k points)
selected by Elizabeth Ernst
Just to clarify that the "old line" here is the Spennithorne line.  The "Dukes of Westmorland" line was never in any reputable book.

Fitz Randolph Traditions is a very odd book.  There's a lot of interesting stuff in it.  The pedigree is deliberate fakery, not a mistake or just over-optimism.  And yet the book never mentions Edward III - the author draws the line at making that claim explicit.

I think Gary Boyd Roberts has proposed an alternative line through Joan Conyers, but it doesn't bypass the difficulty.

There are a couple more versions out there on the net.  One is the "Dukes of Westmorland" line mangled by software, including WFT.

Another internet version ingeniously avoids the debunked "Dukes", but keeps some of the ancestry, by having Elizabeth Holland marry a FitzRandolph instead of a Neville.
+3 votes
He is listed as a questionable gateway ancestor. This generally means  sources considered less reliable than the works of Richardson show him as a gateway ancestor, but Richardson does not. Except in a few instances the Magna Carta Project uses the work of Douglas Richardson as its benchmark for inclusion as a gateway ancestor.
by Doug Lockwood G2G Astronaut (2.4m points)

Related questions

+11 votes
2 answers
+5 votes
1 answer
327 views asked Oct 18, 2018 in Genealogy Help by Andrew Lancaster G2G6 Pilot (105k points)
+7 votes
3 answers
272 views asked Jan 13, 2017 in Genealogy Help by Bettye Carroll G2G6 Mach 4 (46.3k points)
+3 votes
1 answer
+3 votes
0 answers
+3 votes
1 answer

WikiTree  ~  About  ~  Help Help  ~  Search Person Search  ~  Surname:

disclaimer - terms - copyright