Has any researcher traced his ancestry back to William the Conqueror? [closed]

+29 votes
I am trying to find the haplotype  (yDNA) for William the Conqueror.

 My  DNA  has been tested and recorded as R1a1.  I am searching to see

 if it leads back to the Normans and William the Conqueror.
closed with the note: Very old question.
in The Tree House by John Butler G2G1 (1.8k points)
closed by Darlene Athey-Hill
Thanks, Rebecca.  Well said
Hi Jim

My line also goes through Eleanor of Aquitaine through to King James 1 Scotland.
Thanks Charles... it really bothers me when folks try to equate hundred(s) of year old ancestors to present day and expect reparations for the ancestors' ills or deeds or think that eliminating them from records will erase history.. IT WON'T.    History is just that... HISTORY !  Simply learn from it and make improvements to our own lives from it.  

I also share your DNA (23andMe) and I believe I'm a cousin of William and a grandson of his main benefactor back in France at the time.
My family tree also goes back to William, the Conquerer. I once considered hiring a professional to confirm this, and she said this is not that uncommon for those of us who can trace our roots to England, which is where the homeland of the majority of my ancestors on my mother's side of the family. Considering the population of Normandy of the time, and its size, I think this is more common than one might thing.
On Ancestry he’s in my tree. I haven’t gotten that far here, I’m moving them over one by one. I’m a girl though so I’m not sure my dna will match up.
My dad is the individual who raised the question about tracing one back to William the Conqueror.  If he was still alive today, he would be happy to know the via Connection Finder, he is indicated as a direct descendant of William.

Normandie-32 Butler-2464
This will probably be of interest to readers of this thread.

Thx Christopher!

20 Answers

+31 votes
Best answer
There is no known direct paternal line descendant of William the Conqueror who has been Y-DNA tested.  If you know of someone then please have them step up.   Y-DNA is direct line only, so if there is a female ancestor between you and William then your Y-DNA is ruled out as being from William.  Thus your Y haplogroup and haplotype reveals nothing regarding William's DNA.
by Peter Roberts G2G6 Pilot (613k points)
edited by Peter Roberts

Peter, is there any way to add this type of information into WikiTree? See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_haplogroups_of_notable_people

I know a paternal line descendant of the father of John Howland (Howland-21), but so far he has refused to be tested.

It would be interesting to see this information propagate throughout WikiTree. I suspect we will find instances where the genealogy on WikiTree and the DNA do not match.

Yes.  That is how I added King Richard III. One issue is finding the livng persons who tested and getting their permisson.   There are a lot of possibilities from that site.  Thanks.  It is important that the results also be in mitoYDNA.org.  Edited to replace YSearch and MitoSearch with mitoYDNA.org

The mitricondrial DNA of King Richard III has been discovered by the University of Leicester when they found him buried under a car park (in the same city) and a descendant (X) a Canadian was found working in London. Richard III like Richard II was a direct cousin of the Percies and the Plantagenets. When Hotspur married Elizabeth Mortimer their son Henry (2nd Earl) was seriously in contention to gain the Crown as was his father. Don't forget that Henry Bolingbroke (Lancaster and King Henry IV) was a usurper, a schemer and a coward.

If Hotspur had won the battle of Shrewsbury in 1403 he would have been crowned King Of England in his own right and his Grace The current Duke Of Northumberland would not only be King of The North but King of England!

HRH Prince William and his wife Catherine, 'The Duke and Duchess Of Cambridge' are both descended from the ancient House of Percy.
You are correct. All LEGITIMATE descents from William the Conqueror are through the female. William had 4 sons: Robert 'Curthose', Duke of Normandy, Richard, William II and Henry I and several daughters Adeliza d osp, Cecilia d osp Matilda, Constance and Adela (all of whom had descendants)

Robert had one legit son, Williiam Clito who died osp and three illegitimate children: Richard d osp, William disappeared from history after 1110 and a daughter.

Richard d osp

William II died osp

Henry I had two legitimate children: William d osp and Matilda (Maud), who married Geoffrey Plantagenet, through whom many descents come BUT he had many bastards to different mothers, including Robert Fitzroy, 1st Earl of Gloucester, Reginald de Dunstanville, Henry FitzRoy, Rbert William, Fulk , Gilbert and William, all of whom had descents, both legitimate and illegitimate, many of them male.

Descendants of these male descendants of William married back into other families of the aristocracy, so it is possible that there are male descents from William. I would love to see them....I don't have any male descents- all of mine are maternal. Sigh. LOL
We'd know if there were any.

But a version of the descendancy chart showing male/female lines only would be very interesting, and should be quite easy to produce, as it would only be the normal chart filtered.  Perhaps the DNA Project could ask Chris.

Hello Charles,

Please add sources for more of your ancestry and look for possible merges for likely duplicates you may have created (especially this part https://www.wikitree.com/treewidget/Percy-615/5 ).

Thanks and sincerely,

Henry is the one to Study for Male Y Dna Descendants there are is a Surname Henry, and FitzHenry The Normans Did Also Raid Ireland. One of Henry I basterd Sons Robert was also known as Robert de Caen so There is also the Cain, kane Surname there may be other Variants. There are Y DNA Groups of these Surnames.
Just curious but how many places have implemented this rule, and at what periods in time, instead of having it be the person with the least amount of women in their line? Is this because they have found so many with direct dna lines? That was a little bit of sarcasm at the end nut not towards you. The question is for you lol
Not sure if it went through, a prior comment or if I'm understanding.

I have a brother and 2 male cousins that are direct paternal line.  My brother and I also are direct maternal to William.

I don't know he'd do a DNA test.  He was at one point quite interested in our tree.  Through our Sevier line, I had posted something about Shirley Temple and Tennessee Williams, and he made a very rude comment.  He has not done any research, so wouldn't know better.  My cousins, I'd have to contact.
Hello Justine,

Are you willing to connect your brother’s direct paternal line to what is already in WikiTree?

Thanks and sincerely, Peter
Yes, would be happy to.  

I haven't used WikiTree so I'd need to know where to go to do so.

I have another computer I can install Family Tree Maker on and my entire tree with numerous FTW files to merge it with is on a hardrive that is broken.  I need to take it to the shop to have all the data put onto one that isn't.  So it could take me a bit.

Our Paternal Line, if memory serves me, is through the Sevier/deXavier lineage. I know the older book of the Sevier tree goes down to my father and uncle.  Not sure if the recent one includes us, as I lost touch with the author.

Our Maternal Line, if memory serves, is through Catron/Ketttenring but would have to look.  It seems that tree only goes back to the 1500s.  I may have taken one of the ancestors back to William the Conqueror on it or through another relative.

Back in the late 90s, when I first got onto the internet, I'd gone far back enough to apply with all of those "societies" including Magna Carta and Charlemagne.  Seems it was through Martha Eltonhead(e) - Conway.  Though, I can't be for certain, it was long ago.

Looked up their gateway ancestors last night when I was replying and saw many more familiar names.  All of those fees add up and the main point for me was to ensure we were easier to find 3 generations from now.  But the fees, just a bit much.  I understand the costs, but just not something I could do, so I only joined a few.

In mean time, I might be able to find our line a little easier through posts.  Let me look and please let me know where you'd like the information added.  I have a few books and print outs of some census records still that may also ease things.
My Dad told me we were descendants of William the Conqueror. I didn't really believe him nor cared. Many years later I decided to see how far I could trace back my last name. After several weeks of work I traced it back to William The Conqueror and Rollo. I had my Y DNA tested and I looking to get it confirmed. Any suggestions?
You can't use Y DNA for this one, because we don't know William's Y DNA.

Best way to check the pedigree might be to post it in a new thread on g2g and ask for feedback. Make sure you tag it "medieval" and "pre 1500" to get the right kinds of people checking.

Have you checked to see if all the people in your line to William are in Wikitree already?
+9 votes
There are some very ancient entries born year 785, or perhaps need more clarification on your question. See:

by Living Lechner G2G6 Mach 6 (62.1k points)
+9 votes
My husband can trace his back to william the conqueror,he  is the nephew of the last Marquis or Ormonde,and cousin to Lady Anne and Lady Cynthia his daughters.

regards sharmaine jennings
What is your husbands name. I am direct to the first Earl of Ormonde.
Hi so sorry for the late reply,just seen your question. Yes my husband is John Peter Jennings,it Uncle was the last Marquis I’d Ormonde,we were in London only some months ago for the launching of the Latest books of the Ormondes and Butlers. John along with his other 2 cousins wrote the foreword in the book.It was a great time.Are you a member of The Butler society well worth joining. Kind regards sharmaine
+9 votes
I also trace back to William.  My y haplogroup is R1b1b2a1a2f*  I imagine there are many different haplogroups represented by various WTC decendents.
by Steven Grover G2G Crew (470 points)
+12 votes

Hi John,

Since you posed this question last year, DNA has become a much bigger part of WikiTree.  If you are still seeking answers to this you might want to post your question again and see if you get more responses.  You might also be interested in joining our DNA Project.

We also have a DNA Community on Google+ if you are interested in joining there as well.


by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (2.0m points)
+12 votes
I have, but I am curious as to how accurate record keeping was back then.
by Doug Lockwood G2G Astronaut (2.5m points)
+8 votes
Hi!  Early on in my paper trail research, I traced my line back to William the Conquerer and his line back to Charlemagne, but quickly began to question the validity of the data, so I abandoned it.  However, there was some circumstantial evidence that may have been significant in the search and perhaps I should not have dumped the branch of my tree.  I was tracing the Warren family, a prominent family in Sampson County, NC (as is Butler), and I followed a trail back to England that just kept on going.  Eventually, I found that the people in the Warren family had crossed the Channel around 1066 and I realized where this line was going.  It turned out that the family was from a village in Normancy called "Varennes."  When the people from "Varennes" moved across the Channel, they changed their name to "Warren" and linguistically, that fits tradtion in the French language for people who live outside the homeland to change the first consonant in their names, expecially with the letters V and C, going to W and K.

I have since been tested at FTDNA, and I have a strong Warren link.  My 2nd great-grandmother was a Warren.

This is all largely anecdotal, but if you wish, you can contact me and we can try to figure out what I once found online.

Ron Hudson
by Living Hudson G2G Crew (440 points)
Hi Ron i have a Warren Y67 Match who is also a Big Y Match to me , i have been working on this myself im interested in any info you may Have.
Al Scott ( Scott-9507)
+6 votes
Not only William the Conqueror (through gateway ancestress Harriett Bromfield), but also from Harold II, whose daughter Gytha, married Vladimir Monomakh. It sort of creeps me out that two ancestors of mine stood face to face at the Battle of Hastings, but then, when I think about it, so did many other of my ancestors, since I am descended from several of the Normans in William's army (undisputed ones) and a number of Saxon nobles (though, since they retained their lands, they probably supported William anyway. LOL)
by Susan Scarcella G2G6 Mach 7 (73.3k points)
+3 votes
Yes William the Conqueror is my 25th Great Grandfather. I note that you say 'his' so you would be more interested that my Brother traced the ancestry line however he has not taken the DNA test.

by Living Wood G2G6 Mach 2 (21.2k points)
Since my last post my brother has taken a DNA test. I will check with him in regard to William the Conqueror.

help of King Henry I of France, William managed to survive the early years. After the Battle of Hastings, in 1066, he was crowned King of England. He never spoke English and was illiterate, but he had more influence on the evolution of the English language then anyone before or since. He was only 5’10”, compared to Matilda of Flanders, who measured in at a mere 4’2”.   Tumultuous Early Years Born circa 1028 in Falaise, Normandy, France, William the Conqueror was an illegitimate child of Robert I, duke of Normandy, who died in 1035 while returning from a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. At only 8 years of age, William became the new duke of Normandy. Violence and corruption plagued his early reign, as the feudal barons fought for control of his fragile dukedom. A few of William's guards died and his teacher was murdered during a period of severe anarchy. With the help of King Henry I of France, William managed to survive the early years.  Battle for the Throne The king knighted William, still in his teens, in 1042. Taking a new stand on political events, William finally gained firm control of his duchy (although his enemies commonly referred to him as "The Bastard" due to his illegitimate birth). By 1064, he had conquered and won two neighboring provinces—Brittany and Maine. In the meantime, the childless king of England—Edward the Confessor, whose mother was a sister of William's grandfather—promised William succession to the English throne. However, when Edward died in 1066, his brother-in-law and most powerful of the English lords, Harold Godwin, claimed the throne of England for himself (despite an oath he made to William to support his claim). The Witan, a council of English lords that commonly took part in deciding succession, supported Harold. William, angered by the betrayal, decided to invade England and enforce his claim.  William assembled a fleet and an army on the French coast, but due to unrelenting north winds, their advance was delayed for several weeks. In the meantime, the Norwegian army invaded England from the North Sea. Harold, who had been preparing for William's invasion from the south, rapidly moved his army north to defend England from Norway. After defeating the Norwegians, Harold unwisely marched his troops back down to meet William, without a rest. On October 14, 1066, the two armies met in the famous Battle of Hastings. King Harold and his two brothers were killed in the battle, and since no one of stature remained to raise a new army, William's path to the throne was clear. He was crowned king of England on Christmas Day.  Land Grab for the Normans There were several revolts in the next five years, which William used as an excuse to confiscate English land and declare it his personal property. He then distributed the land to his Norman followers, who imposed their unique feudal system. Eventually, Normans replaced the entire Anglo-Saxon aristocracy. William, however, retained most of England's institutions and was intensely interested in learning about his new property. He ordered a detailed census to be made of the population and property of England—which was compiled in The Domesday Book (now an invaluable source of historical information and still in the Public Record Office in London).  Legacy William died on September 9, 1087, in Rouen, France. He had four sons and five daughters, and every monarch of England since has been his direct descendant. Although he never spoke English and was illiterate, he had more influence on the evolution of the English language than anyone before or since—adding a slew of French and Latin words to the English dictionary. The introduction of skilled Norman administrators may be largely responsible for eventually making England the most powerful government in Europe.
+3 votes
As a side note I would recommend an episode of the show, who do you think you are Courtney Cox of Friends fame was the subject. She had a line traced back to William the bastard. It shows quite well how it's done by professional geneologists & historians. A straight line y descendant would be very tuff.
by Jesse Elliott G2G5 (6.0k points)
+3 votes
ydna is passed down from father to son to son to son and so yours would only match William I if you are a direct male descendant with no female ancestors on the trail. While many have descended from him only his sons and grandsons descendants would match his ydna.
by Raymond Nichols G2G6 Mach 1 (10.7k points)
+1 vote
My tree says a 2nd cousin many times removed but it's still there.   I did not do any DNA tests, nor do I have any plans to.
by Rebecca Snider G2G6 Mach 1 (14.3k points)
+1 vote
Hi Yes I have. William the Conqueror is my Great grandfather Thomas Blomfields 27th Great grand father.

Blomfield-54 - Normandie-32

William is my 31st Great Grandfather

Regards, Michael Griffiths New Zealand
by Michael Griffiths G2G Crew (670 points)
+1 vote
William I "the Conqueror" FitzRobert is my 29th Great Grandfather.
0 votes
28th ggf..  Through his son Henry "The Lion of Justice"
by Mary Beth Nix G2G3 (3.5k points)
+1 vote

I have gone back before William I to Charlemagne and some 4th century Romans. The chart in this video gives a good idea of 'William the bastards' position. https://youtu.be/15Uce4fG4R0

and I have king Arthur, Cleopatra of Egypt, and Chinese emperors if you believe the garbage that is on some sites
+1 vote
My "May" Connection traces back to him I do believe.
by Tammy Howard G2G1 (1.0k points)
+1 vote

Mr. Butler, my name is Thomas Jackson and I also have Wm. the Conqueror as my 24th great grandfather. I also have some Butlers in my ancestry. Wm was the son of Robert the Magnificent an Judith of Brittany.

I live in Summerfield , NC and can be reached at: g.tomjackson@gmail.com  Hope to hear from you.
+4 votes
The obvious route to get William the Conqueror's YDNA would be through one of Henry I's illegitimate son's direct male-line descendants.

I started with Robert of Gloucester, the most noteworthy of Henry I's illegitimate sons. His eldest son, William, had only surviving daughters. Second son Roger became a bishop. Third son Harmon was killed in a siege and had no children as far as I know.

Fourth and fifth sons Richard and Philip's issue is unknown to me. Robert also had illegitimate sons of his own (grandbastards if you will), one of of whom became a bishop and the other left one daughter.

Perhaps descendants could be sought through Robert's fourth and fifth sons Richard and Philip.

The issue with this thread is that people don't get that YDNA only passes father-to-son, and if their line has a female in it, the YDNA transmission has been broken from William the Conqueror.
by Jessica Key G2G6 Pilot (254k points)
0 votes
I have traced my children's paternal grandmother's ancestry back to Rollo I of Normandy and also to William the Conquerer, through her Moon ancestral line, the paternal ancestral line of her grandmother, Gertrude Gifford-McCulla nee Moon, daughter of William Noel Moon, who was the 24x great-grandson of Lord Guillaume/William De Moyan ( Adeliza De Ponthieu) William De Moyan of Moyan, Normandy, France, was a supporter of William the Conquerer and fought in the Battle of Hastings for which he received from William the Conquerer /King William titles to land in Dunster (Dunster Castle), William's wife Adeliza is the line that leads directly to William the Conquerer, her mother was Adelaide of Normandy, daughter of Robert I(The Magnificent) of Normandy, son of Richard II (Richard the Good) of Normandy, son of Richard I (Richard the Fearless) of Normandy, son of William "Longsword" of Normandy, son of Rolph "Rollo" Rognvaldson I of Normandy (Poppa "Duchess of Normandy" Of Bayou). Robert the I of Normandy is the 30x great-grandfather of my children through his mistress NN, they were the parents of a daughter Adelaide of Normandy, mentioned above who married Guilliame/William De Moyan, mentioned above. Adelaide's half-brother was William the Conquerer later King William of England, he was the son of Robert I (Robert the Magnificent) of Normandy and Herleve Of Falaise, daughter of Fulbert Of Falaise
by Sandie Schwarz G2G6 Mach 2 (25.2k points)

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