Starting a project on William the Conquerer. He was the first king of England and came from Vikings

+4 votes
Working on my Ancestors and Descendants from McCains and Ryders. I have disvovered that I have direct Descendants from William the conquerer and other french nobility from the Ryder side. McCain used to he MacCain before coming to america. I have a cousin who has fully researched mySater side. I grew up not knowing anything about my extended family both my parents were only children and we had little access to any other members. Finding William was a surprises and my dna profile came back western European  it fits with my new findings  so now I want to know more about the whole region
in The Tree House by Marisa Ryder G2G Rookie (250 points)
Technically, William the Conquerer was not the first King of England.  That title belongs to Egbert who proceeded him by a couple of hundred years.  Egbert was king of the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes who had conquered the native Celts.  Later, the Danes--Canute and Hardicanute--tried to wrestle England from the Egbert's descendants, but were only partially successful.  William came in from Normandy and dethroned King Harold II in 1066/

2 Answers

+5 votes
Not the first King of England, but the first Norman King of England. England had Saxon kings for hundreds of years before William. I am descended from both William and Harold II (the last Saxon king, defeated at Hastings by William). It seems weird to know that two of your ancestors faced each other across a battlefield, and how history would have been different had Harold won.

Yes, William was descended from Vikings, his ancestor being Rollo/Rolf who came as a mercenary to defend France from his own relatives, and was rewarded with the Duchy of Normandy (Normandy meaning the land of the North Men.)

If I can be of help, let me know.
by Susan Scarcella G2G6 Mach 7 (73.3k points)
0 votes
From Nathan Mollett (paternal ancestor) who married Tamsey Stafford, I'm related to the Staffords of England. The Staffords can trace their lineage back to Robert de Toeni, a standard bearer for William the Conquerer at the Battle of Hastings. Robert de Toeni was the younger brother of Ralf de Tosney, a Norman noble. After the battle was won, Robert managed to secure several land holdings with 80 knights - amongst them was a town called Stafford (or "town by the river"). He was awarded a castle built in his honor and he named it Stafford Castle after the town and took Stafford as his surname. They become quite wealthy and influential - Shakespeare's mother was an Arden from neighboring county Cheshire and she married a Stafford. Unfortunately, the main branch runs afoul of Cardinal Thomas Wolsey and accuses him of taking royal liberties. Humphrey Stafford is executed while on his way to trial and the main branch is stripped of its holdings which are given to a lesser branch. When they are restored to their titles and holdings by a later king, they don't have the circumstances to support either and the lesser branch gets to keep them. John Stafford (1712-1788) moves his family to Fermanagh, Ireland and buys a piece of land for his homestead. They make quite a bit of money there before moving to the US through Virginia where Tamsey meets Nathan and they marry in Giles, VA. Fun fact: Nathan's father, Noah, was a British soldier sent to fight the Continental Army, but becomes a turncoat and is later awarded land in Montgomery County, WV.
by Kelly Yee G2G1 (1.2k points)
edited by Kelly Yee

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