Remove Parents?

+6 votes
336 views
As the biography states, it is believed that this person is a mixture of two men.   The US Presidents project would like to remove the parents shown as they are unproven.

There is a lot of speculation presented, but no solid evidence.   Even the birth, death and marriage records are all over the place as far as dates and places.

This profile is also marked as a Questionable Gateway Ancestor, so I would like to hear from the Magna Carta Project, along with the Scottish Clans
WikiTree profile: Andrew Monroe
in Genealogy Help by Robin Lee G2G6 Pilot (664k points)
It doesn't seem too likely that the mariner who was in Maryland in 1642 was the same guy who was banished in 1648. I'd probably leave them marked as uncertain. It's going to take a fairly big effort to dig out the primary sources to really settle it.
I'd really hold out for a primary source on the banishment story.
Yeah, the more I think about it, the more impossible it sounds. Preston was wholly a land engagement. It's not (totally) ridiculous that a Maryland seaman would head back to Scotland to support the Royalists, though the Civil War broke out in 1642, so you would think if he was so committed to it, he wouldn't have waited until 1648 to go back and help out. But why is he in a land battle? The Royalists had plenty of naval action going on. Why wouldn't he be there instead of thrusting pikes with a bunch of Scottish levies under a gaggle of idiot commanders?

And then there's the transportation. Mackenzie supposes that he must have escaped from his master, which is indeed about the only possible explanation, since all the Scots transportees seem to have been sold for 7 years. But in 1650, he supposedly gets a land grant for headrights-how does a guy who's on the lam (A) get enough money to transport four people and (B) keep himself out of irons when he shows up in Williamsburg with his claim? Indentured servants in the 1640s were notoriously ill treated, and you can imagine what they did with the runaways. The guy's basically an outlaw, but supposedly he's collecting a 200 acre land grant? It's still 1650 - the Commonwealth runs Virginia as much as they do England. Maybe I could believe that after the Restoration, he can run around doing all this without an alias, but the story sounds highly implausible in its historical context.
I'm working on the profile now and as I drill down to more reliable elements one common genealogical mistake surfaces as a possibility -- that there were more than one Andrew Monroe alive at the same time -- who surely must have all been the same person!.  

At least one of them, as reported by Skordas, was the subject of a 50 acre grant in Maryland in 1651 because he had been "transported" -- his way paid by someone else -- as a "Servant."  The Andrew in Maryland signed with a mark;  the one in Virginia was literate.  The Andrew in Maryland took up arms in Ingles' Rebellion against the royal government of Lord Baltimore;  the Andrew in Scotland was fighting for King and Scots against the Commonwealth.  

Put them all together and you have a character of confusing loyalty who fought against the king one year and for the king a year or two later, and who is widely reported by repeaters of the myth to have spent his golden years as an aristocrat learning to read and write.

Interestingly, the accounts which are so credulous about Andrew, are careful to remind us that the parentage of Andrew's wife Elizabeth is not clearly known.  Which is too bad because, assuming the truthfulness of another couple of leaps of fancy, she is my ancestor by her second husband.  And who knows, that family too, given the age she must have been, may have been a medical miracle!

5 Answers

+2 votes
The Biography appears to have a lot of notes which have not yet been digested.  Since there is a controversy about his parents, it would be helpful for the biography to contain a specific discussion of his parents, which sides in the discussion say what, and what documentation they have, or don't have.

In the long run, that will save everyone time and energy -- if the discussion is there, and written in the clearest and most persuasive way possible, then any unhappiness with the disconnection of parents can be referred to that discussion.  If the discussion is not there, then one will find onesefl continuinnly re-arguing the case!  

So what you're proposing is reasonable, but it should be preceded by some intensive work on the biography itself so that it is as clear as posdsible why the current parents need to be disconnected.
by Jack Day G2G6 Pilot (345k points)
I agree, but, without profile managers that represent the projects involved, I fear that no matter what I do, there will be those that critique.   So, I would prefer to have the projects weigh in prior to a lot of work on the profile.
The internet has this habit of trying to merge incompatible theories.  But the Mackenzie story is all of a piece.  It can be factored out and dealt with separately, from the book.  It looks like just a totally bogus attempt to connect the Pres to the clan.

Then see what's left.  But it won't have a descent from Robert the Bruce in it.
+2 votes

The story about Andrew Munro being at the Battle of Preston comes from Alexander Mackenzies, History of the Munros of Fowlis .. and the Munros of Katewell are on pp. 480-483 which doesn't cite any sources at all.

I also think the dates don't work.  Andrew Munro's mother Agnes Munro is the daughter of Alexander Munro, Minster of Durness from 1620-1653 and his family is mentioned on pp. 391-92.  There is only one son, Hugh, whose age is given (died 1698, aged 63 making his birth date about 1635) and even if Agnes was born 20 years earlier in 1615 it makes it very difficult for her to have a younger son who is fighting in 1648. 

Back on page 481 there is also mention of a nephew of Andrew Munro, born in 1724, which also suggests that the dates don't fit.

There is also an article by Gary Cummins, Treatment of prisoners of war in England ... which states that many of the Scottish prisoners after the Battle of Preston were sent as slaves to the sugar plantations in the West Indies, probably Barbados (see p. 39) - there is no mention of any being sent to Virginia.

As Ben has also suggested the idea that Andrew Monro could be captured in August 1648, sent off as a slave and then be granted land in June 1650 seems very unlikely and overall I think the story about being captured at the Battle of Preston is just that - a good story that has no basis in fact.

by John Atkinson G2G6 Pilot (438k points)
There's a further problem with Andrew Munro's mother, Agnes.  If she's the correct Agnes Munro, her father wasn't born until 1605 (five years after Agnes' birth :-) ) and his father was Hector not Robert according to the relevant volume of Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae (vol 7, p 101 at https://archive.org/stream/fastiecclesiu07scotuoft#page/n117 )
+2 votes
The 1650 land grant (http://lva-linux-temp.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com:8991/F/21VIEHPEDJXL74G7HFSC94J63PCJ9GG985CE15B9M7FB2KQV8D-30651?func=full-set-set&set_number=001333&set_entry=000004&format=999) lists the transportees as Andrew Monrow, Sarah Hungerford, Christian Bell, Richd. Farmer (probably Farmer, not 100% sure)

So, we're expected to believe that the Colony of Virginia gave him a headright for being compulsorily transported by Cromwell.

Here's a blog post that has some good research on it.

https://liveasfreepeople.com/2017/04/06/james-monroes-ancestors-and-family-relations-of-virginia/
by Anonymous Buckner G2G6 Mach 5 (51.8k points)
edited by Anonymous Buckner
+2 votes
Reading the comments here & looking at the profile page, I would be inclined to agree the parents should be disconnected. Regardless of that outcome, I removed the Questionable Gateway Ancestors category.

Cheers, Lizl
by Liz Shifflett G2G6 Pilot (419k points)
+1 vote
So I took on editing Andrew Monroe.  Results:

1.  Fact-based narrative of his life, with inline citations, from arrival in Maryland as early as 1637 to death in Virginia.  Material placed in chronological order with dates in subparagraph headings to create a timeline.

2.  A new profile created for Major Andrew Munro of Scotland, who fought in the Battle of Preston in 1648.  This Andrew now has the Scottish ancestry, which I have not touched, although it has problems as noted elsewhere in this discussion.  I hope someone else will take that on.

3.  Separate section under Research Notes discussing the theories conflating Andrew Monroe, immigrant and Major Andrew Munro, and why they are improbable.

4.  Multiple entries of duplicative material deleted.  Material from weakest sources, i.e. ancestry, deleted; in every case a better source was found for it.

Now back to working on the Alexanders, which brought me here -- and Andrew Monroe's wife Elizabeth may not have actually been an Alexander!
by Jack Day G2G6 Pilot (345k points)

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