Can anyone help me with a C17/18 "Harley" ancestral line that is given online?

+1 vote
580 views

I have been finding out about my family history for years but have only  recently joined an ancestry online site in the hope of finding out about some gaps in my tree. I was looking at others' links with the name Harley. My six times grandfather ws Aquila Harley, from Dean Prior in Devon (died 1838) but I think was born c.1762, in South Pool also in Devon.  As far as I know Aquila and his father William Harley (1729-80) were from a line of agriculture workers, or possibly yeoman farmers - though they may have been working in other similar occupations -  some of their relations were woolcomers in and around Dean Prior. So I was staggered to find that not just one but a lot of online members' family trees listed William Harley's grandfather as Robert Harley (1680-1747), naming him as Robert Second Oxford Harley, and as such son of Robert Harley Earl of Oxford (1661-1724). As far as I can tell these people have not provided sources and the link to the aristocratic family they suggest do not seem to have any basis in historical facts. To begin with Robert Harley Earl of Oxford did not have any sons called Robert according to every online site I have referred to. Unless that is he was illegitimate, and if so, why do these people not provide their sources? I can not accept this sudden and unexplained jump in social status, (though of course it would be fun if true)!

 am very puzzled and thrown by all this and at the moment it has made me extremely cautious about using these online ancestral sites to help feed into my own work.  Does anyone have any thoughts on this and in particular, does anyone know anything about these Harleys? Whose genealogies do I trust?

Julie Miller (Sampson)

in Genealogy Help by

5 Answers

0 votes
We should all be so cautious with information we find in online trees.  Seek as much as you can original sources or derivatives published by respectable sources.
by
+1 vote
Who's Genealogy to trust.  Trust only your genealogy until you find someone you are comfortable with.  Use others genealogy to roadmap your line and then prove it yourself.

As to a sudden jump in status, one could buy a title in those days.  One could earn a title by performing some heroic or extraordinary deed  for the king.  As prestigious as it may sound titles were a dime a dozen.  Unlike the earlier days after the Survey for those at the Battle of Hastings.
by A B G2G6 Mach 4 (41k points)
+1 vote
Hi Julie

I just saw your comments  and decided to put you in the right direction. I am a descendant of Aquila's. My grandmother was a Harley. Aquila was born 1762 South Pool, Devonshire. His parents were William Harley and Grace Wood. I have Aquila's will. I have the micro fish of South Pool, which is where I got my information from. Hope this helps.

Cheers

Vivienne Wood
by
+1 vote
There's an excellent wikipedia article on Robert Harley, Earl of Oxford and his sudden rise through marriage to an heiress and political shenanigans.
by C E G2G6 Mach 3 (36.2k points)
+1 vote
Hi Julie,

I have just seen your post re the Harley's and I am also a descendant of Aquila Harley through his daughter Grace who married Roger Stone. I was quite excited too, to see that we may have been descended from Robert, Earl of Oxford, but I have come to the same conclusion as you. Robert did not have a son Robert, and his son Edward, became the 2nd Earl of Oxford.

Have you been able to find the parentage of Robert Harley 1680-1747 or the confirmation of his death in 1747? I hope to hear from you and hope you may be able to shed some light on all this.

Regards,

Jennifer Mack
by

Related questions

+1 vote
1 answer
48 views asked Oct 11 in Genealogy Help by Flyer Seabrook G2G Crew (340 points)
+2 votes
1 answer
47 views asked Feb 17 in Genealogy Help by anonymous G2G Rookie (280 points)
+4 votes
1 answer
+1 vote
2 answers
+4 votes
2 answers
67 views asked Apr 1 in Photos by Robert Webb G2G6 Mach 3 (39.1k points)
0 votes
2 answers
48 views asked Feb 13 in WikiTree Help by anonymous G2G Rookie (280 points)
0 votes
0 answers
+4 votes
1 answer
+6 votes
0 answers
34 views asked Jul 9, 2017 in The Tree House by Ian Norris G2G Crew (790 points)

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

disclaimer - terms - copyright

...