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Christopher (de Havilland) Haviland (abt. 1519 - abt. 1589)

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Christopher Haviland formerly de Havilland
Born about in St Martins, Guernsey, Englandmap [uncertain]
Ancestors ancestors
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married in Church of St. James, Poole, Englandmap
Husband of — married [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died about in Poole, Yorkshire, Englandmap [uncertain]
Profile last modified | Created 21 May 2017
This page has been accessed 880 times.
This profile is part of the Haviland Name Study.
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Birth & Parents

Christopher de Havilland, son of John de Havilland (of Wilkswood) & ?Juliana ?de Sausmerez, was born ca 1519 (estimated herein). This is according to the best primary evidence available: Book of the Staple, 1589-1727, wherein is found the following entry:

M[emorandu]m the xxvjth day of maie an[n]o d[o]m[ini] 1593 the Towne seale was putto a c[er]tificate sent to Garnzey c[er]tifinige that Mathew Havilond of Bristoll merchant was the sonne & heire of xptofer Havyland, Christopher the sonne and heire of John Havyland, and John Havylond the sonne and heire of James Havylond of Poole. --Willm Dicker maior [1]

(Note: The Chronicle de Havilland by John V.S. de Havilland and The Haviland Genealogy by Josephine C. Frost list Christopher as the son of a James Haviland, Mayor of Poole in 1502 & 1506, however careful research and new evidence have invalidated this lineage. For more information, see below.)
His date and place of birth is not supported by any known evidences at this time, but there is no doubt (based on a collection of primary source information, heraldic achievements and DNA validation between descendants from vastly different branches of the family) that he descends from the de Havilland family of Guernsey.
We therefore assume he was born on Guernsey and settled in Poole, England about 1540, as there is primary evidence of him residing there as of 1541/2. This relocation is in continuity with his proposed father and grandfather.


Christopher married first on 16 Sep 1544 at the Church of St. James, Poole, England, to Cecelia Mann, daughter of John Mann and Cecelia White. This is supported by the Poole Parish Register, wherein the record states, in the year 1544: "Christopher Havylland and Cecyly Manne were married 16th Sep." [2] It is also validated by the Will of Cecilia's father, John Mann, proved 13th Jun 1578, wherein he refers to his daughter as "Cisclie Havilland" and states: "Item, I doe ordaine to be my Overseers my three sonnes in law, John Crake, Christopher Wickes, and Christopher Havilland, to whom I doe give to everie of them fortie shillinges, as is before written." [3]
The baptism dates of their children below are presumably in the year of birth.

Family Unit 1
John de Havilland
Christopher de Havilland
Cecelia Mann
1546Thomas Haviland ?baptized 1546 [4]
1548Richard Haviland?baptized 10 of ** 1548 [4]
ca 15 Jun 1550Matthew Haviland11 Mar 1619baptized 15 Jun 1550
(Godfathers Matthew Havelland and Thomas Mann,
Godmother Margaret Crook) [4] [5]
married Kytchin, __?__, __?__
1553James Haviland1613baptized 1553 [6] [5]
married __?__, Maindonail
ca 17 Apr 1555Margaret Haviland?baptized 17 Apr 1555 [6] [5]
married Buck
ca 15 Dec 1560Eleanor Haviland?baptized 15 Dec 1560
(Godfather William Constantine, Godmothers Elinor Pitt and Cecelia Goddard) [6] [5]
married Hiley
ca 30 May 1563William Haviland?baptized 30 May 1563
(Godfather William Constantine and Richard Wight, Godmother Ann Mann) [6]
ca 7 Feb 1564Cecelia Haviland?baptized 7 Feb 1564
(Godfather Edward Mann, Godmothers Amy Wight and Cecilia Crook) [6]
ca 25 Apr 1566Nathaniel Haviland?baptized 25 Apr 1566
(Godfathers John Seward and Harry Benters, Godmother Alice Bingley) [6] [5]

His wife, Cecelia, died 26 Aug 1586. [7]
Christopher married second ca 1587 to Amy "Anne" Mann, Widow of William Pitt and Cecelia's half-sister. No issue. Amy is listed as his wife in the 1623 Visitation of Gloucestershire, which inaccurately records her as the mother of the children. [8]

Family Unit 2
John de Havilland
Christopher de Havilland
married ca 1587
Amy "Anne" Mann (Mrs. Amy Pitt)
No Issue

Death & Burial

The year of death of Christopher is not known.
The evidence cited by Herald John V.S. de Havilland in his version of The Chronicle of Haviland is the Poole Parish Register record (DRO MIC/R/632) that states, Mastr Christopher Havilland, the Soñe of James Havilland, was buryed. Febr:12:1589." [9] However, that seems to indicate the Christopher of a different father. See "Errata" below.

Primary Evidence Timeline of Christopher Havilland

Special thanks to genealogist Penny McKay for help with the following compilation:
  • 1539: Not mentioned in the Poole muster of 1539
  • 1542: First mention of Christopher in the port records for Poole in early 1542 (1541/2) when he is listed as the owner of some cloth and lead on the ‘Mawdleyn’ of Poole (PRO E122/207/6)
  • 1544: Married Cecily Manne 16 September 1544 at Poole (Poole Parish Register); assessed on £15 of goods for the subsidy this year (Dorset Tudor Subsidies 1523-93, ed T L Stoate, Almondsbury, 1982)
  • ca 1547: Christoper was assessed at £15 of goods for lay subsidy (PRO E179 104/180)
  • ca 1550: Christopher was assessed at £10 in goods for lay subsidy (PRO E179 104/190)
  • 1553-8: Christopher was mentioned as a juror on a manor roll for Canford Manor, dating from reign of Queen Mary I. (DRO CMR 12).
  • 1553: Christopher was appointed Bailiff of Poole (Poole borough record book No 1, op cit). This means he became an administrator for judges at sessions of the royal court, acted as an executor of writs, assembled juries, collected fines, and otherwise represented the Queen's business in the city.
  • CULTURAL CONTEXT: 1553-8: Christopher's appointment to Bailiff of Poole (a position not to be confused with the Bailiff of the isle of Guernsey) might have coincided with the death of King Edward VI on 6 July 1553 and the accession of Queen Mary I, an important piece of context given that Mary I was strictly Catholic and persecuted Protestants. The political climate of this period was marked by a rise of religious intolerance in France and England between the Catholic Church and the reformed Protestants. While the de Havillands might have begun with the Catholic church (having been long associated with the church of St. James in Poole), it is possible that Christopher was sympathetic to Protestants. His son Thomas is alleged to have been staunchly Protestant in the years following Mary's reign [5], and Christopher's apparent grandson William immigrated to the New World [10], probably to seek freedom from religious persecution like just about everyone else who arrived there. William and his descendants became Quakers there. [11] The so-called Heresy Acts had been revived during his period, and as a Bailiff and Juror Christopher might have found himself in the uncomfortable position of "judging" or administrating cases against Protestant reformers. Executions against Protestants commenced in this precise period, what history calls the Marian Persecutions. (See List of Protestant Martyrs of the English Reformation. Of note is an absence of martyrs from Poole.) Also note the burning of the three "Guernsey Martyrs" in 1556 at St. Peter Port, supported by then Bailiff of Guernsey, Hellier Gosselin. This might have had an emotional and political impact on the family, being that the de Havillands on Guernsey had been Jurats (a station that reports to the Bailiff on Guernsey) before, but apparently not during, the Marian Persecution period. It is not unreasonable to assume that the horrific Guernsey Martyrs episode incited a move of the de Havilland family toward Protestantism, which impacted not only Christopher's eventual fate in Poole but even the decision to remove the Nobiliary particle "de" from the surname of Christoper's and other English branches, including his descendants, in order to disassociate themselves from the Catholic-aligned French. Thus "de Havilland" became just "Haviland" in the years that followed, except for those branches on Guernsey. While we have no evidence to support these speculations, it's not possible to dismiss this cultural context as having an impact on the de Havillands, as well as their footprints (or absence thereof) in the official record, especially given their political and social stations.
  • 1558/9: Christopher was assessed at £15 in goods for the lay subsidy. (PRO E179 104/211)
  • 1559: On 24 February, Christopher was one of the men on of the jury for the Court of Admiralty at Poole. (Old Record Book No 2, DRO DC/PL CLA 24)
  • 1563: Christopher paid 7s 4d for house and various pieces of land in Poole, the third highest amount in the town. (Chief rent, 28 April 1563, DRO DC/PL CLA 56)
  • 1568: Christopher was one of many men who signed to authorise certain members of the town council to spend money on behalf of the rest in obtaining the new charter for the town of Poole (Old Record Book 3, DRO DC/PL CLA 25)
  • 1569: Elected Mayor of Poole for the first and only time. For mysterious reasons, he either did not take the office or did not hold it long, for the record indicates he was replaced that same year by his associate William Constantine (whom is also named as a Godfather for some of his children). There is another instance of two mayors serving in the same year in the list from 1490-1590, and in that case the new Mayor, or Mayor Elect, had died. (The History and Antiquities of the County of Dorset, John Hutchins, London, Bowyer & Nichols, 1774 – also more recent editions.) However we should not assume that Christopher simply died in 1569. He may have returned to Guernsey for some period between 1569-1586. Or, records might have simply been lost.
  • CULTURAL CONTEXT: As above indicated, there are signals in the record that members of the de Havilland family were converting to Protestantism, and Mary I was executing known Protestants during this time. Poole being a prominent port city, receiving ships from France, would have placed Christopher in a precarious situation in his years in office if he decided to support Protestants, or at least not persecute them. We have potential evidence that he stayed in line with traditional Catholic alignment (see 1586 below).
  • 1571: Lay subsidy list for Poole does not mention Christopher Haviland (PRO E179 105/223)
  • 1574: The 1574 Poole ‘Census’ lists 1373 people who were living there at this time. Christopher Haviland and his family are not there. (Poole Census 1574, Poole Borough Archives, 1992)
  • 1578: Named in the Will of father-in-law John Mann of Poole, Dorsetshire, proved 1578 in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury. (It is possible for a Will to be written prior to the death of a named inheritor. However that is not likely here, given the wording of the Will and social class of the family, and we must cite this as evidence that Christopher was probably still alive but possibly no longer located in Poole. He might have gone back to Guernsey, where Catholicism faded since the end of Mary I's reign. But we need supporting evidence of this.)
  • 1586: The following is from secondary source material only, and no primary evidence has been cited nor found to substantiate it. Per Josephine Frost, Christopher "was one of those who obtained the Municipal Charter of Queen Elizabeth in 1586, this being considered as the foundation of the Municipal Franchises of Poole. From its dissolution in 1550 until 1586, Christopher was a Trustee of the property of the Guild of St. George.[12] Also see The History of the Town and County of Poole by John Sydenham (1839), pp. 335-336, and 415. [13]


Conflicting theories as to the parents of Christopher Havilland (we shall nickname him "Bailiff Christopher" herein) have been caused by assumptions in source material, and gaps in the records of Poole and Guernsey. As a result, major secondary source publications have long perpetuated what are now believed to be errors.
A number of certified genealogists have questioned these theories, but in particular, Penny McKay of England introduced strong evidence of Christopher being the son of John Haviland of Wilkeswood Manor, and cast enough reasonable doubt on the traditional references that contradict it to prompt us to locate this profile accordingly.
As stated above, John von Sonntag de Havilland, a spirited and controversial genealogical researcher and one of the only Heralds with the College of Arms who was ever born in America, published the following burial record as his proof that "Bailiff Christopher" was the son of a James:

Januarie 24, 1589. Mastr Christopher Havilland, the Soñe of James Havilland, was buryed. [9] [14]

We can accept this evidence in several ways.
  1. Maybe it was "Bailiff Christopher" who died in 1589, and the Book of the Staple's specific identification of Christopher, the father of Matthew the merchant, is somehow wrong. But this is highly doubtful.
  2. Maybe the father stated in the record is incorrect, or is misread.
  3. Maybe this is a different Christopher who was in fact the son of a James, and not a reference to the "Bailiff Christopher" at all. This is the most likely answer.
There is no evidence that this record has anything to do with "Bailiff Christopher." Per Penny McKay:

The burial records in the Poole parish register are very difficult to use. There are clear entries from 1538-c1541, then for several years they are nearly all illegible. Another batch of more legible ones occur in the period 1547-57, and then they are almost impossible to decipher again for many years. Part of the problem is very difficult handwriting, but then main reason is that at some time in history the register was damaged by damp, and on many of the pages it is only possible to read the top and bottom entries – all those in the middle are practically invisible. None of this is helped by having to use microfilm, and I must admit that I have not enquired whether it would be possible to try looking at the original under UV light or similar. I think the register may have been in slightly better state when examined by 19th century genealogists, but believe that the water damage had occurred prior to that time. What all this amounts to is that there is no way of telling if this is the only reference to the burial of a Christopher Haviland, or if there could have been another one that is now illegible. [15]

The debate as to the father of Christopher Havilland can be traced back to the years preceding 1914 but may go back to the mid-1800's. Here are the three proposed fathers:
  1. James de Havilland (1498-1540, Jurat of Guernsey, son of Thomas de Havilland, Jurat of Guernsey, as proposed by genealogists Eduardo Haviland Hillman and published by Josephine C. Frost in The Haviland Genealogy of 1914). They cite as evidence the Visitation of Gloucestershire in 1623, which itself is weak. (See below.)
  2. James de Havilland (Mayor of Poole 1502 & 1506, son of James de Havilland & Helena de Beauvoir, as proposed by John V.S. de Havilland in his rewrite of the Chronicle de Havilland). It is not presently known what, if anything, was said of Christopher and his parents in the original manuscript of the Chronicle written by Thomas Fiott de Havilland. but the Herald clearly decided that the burial record in the Parish Poole Register was one and the same with the one-time "Bailiff Christopher."
  3. John de Havilland (b. ca 1488, Mayor of Poole in 1514, 1520, 1526 and 1534, son of James de Havilland & Helena de Beauvoir, as proposed by U.K. genealogist Penny McKay who manages the Haviland surname for the Guild of One Name Studies in London). She cites as evidence the entry in the Book of the Staple. If this is true, the person who died in Poole in 1589 was a different Christopher, for that person was the son of a James, not a John.
Today, we believe option #3 is correct. However this is in the face of numerous secondary sources to the contrary, including various genealogies that used the Chronicle de Havilland as their reference, or else used the same ambiguous Visitation records.
Caveat Lector: Secondary sources are incestuous. While they have the appearance of supporting one another, they usually derive from one another. The challenge with "Bailiff Christopher" is that his relative, General John von Sonntag de Havilland, became a York Herald and introduced a theory into his manuscripts that has been contested for over a hundred years by certified genealogists. But, being a Herald, his work impacted the official records of the College of Arms, and the results have been reproduced into many publications.

Analysis of Our Correction

It is probable that there was more than one Christopher Havilland son of James living in Poole around the same period. But only one of them became Bailiff of Poole and was briefly elected as Mayor of that place, and while the "traditional" notion is that he was the son of James son of James, we are here proposing to correct that, based on hard evidence, that he was the son of John the son of James.
The Matthew to which the Book of the Staple (quoted at the top of this profile) is referring was the Sheriff of Bristol in 1594, and Mayor of Bristol in 1607. He was a major character of the time, managing a fleet of ships which he contributed to the fight the Catholics in the Huguenot Wars of France. As stated above, it is apparently the reason why William Haviland, the immigrant who became the progenitor of most Havilands in North America, might have had the will and the means to get to America in the first place - via his uncle Matthew (or maybe even if Matthew was his father, as that has been considered). However, this record very clearly makes Matthew the son of a Christopher, which is already well established... But various genealogists have placed this Matthew as the son of Christopher, the Bailiff of Poole. Whether that is the same Christopher or not is not yet known for sure. But this record then states that Christopher (whether he was our Bailiff or not) was the son of John, son of James, of Poole.
In regards to option #2, the aforementioned John V. S. de Havilland (née Haviland), son of the Philadelphia architect John Haviland, Esq., anonymously revised a manuscript written by Thomas Fiott de Havilland known as "The Chronicle de Havilland" in which he presented Christopher, the Mayor of Poole, as the son of James (the Mayor of Poole in 1502 and 1506) the son of James (Mayor of Poole 1494, 1498) the son of Thomas, Sieur de Haveilland (Jurat of Guernsey 1470). This is based partially on the Visitation of Gloucestershire in 1623, partially on a pedigree in The History and Antiquities of the County of Dorset, by John Huthcins, [16] and partially on the said 1589 death record in the Poole Parish Register (which might be the origin of the problem). The pedigree published in John V. S. de Havilland's Chronicle de Havilland is a combination of multiple Visitations with his own interpolations. In that, he clearly depicts Christopher (Mayor of Poole in 1569), as the son of "James Havellande" (Mayor of Poole in 1502 and 1506), by his wife Julia, because that was his belief. We do not believe that to be correct.
When Josephine C. Frost began her book, The Haviland Genealogy, based on dialog between Frederick Haviland (son of Robert Barclay Haviland of Haviland Porcelain fame) and numerous other members of the family, including John V.S. de Haviland's first cousin Dr. Alfred Haviland, she commissioned a Haviland researcher in England named Eduardo Haviland Hillman who discovered the "errors" in The Chronicle and believed that our beloved "chronicler" had simply confused James (Mayor of Poole 1502, 1506) with James (Jurat of Guernsey 1517) who was more contemporary with Christopher's generation. So he thought "Bailiff Christopher" was the son of "Jurat James" not "Mayor James," partially citing that the Visitation of Gloucestershire in 1623 indicates that Christopher's father was of the "isle of Guernsey."
Burke's Landed Gentry published the same theory as Eduardo Haviland Hillman: "James de Havilland, Esq., heir to his brother 1537, Jurat 1517, m. 1511, Colliche, dau. of Nicholas Fouachin, Esq. Seigneur d'Anneville, in Guernsey, and widow of Thomas Sausmarez; by her he left issue at his decease, 14 Oct 1540 ... Christopher, who settled at Poole, Dorset, and m. Cecilia Mann, was ancestor of Haviland-Burke, the Havillands of Ditton Hall, and De Havilland of Langford Court, Somerset." [17] There is no surprise that Landed Gentry echoes the Visitation assumption, as that is its purpose, but it is interesting that the Chronicle contradicted it. And it might not have been John V.S. de Havilland's contradiction, but rather that of the original author of the Chronicle: Thomas Fiott de Havilland, the builder of Havilland Hall and the first known enthusiast of the surname whose work has been passed down. In his own privately printed family tree, now owned by descendants, and possibly printed in the original copies of the Chronicle, claimed that James de Havilland and Helena were the parents of Christopher! On close inspection it seems clear that he skipped a generation by accident, as he states that James de Havilland "settled at Poole between 1450 and 1475," but then depicts his son Christopher m. 1541 (66 years after his father settled here) to Cecily Mann. While Thomas did not cite evidence, he was clearly not sure of himself, stating that James was a "contemporary of Thomas in the Guernsey Branch (a Jurat in 1474 and 1481), [who] may have been his brother." John V.S. might have recognized that a generation was skipped and in his rewrite of the Chronicle attempted to correct the error by adding another son named James: "By Helena de Beauvoir, James de Havelland had four sons, Richard, James, John, William... We now return to the surviving line of James Havelland, Esquire, son of James and Hélène. He left by his wife Julia an only son, Christopher Havelland, born circa 1512; married 16th September 1544, Cecilia, daughter of John Mann, Esquire." [18]
Further, Eduardo believed that John V. S. de Havilland split one man into two. He stated, "There is proof that there was a James de Havelland Mayor of Poole in the years 1494, 1498, 1502, and 1506, but no reason to think, without evidence, that they were not one and the same person." [19] In the pedigree that John V. S. de Havilland republished, James who was elected Mayor in 1494 and 1498 died in 1502, and stated as a source that the date is recorded on brass in the church of St. James. We have asked the church of St. James to search for this evidence in 2017 but they could not find it. That does not necessarily mean it was not there. Given the Reformation and the conversion of the de Havilland family from Catholic to Protestant, one might surmise that some connections to the Catholic church were purposely removed. But that is wild speculation, and has no bearing on the true father of "Bailiff Christopher."
The visitation (which is an official recording of a potential Armigerous Bearer's ancestry by the Harolds in order to register and award a Coat of Arms) was signed by Robert de Havilland of Hawkesbury, son of Matthew (Mayor of Bristol 1607) son of Christopher. It appears to be the same Matthew son of Christopher as in the book of the Staple. So why would Matthew's son sign a record that records the wrong father for Christopher?
One theory is that at the time Robert signed the document, it might not have looked wrong. The record is currently illegible. Someone wrote in pencil "Jacobus" into the official record at some point later in time. (Jacobus is the Roman form of the name James.) The original record might have originally said "John," or in Roman form, "Johannes", and in really faded old script, Jacobus and Johannes might look indistinguishable.
Robert was born 11 Feb 1576. He signed the Visitation in 1623, four years after his father Matthew's death in 1619. We do not know when his grandfather "Bailiff Christopher" died, nor where. Some researchers have suggested that Matthew might not have known whether his great grandfather was named John or James. The same record also lists Christopher's wife as Ann, which might have been Robert's step-grandmother. She was his half-grand-aunt, as she was the half-sister of Cecelia Mann, but not his true grandmother. According to the Visitation of Kent in 1592 Amy had married William Pitt, Mayor of Poole in 1593 (who was the son of William Pitt & Helena de Havilland, and brother of John Pitt who was the ancestor of the future Prime Ministers of England).
Visitations are only primary evidences for data supporting subjects living at the time they were signed. They are secondary evidences for data supporting subjects deceased, and can be based on conjecture, memory and later alterations.



  1. Book of the Staple
  2. Jolliffe, Poole Parish Records, p. 7
  3. Will of John Mann, proved 13 Jun 1578. Transcribed: de Havilland, Chronicle. p. 53.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Poole Parish Register. (See de Havilland, Chronicle, Evidences p. 29.)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 de Havilland, Chronicle, p. 11.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Poole Parish Register. (See de Havilland, Chronicle, Evidences p. 30.)
  7. de Havilland, Chronicle, p. 32.
  8. MacLean, Visitation-Glouc 1623. p. 78.
  9. 9.0 9.1
  10. Frost, Haviland. pp. 22-26
  11. Frost, Haviland. p. 76
  12. Frost, Haviland. p. 15
  13. Sydenham, Poole. pp. 335-336, 415.
  14. de Havilland, Chronicle. p. 32.
  15. McKay, Penny. Letter to Christopher Sirmons Haviland
  16. Hutchins, Dorset. p. 640.
  17. Burke, Gentry, p. 445.
  18. de Havilland, Chronicle, pp. 10-11.
  19. Frost, Haviland. p. 13.



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On 20 Feb 2017 at 12:12 GMT Christopher Haviland wrote:

Havylond-1 and Havilland-6 appear to represent the same person because: There is no doubt these two profiles are the same person.

On 18 Feb 2017 at 22:02 GMT Christopher Haviland wrote:

Based upon much research for many years across a number of learned individuals, we have moved Christopher Havilland, the Bailiff of Poole and one-time Mayor of Poole from the son of James to the son of John of Wilkeswood. This decision was NOT made lightly, as it contradicts the secondary source Chronicle de Havilland however it is supported by evidence.

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Categories: Haviland Name Study | Group Study for the Descendants of Thomas, Sieur de Havilland