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Legacy Project Page - Magna Carta Project

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Legacy Project Page - created 24 March 2014 by project founder April Dauenhauer and updated by many different project leaders over the years. Retired "as was" 4 August 2019. ~ Noland-165 19:43, 4 August 2019 (UTC)

Click [ here ] for the current Magna Carta Project page, which is in the process of a major review/update (begun 15:47 (ET), 4 August). ~ Noland-165

Welcome to the Magna Carta Project!

Artist rendering of King John reluctantly signing Magna Carta,
overseen by barons and abbots.

Magna Carta (Great Charter) was an agreement on 15 June 1215 between John, King of England, and twenty-five rebellious barons, establishing certain limits on the authority of the king. For centuries thereafter, it was considered a foundation of English law.

The ideals of Magna Carta inspired notions of individual liberty in the charters of the English colonies in North America, and later the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.



  1. Re-read the project page, especially the four points under Getting Started.
  2. Add [[Category:Magna_Carta_Project]] to your profile page.
  3. See requirements for membership at Magna Carta Project Members.
  4. Go to Base Camp and pick a trail to start working on from the third table, "Magna Carta Trails Ready to Get Started!!!" - post a comment at Base Camp that you're taking it on.

Surety Barons

William d'Albini
Hugh Bigod
Roger Bigod
Henry de Bohun
Gilbert de Clare
Richard de Clare
John (Clavering) FitzRobert
Robert FitzWalter
William de Forz
William Hardell
William de Huntingfield
John de Lacy
William de Lanvalay
William Malet
Geoffrey de Mandeville
William Marshal
Roger de Montbegon
Richard de Montfichet
William de Mowbray
Richard de Percy
Saher de Quincy
Robert de Ros
Geoffrey de Say
Robert de Vere
Eustace de Vescy

† These eight barons have no descendants after four generations and do not link to any colonial Gateway Ancestors.

Illustrious Men

Phillipe d’Aubigny
William d'Aubigny
Alan Basset
Thomas Basset
Hubert de Burgh
Warin FitzGerold
Matthew FitzHerbert
Piers FitzHerbert
John FitzHugh
Alan of Galloway
John Marshal
William Marshal
Hugh de Neville
William Longespée
Robert de Roppesley
William de Warenne


The Magna Carta Project exists to categorize and improve profiles of the twenty-five medieval barons who were surety for Magna Carta; about two hundred proven American colonial Gateway Ancestors who were their descendants; and the documented lineages that connect them. We documented and improved over seventy lineages, and hundreds of profiles on these Magna Carta Trails prior to the 800th anniversary celebration of Magna Carta in June 2015. Although the celebration is over, we continue working on the remaining Trails.

If you would like to help improve Magna Carta-related profiles on WikiTree and develop trails from Magna Carta Surety Barons to Gateway Ancestors, we'd love to have you join us! (First - please review the four points Getting Started)

Being a Member of the Magna Carta Project

See this page for requirements. You'll also need to have the pre-1700 badge and have been a WikiTree member for at least 3 months.

The Magna Carta Project is not for the faint of heart, but it offers a unique opportunity to collaborate and learn. Magna Carta trails will take you from British colonial immigrants in the New World (New England, Early Pennsylvania Settlers, the Southern Colonies) to nobles in the British isles from the Renaissance and Reformation all the way back to the High Middle Ages. The research skills needed in each area and era are quite different.

Between the seventeen surety barons with descendants, and the two hundred or so known colonial Gateway Ancestors, each trail averages fifteen to twenty generations. This means we have an estimated several thousand profiles needing our attention—not to mention their immediate families (parents, spouses/partners, and children)—everything from basic date and parentage validation and sourcing, to more elaborate dispute resolution and biographies! Fortunately, the trails overlap as we work back into history, so we can work together on those shared ancestors. No matter what your experience level is today, you'll be amazed at how much you can learn about genealogy on this project!


Getting Started

Magna Carta Project members must be comfortable creating rigorous, sourced profiles; thoughtfully handling ambiguous and disputed information; and interacting courteously with less-experienced PMs and editors who may, understandably, have passionate feelings about their family's lineage. If you'd like to join the project, or want to understand better what we do, start here:

  1. Find a completed trail on Base Camp and review it from end to end to see the scope of our members' work.
  2. Review the guidelines for our and related projects.
  3. Read "Evolution of a Profile" to see the process of editing a profile up to our project standards.
  4. Review the entries in the third table, Magna Carta Trails Ready to Get Started!!! at Base Camp to see if there are any you'd be interested in working on. Many candidate trails will link up to research already completed by other project members, which makes them a great starting point for newbies.

Having done that, you'll have a better appreciation of what you're signing up for, and you can start your Magna Carta journey with confidence! See the How to Join section for your next steps.

Editing Pre-1700 and Project Protected Profiles

If you have encountered a profile that is protected by the Magna Carta Project, or a pre-1700 profile that is related to Magna Carta, you are not required to join the project to edit the profile, but we do ask you to collaborate with us on your proposed changes. We will be happy to work with you!

In particular, please take a look at our approved sources and Euro Aristo's naming standards (and Cymru project's Naming Guide) to get an idea of the issues affecting Magna Carta profiles.

Current Members

The Magna Carta badge report lists all current members of the Magna Carta project. To see what project members are working on, check out the badge feed. The project also has Affiliate members, who join the project's Profile Alerts Google Group to help oversee project-managed & -monitored profiles of interest to them (see this category for affiliates).

Project Leaders

Contact Us

  • Our primary collaboration space is our Base Camp, where you can see what's being worked on now, and opportunities to help out.
  • Browse or follow the magna_carta for project-related questions and discussion.
  • A comment posted on the project profile (WikiTree-36) will be sent as an e-mail to project members and affiliates who have signed up to receive e-mails from the project's Google Group
  • Please note that the project's discussion space on Google+ is no longer used.

Project Guidelines

Magna Carta Project participants (and editors) are expected to be thoroughly familiar with the WikiTree Style Guide and must qualify for the Pre-1700 Badge. We are not part of the European Aristocrats Project ("EuroAristo"), but many Magna Carta profiles fall in both jurisdictions; our members must understand their project standards and coordinate with them where appropriate.

Project Sources

Magna Carta Ancestry and Royal Ancestry by Douglas Richardson are the foundational sources for the Magna Carta Project. (See WikiTree's source pages for Royal Ancestry and Magna Carta Ancestry, which are maintained by the Magna Carta Project.)

We follow Richardson when there is a conflict regarding a fact on a profile that is not supported by a primary source, unless there is more recent published research[1] that adds to or corrects his work. For details on implementing this policy, please see Magna Carta Project Policy and Procedures.

For other sources of information, see the Magna Carta Project Reliable Sources page.

European Aristocrats Project favors Cokayne's Complete Peerage and has recommended the Medieval Lands database, compiled by Charles Cawley and posted by the Foundation for Medieval Genealogy, for its citations of primary sources. See WikiTree's source page Medieval Lands (maintained by the Magna Carta Project).

The Puritan Great Migration project uses the Great Migration series by Robert Charles Anderson and is accepted as a definitive source for Magna Carta profiles.

  1. The term “published research” is vague, but being more definitive in the absence of actual examples is not realistic. If you have a published reference updating Richardson’s Magna Carta Ancestry (2011) or Royal Ancestry (2013), please post it to G2G and/or the Magna Carta Google Group to obtain feedback concerning the reference before making changes. For the Magna Carta project, "published research" means any publicly available documentation that adds to or corrects any information in a Magna Carta profile or trail. Such research must be viewable and supported by verifiable primary or secondary evidence following standard genealogical methods of proof and be made available for project and profile management review and discussion in the Wikitree G2G forum prior to making significant profile changes or edits.

Naming Standards

We follow the EuroAristo naming standards except for Welsh profiles that follow the Cymru project's naming guidelines. EuroAristo's standards include using the preferred spelling from Medieval Lands for the LNAB and Richardson's spelling, if different, as an Other Last Name.

Project Pages

Older pages that may be out of date:

Pages that link here: Usage of Space:Legacy_Project_Page_-_Magna_Carta_Project