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Round and Fox and the Seneschals of Dol

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Location: Bretagne / Brittanymap
Surname/tag: Euroaristo England Brittany Bretagne
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Two Free space profiles are paired:

  • Space: Legendary Scottish Stewart Ancestry is intended to describe the legends associated with the early ancestry of the Scottish Stewart or Stuart Royalty in both Scotland and Brittany.
  • Space: Round and Fox and the Seneschals of Dol is intended to describe the specific historical documentations of Stuart Breton ancestry by J. Horace Round (1901) and Paul A. Fox (2009).

See also: Lordship of Dol, Brittany, France



Summary of the Discussion

Round. In 1901 J. Horace Round [1] produce his seminal study of the origins of the Scottish Stuart dynasty in some previously obscure seneschals of the archbishopric of Dol in Brittany. This study became the standard in genealogy for a century and is reflected by the accounts currently in Wikipedia; the Wikipedia article for Flaald's son, Alan Fitz Flaald [2] primarily reflects Round's perspective.

Paul. Less than half a decade later, Sir James Balfour Paul, Lord Lyons King of Arms [3] published his version of the genealogy of the early seneschals of Dol which closely follows Round's.

Fox. Over a century later, however, in 2009, Paul A. Fox [4] published an account which adds original sources not accounted for in the early versions, and makes some essential changes in the family tree of the early seneschals of Dol. These changes, while persuasive to many, are not universally accepted. It therefore seems prudent to create this location where the tree itself, with its varying branches, can be easily compared.

Charles Cawley follows Paul Fox in his reconstruction of the Senechaux de Dol, stating that Fox's presentation appears to reflect the information recorded in the primary sources. [5] Cawley notes that "Round, in his early 20th century study on the origins of the Stewarts, splits "Alan son of Flaald" into two persons, the second being the supposed nephew of the first. However, Round cites no primary source which confirms that this is correct, and it is more reasonable to suppose, as proposed by Fox, that all the primary source records for this name in the latter part of the 11th and the early 12th centuries refer to the same person."

WikiTree and the Importance of Dates

The prudent path in genealogy is to use only those dates provided by the records -- and before the modern era, birth dates of those who had not yet become notable were quite often not recorded.

In the absence of dates of birth, marriage or death, genealogists have devised an additional means of restricting discussion to recorded dates: flourished. If an otherwise undated individual is named in two documents with dates, the individual clearly flourished between those dates.

WikiTree, as a genealogy site and linked database, functions best when an entry is made in the data field for "birth" and therefore on this site there is a motivation for estimating birth years that goes beyond the motivation elsewhere in genealogy.

It is dangerous, of course, to estimate a birth year, because then one's estimates may well conflict with estimates made for linked persons based on other criteria. In addition, one's estimates, however well-intentioned, may be mistaken by the unwary for fact and cause them problems later on.

That is an additional reason creation of this location seemed prudent, in which birth years may be estimated in the context of generational linkages.

In addition, it will appear clearly how the different schemas of Round and Fox necessitate not only the creation or disappearance of individuals felt to be historical, but also assignment of different dates to their lives.

The Earliest Members of the Dol Seneschals Family

Fox, Round and Paul treat the earliest recorded member of the family, the profile for the father of Flaald de Dol, diferently. About Flaald's own existence there is no controversy. However, these researchers differ as to whether Flaald's father was Alain -- or Hato -- or unknown.

  • Hato -- is the father of Flaald preferred by Paul A. Fox. [4]
  • Alan -- is the father of Flaald preferred by J. Horace Round. [1]
  • Unknown Father -- is the preference of Sir James Balfour Paul. Paul follows Round in viewing Flaald with brothers Alan and Rhiwallon, all of whom held the office of Senescal or Steward of Dol, under the Counts of Dol and Dinan, in Brittany, but he does not name the father of the three brothers. [3]

The Trees

Children and Grandchildren of Hato in the Fox Scenario

  1. Hato, knight of Dol, flourished 1013-1050. [4] Estimated birth year 990.
    1. Flaald, steward of Dol, married unnamed daughter of Tehel and Inoguen. [4] Estimated birth year 1011
      1. Alan FitzFlaald, Steward of Dol, married Avelina de Hesdin. It is Alan Fitzflaald, son of Flaald, not Alan the Crusader who goes on the First Crusade.
        1. Flaald fitz Alan, (son of Alan before Avelina). In Monmouth 1101 or 1102
        2. William fitz Alan, ancestor of FitzAlans in England
        3. Jordan fitz Alan, steward of Dol
        4. Walter Fitz Alan, ancestor of Stewarts in Scotland
      2. Flaald FitzFlaald, Curently shown as born 1011
      3. Rivallon, monk of St. Florent at Dol, Currently shown as born 1054
    2. Hato, the knight, son of Hato, flourished 1050-86 [4] Estimated birth year 1020. Shortly after Rivallon's death in 1065, Rivallon's son William made a gift to Mont St.Michel signed at Dol and witnessed by Hato, brother of Flaald (Flotald). [6]

Children and Grandchildren of Alan in the Round Scenario

  1. Alan, Dapifer Dolensis[1] born, say, 1020. Merge with *Alan de Dol, b. 1020, m. Tittenfor Unknown. Alan the Crusader, oldest son, oldest son. Under Fox's schema, this profile is superfluous, because the Crusade experience belongs to Alan FitzFlaald. But it is retained here as part of the Round scenario.
    1. Alan the Crusader, son of Alan, Dapifer. died 1095.[1] born, say, 1050 (Round scenario).
    2. Flaald, sonof Alan, Dapifer. Occurs at Monmouth, 1101 or 1102, frater et filius Alana Dapiferi. [1] Born, say, 1052. (Round scenario). Another profile also fits: Fledaldus Seneschal
      1. Alan Fitz Flaald, son of Flaald. Founder of Sporle Priory.[1], born 1075
        1. Walter Fitz Alan, Dapifer Regis Scotiae, ob 1177, Founder of Paisley Abbey. Walter has son
          1. Alan the Steward, "Senescallus Regis Scotie.
        2. William FitzAlan, Founder of Haughmond Priory ob 1160. Benefactor of Monmouth Priority. William has two sons,
          1. Alan. ob infans and
          2. William Fitz Alan, a qo Fitz Alan, Earl of Arundel.
        3. Jordan Fitz Alan, occurs 1129-30 Benefactor of Sele Priory. Occurs also in Brittany as "Dapifer (Dolensis). Jordan has two sons,
          1. Jordan
          2. Alan Fitz Jordan, Dapifer Dolensis, Founder of Tronquet, 1155-1161, living 1167.[1]
    3. Rhiwallon, son of Alan, Dapifer: Monk of St. Florent.[1] Born, say, 1054. (Round scenario)

Different Assignment of Facts to Key Individuals

Alan or Hato, The Father of Flaald

Round identifies the father of Flaald as Alan, while Fox identifies him as Hato. Round's Alan is derivative, created as the father of the three brothers Alan, Flaald and Rhiwallon, and therefore is fairly late. Fox's Hato is the subject of several dated charters, which makes Hato an earlier figure.

Alan the Crusader and Alan FitzFlaald

Round makes a person out of the earliest records of Alan culminating in the First Crusade, at which point Alan dies. Because brother Flaald carries the family title and property, Round assumes Alan was an older brother who died without issue. Thus the births of Rounds' three brothers can be estimated as 1050, 1052 and 1054.

Fox makes all of the records of Alan one person, AlanFitzFlaald, Alan not the brother of Flaald, but his son, who survives the Crusades which merely prelude his important career in England. Alan is a younger man in the First Crusade in order to live such a long life afterwards.

Flaald of Dol

Flaald of Dol is a central figure for both Round and Fox.

For Fox, Flaald of Dol is substantially earlier than Alan, who is now his son rather than brother. This creates a problem with some late material that Round associated with Flaald of Dol. Fox identifies this material instead with a later Flaald, Flaald's son, Flaald FitzFlaald.

Flaald FitzFlaald

Given this variety, researchers pose the question of whether any account has enough credibility to be selected over another. [7]

Peter Stewart notes that "the strength of Fox's argument hinges largely on the occurrence of a Flaald son of Flaald in a charter that he neglects to quote, citing only fol 88v in Liber Albus of St-Florent de Saumur - elsewhere he refers to this manuscript at second hand, from a citation by Borderie, so it is not clear to me that Fox has actually consulted his source. [7]

As with Alan, so with Flaald -- the documented events associated with the name cover a generation and a half. If with Round you separate out Alan the Crusader, the remaining facts for Alan FitzFlaald fit a different birth and death. And if with Fox you separate out a Flaald FitzFlaald for the later dates, then Flaald himself has an earlier set of dates.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 John Horace Round. Studies in Peerage and Family History. New York: Longmans Green; Westminster: Archibald Constable; 1901. The Origin of the Stewarts p. 115-146. Accessed December 28, 2017 jhd
  2. Alan Fitz Flaald Accesssed Jan 4, 2018. jhd
  3. 3.0 3.1 Sir James Balfour Paul, Lord Lyons King of Arms. The Stewart Kings in The Scots Peerage, Edinburg: David Douglas, 1904, Volume 1, page 9. Accessed December 28, 2017 jhd
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Paul A. Fox. The Archbishops of Dol and the Origin of the Stewarts Foundations (2009) 3 (1): 61-76. Copyright FMG and the author. Accessed December 29, 2017. jhd
  5. Charles Cawley. Foundation for Medieval Genealogy, Medieval Lands Database. Senechaux de Dol Accessed Feb 3, 2018 jhd
  6. Keats-Rohan, 2006, no. 18 and notes pp. 219-221, cited by Paul A. Fox. The Archbishops of Dol and the Origin of the Stewarts Foundations (2009) 3 (1): 61-76. Copyright FMG and the author. Accessed December 29, 2017. jhd
  7. 7.0 7.1 Andrew Lancaster "Stewards of Dol" Discussion on soc.gen.medieval, 12/9/2016. Accessed Dec 28, 2017 jhd


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