Wedding of Let and Percy


Wedding of parents,

Peggy and Norman


A Tome inside Bath Abbey


Merchant Navy War Memorial


Golden Hinde, London


Olympic Torch carrier running through Sutton 2012


Temple Bar Memorial


HRH Queen Elizabeth II in Epsom


Railway Permanent Way (Track) workers

at London Bridge remodelling


Golden Anniversary

Peter and Gloria 2009

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The great families of the Middle Ages


The great families of the Middle Ages - England

Which may include Wales and Ireland.

Middle Ages, the period in European history from the collapse of Roman civilization in the 5th century CE to the period of the Renaissance (variously interpreted as beginning in the 13th, 14th, or 15th century, depending on the region of Europe and other factors).

This article was going to be about the Earls of England in the Middle Ages, also known as the  Medieval period, however, on reflection, that would be too narrow a viewpoint.

Having spent some time building my Family Tree for this period, it is amazing how many of the families inter-marry, probably for wealth and power, followed by in-fighting. Cousin against cousin, but not down the pub, or as part of the wedding reception. No, throw together an army of up to 50,000 souls, and then set about killing as many people as possible, especially your cousins who are fighting for the other side. So many of my Tree are recorded as Slain at the Battle of ... . It is understandable how the period became known for its cruelty, and brutality.

Part of the objective of this article is to list those families that were significant in the period, after the Norman invasion up until the 15th Century, but also to help clarify the interrelationship between the families, together with the various ranks and positions they obtained, sometimes before losing their head. I have considered adding the royal families of Britain, France, Italy and the Holy Roman Empire but concluded that would potentially be counter productive. There were so many power alliances, joining one throne to another, that the whole matrix may become full. The exercise would become futile, other than to demonstrate that that we already suspect. All the Royal Families are connected.

 Firstly, a brief introduction to the structure of the English Peerage.

The ranks of the English peerage are, in descending order, duke, marquess, earl, viscount, and baron. While most newer English peerages descend only in the male line, many of the older ones (particularly older baronies) can descend through females. Such peerages follow the old English inheritance law of moieties so all daughters (or granddaughters through the same root) stand as co-heirs, so some such titles are in such a state of abeyance between these.

Baronets, while holders of hereditary titles, as such are not peers and not entitled to stand for election in the House of Lords. Knights, dames and holders of other non-hereditary orders, decorations, and medals are also not peers.

Some people go up the ranks and then loss some or all of them, and sometimes have them restored in part or wholly, either to the same person or descendants. Hence going for families instead of rank.








This will be a long term ongoing project, so it is therefore 'work in progress'. The method of presentation may also develop over time. ... ....  Having now spent some time on this project, allocating more time than is sustainable, and considering that I also have Taylor's Map and Ludlow Castle projects on the go at the same time. I have yet to complete one branch of one family. My current estimate for the duration of this project is five years, and that may be optimistic. However, it will remain live during that time, ever growing.


So, to begin

I will start with a list of families extracted from Wikipedia. A lot of the information will be from Wikipedia, sometimes without separate verification. References to my Family Tree are based on the tree at that time and obviously can include errors.




 A List extracted from Wikipedia

Anglo-Norman families‎ (43 C, 47 P)
Burial sites of Anglo-Norman families‎ (9 C)
House of Anjou‎ (5 C, 17 P)
Beauchamp family‎ (1 C, 33 P)
Beaumont family‎ (24 P)
Bigod family‎ (17 P)
Bohun family‎ (3 C, 26 P)
Brabazon family‎ (1 C, 22 P)
Courtenay family‎ (15 P)
Curzon family‎ (4 C, 51 P)
D'Oyly family‎ (3 P)
  De Cantilupe family‎ (16 P)
De Clare family‎ (1 C, 23 P)
De Havilland family‎ (15 P)
De Lacy family‎ (2 C, 38 P)
De Mandeville family‎ (9 P)
De Ros family‎ (1 C, 5 P)
De Valognes family‎ (12 P)
De Vaux family‎ (17 P)
De Vere family‎ (52 P)
De Vesci family‎ (17 P)
De Warenne family‎ (1 C, 13 P)
Le Despenser family‎ (1 C, 21 P)
  Devereux family‎ (53 P)
Disney family‎ (1 C, 11 P)
Fiennes family‎ (1 C, 51 P)
FitzAlan family‎ (2 C, 30 P)
Gorges family‎ (1 C, 8 P)
Grosvenor family‎ (3 C, 57 P)
House of Harcourt‎ (44 P)
Levett family‎ (17 P)
Montagu family‎ (7 C, 98 P)
De Montagu family‎ (18 P)
Mortimer family (English nobility)‎ (1 C, 29 P)
Mowbray family‎ (15 P)
Percy family‎ (6 C, 75 P)
Port family‎ (4 P)
Redvers family‎ (10 P)
Scrope family‎ (33 P)
Spring family‎ (1 C, 47 P)
Talbot family‎ (3 C, 92 P)
Umfraville‎ (8 P)
Vavasour family‎ (10 P)
Villiers family‎ (4 C, 8 P)


 Family Cross reference matrix, the ultimate output

There are a lot of different Fitz .. surnames in my Family Tree. However, as FitzGerald means son of Gerald, it is not indicative of a multigenerational family. Iceland, as an example of current non-surname systems. Iceland's patronymic system is quite different to our surname system. For example, when a couple has a child, the tradition is to add 'son' or 'daughter' to the end of the Father's name. Under this system, if your Icelandic Father's name is Magnus, and you are the son of Magnus, your last name would be Magnusson - this tells people that you are the son of Magnus. If you are the daughter of Magnus, your last name would be Magnussdóttir (dóttir translates to daughter).

Surnames proper did not commence until around late 1200s or early 1300s . A lot of the early names referred to the place you were from, with of or de. This was also used for titles, with the King of England, and his family, being of England. ... it took until the mid-1400s before they were widespread in the northern counties of England, and it really wasn’t until the late 1500s, when the Anglican church began requiring that baptisms be recorded in local parish record books with the baby’s “Christian name”, that fixed surnames essentially became mandatory.


Cross reference matrix of families and their relationship to other families
(the number indicates a degree of separation, 1 = by marriage, 2 = within married family ... etc, x = distant {only closest shown} )
 Family Name Adjustment
to first list
 In my
Family Tree
De, de, of, etc
 Related to these families
         1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50
1  House of Anjou‎                                                                                                        
2  Beauchamp family‎    Yes      1              x      x              x                      x                        3  x            
3  Beaumont family    Yes   1                                                                                                
4  Bigod family‎                                                                                                        
5  Bohun family‎                                                                                                        
6  Brabazon family‎                                                                                                        
7  Courtenay family‎    Yes                                                                                                    
8  Curzon family‎                                                                                                        
9  D'Oyly family‎                                                                                                        
10  De Cantilupe family‎        x                                                                                                
11  De Clare family‎    Yes                                                                                                    
12  De Havilland family                                                                                                        
13  De Lacy family‎    Yes    x                                                                                                
14  De Mandeville family‎    Yes                                                                                                    
15  De Ros family‎    Yes                                                                                                    
16  De Valognes family‎                                                                                                        
17  De Vaux family‎    Yes                                                                                                    
18  De Vere family‎    Yes                                                                                                    
19  De Vesci family‎                                                                                                        
20  De Warenne family‎    Yes    x                                                                                                
21  Le Despenser family‎    Yes                                                                                                    
22  Devereux family‎    Yes                                                                                                    
23  Disney family‎                                                                                                        
24  Fiennes family‎                                                                                                        
25  FitzAlan family‎    Yes                                                                                                    
26  Gorges family    Yes                                                                                                    
27  Grosvenor family‎                                                                                                        
28  House of Harcourt‎                                                                                                        
29  Levett family‎                                                                                                        
30  Montagu, De Montagu family‎    Yes                                                                                                    
31  Mortimer family    Yes    x                                                                                                
32  Mowbray family    Yes                                                                                                    
33  Percy family‎    Yes                                                                                                    
34  Port family‎    maybe                                                                                                    
35  Redvers family    Yes                                                                                                    
36  Scrope family    Yes                                                                                                    
37  Spring family‎                                                                                                        
38  Talbot family‎                                                                                                        
39  Umfraville‎    Yes                                                                                                    
40  Vavasour family‎                                                                                                        
41  Villiers family‎                                                                                                        
42  Neville family  Not on list  Yes                                                                                                    
43  Montfort family  Not on list  Yes    3                                                                                                
44  St John  Not on list  Yes    x                                                                                                


The families on the list which are associated with my Family Tree, as at March 2024, are 22 out of 43, approximately 50%



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