Good afternoon Geoff; it is so nice to be in contact with someone else who is researching the Pole family. I have found it to be one of the most fascinating families in history!
Geoff, I spent well over an hour very late into the night last night answering your inquiry, only to have the whole thing simply disappear suddenly from my computer screen. I have no idea why, but I suspect I may have exceeded the posting time allowable on GenForum. Therefore, I am starting anew, but this time I will write the entire story in pieces, which will result in several continuing segments.
The story is, necessarily, very long and involved. In fact, in my book "Moran Exodus From Offaly," the chapter on the Pole family is 41 pages long. So, even a greatly condensed version will result in a posting of considerable length.
* * *
I am a descendant of the Coate family. For a number of years I had accepted the generally-believed descent of that family here in America; in fact, a number of books had been published on the subject. They all showed descent to my family from Marmaduke and Ann (Pole) Coate, who died in Burlington, New Jersey (just across the river from Philadelphia). And the tradition in the Coate family had been preserved to the present time that Ann Pole was a direct descendant of Margaret Plantagenet, wife of Sir Richard Pole, and famed as the "last of the Plantagenets."
In researching the Coate family, I also learned that Ann had relatives in America still bearing the Pole name, and that those descendants also had the same tradition of descent from Margaret Plantagenet and Sir Richard Pole. That proved the tradition must have been passed on to Ann and her siblings by their father, identified as one Edward Pole, whose wife was named Mary (maiden name unknown).
As a result of that, I proceeded to attempt to either prove or disprove that descent. I spent more than ten years working on that little problem, doing research here in America, but also in England and Wales. I was never able to prove the tradition, but in all that time I also never found a single thing to disprove it either. On the other hand, I found a great deal of circumstantial evidence tending to prove the tradition. As a result, eventually I came to accept the tradition as being true. I will attempt to justify that conclusion by providing some of that evidence.
But first I must confess that eventually I found conclusive proof here in America that my family was not, in fact, descended from Marmaduke and Ann (Pole) Coate, as had been generally accepted by most researchers. It turned out that my family is descended from a cousin of Marmaduke Coate; therefore, not descended from the Poles at all, although they were relatives.
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Most of the information about the early Pole family here in America comes from work done by a gentleman named Professor William Romaine Newbold (a descendant of Edith Coate, daughter of Marmaduke and Ann (Pole) Coate, who had married Thomas Newbold. Professor Newbold was a professor at the University of Pennsylvania who spent some 38 years researching the Newbold, Coate, and Pole families. He went to England twice and spent nearly a year there each time researching the families. He was in the process of writing a book on his work, but he died before it was published. His book manuscript and all his research papers are on file at the genealogical library in Philadelphia. His work has also been filmed by the LDS Library in Salt Lake City. It is a massive collection - it took 15 rolls of microfilm to film it all!
In addition to the Newbold collection, information was also obtained from other collections in the Philadelphia library: Wedmore, Coate, Bringhurst, Claypool, etc.
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I will now post this introduction - to be continued.
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