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Home: Surnames: Tunstall Family Genealogy Forum

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Re: Tunstalls of Thurland Castle, England
Posted by: Patrick Moran (ID *****7966) Date: June 14, 2004 at 14:05:00
In Reply to: Re: Tunstalls of Thurland Castle, England by John Sladen of 806

Good afternoon John, and thank you for trying to help in the matter of the Tunstall ancestry!

You are absolutely right that there are some "problems" on this subject. I am well aware that the most-often used reference books do not agree on this ancestry. The trouble is that no one can be sure of the accuracy of any of them - in my humble opinion.

I published the ancestry as stated by Charles H. Browning in his book "Americans of Royal Descent." It is known by many researchers that his book has many errors, and that it is challenged by other books in print.

For example, John S. Wurtz, in his books "The Magna Charta," agrees that Eleanor Mowbray was the sister, rather than the daughter, of John, 5th Baron Welles. And thus, Eleanor would not be descended from King Edward I through the wife of the said John, 5th Baron Welles.

But, then those same books of John S. Wurtz traces the ancestry of John, 5th Baron Welles, back to King Edward I. So, according to this alternate reference book, the royal ancestry of Eleanor Mowbray is confirmed by a different route!

And there are many errors in the Wurtz books as well, as most researchers will attest. I believe the same could be said of all the other books ever published on medieval English noble ancestry.

And then there is the matter of the enormous and numerous books on English peerage by Sir Bernard Burke, considered by most researchers to be the absolute authority on the matter. I once was told, by no less an authority than a deputy in the office of the Chief Herald of England, that those books "are the greatest fraud ever perpetrated on an unsuspecting public"!

He said the books are full of errors. He also said the daughters, and many of the younger sons, were very often omitted from the record; that only sons who inherited property were invariably listed as children of the deceased.

I was absolutely shocked; I know that almost all of the researchers of the world consider Burke's books to be correct in almost Biblical terms.

So it seems to come down to a matter of deciding exactly which of the so-called authorities one chooses to believe. Well, perhaps none of them can be relied on completely! In any event, I think it is undeniable that most of those medieval noble families were descended in one way or another from the early Plantagenets. Siblings of the noble families were seldom allowed to marry anyone other than other noble families. They all had ties back to the early royals.

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