This week I had a chance to scan through the definitive guide about descents from the Plantagenet kings of England. This book covers thousands of individuals in England and includes more than 185 of their descendants who emigrated to the North American colonies in the seventeenth century. When I say "definitive," I mean that this book is exhaustive! Merely picking up this 975-page monster is an effort.
Author Douglas Richardson combined research in original documents with the use of published literature to write Plantagenet Ancestry. He has written about both established and newly-discovered ancestral lines for virtually all American colonists who possessed royal ancestry, with many corrections to existing lines. This book covers every prominent family in medieval England.
Quoting from the publisher's Web site:
Plantagenet Ancestry treats all known descents, both legitimate and illegitimate, for seventeenth-century colonists from Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou (died 1151), founder of the Plantagenet dynasty which ruled England from 1154 to 1485. It features hundreds of biographical summaries as well as over 14,000 citations to published materials, making it the most documented source book of its kind. The format and extensive cross-referencing make the text simple to follow. Moreover, extensive lists of descendants are provided, allowing the reader to see at a glance which immigrants descend from which family. In addition, the book includes a massive 75-page bibliography -- probably the most exhaustive listing for royal and noble genealogy ever published -- a special study of "king's kinsfolk," and an index of over 10,000 entries.
Plantagenet Ancestry also features scores of remarkable discoveries that are certain to change the ancestry charts of many living Americans. New colonial immigrants are likewise included in the work, linking still more seventeenth-century immigrants to the kings of England, making it as up-to-date and comprehensive as possible.
The book features over 12,000 citations to published materials. It also contains extensive cross references. It has descendancy footnotes that allow the reader to see at a glance which immigrants descend from what family. A new bibliography and a name index are also included.
Much of this material has been published before in other volumes. However, Richardson has several newly discovered lines of descent that will be of interest to many with colonial American ancestry. One new discovery is for Margaret Mowbray, wife of Sir Reginald Lucy (died 1437), of Dallington, Northampton. Her descendants include Mayflower passenger, Captain Richard More. Other new discoveries include information about Ida de Oddingseles and also William Longespée, Earl of Salisbury and a well-known illegitimate son of King Henry II of England. The book also contains a list covering two full pages of discoveries, corrections, and additions to many other lines.
If you are wondering if the royal ancestry of your immigrant ancestor might be included in this book, check out the alphabetized list on the publisher's Web site. It includes all the names of the seventeenth-century U.S. immigrants whose Plantagenet ancestry is the subject of this book, together with several immigrants after 1701 who have been incidentally noted in the text or a footnote. The list is available at http://www.genealogical.com/item_detail.asp?afid=&ID=4894
Douglas Richardson is highly qualified to write this book. He is a professional genealogist, historian, lecturer, and author residing in Salt Lake City, Utah. He has been actively involved in genealogical research for over 40 years. He holds a B.A. degree in History from the University of California (Santa Barbara) and a M.A. degree in History from the University of Wisconsin (Madison). He has written numerous articles for all the major genealogical journals and magazines, including The New England Historical and Genealogical Register (NEHGR), The American Genealogist (TAG), New York Genealogical and Biographical Record (NYGBR), Heritage Quest Magazine, and Foundations.
Plantagenet Ancestry is destined to be one of the landmark books of modern times. No other book provides the detailed lists, the source citations, the cross-references or the indexes to rival this book. Douglas Richardson has written a scholarly genealogical reference. I suspect that it will not be equaled for a long, long time. This book belongs on the shelf of every genealogy library. I suspect many individuals who have researched their roots back to colonial immigrants will also want it in their personal libraries.
Plantagenet Ancestry is published by Genealogical Publishing Company and sells for $85.00 plus taxes (if any) and shipping. It also can be ordered from most any book store if you specify ISBN#: 0806317507. For more information, or to order this book via the publisher's safe and secure online shopping cart system, go to http://www.genealogical.com/item_detail.asp?afid=&ID=4894.