I am Chelle Ellis, and I keep the genealogy research for my branch of the Welch (originally le Waleys/le Waleis in the early records, then le Walssh/le Walsh/Walsh) family here. The icon 🍂 denotes a link within my on-site family tree files, which are also searchable (on the top, left side), or from the person index, of this page. Unless said family member is still alive and then that information is private, unless I register you on this site. And I am happy to do that, just email me.
I am an artist, writer, web developer, liberal, feminist, activist, genealogist, lover of all things HISTORY, wife and mother. I have long been the black sheep of my family, as I simply don’t see the world the same as the rest of them. But I know I am right. 😊
As it turns out, I am carrying on a rich tradition in my family of resistance. Many of my grandfathers were in hiding, imprisoned, and/or banished for their beliefs and big ole mouths, from the Middle Ages to the American Civil War. Unsurprisingly, the shit don’t fall far from the bat: I am currently curating my third NASTY WOMEN Memphis art exhibit, which opens October 1, 2020.
Sometimes, the pay-off from rebellion was great, and members of my family conquered! I’m looking directly into the ghostly eyes of my grandfathers Charlemagne (40th Great Grandfather),🍂, William the Conqueror (29th Great Grandfather), 🍂, and Robert the Bruys (24th Great Grandfather), while I type this.
More recently, during the American Civil War, the insurrection of Timothy Lawrence Welch (2nd Great Grandfather) against the Confederacy, left the next generation, John Ira Welch, II (1st Great Grandfather), as Louisiana sharecroppers. But Lawrence was right. 😊
130+ years before the American Civil War though, Thomas Richard Welch (9th Great Grandfather), migrated to Charleston, South Carolina, from Scotland and England (before 1729). By the 1750’s, the Welches had settled into Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, then moved back to South Carolina by the 1760’s, after a disease took out a great portion of the family in 1754.
Richard James Welch (5th Great Grandfather), fought as a private in the American Revolutionary War under General Frances Marion. Then by 1802, the Welches made their way into Bryan County, Georgia, then moved in 1815, to Wayne County, Mississippi, and later again into Covington (Jones) County, Mississippi, where a great portion of my family remains to this day.
I’ve already briefly mentioned my great, great grandfather, Timothy Lawrence Welch. In 1862, he deserted the Confederate army’s Company F, and joined with Newton Knight and 11 other family members of the 54 men listed in the Knight Company Roster sent to congress, declaring the Free State of Jones, and secession from the Confederacy. He rebelled against the Confederacy, fought for the Union, and was subsequently captured during Lowry’s Brigade, on April 25, 1864. Lawrence later moved his family to West Carroll, Louisiana, which is the state where most of my closest Welches live: in Grant, Franklin, Richland, East/West Carroll, and Ouachita Parishes.
Since this is my website, it focuses more on my direct Welch line, but my research intersects with other lines and information that you may find valuable for your own genealogy. I have a lot of duplicate entries I still need to clean up and aunts/uncles I need to add, after my snatch and grab during my free month of access to ancestry.com. But I will get it all organized and when I do, I’ll provide a GEDCOM file of everything.
My grandfather, Samuel Timothy Welch, was an abusive alcoholic who gambled regularly. He was so abusive, that Dad never spanked us, having been so affected.
Sam was shot six times in the back (with his own gun) by his best friend, and died right before my Dad turned 14 years old. Sam’s killer (My mother thinks Dad said his last name was Vandingham and he went by Van) visited my grandmother, Annie Pearl Temple, after losing everything he owned to Sam in a poker game.
He told Annie Pearl that Sam asked him to get his gun for him, and she gave it to him. Then of course, he shot and killed Sam with it. (My mother tells me that Dad said Vandingham had paid people to testify that Sam pulled the gun on him – which my grandmother, Annie Pearl, disputed – and he was therefore, not convicted.)
This all happened in the middle of The Great Depression, on September 3, 1936, and Annie Pearl faced the hardships of that era with three children: Travis (Bud), Avis (Sis) & Catherine (Cat). Unfortunately, as a new widow in The Depression, Annie Pearl wasn’t able to feed her children; so Dad was farmed out to an uncle, (My mother says she thinks it was his Uncle Ezra Welch, Sam’s brother) and his sister, Della Avis Welch, was married off very young (while staying at Uncle Ezra’s for two weeks), while Annie Catherine Welch was young enough that she stayed home, when Annie Pearl married again, to Johnnie Burl Kimbrough.
Dad didn’t like living at his uncle’s house, so he ran away, jumping trains, and ended up living all over the country. Two stories he told me in 1990, that prompted his running away:
Dad had a pet goat that he loved and his uncle was always trying to buy the goat but Dad wouldn’t sell it. The fair came to town and his uncle offered to give him fifty cents. He took it and started walking towards the fair, getting halfway there, then realizing his uncle might be planning to take his goat in exchange. He ran home to find his uncle dressing out his pet goat. At 68 years old, my Dad still teared up when he told this story.
His uncle was throwing a fish fry and gave Dad his car keys to go steal all his neighbors chickens (while everyone was at the fish fry), so he could cook and feed them to the crowd. Dad was scared, so he instead collected and delivered his uncle’s own chickens to him. The uncle didn’t realize until the next morning what dad had done, until he went out to feed his chickens and found a lone rooster. Dad said he high-tailed it out the window before he had to face the consequences.
At some point Dad was living in Memphis with his Aunt Alice Welch, got a job at a service station there, and mapped out his journey to hitch-hike back home: where he found that his mother had remarried Johnnie Kimbrough. From there, Dad moved to Houston, Texas, to live with his favorite cousin, Warren Temple, who lived with his sister Minnie Temple, after their parents had died.
Aside: Mom told me that Dad said, Warren’s sister, Catherine Temple, was the most beautiful lady he’d ever seen in his life. I gotta see if I can find a photo of her somewhere, because now I gotta know how pretty she was.
When Dad was 16, he and Warren signed up for the Marines, because “they thought their uniforms were the prettiest”, and went out to celebrate that same night. Warren fell asleep while driving, went over a bridge, and they were both very badly hurt. Dad’s knee was too messed up after that to be accepted in the Marines, while Warren healed up and later, went into the Seabees. Dad said that the unit they would have been in, ended up being completely wiped out during WWII.
There is a whole lot more to my Dad than this. My mother, Virginia Lynn McCoy, was 23 years his junior, and his eighth wife, so I have lots of half brothers and sisters: some with the last name, Welch, some without. But to explain all that will take a lot of time and pages, that I have yet to, but will eventually produce.
Meanwhile, here’s a couple of photos of my Dad and I at my first wedding on June 3, 1988. And this is a really good example of our relationship in two photos: laughing at something snarky, the other had said (about the other) with abbreviated periods of temporary adoration. I love and miss you, Dad.
Dad died of adenocarcinoma that started in his lungs and spread to his brain, on December 19, 1999, in Brandon, Mississippi. I moved back home to my parents’ house to help with bills, on October 14, 1999, after Dad declined chemotherapy treatment and his death was imminent. My half sister, Iris Florence Welch, joined; and along with my two full brothers, Travis Lloyd Welch, Jr. and Samuel Lane Welch and my mother/his wife, Virginia Lynn McCoy: we spent his last days with him at home, with Hospice visiting him daily. He chose to be buried between his mother, Annie Pearl Temple, and his daughter with Margaret Marie Bennett, Katherine Pearl Welch (my half sister, Iris’s full sister, who died at 14 days old in 1968, because her digestive system was not fully formed when she was born), in Franklin Parish, Louisiana.
1st Great Grandfather
2nd Great Grandfather
Timothy Lawrence Welch went by Lawrence Welch.
Lawrence relocated to Louisiana from Jones County, Mississippi, after he deserted the Confederate army around 11/1862 (private with Company F, 1st Batt’n., State Troops, Mississippi Infantry – Same company as Newton Knight (Free State of Jones).
Lawrence (and 3 other Welches, as well as others in the family with surname Bynum, Knight, Matthews, and Valentine: at least 13 family members total of the 54) was one of the 54 men on the list sent to congress by Newton Knight (Free State of Jones) requesting payment from congress for fighting for the Union.
Lawrence was captured on April 25, 1864, by Lowry’s Brigade. In early 1864, Robert Lowry, a Mississippi confederate commander, led his troops that were sent to put down the local uprising of citizens near Jones County, Mississippi.
The fate of my other 12 family members of the original 54 are as follows:
1. Bynum, Tapley: Killed April 25, 1864, by Lowry’s Brigade
2. Bynum, P.M.: Cut off April 25, 1864, by Lowry’s Brigade
3. Knight, Newton: Evaded Capture April 25, 1864, by Lowry’s Brigade
4. Matthews, Lazrous: Captured April 25, 1864, by Lowry’s Brigade
5. Vallentine, J.M.: Wounded April 25, 1864, by Lowry’s Brigade
6. Vallentine, John I.: Captured April 25, 1864, by Lowry’s Brigade
7. Vallentine, M.B.: Captured April 25, 1864, by Lowry’s Brigade
8. Vallentine, Patrick: Captured April 25, 1864, by Lowry’s Brigade
9. Vallentine, R.H.: Captured April 25, 1864, by Lowry’s Brigade
10. Welch, H.B.: Captured April 25, 1864, by Lowry’s Brigade
11. Welch, R.J.: Cut off April 25, 1864, by Lowry’s Brigade
12. Welch, W.M.: Captured April 25, 1864, by Lowry’s Brigade
The Welches are also cousins to Newton Knight, according to my cousin and fellow genealogist, Scott Oden (but I haven’t researched it enough to know where he intersects in our family). Other family surnames making up Knight Company are Blackledge, Holifield, and Matthews.
After being arrested, jailed and tortured for desertion of the Confederate authorities, Newton Knight’s homestead and farm were burned as an example to others, leaving his family destitute. Knight survived in the swamp on the Leaf River to evade authorities, finding other deserters and fugitive slaves there. He and followers organized what they called the Knight Company on October 13, 1863. It was a band of guerrillas from Jones County and adjacent counties of Jasper, Covington, Perry and Smith, who intended to protect the families and farms from Confederate authorities, including high takings of goods for taxes. Knight was elected “captain” of the company, which included many of his relatives and neighbors. The company’s main hideout, known as “Devils Den,” was located along the Leaf River at the Jones-Covington county line. Local women and slaves provided food and other aid to the men. Women blew cattle-horns to signal the approach of Confederate authorities to their farms.
From late 1863 to early 1865, the Knight Company allegedly fought fourteen skirmishes with Confederate forces. One skirmish took place on December 23, 1863, at the home of Sally Parker, a Knight Company supporter, leaving one Confederate soldier dead and two badly wounded.
During this same period, Knight led a raid into Paulding, where he and his men captured five wagon-loads of corn, which they distributed among the local population. The company harassed Confederate officials, with numerous tax collectors, conscript officers, and other officials being reported killed in early 1864. In March 1864, the Jones County court clerk notified the governor that guerilas had made tax collections in the county all but impossible. In 2016, a letter dated February 13, 1864 from a Union scout addressed to Maj. Gen. John M. Palmer of the Union Army was discovered by a historian working in the National Archives. It estimates the Knight Company’s numbers to be as high as 600 and confirms their intention to join up with the Union Army. The exact number is still a matter of debate, in light of an interview Knight gave after the war stating, “There was about 125 of us, never any more.
By the spring of 1864, the Confederate government in the county had been effectively overthrown. Lieutenant General Leonidas Polk wrote Jefferson Davis on March 21, 1864, describing the conditions in Jones County. Polk stated that the band of deserters were “in open rebellion, defiant at the outset, proclaiming themselves ‘Southern Yankees,’ and resolved to resist by force of arms all efforts to capture them.” On March 29, 1864, Confederate Captain Wirt Thomson wrote James Seddon, Confederate Secretary of War, claiming the Knight Company had captured Ellisville and raised the U.S. flag over the courthouse in Jones County. He further reported, “The country is entirely at their mercy.” General William Tecumseh Sherman received a letter from a local group declaring its independence from the Confederacy. In July 1864, the Natchez Courier reported that Jones County had seceded from the Confederacy.
General Polk initially responded to the actions of the Knight Company by sending a contingent under Colonel Henry Maury into the area in February 1864. Maury reported he had cleared the area, but noted the deserters had threatened to obtain “Yankee aid” and return. Shortly afterward, Polk dispatched a veteran contingent of soldiers led by Colonel Robert Lowry, a future governor who would later describe Knight as an “ignorant and uneducated man.” Using bloodhounds to track down guerillas in the swamps, Lowry rounded up and executed ten members of the Knight Company, including Newton’s cousins, Benjamin Franklin Knight and Sil Coleman. Newton Knight, however, evaded capture. He later stated his company had unsuccessfully attempted to break through Confederate lines to join the Union Army.
US Historical Events Possibly Affecting Welch Migration
1862: Franklin Parish, LA from Jones County, MS (Confederate Desertion)
3rd Great Grandfather
4th Great Grandfather
Early in the 19th century, Bryant Welch, followed the same migration path to Mississippi Territory as did many other early Piney Woods settlers. He left South Carolina, and lived for several years in Georgia, where around 1817, James Richard Welch was born. The family’s first stop in Mississippi was in Wayne County. Tax rolls reveal that Bryant next moved his family to the section of Covington County, from which Jones County was formed in 1826. For the rest of their lives, Bryant and his wife, Sabra “Sally” Martin, lived in Jones County, where they raised a family of 9 children.
- 1802: Bryant came to Bryan County, Georgia, with his father
- 1807: Bryant married Sally (Sabra) Martin in Bryan County, Georgia, on July 20, 1806, where their first six children were born
- 1815: In January, the family starts their move to Mississippi: first, to Wayne County, where they were living in 1816, and then to Covington County, Mississippi, by 1820.
- 1821: James Ira Welch, I is born in Covington (Jones) County, MS
5th Great Grandfather
American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), with Frances Marion’s South Carolina Brigade; A Patriot of the American Revolution for SOUTH CAROLINA with the rank of Private. DAR Ancestor # A121865
Richard relocated to Jones County, Mississippi, after serving in the American Revolution, in the militia during 1782, under General Frances Marion. Patriot Index Supplement; A.A.8338; Y999
Richard constructed Fort Slaughter in 1814 during the Creek War. He is listed as the head of the family in the Wayne County Census of 1816. Moved to Jones County soon thereafter and settled on the west side of Leaf River at what is known as Uncle Tim’s Place. He is buried in the middle of a private (Prempton Cemetery) upon a hill where later County Line Church was built. This cemetery is now known as the Welch/Graham Cemetery at the County Line Baptist Church. For many years his grave was marked by a large Magnolia tree but on 24 September 1989 the Sons of the American Revolution, with H.H. Danniels as sponsor and Dr. McCain, former president of the University of Southern Mississippi, erected a marker to his memory. Richard and his children were living in a community known as Oakeywork Creek, Mississippi in 1820.
US Historical Events Possibly Affecting Welch Migration
Late 1600’s/Early 1700’s: Charleston, SC from Scotland
Later than 1754: Harrisburg & Lancaster, PA from Charleston & Willtown, SC
Earlier than 1786: Sumpter County, SC from Pennsylvania
1802: Bryan County, GA from South Carolina
1816: Wayne County, MS from Bryan County, GA
1820: Covington County, MS from Wayne County, MS
1826: Jones County, MS is formed from his area of Covington County, MS
1775: Battle of Great Cane Brake
1776: Battle of Sullivan’s Island
1777: Battle of Brandywine
1777: Philadelphia Campaign
1777: Battle of Germantown
1778: Battle of Alligator Creek Bridge
1778: Capture of Savannah
1779: Battle of Van Creek
1779: Battle of Kettle Creek
1779: Battle of Brier Creek
1779: Battle of Stono Ferry
1780: Siege of Charleston
1780: Battle of Monck’s Corner
1780: Battle of Lenud’s Ferry
1780: Battle of Mobley’s Meeting House/Gibson’s Meeting House
1780: Battle of Camden
1780: Battle of Musgrove Mill
1780: Battle of Kings Mountain
1780: Battle of Tearcoat Swamp
1780: Battle of Blackstock’s Farm
1781: Battle of Cowpens
1781: Battle of Hobkirk’s Hill
1781: Seige of Ninety Six
6th Great Grandfather
JAMES WALTER WELCH, JR.
BIRTH 1733 • South Carolina Colony, USA
CHRISTENING 2 APR 1733 • Christ Church, Tynemouth, Northumberland, England
DEATH 3 MAY 1764 • Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA
BURIAL Harrisburg, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, USA
7th Great Grandfather
James Welch who Deceased January ye 28d 1754 aged 50 years
James Welch Younger who Died August 7th 1754 Aged 20 years
James Walter Welch, Sr. shares a headstone with his son, James Walter Welch, Jr.
Mary Welch shares a headstone with her daughter, Jean Welch
8th Great Grandfather
9th Great Grandfather
Thomas relocated to Charleston, SC in the late 1600’s/early 1700’s from Scotland
10th Great Grandfather
John Welsh of Irongray is also refereed to as John Welch of Irongray. He was ejected from Irongray after the restoration of Episcopacy and eluded the Clavers and his dragoons, while illegally preaching at field conventicles. He hid in Scotland and England as a wanted man, and this is probably when and why our name changes from Welsh to Welch.
Ejected ministers were forbidden to reside within twenty miles of their parishes, six miles of Edinburgh or any cathedral church, or three miles of any royal burgh. “Conditions which,” as Wodrow remarks, “the nicest geographer would find hard to satisfy.” They were pretty nearly satisfied in Welsh’s case. At Corsack Welsh’s first wife died. (Wodrow ii., 4, 5, 6, Veitch’s Memoirs, Blackadder 24.) It was probably too at Corsack that Welsh penned his pamphlet, Fifty and Two Directions to Irongray.
In 1667 he was hiding in a friend’s house in Edinburgh, but soon afterwards he ventured into Clydesdale. Welsh may have found shelter in his own parish, but probably he was nearer his pursuers than they imagined; at any rate in 1668 he was lurking at the house of one Robert Grey in Edinburgh. (Kirkton, 1668.) Towards the end of the year he was preaching. The Earl of Tweeddale writes in November, 1668, to the Earl of Lauderdale that Mr John Welsh was running about Clydesdale and keeping conventicles both in houses and in the Church of Cambusnethan.
About 1679 he went to London, where he died on 9 January 1681, and was buried in St Botulph Churchyard, Bishopsgate. In a note of Miss Foxcroft to the supplement to Burnet’s History (p. 103) it stated that he lived principally with Shaftesbury after Bothwell Bridge, and may thus have supplied Burnet with materials for his History.
His death caused no small stir in London. Lord Fountainhall mentions it in his Diary, adding : — “He was not so gross as to disown the King, as the Cameronians did: his grandfather, Mr. John Welsh, was a great enemy of the bishops, and died in France.” Wodrow, on the authority of a son of Hamilton of Kinkell, says that “Mr Welsh’s burial was the greatest that for many years had been seen in London; that most of the Dissenters changed their text that Sabbath he was buried; that their congregations were invited to the burial, at which there was a vast number of ministers, persons of fashion, and, if my memory fails me not, some hundreds of coaches.”
11th Great Grandfather
REVEREND JOSIAS WELSH
BIRTH 1596 • Kirkcubright, Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland
DEATH 23 JUN 1634 • Templepatrick, Antrim, Northern Ireland
BURIAL Castle Upton, Templepatrick, Antrim, Northern Ireland
The second son of John Welsh and Elizabeth Knox, educated at Geneva, and in 1617 was sent from France to Glasgow, there to complete his studies under the care of his father’s friend, Robert Boyd of Trochrig, principal of that college. His superiority as a classical scholar led to his being appointed Professor of Humanity in the University; but being ardent in upholding the Presbyterian policy, he became obnoxious to the episcopal party, and so was compelled to relinquish his office. On the recommendation of Robert Blair, then a regent of Glasgow College, he proceeded to the north of Ireland, where a colony from the west of Scotland had been lately planted. Residing with Mr Shaw, a gentleman from Ayrshire, who had probably known his father, he preached in his neighborhood, on the opposite side of the Six-Mile Water. For a time he officiated at Oldstone, and having been ordained by Andrew Knox, Bishop of Raphoe, who is said to have regarded him as a relative, he was, in 1626, settled at Templepatrick, county Antrim, as chaplain to Captain Norton. Here he laboured with much zeal and acceptance. According to Wodrow he was popularly styled the Cock of the Conscience, from the earnest and searching nature of his ministrations. His Communion services excited a deep interest over a wide tract of country. With three other ministers he was, in 1634, suspended by Henry Leslie, Bishop of Down. The suspension was afterwards withdrawn, but he and his brethren were finally deposed by Bishop Echlin. He now preached in his own house, addressing a numerous body of persons who assembled in his garden. Through the exposure he contracted a severe illness, which proved fatal. During his last hours he was attended by his brethren, Robert Blair and John Livingstone. He died on the 23 June 1634. Among his last words were these, expressed rapturously, “Victory, victory for evermore.” Within an enclosure in Templepatrick churchyard a plain tombstone marks his grave; it presents the simple legend:
Here lyeth the Body
of the Reverend Mr Josias
Welch, minister of
died Anno Dom. 1634.
Stephenson gives another epitaph:
“Here lies interred under this stone,
Great Knoxes grand child, John Welshes son ;
Born in Scotland, and bred up in France,
He then came to Ireland the gospel to advance.”
Josias Welsh, minister of Templepatrick, married subsequent to his settlement in Ireland, but his wife’s name and the date of his marriage have not transpired. As his wife is not mentioned at the time of his death, it is probable she predeceased him. Appended to a declaration for settling the Province of Ulster, dated Carrickfergus, 23 May 1653, are the names of 260 persons, in the counties of Down and Antrim, whom Cromwell’s commissioners proposed to remove to certain districts in Munster. Among these is named in the “Six-Mile Water” quarters, “Captain George Welsh.” The Six-Mile Water district included the parish of Templepatrick; and those enumerated in “the Declaration” were persons obnoxious to Cromwell on account of their adhesion to monarchical and Presbyterian principles. From these considerations, it is not improbable that Captain Welsh was a son of the minister of Templepatrick. So far as is known, there was in Ulster no other family of the name. The “Declaration” of Cromwell’s commissioners not having been acted upon, Captain Welsh remained in Ulster, but his name does not reappear; if he left descendants they are certainly extinct. John Welsh, minister of Kirkpatrick-Irongray, in the county of Dumfries, is known to have been a son of Josias Welsh, and a great-grandson of John Knox and Margaret Knox.
Josias Welsh was minister at Templepatrick in the north of Ireland, commonly called the Cock of the Conscience by the people of the country, because of his extraordinary wakening and rousing gift. He was one of that society of ministers which wrought that unparalleled work in the north of Ireland about the year 1636; but was himself a man most sadly exercised with doubts about his own salvation all his life, and would ordinarily say, that a minister was much to be pitied who was called to comfort weak saints and had no comfort himself.
Josias was the author of a short catechism.
REVEREND JOSIAS WELCH OF TEMPLEPATRICK LINKS:
Templepatrick Presbyterian Church – Josias Welch (1626-1634)
On the Tombstones of the Early Presbyterian Ministers of Ireland
UK Genealogy Archives
Templepatrick Presbyterian Church
Covenanter Stories – John Welsh
Josias Welsh 1598
Intersection Where Welch/Welsh Becomes Royal
Reverend Josias was the son Reverend John Walter Welsh Of Ayr VI, 🍂 and Elizabeth Knox, and grandson of John Knox the Reformer, 🍂 and his second wife, Margaret Stewart Knox, 🍂 who was the daughter of Andrew Stewart, 2nd Laird Stewart of Ochiltree and another Stewart: Margaret Stewart, Mistress of Ochiltree (daughter of Henry Stewart, 1st Lord Methven (who was Master of the Scottish Artillery and last husband of Margaret Tudor, eldest daughter of Henry VII of England and Elizabeth of York), and a cousin of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots.
This is the intersection where I am a direct descendant of John Knox the Reformer (13th Great Grandfather) and the House of Stuart/Stewart. This intersection with the House of Stuart/Stewart ties in with the House of Tudor and House of Plantagenet, which ended up with rival cadet branches and the Wars of the Roses between the House of York and the House of Lancaster. Then both houses are somewhat brought back together with the House of Tudor reign after the Battle of Bosworth Field, and subsequent marriage between Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, which produced Henry VIII; who breaks away from the Catholic church and creates the Church of England (Episcopal); so he can marry Anne Boleyn, revving up the Reformation; but the throne of England ends up in the House of Stuart/Stewart, when the Virgin Queen Elizabeth I, produced no heirs and ended up with James I of England succeeding to her throne, long after she had his mother, Mary Stuart Queen of Scots, beheaded for treason.
Before all that, starting from the 2nd century, with Kvenland king grandfathers, I am a direct descendant of William the Conqueror (29th Great Grandfather), 🍂 Charlemagne (40th Great Grandfather),🍂 and my favorite grandparents: King Henry II “Curtmantle” Plantagenet of England (26th Great Grandfather), 🍂 and Eleanor of Aquitaine (26th Great Grandmother), 🍂; and Henry II’s parents, Geoffroy V Plantagenet Count of Anjou, Maine and Mortain (27th Great Grandfather), 🍂 and Geoffroy’s wife, Empress Matilda (27th Great Grandmother), 🍂; Empress Matilda’s father was Henry I of England (28th Great Grandfather), 🍂, and her mother was Matilda of Scotland (28th Great Grandmother), 🍂, who not only was the Holy Roman Empress, but also an actual saint; and a generation preceding her is exactly where my family becomes the cast of Shakespeare’s Macbeth:
DUNCAN, King of Scotland is played by Duncan I of Scotland:
Matilda’s, grandfather and my 30th Great Grandfather, 🍂
DONALBAIN, son of Duncan is played by Donald III of Scotland:
Matilda’s uncle and my 29th Great Uncle
I guess they threw sainthood around like confetti in Scotland, because Saint Margaret of Scotland is Matilda’s mother and my 29th Great Grandmother. I’m looking around at my family today and no one’s gonna be going up for saint any time soon. The real take-away from all of this is that my family is responsible for the The Dark Ages and couldn’t get enough incest! :beam:
It seems to have all started going straight to hell with King John of England (25th Great Grandfather), 🍂; who everyone hated so much (after taxing everything in the world he could think of, losing Normandy and most of his possessions in France, during his war with Philip II of France, which lead to him finally being forced to sign the Magna Carta), that he was developed as villain, Sheriff of Nottingham, in the Tales of Robin Hood. (But his brother Richard the Lionheart was my 25th great uncle.. so that’s really cool!)
King John’s son, Richard Plantagenet, 1st Earl of Cornwall (24th Great Grandfather), 🍂, didn’t become king, and he produced Richard de Cornwall of Thunnock (23rd Great Grandfather) with his mistress (oy!), Mistress Jeanne Valletort (23rd Great Grandmother).. so just that fast, the throne was yanked out from under me! :womp-womp: However, Richard de Cornwall produced no legitimate children, so I guess it’s good to be a bastard!
Things start to look up again, because five generations after King John, Robert the Bruys (24th Great Grandfather) stomps the hell out of Edward II of England (22nd Great Uncle) at the Battle of Bannockburn, thus becoming King of Scotland. His daughter, Marjorie Bruce (23rd Great Grandmother) marries Walter Stewart, 6th High Steward of Scotland (23rd Great Grandfather) and they give birth to Robert II of Scotland (22nd Great Grandfather) and with him begins the long, sordid, Stewart Dynasty of Scotland and England.
Obviously, I fell far and away from anything less than a usurper, because by the time the House of Stewart marries into my Welches, Margaret is a mere Lady of Ochiltree.
We can’t have anything nice.
I know this sounds like an OUTLANDISH claim as it pretty much encompasses EVERYONE ever mentioned in European History from the Early Middle Ages through the Renaissance! But the common practice of royal marriage was to join other royals for the sake of treaties, which puts them all in there and allows me to throw a stick and hit a statue of one of my grandparents in Europe.
And here I am in Mississippi, far from any cool, royal parties, partly due to the Reformation.. and as a History buff, I LURVE the Reformation! But I wouldn’t mind a castle. 🏰 ❤️
Our family still has plenty of drama, some of it mildly cut-throat, but thankfully the corpse count has decreased. Speaking of corpses, I can’t wait to learn the fortune of my family during the black plague.
I will detail everything as I get time because in addition to the Norman, French, English & Scottish royal blood running through my veins (omgLOL), I have Scandinavian grandfathers, (who knows about grandmothers because they weren’t even given names, other than mother or wife of some grandfather.. which makes the Feminist in me die a little..) who are founders of Denmark, 🍂, Sea Kings, 🍂, then ascend into the downright (upright?) mythical around the 2nd century as giants, 🍂, and the wind, 🍂, kings of Kvenland, 🍂, in my Nordic ancestry. But forgive my wild tangent here, as on this particular page, I am focusing on direct paternal Welch lineage only.
12th Great Grandfather
REVEREND JOHN CHARLES WELSH
OF AYR VI
BIRTH 1568 • Irongray, Ayrshire, Scotland
DEATH 2 APR 1622 • London, England
BURIAL Bishopsgate, City of London, Greater London, England
A Scottish Presbyterian leader whose preaching resulted in his imprisonment by order of King James VI of Scotland. The lawyer Thomas Hamilton wrote to James VI about John Forbes, Welsh, and others. The case was important because many Scottish subjects of James were devoted to the ministers. Hamilton praised the conduct of the Earl of Dunbar. In 1606 after being tried for treason, he was exiled to France, where he continued his activities. John Welsh of Ayr was the father of Josias Welsh and the grandfather of John Welsh of Irongray.
On arriving in France Welch set himself immediately to master the French language, and this with such diligence that within fourteen weeks he was able to preach in French. Shortly afterwards he became pastor of the protestant church of Nerac, then of Jonsac, and finally of Saint-Jean-d’Angély in Saintonge, where he remained sixteen years. For several years after his banishment, the town council of Ayr continued regularly to remit to him his stipend as minister of the parish.
When Saint-Jean-d’Angély, a strongly fortified town, was besieged by Louis XIII during the war against the protestants in 1620, Welch showed great zeal in encouraging the citizens to resistance and assisted in serving the guns on the walls. Having also, after the capitulation of the city, continued to preach as usual, he was summoned before the king, who reprimanded him for violating the law forbidding anyone to use publicly within the verge of the court any other than the established form of religious service. To this remonstrance, Welch shrewdly replied that if the king knew what he preached he would himself both come to hear him and make all his subjects do the same, for what he preached was that there was none on earth above the king, which none who had adhered to the pope would say. This shrewd answer so pleased the king that he answered, ‘Very well, father, you shall be my minister,’ and promised him his protection. When therefore the town was captured again in the following year the king, in accordance with his promise, gave orders that guards should be placed around the house of Welch, and also provided horses and waggons to convey him, his family, and his household goods to Rochelle in safety.
Welch never again returned to his charge, but went to Zealand, whence, finding himself in declining health, he sent a petition to the king of England that he might be permitted to return to his native country, and obtained liberty to come to London, that he ‘might be dealt with.’ There, through Dr. Young, dean of Winchester, an attempt was made to obtain from him a general approval of episcopacy, but without effect. To his wife, who had gone to the king to ask his remission, the king answered that he would gladly pardon him if she would induce him to submit to the bishops, to which she replied that she would rather receive his decapitated head in her lap—‘Please your majesty, I had rather kep his head there.’ On hearing, however, that he was so ill that he would not long survive, the king acceded to his request for permission to preach in London; but he died (2 April 1622) two hours after concluding the services; ‘and so,’ says Calderwood, ‘endit his dayes at London, after the exile of mannie yeers, with deserved name of ane holie man, a painfull and powerfull preachour, and a constant sufferer for the trueth’ (History, vii. 511). By his wife Elizabeth, youngest daughter of John Knox the reformer (she died at Ayr in January 1625), Welch had four sons and two daughters, of whom Josias became minister of Temple Bar, or Temple Patrick, Ireland. Jane Welsh, the wife of Thomas Carlyle, claimed descent from Welch, and through him from John Knox.
Reverend John married Elizabeth Knox, daughter of John Knox the Reformer and his second wife, Margaret Stewart Knox, who was the daughter of Andrew Stewart, 2nd Laird Stewart of Ochiltree and a cousin of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots. The marriage caused consternation from Mary, Queen of Scots, as the couple had married without having obtained royal consent.
John Knox, the most famous Scottish Reformer, was born near Edinburgh in 1505. He went to his local school and then to university in St Andrews, before becoming a deacon and a priest in the (Roman Catholic) Church.
From 1542, Scotland was governed by Regent Arran as Mary Queen of Scots [link to First Reformation – Monarchs – Mary QOS] was still a baby. Arran benefited reform in Scotland in a number of ways. Firstly, he passed a law that allowed people to read the Bible in their own language. He then appointed the Protestant Thomas Guillame to preach around Scotland, and it was through his preaching that John Knox was converted. The biggest influence on Knox’s life however was George Wishart.
After Wishart’s death in 1546, Knox taught the sons of a number of Protestants who had captured St Andrews Castle. Some of those in the castle called Knox to become their minister. At this he burst into tears and ran off to his room because of what a responsibility he knew it would be. A few days later however he accepted the call. In the summer of 1547 French warships attacked the castle. Knox was taken prisoner, kept aboard in one of the ships and forced to row it in chains with other galley slaves. After 19 months however he was set free, and went to England where Archbishop Cranmer was working to promote the Reformation, and he was appointed as a preacher [in Berwick]. He attacked the Roman Catholic mass as idolatry because it was ‘invented by the brain of man’ and not commanded by God. In 1551 he was invited to live in London and preach before king Edward VI.
In 1553, the Roman Catholic Mary I became Queen. Knox was now in danger so he left for Europe. He became minister in Frankfurt in Germany and then in Geneva in Switzerland where John Calvin was also a minister. In between he returned to Scotland to get married and preach, and was surprised at how far the teaching of the Reformers was spreading.
In 1559, he came back to Scotland for good. The Scottish people were now ready to end Roman Catholicism once and for all, after the death of Walter Mill. Knox began to preach throughout Scotland, and God saved many people. In the autumn, he became minister at St Andrews. The people in St Andrews had been convinced by Knox’s preaching and had taken all the pictures and images out of the church.
1560 was the key year in the First Scottish Reformation. The Scottish Parliament passed laws getting rid of the mass and the Pope’s power in Scotland. Knox and five other men, all called John, wrote important documents such as the Scots Confession of Faith, which explained what the church believed. In the summer, Knox became minister in Edinburgh. In December, the first General Assembly met in Edinburgh.
From 1567 until he was assassinated three years later, Scotland was ruled by the Protestant Regent Moray. The second Reformation Parliament met in the same year and passed more laws in favour of the Reformation. The years from 1560 onwards saw worship simplified, evangelism, care of the poor and more education, so the ordinary people could read the Bible. Instead of the outward forms of Roman Catholicism, public worship was now based around reading, preaching and singing from God’s word.
Knox continued preaching for the rest of his life and died in 1572. When he was buried, it was said that ‘Here lies a man who in his life never feared the face of man’.
John Knox saw how important it was for the church to do what the Bible said, and not just what they thought was right. He wasn’t afraid to stand up to anyone, even kings and queens, for what he knew was right. His preaching was used by God to transform the whole of Scotland.
John Howie, ‘John Knox’ in The Scots Worthies (Edinburgh, 2001 ), pp 48-66.
J. G. Vos, The Scottish Covenanters (Edinburgh, 1998 ), pp 19-29.
Thomas M’Crie, The Life of John Knox (Edinburgh, 1811).
John Knox, History of the Reformation in Scotland ed. W. C. Dickinson (2 vols, 1949).
Knox, John, The Works of John Knox ed. David Laing (Edinburgh: Wodrow Society, 6 vols (1846–64)
DSCHT: Knox, John
Jane E. A. Dawson, ‘Knox, John (c.1514–1572)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, Jan 2008
Marcus Merriman, ‘Hamilton, James, second earl of Arran, and duke of Châtelherault in the French nobility (c.1519–1575)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004
Mark Loughlin, ‘Stewart, James, first earl of Moray (1531/2–1570)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004
13th Great Grandfather
JOHN WALTER WELSH, LAIRD OF COLLIESTON
BIRTH 1520 • Irongray, Ayrshire, Scotland
DEATH 5 AUG 1600 • Collieston, Dumfriesshire, Scotland
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14th Great Grandfather
BIRTH 1493 • Worcestershire, England
DEATH 1572 • Edinburgh, Scotland
15th Great Grandfather
WILLIAM JOHN WELSCHE
BIRTH 1488 • Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland
DEATH 1518 • Flodden, Scotland
16th Great Grandfather
BIRTH 1474 • England
DEATH 1554 • Durham, County Durham, England
17th Great Grandfather
SIR JOHN WELSCHE, II
BIRTH 1450 • Alveston, South Gloucestershire, England
DEATH 1501 • Little Sodbury, South Gloucestershire, England
18th Great Grandfather
SIR JOHN WELSCHE, I
BIRTH 1420 • Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England
DEATH 1501 • Little Sodbury, Gloucestershire, England
19th Great Grandfather
ADAM BARON WALSH (WELSCHE)
BIRTH 1400 • Little Sodbury, Gloucestershire, England
DEATH 1454 • Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England
20th Great Grandfather
SIR JOHN LE WALSH, EARL OF WANLIP, KT
BIRTH 1375 • Dorset, Chickerel, England
DEATH 1400 • England
21st Great Grandfather
SIR ROGER LE WALSH, KT
BIRTH • England
DEATH 1355 • England
BLACK DEATH LINKS:
22nd Great Grandfather
SIR THOMAS LE WALSH, KT
BIRTH 1335 • England
DEATH 1395 • England
BURIAL Our Lady and St. Nicholas Churchyard
Wanlip, Charnwood Borough, Leicestershire, England
The Brass of Sir Thomas and Lady Walsh
at Wanlip, Leicestershire, and its ContextDownload
WANLIP AND WANLIP BRASS LINKS:
Journal of Midland History
Wanlip Church built by Thomas and/or wife, Katherine Walsh
Our Lady & St. Nicholas Parish Church
Sir Thomas le Walsh (Wallis) of (W) Anlip, Leics | Brass Inscription
Walsh of Leicestershire
Historic England Church of St. Nicholas
23rd Great Grandfather
SIR JOHN LE WALSH, KT
BIRTH 1315 • Of Gresley, Derby, England
DEATH 1352 • Leicestershire, England
24th Great Grandfather
SIR THOMAS LE WALSH, EARL OF WANLIP
BIRTH 1285 • Gresley, Derbyshire, England
DEATH 1344 • England
25th Great Grandfather
SIR JOHN LE WALSH, EARL OF WANLIP
BIRTH 1255 • Derby, Derbyshire, England
DEATH 1288 • England
26th Great Grandfather
SIR ROBERT LE WALSH, EARL OF WANLIP
BIRTH 1225 • Derby, Derbyshire, England
DEATH 1254 • England
27th Great Grandfather
SIR JOHN LE WALSH, EARL OF WANLIP
BIRTH 1190 • Derby, Derbyshire, England
DEATH 1224 • England
28th Great Grandfather
SIR ROBERT WALSH, EARL OF WANLIP
BIRTH 1160 • Wanlip Hall, Derby, Derbyshire, England
DEATH 1190 • Derby, Derbyshire, England
29th Great Grandfather
SIR WILLIAM WALSH, I, EARL OF WANLIP
BIRTH 1130 • Of Gresley, Derby, England
DEATH 1167 • Derby, Derbyshire, England
30th Great Grandfather
ROGER WALSH, II
BIRTH 1100 • Of Gresley, Derby, England
DEATH 1130 • England
31st Great Grandfather
SIR ROGER WALSH, I
BIRTH 1078 • Wanlip, Leicestershire, England
To date, this is as far back as I have gotten in my direct line of Welch grandfathers.
Wanlip, Leicestershire England
Our Lady & St. Nicholas Parish, Wanlip, Leicestershire England
Walsh Hall at Meriden, West Midlands, England
Walsh Hall at Bromkimsthorpe, Leicester England
Swithland Hall & Church, Leicestershire England
Dalby on the Wolds, Leicestershire England
Land in Baddesley, Warwickshire England
Stoke: Baddesley Clinton, it’s Manor, Church & Hall
Parcel of the honour of Winton
The Manor of Thurmeton, Nottingham (exchanged Dalby)
Manor of Swithland and Brounshay
Held Tenements in Wanlip, Cropston, Syston, Thorpe Parva (juxta Narborough, or by Barkby), and Bromkinsthorpe
Breathnach or Bhreathnach (meaning Welshman) is an Irish surname, indicating an ancestor who was Welsh. It is the Irish-language version of surnames such as Brannagh, Brunnock, Brannick, Walsh, Wallace, and Wallis.
EVOLUTION OF WELCH NAME LINKS:
However, it does not necessarily mean that the ancestor concerned was from modern-day Wales; Robert Bell notes that Wallace was a surname indicating a Briton native of Strathclyde or any part of the Latin name Wallensis meant just that.
It can also refer to the Cambro-Normans (later Hiberno-Normans) that were of Norman origin, but came to Ireland via Wales. The name appears in twelfth-century records of Ayrshire and Renfrewshire, parts of the old Strathclyde kingdom … Wallace has also been used as a synonym of Walsh.” (Bell, p. 244). The best known bearer of the name from the area was Uilleam Breatnach (William Wallace).
Walsh is among the five most numerous surnames in Ireland, found throughout the country. There are concentrations of Walsh in Leinster in counties Kilkenny and Wexford, in Connacht in counties Mayo and Galway, and in Munster in counties Cork and Waterford. Walsh is a semi-translation of the early Irish surname Breathnach, meaning ‘Welsh’ or ‘Breton’, later anglicised as ‘Brannagh’ and ‘Walsh’. The surname Walsh is derived from the Old English, “welisc”, meaning “foreigner”.
The Walsh surname has the same historical origin as Wallace, Wallis and Welch, but arrived at its present form by a more circuitous route. These surnames derive from the Anglo-Saxon / Old English term ‘wælisc’ (or wealas), used in different parts of early Britain to denote the native Welsh or Britons. In medieval Ireland the generic terms ‘le waleys’ and ‘walensis’ (among others) were used to indicate ‘a Welshman’, including some of the adventurers from Wales who arrived in the wake of the Cambro-Norman campaigns after 1169 CE. A similar phenomena occurred in other parts of the British Isles, where the Walsh name emerged from areas of Welsh settlement. In England the surname Walsh is ranked about 105th, in Scotland the surname Wallace is ranked in the top 50.
The Walsh surname in Ireland, among others, appears early in the records as Walensis, then as Waleys and le Waleys, then in the Irish form as Brenagh and Bretnagh, and eventually anglicized as Walshe, Walsh, Branagh, Brannagh, etc. Other variant spellings also exist, including surnames such as Walch, Welsh, Welch, et al.
The medieval name Waleys, or le Waleys, seems to derive from the Old Norman-French word “waleis”, likely originating from the Anglo-Saxon term noted above. The name Brenagh originated from the Irish (Gaelic) term “breathnach” which signified a “Briton”. Patrick Woulfe (Irish Names) lists the name Brathnagh as an older English or Anglicized form of Breathnach, but gives no date for this name. George Black (Surnames of Scotland) gives the name Braithnoch as being from the “Irish Breathnach (more anciently Breatnach), a ‘Welshman’.” Edward MacLysaght (Irish Families) gives the first of the name in Ireland as “Haylen Brenach, alias Walsh, son of ‘Philip the Welshman’ who was one of the invaders of 1172.”
From Father Edmund Hogan’s Onomasticon Goedelicum (Dublin, 1910) comes the term “bretanach”; now Breathnach; one of the Welsh families in Ireland, now Walsh. It also cites the term “brethnaigh”; alias Breathnacha, the Walshes or Welshmen of Iar-Connacht, Con. 19 b.
In Ireland, unlike many of the early Cambro-Norman and Anglo-Norman families such as the Burkes, the Fitzgeralds, etc, who can trace their ancestry to a small number of known individuals, the Walsh family name arose independently in many different places.
A few exceptions are mentioned in Irish history although there are others. These include ‘Philip of Wales’, a hero in a naval battle of 1174, whose descendants were thought to include the Walsh of the Mountain families of south-central County Kilkenny; ‘David Welsh’, noted at the battle of Limerick in 1175, whose descendants were cited south of Dublin at Carrickmines; and ‘Walynus’, who arrived about 1169, and whose descendants were stated to have settled in northern Kildare, in southern Meath, and in County Mayo, among other places.
Popular forenames in the Walsh Family during the first five centuries they lived in Ireland included Richard, Henry, William, Walter, Robert, Philip, David, Howell or Hoyle, Theobald, Edmund, Pierce, Thomas, James, John, Maurice, Oliver, and Simon.
The origin of these forenames likely relates back to the early days following the Cambro-Norman incursion into Ireland (1169-1172). Richard came from Richard de Clare (Strongbow), Walter from Gerald FitzWalter, and Henry from Henry II. Theobald, Pierce and Thomas were Butler names. Edmund came through the Butlers from the Burkes. David and Hoyle were Welsh names, as were some of the very early Walsh forenames of Griffin, Meredith, Eynon and Owen. Oliver seems to have come from the Graces, and Maurice from the Fitzgeralds. Simon was peculiar to Kildare.
Early Walshes in Ireland included the names of Walter and Robert Walsh who settled near Dublin. Later the names of Walter, Edmund and Robert ran in a series in the Castlehale family of (Co. Kilkenny) Walshes over a period of two centuries. The Philips were most numerous in Kilkenny, but most prominent, perhaps, in Kildare. The Richards were always in evidence in Dublin and Kildare, and for a time, in Tipperary. The Henrys seem to have stuck to Dublin and Wicklow. The Howels, or Hoyles, were in Kilkenny, in Dublin, and in Wexford. Nicholas appears to have been a characteristic Waterford name, and is also found in Kildare. Gilbert appeared in Dublin and Cork in the thirteenth century. It was a de Clare name which in this instance came through the Desmond Fitzgeralds.
As previously mentioned, the Walsh surname in Ireland had its Irish roots in the Welsh and Welsh-Norman clans who first participated in the Cambro-Norman invasion of Ireland. As cited by J. C. Walsh (Walsh 1170-1690), “they more than likely came from some of the leading houses of Wales.” Some have placed their relation and descendancy from Owen Gwynned, Prince of North Wales, and his sons Ririd and David. Others see relation to some of the leaders of the Norman invasion including Robert FitzStephen (see possible Walsh Pedigrees), Raymond le Gros de Carew, Maurice FitzGerald, and Richard FitzGilbert de Clare. Other possible connections include Philip FitzRhys, son of Rhys, as well as Meyler FitzHenry. See also Descendants of Nesta.
Over the centuries, the Walshes in Ireland built and inhabited many strongholds. They married with their ‘Norman’ neighbors, the Butlers, Powers, Fitzgeralds, Graces, Purcells, Cantwells, Shortalls, Sheas, Archers, Comerfords, Denns, Walls, Furlongs, Devereuxs and others who came into the country with their ancestors. They often married into alliance with families of the old Irish inhabitants, the Kavanaghs, McCarthys, Brennans, O’Donnells, O’Connors, O’Rourkes and others. Of the first to enter into marriage alliances were said to be David and Philip Walsh, both to McCarthy’s, late in the 12th Century.
There are various coats of arms attributed to the family of Wanlip, including “gules, two bars and a bend argent,” and “barry of five, gules and argent, a bend of the last,” both cited temp. 7 Edward I. Another is “gules two bars gemel and a bendlet argent.”
The arms of John Walshe of Onlep, co. Leicester, are described as “Gules, three bars gemel Argent, over all a bendlet of the last.” [source: An alphabetical dictionary of coats of arms belonging to families in Great Britain and Ireland, v. 2, 1874]
For the family of ‘Welsh of Upton’, co. Leicester the arms are “Argent, on a saltire engrailed Sable, five annulets of the field.” [source: An alphabetical dictionary of coats of arms belonging to families in Great Britain and Ireland; v. 2; 1874; Papworth, et al]