Week 6 (Feb 5-11) – So Far Away. Which ancestor is the farthest from you, either in distance or in time/generations? Which ancestor have you had to go the farthest away to research?
Sir John Eldred – my fifteenth great grandfather, is the farthest back in time I have managed to go. I was told that there were ties to King Eldred of Saxony.
913 – King Edward the Elder of England recaptures Essex from the Danes. Death of High-Reeve Edulf of Bamburgh. He is succeeded by his son, Eldred I, who is almost immediately driven out by King Ragnall I Ivarrson of Norse York. Eldred flees to the Court of King Constantine II of Alba. – From Historical Chronology
“Eldred has roots among the pagan Saxons who came to settle in Eastern Britain after the fall of Rome. There are many references to the name in documents, such as Domesday Book, and though the distinction between personal and family names was not yet established and no pedigrees exist from that period, there can be no objection to the Eldred claim to Saxon origins. From the time when evidence makes family history possible it is clear that there were Eldreds in Norfolk, Suffolk, Northamptonshire and Lincolnshire.” – The Saxon House of Eldred, 1992
Sir John was born 1419 in Corby, Lincolnshire, England and died 9 April 1489 in Knettishell, Suffolk, England.
Married Joan (1423-1489) and had Reginald, my 14th great grandfather in 1439, Martha, Ann (1453), Nicholas (1454) and Robert (1465)
From “The Eldred Family” by Orville Ward Eldred compiled in 1940
“In 1066, an Eldred was Archbishop of Canterbury and it was he who crowned Harold II, King of England. The Eldreds were a very old and important Saxon family in a land of Saxons… Burkes General Armory says, “They are descended from a very ancient family claiming Saxon origin,”. They have always lived in the south and east of England. … They were mostly of the landed gentry and yeomanry. It was not until after the Norman Conquest that the surname generally became prevalent… thus the family name of Eldred can be dated as being about 900 years old. However, after the Battle of Hastings in 1066 when William the Conqueror of Normandy defeated Harold the Saxon, Saxons who were of any position in the country were practically wiped out. Those surviving after the Conquest were made Norman serfs and as the Normans kept no records of their serfs, it will never be known what happened in the 400 years following the Conquest. It is believed that the family almost became extince with just a fragment existing in Lincolnshire.
But with the passing of time and of Fuedalism, there ceased to be Saxons and Normans; instead a fusion of all the bloods occupying Briton were molded into Englishmen… “In the 6th year of Henry VII (1516), Thomas Coupe confirmed to Reginald Eldrod of Gnateshall, Yeoman and others, lands in Gnateshall, lying between crops of John Eldred.” “In the 19th year of Henry VIII(1528)m so and so in pursuance of the will of Reginald Eldred, confirmed to Anges his wodow, John Eldred of Easthope, Reginald Gent, and John Eldred, younger son of Agnes, 13 pieces of land.” From the Registers of Bardwell County, Suffolk.”
John Eldred’s will, written in Latin, indicates that he was born before 1425. His children moved to Knettishall, a little hamlet in the northwest corner of Suffolk County, Eng.and. His will is filed at Bury St. Edmonds, dated 17 Jan 1489, and proven 9 Apr 1489.
THE ELDRED FAMILY – manuscript from New Lisbon files.
The Eldred Family is a very ancient English Family, and one of only a few English Families that can trace their ancestry back to the early Saxon settlers from the European mainland. Although, today, members of the Family are found in England, America, Canada, the West Indies, South Africa and Australia, records of the family reach for more than 12 centuries back into the past. Numbers of Eldreds are named in the Doomsday Book of William the Conqueror, compiled in 1086 A.D., and others are named in records here and there during the following centuries, but the oldest record that can be authentically connected to living members of the Family, is the death record of one John Eldred, of Corby, Lincolnshire, England, in 1485. His will, written in Latin, is still in existance [sic] and it indicates that he was born before 1425. The children of this man moved to Knetsall, a little hamlet in the very northwest corner of Suffolk County, England. Some of his grandchildren lived in New Buckenham, Norfolk, later generations lived in Ipswich, Norfolk, and still later generations lived in London. John Eldred is said to have moved from Corby (which is about 60 miles west of Birmingham) to Knettishall, a distance of some 60 miles. Other entries talk about Gnatsell, Gnattsall and Knattisall. The correct spelling should be Knettishall. One of the earliest Eldred documents is the will of John Eldred of Corby, Lincolnshire, England, which was written in Latin. John’s parentage is unknown and details concerning his life are limited to data extracted from his will. John’s will gives his age as ‘well past the year of man by the roods of Books’. This means that he was more than 70 and would place his birth sometime before 1419. Four sons and two daughters are named in the will, but not a wife, whose name is unknown. She had probably died earlier.
Six generations later, William Eldred, born 1627 in Winfarthing, Norfolk, England, made his way to the new world with his brothers in 1635 and died in 1697 in Yarmouth, Barnstable County, Massachusetts.