Thursday, December 06, 2007

Question from Jackie - Tudor lineage

My cousin's husband claims he is a direct descendant of the Tudor lineage. He claims he can trace his family tree all the way back to Queen Elizabeth. Considering she was the "Virgin Queen" how is this possible? His mother's maiden name is Tudor. I thought the Tudor line ended with Elizabeth. I know there was at least one bastard recognized male child of Henry VIII but I thought he died young without any heirs. Is this possible?


Lara said...

I've gotten this type of question before, and the first thing I usually will point out is that just because someone has the last name Tudor, it doesn't necessarily mean that they are related to the royal family. The Welsh patronymic naming method meant that that didn't have "last names" in the sense we know it today for a long time. Usually someone would be "Owen ap Tudor", meaning "Owen, son of Tudor" (Tudor being a first name here). Eventually when these names were Anglicized, the "ap" part was dropped and the last name became Tudor.
(The example above is a shortened version of how the Tudor monarchs got their name.)

But on the other part of your question, I would have to see the evidence of a line to Elizabeth I, since as you said, she was the Virgin Queen and there is no reliable evidence that she ever had a child. Henry VIII's only acknowledged bastard was Henry Fitzroy (and yes, he did die before having children), and he didn't use the name Tudor. Elizabeth I had cousins who I believe still have living descendants today, but those are on the Boleyn/Carey side.

Anonymous said...

Technically, one could claim Tudor lineage from the line of Jasper Tudor (doubtful, because oviously the records from this branch are spotty at best) or from the descendents of Princess Mary (whose second grandaughter, Katherine Grey, married into the Seymour line).

However, this dude's probably lying.

MaryAn Batchellor said...

Dude needs to brush up on his history before he makes up a lineage.

Diane said...

He could be lying. My husband's last name is Dowland. He is a decendant of John Dowland. However as far as we know there are no direct links. His heritage goes back to a parish in 800 ad England. There is even a church with the family name. (still there) So, I don't think you can be too quick to judge. However we do know that Elizabeth had no children, male or female. But there were other children of Henry and whoever

Anonymous said...

It is impossible to have a direct lineage from Queen Elizabeth I. However, the observant comment below is true about existing descendents of the Queens cousins.

My children are the direct cousin descendants of Queen Elizabeth I through the following line:

The Queens mother was Ann Boleyn, father Henry VIII. Ann's sister Mary Boleyn married Sir William Carey of Aldenham who was Gentleman of the Privy Chamber. Their daughter was Catherine Carey who married Sir Francis Knolly to become Catherine, Lady Knollys.

Catherine, Lady Knollys, the cousin of Queen Elizabeth I was her closest confidante and served as Chief Lady of the Bedchamber rarely leaving the Queens side. She is the eighteenth Great Grandmother to my children, Edward Thomas McMullen, III and Katherine West McMullen of South Carolina.

So in answer to the question, yes, Queen Elizabeth I continues to have direct descendents alive and well through her cousin on the Boleyn/Carey side. Queen Elizabeth I has no direct descendents that any credible historian acknowledges.

Anonymous said...

I am also a direct descendant of Mary Boleyn. Her daughter, Catherine Carey, had a grandson, Governor John West, who came over to Virginia in the early 1600's. There are many descendants of Mary out there.
The Boleyn's are also direct descendants of William the Conqueror and Charlemagne!!
Good luck with the search.
Natalie Booth

mcsissy said...

I am also a direct descendant of Mary Boleyn. Mary's daughter Catherine married sir richard west and it is father to father to father all the way to my father - not uncles aunts or cousins. After reading all of philippa gregory's books I'm not sure if I'm proud of that or not.
Helen West McElmurry

Anonymous said...

No one can be a 'direct' descendant of Elizabeth I--you can only be a collateral descendant (that is, a descendant of her sister, Mary, the only sibling of the three to have grandchildren).

Henry VIII does not have any direct descendants, either.