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Archive for July, 2010

We’ll be heading to England this summer (2010), so I decided it might be fun to trace an ancestor back to the town where he or she originated and pay the town a visit. I broke out the genealogical charts my mother made and began the search. The Pryor line currently peters out in 1818, still in America, so I turned to other family charts. I noticed the Rathbone chart (on my mother’s side) was one of the most complete. One of the family lines ran all the way to the edge of the chart and in the final entry I saw the words I was looking for “John Wightman, .b 1598 Burton-On-Trent, England”. But this particular family line didn’t end at the edge of the chart and there was one additional generation written into the margin. The name was Edward Wightman 1566-1612 and beside his name were the words “Burned at the stake”. I smiled. This was my kind of ancestor. Here’s what I found out about him:

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If you trace back the “Knight” line of the Pryor family, starting with my great grandmother, Alice Austin Knight, you will eventually reach William Alfred Knight 1320-1350 my 19th great grandfather. On the genealogy web site Ancestry.com there are an astonishing 72,103 descendents of William Knight who have listed him in their family tree. Interestingly, almost all of them firmly believe that William was the illegitimate love child of Roger De Mortimer (The Earl of March) and Queen Isabella (The Queen of England). This fact may or may not be true, the history is inconclusive, but the story is well worth telling, and it all begins with the somewhat incompetent, not very kingly, Edward II…
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