All posts are copyright Barbara Rogers 2018. Please ask if you wish to share, and give attribution to the author.My ancestry and more personal notes are now at a revised version of "When I Was 75."

Saturday, May 27, 2017

From Sicily to England

My line didn't continue to be the royal folks in Sicily, but diverged into England eventually.

The first to be called Fitz Roger was:
Aaron I Fitz Roger b. abt 1249, Rome Italy, d. 1335 Somerset, England  (Fitz means son of)
"...This ancestry left a large number of descendants in Sicily, South Italy, Naples and Rome; and during three generations, the sons of Roger (called 'Fitz Roger'), variously flourished in and about the papal city; and finally one "Aaron Fitz Roger" (in England) alleged - a merchant of  Rome, from fear of persecution from the Roman Church, fled with his family to London, and engaged in mercantile business there.

 "And as evidence of Sicilian-Roger ancestry, the father and sons claimed the right to bear the coat-of-arms accredited to Gr.-Ct. Roger I of Sicily.  Whatever grounds there were for such legendary tradition of said family - the resultant fact is, that such a family did exist; and that a branch thereof located in the Co. of Kent, not far from London; and that another member went prospecting to the West of England, and either he or his son was the ROGER who m. the Furneaux heiress.  Therefore the absolutely certain record of the ROGERS FAMILY starts with the Norman-Italian emigrant to England, as its unquestioned English Patriarch." [More about the English Rogers tomorrow!]

John Cox Underwood

Background information reviewed:

Roger Tancred Castile de Hauteville, King of both Sicilys b. abt. 1130 Sicily d.1192 Sicily

"... King of both Sicily's, b. 1093-4 & d 1154 2/26, suc to the throne on the dth of his bro. Simon 1105; but his mother governed during his minority.  The antipope, Anacletus II, on 1129 9/27, confirmed to him the strange title of 'King of Sicily and Italy' which was modified in 1139 & confirmed to him by Pope Innocent II upon their reconciliation.

Consequently the 1st Norman royal ruler of that Island, was:  KING ROGER II of Sicily; and he was an active, energetic ruler, extending his domain in Italy, and throughout adjacent islands of the sea; and altogether, his reign was firm and prosperous.  He was suc, before his dth. by his son WILLIAM I - 'the Bad,'  who r. 1151-1166; and he, suc. by his son WILLIAM II, - the 'Good,' who r. 1166-1189, whose Queen Johanna, dau. of Henry of Anjou and England, was childless.  So, on his dth, the cr. passed to an illegitimate gr. son of King Roger.

from "Tancred, King of both Sicily's "by John Cox Underwood

Roger Tancred 1130-1192 had a son Roger Tancred III who d. in 1193. He married Irene Angelos, who apparently didn't have any children by him, according to Wikipedia (as follows:

Irene Angelina (1181 – 1208) was the daughter of the Byzantine Emperor Isaac II Angelos by his first wife Herina Tornikaina. 

In 1193 she married Roger III of Sicily, but he died on 24 December 1193. Irene was captured in the German invasion of Sicily on 29 December 1194 and was married on 25 May 1197 to Philip of Swabia. In Germany, she was renamed Maria.

Philip and Irene had four daughters, and two sons who died in infancy.

After the murder of her husband [need more info here!] (21 April 1208), Irene - who was pregnant by that time - retired to the Burg Hohenstaufen. There, four months later (27 August 1208), she gave birth to a daughter (called Beatrice Postuma); but both mother and child died shortly afterwards. She was buried in the family mausoleum in the Staufen proprietary monastery of Lorch Abbey, along with her daughter and sons. Her grave, now destroyed, cannot be reconstructed today.
But wait, who was Tancred IV (born 1223) then? I look on Ancestry, and there he is (see screen capture below)

My tree clearly says he was son of Tancred III (died 1193) and Irene (died 1208).  But he wasn't born while his father was still alive...thus another time his mother gave birth after a husband had died.  Something about this seems fishy, and I would imagine the story wasn't correctly recorded at some point.  She obviously didn't die giving birth, or the daughters with Phillip wouldn't have been born later.

So that's a bit of a stumbling block, isn't it?

But the quoted text at the beginning of my post does say, somehow...there may well have been more children/parents/cousins involved than got on the tree!

There was someone named Aaron Fitz Roger who came to England from Italy, whoever he was descended from!

I'll go with him!


  1. Hello Barbara, I love your header! You have a lovely blog. I have been working on my family history, including locating many of my cousins, and it has been a very enjoyable experience. Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. Thanks for visiting Linda. I'll have to come browse at your blog now! Glad you like the header, which I change whenever I have a whim. Yes cousins are out there galore!


Looking forward to hearing from you! Since I didn't know the 1000+ people who supposedly looked at my blog the other day, I'm back to moderating comments. If that doesn't help, I don't know why blogger doesn't have a filter that stops this hacking...