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."

Monday, June 5, 2017

Our Rogers ancestress, Dame Elizabeth de Furneaux

Remember a few days ago John Fitz Roger became a gentleman by marrying a widow, Elizabeth de Furneaux?  Well, they were the land holders at Bryantstone, in England.

Here's some interesting history about her.  Her ancestor was among the Normans who came to England with William the Conqueror...though the Rogers line as de Hautvilles, had also come from Normandy originally before going to Sicily for a few generations, where they became kings.  And her mother's family is a link to various early Royals in England. (no room for that today, so I'll post it later).

The Furneaux family background: I'll just fast forward and Highlight The Part that's about Elizabeth!

The Furneaux family was very influential in English society for many years and closely connected to the Plantagenet's.  Odo deFornell or Furneaux was born about 1040 in Normandy and came to England with William the Conqueror, his son Sir Alan deFurnellis or Furneaux was born about 1075 in Normandy but settled in Devon and received from King Henry I a manor house and land near Honiton, Devon. He married and had four sons: Sir Alan, a Justiciary, 1165; Philip; William and the eldest, his son and heir Sir Galfride or Geoffrey deFurnellis or Furneaux who was born about 1117-22 and was appointed Sheriff of Devon. He was a very influential man; was knighted and married late - about 115 5. He had four sons - Geoffrey, born about 1158; Sir Robert, born about 1160, S ir Alan, born about 1162 and his eldest son and heir -Sir Henry (1) de Furnellis or Furneaux born about 1156. He also became Sheriff of Devon. He married, abo ut 1180, Johanna, daughter of Robert Fitz William, who brought to her husband th e manor of Ashington in Somerset. Having by right of his wife become Lord of th e manors in Somerset, he ultimately settled there; and had a least one son, Henr y deFurneaux (2), born about 1181. Henry (1) died in 1214. The eldest sons, an d our ancestors, in the next two generations were called Matthew. Matthew (1), born about 1220, was a Sheriff of Devon under King Edward I (1276). Matthew (2) was born about 1245 and, about 1270, married Matilda (or Maud), daughter of Sir Warren deRalegh of 'Nettlecombe' in Somerset. Sir Walter Raleigh, who became famous two centuries later, was a descendant of the same Ralegh, or Raleigh family. Matthew (2) also had a son, Sir Matthew (3) (ancestor of Thomas Rogers but not the eldest son in this generation) who was Lord of Ashington - his principal residence - and then became a Knight and was summoned to do military service against the Welsh in 1295 and against the Scots in 1296-7-8 and 1300. He was Sheriff of Somerset, Dorset & Devon variously, for terms covering many years during the period 1304-1316, the year of his death. In 1312 he had custody of Devon and the King's Castle of Exeter; and in 1315 was custodian of the counties of Somerset & Dorset, and the Castle of Shireborn. He was a prominent member of the Furneaux family. 

His son and heir was Sir Symon deFurneaux, born about 1271. Symon married Alice, daughter of Sir Henry de Umfraville of Penarth Point in Glamorgan Wales. He was one of the principal landowners of his county and died without surviving male issue (his only son, William, born in 1328, did not survive his father). Among the many honors bestowed upon him was a Knighthood of the Shire of Somerset, in the Parliament of Edward III (1328)

 Sir Symon's only surviving child, and sole heiress, was his daughter, Elizabeth deFurneaux born in 1330. She married first about 1350, Sir John Blount, Knight and a Constable of the Tower by whom she had a daughter Alice about 1351. Sir John died about 1384, leaving an attractive and wealthy widow, who inherited many large estates. Dame Elizabeth's second marriage was to John FitzRoger and she thus became the patriarchal mother of the later, distinguished ROGER-FURNEAUX FAMILY of England

------------------------Editor's note, her second child, John Fitz Roger is listed as having been born in 1386, while she'd been born in 1330, the year after her mother died.  Her mother, Alice de Umfraville of Wales (1296-1329) is the link to the Royals of I wonder if any of these dates would be correct!

So we have the first posthumous birth by her mother! As well as a 56 year old (Dame Elizabeth) giving birth to her second child.  And none of the records I can find give any death date or mention of her first child, Alice Blount.

OK, it's all going to be straightened out eventually I'm sure.

Back to the details of the children:

3.  Sir John Fitz Roger, was born 1386-7.
 He married Agnes de Mercaunt of Seamer, Suffolk Co. in 1406 when he was just past the age of 19. He was the manager of the vast Furneaux estates and bought 'Benham-Valence' and other properties in Berkshire and Dorset. He received a Knighthood through recognition of military service performed. He was one of the wealthiest people in his section of England. He and Agnes had two sons, John and Thomas. He died 4 Oct 1441 at his home at Bryanstone, and is buried at St. Martin's Church there [picture below].

 His will was dated 21 Sep and proved 10 Nov 1441 and it was at this time the 'Fitz' to the Roger name was dropped and ultimately a terminal 's' added.
St. Martin's Church, Bryanstone, UK (now part of a school)

4.  Thomas Rogers, b. c1408 of Ashington, Somerset, in one of the Roger-Furneaux mansions, residing there until grown, then permanently settled at Bryanstone, Dorset.  He was the Burgess, Mayor and Sheriff of Bristol in 1455, 1458 and 1459 he m. unknown spouse.  Manor of Oare, Wilcot, Swanborough Hundred, Wiltshire was held by Thomas Rogers (d. circa 1479) when it passed to his son William Rogers, then to his son Sir Edward Rogers whose son George Rogers married Jane Winter.  (Victoria County History of Wiltshire). He had a son, Thomas, by his first wife who was born in 1435. In his second marriage he had a daughter, Elizabeth. Thomas Rogers (4th generation) never claimed the property of his father so it went to his sister. 

History of MF Planters by L.C. Hills:

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