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family myths

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    family myths

    im looking into a family that has a large number of myths, and if they are true, it explains why they are so hard to find them.

    the first myth is the family supported the jacobites against the hanoverians, and that after the battle of preston in 1715, their lands in england and scotland were confiscated by the crown. as this happened, the family is said to have fled to holland for 2 generations.

    the second myth is a wife in the family with aristocratic blood. senior aristocratic blood. incidentally she is supposed to have been a carew, in the later 18th century. her son according to the family myth is firmly attested in census and parish records, and is securely the son of another woman. so im thinking the carew wife may have been a first wife, or maybe she is muddled by the generations, being an earlier ancestor, or maybe she is made up! all attempts to trace her have been unsuccessful.

    what i would like to know, is, would there be a way of finding out about families who had lands confiscated? the tree does not go as far as the generation that would have had land confiscated in 1715, it would be the parents of the generation i have seen so far.

    i would also like to know if it was common for political individuals to flee to holland? i know people in trouble with religion in the 16th century did it, but people with lands confiscated? doesn't that mean the man was arrested and possibly executed?

    and finally, if the stories are true, the families lands were confiscated, and they did flee to holland, is there any way to trace the family in holland? an area they tended to settle in?

    I have a similar myth relating to OH's family. They are supposed to have been Highland Jacobites and to have changed their name after Culloden. I can't get the family back any further than the late 1700s in the Newcastle/Sunderland area.

    The Holland (Netherlands) of today bears no relation at all to the Holland of the 18th. century. It has always been part of some empire or other and only gained independence relatively recently.
    Uncle John


      that's interesting john, holland not being the same political entity as it is today. incidentally i found a will on the national archives site for a man with the names that are in the family. he was in antwerp in 1690, which is considerably earlier than the myths.

      makes me wonder if it is a red herring. though getting lands confiscated and fleeing to holland may not be in one myth. maybe two myths have been mixed up here. their are 2 battles of preston, 1645 and 1715. and then there is the battle of prestonpans in 1745. it is entirely plausible any of these battles are the ones the myths are about. if the stories are true, the family lost their fortunes after a battle and 2 generations lived in holland, then the will i found could fit with the earlier battle of preston 1645.

      or maybe the family was involved in trade and when things turned ugly in england they took off to holland to safe guard their dutch interests?


        Holland, the United Provinces, were more or less independant of the Spanish Empire by 1610, officialy by 1648. They were a haven of liberty, for people fleeing persecution after that date, as though the state was itself formed and almost exclusively run by Calvinist's, puritan protestants, and this was more or less the de facto state religion, they were the only European state at that date that enshrined in law the freedom of personal religion and outlawed religious persecution.

        Between 1688-1702, England and Holland were virtually the same state with their major political figure the Prince of Orange, also filling our throne as William III. That period there was lots of movement of people between the two countries, especially of French Huguenot refugees.

        Though the direct link between the two countries died with William, politically Holland, as part of the United Provinces, was opposed to the Jacobite cause, they even sent armies to England to fight against them under Britain's treaty of mutual defence with the United Provinces. So it does seem a strange place for a Jacobite to flee.


          Kyle looking at the National Archives the only 1690 will for Antwerp is George Shaw. He certainly was part of the Royalist refugee group that fled England during the civil war. He was the son of Robert Shaw of London, and Shaws Court Surrey and his wife Christina. He and his brother Sir John Shaw assisted Charles II in Brussels and Antwerp (then part of the catholic Spanish Netherlands, later Belgium) during his exile. John returned to London after the restoration and was made a baronet by Charles in 1665. George remained in Antwerp as a merchant until his death in 1690.


            As an aside - you'll always need to be wary of the term "Holland" which is sometimes used as a blanket name for The Netherlands, when it is really only a part of the State. It's possibly a bit like referring to Wales as "England"!

            Researching: BENNETT (Leics/Birmingham-ish) - incl. Leonard BENNETT in Detroit & Florida ; WARR/WOR, STRATFORD & GARDNER/GARNAR (Oxon); CHRISTMAS, RUSSELL, PAFOOT/PAFFORD (Hants); BIGWOOD, HAYLER/HAILOR (Sussex); LANCASTER (Beds, Berks, Wilts) - plus - COCKS (Spitalfields, Liverpool, Plymouth); RUSE/ROWSE, TREMEER, WADLIN(G)/WADLETON (Devonport, E Cornwall); GOULD (S Devon); CHAPMAN, HALL/HOLE, HORN (N Devon); BARRON, SCANTLEBURY (Mevagissey)...


              thanx christine. i doubt much will ever be proved.

              richard, yes the family i am looking into were shaw's. research has a generation firmly born in romford, essex in the 1790-1800 period, and also a will where the father is mentioned by his grandfather, though the middle generation is unknown at this point. i doubt the family is linked to the baronets, but it is a hell of a coincedence that a george shaw was in antwerp, albeit earlier than might be linked.