WILLISON ANCESTORS

 

 

Readers will note that many dates are centuries old and the information dated: guilty! This has been a lot of work, with uncertain interest, so I have not overly pushed as many investigative avenues as I might. Perhaps someone else will continue the research. The list is also incomplete since shows only pre-1900 historical figures. I should warn other Mackenzies that these are just our ancestors and may well not relate to others. Most especially I found internet database use helpful, Wikipedia is very helpful; and then there are specialties like Jamie Allen's freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com and Brian C Tompsett’s royal database at www.dcs.hull.ac.uk.[1] There are specialised databases and general databases with millions of names.

The data in the following pages are arranged alphabetically, grouped into grandparents and other relatives, and contain two data keys: the unique names, and their birth dates. Many historians translate into their own language: thus Pierre, or Piotr might become Peter. This is very unhelpful when others follow separate inquiries and names that are 1,000 years old do have variations of apparent ‘truth’. Those having experience with Welsh, or early Germanic languages will understand the difficulty in finding a name with even a few letters changed.

Naming Conventions

Readers should be aware that parents have not always named children as we now do. Prior to the end of the mediaeval age it was not common to use surnames. As populations expanded the difficulty of identifying people became obvious and along the way naming conventions were trialed from before the Roman era. In the names listed in subsequent pages it may be helpful to recall that the prefix for son of, or daughter of was often used. It was also common to re-name people later in life with suffixes and titles such as the great, the old, the good, or by some feature (King Edward I of England was called Longshanks because of his long legs and height; and Old King Cole was Coel Hen). King Magnus Barelegs wore a kilt instead of trousers. These labels are found in the subsequent lists.

Common prefixes for 'son of' were: Norman fitz; Irish and Scots' mac; Welsh ap/ab. The Irish also used og, or o' as grandson of - or descendant of a distant famous ancestor as in O'Neill. The Welsh used verch, and the Irish ingen for 'daughter of'. The Scandinavians were more practical and usually used the father's name plus a suffix either -sson, or -sdottir. The Irish later began to anglicise some of their names (Shane/Sean to John) and then added the suffix son, although I'm not aware of a similar use for daughter. The practical Scandinavians chose an honorable relative's, or a heroic saga character's first name for a new child; they then created a surname by adding son, or dottir/dattir to the end of a parent's name - by preference a father's. We Canadians know of Leif Erikson (also spelt Eriksson). The Russians generally added the suffix 'ovitch' to the father's name for a son, and 'ovna/ovia' for a daughter. We can guess that Mikhail Ivanovich Khovansky's father was called Mikhail; and that Maria Feodorovna Khvorostinina's father was Feodor.

A common identifier was seen to be location and this was indicated by a suffix in the local language, as in 'Jean de Rouen'. Since early locations related to wealth and power represented by castles, the nobility formally restricted the use of the term 'of' to indicate both identity and possession. The use of the German 'von', or Dutch 'van' deliberately implied social status. As later towns grew and a European middle class developed wider informal use was made of the indicative 'of', as in Pierre de Paris. The latter would not be a formal name. The lower classes used trades as suffixes. William The Conqueror's maternal grandfather was Fulbert le tanner. Chaucer is a good source for naming-convention background.

The French adopted the Roman practice of numbering their kings and that migrated to England with the Normans. Edward I was not the first king by that name in England and the Normans were too practical to suggest re-numbering the Saxon kings, so Edward The Confessor remains and numbering was only introduced from William I onwards. Many Russian and other slavic names encorporated their origins as a suffix as in Boleslav.

Although we now live in an age of instant communications it has not always been so. Sadly, as recently as a few centuries ago women’s names and data were often discarded. Some historians only kept death, birth, accession, or significant dates causing much anxiety today. I believe that most of the attached data is accurate. My genealogical programme is called Family Tree Maker, which enables identification of the relationship between any two names in a database. Although time-consuming this enables the attached sample identifications.

The data cover a twenty five hundred-year family history and the results are limited only by my own capabilities. Naming conventions do vary over time. Astute readers will find errors, for which I bear responsibility. As time permits I will update and edit my database and its extractions. To aid understanding I have included some historical synopses elsewhere to recall various details of the circumstances of many of the figures identified here. In the period of this study, countries have either disappeared, or changed greatly and historical human motives require some thought.

ENDNOTES

1             To compile the lists of Willison relatives I have used the following sources. Amongst accepted academic texts see: David Williamson, Brewer's British Royalty; The British Monarchy, http://www.britannia.com/history/monarchs; Internet Site; CW Bardsley, English Surnames; The Plantagenet Chronicles; David Walker, The Normans in Britain; James Anderson, DD, Royal Genealogies (Vol II); Richard Roche, The Norman Invasion of Ireland; Willliam and Mary Durning, A Guide to Irish Roots; Mount Pleasant Cemetery records, Toronto; Nennius, The History of the Britons, Peter Beresford Ellis, Celt and Saxon, the Struggle for Briton; TGE Powell, The Celts; Fort Klock Historic Restoration & Indian Castle Church, and the Orderly Book of Sir John Johnson During the Oriskany Campaign1776-1777; fortklock .com/johnjohnfamily.htm; Dickson Family Bible; Boulton Family Tree; Ancestors. com; Wikapedia.com; Birth certificate for Henry Phillip Moor, Saint Giles, Cambridge, England; Canadian Military Historical Research Report, on Major General James Elmsley; Genealogical chart of, Boulton of Moulton, Boulton of Canada, by Burke's Landed Gentry, London; Genealogical research sheet of the Moore Family and letter from Bill Moore; Pierre Berton, Flames Across the Border; Pierre Berton, The Invasion of Canada; Ernest Green, History of the 2nd/10th Dragoons. C.A. and Antecedent Corps, 1812-1946; William Dendy, Lost Toronto,Images of the City's Past; Arthur Hugh Urquhart Colquhoun, The Life and Letters of Sir John Willison, Journalist and Author; Richard Merrit, Nancy Butler, and Michael Power, The Capital Years, Niagara-on-the-Lake, 1792 - 1796; George FG Stanley, Canada's Soldiers 1604-1954, the Military History of an Unmilitary People; George FG Stanley, The War of 1812, Land Operations; http://www.collectionscanada.ca/2/13/h13-5009-e.html; George White, Saratoga, Saga of an Impious Era; David Horowitz, The First Frontier, The Indian Wars & America's Origins: 1607-1776; Kate Caffrey, The Lion & The Union; the Anglo-American War 1812-1815; Virginia Cowles, The Astors, The Story of a Transatlantic Family; James Thomas Flexner, Mohawk Baronet; A Biography of Sir William Johnson; Brian Leigh Dunnigan, revised edition, Siege - 1759, The Campaign Against Niagara; Richard Middleton, Colonial America, A History, 1607-1760; Christopher Moore, The Loyalists, Revolution, Exile, Settlement; Francis Parkman, Montcalm and Wolfe; Eugene T Petersen, Mackinac Island, Its History in Pictures; James Scott, The Settlement of Huron County; William, Jr Smith, The History of the Province of New York, two vols to 1762; Ian K Steele, Betrayals, Fort William Henry & the "Massacre"; William L Jr Stone, The Life and Times of Sir William Johnson, Bart, two vols; The Genealogy of the Royal Family O'Neill Part 3, http://mlloyd.org/gen/macomb/text/kennedy/roygen3.htm#Aedh%20of%20the%20Fews; http://www.burkes-peerage.net/sites/common/ejournals/at0202-4.asp; http:////www.kessler-web.co.uk/History/KingListsBritain/GaelsHighKings.htm; http://www.ourfamilyhistories.com/hsdurbin/hugh/ancestry1.html; http://www.blupete.com/Hist/BiosNS/1700-63/Warren.htm; http://www.victorianweb.org/history/crimea/campbell.html; http://www.answers.com/topic/johnson-guy; Stirnet.com http://www.stirnet.com/HTML/genie/; http://www.electricscotland.com/familytree/magazine/augsep2002/colin_campbell.htm; olivetreegenealogy.com/loy/muster/butlers.shtml; http://www.araltas.com/features/oneill/; http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~jamesdow/pedstart.htm. In addition I have created a list of individual internet citations in the bibliography at this web site. I have further cited sources for each name entry in the database, which is accessible at this site. (At this point I am not clear if the technical capability exists to show all the sources for each name: there is a considerable volume issue.)

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