36. Revisiting the McQueen Estate of Pollochaig

The ancestry of Dugal McQueen is extensively traced and referenced in The Omnibus Ancestry (available for download at Lulu).

Recently I came across two antique photographs of Pollochaig (Polochaig) [1], the home of our McQueen ancestors. That was the location in co. Inverness, Scotland, where Dugal McQueen (ca 1670?-1746) was raised before his capture at the Battle of Preston (1715) and his overseas exile to Maryland [2].

Aerial view of Pollochaig, northward, in 1910

Both photos were taken in 1910, looking northward from elevations that reveal quite a bit of the land associated with the property. The buildings were then in a good state of preservation, unlike in 2016 when my wife and I visited the tumbled-down ruins.

A close inspection of the photographed buildings suggests that most of the interpretation I previously published was basically correct (see “26. A Visit to the Home of the McQueens of Pollochaig”). I wrote of the lower building, the one shown in the first aerial view:

There appeared to be one large chamber with an attached byre…. There was no evidence of a hearth at any of the walls…. Perhaps the structure was simply a barn…


The intact structure in 1910, shown immediately above though with some blurring due to enlargement, did in fact have a large opening into a byre (animal barn) that comprised at least part of it. It is possible that the opening originally had doors to provide better protection against the elements. The entire structure, in the form of a backward “L”, was clearly unheated, as there were no chimneys. The rightward short leg of the “L” appeared to have an upper door to a hay loft.

Aerial view of Pollochaig fields, northward, in 1910

The second elevated picture is of particular interest in showing the house. After viewing its ruins in 2016, I wrote:

On inspection it became apparent that the upper, more distant structure had been a house, because a hearth and the lower remains of a chimney were built into the north end. One entrance, at least, had been through a door on the east side.


That interpretation appears to be correct, although the house also had a hearth at the south end as evidenced by a second chimney. I hadn’t been able to discern its remains in 2016, that end lying in almost complete ruin. The single entrance must have been on the east side, as there are only windows on the west side. It is clear that the house was quite modest, not much more than a cottage.

That in turn raises the question of whether there might have been a grander structure on the site at one time. As it happens, the remains of a much larger structure are in fact evident. They lie directly opposite, across the Findhorn River. They are visible in a blowup from the first picture, shown below.


They also appeared in one of my photographs, as a gray line across the river.

Shenachie, viewed from Pollochaig

Recently an anonymous visitor interpreted the remains on both sides, having located an informant:

A former local resident, born in 1922 in the glen, reports that although current maps mark Shenachie on the west bank of the river, the ruin was known as Polochaig and it is the grass covered ruins directly opposite over the river that are Shenachie. He says that Shenachie was once occupied by MacQueen, credited with killing the last wolf in the area. [3]

The “MacQueen” so mentioned was Dougal McQueen, our Dugal’s nephew, reputed to have killed Scotland’s last wolf about the year 1743 after it had devoured two children. If the legend is correct, Shenachie only passed into the hands of the McQueens at that time.  For the chief of Mackintosh [4], delighted that Dugal had killed the wolf in a dirk-to-fang struggle aided by a greyhound, is credited with saying:

“My noble Pollochock!” cried the chief in ecstacy; “the deed was worthy of thee! In memorial of thy hardihood, I here bestow upon thee Seannachan, to yield meal for thy good greyhound in all time coming.” [5]

The legend goes on to say that Sennachan was “directly opposite to Pollochock” and that its name means “the old field”.

In modern times, however, “Sennachan” has been transformed to “Shenachie”. In light of the story of the McQueen wolf, and another story about a McQueen witch (see “18. Witches, Wizards, Ghosts, and Things That Go Bump in the Night”), one has to wonder whether Scottish humor was at work in the transformation, for “Shenachie” can be translated as “teller of tales” [6].

Of course Mackintosh’s gift was literally of a field, and so it might be objected that the ruins at Shenachie could have been of a manor house held by the McQueens. This speculation, though, is dashed by the testimony of the traveller who recorded the wolf legend in 1830. He insisted that “the ruins of the interesting little mansion-house of Pollochock” were on the opposite side [5]. Thus it appears that McQueen descendants including me will have to be content with the manor, if it rises to that status, across the river at Pollochaig.

There is actually a hint in the historical record that the visible Shenachie ruins may have been of something other than a building. The following section of an Ordnance Survey map, surveyed in 1869-70, shows the Pollochaig buildings as filled-in polygons, but two larger polygons across the river as unfilled [7]. That probably indicates that they were not buildings at all but rather small, enclosed, rock-walled fields used for penning livestock. There does appear to have been a building represented by a filled-in rectangle between the two enclosures, but it was little, apparently between the sizes of the barn and house at Pollochaig. Possibly it was a sheep shed, with the enclosed fields having been of use during shearing.

Polochaig Ordnance Survey map.date.1869-70.cropped
Portion of an Ordnance Survey map, 1869-70

The same area was shown in a 1900 revision, below. Inexplicably, the Polochaig name had been changed to Shenachie.

Pollochaig.Shenachie.1900.Ordnance Survey
Portion of an Ordnance Survey map, 1900 revision

Also notable on both of the Ordnance Survey maps is a ford, located just south of all the buildings. That ford still existed in 1910, and a blowup of the first aerial view faintly shows a rope strung across the location.


Showing that some things never change, in 2016 there was a modern rope and pulley system at the same place so that one could, in theory, cross with dry feet while seated. Unfortunately as a visitor has advised:

The rope and pulley system used to cross the river there is kept locked, and the option to wade across at a ford is only possible if the river is low. [3]

My wife and I would certainly not have wanted to ford the river when we visited, for it was on one of the wildest, wettest, coldest days we’ve experienced in a Scottish summer. But now that I know more about the role of Shenachie in McQueen history, namely as a reward won for killing a homicidal wolf, I think I’d like to dip my feet on some upcoming, warm summer day.

I end this article with one last picture, a view of the Findhorn River looking south from Pollochaig. It truly does justify the description in 1897 as ” Pollochaig … a pretty Highland place” [8].

Southward view from Pollochaig


[1] Information retrieved from http://geoscenic.bgs.ac.uk & linked pages (2017).

[2] Boles, D.B. (2017). The Omnibus Ancestry: 619 Documented American and European Lines. Available for download through Lulu.

[3] Information retrieved from http://www.heritagepaths.co.uk/description.php?path=%20326 (2017).

[4] In 1743 the chief was Angus Mackintosh (d. 1770), a great-grandson of Sir Lachlan Mackintosh (information retrieved from http://www.thepeerage.com/p45051.htm#i450509 & linked pages, 2017), who was also the great-great-grandfather of Dougal McQueen of wolf fame (Boles, 2017, op.cit., & Lulu). The two descendants were therefore 2nd cousins once removed.

[5] The Westminster Review, vol. 13-14, Oct 1830, p. 364.

[6] Information retrieved from http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/shenachie (2017).

[7] Satellite imagery available on Google Maps shows the same outlines that appear on the Ordnance Survey maps. The gray line on my modern photo appears to correspond to the upper of the two enclosed polygons.

[8] Fraser-Mackintosh, C. (1897). Antiquarian Notes, Historical, Genealogical, and Social (Second Series): Inverness-shire Parish by Parish. Inverness: A. & W. Mackenzie.

Picture credits:

Aerial view of Pollochaig, northward, in 1910, and blowups: British Geological Survey, image P000376, copyright by Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), used with permission.

Aerial view of Pollochaig fields, northward, in 1910, and blowup: British Geological Survey, image P000375, copyright by Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), used with permission.

Shenachie, taken from Pollochaig: Personal photo.

Portion of an Ordnance Survey map, 1869-70: Modication (sectional blowup) of a map retrieved from http://maps.nls.uk/view/74427045 (2017). Used under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.

Portion of an Ordnance Survey map, 1900 revision: Modication (sectional blowup) of a map retrieved from http://maps.nls.uk/view/75832309 (2017). Used under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license.

Southward view from Pollochaig: Personal photo.


35. Shiver Me Timbers! Thar Be Pirates In the Family Tree

The Conklin family were direct ancestors, and the Conklin pirates cousins, by way of the Bowers descent from the Speece and Robinson families. The descent, and many more, are fully described and referenced in the book The Omnibus Ancestry: 619 Documented American and European Lines. It is available for download through Lulu.

Over 20 years ago, “Talk Like a Pirate Day”, September 19th, was spontaneously invented by two racquetball players who somehow fell into a string of on-the-court comments like “That be a fine cannonade”. Finding it made the game more entertaining, they decided to start a new holiday, and arbitrarily selected the birthday of an ex-wife for its celebration. It languished for several years until humorist and columnist Dave Barry took up the — um, quill? — in 2002 and publicized it. The rest is history, and “International Talk Like a Pirate Day” is now practiced, tongue in cheek, across the world [1,2].

As it turns out, it is possible to Descend From a Pirate too.

Captain Kidd

William Kidd (abt 1645-1701) was a Scot who by 1689 was sailing the Caribbean as part of a mixed French and English pirate crew under Capt. Jean Fantin [3,10]. He soon became a captain himself, only to lose his ship when his crew abandoned him ashore. It was in pursuit of them that he sailed to New York, arriving in early 1691. Having just missed them, he settled there, and married for the third time [10].

In 1695 Kidd decided to seek a royal commission as a privateer. England was at war with France, and privateers were considered legitimate instruments of war. Traveling to London, he won the patronage of Robert Livingston, a fellow New Yorker who had also just come to the city, and more importantly, of the Earl of Bellomont. The three men hatched a plan premised on Kidd commanding a ship in order to capture pirates. Bellomont was to obtain the necessary commission, with the other two helping to finance the scheme [10].

Under their agreement, Kidd was to deliver any captured pirate ship, along with its booty, to Boston where Bellomont expected to be Governor of Massachusetts Bay. There, it was anticipated, the booty would be declared a prize of war and the proceeds distributed. As the scheme developed, two commissions were found to be required, one making Kidd a privateer and the other allowing him to hunt pirates. But in the end Bellomont was successful in obtaining them [10].

Having outfitted a new ship, the Adventure Galley, Kidd sailed from England in April 1696 with about 60 men. They were soon in New York. There he filled out his crew, recruiting about 90 men who came to him from as far as Philadelphia and New Jersey [10].

Capt. William Kidd

Articles of Agreement and Voyage

Thus it was that first cousin several-times-removed Jacob Conklin (1676/7-1754), a native of Huntington, Long Island, New York, served as a seaman under the infamous Capt. Kidd. The articles of agreement under which the crew operated make fascinating reading, and they were followed by the signatures of all [4]:


Other provisions included 600 pieces of eight “or six able Slaves” for loss of an eye, leg, or arm; loss of a share and whatever corporal punishment the Captain and majority of the crew saw fit, for disobeying a command or breeding mutiny; loss of a share and banishment to the first inhabited island for stealing; and significantly given later events, immediate sharing of any money or treasure taken aboard ship [8].

Down the list of signatures appeared [4]:


Although descendants later admitted that Jacob served as a pirate, they maintained that he had been unwillingly impressed into service under Capt. Kidd [6]. This reassuring assertion, however, must be considered false for three reasons. First, while Kidd possessed an English commission to suppress piracy, he was not a naval officer with the authority to impress sailors. Second, the Governor of New York wrote in a letter in 1697 that when Kidd recruited there, “many flocked to him from all parts, men of desperate fortunes and necessities, in expectation of getting vast treasure” [9]. Kidd, in other words, hardly needed impression to complete his crew. Finally, as we will see from subsequent events, Jacob Conklin had no aversion to the use of ill-gotten gains.

Kidd’s fateful voyage to the Indian Ocean by way of the Cape of Good Hope began in September 1696. It did not have an auspicious beginning. Somewhere between a fifth and a third of the crew were lost to cholera on the Comoros Islands off east Africa, and others were lost to desertion [3,8,10].

Finding his enterprise failing, and probably facing pressure from his crew, Kidd sailed to the Red Sea and began attacking ships that fell outside the scope of his mission. In January 1698 he used the ruse of flying French colors to capture the Quedagh Merchant, an Indian ship that was “loaded with satins, muslins, gold, silver, an incredible variety of East Indian merchandise, and well as extremely valuable silks” [3]. He had hit the jackpot, but as a pirate, not a pirate hunter.

Renaming the Quedagh Merchant as the Adventure Prize, Kidd then retreated to the island of Saint Marie off Madagascar. His men insisted on and got a division of the loot, scooping money into their hats, and making off with bales of cloth many of which were sold locally for liquor and supplies [10]. It is at Saint Marie that Kidd encountered his first actual pirate of the voyage, Robert Culliford. According to a later account apparently based on trial testimony by two of Kidd’s crewmen, instead of attacking Culliford in accordance with the mission, Kidd drank his health and gifted him with an anchor and guns [3].

Wanting to continue in the quest for booty, most of Kidd’s crew deserted to sail with Culliford, presumably taking their shares with them. Only about 20 free men and boys, and a few slaves, remained to crew the Adventure Galley [10]. Given later events, Jacob Conklin must have been among the few sailors who remained with Kidd.

Finding the Adventure Galley worm-eaten, Kidd burned it to recover its iron fittings, and returned to the Caribbean aboard Adventure Prize. Having learned that he was considered a wanted pirate, he sold many of his textiles and abandoned the ship. Expecting to clear his name, he purchased a sloop and continued toward New York. In June 1699, he was in Oyster Bay off Long Island [3,10].

There crewman Jacob Conklin made an important decision:

. . . Conklin and others, having been sent on shore for water, hid themselves and did not return to the ship. Doubtless they feared Kidd’s arrest and trial, and dreaded lest they might be punished with him. They were for some time secreted among the Indians. [5]


Jacob had made a wise decision, because Kidd was lured to Boston, where he was arrested in July and sent to England for trial. Found guilty of murder and five acts of piracy, he was hanged in May 1701. His chained body was left suspended for three years alongside the River Thames, as a warning against piracy. Six crewmates were also convicted, but were pardoned just prior to their hanging [3,10]. Eight, however, died in jail [10].

Jacob Conklin’s sojourn with the Indians clearly did not last long. He resurfaced by late August 1699, to begin a spree of land purchases [6]. As a footnote to town records attests:

He bought large tracts of land, chiefly about Half Hollow Hills… How he acquired the large sums of money which he disbursed during this period in the purchase of lands was a mystery never fully solved. [7]

One can of course hazard a guess where a 22-year-old, who had been on a pirate voyage since the age of 19, had obtained the money. How much might he have had? Four of Kidd’s men, captured in 1699 at the Cape of Good Hope, had an average of £600 apiece with them [10]. Each had made a small fortune. In any case when Jacob Conklin died in 1754, he was “probably the richest man in Huntington” [6].

Yet Jacob was not the only member of the family to have the reputation of a pirate. His brother Thomas Conklin (1674/5-1734) was referred to as such in 1698, in a letter from the Governor of Connecticut to the Governor of New York and Massachusetts:

My Lord, upon ye advice your Lordship gave me of one Josiah Rayner, a pirate, being in this collony … I immediately granted a writ to ye high sheriff for ye seazing and aprehending of him since wch I am informed … he ye sd Rayner with one Tho Conclin (reported to be a pirate allsoe) who came from Long Island … did go through some of ye ypper town in this collony pretending to be bound for Boston… [6]

We descend from the Conklin family of Long Island through the Speece and Robinson lines. Jacob and Thomas Conklin were first cousins of our direct Conklin ancestor. Their own descendants, and those of close relatives, provide many a potential genealogy-qualified participant in “International Talk Like a Pirate Day”. So on September 19th, all hands hoay!


[1] Information retrieved from http://www.talklikeapirate.com/wordpress/sample-page (2017).

[2] Information retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Talk_Like_a_Pirate_Day (2017).

[3] Information retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Kidd (2017).

[4] Headlam, C. (1910). Calendar of State Papers, Colonial Series. America and West Indies, 1700. London: His Majesty’s Stationery Office, vol. 18.

[5] Ross, P. (1902). A History of Long Island From Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time. NY: The Lewis Publishing Co., p. 976.

[6] The American Genealogist, vols. 21-22 (1944-6).

[7] Huntington Town Records… 1688-1775 (1888). Huntington, Long Island: The “Long Islander” Print, vol. 2.

[8] Information retrieved from http://captainkidd.org/Part%206.html & linked pages (2017).

[9] Fortescue, J.W. (1904). Calendar of State Papers, Colonial Series, America and West Indies, 15 May 1696 – 31 October, 1697. London: His Majesty’s Stationery Office, vol. 10.

[10] Ritchie, R.C. (1986). Captain Kidd and the War Against the Pirates. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.

Picture attributions: All are in the public domain.

34. A Collection of Ancestral Houses

I almost titled this blog entry “Old Haunts”, but there are no ghosts that I know of, other family stories notwithstanding (i.e., “18. Witches, Wizards, Ghosts, and Things That Go Bump in the Night“). Instead I offer a selection of old houses some of which have miraculously survived hundreds of years. Each is connected in some way to ancestors of our family. Sometimes they lived there, sometimes close relatives lived there, and sometimes a story about the place concerned them. All are places that can either be visited, viewed from a discrete distance, or appreciated on the web.

The ancestral lines mentioned here appear in the The Omnibus Ancestry: 619 Documented American and European Lines (referenced as OA), available through Lulu. It updates and corrects, in brief form, a number of previous works. All are available either for download through Lulu.com, or through Bolesbooks.

Dungan Family: The Jeremiah Dungan House

Jeremiah Dungan settled in what is now Washington county, Tennesee, about 1777. He received two land patents from the Watauga Association, then the semi-autonomous government of northeast Tennessee, and built a house and mill. Both survive. The house, with walls 3 feet thick at the base, built from local limestone, remains in use as a private residence. Although it is frequently said to date from 1778, a 1784 grant indicates he was not then living in it. Thus it may be a few years more recent. It can be viewed from Watauga Road about a half mile west of the road’s crossing of the Watauga River. It is across from St. John Milling Company, housed in what was once Jeremiah’s mill.

We descend from Jeremiah Dungan through the Foster and Smith families.

The Jeremiah Dungan House

Gosnold Family: Otley Hall, Otley, co. Suffolk, England

One of the most recently discovered entries in my ancestral homes list is Otley Hall, seat of the Gosnold family of Otley, co. Suffolk, England. We descend from the Gosnolds through the Snyder and Harbour families, back to the Dameron family and beyond.

The hall is said to be “the oldest house in Suffolk to survive largely intact” [5]. We descend from the original Gosnold proprietor, named John, who resided there as early as 1430, and from his namesake son John, who styled himself of Otley in his will dated January 1510/1. The house dates to the 15th century, but its great hall was rebuilt in 1512 shortly after the second John’s death [OA, 4].

As of July, the house was up for sale, with 9.55 acres of grounds and a moat, at the asking price of £2,500,000 [3]. Several gorgeous pictures appear at http://www.otleyhall.co.uk and at http://www.eadt.co.uk/news/otley-hall-in-suffolk-is-for-sale-take-a-look-around-this-2-5-million-tudor-property-1-5111468. Although it is still a private home, and if sold may remain so, as of this writing it is still possible to book tours on the http://www.otleyhall.co.uk website.

Herr Family: The Hans Herr House, town of Willow Street, Pennsylvania

We descend from the Herr family through the Speeces and Staymans. The “Hans Herr” house, so named because it was lived in by that grand-ancestor, was actually built by his son Christian, also our ancestor, in 1719. A photograph of the house is used on the cover of the Omnibus Ancestry, and is reproduced here. It is now a tourable museum [8].

Herr, Hans house
The Hans Herr House

Howland Family: The John Howland Farm and House, Rocky Nook, Kingston, Massachusetts

John Howland was a Mayflower passenger, and is our ancestor through the Boles and Dickason/Dickison/Dickinson families. Although a house in which he and his wife Elizabeth lived late in life still exists and is itself of great interest, I have written about it previously (see blog entry “19. Four Pilgrim Ancestors: Life, Death, and Thanksgiving for the Howland-Tilley Family at Plymouth“). Here I mention their farm site, located at Rocky Nook, Kingston, Massachusetts. They lived in a house at the site from 1638 to at least 1667. The house itself does not survive, but its surrounds have been excavated several times, and there are markers that can be viewed. The location is said to be “deep in the Nook” with signs pointing to it. An address and map are available [6], as are some pictures [7].

Parker Family: The William Parker House

William Parker, a Hickey and Robinson family ancestor, immigrated in 1633 aboard the ship James, settling first at Dover, New Hampshire. In 1636 he was one of the original proprietors of Hartford, Connecticut, but a few years later moved to Saybrook in the same colony. A house now located at 680 Middlesex Turnpike, Saybrook, is attributed to him as the 1636 proprietor, with a construction year of 1679, according to papers filed for its designation as a Historical Place.

There is some controversy, however, as to both its date of construction and its owner. Wikipedia gives the same year but attributes its building to his son William; while a sign on the premises states that the house was built in 1646, which if true would certainly have been by the father. Either way, whether built by the father or the son, it seems clear that the father William Parker would have been in the house numerous times before his death in 1686 [OA].

Google Street View affords a good image of the house as of 2011. Another image, made in 2016, accompanies. The house appears to be part of a commercial enterprise, but it is not clear whether the inside can be toured.

Parker House trimmed
The William Parker House

Schenck Family: Brooklyn Museum and Wyckoff House Museum, Brooklyn, New York

We descend from the Schencks through the Foster and Ellis families. Roelof Martense Schenck immigrated to New Netherland in 1650 from the Netherlands, later settling in what is now Flatlands, Long Island.   He was a magistrate, or schepen, at two different times, and played a role in the transition to English rule. In 1685 he became the sheriff of Kings county.

Presumbly before his death in 1705, Roelof would have regularly visited two houses that survive today. One was that of his brother Jan. It was built about 1675, and remarkably, it survives today — inside the Brooklyn Museum!

The second house Roelof would have visited was that of his father-in-law (by his second marriage), Pieter Claesen Wyckoff. This much-renovated circa 1652 house in Flatlands is now a museum, and is one of the oldest structures in New York City [OA]. Both of these houses, of course, can be visited.

The Jan Schenck House inside the Brooklyn Museum

Stake Family: M&T Bank, York, Pennsylvania

This is an unusual entry in the list, because it is not a house but a bank. Not only that, it is a modern building. Nevertheless, the entry is appropriate even though the history is convoluted.

George Stake was a licensed tavern keeper in York, Pennsylvania, in 1761-8, and apparently beyond, because several years after his death in 1789 his 3-story brick house and half lot, known as the Indian Queen Inn, was exposed to public sale. It had seen some history for in 1781, during the Revolutionary War, it served as the headquarters of Gen. “Mad Anthony” Wayne.

In 1814 the Indian Queen Hotel, manifestly the same building, was acquired by York Bank, ultimately becoming a branch of the York National Bank and Trust Company. It is as a branch of M&T Bank that the 3-story brick structure can today be viewed at 107 West Market Street, near the colonial courthouse. But the final twist to the story is that the brick building is not the original one constructed by George Stake — it is an exact replica! [OA]

We descend from George Stake through the Speece and Stayman families [OA].

Witmer Family: The Witmer Tavern, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Benjamin Witmer immigrated to America in 1716, and settled in Conestoga township, Lancaster county, Pennsylvania. He later acquired property in East Lampeter township, where in 1725 he built a one-story-plus-loft building to augment a log cabin. Part of this structure was incorporated into the Witmer Tavern operated by Benjamin’s son John before 1758. Benjamin lived there and willed the property to John. John’s son Henry completed renovation of the tavern in 1773 [OA, 9].

The property was until recently operated as a bed-and-breakfast, but appears now to be a private residence. It can be viewed from Old Philadelphia Pike, on which it is located about 1200 feet east of the Highway 30 interchange.

We descend from Benjamin Witmer through the Speece and Stayman families [OA].

Witmer Tavern
The Witmer Tavern

Wolcott family: The Standford House, Centre Hall, Pennsylvania

The family of John Wolcott of Centre co, Pa, a Hickey and Robinson family ancestor, figured into a heartbreaking story concerning the Standford family. Sometime before May 1778, at the height of Indian raids on Pennsylvania settlements as part of the Revolutionary War, their young daughter, Polly Standford, had been visiting John’s family when she volunteered, “Mrs. Wolcott, if the Indians ever come this way I shall run down to your house for you have so many guns” [2]. Soon after the entire Standford family was massacred, and Polly was found dead and scalped — on the path to the Wolcott house [OA].

Nothing is left of that house, but the Standford cabin where Polly lived still stands on the west side of Rimmey Road, north of Earlystown Road. If you visit, please be respectful and view it from the road, as the cabin is in private hands and is still inhabited.

Yate family: Lyford Grange, Lyford, Oxfordshire, England

Finally, we come to a property that likely can be neither visited nor viewed, but which has a stunning web presence — for the moment. Lyford Grange was the home of the Catholic Yates family, ancestors through our Linton and Lazear connections. Our ancestor Francis Yate (d. 1588) is mentioned in the PDF of an extensive realtor’s brochure available at https://478mm2px10u4940wo2u51ita-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Particulars-1.pdf. I would not be surprised if the brochure is soon removed from the web, for the property recently sold, for £8,000,000. The gorgeous estate includes a substantial 8-bedroom manor house, a total of 477 acres, and numerous agricultural buildings including grain storage and drying facilities [1].

The house is of historical note because in 1581, near the height of the most severe penal statutes against Catholicism, the priest Edmund Campion was discovered hiding in a “priest’s hole” in the wall above the gateway. He was arrested, taken to the Tower of London, tortured, condemned, and hanged, drawn, and quartered. Francis Yate, the owner of the property, had already been imprisoned in the Tower in 1580 for recusancy (i.e., refusing to attend Church of England services), and died there. His wife was likewise imprisoned after the arrest of Campion, who was canonized by the Catholic church in 1970 [OA].

Houses in Previous Blog Entries

I haven’t included a number of houses that have figured into earlier blog entries. These include:

In addition, there are a number of castles owned by noble and royal families covered in the Omnibus Ancestry, that have not been included in the list.


[1] Information retrieved from https://www.adkin.co.uk/property/lyford-grange-lyford-wantageoxon-ox12-0eq, and the linked brochure (2017).

[2] Information retrieved from http://www.wolcottfamily.com/watertown.html (2017).

[3] Information retrieved from http://www.eadt.co.uk/news/otley-hall-in-suffolk-is-for-sale-take-a-look-around-this-2-5-million-tudor-property-1-5111468 (2017).

[4] Information retrieved from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/property/advice/propertymarket/3306652/A-very-special-relationship.html (2017).

[5] Information retrieved from http://www.otleyhall.co.uk (2017).

[6] Information retrieved from http://www.seeplymouth.com/events/john-howlands-rocky-nook-property-walking-tour (2017).

[7] Information retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/pg/themayflowersociety/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1576269195770641 (2017).

[8] Information retrieved from https://www.hansherr.org (2017).

[9] Boles, D.B., & Boles, H.W. (2000). Stayman-McCrosky Ancestry. Tuscaloosa, AL: private print. Available at http://sites.google.com/site/bolesbooksgen.


JUST RELEASED! The Omnibus Ancestry, 3rd Edition

Or if you prefer formal titles, The Omnibus Ancestry: 619 Documented American and European Lines.  This newly revised edition extends many ancestral lines, drops a small handful, and adds over 30 new ones since the 2nd edition. As indicated by the title, a total of 619 are now covered, with many carried back to about the year 1350. This is the most up-to-date and definitive ancestry of the Boles-Bowers and Barth-Hickey families across their many limbs and branches.


The book updates numerous previous publications in handy, condensed, corrected, and referenced form.  Besides the previous editions of The Omnibus Ancestry, the 10 books it updates include:

  • Barth-Hickey Ancestry
  • Bowers-Russell Ancestry
  • Ellis Ancestors: Some Immigrants, Colonists, and Pioneers
  • Foster Ancestors: Some Europeans, Immigrants, Colonists, and Pioneers
  • Snyder-Harbour Ancestry
  • Some Earlier Americans: Boles-Linton Ancestors
  • Speece-Robinson Ancestry
  • Stayman-McCrosky Ancestry
  • The Bower-Bowers Descendants of Johann Jacob Bauer
  • Withers-Davis Ancestry

A full list of the ancestral lines appears at the Bolesbooks web site.

Notes are used to elaborate on the text, to explain the logic behind conclusions, to indicate where further generations may be found before 1350, to provide references, and to make suggestions for further research.  However, the notes are listed separately and do not intrude should you prefer a smooth reading of the text.

There’s never been a better time to check out The Omnibus Ancestry!  To access a preview on the Lulu publication page, please click here.