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Old 11-09-2012, 07:02 PM
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Member Introduction - Ethan A Gray

Hello, I am new to these forums and would much appreciate any advice. I am a historian and philatelist and also a direct descendant of Robert I of Normandy.
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:14 PM
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I hope you enjoy the site, and find what you're looking for.
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Ethan A Gray View Post
Hello, I am new to these forums and would much appreciate any advice. I am a historian and philatelist and also a direct descendant of Robert I of Normandy.
Hello and welcome to TRF. I'm sure after you meander through all the various threads here that you will find a lot of information and perhaps even add to discussions from your own wealth of knowledge. There's a lot of warm people here along with those that are invaluable in their sharing of knowledge.

Happy posting!
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:30 PM
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About what would you like advice?

Welcome - I think you will find the Forums informative and fun!
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Old 11-10-2012, 04:36 AM
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Welcome, Ethan.

I'm really interested in genealogy so would you mind to share which line you are descended from? I'm asking because I'm a descendant of his as well, through Adelaide.
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Old 11-10-2012, 04:55 AM
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As a historian do you know anything about Fulbert the Saxon? He lived about two generations after Robert I, and fought for Robert's heir Matilda against the other heir Stephen. He received land in Scotland for his service to Matilda, and settled there with his sons and with Walter Fitzallen. I have records of his sons but Fulbert's life is not well known except through his sons who took the name de Pollock in Scotland. I would like to know if his father or grandfather came to England with Robert I.
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Old 11-10-2012, 05:58 AM
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Hello again, than you all for welcoming me into your community.

...and the answer to your question mariel1 is no, Fulbert the Saxon's grandfather lived in Normandy. Fulbert came to Scotland with Walter Fitz Alan who was born in Normandy and brought up in Brittany.

Below, I have written a brief history of the Gray family (my family):

The known history of the Gray family really starts with a Norwegian chief called Rollo who went to France in the 9th century, with his Norwegian followers, and established himself there. A descendant or indeed a member of the same family became chamberlain to Robert, Duke Normandy, and from him they received Croy castle, from then on the family assumed the name de Croy. Which over many, many years changed to de Gray and then finally Gray.

The family were still living in France when the name changed to Gray (my current surname), the evidence that proves this is the town of Gray in Burgundy, which was named after the family. Any other spelling variant of Gray, except Croy, changed after the battle of Hastings in either England or Ireland.

The Gray’s all most certainly came from France to what is now modern day Britain with William the Conqueror in 1066, as it is one of the names inscribed in Battle Abbey (or to be slightly more precise, inscribed in Battle Abbey is the name J Gray). One of J Gray’s descendants called Paganus Gray was equitum signifier to King William, the evidence for this is Paganus Gray’s armorial bearings in an old manuscript, with a small description of his occupation.

Another later evidence written during the reign of Edward IV says that some of the descendants of the House of Gray include the Barons of Rotherfield, Codmore, Wilton, Ruthem, Groby and Rugement. As well as that other known descendants include the Viscounts of Lisle, the Earl of Stamford, the Marquis of Dorset and the Dukes of Suffolk.

I am also a direct decendant of the son of Lord Gray of Chillingham, who really was the person who introduced a new Gray branch, the Gray’s of Scotland; he came to Scotland during the reign of Alexander II. Lord Gray of Chillingham’s son gave his allegiance to the King and received from him Roufield and Roxburgh. Lord Gray of Chillingham’s grandson was Sir Andrew Gray who supported King Robert Bruce, when he ascended the throne.

The Gray’s were closely allied with the English royal house and were very near to the throne. Edward IV married Elizabeth Gray, the widow of Sir John Gray, who was slain at the second battle of St. Albans, 1461. On the death of King Edward her sons Prince Consort and Lord Gray were executed in 1483 by Richard III.
However, moving on, Burke’s Peerage says “The family of Gray is of great antiquity in Northumberland.” Henry de Gray (who was part of a branch of the family still using "de Gray") obtained from King Richard I, the manor of Turoc in Essex in 1190. Sir Edward Gray married the apparent heiress of William the Conqueror. The Duke of Suffolk who was indeed a Gray married Mary, daughter of Henry VII, sister of Henry VIII and widow of King Louis XII of France who died 1st January 1515. Then Lady Jane Gray daughter of the Duke of Suffolk, who reigned for 9 days, was executed, followed by her father and then her brothers Lord John Gray and Lord Thomas Gray. As all these executions happened in 1554, it has become one of the most eventful periods in English history.
But even with all these happenings the Gray family remain in the titled nobility of England, Scotland and Ireland.
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Old 11-10-2012, 12:03 PM
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thanks for information about Fulbert the Saxon's grandfather. I was under the impression that the family lived in Shropshire (maybe this was not the grandfather of Fulbert, but the father) and that Walter Fitz Allen also lived in Oestry, Scotland, and that Fulbert's family and Walter's family had to leave England after the battle between Matilda and Stephen, and were offered lands adjacent to one another in what is now Pollock Park in Glasgow.
Yes, they all originally came from Brittany, where the ancestors of Walter were hereditary stewards to the ruler of Dol. Walter and his descendants became "stewards" of Renfrewshire and then all of lower Scotland, and eventually the name "steward" morphed into the name Stuart/Stewart. The part I'm not sure about is that inbetween state where they lived in Shropshire. It must have been in Shropshire that they became closely associated with the Cluniac monastery there, and they brought monks from that order to enlarge and empower the monastery of Paisley, near where they all lived. My ancestors Robert and Peter Pollock supported both Paisley and Melrose abbeys, which were later depredated by Edward I in his general attack on Scottish abbeys. Peter Pollock, brother of my ancestor Robert, also built a castle in the far north at the behest of William the Lion of Scotland, I presume to assist crusaders returning via the northern route. I have somewhat cringed at being descended from crusaders but I have made my peace with that, for they probably were sincere Christians. They certainly supported the Stuart cause for centuries even though it meant losing some of their patrimony.

So you then are related to Lady Jane Gray? Her life was such a tragedy. Women were pawns then, and it is VERY well that at least we have moved beyond such a state. The Tudor period is interesting but shocking, almost unbelievable to modern people.
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