Genealogy Revisited

So, there have been some hits and some misses.

The misses:

  • the Jamestown connection through Eppy Frances Wimberley didn’t pan out, due to impossible logistics
  • the Cox/Harlan connection is currently up in the air; I’ve been trying to pin down Thomas Cox prior to his coming to Illinois, but there are a lot of Thomas Coxes and none of them comes with much in the way of a paper trail

The hits:

  • all the Quebecois through Issac Vanornum Davis (or Van Norman, or… it goes on), including three filles du roi
  • and this one I stumbled on the other day that I’m feeling optimistic about, even though it falls squarely in the area of “we’re NOBILITY,” which I’m skeptical about on a good day

So, what’s this about NOBILITY???

Well, landed gentry, anyway.

Like I said, I’m very, very skeptical about claims to noble descent, because that seems to be the golden rung everyone wants to grab and, as a result, there’s a lot of erroneous history out there linking a lot of people to others where no connection actually exists. So, I’m trying to be very thorough here, because if it pans out it’s an interesting line. Or two. Several.

Working backwards from Mary Bizzell (1840-1878), who married John Henry Mariner, Sr. in about 1871 and is my great-great-grandmother:

  1. Mary BIZZELL (1840-1878), daughter [1] of
  2. Henry Nathaniel BIZZELL (1810-1856) [and Cassandra FAULK (1810-1845)], son [2]of
  3. Bennett BIZZELL (1775-1851) [and Mary FIELDS (1785-1851)], son [3] of
  4. Jesse BIZZELL (1752-1833) [and Mary BENNETT (1754-1810)], son [4] of
  5. [Thomas Enos BIZZELL (abt. 1718-1790)] and Jemima JERNIGAN (1726-1781), daughter [5] of
  6. Henry JERNIGAN (1710-1762) [and Ann NEEDHAM (1712-1793)]

So, each of these has SOME form of documentation. All except [4] are primary documents, which strengthens the case for what’s to come – and this is where it starts to get interesting, because it turns out that the Jernigans are pretty well-connected, historically.

6. Henry JERNIGAN (1710-1762) [and Ann NEEDHAM (1712-1793), son [6]
7. Henry Crawford Jernigan (1685-1736) [and Phebe BLACKMAN (1688-
1790), son [7] of
8. Thomas JERNIGAN (1618-aft. 1704) [and UNK]), son [8] of
9. Thomas JERNEGAN (1588-1645) [and Elinor WENTWORTH (1595-1620)]

So, here’s the thing. It’s not entirely clear who the father of Thomas Jernigan actually was. Popular theory says it was Henry Jerningham (1579-1646), but there’s a documented arrival in 1637 of a “Thomas Jermegan” in the company of “Mary and Ellen Jermegan,” and from this it seems plausible/likely that his father was Thomas Jernigan of Suffolk, England.

If we go from that assumption, we proceed as follows:

9. Thomas JERNEGAN (1588-1645) [and Elinor WENTWORTH (1595-
1620)], son [9] of
10. Thomas JERNEGAN (1553-1619) [and Elizabeth THOMPSON (1560-
1614), son [10] of
11. George JERNINGHAM (1515-1557) [and Ella Spelman], son [11] of
12. John JERNINGHAM (1489-1550) [and Bridget DRURY (1492-1556), son
[12] of
13. [Edward JERNINGHAM (1462-1515)] and Margaret BEDINGFIELD
(1465-1504), daughter [13] of
14. Edmund BEDINGFIELD (1443-1496) [and Alice SHELTON (1440-1478)],
son [14] of
15. [Thomas BEDINGFIELD (1418-1453)] and Anne WALDEGRAVE (1429-
1454), daughter [15] of
16. William WALDEGRAVE (1403-1454) [and Joan de DURWARD (1397-
1450)], son [16] of
17. Richard WALDEGRAVE (1380-1434) [and Joan MOUNTCHENEY (1371-
1450)], son [17] of
18. Richard WALDEGRAVE (1335-1410) [and Joan BUERS (1339-1406)], son
[18] of
19. Richard WALDEGRAVE (1303-1338) [and Agnes D’AUBIGNY (1307-
UNK)], son [19] of
20. Walter WALDEGRAVE (1271-UNK) [and Elizabeth NEVILLE (1290-
UNK)], son [20] of
21. [John WALDEGRAVE (1250-1305)] and Joan HASTINGS (1259-UNK)],
daughter [21] of
22. [Henry de HASTINGS (1235-1268)] and Joan de CANTILUPE (UNK),
daughter [22] of
23. [William de CANTILUPE (UNK-1254)] and Eva de BRAOSE (UNK-1255),
daughter [23] of
24. William de BRAOSE (1197-1230) and Eva MARSHAL (1203-1246)

So, a few things:

  • Some of the below sources are better than others; I try to err on the side of wariness when it comes to non-primary sources, but for an evening spent trawling the internet it’s not too bad. I feel reasonably confident about this lineage.
  • This last group of people is heavily titled or otherwise interestingly employed: [11] and [17] were both MPs for Sufolk; [12], [13], [14], [17], and [18] were knights; [19] was an MP for Lincoln; [21] was Sheriff of London; [22] was 1st Baron Hastings; and [24] was 7th feudal baron of Bramber – and some other stuff I have limited understanding of
  • [24] was a real piece of work, having ended up hanged by Prince Llywelyn the Great of Wales in 1230 after he was caught in bed with his wife, Joan, Lady of Wales. Like, dude. Keep it in your pants.

This is just one trail, but – generally speaking – once you start mucking around in the landed gentry it seems to follow that associated lines also at least skirt the edges of the gentry, like associating with like as it were. So at some point, let’s say after I’ve finished the TWO essays I owe people (which are both currently late), I’ll see where I can take another. This one can also be pushed further; again, once a line gets documented, it tends to stay documented for awhile.


[1] 1850 United States Census (Alabama, Barbour, Division 23)
[2] US General Land Office Records (Alabama, Barbour, no. 207 [Henry N.] and 208 [Bennett] adjacent plots)
[3] Will of Jesse Bizzell (North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, Wayne)
[4] “The Jesse Bizzell, Sr. Family” (source: The Bizzell Family, by Oscar M. Bizzell, 1976, and family tradition)
[5] Will of Henry Jernigan
[6] Will of Henry Jernigan, Sr.; “Jernigan of Somerton, Nansemond County, Virginia,” Historical Southern Families, Volume IV, p. 123
[7] Historical Southern Families Volume XV, p. 195
[8] Maryland Historical Magazine, pp. 166-167
[9] The Baronetage of England, p. 227
[10] Historical and Topographical Notices of Great Yarmouth, p. 176
[11] The History of Parliament
[12] Will of Edward Jerningham
[13] Will of Edmund Bedingfield
[14] Will of Edmund Bedingfield
[15] The History of Parliament
[16] The History of Parliament; Wikipedia
[17] Wikipedia
[18] The History of Parliament
[19] The Waldegrave Family Tree
[20] Peerage of England (1756)
[21] Wikipedia
[22] Wikipedia
[23] Wikipedia
[24] Wikipedia; Wikipedia