|Traditional Thomas Rogers Lineage|
(No longer the accepted lineage)
Henry Plantagenet, Duke of Normandy, Count of Anjou and Lord of Aquitaine, born on 25 March 1133, was crowned King Henry II on 19 December 1154. England, at this time, became part of his vast empire. The English also acquired just the king they needed; one who could impose law and order after years of anarchy. He was well-organized and efficient and believed government should be the same. His lawcourts were run by judges who heard evidence from twelve 'jurymen'. "The greatest of many benefits that Henry II conferred upon England was legal reform. The new judicial procedure that he introduced was destined to shape the future of English society and politics, and to give distinctive habits of thought to all the English-speaking nations." He is also known as a close friend of Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, until they had a disagreement over the Church vs. the law courts of England. This led to the murder of Becket in Canterbury Cathedral on 29 December 1170. Henry II married Eleanor of Aquitaine. She was the daughter and heiress of Duke William X of Aquitaine. She was first married to King Louis VII of France. They had two daughters and no sons. Their marriage was annulled in 1151. In 1152 she married King Henry II. They had five sons and three daughters. Henry's sons were very difficult and caused many problems for their father. In 1189 Richard and John joined forces with King Philip of France, a great enemy of their father. These three made war on King Henry and defeated him. King Henry never recovered from this treachery on the part of his sons, and he died 6 July 1189 of a lingering illness and a broken heart. He was buried at his castle in France.
Richard, eldest son of King Henry II, known as Richard, The Lion Heart succeeded his father in 1189. He is considered one of England's most romantic kings. He was called 'Lion Heart' because he was a great warrior and a chivalrous knight. Despite being a great hero, Richard needed so much money for the defense of his territories in France that he "virtually put England up for sale" and sold everything he could to provide the money for his part in the Third Crusade (1189-1192). When Richard went off to war, his brother John plotted against him and, in 1199 when Richard died in France after supposedly being poisoned, John became King. He was Henry II's youngest son. He had a terrible reputation and was seen as evil and greedy. Due to a quarrel he had with the Pope in 1205, England was exiled from the Church. John ruled like a dictator. In his wars in France, he lost for England most all of Henry II's great empire. He was not trusted and, when the barons lost patience with him, they forced him to sign the Magna Carta: a list of their rights, privileges and land ownership in 1215. In history he is, ironically, best known for the Magna Carta. He died in 1216.
King John had two wives. His first wife was Isabella, Countess of Gloucester, daughter of William FitzRobert. They were divorced in 1200 and she died in 1217. His second wife was Isabella Taillefer of AngoulÍme, France. Her father was Amyer DeValence, Count of AngoulÍme and her mother Alice de Courtney. She was buried at Fontevrault in France. They had several children. The oldest son was Henry III who became the next King of England.
"It was during John's reign that an assembly of barons confronted the despotic King John and demanded that traditional rights be recognized, written down, confirmed with the royal seal, and sent to each of the counties to be read to all freemen. The result was Magna Carta - not a solitary document, but a momentous event for all who cherish liberty. In 1215, when King John acceded to the demands of his barons and confirmed Magna Carta with his seal, he was acknowledging the now firmly embedded concept that no man - not even the king - is above the law. That was a milestone in constitutional thought for the 13th century and for centuries following."
King Henry III was born the first of October 1207 in Winchester, England. He was the eldest son of King John by Isabella of AngoulÍme. He was only nine years old when his father died. His personal rule did not begin until 1227 when he was proclaimed of age to rule. On 14 January 1236 he married Eleanor Berengar, daughter of Raymond Berengar, Count of Provence and Beatrice of Savoy. The wedding took place at Canterbury. French was still the language of the royal court but Henry occasionally used English for state documents. Henry entered into many failed expeditions to try and regain the continental possessions his father had lost. Because of these failures, he turned to a new ventures. His favorite projects in the last years of his life were in the field of Architecture and Art and he was very proud of the re-building of Westminster Abbey which took place during his reign. It was also during his reign that Salisbury Cathedral was started and completed (1220-1258) and Wells Cathedral (1230-1239). "During his reign, he can also be credited for supporting the beginnings of Parliament as we know it today. It was the natural outcome, through long centuries, of the common sense and the good nature of the English people. Parliament represented a friendly balance of power. The English people have always been distinguished for the 'Committee sense', their desire to sit round and talk till an agreement or compromise is reached. This national peculiarity was the true origin of the British Parliament. Henry III did much to increase the prestige of Parliament, he knew the value of the support of the middle classes in shire and town." Henry III died on 16 November 1272 and was buried at Westminster Cathedral.
Edward Plantagenet, eldest son of Henry III, became King Edward I in 1272 but was not crowned until 18 August 1274 when his father died because he was abroad, recovering from a wound he received while on a crusade, . Not only was he an excellent warrior, but he was also tall and very handsome and anxious to be well thought of. He wanted to provide more communication between royal power and life of the governed. He worked closely with Parliament and thus began the continuous political education of Englishmen. He simplified the process of collecting taxes but it took the help and knowledge of local representatives working with the King and their constituents to bring this about. This was the only way of communicating the King's wishes since, as yet, there were no newspapers and travel was difficult and dangerous for the average person. King Edward was also concerned with the well being of his subjects and wanted to know the real local needs and to keep a check on the misdeeds of local officials. He is also credited with stamping out corruption among tax collectors and other matters of government. He was truly a remarkable man - the ablest of all the Kings of The House of Plantagenet. He was respected and trusted and his reign was a time of progress and prosperity for England. At the close of the 13th century, in 1297, Magna Carta, as confirmed by Edward I, was entered on the English statute rolls.
On 18 October 1254 King Edward I married Eleanor of Castile, daughter of King Ferdinand III of Castile (now Spain) and Jeanne de Dammartin, Countess of Ponthieu. Eleanor's ancestors go back to Emperor Charlemagne. Edward and Eleanor had thirteen children. Theirs was a very happy marriage and he was deeply saddened when Eleanor died at age 45 on 18 October 1290. His second wife was Margaret, daughter of King Phillip III of France. He and Margaret had two sons, Thomas and Edmund. She died in 1317 and was buried in Gascony, France. Edward I died on 7 July 1307 at Burgh-on-Sands where he was fighting the Scots. He was buried, as he wished, at Westminster Abbey under a plain slab on which was inscribed "Edwardus primus Scottorum malleus hic est. Pactum serva." Translated this means "Edward the First, scourge of Scotland, lies here. Rest in Peace."
The sixth daughter of King Edward I and Queen Eleanor was Princess Eleanor Elizabeth Plantagenet born in 1282 at Ruddlan, Wales. She is our direct ancestor who married Lord Humphrey de Bohun VIII, an ancestor of Thomas Rogers of the Mayflower, on 14 November 1302. The wedding took place at Westminster Abbey. Princess Elizabeth died 5 May 1316 at Quendon, Cambridgeshire, England. "The future Edward II who was born at Caernarvon Castle, Wales in 1282 became the first English monarch to have the title of Prince of Wales because his father, in a battle with the Welsh, caused the Welsh to lose the last of their own prince's so Edward I gave them another one 'who would speak no English'. Thus, when Edward II was born, the King 'gave' him to the Welsh: of course, the infant could not speak English - or any other language! From then on the eldest son of an English monarch has always been Prince of Wales."
I have taken the information about our direct line from the book by John Cox Underwood, published in 1911. He goes into detail about every family member in each generation but I only mention other family members if I feel it is needed to better understand the total family. Basically, the Rogers section of my book only covers the Rogers family back to Aaron or John Fitz Roger who was born in the latter part of the thirteenth century in Italy, of Norman parentage, and moved with his family to London, England circa 1260-70. The family was in the merchandising business and settled in Kent, Gloucestershire and Somersetshire. John Fitz Roger, son of Aaron was born about 1335 in England and became very wealthy by marrying Elizabeth, daughter of Sir Symon deFurneaux of Ashington and other manors in Somersetshire, Devonshire, etc. She was the widow of Sir John Blount, Constable of the Tower. With her second husband she was the co-founder of 'Rogers House' of South West England. Dame Elizabeth's paternal ancestors came from Furneaux, near Coutances - Normandy, the same general section where the Sicilian ancestors of the Rogers family are said to have resided. This information, and what follows, as I have previously stated, all comes from Mr. Underwood's book "Lineage of Rogers Family", published in NY in 1911. I include it because the Furneaux family, another branch of our family through Thomas Rogers, was very influential in English society for many years and closely connected to the Plantagenet's.
Odo deFornell or Furneaux was born about 1040 in Normandy and came to England with William the Conqueror, his son Sir Alan deFurnellis or Furneaux was born about 1075 in Normandy but settled in Devon and received from King Henry I a manor house and land near Honiton, Devon. He married and had four sons: Sir Alan, a Justiciary, 1165; Philip; William and the eldest, his son and heir Sir Galfride or Geoffrey deFurnellis or Furneaux who was born about 1117-22 and was appointed Sheriff of Devon. He was a very influential man; was knighted and married late - about 115 5. He had four sons - Geoffrey, born about 1158; Sir Robert, born about 1160, S ir Alan, born about 1162 and his eldest son and heir -Sir Henry (1) de Furnellis or Furneaux born about 1156. He also became Sheriff of Devon. He married, abo ut 1180, Johanna, daughter of Robert Fitz William, who brought to her husband th e manor of Ashington in Somerset. Having by right of his wife become Lord of th e manors in Somerset, he ultimately settled there; and had a least one son, Henr y deFurneaux (2), born about 1181. Henry (1) died in 1214. The eldest sons, an d our ancestors, in the next two generations were called Matthew. Matthew (1), born about 1220, was a Sheriff of Devon under King Edward I (1276). Matthew (2) was born about 1245 and, about 1270, married Matilda (or Maud), daughter of Sir Warren deRalegh of 'Nettlecombe' in Somerset. Sir Walter Raleigh, who became famous two centuries later, was a descendant of the same Ralegh, or Raleigh family. Matthew (2) also had a son, Sir Matthew (3) (ancestor of Thomas Rogers but not the eldest son in this generation) who was Lord of Ashington - his principal residence - and then became a Knight and was summoned to do military service against the Welsh in 1295 and against the Scots in 1296-7-8 and 1300. He was Sheriff of Somerset, Dorset & Devon variously, for terms covering many years during the period 1304-1316, the year of his death. In 1312 he had custody of Devon and the King's Castle of Exeter; and in 1315 was custodian of the counties of Somerset & Dorset, and the Castle of Shireborn. He was a prominent member of the Furneaux family. His son and heir was Sir Symon deFurneaux, born about 1271. Symon married Alice, daughter of Sir Henry de Umfraville of Penarth Point in Glamorgan Wales. He was one of the principal landowners of his county and died without surviving male issue (his only son, William, born in 1328, did not survive his father). Among the many honors bestowed upon him was a Knighthood of the Shire of Somerset, in the Parliament of Edward III (1328). His arms as recorded were: 'Gules, a bend between six crosses-crosslet, or; which are still preserved on some encaustic tiles in 'Cleve Abbey' - where he and his father were benefactors - to which, later heraldic authorities add a crest. The insignia & colors displayed by father & son were practically identical. This Coat of Arms, as well as the many other Coats of Arms of the Furneaux Family, can be seen in Burke's Armory and any other book which lists Coat of Arms for England. As already stated at the end of paragraph two on page 4, Sir Symon's only surviving child, and sole heiress, was his daughter, Elizabeth deFurneaux born in 1330. She married first about 1350, Sir John Blount, Knight and a Constable of the Tower by whom she had a daughter Alice about 1351. Sir John died about 1384, leaving an attractive and wealthy widow, who inherited many large estates. Dame Elizabeth's second marriage was to John FitzRoger and she thus became the patriarchal mother of the later, distinguished ROGER-FURNEAUX FAMILY of England.
The Roger-Furneaux House, as Mr. Underwood calls it, begins the first generation with John Fitz Roger, born circa 1335 in England. He was the son of Aaron Roger of London and, in 1385-6, married Elizabeth Furneaux who was born in 1330. She was the daughter and heiress of Sir Symon de Furneaux as mentioned above. John Fitz Roger was her second husband and is our direct ancestor. The only child of this marriage was named John and he was born when his mother was 56 years old if we assume the dates Mr. Underwood gives are true dates. NOTE: Unfortunately, I have not been able to find any other birth date for Dame Elizabeth. This, hopefully, is information that could be available in a Public Records Office in Dorset or Somerset where the Furneaux family was so prominent. However, I have not found correspondence helpful for information needed in the 13th, 14th, 15th or 16th Centuries and have not been back to England since I first learned of the history of the Rogers family so that I might try other sources available to researchers who come in person to look up information. John Underwood did write another book "Rogers Family of England" which might have a better date for the birth of John Rogers, or his mother, but I have not been able to find a copy of it in any of the genealogical libraries in New England or at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C.
Sir John Fitz Roger, the second generation, was born 1386-7. He married Agnes de Mercaunt of Seamer, Suffolk Co. in 1406 when he was just past the age of 19. He was the manager of the vast Furneaux estates and bought 'Benham-Valence' and other properties in Berkshire and Dorset. He received a Knighthood through recognition of military service performed. He was one of the wealthiest people in his section of England. He and Agnes had two sons, John and Thomas. He died 4 October 1441 at his home at Bryanstone. He is buried at St. Martin's Church there. His will was dated 21 September and proved 10 November 1441 and it was at this time the 'Fitz' to the Roger name was dropped and ultimately a terminal 's' added.
Thomas Rogers, second son in the third generation of the Rogers family, was born in 1408 at Ashington, Somerset in one of the Roger-Furneaux mansions. He resided here till he was grown, then permanently settled at Bryanston, Dorset. He had a son, Thomas, by his first wife who was born in 1435. In his second marriage he had a daughter, Elizabeth. Thomas Rogers (4th generation) never claimed the property of his father so it went to his sister. Thomas chose instead to practice law. He went to Oxford University and ultimately settled in Bradford in Wiltshire. He became an honorable and distinguished lawyer. In 1478, when he was 43 years old, under appointment by the Crown he was created "Serviens ad Legem," a life office bestowed because of professional attainments and worth of character. He was a great influence in his community and amassed a considerable fortune. He was appointed Sergeant-at-Law, a little before his first marriage. A son William was born of this marriage. After the death of his first wife, he married Catherine de Courtenay in 1483. She was the daughter of Sir Philip de Courtney, Knight of Powderham Castle in Devon. She and Thomas had two sons, George, the elder and John. Catherine or Katherine (as it was more frequently spelled) was the second daughter and youngest child of Sir Philip, who was born in 1404 and died in 1463. Her mother was Elizabeth Hungerford, daughter of Lord Walter Hungerford and Catherine Peverell. It is through the de Courtenay line we are related to the Plantagenets. I will digress at this point to show how the de Courtenay line goes back to the royal family - Plantagenet. Sir Philip, as mentioned above, was the father of Katherine. Sir John de Courtenay born circa 1384, and Joan Champerowne, born circa 1386, were the parents of Sir Philip. Sir John's father was also named Philip. He was born circa 1341 and married Anne Wake born in 1342. Lord Hugh de Courtenay, born in 1303, was the father of this last Sir Philip. Lord Hugh married Lady Margaret de Bohun whose mother was the Princess Elizabeth Plantagenet. The House of Courtenay was considered one of the most illustrious families among the English nobility. When George Rogers, son of Katherine de Courtenay and Thomas Rogers, was 30 years old, his mother died. William, the eldest son of Thomas Rogers by his first wife, was heir to the Rogers estate. His second son, George, Katherine's eldest child was her personal heir and received the property which came to his mother from the Courtenay estates. His third child, John, was educated and got material assistance from the Courtenays, but genealogically he was the recipient of the greatest heirloom his mother could have bestowed upon him, viz.: her personal arms, the Courtenay escutcheon, engraved on her own silver drinking cup - such a bequeathal in that era would be given only to one of her own blood, and thereby clinches the blood-line Courtenay descent of her youngest son as surely as that of her eldest, the entailed heir. Katherine de Courtenay was immensely rich with a most elaborate pedigree, running through the Royalty of three nations.
To return to the Rogers family, we are now at the fifth generation. John Rogers, of 'Deritend' the second son of Katherine de Courtenay and her husband Thomas Rogers was born at Bradford On Avon in Wiltshire. He had received a good education and had financial backing from his mother's family that enabled him to 'live the good life'! Due to the fact he was the son of a distinguished father, he was well received wherever he went even though he had not inherited land or houses. John had cousins in Kent that he went to visit. (Visits in those days could have been for months at a time) It was here that he met Margaret Wyatt, daughter of Sir Henry Wyatt of Abington Castle - near Maidstone. They were married in 1505-6. Her father was very prominent in the Courts of King Henry VII and King Henry VIII. She was half sister to Sir Thomas Wyatt - poet and statesman and aunt of Sir Thomas Wyatt who led the uprising against the marriage of Queen Mary to Philip of Spain and paid the penalty with his head.
John and Margaret settled at 'Deritend', in the parish of Aston near Birmingham in Warwickshire County, He was frequently called "John Rogers of Birmingham". They had five children, three sons and two daughters. The eldest son and heir was also named John. Rev. John Rogers was a sixth generation Rogers who chose to become a clergyman. He was born circa 1500 in the parish of Aston, near Birmingham at the family home 'Deritend'. He was educated at Pembroke Hall, Cambridge, where he graduated with a B.A. in 1526. He was then chosen to the Cardinal's College at Oxford and soon thereafter went into holy orders in the Roman Catholic Church. On 26 December 1532, he became Rector of the Church of Holy Trinity in the city of London and served two years. He resigned in 1534 and went to Antwerp as chaplain to the English merchants. Here he met William Tyndale, under whose influence he abandoned the Roman Catholic faith and, in 1536, married Adriana Pratt alias 'de Weedy' (a surname which means 'meadow', in Latin "Prata," but anglicized into Pratt). They had eleven children - 8 sons and 3 daughters. Susan, John and Daniel were born in Brabant; the next seven children (including our ancestor Bernard Rogers who was son number five) were born at Wittenberg in Saxony, and the three youngest born in England. "After Tyndale's death Rogers pushed on with his predecessor's English version of the Old Testament, which he used as far as 2nd Chronicles, employing Coverdale's translation (1535) for the remainder and for the Apocrphya. (Early Christian writings not included in the New Testament) Tyndale's New Testament had been published in 1526. The complete Bible was put out under the pseudonym of Thomas Matthew in 1537; it was printed in Antwerp. This edition was sometimes called the "Matthew Bible". The Antwerp publishers got permission to sell 1500 copies in England. His work was largely used by those who prepared the Great Bible (1539-40), out of which in turn came the Bishop's Bible (1568) and the Authorized Version of 1611 (King James Version). After taking charge of a Protestant congregation in Wittenberg for some years, Rogers returned to England in 1548. In 1550, he became Rector of St. Margaret Moyses and, in the following year he was made Vicar of St. Sepulchre in London. In 1551 he was made a prebendary (a canon or clergyman who is entitled to a stipend [prebend] for special services at a cathedral or collegiate church) In April, 1552, his family were naturalized under a special act of Parliament. He continued his church work until the accession of Queen Mary to the throne, when on Sunday after her triumphal entry into London 16 July, 1553, he preached a sermon at St. Paul's Cross commending the "true doctrine taught in King Edward's days,," and warning his hearers against "pestilent Popery," he was summoned before the council and commanded to remain at home. He never preached again. In January 1554 Bonner, the new bishop of London, sent him to Newgate Prison where he remained for about a year. On 22 January 1554/5 Rogers and other Protestant preachers were brought before the Privy Council and examined. Cardinal Pole, on 28 January 1554/5, ordered a commission to proceed against persons liable to prosecution under the statutes against heresy, and six days later through sanction of the Council, Rogers was condemned and sentenced as an excommunicated heretic, to be burned to death at the stake at Smithfield. This sentence was carried out the morning of Monday 4 February 1554/5 (Julian calendar). He was not even allowed to see his wife and children before he died. He had been offered a pardon if he would renounce Protestantism, but with holy scorn he utterly refused it. He was the first Protestant martyr of Mary's reign, and his friend Bradford wrote that "he broke the ice valiantly."
Underwood's last paragraph on pp. 25-6 of his book on The Rogers Family states: "He (John Rogers) was born of parents whose descent reached back into the best blood of England, nearly all adherents to the Church of Rome; yet displaying true bravery of soul, he dared to throw off the Roman cloak and assert the freedom of conscience-thought in a belief of independent formation and government of the Church representing the Christian religion. He was a saintly type of man, whose burning was a stain on Queen Mary and the Roman Catholic Church, that never can be effaced."
In Generation 7, our ancestor was Bernard Rogers, born in 1543 at Wittenberg, Saxony. He was the fifth son of John the Martyr. He received some of his education in Germany and then returned to England when he was an adult. Not much is known about Bernard other than the fact he moved to northern England and then Scotland where he married. Nothing is known about his wife but we know he had at least one son - Thomas Matthew - who was probably named after his grandfather's use of the pseudonym when he published his English version of the Bible. He could, of course, also have been named for Matthew Furneaux, one of his ancestors.
Thomas Matthew Rogers, Generation 8, was born about 1565 in either northern England or Scotland. In 1586 he married a woman whose surname was either McMurdo or McMurdock. They had many children. Nothing else is known about this generation. Thomas Rogers, the eldest of Thomas Matthew Rogers and the 9th generation member of the Rogers family, was born circa 1586/7. He was married in England about 1606 probably in Wiltshire. It is thought he had moved from his birthplace to Dorset or Wiltshire where many of his relatives lived. With, or without their financial help, he went into business. He was said to have been a very successful businessman. He was known in London as a Camelot merchant. We know his first, and possibly only, marriage was to a woman named Grace but I cannot account for the fact that, in Holland, his wife was called Elsgen. At any rate, Thomas and Grace had five sons and, possibly, two daughters. The boys, we know, were all born in England before Thomas went to Leyden (Leiden), Holland in 1618 and became a citizen there. He was sponsored by two members of the Pilgrim community who had come from Worksop, Notts., and Sandwich, Kent in England. In April 1620, he sold his Leyden home in preparation for the trip across the Atlantic with the other Pilgrims. According to a 1622 Poll Tax in Leyden the Rogers family still in Leyden consisted of a widow Elsgen (Thomas had died in the first winter the Pilgrims were in Plymouth Colony and is buried on Coles Hill, Plymouth, MA), son John and daughters Lysbeth and Grietgen (or Elizabeth and Margaret). It is possible Elsgen was a second wife whom Thomas had married in Leyden after he arrived there in 1618 since the two daughters were considered infants at the time of the Poll Tax. It is also possible that Thomas actually had come to Leyden earlier than 1618. His youngest son, James was born in England in 1615 but only John went to Leyden with his father. Thomas, William and James were still quite young during these years so I can't help but wonder where they might have been at this time. Joseph, the eldest, would have been about 14 when he came on the Mayflower with his father but there is no evidence he had been in Leyden so he could have joined up with his father in England where he had been living with his younger brothers and his mother. Apparently, the Mayflower Society recognizes only Joseph and John as children of Pilgrim Thomas Rogers. Since John is our ancestor, I shall leave this whole puzzle of Thomas Rogers and his possible wives and children to some future generation that might like to try and solve it.
John Rogers, our ancestor and son of Thomas was born in England in 1611. He did not come with his father and brother, Joseph to Plymouth Colony in 1620. He came to Plymouth in 1631 with the last of the Leyden contingent. We know he was in Plymouth Colony on 25 March 1633 when he was taxed 9 shillings. The proof of his identity lies in a grant made 6 April 1640 to "Joseph Rogers and John Rogers his brother...fifty acres apiece of upland...at the North River." On the 16th of April 1639 he had married Ann Churchman, daughter of Hugh Churchman. They settled in Duxbury and in 1657 John represented the Township of Duxbury in the Massachusetts Legislature. In 1666 he was elected Constable for Duxbury. He and Ann had four children: John, Abigail, (our ancestor), Anna, and Elizabeth. According to the book "Descendants of Thomas Rogers" there were a number of land transactions in which John was involved between 1662 and 1685. As one of the "ancient freemen" he was given land in 1662 on the northerly side of Taunton. In 1664 he sold half his meadow northwest of "Joanes River," with the consent of wife Ann. This is the only time she is called by name except at their marriage. Several other land transactions took place over the years. He died 11 February 1692 and his will was probated 20 Sept. 1692.
Abigail Rogers, second child of John Rogers was born in 1642 in Duxbury. The exact date and month are unknown. She was the second wife of John Richmond (our ancestor) of Taunton. They were married in 1663. The story of the Richmond Family, which begins in 1066, is in the chapter titled "Richmond Family".