More Plantations: The Russell Family Revisited

Having looked recently at my plantation and slave owning Madan and Nisbet ancestors, I need to revisit my Russell ones (see earlier posts here). This is mostly going to be more genealogical because trying to fathom the complexities of how the estates of these and other related families got passed on from generation along with other legacies needs way more time to unravel than I can commit. And not least because that’s something that still appears to be ongoing at the Centre for the Study of legacies of British slave ownership (who have even cited this blog). I will try and tackle some of the ownership and passing on, but this post is also an attempt to check previous findings having found more about these families, including their plantation and slave owning.

Continue reading “More Plantations: The Russell Family Revisited”

More plantations: the Madan Family

Following my previous Skeletons in the closet post, this is the first of a new series that looks at ancestor families with links to the slave trade. This one looks at the Madan family, but I think I may have got in a muddle about them. `I’ve now worked out that it was Martin Madan (1700 – 1756) who was the Colonel and MP, not his father who was also called Martin (1653 – 1704). The younger one married the English Poet Judith Cowper and they both have wiki entries (see his and hers):

Martin Madan the MP also has a biography on History of Parliament site, which explains that he was the 1st son of Martin Madan of Nevis, West Indies by Penelope, daughter of Col. Sir James Russell (member of the council of Nevis). The biography also explains that Martin Madan (the father) was from an old Waterford family, emigrated from Ireland to the West Indies about 1682 and acquired plantations in Nevis and St. Kitts.

Continue reading “More plantations: the Madan Family”

Judith Cowper (1702 – 1781)

Judith Cowper (1702 – 1781) by William Samuel Wright

I think I first encountered my 7 x great grandmother Judith Cowper in the Ahnentafel my relative Rafael Madan kindly sent me. I have to admit that I hadn’t given her much thought because the geometric progression of ancestry means there are literally thousands of ancestors to follow up. However, I found a portrait of her and her father on the BBC’s Your Paintings Art Collection while putting together my The digital portrait collection post. It turns out that she was a poet and muse of Alexander Pope who was a famous beauty “remarkable for the loveliness of her neck. Judith has her own entry on the Wikipedia, and one in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (ODNB). There’s a longer biography by William Prideaux Courtney, in Dodsley’s Collection of Poetry, its Contents and Contributors (1910). Continue reading “Judith Cowper (1702 – 1781)”

The digital portrait collection

The Wedding of Giles Simon Kirby and Angela Mary Julie Birtwistle 1952

This post is a version of my Genealogical dead ends revisted post, but it’s about the photograps and illustrations I’ve found of my ancestors rather than just their names. I’ll do one about places sometime, and also about biographies, etc. I have set up a photostream on FlickR so you can see all the images in a slideshow, and I will link to the individual photos from the names of ancestors I have identified below.  Continue reading “The digital portrait collection”

Sam Alexander’s Memorial Plaque

A plaque commemorating my nephew Sam Alexander will be unveiled on Hammersmith Bridge at the end of March. It was one he and his friends jumped off on a few occasions as teenagers. From what I’ve been told this was mostly in Summer and usually after they’d been to one of the watering holes along Hammersmith’s Lower Mall, or at least once they had persuaded someone else to go on their behalf while they hung out in Furnivall Gardens. This follows the renaming of the Bridge by his friends and family last year (see Sammersmith Bridge post). The plaque includes a line from the The naughtiest angel in heaven poem written and read by my sister Serena at her son Sam’s funeral.

Ahnentafel of Justin Luke Astley Kirby: the Maitland connection

Here’s the second part of my Ahnentafel, kindly send to me by Rafael Alberto Madan, my 8th cousin, twice removed (see more here). I’ve started with my parents, and haven’t updated their details yet, but will do this when I start blogging about their stories. The information from the 10th to 25th generations of Maitlands is from various sources and I’ve tried to credit these where I can. According to the Wikipedia entry on Clan Maitland, the name Maitland is of Norman origin and was originally spelt Mautalent, Matulant or Matalan, it translates as “evil genius”. I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions, but funnily enough the Mautalents come from the village of Les Moitiers d’Allonne near Carteret in Normandy, which is only just up the road from St Remy des Landes where my father now lives. Apparently, the name is found to occur frequently in Northumberland during the 12th and 13th centuries. The first time it is found in Scotland was Thomas de Matulant who was of Anglo-Norman origin and he appears to my ancestor. He’s as far as I can go, but it’s my great grandmother Elsie Maitland who connects me to the Clan: Continue reading “Ahnentafel of Justin Luke Astley Kirby: the Maitland connection”

some other genealogical dead-ends: The Peerage

Back in late June I contacted Darryl Lundy over at The Peerage about whether he could help with a query. It was just that I had seen a Lady Jean Stewart as listed as an ancestor on Paul Theroff’s Descendents of Henry VII files. She’d been listed as the daughter of Robert Stewart, 1st Earl of Orkney, but the only reference I could find of this was A Genealogical History of the Dormant, Abeyant, Forfeited, and Extinct by Bernard Burke (Published 1866). Darryl got back to me and said it was confirmed in Cokyane’s Complete Peerage (vol VIII, page 2). I also pointed out that this was likely to make the Helen Lesley (?) he had listed as marrying John Drummond, 2nd Lord Maderty, as more likely being Margaret Leslie ( d.1668) the daughter of Patrick
Leslie, Lord Lindores
, d.1608, who was first husband of Lady Jean Stewart. He got back to me and said that this was also contained in Cockayne – volume VIII, page 348. Continue reading “some other genealogical dead-ends: The Peerage”