04 March, 2015

Beyond Great Britain

When my dna test came back, it indicated that a significant portion of my dna originated in Western Europe. Since what I know of my ancestors all come from Great Britain, I figured that result indicated the different Western Europeans who invaded the British Isles over the centuries. This is no doubt true, but I've recently found some direct ancestors who come from Western and even a few from Eastern Europe! This was exciting and fun for me, since so far they have all been from England, Ireland and Scotland and a few from Wales. And that's it!
Philip Lamoraal Von Egmont

This line is fairly strong, as there are many sources both older and more modern, that have traced this line. However, I always hold in mind that ancestral lines going back many centuries need only one link to be incorrect to invalidate the whole line. In this line there is a question as to the parentage of Marie Lamoraal von Egmond. Her father appears to have been Philip Lamoraal von Egmont b. c 1522 in North Holland. There is some confusion about this, but even if Philip Lamoraal is not Marie's father, it is certain that she was from this von Egmond family of Belgium/Holland.

In 1585 this Marie von Egmond married John Bouchier Sayer (jr.) in Amsterdam. John's father, John sr., was English and had fled to Holland due to religious persecution. John jr. was born in Amsterdam. The Sayer/Bouchier family had ties to the nobility of England, as Anne Plantagenet, granddaughter of King Edward III of England, had married William Bourchier ("r" later dropped) in 1405.

It is the family of Marie von Egmond, John Bouchier Sayer's wife, that brought me to many interesting people and countries in Western Europe. It would be their son, Richard Sears, who would emigrate to America.

Marie's paternal family were from the countries of North Western Europe: (what is now) Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland Germany and northern France. Her maternal family was mostly from Germany, with a notable exception. Her great x3 grandmother was Katharina von Habsburg, Grand Duchess of Austria whose brother, Frederick III, was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 1452. This places Marie as a descendant of the Habsburg dynasty of the Holy Roman Empire.
Habsburg Crown

Just as fascinating, Katharina's ancestors come from such wide and varied places as (present day) Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Russia, Belarus, Turkey, Italy, Czech Republic, Poland and Lithuania! More on the ancestors of the John Bouchier Sayer/Marie Lamoraal von Egmond union in later posts. For now, I am thrilled to find proof of other than the "generic" mix of British ancestors! 

Ref: - Americans of Royal Descent by C.H. Browning
       - Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of the State of Massachusetts, Volume 4                                      by William Richard Cutter, William Frederick Adams

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