British Ancestry

A gravestone at East Cape, South Africa, reads Henry Keys died 1867 in his seventieth year. He is believed to have been born in Cork, Ireland, and served in a British regiment on the border, arriving in South Africa just before 1820. Lady Mary Gray, who died in 1578, married a Thomas Keys. Mary was the sister of Lady Jane Gray, executed in 1554, and of Lady Catherine Gray who died in 1568 and married Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford. They were the three daughters of Henry Gray, Duke of Suffolk, by Lady Frances Brandon, who died in 1559, the daughter of Mary daughter of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York by her second husband, Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk. Is there any connection?! "I will be proud to think my ancestors were worthwhile!" - - - - - -

You can be proud to think your ancestors worthwhile in any event. You may be able to trace more about Henry Keys from Army and Irish sources, but you must bear in mind that people of the same surname are not necessarily related by blood. There are many unrelated families named Keys and the only way to determine what may be your relationship, if any, with Mary Gray's husband is to trace your own sure ancestry back to the sixteenth century with proper documentation. You have good material to get started.

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Helena Mary Webster Young was one of triplets. I believe they came from Graystone, Redmarshal near Darlington. George Young of Wolvistone Hall may have been their father or uncle or maybe grandfather! - - - - -

I am putting this reply here as I put it everywhere, and nearly everyday I dictate it in response to enquirers: please, please, please let me have a date. At least you have given me name and place, which many also forget to include.

If a pedigree of the Young family of Wolviston Hall includes the father or grandfather, it might be worth looking further into that family but; honestly, do not speculate especially with a surname of such frequent occurence. Start with the birth of Helena Mary Webster Young and work backwards with connected records of births, marriages, deaths and wills etc.

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Thomas Kingston (born about 1820) and Jane Fry (born about 1824) were married in France on the 19th June 1845. They died respectively, 17th January 1866 and 3rd November 1890. Their son, James Kingston, was born on the 28th November 1847 at Rouen in France. He became an engine driver in France and subsequently a publican at New Ham (Haw?) in Surrey and died there on the 18th November 1930. - - - - - -

Ham (not Haw) is the place in Surrey and you should be able to obtain some account of James Kingston through local directories (see web site on The surname is too good, because Ham is just near Kingston, the town in Surrey, England. Passport records at the Public Record Office, now the National Archives at Kew should be able to help you although it oughtalso to be possible to obtain further details from Consular records of persons born abroad from the General Registration office at the Family Records Centre in London, and even from the French authorities in Rouen. The National Archives in Paris may have details of British engineers who worked on the French Railways in the early days.

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A French aristocrat schooling at Tonbridge school in Kent by the name of Delamare (of 6 rue Victor Hugo at Dieppe) seduced one of the maids at school and produced my grandfather! He was given the name Wisdom and his daughter was born in 1907 and married a Mr Wilmot. (Mrs M.E. King, 431 Upper Shoreham Road, Shoreham by Sea, Sussex, BN4 5NF.) The school denies any record - of course. - - - - - -

Can anyone help Mrs King? - - - - -

Tonbridge School will have a list of old boys and classes of each year. It should not take much to discover someone named Delamare or similar French name. Then we could look at our sources at the The Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies to discover the identity of the particular Frenchman. The birth record of grandfather would be interesting to discover if great grandmother was indeed a maid at the school in 1906/7. The certificate of her marriage in 1907 might reveal something about her parentage also. Finally a DNA test might well establish the proof. once the genealogical link has been made.

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