THE ROYAL DESCENTS OF 900 IMMIGRANTS
to the American Colonies, Quebec, or the United States. In Two Volumes
By Gary Boyd Roberts
Genealogy Pointers is delighted to announce the publication of the groundbreaking two-volume work on royal and noble ancestry from expert author, Gary Boyd Roberts: THE ROYAL DESCENTS OF 900 IMMIGRANTS to the American Colonies, Quebec, or the United States (RD (900). Mr. Roberts, the emeritus Senior Research Scholar at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, is the author of numerous books and authors, including American Ancestors and Cousins of the Princess of Wales (1984), and Ancestors of American Presidents (1989, 1995, 2009). His new book, THE ROYAL DESCENTS OF 900 IMMIGRANTS, (RD 900) represents a substantial expansion of his 1993 and 2004-08 compendia, Royal Descents of 500 Immigrants (RD 500), and Royal Descents of 600 Immigrants (RD 600). Following is an overview of RD 900. We will have more to say about the individual lines and families covered in this two-volume expansion in future issues of “Genealogy Pointers.”
Most Americans with sizable New England Yankee, mid-Atlantic, Quaker, or Southern “planter” ancestry are descended from medieval kings—Kings of England, Scotland and France especially. RD 900 tells you how. Outlined on 997 pages of charts are the best royal descents—i.e., from the most recent king—of 900 (actually 970) immigrants to the American colonies, Quebec, or the United States who were themselves notable or left descendants notable in American history. This volume is a massive expansion on previous books on this topic, even the author’s own 1993 and 2004 volumes, The Royal Descents of 500 Immigrants and The Royal Descents of 600 Immigrants. To the latter this new work adds over 85 colonial immigrants, over 150 nineteenth- and twentieth-century immigrants, and 45 French Canadians (about half from France to Quebec, and half from Quebec to the U.S.).
The Royal Descents of 900 Immigrants is also a comprehensive survey, undertaken over a period of more than 50 years, of virtually all printed sources that lead to these royal lines. A survey of this size has never before been attempted. The result is a book that quantitatively and qualitatively redefines this area of genealogical research and outlines—definitively to date—American genealogical links to medieval kings and their “dark age” and “ancient world” forebears. It summarizes all pertinent research published through 2017 and is by far the most comprehensive treatment of the subject in print. RD900 does not supersede such works as Weis’s Ancestral Roots and Magna Charta Sureties; Plantagenet Ancestry, or Magna Carta Ancestry; or the five-volume 2013 Royal Ancestry by Douglas Richardson; The Complete Peerage; or the Europäische Stammtafeln series; rather, RD 900 builds on and outlines the “best” royal descents from these and similar works, providing a bibliography for each immigrant and ready means of access to royal-descent literature.
Of the 970 immigrants treated in this work, 489 came to the American colonies and left descendants, in some cases now numbering several million, but almost always many thousands. Among the progeny of each of the 489 is at least one figure in the Dictionary of American Biography, American National Biography, or similar works covering 20,000 or more important people in American history. The remaining immigrants (colonial governors or other officials, “Great Awakening” or Revolutionary figures who often returned to Europe, and many nineteenth- and early twentieth-century notables) collectively suggest much about distant kinships of living Americans, the total contributions to American life of persons of noble, royal and gentle ancestry, and genealogical connections between Americans and many major leaders in world history.
How Royal Progeny Came to America
These 970 immigrants and their millions of descendants share royal ancestry because of a pattern of social evolution common to most Western European nations. Younger sons or daughters of kings become or marry nobles. Younger sons or daughter of the nobility become or marry “gentry”—knights, manorial lords, gentlemen with coats-of-arms, baronets, lairds, and seigneurs. Younger sons or daughters of the gentry become or marry merchants, clergymen, Puritan or Huguenot leaders, university fellows, bureaucrats, or professional soldiers. Members of these last groups or their younger sons and daughters immigrate to the American colonies, Quebec, and later the United States.