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Royal Descents

You may be a satisfied owner of The Royal Descents of 900 Immigrants to the American Colonies, Quebec, or the United States (RD 900), or you may be considering acquiring a set of these marvelous books.   Either way, you may appreciate the following suggestions from author and expert genealogist Gary Boyd Roberts on how to use the volumes. 

  • Check the surnames in your existing family tree against the index. It could turn up some surprising connections.
  • Mr. Roberts’ Introduction is 192 pages long, and it is the definitive summary of current royal and noble genealogy scholarship. Consult Appendix II of the Introduction, and compare your immigrant ancestors against those named in the Appendix.  You may discover an entire line you never dreamed of.
  • Look through the sources, especially for immigrants to the areas in which your family, or its branches, lived. You may wish to consult one or more publication you were unfamiliar with.
  • Go through any 50 or 100 pages in the text, and see some of the fascinating world figures you are/may be related to. If you have a favorite notable president, first lady, other politician, literary figure, statesman, or other popular figure you admire, be aware of them and see what surprises you can find.  See how much you have in common; one of them might be as close as a 9th or 10th cousin.  You might find a second or third cousin of someone you never heard of.  George Orwell, PG Wodehouse, Aldos Huxley are all there, and English people are as likely to find a cousin as Americans.


Among the many achievements made by Gary Boyd Roberts in his compilation of more than 900 lines of descent to Americans and Canadians in the two-volume RD 900 is the identification of 84 different monarchs who figure in those descendancies. In case you were wondering who they are, here is a verbatim listing of the first 17 and the last 15 of those kings, with mentions of their kinships.

1. Juliana, Queen of The Netherlands, d. 2004 (p. 1)

The Royal Descents of 900 Immigrants to the American Colonies, Quebec, or the United States

2. Ferdinand I, King of Roumania, d. 1927 (p. 2)

3. George I, King of Greece, d. 1913 (pp. 3-4)

4. Alexander II, Czar of Russia, d. 1881 (p. 5), son of #6, grandson of #7

5. Ferdinand II, King of the Two Sicilies, d. 1859 (p. 6)

6. Nicholas I, Czar of Russia, d. 1855 (p. 7), grandson of #12, father of #4, son-in-law of #7, grandson-in-law of #11

7. Frederick William III, King of Prussia, d. 1840 (p. 8), son of #11, father-in-law of #6, grandfather of #4

8. William IV, King of Great Britain, d. 1837 (pp. 9-10)

9. Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor and Emperor of Austria,

d. 1835 (p. 11), grandson of #13

10. Frederick I, King ofWiirttemberg, d. 1816 (p. 12)

11. Frederick William II, King of Prussia, d. 1797 (p. 13), grandson of #l4, father of #7, grandfather-in-law of #6

12. Catherine II, Empress of Russia, d. 1796 (p. 14), grandmother of #6

13. Francis I (of Lorraine), Holy Roman Emperor, d. 1765, husband of Maria Theresa, Empress of Austria, d. 1780 (p. 15) (grandparents of #9)

14. Frederick William I, King of Prussia, d. 1740 (pp. 16-17), grandfather of #11

15. Victor Amadeus II, King of Sardinia, d. 1730 (pp. 18-19)

16. Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor, d. 1711 (p. 20-21), uncle of Maria Theresa, Empress of Austria, #13

17. James II, King of England (reigned 1685-1688), d. 1701 (pp. 22-24), grandson of #20, brother of #18

67. Louis VII, King of France, d. 1180 (pp. 774-77) (#66 and #67 both married the famed Eleanor of Aquitaine), son of #70

68. David I, King of Scotland, d. 1153 (pp. 778-90, pp. 778-90 via sisters of Robert I, King of Scotland, 780-82 via a sister of John Baliol, King of Scotland, d. 1313), grandfather of #64

69. Boleslaw Ill, King of Poland, d. 1138 (pp. 791-803, pp. 791-96 via a Romanov aunt of Michael Ill, Czar of Russia, d. 1645, and pp. 797-801 via a great-aunt of lvan III, first Czar of Russia, d. 1505)

70. Louis VI, King of France, d. 1137 (pp. 804-5), grandson of#75, father of #67

71. Henry I, King of England, d. 1135 (pp. 806-27), son of #73, grandfather of #66 (all via one of two illegitimate sons, earls of Cornwall and Gloucester)

72. Donald III Bane, King of Scotland, d. 1099 (pp. 828-29)

73. William I, the Conqueror, King of England, d. 1087 (pp. 830-31, 911-13), father of #71, grandson-in-law of#77

74. Bela I, King of Hungary, d. 1063 (pp. 832-34)

75. Henry I, King of France, d. 1060 (pp. 835-48), son of #77, grandson of #79, grandfather of 70 (all via a granddaughter, Isabel of Vermandois, successively Countess of Leicester and Countess of Surrey in England)

76. Mieszko II Lambert, King of Poland, d. 1034 (pp. 849-50)

77. Robert II, King of France, d. 1031 (pp. 851-56), son of #79, father of #75, grandfather-in-law of #73

78. Ethelred II the Unready, King of England, d. 1016 (pp. 857-65, with Mrs. Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte, daughter-in-law of Jerome Bonaparte, King of Westphalia, on p. 858)

79. Hugh Capet, King of France, d. 996 (pp. 866-73), grandson of #81, father of #77, grandfather of #75

80. Louis IV, King of France, d. 954 (pp. 874-78)

81. Robert I, King of France, d. 923 (pp. 879-84), grandfather of #79 (all also from a sister of #73 and possibly #79 or #80)

82. Turlough O’Conor Don, King of Connaught, d. 1406 (p. 885)

83. Angharad II, Queen of Powys (whose son Rhywallon, Prince of Powys, d 1070)
(pp.886- 87–only Thomas Lewis of Maine, whose wife was descended from #53)
84. Sigismund I, King of Poland, d. 1548 (pp. 895-96), son of #34


  1. Dear Mr. Roberts –
    Thank you for this. I had the joy of speaking with you one eve on the phone – I’m a Taylor with Taylor angst because we cannot find my great grandfather’s line (probably from North Carolina to Mississippi (settled in Grenada). I would so much like to have a class with you. I live mostly in Uruguay and periodically come home to Memphis to re-fresh!!! and see my small family and wonderful friends. I’m an Anglican priest – first woman ordained in the Southern Cone of South America – and my ministry is mostly in prisons with incarcerated youth. My boost is doing the family tree and I now have almost 95,000 names on my tree. I work constantly – kin to just about everybody on Magna Charta, and most who came on the Mayflower (Yankee mom, southern dad – but small family.)
    I do wish you a generous Thanksgiving and a blessed Christmas because we are all kin to Jesus somehow, and God claims us all as his own, whether we know it or like it or not.

    Rev. Audrey Taylor de Gonzalez
    585 S Greer St, #800
    Memphis, Tn. 38111

  2. I don’t have access to this book, but as one with considerable descent from 17th century mid-Atlantic Quakers, New England Yankees and Southern planters, I am astonished to discover absolutely zero royal descent whatsoever. None. Zip. Nada. Not one single “Gateway Ancestor” in my entire line. Perhaps I merely descend from a bunch of starving peasants who came here and made good, I don’t know. But I find it quite odd to have discovered not one trace of Royal lineage when so many of my ancestors were a part of the 17th century Great Migration to the South, mid-Atlantic and New England. Well, I hope to see your books someday if we are ever lifted from this long pandemic quarantine. Thank you!

    1. I suggest you drop a line to Gary Boyd Roberts, c/o The New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston. Give him the names of a few of your earliest ancestors and ask him if he is aware of any royal/noble connections.

      Joe Garonzik
      Marketing Director

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