HumphrysFamilyTree.com

The genealogy site of Mark Humphrys

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HumphrysFamilyTree.com

The genealogy site of Mark Humphrys. Over 1,000 public pages, including the family trees of a number of famous families in Ireland, England and Scotland.


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My study in 2012.



Introduction

I have been researching my family tree since 1983, and my wife's family tree since 1995. I have over 1,000 public pages of original research on local and family history in Ireland, England and Scotland. A lot of my material is still offline. It may take me another 10 years to get it all online on this site.

This research is driven by personal criteria - by who is related to me or to my wife - so it is hard to summarise exactly what is here. For some of these families (basically, the famous medieval families and titled families) I am not a specialist (nor ever will be a specialist) but am only linking to other people's work. Sketches of these old, well-known families are included only as a kind of extended Ancestors Chart for myself and my wife. For the ordinary, more recent families, I am a specialist, and cover them exhaustively.

I started a website in 1994, but I think I did not start putting genealogy onto it until 1995. There are surviving archive.org copies of my site from 1999. (There are no earlier archive.org copies because the servers it was on before this blocked spiders.)

I think my site is the oldest continuously-running genealogy site in Ireland. (Paddy Waldron's site is older, but took a break.)

This site has seen traffic of up to 148,000 page views per month.



The Thomond motor car and My family tree



My possible connection with the World family tree.
Blennerhassett Cashel, possible descendant of Edward III.


This all began in 1983, as research in motoring history, when I began to research a series of cars built by my grandfather and others in Ireland in the 1920s and 1930s - The "Thomond" motor car. This led on to researching My family tree in general. There was a vast amount of family history material to start with because so many of my family were involved in the Irish revolution of 1916-23. Family members were arrested, jailed, on hunger-strike, active in underground government, shot, and even killed. It is a cliché in Ireland that one's ancestors were in the GPO in the Rising in 1916 (similar to all the families in the US that claim to have been on the Mayflower), but my grandfather Dick Humphreys did fight in the GPO in 1916, and his uncle "The O'Rahilly", one of the leaders of the rebellion, was the only leader to be killed in action (the others were executed).

I could summarise my family as almost archetypal Catholics made good in the 19th century in Ireland - after the ending of the repressive laws against Catholics, when a vast body of Irish Catholics slowly began to work their way up from nothing through trade, farming and business, to form the middle class of the emerging state at the start of the 20th century. The O'Maras, O'Rahillys and Flanagans all rose like this over the course of the 19th century. Indeed, the writer Kate O'Brien used the O'Maras as the archetypal example of such a family. My great-great-grandfather Stephen O'Mara was a Parnellite MP. My great-grandfather James O'Mara, Home Rule MP, Sinn Fein TD, was a member of the 1st Dail in 1919, as was my grand-uncle W.T. Cosgrave, who became the first Prime Minister of an independent Ireland in 1922. His son Liam Cosgrave (my mother's first cousin) became Prime Minister of Ireland in 1973.


My family tree



My wife's family tree


   
My wife's best connection to the World family tree.
Augustus Reebkomp, descendant of Edward III.



I never planned to research My wife's family tree as well, but it was too interesting to resist, and again, a lot of source material has survived which I could read. Her family descends from an impossibly romantic story - Augustus "Reebkomp", the illegitimate son of Henry Herbert, 10th Earl of Pembroke in England in the 18th century. Reebkomp was the product of an infamous elopement in 1762 that is referred to in the movie The Madness of King George. He grew up with his legitimate half-brother (the future 11th Earl), and money came out of the Earl's family for him and his descendants for almost a full hundred years. Through him, my wife descends from most of the great old Anglo-Irish families of the Pale of the last few hundred years, which is of particular interest to me.

Apart from the above, her family history can be summarised as merchants and traders in Scotland in the 17th and 18th centuries, who rose to the middle class there centuries before that was possible in Ireland. Indeed, through one line we see a slow descent from a great family, Skene of Skene, Aberdeenshire (as opposed to the sudden and spectacular descent of the illegitimate son above).


My wife's family tree



Our common family tree

As you head further back of course, your lines either peter out (as mine do), or else you link up with quite literally millions of other people (as my wife's tree does). Through those gateway ancestors my wife gets a descent (indeed, a number of descents) from the medieval Royal House of England. In particular, the most recent monarch she descends from is Edward III. This is not actually that unusual. My most popular web page of all, and the one with most universal appeal, is my collection of Royal Descents of famous people, which shows how much of the population of the west descends provably from medieval European royalty.

It seems almost certain that one of my lines, the Cashel / Blennerhassett line, descends from Edward III as well, but I am still working on it. Hence I have separated "My wife's family tree" - the families that only my wife descends from, from "Our common family tree" - the families that she descends from, and that I may too if the Blennerhassett link is proven.

Much of this earlier part of my website, such as my brief sketches of medieval royalty and other well-known families, is not original research, nor intended to be, but is merely a kind of extended Ancestors Chart for my wife and I.


Our common family tree



Genealogy in general

I have made a few more general contributions to genealogy.

Hypertext Burke's Peerage pedigree format

I think I was the first to really argue for a hypertext version of the Burke's Peerage format as the ultimate way to draw family trees, especially complex interconnected trees. I think I was the first to highlight the advantage of variable resolution:



Royal Descents of famous people

My most popular webpage is my collection of Royal Descents of famous people.


Most Recent Common Ancestor of all humans

My Royal Descents of famous people page seems to suggest that almost everyone in the West descends from Charlemagne. There has been a lot of further recent evidence (notably computer simulations) that this is true, i.e. that the most recent common ancestor of all of humanity (or at least all of the West) may be not in pre-history but actually in historical times. This new theory is explained at my popular Common ancestors of all humans page.

See my article: Ryan Tubridy descends from Brian Boru. And so do you. Mark Humphrys, Irish Times, 1 Dec 2010.



Prominent families

My most useful original contributions - families of universal interest, that are done in detail - are:
  • The famous and eccentric Flanagans of Dublin
  • The prominent O'Mara family of Limerick city
  • The revolutionary O'Rahillys of Co.Kerry and Dublin

  • O'Grady of Kilballyowen, Co.Limerick, and of Cappercullen, Co.Limerick
  • Blennerhassett of Co.Kerry

  • The Viscounts Fitzwilliam of Dublin
  • Herbert, Earls of Pembroke, of Wilton House, Wiltshire
  • The famous Sidney family of Penshurst Place, Kent

  • Hunter of Hunterston, Ayrshire, Scotland (and of Croyland Abbey, Lincolnshire)
  • Skene of Aberdeenshire


Help



"I spent the whole evening reading over a parcel of my own letters, addressed to my sisters which they fancied worth preserving. What a strange creature is man, more strange still woman! I am as different to what I was 15 years ago, as I am now to an entire stranger. My letters must have been amusing at the time they were written but the subjects were so personal that now when time has shown me those persons in a different point of view, and changed the whole face of things, they appeared to me highly ridiculous, and my own compositions not worth reading again. I threw the whole bundle into the fire"
- Diary of Ann Gibbon, Sun 23rd Jan 1820.


"One happy day in my life"
- Charles Morris, 1891.



If this site is ever down:

If this site is ever down due to some technical fault,
news of what's happening will be posted at my professional home page.


Copies of this site:

If this site is ever down, temporary copies of the files will be at the search engines:
  1. Google cache (click on "Cached")
  2. Microsoft cache (click on "Cached page")

And permanent copies of the files will be at the Internet Archive.
This entire site (including images and video) is being archived there:

  1. Home page
  2. List of all archived pages



The holy grail of my genealogy research: years so far I have spent trying to extract the Blennerhassett descent implied in the notes of my grand-aunt above, and the Blennerhassett descent remains unproven.



Sometimes things are easier. From this single sheet found in an old tin box could be reconstructed and corroborated a descent of one of my wife's ancestors from the great Scottish family of Skene, leading ultimately to a Royal Descent.



Me and my mother's cousin Liam Cosgrave discuss family history in 2013.
Liam personally knew a man who lived through the Famine.
That is, the Famine of 1845-50.











My family tree

My wife's family tree

Our common family tree




Contact me

Image re-use policy

Things to do

The Blennerhassett Challenge
(€2,000 competition)




Blog

Blog - Archive

The history of the Thomond motor car




Help on How to read these family trees

Help on Search

Sources

Links




Hypertext and Genealogy

Royal Descents of famous people

Common ancestors of all humans




Mobile phone entry point




List of surnames


Ædie

Armstrong

Bagenal

Barnewall

Beauchamp

Beaumont

Belknap

Bellew

Berkeley

Bermingham

Berwick

Blennerhassett

Blundy

Brandon

Browne

Butler

Casey

Cashel

Cecil

Clifford

Collins

Constable

Conway

Conyers

Cooke

Craufurd

Davis

Day

de Bohun

de Braose

de Burgh

de Clare

de Courtenay

de Greystoke

de Lacy

de Valence

de Vere

de Warenne

Denny

Despencer

Dicey

Donovan

Douglas

Dowdall

Dudley

Ebrill

Fairchild

Farquharson

Ferrers

Finglas

Fitton

FitzEustace

FitzGeoffrey

Fitz-Hugh

Fitzalan

Fitzgerald

Fitzwilliam

Flanagan

Foley

Forbes

Forrest

Gerard

Gibbon

Giffard

Gould

Green

Grey

Hallandal

Hamilton

Hastings

Hay

Herbert

Hildyard

Holcroft

Holland

Home

Hopper

Horseman

Hotham

Humphrys

Hunter

Icard

Imray

Keith

Kerr

Kickham

Leslie

Lindsay

Lumsden

Luttrell

Lynne

Lyons

McCarthy

McEllistrem

Maltass

Mangan

Marshal

Mercer

Montacute

Mortimer

Mowbray

Murray

Neville

Nolan

Noltie

O'Callaghan

O'Mara

O'Rahilly

O'Sullivan

O'Toole

Oliphant

Orby

Parr

Percy

Perrers

Pigott

Plunkett

Preston

Roet

Rowan

Ruffles

Ryan

Sackville

Sharp

Sheldon

Shelley

Sidney

Skene

Smith

St.Lawrence

Stack

Stafford

Stanger

Stapleton

Stephen

Taillefer

Talbot

Throckmorton

Turner

Vaux

Villiers

Welles

Wells

West

Weston

Windsor

Wingfield

Yeats

Zouche




Other families (not surnames)

High Kings of Ireland

Arab house of Islam

Kings of Portugal

English Royal family

Kings of Scotland

Kings of Spain






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