Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Royal Connection? A Possible Relation to King Henry VIII

Yesterday, I went with my cousin, Olive Bryan, and her husband, Joe, to South Easton Cemetery to visit a few ancestral graves. On our way back from the cemetery, Olive and I were talking about various things when the subject of King Henry VIII came up.

Olive told me that her brother Harold (now deceased) did a bit of research on the family tree and traced him and Olive back to King Henry VIII. I assumed Olive meant that he traced this back through their father's side (Olive and I are related through her mother) but she told me that it was their mother's side he found this on. She told me that he had this all written down in his notes at one point. She also told me that someone (I believe it was either her mother or Harold) used to tell her that they got their appetite from King Henry VIII.

Because this possible relation is through Olive's mother Elsie, that means that if this were true, I am related to King Henry VIII as well.

King Henry VIII was born on June 28, 1491 in the Palace of Placentia, Greenwich, London, England to King Henry VII of England and Elizabeth of York. He died on January 28, 1547 in the Palace of Whitehall, London. During his lifetime, King Henry VIII had six wives, Catherine of Aragon, Anne Boleyn, Jane Seymour, Anne of Cleves, Catherine Howard, and Catherine Parr. Of the six, he had three children: Mary I of England (with Catherine of Aragon), Elizabeth I of England (with Anne Boleyn), and Edward VI of England (with Jane Seymour). In addition to these three children, he also had an illegitimate child, Henry FitzRoy, with Elizabeth Blount.

Mary died on November 17, 1558, aged forty-two. At the time of her death, she was married  to Phillip II of Spain. The marriage produced no children. She was survived by a stepson, Carlos, Prince of Asturias, whom died unmarried almost ten years later. Elizabeth I died on March 24, 1603, aged sixty-nine. Edward passed away July 6, 1553, aged fifteen. Both died unmarried and childless. Henry FitzRoy died on July 23, 1536, aged seventeen. Though married at the time of his death, he produced no children.

There is no chance that I, Olive, Harold, or Elsie are descendants of King Henry VIII because any and all children of King Henry died childless. However, it may be possible that that connection to King Henry VIII is through someone else. Henry did have siblings. What became of them I do not know at the moment but it is very possible that the connection to King Henry is through one of them. Another possible connection is through Henry VIII's royal court. It is very well possible that we descend someone who was a part of Henry's royal court.

Whether there is some sort of connection to King Henry VIII is unknown right now. Harold was pretty confident there was. (How I wish I could get a hold of his notes.) The connection stems from ancestors who hailed from Nova Scotia. Researching in Nova Scotia and Canada in general is extremely difficult due to the limit of available records. Whether I'll ever find out for sure if there really is a connection to King Henry VIII is uncertain. But for now, I carry on with my research and await to what discoveries the future might bring.

Copyright © 2015, David J. McRae

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