Family Re-Membering

I recently came into possession of this gem –

“Washburn Family Foundations in Normandy, England, and America”






I found this at Abe Books dot Com, a great place online to find old books. Some books there are precious and expensive, but others, although still being precious, are quite affordable, as this one was to me.

You can really knock yourself out tracing your family tree back through the ages. Trying to make all the dates match and the birth dates, death dates, names of children, names of various wives, etc., can make you turn prematurely white – or can make your already nearly-white hair go completely so!

I overdid it the other day looking for my ancestors on my mother’s father’s side. I had already traced my mother’s family on her mother’s side before this, but really only went back to the 1500s in England for those Ingersoll members of the clan.

These Washburns/Washbournes, etc., just seemed to go on forever… changing over to French names after a while and then to Norwegians. When I started finding relatives who just went by one name, like “Ivar,” “Magnus,” and “Olaf” – well I only continued a little further and then stopped at “Heytir Heytsson,” born 680 in Romsdal, Norway. It’s hard for me to comprehend a family being tallied along all those years and miles that far – one thousand three hundred thirty four years! I will give to you what I have but will omit the dates and little notes that I’ve included in my own list here. The Washburns – from my Mom back to Heytir Heytsson – for good or bad, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, here they all are, starting from the very oldest, the longest-dead of them all in Norway:

The Washbourne – Washburn Family

Norway, England and America

The Norway Contingent:

1. Heytir Heytsson

b. 680 a.d. in Romsdalen, Rauma, More og Romsdal, Norway

2. Svidri Heytsson

3. Sveide “The Sea-King” Sviadrasson

4. Hingmar (Ivar)

5. Arailt (Harold)

6. Olaf

7. Magnus

8. Ivar

The French Contingent:

(Note: History of the Hauteville family.)

9. Hialti Seigneur de Hauteville

10. Guiscard Seigneur de Hauteville

11. Count Tancred The Viking Seighneur de Hauteville

12. Gerard Tancred Seighneur de Hauteville

13. Rabel Tancred de Hauteville

b. circa 955 in Hauteville-sur-Mer, Manche, Lower Normandy, France

14. Gerald de Tankerville (d’Abitot)

b. circa 990 in Tancarville, Seine-Maritime, Upper Normandy, France

15. Almeric de Abitot

b. 1020 in Normandy, France

16. Urse d’Abitot (or d’Abetot) (1040 – 1108)

And here begins the English contingent:

17. Roger D’Abitot, son of Urse d’Abitot.

18. William de Estham

is believed to have been William son of Ernaldus (aka Urse, see above) who received the fief in Herefordshire

19. Samson was named as son of William (son of Ernaldus)

20. William de Estham, son of Samson,

was said by historian Thos. Habingdon, a friend/neighbor of the family of Washbourne from whom descends the Washburn family of America, to have been Lord of Washbourne in the reign of King Henry II (1154-1189).

21. Sampson De Estham

22. Sir Roger, [1st] Lord of Washbourne

b. ~ 1219 in Little Washbourne, Worcestershire, England. The 1st Sir Roger, Lord of Washbourne is the first known authentic ancestor of this family. He is mentioned in an Inquisition of 1259, concerning William de Stutevil, and in the Subsidy Roll of 1280 he is described as of Little Comberton and of Washbourne, as well as of Stanford. Stanford was on the other side of Worcestershire from Washbourne, about twenty-five miles in direct line. He was living in 1299. Also, “The family of “Washbournes were Lords of Stanford, and that Sir Roger de Washbourne held in Stanford what his father, Sir John de Washbourne, formerly held. Stanford passed to John Solway in his marriage to Isolde Washborne about 1400 A.D.

23. Sir Roger, [2nd] Lord of Washbourne

24. John de Dufford Washbourne

25. Roger De Washbourne

26. John De Washbourne

27. Peter Washbourne

28. John Washbourne

29. Norman Washbourne

30. John Washbourne or Washburn

31. John Washbourne (Wassheburne)

32. John Washbourne

33. John Washburn

34. John Washburn Jr.

John Washburn, a descendant sailed to the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts in the 17th century. He later married Elizabeth Mitchell who was the granddaughter of Francis Cooke, who sailed to America on the Mayflower.

35. John Washburn III

36. Samuel Washburn

37. Noah Washburn

38. Eleazar (or Eliezer) Washburn

39. Alden Washbur

40. (John) Alden Washburn

41. Capt. Zadock S. Washburn

42. Albert Z(adock) Washburn

43A. Frederick Washburn (My Grandfather)

43B. Roger Washburn (brother of Frederick above)

44A. Robert Washburn

44B. Janet Washburn (My Mother) b. 1925 d. 2001

Wow, I hope I haven’t messed that up royally. Anyway, it’s still a work in progress. But this is what I’ve uncovered so far.

The thing is, only a few weeks ago, or maybe a few months ago, I didn’t even know the name of my great grandfather – Albert Z. Washburn. Turns out he was a mucky-muck (one of my favorite words!) in the Cities of Boston and West Medford, MA. I wish I could go back and be transformed into a fly on the wall of history and see them going about their daily lives.

Now I’m wondering if all our blogs and journals will keep on in perpetuity so that one day, many decades, many generations from now, someone will find them and read all about our day-to-day lives, our fears, our happinesses, our little lives… and marvel at them, the same way I am marveling at just knowing the simple names of those who went before me.

washburn-zadock-gravestone washburn-eleazar-gravestone

Gravestones of Zadock Washburn (left) and Eleazar Washburn(right)



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Check out my other blog, “From the Hawthorne Tree”

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Pages from the American Notebooks, Nathaniel Hawthorne

Passages from Hawthorne’s English Notebooks

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2003 – Present Archives at Diaryland

2007 – 2009 Archives at WordPress

2009 Archives at JournalScape

2010 Archives at JournalScape

2011 Archives at JournalScape

2012 Archives at JournalScape

2013 Archives at JournalScape

2014 Archives at JournalScape

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6 Responses to Family Re-Membering

  1. AJB says:

    Please see my recent post at the link below. Mabel T.R. Washburn’s book was incorrect. Sampson/Samson of Little Washbourne’s father was not William de Estham. He was a man named Godard. We cannot use the Ernaldus Charter to prove descent from Urse d’Abitot.!topic/soc.genealogy.medieval/HY3NymFfchQ


  2. Eric Mayer says:

    This is amazing! All the way back to 680! Cripes, that is only shortly after the death of Byzantine emperor Justinian. I suspect the fact that the family had some very prominent members helped insofar as peasants and farmers etc might not be recorded. (My family probably)

    Digital stuff and the Internet theoretically could last forever but as a practical matter probably will vanish far more quickly then paper records what with the speed of technological change. I can’t even read my own floppy disks from twenty years ago.


  3. Bex says:

    Gee, sorry Christos! I didn’t pick my ancestors! Maybe my branch of the de Hautvilles wasn’t the same one that robbed you! I only hope so.

    I looked this up, and discovered all this:

    History of the Hauteville Family

    I must say that my list does correspond to a lot of what’s on this page. That really gets me going! Thanks Christos!


  4. Christos G. Makrypoulias says:

    So, you are a descendant of the Hauteville family, whose member Robert Guiscard robbed us (i.e. the Byzantines) of S. Italy in the late eleventh century! Interesting!


  5. Bex, This is really some project you have undertaken. I am really very surprised you can go as far back as you have. I did not know records were kept so very long ago. I guess I never gave it much thought.

    Of course thanks for sharing and keeping us updated. It is fascinating!


  6. sandy freel says:

    WOW….even the tombstones you have to show us…thanks for all the hard work you did to put this together for us to view.


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