Did my ancestors know The Black Prince?


Two weeks of using Ancestry.com has enabled me to stagger back in time to my ancestors in the days of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. I always knew that although I had been born in Cumbria , England, my maternal ancestors had come from Cornwall in the most South Westerly part of England, and this is proven from the family tree or pedigree charts copied below.

My maternal great grandfather William Waters and his wife Elizabeth migrated to Cumbria in the late 1800s during the Great Depression and collapse of the tin and copper markets. This effectively put 1000s of miners out of work in Cornwall who then moved northwards in England to use their skills in coal and iron ore mining. But more on this in later posts.

Waters family tree

My maternal grandfather, also a William Waters, was 9 years old in 1881 when the family moved to Cumbria. They lived in 4 different cottages before William jnr raised his own family with my mother, Marian, being his 13th child and born in 1920. But as you can see from the remaining connected charts I have been able quite quickly to go back in time for 500 years on my mothers side, with (not shown here) some of my relatives having migrated to USA as experienced miners to California and Wisconsin. Also this does not show Dr Cs ancestry yet nor my father’s. (The green tick means that the children of those ancestors have been verified but not inserted yet)

Across 500 years these relatives experienced The Dissolution of the Monasteries, William Shakespeare, The English Civil War, Isaac Newton, Trafalgar, Waterloo, The British Empire, The Industrial Revolution and of course two World Wars. And here we are in modern times experiencing Brexit! How can this compare with The Battle of Crecy and The Black Prince as the first Duke of Cornwall?

As a tantalising ending here, The Black Prince was the son of Edward III and the hero of the Battle of Crecy in which the English defeated the French. The Black Prince, also named Edward of Woodstock, used Restormel Castle in Cornwall as his base for visits which is “quite close” to Chacewater and St Blazey Gate where many of my ancestors lived and died! I need to get back another 200 years …. I may be some time!


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