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View Full Version : Is this the Howells/Cecil (Burghley) connection c. 1500 ?



JohnHowellsTyrfro
09-26-2017, 08:22 AM
As this is before fixed surnames, at least for most with Welsh names in West Herefordshire, I may never have the answer to this question and I know how easy it is to unintentionally "fabricate" an ancestral connection based of random possibilities. However I have stumbled across an interesting possible connection.
Apparently from Y DNA testing I share a paternal ancestor with the Cecils who is estimated to have lived around 1300 AD. My known ancestry goes back to the 1660's in West Herefordshire. Through a Longtown and District History page, I gained access to summaries of official accounts held by Hereford Records Office.
In 1500 Richard Seicell was the King's Receiver for the manor of Walterstone (Herefordshire) and had been as far back as 1492 according to the accounts. This Richard was, I believe, father of David Cecil who may have fought for Henry Tudor at Bosworth and was the grandfather of William Cecil, Lord Burghley.
In 1504 the Reeve for Walterstone (sort of a local foreman or organiser) was Henry ap John ap Howell ap Richard. The name John appears in my family multiple times and of course there must have been a "Howell" back there too.
In 1503 the Reeve for Walterstone was Madoc ap John. I think it's possible Henry and Madoc were brothers, both being "Ap" (son of) John. Henry Ap John Ap Howell must have known Richard Seicell - did he have his position through a family connection? I think sometimes reeves were elected, sometimes appointed by the Lord.
The names could be coincidence but the Y DNA connection does make me wonder. Finding a paper trail that far back with many Welsh names not being fixed in this part of the World until after 1550 and in some cases not until the early 1600's would be next to impossible I guess.
This ancestry and DNA business, particularly relatively few British testers, can be very frustrating. :) Any thoughts - am I being tempted into too much speculation? We are trying to pursue this through local historical societies and so on. John

spruithean
09-26-2017, 10:59 PM
I also find myself speculating or brainstorming various ideas about certain mysterious ancestors.

However, yours is very convincing to my eyes at least, especially "Henry ap John ap Howell ap Richard". Perhaps your line connects back to Richard Seicell and his descendants took different surnames due to what areas they settled and assimilated into?

The Y-DNA connection and name coincidences are really convincing to me! I think you're on to something.

JohnHowellsTyrfro
09-27-2017, 05:39 AM
I also find myself speculating or brainstorming various ideas about certain mysterious ancestors.

However, yours is very convincing to my eyes at least, especially "Henry ap John ap Howell ap Richard". Perhaps your line connects back to Richard Seicell and his descendants took different surnames due to what areas they settled and assimilated into?

The Y-DNA connection and name coincidences are really convincing to me! I think you're on to something.

Thank you. I appreciate an independent opinion - I don't want to take myself too far down a false trail. There is a chap called Parry (ap Harry or Henry's son ) who traces his ancestry back to Walterstone who could share our paternal line from his DNA results but at the moment he is not prepared to do further testing to confirm or otherwise. Some of his ancestors were stone masons, as were mine. There are multiple Johns, Williams and Henrys in my paternal line but they were very common names.
You are right about the surnames, one branch could have been Parry or Howell(s)/Powell or Williams and so on. The wealthier and more influential people tended to fix their surnames earlier than the less well off, so the Cecil surname could well have been fixed some considerable time before the other branches. We wouldn't be descended from this Richard Seicell as the shared ancestor would be around 1300, when it seems from the SNP's that my line branched off (although that is an estimate.) There is another person on the same branch as me but his exact origins and even original surname aren't entirely clear as yet.
Thanks for your thoughts.