The smallest, most obscure piece of de Lacy history in the de Lacy Chronicles book refers to James Lacy (James Lasie) who in 1587 was the first Lacy to reach the shores of America,
It was only in February 2019 that I found more information about the demise of James and the revelation that in fact, the mission is a well-documented piece of American History.
On behalf of Queen Elizabeth 1st, Sir Walter Raleigh sponsored the setting up of The Roanoke Colony (also known as the lost colony) on the island of Roanoke of the shores of Dare County, North Carolina in 1585 as part of his great plantation plan.
James Lacy arrived on the second expedition ship in 1587 only to find the initial settlers had all disappeared. Again the English settlers set up their base under the leadership of John White who had been appointed to be the Colony’s Governor. Among the colonists was Johns, daughter who gave birth to Johns Grandaughter Virginia Dare she was pronounced the first English child to be born in America.
Having set up the colony, James White returned to England to request assistance and more supplies to help support the growth of the settlement. His return, however, was frustrated by the Anglo Spanish War and he did not return to the shores of Roanoak Island until 1590 only to find for the second time the entire colony along with James Lacy had disappeared without a trace. The only indication that they had ever been there was the word "CROATOAN" carved into a tree.
The most popular theory was that they had been massacred by local tribespeople, but subsequent archaeology digs found no European remains. The more relevant argument now is that they took shelter with the local tribes and through time were assimilated into the tribe. If you want to follow further this early American history, there is a mass of information on the google page “The lost colony of Roanoke”. The link mentioned by Tom Lacy is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roanoke_Colony
I undertook the DNA tests offered by ‘Living DNA’ to further prove my claim to direct descent through the Norseman, Norman, British and Irish de Lacy family.
My first impressions appeared to create as many questions as it offered answers
I chose ‘Living DNA’ as they offered a distinction between the Maternal and Paternal line. It was my Paternal line which would follow the de Lacy name.
My Motherline is mtDNA Haplogroup: H Subclade: H10e1.
The charts for my Motherline showed my DNA here to be scattered worldwide with no clear leader to my past. After scrutiny, I archived the file as having nothing to add what was not already within the selected charts and facts that I would use for my personal findings.
My Fatherline signature belongs to the R-L21 group. Subclade: R-DF25.R-L21 is a branch of the larger R1b fatherline which was carried by waves of Indo- European expansions, and which is common throughout Western Europe today as a result (ISOGG 2017). R-L21 is also sometimes referred to as R-S145 or R-M529 (ISOGG 2017); regardless of the terminal DNA findings
My fatherline signature is perhaps best described as the ‘Atlantic Celtic’ branch It is most common today in the northwest of Europe, especially Britain and Northwest France
Map of the areas my Fatherline covered
My European DNA is rated as 100% for Great Britain and Ireland
covering a minimum of 500 years
Findings in brief
I do have Norwegian blood in my ancestry!
My principle history follows the same path as the descendants of Walter de Lacy.
Some obscure pointers show traces of my DNA present within the last 500 years in Limerick.
All information older than 500 years was generalised information which offered no further help in closer tracing of my family tree.
My DNA formed no part of the Ilbert de Lacy family line.
Not as much information as I had hoped for but my DNA mirrors and validates my own historical research into the de Lacy name and family. The suggestions and advice I have offered to followers of de Lacy Chronicles have not been proven to be any other than good sound assumptions and validates my own claims
I considered calling this blog entry ‘Put up or Shut up’ as I advise followers to this de Lacy Chronicles site and its sister Facebook page. That if you can retrace your Lacy name down four or five generations to the 19th century. Probably your Lacy name will go right back to Lassy in Normandy (i.e.; pre-1066). On our de Lacy Family Tree page I pose the question about my branch of the Lacy family.
Are we related to Gen Sir George de Lacy Evans? Who claims links back to General Peirce de Lacy who again claimed links back to William Gorm de Lacy and the Walter de Lacy Baronial family which links directly to Lord Hugh de Lacy Lord of Lassy, Calvados in Normandy? The line goes back to Norway in the ninth century.
Well, I have put up and subscribed to a DNA testing company and submitted a swab sample to them. It surprised me it involves so many companies in this business. After some research on the merits of each company, my choice was Living DNA they offered a more assertive study of the paternal line or following the Y chromosomes in my sample.
It will also give me information down the maternal line. My driving interest is however whether my DNA agrees with my assumption that my Lacy family ancestors reached back to Lassy in 11th century Normandy.
They have told me that it will take a couple of months before I receive the report from Living DNA at that time I will post in the blog what the results show.
1066 and the battle of Hastings. Walter Lacy fought under the command of William Fitz Osbern Lord of Breteuil. Why?
His brother Ilbert de Lacy fought under the family Overlord Bishop Odo of Bayeux who in turn was a Vassal to his half-brother the Duke of Normandy. The Lacy family were vassals of Bishop Odo under the Norman feudal system.
Within the next few years, William Fitz Osbern now the Earl of Hereford and Vassal to his half-brother the Duke of Normandy conceded much of his Hereford lands to Walter de Lacy and his Son Roger. At the same time, King William made Walter the first Lord of Weobley.
What had led to Walter de Lacy and his son Roger becoming a vassal of William Fitz Osbern while the rest of the de Lacy Family remained under Bishop Odo as their overlord? Ilbert and Walter had retained close family ties only time and distance separated the descendants of the two family branches.
From Lords down to Pheasants every family had to swear before God an oath of fidelity. In an uneducated God-fearing country few of any rank had the courage to try and break their oath.
Once the feudal system was in operation throughout Norman England. King William was able to sophisticate the gathering of organised taxes by creating the Doomsday Book. Here was listed all essential possessions throughout the land. It was down to each following King or overlord as to whether this was a fair system.
I have added a link to an amusing video which explains just what the Feudal system was and how it worked.
So I return to my original question, why were the two de Lacy brothers fighting under different overlords? Do we have anyone with historical connections who may shine some light on the question?
My book ‘de Lacy Chronicles’ has provided an insight into the early de Lacy Barons and those who followed them into the diverse pages of history. From Noway to Normandy, from England to Ireland and beyond. The website www.delacychronicles.com provides a more visual picture of the book content. But in both cases, the history is spread like a thin veneer across the centuries.
From time to time I receive comments, questions and information relating to further de Lacy history outside of my research notes. Where I can I dip a bit deeper into my files and exchange notes with the person, who brought forward something possibly from his own family or locality. Which brings me nicely into what the de Lacy Blog will be all about extending a knowledge base about anything to do with the history of the de Lacy family.
I have one or two areas I may want to explore such as Churches and Monasteries where the deLacy family have had an involvement in the creation. There are de Lacy Castle sites not yet recorded etc.
Please feel free to join in and submit your own comments, questions and, I will see they are published on this page.
One note of caution! If you are copying text or photos from elsewhere please show that you have permission. Your own work or pictures no problem. Roy
Roy A Lacy