Taunton, Somerset

The Thomas Trowbridge (1597-1672) Connection

The popular TV show, Who Do You Think You Are, which focuses on the genealogical roots of various celebrities, moved to TLC this past season. I saw the first 3-4 episodes, but then the hurly-burly of the holiday season and whatever else was going on at the time threw the show off my radar, which is too bad, because love it or hate it (because it makes finding one’s roots look much too easy), it can be very interesting. So, a couple of weeks ago, for some reason, the series came to mind and I thought I’d see online what I’d missed out on. I randomly clicked on a Cindy Crawford video clip and discovered that she and I (and no doubt thousands of others out there in the world) are related via a distant 10th/11th great grandfather, Thomas Trowbridge, whose line I have mentioned before, albeit many moons ago.

Tudor Tavern, Fore Street, Taunton

Tudor Tavern (on left), Fore Street, Taunton (here Thomas Trowbridge’s grandfather Thomas–a very successful and charitable wool merchant–leased and operated a store (1576-1606). Image: Wikipedia

Thomas, from Taunton, Somersetshire, England, brought his young family to America sometime around 1633-1636. They started out in Dorchester, Massachusetts Bay Colony, but moved to New Haven for religious reasons. His wife Elizabeth Marshall died sometime before 1641. Thomas, who was a mariner and merchant, was constantly on the go, and for perhaps business reasons or to find another wife, he returned to Taunton, marrying there in 1641 and leaving his sons in the care of his servant Henry Gibbons. Back in England, Thomas got swept up in the political events of the time and until his dying day (February 7, 1672) never returned to America. Gibbons was later charged with mismanaging moneys left by Thomas to provide for the boys, and the authorities placed them with Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Jeffrey. The blog Old Stones Undeciphered has an excellent post about that and other eras of Trowbridge family history.

There are more remarkable links to discover, as the show points out. Thomas’s mother Agnes Prowse (1576-1622) links Thomas and his many descendants to Charlemagne, aka Charles the Great or Charles I (see below). Now, let’s face it, by now probably half or more of the planet’s inhabitants are related to him! That said, I still can’t help but be fascinated.

For more on Cindy Crawford’s link to Thomas Trowbridge and Charlemagne, visit:

Charlemagne (Wikimedia)

Charlemagne (Wikipedia)

Charlemagne to Thomas Trowbridge:
1-Charlemagne Holy Roman Emperor b. 747, d. 814
+Hildegarde b. 758, d. 30 Apr 783
2-Pepin King of Italy b. 773, d. 8 Jul 810, Milan, Italy
+Unknown
3-Bernard King of Italy b. 797, d. 17 Apr 818, Milan, Italy
+Cunigunde d. 835
4-Pepin Count of Senlis b. Abt 815, d. After 840
+Unknown
5-Herbert I, Count of Vermandois b. Abt 840, d. Abt 902
+Bertha de Morvois
6-Beatrix de Vermandois d. 931
+Robert I, King of the West Franks b. 856, d. 15 Jun 923, Soissons
7-Hugh Magnus Duke of France b. Abt 895, d. 16 Jun 956, Deurdan
+Hedwiga of Germany b. Abt 915, d. 14 May 956
8-Hugh Capet King of France b. Abt 939, d. 24 Oct 996
+Adelaide of Poitou b. 945, d. 1004
9-Hedwig of France b. Abt 972, d. After 1013
+Regnier IV Count of Hainault
10-Beatrix de Hainault b. 992, d. After 1015
+Ebles I Count of Roucy and Rheims b. Abt 988, d. 11 May 1033
11-Alice de Roucy b. Abt 1014, d. 1062
+Count Hildouin of Montdidier and Roucy
12-Marguerite de Roucy b. Abt 1014, d. 1062
+Hugh de Creil d. 1101
13-Adeliza de Clermont b. Abt 1074, d. After 1130
+Gilbert fitz Richard Lord of Clare & Lord of Cardigan b. 1065, d. 1114
14-Richard fitz Gilbert Lord of Clare d. 1136
+Adeliz le Meschin of Chester b. Abt 1074, d. After 1130
15-Roger de Clare Earl of Clare or Hertford b. 1116, d. 1173
+Maud St. Hillary b. 1132, d. 24 Dec 1193
16-Aveline de Clare b. Abt 1172, d. Bef 4 Jun 1225
+Geoffrey fitz Piers Earl of Essex b. 1164, d. 14 Oct 1213
17-Hawise fitz Geoffrey d. 1243
+Reynold de Mohun Lord of Dunster b. Abt 1206, d. 20 Jan 1257
18-Alice de Mohun b. Abt 1230, d. 1284
+Robert de Beauchamp IV, Lord of Hatch d. Abt 1265
19-Sir Humphrey de Beauchamp b. Bef 1253, d. 1317
+Sybil Oliver d. After 1306
20-Eleanor Beauchamp b. Abt 1275, d. After 1300
+John Bamfield d. After 1300
21-John Bamfield II b. Abt 1300, d. After 1337
+Isabel Cobham
22-John Bamfield III d. 1362
+Joan Gilbert d. After 1345
23-Thomas Bamfield b. Bef 1345, d. After 1392
+Agnes Coplestone d. After 1386
24-Agnes Bamfield b. betw 1377 and 1386, d. After 1435
+John Prowse b. Abt 1377, d. After 1447
25-Richard Prowse b. 1407
+Margaret Norton b. Bef 1440
26-John Prowse Lord of Chagford b. 1436, d. 1526
+Joan Orchard b. Abt 1438, d. 1480
27-Robert Prowse b. Abt 1475
+Christian d. 1516
28-John Prowse b. Bef 1504
+Alice White b. Bef 1520, d. 13 Aug 1583
29-John Prowse II b. 1539, d. 11 Sep 1598
+Elizabeth Colwick b. Bef 1546, d. After 1576
30-Agnes Prowse b. 14 Apr 1576, Tiverton, Devonshire, England, d. 6 Jun 1622, Taunton, Somersetshire, England
+John Trowbridge b. 25 Jul 1570, Taunton, Somersetshire, England, d. 25 Jul 1649, Taunton, Somersetshire, England
31-Thomas Trowbridge b. 8 Feb 1597, Taunton, Somersetshire, England, d. 7 Feb 1672, Taunton, Exeter, England
+Elizabeth Marshall b. 24 Mar 1602, London, England, d. In or bef 1641, New Haven, CT

Categories: Celebrities, Charlemagne aka Charles I, New Haven, Prowse, Taunton, Somerset, Trowbridge, WDYTYA | Leave a comment

Trowbridges and Tudor Tavern, plus Trowbridge web links

Tudor Tavern, 15 Fore Street, Taunton, Somerset, England

Yesterday I came across this old image of Tudor Tavern at 15 Fore Street in Taunton, Somerset, England. It’s the building to the left of the shop with the “F. Mead” sign. For a contemporary view of the tavern, visit the English Heritage site. The Tudor Tavern’s “bones” date back to the 14th century. The initials TT and IT are carved into a panel attached to the front of the building. Between the sets of initials is the date 1578. Today the building is operated as a Caffe Nero coffee shop according to Wikipedia. Why would this tavern be interesting to our family? Well, for good reason. It was leased and operated for over thirty years, beginning in 1578, by our ancestor Thomas Trowbridge (1542-1619), a prominent wool merchant, and his wife Joan Hutchins. They remodeled it in 1578 and affixed their initials to it (apparently “J” and “I” were used interchangeably at the time).

For more illuminating information on Thomas and his family, visit this useful website: http://silvie.tripod.com/Trow1.html

By the way, I have discovered that the Trowbridge family history is extremely well documented. The below websites contain a sampling of the copious amounts of information available. The fourth site listed is the 1908 book, History of the Trowbridge Family in America, written by Francis Baker Trowbridge and published in New Haven, CT. Its copyright has expired so it is available for free for viewing online or downloading. Happy reading!

Categories: Taunton, Somerset, Trowbridge, Woodruff | 4 Comments

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