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12Re: Irish, Danish, or English?

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  • mhbowes11
    Jan 3, 2009
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      Jeff, you may be entirely right about William de Arcubus. It's certainly clear that the part of
      the story about the coat of arms being granted long before crests came into being is
      absolutely false. There's also a good probability that the rest of the story was fanciful. So
      much poor research has served to boost reputations it could easily fall into this category.
      However, I can't yet rule out that, as with many myths, including those of Irish origin, it
      could be part true, part false. I'm skeptical (esp. given the account of Fulco de Bowes), but
      as far as I know, there's nothing in writing to say that William de Arcubus (or Bowes by
      another name) *didn't* live in Bowes Castle at some point, even if the other part of the
      story is false. Is there any record of the castle's inhabitants? Might part of the story be
      true?

      I'm not sure if by asking if "we" can lay the Arcubus story to rest you meant you and I or
      the whole group. For the record, I am inclined for this group to encourage everyone to
      feel comfortable stating what for them is a conclusion, but I'd hate to see finalizing
      matters *as a group* by putting themes to rest for all. Many have to come to conclusions
      in their own time, after their own investigation. I would not want them to feel unwelcome
      or uncomfortable if they are still pondering the complex past and volumes of
      "information," good and bad, available to consider. Many also have long cherished family
      stories that are hard to let go of, even in the face of strong challenges in the record.
      (That's true on the Irish and English side.) I would also want *them* to feel comfortable
      and as if they belong to this group. It's easier to be an open group and have friendly
      disagreements between members than to be an open group if you have to agree to a list
      of points to feel at ease and included.

      On the whole though, the more I think about it, I personally believe you make a good
      case.

      > They were, however, possessed of lands in Bowes at an early period,
      > but it is from this Fulco de Bowes, rather than the traditional
      > William de Arcubus, that their pedigree is to be traced. Sir Adam de
      > Bowes, fourth son of Stephen de Bowes, who was fourth in descent from
      > the above Fulco, was a man "learned in the lawes," whom Edward III.,
      > in 1331, appointed Chief Justice of the King's Bench.

      I have the feeling there are more Bowes lineages from NE England then this one, making
      telling the story of English origins more complex than being able to refer to "them" or
      "they" and a single lineage. Based on some of your other thoughts I have a feeling this is
      how you see it too? Hopefully the DNA project will help confirm or disprove this.

      I agree there is no evidence I've seen of any Bowes having come over with the Normans.
      Great list you posted. I've never seen that. But does it list all who came over? Was there a
      larger "army" of some sort consisting of people less important individually such that they
      didn't make the list? If so, did any of them come from areas outside the general area most
      Normans came to Ireland from? I don't know the answers, and I'm not hoping for a
      Norman Bowes come to Ireland (just interested in what really happened), but for the sake
      of covering bases, I do wonder. Perhaps you've already studied this issue to have ruled
      these possibilities out completely. I tend to leave possibilities open until I'm certain
      they're impossibilities. According to what I know so far, though, I'd say a Bowes coming
      over with Normans is more improbable than probable, but not yet disproved.
      >
      > Final thoughts. The Bowes-Lyon issue is a red, if exotically royal,
      > herring. The Queen Mother's earliest ancestor who bore the name
      > being, John Bowes, 9th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne (July 17,
      > 1737 - March 7, 1776). The point being he was born as, John Lyon,
      > only later adopting the name 'bowes'. In 1767 he married Mary Eleanor
      > Bowes, and upon the request of the bride's father, assumed his wife's
      > name. This change of name required an Act of Parliament. That family
      > came not surprisingly from County Durham a stronghold of the Bowes
      > name. This makes the Queen Mother's connections to the Bowes name
      > somewhat distant and indirect, and certainly has no genuine meaning
      > for those Bowes with English roots, who have perhaps been misinformed
      > about the Bowes-Lyon connection.
      >

      Here I am more inclined to wax clinical and make genetic distinctions. I don't see the
      Bowes-Lyon connection as altogether meaningless to any Bowes today who can prove a
      paper trail to Mary Eleanor Bowes, but if it were me I would do my best to put it in
      perspective. I would determine whether I was a direct descendent of Mary Eleanor Bowes,
      and if so could then say that I and the Queen Mother share a direct descendent in a
      female Bowes. On the other hand, they could share a common ancestor with Mary Eleanor
      Bowes, making them x cousins x times removed, and have an even more distant, yet real,
      genetic relationship to the Queen Mother. You're right that the connection is meaningless
      in the sense of sharing a surname lineage with specific matching Y-DNA markers. The
      Queen Mother has no Y-DNA and her father had Lyon Y-DNA, not Bowes. Further, I
      suspect no one today could claim an unbroken female descent from Mary Eleanor Bowes,
      though it's possible (I haven't examined her pedigree). Assuming the Queen also does not
      have an unbroken female descent from Mary Eleanor Bowes, or even if only one of the two
      lines or the other didn't, a female Bowes today could not claim shared mtDNA with the
      Queen Mother. But, there are always autosomal chromosomes (the non-sex
      chromosomes). If someone can prove relatedness to Mary Eleanor Bowes, I'd say they
      probably have what is by now an invisible and genetically insignificant amount of shared
      autosomal genes with the Queen Mother line. In addition to genetic meaning to
      relationships, many of us value our family's story beyond the Y-DNA surname matches,
      but for me it would be important for the integrity of the story to understand and convey
      the exact relatedness. In this case, as a footnote, but not altogether meaningless. All that
      said, I have no evidence whatsoever of a connection between my male Bowes line and
      Mary Eleanor Bowes and am not looking for one. But I would love to have a "certified"
      male Bowes from that line join the project so we'd know those markers, and I would hope
      that would verify for some other Bowes, many of whom have been told by family they are
      part of the Bowes lineage that married into the royal family (albeit through a female
      Bowes), whether or not that is true. It strikes me as a major part of the Bowes One-Name
      Study, while DNA study results and interpretation provide a means for clarification.

      > In conclusion I feel having read around this subject that the Bowes
      > surname as it relates to Bowes Village in County Durham, has perhaps
      > two lines of origin. One being the earlier Danish/Saxon places name,
      > Bogas, the original name perhaps of the settlement there, the other
      > deriving from two 12/13th Century names, Fulco and Gerrard de Bowes.

      I also feel sure of these. Hopefully the facts of it will emerge over time as we pursue all
      this.

      > I must state here however that I remain slightly unconvinced that the
      > Bowes element of 'de Bowes' is Norman, thus I wonder if the name
      > maybe some later corruption recided by chroniclers? What does appear
      > clear though is that a number of Bowes are documented as have having
      > held land in the area around, and possibly earlier, the time of the
      > Norman conquest. This does not in itself mean they were of 'noble'
      > origins or possessed of any formal titles. Could it be that the Bowes
      > of Durham in question were Saxon landholders of some local status
      > that either adopted or were given more 'Norman' sounding names? This
      > would certainly explain the still, to my thinking at
      > least,unconvincing assertion that Bowes is a Norman name.

      I agree. I especially think Bowes itself is not Norman, but along with the other possibilities
      you mention it's possible Normans (not necessarily nobles or elite as you say) used the
      place name and their own culture's construction to take the name "de Bowes." In line with
      your thinking, I just recalled from a linguistics course I took that French was the official
      language of England for 300 years after the Normans came, so not unlikely some Saxons
      conformed.

      As the risk of straying off topic a tad, I lost the source but here's the note I kept about
      this:

      "French was the official language of England for 300 years after the Norman conquest.
      During that time most of our original English language, which had a grammar more like
      that of Turkish, was lost, along with a rich body of literature and philosophy in Old
      English. The only reason the King's English came to be standard English was that when
      English was reinstituted as the official language of England, the upper classes, who at that
      time were busy acquainting themselves with Latin literature (having lost most of their
      own), controlled and designated as preferred the new English that emerged. But the old
      Greek and Latin perspective, which England adopted, that there is somehow a pure
      language, is totally false from a linguistic perspective. Furthermore, language is spoken
      first (most languages don't even have a written version). It is only in very literate cultures
      like ours that it is mistakenly believed that language is primarily written. Thus, the written
      grammars for English that came from the Latin branches (English originated along another
      language branch entirely) became the model for speech among the well-educated--an
      inversion of the linguistic experience that has only served to make millions of people feel
      inadequate in their use of language."

      I think we're learning a thing or two about the living language of surnames!

      Clarification about the Haplogroup I1 Group 3 having Danish haplotype: I emailed with
      Ken Nordtvedt today and he updated his interpretation in light of his growth in
      understanding the haplogroup. He says they're definitely Anglo-Saxon, but not clearly
      Danish at all. Do you know, Jeff, how concentrated were the Anglo-Saxon in the
      Bowes/Danelaw, England area vs the Danish? Just curious. Ken was more inclined to say
      this group is probably from Germany, but the percentages in the personal pages for
      Recent Ancestral Origins don't yet support that. It says, "You match 1 person out of 8,388
      people from Germany. Which is < 0.1% of the population tested from Germany," not
      making the 2% threshold for "significantly" or the 4% for "highly significantly" indicating
      the place of origin. Maybe as the database grows.

      That's it for now. Will rest my arm awhile.
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