The possibility of royal genealogy is something a lot of people wonder about when they first begin researching their family history. It’s a natural thing to be curious about, because even today, most people remain intrigued by royalty. Discovering a king or other noble in the family tree can be a thrill, and definitely a story to tell the children and grandchildren. It may also qualify you for a coat of arms to put on your wall, or make you eligible for membership in certain prestigious lineage societies.
While not every family is going to have royal genealogy, more do than you might think, even in the United States. Naturally, the chances of finding a recent royal ancestor are remote, or you’d probably already know about it. But the farther back in time you go, the more your chances of tapping into a royal family line increase. Once you hit the deep Middle Ages, you’ll find there are millions of people around the world who can claim direct descent from an ancient king or queen.
Most Americans who can claim royal genealogy can do so only as early as King Edward III of England (king from 1327 to 1377). Edward III had a lot of royal children both legitimate and illegitimate, and his sons carried on that tradition. Of course, once you tap into a royal line, you’ll have royal ancestors hundreds of years back into the past. Royal genealogies were very well kept even in ancient times, because it was important for kings and queens to prove their illustrious ancestry to legitimize their claims to the throne of whatever country they ruled.
If you can connect yourself to even a minor noble line in your family history research (such as a baron, or even a knight), your chances of following that line back to royalty significantly increase. The farther back in time you go, the more important that minor noble line may have been, eventually reaching a point in the distant past where the family was important enough on the nobility scene to merit intermarriage with the royal family.
So, how do you find out if you’ve got royal genealogy?
First, you’ve got to take your genealogy back as far as you can, which means out of America and into Europe or some other area where royalty was important. Eventually, you may see a ‘Sir’ or ‘Lady’ appear in front of the name of one of your ancestors. When that happens, you can start to get excited at the possibilities. There is lots of information on most noble families, even the minor ones, and you can probably look up this ‘Sir’ or ‘Lady’ online or in books to discover if their ancestors had royal connections.
The Orlando Public Library is an excellent place to start your royal genealogy hunt if your’re in Central Florida. It has one of the largest genealogy departments in the region and its resources on royal genealogy are plentiful. If you want to find out if you have royal genealogy, or suspect you do, this is the place that can help you make the connection.
If you’re very lucky, you may discover a royal genealogy you never knew you had that you can pass on to your children and grandchildren and future generations of your family.