It's supposed to be "manor," I believe. I signed up on Ancestry.com, and I still haven't made the connections that I signed up to make -- I know that through my great-grandfather, William John Turnbull Doak (who doesn't yet exist in terms of these genealogical records), I'm descended from "Squire Doak," who founded Doaktown, New Brunswick in 1610. I thought that was the old-timer in my family background.
How wrong I was? See the family resemblence? Only 11 generations back, my direct ancestor was Anne of York, daughter of Edward IV of England. Her granddaughter married William Warriner, who is a direct ancestor of mine, and his son, also William, was an early - I'm not going to say "Pilgrim," but immigrant to Connecticut. Back in the day, as it were - as in about 130 years before the American Revolution. So he beats Squire Doak to Canada. As do some other relatives, as in Lois Bostwick, who married William the immigrant's grandson John Warriner. Their daughter Sarah married George Sexton, a full-on Irish immigrant. And my great-grandmother, who I know very well, was Nallie Sexton Doak. I knew her sister, my grandmother's Aunt "Sterling" (Lida Sterling . . . wouldn't have know that without the census records) was married to John P. Baumgartner, the founder and first publisher of the Santa Ana (now Orange County) Register. Nallie, I was always told, referred to herself as "Black Irish," and had, "three very beautiful daughters," as well as 10 other babies, all boys, who were either stillborn or lived only a short time. As this was at the turn of the 20th Century, no one knew why this would occur. It sounds to me, pretty royally familiar, as in Henry VIII familiar. However, I am no Tudor so far as I can tell. These people (Edward IV, Anne, the other children and their queen Elizabeth Woodville - Anne's mother, so my x-13 times great-grandmother) were Norman French, and Anne's surname was "Plantagenet."
Clearly you can see the family resemblence here! This is Edward IV's famous queen Elizabeth Woodville. I was pretty excited to see her name, because she was one of the renowned great beauties of history. A relatively young widow, I believe she had ten children prior to her marriage to Edward IV. Afterward, she had another seven. Among the seven were the tragic "Princes in the Tower." Yes - it's that family. My 13x grand-uncle was history's worst uncle - the hunchback Richard III. He also drowned his brother in a butt of malmsey (a type of wine kept in a barrel, also called a "butt"). I'm giving the Shakespearean version here. History's real version might well have been a little different.
This is Robert I "The Magnificent" First Duke of Normandy. Robert was born in 1000 AD in Normandy, France, and died at a relatively old age for the time, 36, in Turkey - on crusade.
Why was he called "The Magnificent"? For his love of fine clothing. His rather was Robert "The Good," which is pretty awesome. My descent is through his son by the redoubtable Harlette of Falaise (seriously "Harlette"), Ancitel de Bayeux, Ranulph de Meschines. Ancitel did not live to be very old. In fact, I wondered how he and his wife could have had even 3 children, as both seemed to have died as young teens. Nevertheless, they did.
All these folks went on over across the Channel after a big event. Remember that "Bayeux Tapestry"? Another of Robert "The Magnificent's" sons was William the Conqueror. Ranulph got to be the Earl of Chester after this military triumph.
Already in the family's line were ladies named "Hawise," and it is Hawise their great-granddaughter who married Lord Bostock . . . many years later to be called "Bostwick," and to become a well-known colonial family here in America.
You can call me a retard, but until I kept connecting these lines of descent, I truly didn't realize that "Norman" referred to "NOR way," in which there were Danes settled, who later went on over and harried all the people in France until they acquired this portion of France that was then called "Normandy." Norman French. Which sort of casts a different light on the "Danish play," does it not? And a different light upon the end of the Danish King's line and usurpation by Hamlet's uncle. And there were more English children named Hamlet or Hamnet than just William Shakespeare's sons . . . I even saw a few in my own English ancestry. I bet Shakespeare was related to old Ranulph or William, just the way I am.
See, the truth is, nearly everyone is in some way "to the manor born". Genealogists and mathemeticians have teamed up to show how nearly everyone in Europe is descended from Charlemagne and Mohammed, and nearly everyone worldwide is descended from Nefertiti and Confucius. A 2002 Atlantic article by Steve Olson concisely explains this amazing phenomenon. Now, as to how I spent a few hours connecting the genealogical dots having discovered my great-great grandfather William Q. Sexton and his descent from very early immigrants to New England and thus discovered a relationship to the Plantagenets and even the first Norman French English conquerors, I'm not sure everyone can do that so quickly. Apparently those who can trace their ancestry to colonial days will have an easier time doing this, as many colonial settlers in England did have royal blood.
They seem to have all come as many have said, "In search of a better life." Indeed! The laws of inheritance meant that younger sons and daughters might end up with very little property, and their chance at wealth and a better life entailed coming to a new world. Hence, I am this many hundreds of years later, to the manner born.