08 April, 2018

Edward II and Mitochondrial DNA: Can you help?

A couple of days ago, my blog was mentioned on the popular Go Fug Yourself website, as part of its weekly Royals Round-Up section: see here. My friends at the Auramala Project in Italy and I are still hoping to find a modern descendant with Edward II's DNA, so that maybe one day we can determine once and for all if Edward really is buried in Gloucester. See also my book Long Live the King: The Mysterious Fate of Edward II for more details, especially Ivan Fowler of the Project's call to action at the end. A modern descendant with Edward II's mitochondrial DNA would have to come from one of his sisters or one of his female ancestors, entirely through the female line, and that's very tricky to find. If you're of English origin you're almost guaranteed to be descended from Edward, but finding an all-female line back to the thirteenth century is really hard. See this post from last year by the Auramala Project...we got so close!

Edward II had five sisters. The fourth, Mary, was a nun and had no children, so she's out. The eldest, Eleanor, had only one daughter, Joan countess of Surrey, who herself had no children, so she's out. The third, Margaret, had only one son, so she's out. That leaves Edward's second and fifth sisters: Joan of Acre, countess of Gloucester (1272-1307) and Elizabeth, countess of Hereford (1282-1316), who both had daughters who had daughters who had daughters. I found a promising line from Joan of Acre's third daughter Elizabeth de Clare and her daughter Isabella de Verdon, which resulted in the post by the Auramala Project linked above, as a professional genealogist took over. If you know of any other female lines from either of these two women, please get in touch! You can either leave a comment here, or at the Auramala Project, or email me at: edwardofcaernarfon(at)yahoo.com.

Edward II's mother Eleanor of Castile (c. 1241-90) had no sisters of the full blood from the same mother, so there are no possible lines there. Eleanor's mother Joan of Ponthieu, or Jeanne de Dammartin as she's sometimes called, had three younger sisters, so there may be some descendants there, though I didn't get very far when I tried to look into it a while ago (maybe you'll have more luck?). Joan's mother was Marie of Ponthieu (no sisters), whose mother was Alais of France (no sisters of the full blood who had descendants), whose mother was Constance of Castile, whose mother was Berenguela of Barcelona, whose mother was Dulcia of Provence, whose mother was Gerberga of Provence, and so on. This is the line of Edward II's maternal ancestors, who carried his mitochondrial DNA down the female line. Are there any female lines of descent from any of these women? Can you help?

3 comments:

Robin said...

I can trace my mitochondrial DNA to a Margaret Ward b. 1585 in Yorkshire but that's as far as it goes. Oh Well. . . . . .

Cynthia Landrum said...

I am a direct descendant of Joan of acre you can contact me at countessoflennox@gmail.con

Stephen Lark said...

This would be VERY revealing. We know Richard III's mtDNA and will know Edward V's in a few months time.