|About the JOHN PATRICK LEA family from PLANTAGENET to POCAHONTAS, two sides of the Atlantic
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Greetings and best wishes in your research. Welcome to the genealogical and historical website of John Patrick Lea, Lord of Lea, Shropshire, United Kingdom and of Austin, Texas, United States of America. This site is dedicated to Anne "Annie" Jane LEA nee MILROY, AMERICAN MATRIARCH, of Liverpool, Lancashire, England and Ingleside-on-the-Bay, San Patricio County, Texas, United States of America, and her husband, William LEA, of The Argoed and Lightwood Hall farms, Overton-on-Dee, Flintshire, Wales and Liverpool, Lancashire, England. As it stands, much research remains which may take the better part of two to three generations of people to complete. However, I remain confident that someone (or better yet, several someones) will assume the honor and responsibility of volunteer by default as family genealogist and historical guru upon my demise, transferable white cotton mantle (one size fits all) and serpentine crozier with lion head included at no charge. It is very important to note that through much original research in England, Wales, Scotland, France, and Ireland that the conclusion has been reached that a high probability exists that we are descended from Warin de Bailleul (Balliol), first Sheriff of Shropshire following the Norman Conquest of England in AD1066 and his son Hugh the Monk. Please see "Sheriffs of Shropshire" by the Reverend John Brickdale Blakeway. Since, at this time, we can only trace the surname through the parish registers back to about AD1600, it is only by conjecture of physical location of all Lea family members extending out from the town of Ellesmere, Shropshire (and Lega or Lee of Ellesmere) that leads one to that conclusion. Further documentation from wills, records of the court, lawsuits, et al will be necessary to absolutely tie this connection down. For now, we trudge onward through the fog. It may eventually turn out that we are not descended from the High Sheriffs at all and that we just acquired the name as a result of where we lived. However, for the time being, based on demographics of proven Lea family members as well as three very close matches in DNA results for members of the Corbin (Corbet) family, I admonish any family members continuing this research to follow the same tack until proven otherwise. It is also my belief that Warin had a daughter who married into the Ducs of Brittany in about AD1050 prior to the Conquest. This is supported by the act that Warin gave the tithes of the Church of Saint Cyr du Bailleul in Normandy to some monks in Brittany in 1050 which was much opposed by his son Hugh...so much, in fact, that Hugh sued his father over same. However, Duke William ruled in favor of Warin and life went on. Additionally, I believe Warin was responsible for building the original structure at Arundel in Sussex prior to being appointed Shire Reeve in Salop in AD1071. Warin probably constructed Hen Domen near Montgomery in Wales as well as the first wooden castle in Shrewsbury. In AD1086 at the time of the compilation of the Domesday Book, Warin was deceased and his brother, Reginald de Bailleul, was Sheriff. There is a definite connection with the Fitz Alan clan which was possibly established through the marriage of the daughter of Warin and a Fitz Alan while the families were still in France. The first family crest of record shows a red background with silver billets (building bricks) and a checked fess crossing the middle of alternating gold and azure (the Fitz Alan, I presume). It was borne by Reginald de Lea, High Sheriff of Shropshire in AD1201. Lega (now Lee), a member of Ellesmere, was given early by Warin or Reginald to the monks of Shrewsbury Abbey. It is from this place that the high probability exists that we obtained our surname. Hugh, son of Warin, had a son who styled himself Hugh de Lega. At the time of Domesday, Reginald de Bailleul (brother of Warin) held 70 manors in Shropshire alone...not to mention several in Sussex and Staffordshire. As of January of 2011, research regarding members of DNA Haplogroup I1 (our own Lea family) states the following: The most recent common ancestor (MRCA) of I1 lived from 4,000 to 6,000 years ago somewhere in the far northern part of Europe, perhaps Denmark, according to Ken Nordtvedt of Montana State University. His descendants are primarily found among the Germanic populations of northern Europe and the bordering Uralic and Celtic populations, although even in traditionally German demographics I1 is overshadowed by the more prevalent Haplogroup R. When SNPs (Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms) are unknown or untested, and when short tandem repeat (STR) results show eight allele repeats at DNA Y chromosome Segment (DYS) 455, haplogroup I1 can be predicted correctly with a very high rate of accuracy, 99.3 to 99.8 percent, according to Whit Athey and Vince Vizachero. This is almost exclusive to and ubiquitous in the I1 haplogroup, with very few having seven, nine, or another number. Furthermore, DYS 462 divides I1 geographically. Nordtvedt considers 12 allele repeats to be more likely Anglo-Saxon and on the southern fringes of the I1 map, while 13 signifies more northerly, Nordic origins. Nordtvedt has repeatedly argued that, at least for I1, SNP testing is generally not as beneficial as expanded STR results. Much has been hashed over and written about the famous General Robert E. Lee of the Confederate States of America. Through DNA, it has been positively established that we share a most common recent ancestor. However, it must be pointed out that the connection, although a possibility in Shropshire, has a much higher probability of happening prior to the surname being Lea or Lee since there is a difference of 2 alleles at the DYS388 marker. Our Lea family is at 16 and the ancestors of REL in Virginia are at 14. Since this marker reportedly only mutates every 2,000 years or so, one can only surmise that it would be highly unlikely we would be kin in Shropshire under the current line of thinking by DNA experts. In fact, the only members of the Lea/Leigh/Lee families in currently available DNA studies conducted thus far with whom we share a common ancestor within the past 800 years spell their name Lee. The fact remains that out of several hundred people submitting DNA samples to the various studies, there are only a handful of people with the Lea/Lee/Leigh surname who are our immediate kinfolk in the past 800 years or so. The remainder of the Lea/Leigh/Lee folks have absolutely nothing in common with our Lea family aside from the fact that we share a common surname. Our nearest common ancestor with most of the other people with the surname Lee/Leigh/Lea would be 10,000 years ago or more...at the very least, 9,150 years before the surname of Lea came into existence. Keep a watchful eye on DYS388=16 and DYS455=8 should you become involved in any DNA study as a Lea, Lee, or Leigh. It should be noted at this point there are many people with other surnames such as Pugh (ap Hugh..son of Hugh), Voyles (welsh for bald), or Hoskins with whom we share a most recent common ancestor than with other people having the surname Lea, Lee, or Leigh. Additionally, all of these folks have matching markers to include DYS388=16 and DYS455=8. Having conducted over 30 years of original research in Shropshire, Flintshire and surrounding counties, many of the surnames possessing similar DNA match-ups look very familiar to me, but I cannot necessarily say just exactly where we and they fit into the family tree at this time. However, I do belive that Pugh or ap Hugh is descended from Hugh, son of Warin, first High Sheriff of Shropshire in 1071CE. Also, since Volyes is the welsh word for bald, I am convinced that people with a matching DNA to ours are descended from Warin the Bald, Sheriff in 1071CE. To revert to Warin the Sheriff...prior to his venture into England and Wales, Warin resided in Normandy, France at a place called Bailleul near Bailleul-en- Gouffern. The moat for the house (now a horse pasture) still remains just to the left (as you face it) of the church. Reginald, his brother, lived not too far from there. Warin, along with Corbet the Norman, and Picot de Sai were the three advisors to Roger de Montgomery who lived at Exmes, just a few kilometers to the southeast of Bailleul-en-Gouffern. Additionally, there is a Knights Templar Commandery and a church just a couple of kilometers away at Villideu-les- Bailleul. In 1990 I visited there for the first time. The bells in the church tower (which was locked, unoccupied, and had no electricity) started clanging wildly and randomly for several minutes....so much so that the elderly french gentleman who lived in the large stately home next door came out to see what was going on. He had lived there for 40 years and had never heard the bells ring. For the record, Bailleul-en-Gouffern was just two or three hours by horseback to the castle at Falaise, the home of the Norman Ducs. On another trip to England and Wales in 2001 with my two sons, Justin and Braxton, Braxton discoverd a stone in the moat surrouning the ancient site of Hen Domen. It was marked with an ogham character for the Rowan tree which is symbolic as to protect the cattle from harm. In regards to DNA and migration patterns, it has been established that the Lea family of northern Shropshire and the detached part of Flintshire, Wales (or Maelor) were part of the Norman group who joined with William the Bastard in his conquering of England at the Battle of Hastings in AD1066. Some report, because of our DNA, we are descended from the Tribe of Dan. We are members of Haplogroup I1 which originated in northern France about 25,000 years ago and then spread over into the Scandinavian countries, most specifically in our case, Norway or Denmark, a part of Haplogroup I1a, the Vikings. Haplogroup I1 is derived from Haplogroup F which originated approximately 45,000 years ago in Africa. Haplogroup I1 of which we are a part came forth out of the second migration out of Africa and is the parent of most non-African Y-chromosomes. Haplogroup F goes even further back into and slightly further south in Africa to approximately 65,000 years to one male referred to as Y- chromosome Adam. Although he was not the only male living at the time, he is only one to have a lineage on the earth today. At this juncture, I would like to highly recommend that you participate in a DNA study. If you so choose, you may remain totally anonymous, only referring to you as a member number only. Many companies can serve you in this capacity, but from what I know, I would choose Family Tree DNA out of Houston, Texas. Their website is at: http://www.familytreedna.com/Default.a spx?c=1 Additionally, there is a specific study for Lee/Lea/Leigh. My number within the Lee/Lea/Leigh study at FTDNA is 98588. Follow the trail of the serpent et illegitimi non carborundum. Once again, thank you for visiting and yall come back now. Please sign the Guest Book. P.S. For a little light poetry reading, please visit http://www.thegreatillusion.com/ Cheers