UNRAVELING THE ROOTS OF ANCIENT ELDRED FAMILY

There are many ELDRED family genealogy postings and sites scattered across the internet.  And among them, consistent tracings of our family roots back only (for the most part) to one single point:  John Eldred of Corby England, born probably before 1419.

This article isn’t to answer all of those unanswered questions about the further lineage of this ancient family.  But for some of you beginning ELDRED family researchers, just a few thoughts that might perhaps give you some direction as you delve into our ancient family’s roots.  So, ELDRED researchers, please read on…

There is, to the best of my understanding PROBABLY only one ELDRED family.  There are numerous original ELDRED immigrants to the U.S.A.  Most notably the three ELDRED immigrants to Massachusetts in 1630:  Samuel, William and Robert ELDRED.  SOME have stated that they were brothers, but the evidence hasn’t borne that out.  The best information I have is that possibly two were brothers and the third was a cousin (or possibly they were all cousins).  What is known is that they all arrived together on the the ROSE around 1630.  I have done little research on the other two of these branches, as my ancestry is from SAMUEL ELDRED and ELIZABETH MILLER. 

Perhaps at a later date I will post genealogical details on this page.  But for the present, the purpose of this article is a narrative about some of our more ancient ELDRED connections in ENGLAND and (perhaps) other places. 

I have completed much of my ELDRED research in the U.S. and have much of my ELDRED family traced back to England.  My current fascination is finding our full and complete ancient ancestral roots.

As late as the 19th century, there were Eldreds involved in international shipping in England.  And during the move of the Pilgrims to Masachusetts in 1620, the ELDRED family was one of the underwriters.  John “The Traveller ELDRED was a rich merchant with connections to the crown in the 1500s and is said to have been in some measure responsible for bringing Nutmeg from exotic areas around Indonesia back to the west.  I hope to print more details as I find them again.

His lavish estate – GREAT SAXHAM HALL was jokingly called “Nutmeg Hall” by some due to this connection.  He was also said to have built GREAT SAXHAM HALL at its locationdue to his belief that it was on the site where his ancient direct ancestor “Alfred The Great” – the early Saxon King of England.

This is where the evidence becomes quite diluted and very difficult.  There is the belief and some evidence that the one ELDRED family directly descends from the original Anglo-Saxon rulers of ancient England.  There were even a few kings with either the name ELDRED, ETHELDRED or similar.  The great similarity of the name, John The Traveller ELDRED’s belief from half a millennium ago, and soft information make it somewhat likely that the ancient honorable ELDRED family is a royal line.

I am not a history expert, so excuse my vague details.   But it appears through historical record that it was when William the Conqueror took power and Alfred The Great’s lineage left royal power, that that is when the trail went cold.  Additionally, even through the middle ages, there were ELDREDs at the royal court – indicating perhaps some connection to royalty.

There is also a poem written by Hannah More in the 1700’s entitled: “:SIR ELDRED OF THE BOWER, A LEGENDARY TALE.”  In this lengthy literary work, Ms. More talks of a gentile Sir Eldred who owned a castle on tht River Tay (in Scotland), with a daughter Birtha (how it is spelled in the poem).  The text appears as though this may be based on a real person.  I would love some good information on this as well.  Was there an ancient Sir Eldred from Scotland who may have been our ancestor.

Just a few thoughts to perhaps stir others to do some of their own research which maytbe they could offer to share here.

So this article doesn’t claim to answer these mysteries; just to highlight them and perhaps spur other researchers on to find what I have thus far not been able to learn….