[from Proc IoMNH&ASoc vol2 #1 1913]


Rev. J. DAVIDSON, President, in the Chair.

There were 28 members present and three visitors. The minutes of the previous meeting having been confirmed, Mr. C. W. Leigh, Port St. Mary, was elected a member of the Society.

Five additions to the Library were announced.

Lord Raglan, by special request, delivered, in fuller form, the address on Genealogy submitted by him to the meeting in December, 1911; this was illustrated by special books prepared by him showing the mode of entries, in which his' own and Lady Raglan's pedigrees were fully and clearly set forth. The bearing of genealogy on history was pointed out, and many curious and unexpected details on family and domestic matters were revealed. Surnames came into use after the Norman Conquest, but it was late in the 16th century before they became universal in Great Britain. A great deal of ancient genealogy was artificial and unreal, but modern genealogists invariably said ' Show me the books and give chapter and verse.' It was quite exceptional for the same family to hold landed property for a period of 400 years, for there was always the chance of a fool or a spendthrift inheriting. In the Isle of Man the study of genealogy was particularly easy, because our Manorial Rolls, dating from 1511, were perfect, so that families that had inherited lands could correctly trace their pedigrees for over 400 years.

Altogether, the subject was treated in a most interesting manner, and the President proposed a vote of thanks to his Excellency, and said that though it was only a sketch, to make a sketch lecture you must be well acquainted with your subject; most people could make a lecture if they refėrred to authorities for every statement. The books of pedigrees, which were his Excellency's own work, were highly interesting, and no man could give a better history of pedigrees than he could do,.

Canon Quine, seconding the motion, said he had read Professor Freeman and Mr. Round, who had thrown a good deal of light on these aspects of history. He admired and enjoyed his Excellency's address very much, and it had brought to mind several historical instances which fell into accord with the account which had been given. Sir John Stanley rose into eminence after his marriage with a great Lancashire heiress. That family lasted about two centuries, and, at the end of Elizabeth's reign; the was a break in the succession, and our Island was in the hands of the Queen herself, until a declaration was made and another branch ran for 100 years, when there was another break, and the Island fell to the Athols, the Scottish relatives of the Derby family, who claimed through the grandmother of the then Duke of Athol.

The Rev. E. H. Kempson, supporting the vote of thanks, suggested that the lecture might strike a line of work for some members of their Society to take up in the Isle of Man. There were many Manx families who had lived on the same spot for centuries; and he fancied there were materials here for a great deal of interesting work in connection with the genealogy of Manx families. One feature which struck one was the close connection between families in the Isle of Man. When he met persons of the same name here he generally found they were no relations at all, while persons of different name were often connected. He was sure there was a great deal of interesting work to be done in connection with Manx: families.

The vote was carried with applause.

His Excellency returned thanks for the vote, which, he said,. was more than his effort deserved. There were some ten to twelve thousand names in the books which he had shown, and, by studying them, one might arrive at an idea of the times the people lived in. It was possible to tell what people had their drains in order in the 15th and 16th century. The men whose drains were out of order usually had two or three wives. Other families continued from father to son and never had more than one wife, from which he inferred that sanitation was perfect in that particular castle. There was a remarkable effect of marrying heiresses to be noticed. The heiress, naturally, was an only child, or, at least, one of a very small family, and to that, he believed, was due the fact that in the principal families most of the children died young,and the families, as a whole, were short-lived.

Backindex next  

Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received MNB Editor
HTML Transcription © F.Coakley , 2008