Foundations Volume 13

Online edition, published May 2021

Château de Champvent cover online

Printable list of contents

Ebal III and Ebal IV de Grandson

by David Williams[1]


The notion of the existence of an Ebal IV de Grandson has proved so pervasive that it has been accepted as fact by most historians and genealogists during the past 150 years. It derives from the researches of the 19th-century Swiss historian Louis de Charrière, who postulated that Ebal III de Grandson could not have lived much beyond 1177; and that the Ebal de Grandson who appears in documents subsequent to that date must therefore be Ebal III's sole son and heir, Ebal IV. Charrière's conclusions were rejected by the Swiss historian and genealogist Olivier Dessemontet in the mid-20th century, who argued that there is no certain evidence for the existence of an Ebal IV, and that Charrière's particular interpretation of a laudatio parentum clause in a 12th century text was unsound. Since then contemporary scholarship has remained silent on the matter, seemingly accepting Charrière's opinion without reservation or further investigation. This paper sets out the results of a detailed examination of the relevant sources and the secondary literature, in which all the evidence is reviewed and critically assessed. An analysis of charter evidence permits a new familial chronology to be developed, which enables a more realistic dating of the lifespans of Ebal III and his immediate forebears and descendants than hitherto. This, in turn, calls into question previous presumptions and preconceived notions about relationships within the Grandson dynasty of the 12th and 13th centuries. Evidence is presented as to the relevance, application, and effect of the laudatio parentum in contemporary documents; demonstrating that the particular interpretation of the textual evidence offered by Charrière in support of his hypothesis is questionable and open to serious challenge. However, no evidence has been found which proves the parentage or ancestry of an Ebal IV de Grandson, and it seems highly likely that Ebal III and Ebal IV are one and the same person. Charrière's interpolation of an Ebal IV in the Grandson genealogy should therefore be regarded as unsafe. A certain lord of Grandson of the same period is the subject of a popular legend making him a near centenarian. Previously identified as Ebal IV de Grandson, an analysis of the original story shows that this legendary figure was very probably the famous chevalier Othon I de Grandson.

Foundations (2021) 13: 2–43                                  © Copyright FMG and the author

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Origins of the Anglo-Norman family of William and Hamo de Sancto Claro

by Robert W Goff [1]


Evidence is presented that the antecessor of the Anglo-Norman family of William and Hamo de Sancto Claro was Hubert de Sancto Claro, Domesday Book tenant of Robert of Mortain in Dorset, Somerset and Sussex. Evidence is also presented indicating Hubert’s father was Rannulf, vicecomes of William of Mortain in Sussex, Domesday Book tenant of Robert of Mortain, and lord at Saint-Clair-sur-Elle. Relationships with the de Horsteds and the de Villers are discussed.

Foundations (2021) 13: 44–55                                © Copyright FMG and the author

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Corrigendum: Sharp Practice

by Rosie Bevan[1]

Foundations (2021) 13: 55                                      © Copyright FMG and the author

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The Declaration of Arbroath Family History Project: context, results and genetic genealogy methodologies

by Graham S Holton[1] and Alasdair F Macdonald [2]


The following article refers to some challenges in the study of medieval genealogy in providing a context for the work of the Declaration of Arbroath Family History Project, which examined the lives, families and heraldry of the 48 ‘signatories’ of the Declaration of 1320. This constituted the documentary strand of the Project, which was designed both to provide a learning experience for postgraduate students and to create a major resource of genealogical and heraldic information. Based on this information the research results for five lesser known signatories and their families are included here.

The genetic genealogy strand of the Project aimed to develop the potential of DNA testing as a means of discovering unknown early descents.  The value of this approach was illustrated through reaching significant conclusions on the identification of distinct genetic markers for descents from historical individuals of the medieval period. In this article we look at some of the results of this process, describe methodologies used and look forward to planned future areas of research.

Foundations (2021) 13: 56-78                                © Copyright FMG and the authors

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The Kin-Based Succession of the de Moravia Earls of Sutherland

by James B Sutherland [1]


This article deals with the origins of the earls of Sutherland as well as adding to previous articles in Foundations (2019 & 2020) on the De Moravia family, indicating royal connections and identifying members of Sutherland families and their genealogies not previously recorded in detail.

Foundations (2021) 13: 80-92                                 © Copyright FMG and the author

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Sir Adam de Kilconquhar, Earl of Carrick

by Alex Maxwell Findlater [1]


The arms of three cinquefoil, gold on black, baffled Gerald Brault in Rolls of Arms of Edward I, known as “Aspilogia III”, where he listed them improbably under Bruce.  These arms were those of Sir Adam de Kilconquhar, recorded in a seal and two armorial rolls.  The genealogy of the Kilconquhar family is clear up to 1236, but there is crucially no direct evidence of the parentage of Sir Adam.  The problems which have to be addressed are three: that Sir Adam as a scion of the Fife family should have had Fife-derived arms; he was Earl of Carrick, but his succession did not include the earldom; and finally his arms are Sable three cinquefoils Or as Earl of Carrick, which are confirmed by his seal.

Foundations (2021) 13: 93–104                            © Copyright FMG and the author

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Power and Politics of King John's Daughter

by Danna R Messer

Published 2020 by Pen & Sword Books, Barnsley, S Yorkshire, UK;
hardback, 272 pages, ISBN: 9781526729293

Reviewed for FMG by Paul M Remfry [1]

Foundations (2021) 13: 105-106     

© Copyright FMG and the reviewer



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