Margaret: A Knight’s Daughter


Margaret’s father was Anthony, a great and famous knight, and her mother was a Welsh noblewoman named Gwenillian Stradling. Her parents were not married, but everyone knew Margaret was Anthony’s daughter because:

  • when she got married, her father gave her money for her dowry,
  • she named one of her sons “Anthony,” and
  • when she died, her husband built a chapel over her tomb, with his-and-her family crests intertwined: Woodville and Poyntz. (One of the symbols was carved upside-down to show that Margaret had been born out-of-wedlock.)

Around 1480, Margaret married Robert Poyntz. They lived in a manor house called Acton Court (in Iron Acton, Gloucestershire, England) which you can see in the picture. It still exists, and there’s a beautiful webpage about it: The History of Acton Court.

After Margaret’s father was killed in 1483, his enemy King Richard III, took the throne. Richard’s reign didn’t last very long, and a new king (Henry VII) was soon crowned. Henry VII married Margaret’s cousin, Elizabeth of York.

Being so close to the royal family, Margaret and her husband had plenty of money and prestige. They had eight children, and we’re descended from their youngest son, John.

Margaret’s father was Anthony Woodville (1442-1483).


Shield showing arms of Poynts impaling Woodville on the ceiling of Gaunt’s Chapel in Bristol, from Wikimedia Commons.


John: In the Court of Henry VIII


John was the youngest son of Robert Poyntz and Margaret Woodville. He had four elder sisters and three elder brothers.

When John grew up, he served at the court of King Henry VIII and Queen Catherine of Aragon. Later he served as a Member of Parliament. There’s a Wikipedia article about him.

John was friends with the writer Thomas Wyatt, who wrote a satirical poem about him, and a famous artist named Hans Holbein drew a portrait of him. Here it is:

-Photo of John POYNTZ_by_Hans_Holbein_the_Younger

Portrait of John Poyntz by Hans Holbein the Younger

John’s eldest son Henry had some sort of disability, so when John made his will he made sure there would be extra money to care for him.

After John’s first wife died, he married a woman named Margaret Saunders, with whom he had three sons and three daughters.

John died in 1544 when his children were still young. We’re descended from the youngest child, William, who was just a baby when his father passed away.

John’s mother was Margaret Woodville (c1444-1519).

William: Ancestor of Lady Di


His father died in 1544 when William was just a little boy, but when William grew up, he followed in his father’s footsteps and became a Member of Parliament.

When William was about 25 years old, he married Elizabeth Newdigate. They lived in a house called Woodhatch, in Reigate, Surrey, England.

Next door lived one of William’s sisters (Alice) who was married to one of Elizabeth’s cousins (John Skynner). The two couples were close friends as well as relations.

Alice and John didn’t have children of their own, but they were godparents to some of William & Elizabeth’s children, and left their house and property to them when they died.

William and Elizabeth had seven daughters and one son. Lady Diana Spencer and her sons (Prince William and Prince Harry) are descended from the son, John. We’re descended from the third daughter, Ann.

William’s father was John Poyntz (c1485-1544).

Ann: Scolds her Son


My ancestor Ann Poyntz married Francis More in 1588, and they lived in Wivelsfield, Sussex, England. Their house was called More House, and it’s still standing.

Photo of More House from Tricia King 2014-11-19c

Photo of More House kindly provided by Tricia King

Ann and Francis had six sons and two daughters. We’re descended from their eldest son Thomas, who was selfish and proud.

When Ann’s husband made his will in 1617, he put Thomas in charge of all the money, with instructions to share it with his brothers and sisters. Thomas didn’t obey. He kept it all for himself.

Thirty years later, when Ann was dying, she begged Thomas to pay the amount owing “without spite or controversy.” She especially wanted her son Walter to receive some money, since he’d been taking care of her for eight years “because of her great age and other infirmities.”

In the end, Ann didn’t really trust Thomas to carry out her wishes, so she “set aside rank and tradition” and put Walter in charge of her will instead.

To Thomas she left just a small amount of money, and to Thomas’s wife she left her best petticoat!

Ann’s father was William Poyntz (c1544-1601).

Thomas: Smoking in Church


In 1617, when Thomas More was about 25 years old, his father died.

Thomas was put in charge of the will, but he didn’t carry out his father’s wishes. He never gave his brothers and sisters the money that had been left to them.

Thomas married Margaret Ellyott and they lived at More House in Wivelsfield, Sussex, England. They had 14 children. We’re descended from one of the middle sons, Walter.

When Thomas was about 43 yrs old he was admonished for smoking in church–“sitting in a window of the chancel did rashly and unadvisedly take tobacco there.” He had to confess his fault to the minister after prayers on Sunday.

About nine years later, the English Civil War broke out. Thomas served as a Captain in the Royalist Army, fighting against Cromwell. Thomas’s side “lost,” in the sense that kings and queens would no longer be allowed to make laws without consent of parliament.

Thomas died in February 1664. There’s a stone tablet to his memory in the little church at Wivelsfield.

Thomas’s mother was Ann Poyntz (1573-1651).


Walter: More House and Tibbles


Walter was born in 1633 at More House in Wivelsfield, Sussex, England. Like his father and grandfather, he was a gentleman.

When he was about 32 years old he married Elizabeth Attree. She was 11 years younger than Walter, and her family owned a nearby estate called Theobalds (sometimes pronounced “Tibbles”).

Theobalds House copy

Theobalds House from Sussex Archaeological Collection, Vol. 35

Walter and Elizabeth had five daughters and two sons. We’re descended from the third child, Ann More.

Walter died in 1706, and Elizabeth outlived him by twenty years.

Walter’s father was Thomas More (1592-1664).


Anne: Twice Married


Anne was born in October 1670 in Wivelsfield. She came from a well-to-do family. She had two older sisters and four younger brothers and sisters.

When she was about 22 years old, she married a man called John Chatfield, who was twice her age. They got married in the same village church where Anne had been baptised, and where her family had been attending services for generations.

Anne and John had two boys and two girls. We’re descended from the third child, Jane.

When Anne was 44 her husband died. She lived as a widow for about four years, and then remarried. Her second husband was named John Plumer.

We don’t yet know the exact date of Anne’s death, but we know she was alive in 1723 because she inherited £50 from her rich aunt, Frances More. Frances also left jewelry, silver plates and bowls, and rings to various family members–plus the right to decide who could sit in her pew at the local church!

Anne’s father was Walter More (1633-1706).