The first Legh of Adlington, Robert de Legh, was a descendant of Gilbert de Venables, who had come to Britain with William the Conqueror. He was a Riding-Forester of the Forest of Macclesfield, Bailiff of the Hundred of Macclesfield, â€œLieutenantâ€ to Sir Thomas de Ferrers, Justice of Chester and for many years â€œLieutenant of the Princeâ€™s Bachelorâ€. He also sat as Justice in Eyre.
Thank you for the Legh family history. As all these â€œToffsâ€ hung around in each others courts, I suspected I would have a connection with them. I have now had time to match the info you sent me to my family tree and this is what I found.
This is a LONG reply â€“ but I hope anyone interested in genealogy will find this of interest. It also demonstrates how nepotism ruled supreme in early English politics and the habit of families marrying into the same families evolved over time. I say we are all relatedâ€¦just a case of proving it.
Sir Piers Legh of Lyme married Margaret Danyers of Bradley Hall. She is my Great x 20th Grandmother and lived from 1335 to 1428. Her father was Sir Thomas Danyers of Bradley Hall and as the maths tend to go, he is my Great x 21st Grandfather who lived back in 1310. So nice to know of the Bradley Hall connection as this is news to me. However Margaret Danyers was married twice before she hooked Sir Piers Legh.
Her 1st husband being Sir John Radcliffe and her 2nd husband was Sir John Savage.
My ancestry descends from Margaret Danyes 2nd of her 3 marriages to Sir John Savage who was my Great x 20th Grandfather. I donâ€™t think I am connected to Piers Legh other than my Grannies marriage to himâ€¦..but who the heck really knows.
She had a few children with Piers Legh I didnâ€™t know about, so that was interesting. She also lived to a ripe old age of 93- even after all those husbands.
Now this is where it gets really complicated and why working out the DNA of these gentry of yore is a darn nightmare as they all inter-married so much.
Sir Piers Legh and Margaret Danyer had a son called Sir Peter Legh, who died back in Paris in 1422. However before he died he marred Joanna de Haydock and they had a child called Sir Peter Legh (1415 to 1478). As Joanna outlived her 1st husband Sir Peter (she died 1439) to pass the time she married my 2nd cousin 22 times removed (I have software that works this all out) â€“ Richard Molyneux. She had a daughter from this marriage â€“ a wee girl called Margaret De Molyneux.
Now get this â€“ her son from her 1st marriage Sir Peter Legh married her daughter from her 2nd marriage â€“ Margaret de Molyneux. Yes- they were half brother and sister. Yuk!
Richard Molyneuxâ€™s dad was William Molyneux and he was also a Great x 21st Grandfather, although my ancestory did not come down from his sonâ€™s Richards line (thankfully). However because I am connected to Margaret by both blood and marriage she is my 3rd cousin 21 times removed as well as being my 1st cousin 20 removed in Law. You can understand all this is impossible to figure out without wizzy software.
Anyway â€“ the Â½ brother and sister had a child called Peter Legh who died 10 years before his father in 1468. Prior to this however, Peter and his wife Mabel Croft had a son â€“ Sir Piers Legh b1455 - a fine brass to his memory can be found at Winwick church I understand. At this point â€“ my family re-enters the Legh family tree yet again. Sir Piers married Ellen daughter of Sir John Savage who is my 17th Great Grandfather and Catherine Stanley my 17th Great Grandma.
One of Sir Piers children (Gowther Legh) founded the Grammar school in Winwick.
His other son Piers or Peter Legh -1479- 1541 -(my 7th cousin 17 times removed) married Jane daughter of Sir Thomas Gerard (my 16th great grand uncle in law).
I did suspect that my connection to the Legh family probably faded away at that point, until I found another name I recognised. The Grandson of Peter or Piers Legh, wasâ€¦surprise surprise called â€“ Sir Peter Legh who died about 1570. He was married to Katherine de Venables who was the daughter of Sir Thomas Venables Baron of Kinderton. As my Great x 25th Granddad was Baron Hugh De Venables â€“ there was obviously a connection. I am not sure what connection as I donâ€™t have Sir Thomas V in my family tree. However the last name I have in my family is that of William De Venables 1252 from Kinderton (23rd G Grandfather) who was the father of none other than â€“ Thomas Daniers, who was the great grandfather ofâ€¦.none other than the lady we started with â€“ Margaret Daniers.
I am not going to go into any more detail or I will get a headache, other than to say that Margaret Daniers is a great x blah blah Grandmother to both Peter Legh and Katherine Venables â€“ so they were cousins- be it distant.
Anyway â€“ it just goes on and onâ€¦.more intermarrying and a gene pool too close for comfort. The cousins kids carried on the tradition. Sir Peter Legh of Lyme 1563 â€“ 1635 married Margaret daughter of Sir Gilbert Gerard. You may recall that Peter Leghâ€™s Grandmother Margaret was daughter of Sir Thomas Gerard. I havenâ€™t plotted the relationship between the newly weds â€“ but Iâ€™m guessing they shared the same Great Grandfather- so yet more cousins marrying more cousins. Whatever, his 2nd wife Dorothy came from one of my lot â€“ Sir Richard Egerton â€“ who was a great Granddad of mine from long long ago. So again- we married into the Leghs.
We vaguely touched on their line again in the early 1600â€™s with a marriage into my De Calveley family â€“ but I canâ€™t prove a connection. From around 400 years ago, my association with the Leghâ€™s and cousinsâ€¦seem to have come to an end.
Are you related to the Legh family?
Here are the other surnames (not mentioned above) who married into them â€“