Matrilineal Royal Genealogy
A study of which matrilineal family each and every English and UK monarch belonged to.
Until very recently monarchy has always been governed by the rule that sons had a right to inherit the throne ahead of their sister(s), even when they were younger than their sister(s). Since thrones normally therefore passed from father to son, royal genealogies are by default patrilineal, generally showing everybody descended through the male line of that family, but only showing female line descendants where they are closely related to the monarch (e.g. Princess Anne and her daughter Zara and granddaughter Mia), or else when the succession passed to and through a female, as in the cases of Queen Victoria and our own Queen. Genetically speaking, however, everyone belongs not just to a paternal family (in which theoretically every male possesses the same Y-chromosome (not allowing for fairly regular mutation and the relatively high incidence of patrilineal doubt caused by inifidelities)) but also to a maternal family. In fact the female line, whilst undoubtably less well documented in most cases, is actually rather more significant genetically, as mitcochrondrial DNA is passed down, almost always unchanged, from any mother to all her children, and mitochondrial DNA is known to mutate between mother and child far less often than Y-chromosomes mutate between father and son, thus creating much larger mitochondrially identical families over many more generations.
During 2013 a skeleton was exhumed and DNA tested to determine whether or not it was Richard III, and a couple of anonymous living matrilineal relatives of Richard III's were tested for comparison, and confirmed to be a 'match' with the skeleton (Though DNA molecules being compared are normally measured by how similar they are (or aren't), not normally just by 'match' or 'no match', so I remain sceptical about the identification of Richard III). All the discussion of Richard III's matrilineal genealogy and DNA got me wondering how many different matrilineal families might have sat on the English and UK thrones over the past centuries, although, due to the tendency of royal princes and princesses to marry only other royals, I expect it to be a fairly low number compared to the total number of monarchs.
What I intend to do then is to publish on here some of the lines I have already traced, and also, where applicable, link to other lines already published elsewhere on the net (notably four matrilines traced by Paul Therroff, published on his excellent Online Gotha website and linked here with his generous permission). I aim to trace the matirlineal lines of all English and UK monarchs from at least the times of Edward III forwards, and, if possible, all monarchs back to William The Conqueror, and then list them by their matriline, stating for each matriline the name and any known dates for the earliest definite ancestress, and the names of all monarchs who are matrilineally descended from her.
Summary Of Matriline By Monarch
(See the next section below for links to the actual matrilines)
William The Conqueror - Matriline 25 (Doda de Falaise)
William II - Matriline 20 (Gerberger of Vienne)
Henry I - Matriline 20 (Gerberger of Vienne)
Stephen - Matriline 24 (Godehilde de Maine)
Henry II - Matriline 2 (Agatha/St Margaret)
Richard I - Matriline 19 (Eleanor de Rochefocauld)
John - Matriline 19 (Eleanor de Rochefocauld)
Henry III - Matriline 18 (Elizabeth de Joinville, Dm de Courtenay )
Edward I - Matriline 8 (Beatrix, Countess of Geneva)
Edward II - Matriline 17 (Etienette or Stephanie of Marseilles)
Edward III - Matriline 16 (Irene Angela of Byzantium)
Richard II - Matriline 21 (Clémence de Mayenne, Dame d'Angon)
Henry IV - Matriline 22 (Joan de Latimer)
Henry V - Matriline 5 (Cacht ni Morda)
Henry VI - Matriline 23 (Tommasina Morosini)
Edward IV - Matriline 1 (Mrs Roet)
Edward V - Matriline 12 (Imperatrice d’Arce)
Richard III - Matriline 1 (Mrs Roet)
Henry VII - Matriline 15 (Matilda de Valery)
Henry VIII - Matriline 12 (Imperatrice d’Arce)
Edward VI - Matriline 13 (Ankaret de Botiller)
Mary I - Matriline 14 (Leonor de Alvim)
Elizabeth I - Matriline 13 (Ankaret de Botiller)
James VI & I - Matriline 8 (Beatrix, Countess of Geneva)
Charles I - Matriline 3 (Margareta von Werdenberg)
Charles II - Matriline 6 (Ines de Navarra)
James II - Matriline 6 (Ines de Navarra)
Mary II - Matriline 11 (Anne Blount)
William III - Matriline 6 (Ines de Navarra)
Anne - Matriline 11 (Anne Blount)
George I - Matriline 3 (Margareta von Werdenberg)
George II - Matriline 10 (Helene de Boutet)
George III - Matriline 3 (Margareta von Werdenberg)
George IV - Matriline 9 (Euphrosyne Dukaina Kamaterina)
William IV - Matriline 9 (Euphrosyne Dukaina Kamaterina)
Victoria - Matriline 6 (Ines de Navarra)
Edward VII - Matriline 6 (Ines de Navarra)
George V - Matriline 3 (Margareta von Werdenberg)
Edward VIII - Matriline 7 (Adelheid von Lichtenberg)
George VI - Matriline 7 (Adelheid von Lichtenberg)
Elizabeth II - Matriline 4 (Frances Webb)
Matriline 1 - Mrs Roet (mother of Katherine Roet, herself mistress and third wife of John of Gaunt) - Monarchs in this matriline are Edward IV and Richard III.
Matriline 2 - Agatha, wife of Edward Atheling (himself son of Edmund II Ironside) and mother of St. Margaret - Monarchs in this matriline are Henry II and Scottish Kings Edmund, Edgar, Alexander I and David I. This matriline also includes the wives of Edward Atheling, Henry I, King Stephen and Henry VI, though for various reasons none of those four royal patriarchs managed to pass the crown to their own children, this matriline was therefore, to varying degrees, close to producing an additional English monarch on four separate occasions.
Matriline 3 - Margareta von Werdenberg (c1300s) - Monarchs in this line are Charles I, George I, George III and George V, as well as many European monarchs.
Matriline 4 - Frances Webb (b.ca.1776) - This is the matriline of Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother and of Elizabeth II.
Matriline 5 - Cacht ni Morda - This matriline includes Henry V, as well as various members of the Clarence and Mortimer families through whom the Yorkist claim to the throne was descended.
Matriline 6 - Ines de Navarra - Monarchs in this matriline are Charles II, James II, William III, Queen Victoria, and Edward VII. This particular matrinline is of special interest due to the matrilineally inherited disease Haemophilia being present in some parts of the line from Queen Victoria downwards, leading to the disease being inherited by members of the the royal families of Spain and Russia, with terrible consequences. This matriline was traced and published by Paul Theroff and is republished on my website with his very generous permission.
or Paul's original here
Matriline 7 - Adelheid (von Lichtenberg by marriage) - Monarchs in this matriline are Edward VIII, and George VI. This matriline was traced and published by Paul Theroff and is republished on my website with his very generous permission.
or Paul's original here
Matriline 8 - Beatrix (Countess of Geneva by marriage) - Monarchs in this matriline are Edward I and James VI & I. This Matriline was traced and published by Paul Theroff and is republished on my website with his very generous permission.
or Paul's original here
Matriline 9 - Euphrosyne Dukaina Kamaterina - Monarchs in this matriline are George IV and William IV, as well as Frederick, Prince of Wales, son of George II. I hope to trace and publish this matriline at some stage.
Matriline 10 - Helene de Boutet - This matriline includes George II. Interestingly this matriline includes only one remaining living female, Sophie-Alexandra of Isenburg-Budingen, who married Prince Welf-Heinrich of Hannover. Sophie-Alexandra's two surviving brothers are also the only surviving males of this matriline.
Matriline 11 - Anne Blount - Monarchs in this matriline are Mary II and Anne.
Matriline 12 - Imperatrice d’Arce - Monarchs in this matriline are Edward V and Henry VIII. I hope to trace and publish this matriline at some stage.
Matriline 13 - Ankaret de Botiller - Monarchs in this matriline are Edward VI, and Elizabeth I. I hope to trace and publish this matriline at some stage.
Matriline 14 - Leonor de Alvim - This matriline includes Mary I. I hope to trace and publish this matriline at some stage.
Matriline 15 - Matilda (de Valery by marriage) - This matriline includes Henry VII. I hope to trace and publish this matriline at some stage.
Page Last Updated - 13/02/2014