Whitneys of Whitney

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Whitney Family Groups > Medieval Whitney Families > Whitneys of Whitney



The Whitney family originated with a man named Turstin who came to England with William the Conqueror in 1066 and who probably fought in the Battle of Hastings. He was called 'Turstin Flandrensis' (Turstin of Flanders, Turstin the Fleming) probably because he came from the area known as Flanders. At some point he was given land near Wigmore Castle and was thereafter known as 'Turstin de Wigemore'. Turstin and his wife Agnes had a son Eustace, and Eustace inherited the manor of Pencombe from his mother. Note that the nearby region called Whitney was still at this time ungranted wild land. Sometime in the several unknown generations between Eustace of Pencombe and his descendant Robert de Whitney, probably about 1190, a man was granted the region called Whitney and a castle was built. The family then became known as 'de Whitney' (of Whitney), and the Whitney surname was born.[1]

Primary Male Lineage

Note: The generations of this family prior to James Whitney are currently being analyzed. For more information, see The Ancestry of James Whitney of Whitney.


Related Branches

Primary Holdings

  • Early holdings of the ancestors of the Whitneys can be found in the Domesday Book.
  • Wigmore - Turstin held land at Wigmore, but not the castle.
  • Lingen - Turstin held the Manor at Lingen.
  • Cowarne & Pencomb - Agnes, wife of Turstinus Flandrensis was listed as holding "Cuure" (Cowarne) in the Domesday Book in 1086. Pencombe was most likely included.
  • Whitney, presumably granted to the family sometime perhaps about 1190.
  • Clifford
  • Granted to Robert Whitney in 1404.
  • Inherited by Eustace Whitney, of Gorsington, Esq., and his heirs from his wife -----, the daughter and heir of William Vaughan, the tyrant of Clifford.


See: 'Blanche Parry Queen Elizabeth I's Confidante' by Ruth E. Richardson, published Logaston Press 2007.

Also: wwww.blancheparry.com [3] ... and Wikipedia on (1) Blanche Parry and (2) Blanche Herbert Lady Troy.

Also: calendar (superb pictures + texts): 'Blanche Parry & Queen Elizabeth I', sold to benefit the family Church.


1.^  Melville, Henry, A.M., LL.B., The Ancestry of John Whitney: Who, with His Wife Elinor, and Sons John, Richard, Nathaniel, Thomas, and Jonathan, Emigrated from London, England, in the Year 1635, and Settled in Watertown, Massachusetts; the First of the Name in America, and the One from Whom a Great Majority of the Whitneys Now Living in the United States Are Descended (New York, NY: The De Vinne Press, 1896), pp. 13-30.

2.^  "There is a pedigree of the early Lords of Whitney, tracing their descent for five or six generations through a line of Welshmen with unpronounceable names, one of whom, Sir Piedge Exrog, was a 'Knight of ye Round Table. To King Arthyrs time he lived att his Castle at Coedmore in Cardiganshire.' This is to be found in a manuscript book of pedigrees called The Golden Grove, belonging to the Earl of Cawdor and now (1875) in the custody of the Public Record office, Chancery Lane. It was compiled, about 1703, by Owen Thomas, Deputy Assistant to Garter King-at-Arms, from papers and correspondence furnished by living representatives. This pedigree is obviously mythical for many generations." Henry Austin Whitney, The First Known Use of Whitney as a Surname: Its Probable Signification, and Other Data (Boston, MA: Henry Austin Whitney, 1875), p. viii. The first 22 generations of that pedigree have been incorporated by Stephen Whitney Phoenix into the purported ancestry of Henry1 Whitney. See The Whitney Family of Connecticut, and its affiliations; being an attempt to trace the descendants, as well in the female as the male lines, of Henry Whitney, from 1649 to 1878; to which is prefixed some account of the Whitneys of England, p. xxiii. Since some of the generations on that chart are mythical, and others were fabricated, just which parts of that pedigree have historical basis is arguable.

    An alternative pedigree may be found in the visitations of Herefordshire taken in 1569 and 1586. See Melville, op. cit., pp. 264, 268, 270. Once again, which parts of that pedigree have historical basis is arguable.

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