Origin of the name Gregson (one account)

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Origin of the name Gregson (one account)

Post  drfalken on Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:14 pm

We can trace the ancestry of Henry Knight Gregson back to John Gregson of Murton (d. 1607). The source for this Gregson pedigree is “The History and Antiquities of North Durham...” published by James Raine in 1852. The only hint regarding the ancestry of John Gregson is the statement that he came from Barton in Lincolnshire. As far as I know we have no genealogical resources to definitively connect the Gregsons of Lowlynn beyond John Gregson of Murton.  However, there is some evidence to connect the Gregsons to the de Normanton  family who came to England at the time of Norman conquest in 1066.  Here is one story of the origin of the name Gregson.

Early Gregson History

Let's try to get a discussion going on this early segment of Gregson family history.


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13th Century Gregsons of Whalley

Post  Val Edwards on Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:57 am

The reference to the History of the Gregsons of Whalley of Lancashire in the post is an interesting one and I agree that while there are insufficient genealogical links to John Gregson of Murton, there does seem to be a probability that the families are linked albeit in a diluted way along the timeline of 1066 to 1556.

My comment on what is said in Don's account is regarding the Gregson coat of arms. Recently, I have questioned myself on the reason for the symbols contained therein. While it is commonly believed that the saltire is the preserve of St Andrew - this, as we know, is a white cross on a blue background whereas the saltire on the Gregson shield is red on silver. This led me to the fact that the symbol for St Patrick was a red saltire on white (or silver?) and therefore the symbolism of the Gregson arms is with possibly the connection of the Norman barons' colonisation of parts of southern Ireland. The arms of the medieval Norman-Irish family Fitzgerald bears a red saltire on a White background. As Gregory de Normanton received a knighthood presumably for military service in the mid 13th century may I suggest that the symbolism used on the Gregson coat of arms links back to the English and Welsh military battles in Ireland. The axe and the red colour are said to signify military strength, the couped arm - a symbol of leadership and possibly the canton chequy a symbol of colonisation of parts of Ireland.

Additionally, it is interesting that the de Lacy family had strong connections with Ireland after the Norman invasions there. I read that it was a Henry de Lacy of Halton, near Chester who agreed to the rebuilding of the Cisterian abbey in Whalley after that on the banks of the River Mersey had been damaged by fire and flood and that the first stone was laid in 1296.

Henry added the symbol of oak - meaning heroism. Why he added the dots of ermine to the canton - I am not sure why. I believe the Rain Gregsons had ermine dots on their coat of arms. This, I believed, was to signify their connection to the Royal blood line of the Clarence line through Caroline Dalton who married John Gregson of Murton and Burdon. (1805-1879)(see Duvigny), son of Rain Gregson. But perhaps I have misunderstood the significance of ermine.
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Cross of St Patrick a red saltire on silver

Post  Val Edwards on Sun Apr 07, 2013 10:18 am

Following my reply post of February to Don's account on the early Gregsons based on an account entitled "the History of the family of Gregson of Whalley" which I have reread, I still take issue with the description in Don's account of the early Gregson coat of arms representing the cross of St Andrew. The Gregson de Normanton's Arms, seemingly, are described in the above booklet (from the College of Arms) as "argent and saltire gules" (silver with a saltire of red). But the way I read it, the said booklet does not make reference to the cross of St Andrew. Also if you link to the gutenberg.org book referenced in Don's account viz "Handbook to English Heraldry" under the section on the saltire it quite clearly states that a red cross on a silver background refers to a cross of St Patrick.

In adding the blue wavy lines bordering the red saltire, (engrailed blue) Henry K Gregson may very well have wished to symbolise John Gregson's (of Sunnilaws and first purchaser of part of Lowlynn) preference for the Stuart claimant to the throne in the mid 18th century and various family connections to the Scots. The Scottish claimant was a catholic.

Henry's father, the Rev. Thomas Knight was a supporter of the Oxford Movement the aim of which was to restore the Catholic faith and practice in the Anglican Church (reference to the Rev Knight in "The Highways and Byways in Northumberland". Ch VII p 71).

So perhaps this is the symbolism of the blue engrailment.

Any comments on St Patrick V St Andrew?

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History of the Gregsons of Normanton

Post  Val Edwards on Sun Apr 07, 2013 10:40 am

What is the evidence in the above account that links the Gregsons of Lowlynn to the Gregsons of Normanton (1066 and beyond)? Yes, there is the use by families of Gregson from various parts of Britain of the coat of Arms of Silver and red saltire with various additions, but what is the historic evidence? The granting of arms by the College of Arms is for INDIVIDUALS who apply - not automatically for families. Are we basing our assumption of descent on the fact that Gregson individuals choose to use the symbolism of those early Normantons?
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Those elusive Gregson de Normanton

Post  Val Edwards on Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:21 pm

I am still trying to get my head around the supposed connections made between the Gregon de Normanton and those who are registered in the parish records of Whalley from 1538 and the Gregsons of Durham. These are my further reflections:


Re A "Visitation of Yorkshire in 1567 and 1568" taken by a William Flower, Norroy of the College of Arms, which the Harleian Society in 1881 (a society of Genealogists) undertook to transcribe. It is edited by Charles Norcliffe and it is obtainable in digitised form.

On page 147-148 is a Pedigree (without dates) of Boland, Normanton and Gregson which shows that Thomasyne Boland married John Normanton. Thereafter it shows descendants as far as a Richard Gregson who married Grace daughter of John Cowell - Richard being the son of John and Margaret Gregson. There is no mention of a coat of arms of Gregson or Normanton for this pedigree the time scale of which goes to circa 1513.

This Pedigree seems to concur with Reid's in his "History of the Gregson's of Whalley" in a pamphlet lodged with the College of Arms (link given by Don Falkenburg in his draft working document on the Knight Gregsons dated March 2013 in his Appendix 10-A under the title "Connecting the Gregsons to the de Normanton Family " - the link is named 'Don Frankenburg's family web' )

I have a problem with Reid's account. Far be it for me to cast aspersions on an account accepted into the British College of Arms but - here comes the 'However' ! The account is carefully crafted and throws in citations such as Whitaker's History of Whalley, Ashmolean Manuscript 834 and various books on heraldry. However when I have tried to tie down these citations to anything relevant to the Gregsons of Whalley, I have drawn a blank. Has anyone else tried to tie Reid's citations to actual facts regarding the Gregson de Normantons and their coat of arms and crest and a link to Whalley?

Reid refers to the Arms of the de Normantons by referencing a Visitation dated 1533. The 1533 Visitation by William Fellows (Lancaster Herald) was to Lancashire. As I began, above, the Yorkshire visitation by William Flower shows the de Normantons who became Gregsons firmly established in Yorkshire in 1567 and 1568. How could they be in two places at once? On page 16 of Reid's account he says that in the 1533 Visitation to Lancashire there is a mention of the Crest of the Gregsons. My research on the web of a transcription of this visitation made by the Chetham Society gives no reference to Gregsons, Normantons or indeed a Gregson crest - why should there have been when the de Normanton Gregsons were in Yorkshire? I do not know which version of the 1533 Visitation Reid has researched.

What 'connects' the Gregson (de Normantons) to the Gregsons mentioned by Reid in the parish records of Whalley dated from 1538 (p 16)? when he recounts that by then Gregsons were resident in Whalley in Lancash ire? I also see that a John Gregson is cited as a son to Richard and Grace Cowell on the pedigree of James Gregson of California at the back of Reid's account with a birthdate of 'before 1538'. Where is this information from? Where was this John born?

On p19 of his account he writes that Matthew Gregson the Antiquarian of Liverpool the author of Fragments of Lancashire who, seemingly, traces his family to Whalley "deduces" that he is descended from Richard Gregson sixth son of John and Margaret Gregson (as shown in the Yorkshire Visitation by Flower). How does he make the connection?

There are a lot of propositions in Reid's account but it is difficult to find actual connecting threads as one progresses through it.

There are many transcriptions by different societies on the Visitations to Lancashire from 1533 into the 17th century. Of the versions I have found, not one cites anything about the Gregsons only in the Visitation to Yorkshire as I have cited above.
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Cross of St. Andrew and other things

Post  drfalken on Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:28 pm

Nowhere in the information I have found was there a reference to the Cross of St. Andrew.  In my attempt to explain the saltire, I used the term cross of St. Andrew as a reference to the diagonal cross of the martyr.  I will drop that description

The document to which Valerie refers from my family web pages is:   Reid, Robert M. History of the family of Gregson of Whalley, Lancashire: "Gregson pedigree.". (Shoshone, Calif.: unknown, 1968).  This is the normal citation of the work, but the author states “Reference is  hereby made to “History of the family of Gregson of Whalley”, a document of thirty-two pages , purchased by me from The College of Arms, ...London...”  Interesting that this document is also of the same name and length.  I suspect that in large measure this is copied from the referenced document.
Link to History of the family of Gregson of Whalley

The link between the Arthur Gregorysonne described here and John Gregson of Murton and Burdon is pure conjecture.  Thanks to Valerie for beginning the search of the some of the referenced material.  I tried unsuccessfully to find some of these references on the web.  One of the problems with archive.org is that if you don't have an exact title, you get a no-match found.  It would be interesting to know how much the Reid document differs from the document purchased from the College of Arms.  I suspect that it is very close and differs only in the final attachment of the pedigree of James Gregson.  Incidentally, this James Gregson was born in Little Bolton, Lancashire, England England and emigrated to Philadelphia, PA in 1844.  From there he went to Oregon and then on to California.  If you read his statement he says "in the spring of 1844 and with my wife joined a train for Oregon at Independence in [April] 1845, and at Fort Hall we determined to come to California."  When he says train this is a wagon train, not a steam train.  This predated the gold rush (1849) and California statehood.  In fact (I'll have to look at my history) I think that at this time California was still a part of Mexico.


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Re: Origin of the name Gregson (one account)

Post  Val Edwards on Sun Apr 28, 2013 1:43 pm

With further reference to the above the digitised version of The Visitation of Yorkshire 1563 and 1564 by William Flower as transcribed by the Harleian Socirty in 1881 is to be found on the weblink below:


https://archive.org/stream/visitationofyork00flow#page/146/mode/2up

The Bolland, Normanton, Gregson pedigree is to be found on page 147 and 148 pf the PDF
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Re: Origin of the name Gregson (one account)

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