Thursday, 19 September 2013
The Boterels and GEORGE WASHINGTON
Now we come to the Boterels and GEORGE WASHINGTON.
The name comes originally from the manor of Washington near Durham. A knight called William became Lord of Washington in 1083. He adopted the name of William of Wessington (the old spelling). So far, so good. The question is – ‘how did he get hold of the manor?’
According to one rather involved story, he swapped another manor with the Bishop of Durham. It’s possible – landowners did that sort of thing – but it’s not convincing, as you’ll see later.
According to another tradition, he was given it by his father. Quite possibly, but then the question is ‘where did he get it from?’
You may even ask ‘does it matter?’ Yes, because line of George Washington is supposed to derive from that manor.
There are three possible genealogies:-
1. Sunderland City Council, which is responsible for Washington, have an old book which could be interpreted to mean that William was the son of a Scottish knight – Sir Patrick of the Hirsel. Why he should want to swap a manor in England is unclear. George Washington would then have Scottish ancestry.
2. The manor belonged to William’s father who got it from his father, who got it from his father, who got it from his father, who got it from a brother of Geoffrey Boterel I, Count of Brittany. William of Wessington was born in Wessington.
3. The manor belonged to William’s father who got it from his father, who got it from his father, who got it from his father, who got it from a brother of Geoffrey Boterel I, Count of Brittany. Walter of Wessington, William’s brother, was also born in Wessington.
In either case, George Washington would then have Breton ancestry.
The next two posts will examine the evidence for the Scottish and then the Breton ancestry.