Princesses and Pastors: Raymond Ancestors After Charlemagne

Raymond ancestors weren’t only awesome before Charlemagne. His descendants include the rulers of early France, and the powerful noble families of medieval Europe. Charlemagne’s 10th great granddaughter, Adeliza of Louvain (1103 – 1151), was the second wife of Henry I, son of William the Conqueror. Adeliza was brought to England in her teens to produce a legitimate male heir for quinquagenarian Henry. Famous for her beauty, Henry adored his young wife and made her wealthy in her own right by his death in 1135. Her second marriage was for love, but she brought her holdings with her. William d’Aubigny‘s father was Master Butler for Henry I, a prestigious position that allowed him to marry Maud Bigod, daughter of the Duke of Norfolk. William had been a trusted confidante of Henry I. One of Adeliza’s properties, Arundel Castle, became the Aubigny family seat, with William and his sons named Earl of Arundel by Henry’s successor King Stephen.


12th century triple threat: good looks, charm and money, Adeliza, Dowager Queen of England

 Adeliza and William d’Aubigny’s 15th great grandson, Rev. John Robinson (1576 – 1625), had far less influence at court, but his ideas helped form a revolutionary new government. Robinson was a teacher, pastor and the spiritual leader of the “Pilgrim Fathers” before they sailed on the Mayflower. Many of Grandpa Robinson’s ideas form the basis of Puritan culture.

Robinson was a Cambridge graduate, class of 1592, and was influenced by the Puritan faith while a student.  England during Robinson’s time was in transition, sometimes it was a good idea to be a Catholic, sometimes advantageous to be Protestant, but all believers were in danger of having their religious principles outlawed or restricted.  Robinson was considered to be in rebellion against the Anglican Church as he sought to separate himself from the corrupt rituals and hierarchy of the establishment. During the reign of Elizabeth I separatist Protestant sects were tolerated, but her successor James I made it a crime not to attend Church of England services. James was concerned that a lack of respect for the church hierarchy might lead to similar disrespect for the government hierarchy. It was a dangerous time to be a critic of the Anglican Church.


Fundamentalist ideals are the new black: Rev. John Robinson

Robinson left Cambridge, and his celibate fellowship, in order to marry Bridget White (1579 – 1643). Bridget was the daughter of Alexander White, and it’s safe to say that the bride and groom knew each other well before the wedding. Bridget’s Dad Alexander and John Robinson’s Mother, Anne White, were brother and sister. John Robinson married his first cousin, a tradition that is repeated again and again throughout the family tree.  If you are a Raymond descendant and your spouse is not of French or English origin, thank you. You have helped to mix up a gene pool that could use some chlorine.

After their Puritan beliefs were outlawed, Robinson’s old college buddy William Brewster began holding covert separatist services at his home, Scrooby Manor. Rev. Robinson soon joined the Scrooby Gang and served as their assistant pastor.

Scrooby manor: They would have gotten away with it too if it wasn’t for those pesky Anglicans!

Religious freedom in England continued to deteriorate. The British common people, now required by law to attended an Anglican church, were being told from the pulpit that the separatists wanted to destroy the British way of life. With few options left, Robinson’s group sought to follow other separatists who had fled for the freedom of Amsterdam. The groups’ first attempt to leave was an absolute failure; they were betrayed by the captain of their ship, robbed, publicly humiliated and jailed. A second attempt by a smaller group was successful, John Robinson and his family stayed behind with the weaker congregation members who might have held up the others. Within a year the entire congregation was reunited in Amsterdam, with John Robinson as their teacher.

The newly transported congregation was far from united, and ultimately Robinson led a group of 100 followers to Leiden. Only 5 miles from Amsterdam, Leiden had founded a university in 1575, and provided the spiritual and academic stimulation John Robinson had been searching for. He would live in Leiden for the rest of his life. Rev. Robinson may have been experiencing a renewed sense of faith and belonging, but his the new congregation was poor and restless. Parents were concerned that their children were too influenced by Dutch culture. John Robinson’s son, Isaac, had been born in Leiden, and his generation was immersed in Dutch life and Dutch freedoms. Desperate to save their traditions and distinct religious culture, a portion of Robinsons’ congregation chose the unknown shores of New England. They sought to leave European culture and influence behind, and live isolated on their own terms, by their own laws.

Robinson gave a powerful farewell speech, captured in Robert Weir’s Embarkation of the Pilgrims.  Even though he stayed in Holland, Robinson’s ideas traveled. Many of the less desirable Puritan characteristics: separate roles for men and women, women subservient to their husbands, corporal punishment for children, are all attributed to Robinson’s teachings. He believed original sin was the cause of rebelliousness in children. Rev. Robinsons’ kids were probably the ones smoking cigarettes behind the church.


No, Isaac can’t come out and play: the Robinson family home in Leiden

Robinson stayed behind and faithfully served his congregation, but he never stopped planning his future voyage to join his followers in Plymouth. After Robinson’s death in 1625 his wife, Bridget, remained in Leiden and eventually joined the local Protestant church.


Tip 1: Don’t starve to death this winter, stained glass at First Parish Church Plymouth

John and Bridget’s son, Isaac, fulfilled his father’s dream of reuniting with the Pilgrims. The first Robinson child born in Leiden, Isaac (1610 – 1704), had never known England and religious persecution. He initially settled with his father’s Pilgrims at Plymouth, but he soon chafed under the strict Puritan laws and expectations. He found himself drawn to Quaker teachings, taking up their cause with the government in London. Plymouth leaders intercepted his letters, and he was brusquely removed from the colony. Robinson operated an inn on the road between Martin’s Vineyard and Nantucket, and settled in nearby villages before ultimately being reinstated at Plymouth. In 1702 Samuel Sewall, a judge remembered for his involvement with the Salem Witch Trials, visited Isaac Robinson. He was 92 years old. Isaac was living a simple life, but could recall countless stories about his father, the famous Reverend.


Isaac Robinson’s John Hancock

I know what you’re thinking. “Yes, yes, that’s nice, but what about the famous people?” Charlemagne was well known, but he’s not going to get you invited to the Academy Awards. Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my honor to present: Our Distant Raymond Cousins, listed by proximity of relation. So the ones at the top share more Raymond genetics, and are more likely to attend the family reunion.





“Wild Bill” Hickok

1837 – 1876

Western legend

John Robinson

Richard Gere



John Billington

James Garfield

1831 – 1881


John Billington


1729 – 1821

self-made man

Phillip I, France

Georgia O’Keefe

1887 – 1986


Henry I, France

Andrew Wyeth

1917 – 2009


Robert II, France

Louisa May Alcott

1832 – 1888


Louis IV, France

L. Frank Baum

1856 -1919

author, Wizard of Oz

Katharine Hepburn

1907 -2003


Anthony Perkins

1932 – 1992

actor, Psycho

Alec Baldwin



Kate Middleton


future Queen of England


Diana Spencer

1961 – 1997

Kate’s MIL

Winston Churchill

1874 – 1965

Prime Minister

Charles Darwin

1809 – 1882


Humphrey Bogart

1899 – 1957



I see the resemblance, Mike.

As always, thank you wikipedia! I’m going to have to give them their $5 next time

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