The Origins of the Booths – Norman
The Ancient Booths of Dunham Massey had traced and recorded their ancestry back to early medieval times when their name appears in several different forms, including De Bouthe, Booths and Bothe. Variations on spelling were common, Bothe, De Bothe, De Bouthe, De Boothe , and Boothe. The surnames in medieval times were all pronounced differently because of the mix of ancient languages and dialects spoken, and like so many names, they have been filtered through the many generations and became Anglicised to become Booth.
The earliest recorded Booth is Adam De Bouthe in Abt. 1184. (Carolyn Booths 23rd Great grandfather). In French, “De” indicates a link between the land and a person, and in Middle ages England and Wales the nobiliary particle “De” was borrowed from the French and became customary to distinguish the nobility of the family and “of ” was often also adopted to link a place.
This early record shows that the De Bouthes were of nobility, but……….when did they arrive in England ?
It has been suggested by some that Adam was involved in the Norman Invasion of England with the forces of William The Conquerer in 1066, However recorded history and research has not shown any evidence of this, and it is very unlikely as the 1066 Invasion was a good 100 years before Adam’s Birth.
The Domesday records also show no land ownership or title held by a Booth in the 11th century. This is not very surprising as nearly all the land under the administration of William the Conqueror (King William I) at this time had been given to the extremely powerful Norman Lords who were either directly related to William the Conqueror or were part of the 15 companion Knights at the Battle Of Hastings.
However it is very possible that a Booth ancestor who went by a christian name only, which was not uncommon in the time, was perhaps a warrior knight in the service of a more Noble Norman Lord in the armies at various stages of the Invasion and not just the Battle of Hastings.
If a De Bouthe was not a warrior knight in the service of the Conqueror, It is also very likely that members of the De Bouthe family came after the invasion perhaps as trusted noble knights of a Frankish or Norman family, and were given manor, or knight status by their connected Norman Barons who had arrived earlier.
They surely had powerful Norman noble ancestors and connections in the 11th century, just like they did in the many centuries that followed.
As the Norman Feudal system of administration was introduced and extended across England, the Midlands of England became heavily controlled by the Norman families such as……William Peverell (William The Conquerors son), the De Vernons, De Masseys, and the 1st Earl of Chester Hugh De Vanchres Lupus.
These powerful Norman families all had ties to William the Conqueror either through family bloodlines or through services in battles in Normandy and of course the Battle Of Hastings. These very same Norman families that show up in middle ages history, the De Brereton, De Masseys, De Trafford, De Vernon also show up throughout the Booth family Ancestry and it is the many centuries of these connections with these family names that helps support the fact that the Booths were of Norman origins.
Like all noble Norman families in the 11th Century through to the 15th Century they had all formed unbreakable ranks with other Norman Nobles in England. In the middle ages Nobility only married Nobility and the Norman connection through nearly every marriage of both male & female line of Booths during these 4 to 500 years in history is clear evidence alone of thier Norman origins.
I have trouble getting my head around the 500 years concept.
So the next question we ask is, how Norman were the Booths ?………… and what about well before the Norman conquest, were they perhaps a mix of Viking , Flemish, Frisian, Dane, or Old Germanic tribes. The forthcoming pages on Plantagenet Descent show some remarkable Booth Royal Bloodlines and in particular showing how they reinforced their very western european ancestry.
I suppose a visit to France would be necessary to find out more details and perhaps dig deeper into the De Booth origins, I am sure Carolyn would not need any convincing to do this.
Teaser – Look out for Lady Catherine De Montfort – The most remarkable Pedigree to follow.