Ancestors of Edna Ethel Robinson emigrated from England to America in the 17th Century. Her ancestors served in the Revolutionary and Civil wars as well as being pioneers in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York and Michigan.


      Some of these ancestors were descendents of nobles in England, France, Norway, and other European states.

Carolingian Empire.

      Charlemagne (40th-great-grandfather, 742) was the King of the Franks from 768 through 814. He expanded his kingdom into many regions. He conducted brutal wars against the Saxons to the north in Germany. He assisted Pope Leo with rebellion in the late 8th century. As a reward, the Pope made Charlemagne the emperor of the Roman Empire in 800, which he ruled through 814. He expanded his kingdom to the south throughout Spain. His kingdom was called the Carolingian Empire (Encarta). Charlemagne ruled from Aachen, Germany. Aachen is a picturesque ancient town near the intersection of the borders of Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands. It is a 117-mile drive from Arnhem Netherlands. Charlemagne�s gold tomb is an interesting sight in this attractive town today.


      At the time of Charlemagne the Saxons ruled England, but the Vikings started attacking much of the country. By 870, the Vikings controlled much of the northern and eastern lands of England. These Viking invaders founded the town of York in England. Alfred the Great (38th-greatgrandfather, 848) was King of the West Saxons in 870. The Vikings started attacking his land of Wessex too. However, he was successful in fighting the Vikings. Eventually, England was split with the north and east becoming one state, called Danelaw, and Alfred ruling the rest, which was England (Britain Express).


      The Vikings successfully raided and later settled large regions of present-day Europe. They were also known as the Danes and Northmen. Raids in England and France started in the 9th and 10th centuries. In later years, the Vikings settled the lands, adopted local customs, spoke the language of those they conquered, and converted to their religion, Christianity. Rollo (32nd-great-grandfather, 870) was the Viking leader who attacked what we now call Normandy in present-day France. Charles III ceded Normandy in 911 to Rollo. Normandy means the land of the Northmen. These Viking settlers later became known as Normans. They adopted the French language and culture and built a very powerful country (Encarta).

William the Conqueror.

      Perhaps the most powerful Norman King was William the Conqueror (27th-great-grandfather, 1024) born in Falaise France.

      Anglo Saxons replaced the Romans in England during the 5th and 6th centuries. As stated previously, the Vikings raided and later settled land at present-day York in England. The state of Danelaw collapsed in 954 (Dobson 4-5). Fifteen miles from Selby was the Battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066. This was the last battle with the Vikings in England and the last Anglo-Saxon victory (Dobson 3). That same year, William the Conqueror defeated Harold Godwinson at the Battle of Hastings and became the King of England.

      William the Conqueror mandated the creation of the Domesday Book, a record of all the property within the kingdom, which is still used as a legal record for land titles in England.

Henry I & Selby.

  Selby Abbey was first built in 1069.

  Selby Abbey.

  Interior of Selby Abbey.

      William the Conqueror�s son, King Henry I (26th-great-grandfather, 1068), was born in Selby somewhat south of York in Yorkshire in 1068. There is a large and beautiful Abbey Church in Selby. Construction on Selby Abbey was probably started about 1069 while William the Conqueror lived in York (Dobson 9). The Abbey Church is the most prominent building in Selby. It is the remains of a large monastery founded in the year 1069 by the Monk Benedict who came over from France. George Washington was connected with Selby Abbey. His family coat of arms with stars and stripes is in a stained glass window in the Church. On the north side of the Abbey is the cholera burial ground with a mass grave. There were two severe epidemics in 1822 and 1848 due to poor sanitation.

King John and The Magna Carta.

      King John (23rd-great-grandfather, 1166), born in Oxford, reigned as Monarch from 1199-1216. He married Isabel DeTaillefer Countess in 1189. Heavy taxation and disputes with the Church in Rome led to his excommunication by the Pope in 1209. In 1215, King John used his seal on the Magna Carta to protect the rights of his free subjects. When King John died in 1216, England was in the grip of civil war.

York and Clifford�s Tower.

  Clifford's Tower in York.

      Not far north of Selby is the city of York. York was once the capitol of England rather than London. There is an English Heritage Site at York called Clifford�s Tower. It was the keep of York Castle. William the Conqueror built the original castle about 1068. In 1190, the Jews of York took refuge in the tower from a mob. It ended in a mass suicide. Flames consumed the wood tower. The current stone tower was built in 1245 by Henry III (22nd-great-grandfather, 1206) to replace it. Henry III�s son, Edward I (21st-great-grandfather, 1239) ordered all Jews to leave England. The property of the Jews was seized and sold (Clifford�s Tower and the Castles of York).

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