Monday, June 25, 2007

The Ancestry of Diana, Princess of Wales

The New England Historic Genealogical Society is offering the new book The Ancestry of Diana, Princess of Wales by Richard K. Evans for $29.95 to NEHGS members ($34.95 cover price). The book covers 12 generations in an ahnentafel format, and is 576 pages with an 8 page color insert.

The advertising for the book says:

Among the interesting details found in The Ancestry of Diana, Princess of Wales:

** A significant twelfth-generation ancestor was Queen Elizabeth I’s favorite, Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex, whose ambition displeased his sovereign and ultimately led him to the chopping block.

** Queen Anne left no surviving children, but Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, the Queen’s best friend and most loyal servant, is one of the most prominent of Diana’s female ancestors.

** The Princess descends twice from the handsome Duke of Gordon and his wife, Jane Maxwell, known for her vivacity and wit, and famous for raising the Gordon Highlanders from her husband’s estates.

** Another Scots forebear was Archibald Campbell, 9th Earl of Argyll, general of the forces that invaded Scotland in support of Monmouth’s rebellion in 1685. As a result, Argyll lost his head at the same place where his father, the 1st Marquess of Argyll, was decapitated for changing sides one time too many during the English Civil War.

** Through her musically gifted maternal grandmother, Ruth Lady Fermoy, Diana descends from a large cross-section of middle class Scots, primarily in the county and city of Aberdeen. This group includes paint manufacturers, a builder, an architect, a Writer of the Signet, printers, scholars, prosperous farmers, a bank cashier, judges, soldiers, provosts, and a variety of merchants — but also more than a few baronets, lairds and their ladies, a King’s “fool,” a sprinkling of Scots peers, and one Scottish primate, the Archbishop of St. Andrews.

** One of Diana’s maternal great-grandfathers was an Irish peer who married an American “Dollar Princess,” daughter of millionaire Wall Street broker Frank Work. This alliance was typical of many nineteenth-century transatlantic marriages, bringing infusions of American capital to the cash-starved European and British nobility. The marriage gives Diana more than one hundred American ancestors, some of whom were among the early settlers of New England.

** One of Diana’s more prominent American ancestors was Joseph Strong, who served in the U.S. Army as a doctor and became a respected physician in Philadelphia. Among Strong’s first cousins was Revolutionary War hero Nathan Hale.

Richard Evans has been an avid genealogy researcher since 1965. He began researching this subject upon the engagement of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer. Mr. Evans lives in Atlanta, where he runs a marketing consulting company.


Cool. I have always hoped to find a connection to Diana Spencer so that I could brag about a cousinship. This book may be just what I need!

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