Thursday, January 16, 2014

Diana, Princess of Wales May Be My 11th Cousin

How do I know that?  I don't "know" it conclusively, but tells me so.  Here is the screen that shows my relationship path to Diana Frances Spencer, Princess of Wales (1961-1997):

I'm very sure that my line back to the most recent common ancestor (George Allen (1585-1648) is fairly well documented.  I have not seen the research for the descent from George Allen through his son Samuel Allen to Diana Spencer, but my guess is that it well documented also because of the importance of the line to a future King of England.

Here is the profile for George Allen Sr. "The Immigrant" (1582-1648) on (two screens):

I did not contribute anything to this profile of George Allen - other researchers have said that he was born in about 1582 in Weymouth, "Dorchester," England.  Most resources say that Weymouth is in County Dorset, not "Dorchester" so perhaps the research performed by submitters is suspect, or this particular profile suffers from a lack of attention to detail.

I don't know who George Allen's father is for sure, but some references I've seen say he is John Allen of Saltford, Somerset, England, and that George had a brother, Ralph Allen (1590-????), whose son John Allen (1621-1708) settled in Newport, Rhode Island and is also an ancestor of mine. offers a "Discussions" tab on the person Profile.  It says that there are five Discussions for George Allen.  I clicked on that:

There are 468 messages in one of those Discussions.  That is good!  I need to review them and see if they come to a conclusion about George Allen's parents, spouses and children.

Why do I even look at these types of online family trees?  Doesn't everybody know that "online family trees are full of errors and shouldn't be trusted?"  Yes, I do know that.  But this is one place where "Discussions" and collaboration about this person - my ancestor - is taking place online and I need to monitor it.

In the meantime, my cousins, brothers and descendants will be thrilled (maybe even impressed!) to hear that some people think that we are related to Diana Spencer and the future Kings of England.  This is one way to entice relatives with a "ho-hum" attitude towards genealogy to even look at an online family tree, read a blog post, or look at their own family history.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

Disclosure:  I have a complimentary subscription from, which I appreciate.  This does not affect my objectivity when evaluating the website or the results provided.


Martin Stead said...

That "Weymouth, Dorchester, England" may be almost correct. Both Weymouth and Dorchester are in the county of Devon, and are only about 6 miles apart.

Rebecca DeMarino said...

I think this is one of the fun things of - finding relationship and then trying to verify! I had found my relationship to Diana,Princess of Wales some time ago. Geni lists her as my 16th cousin, once removed. (A little further away than your relationship, Randy!) I have verified up through my 11th great-grandmother, Elizabeth Horton, b. ca 1550. Her mother was Katherine Brooke, and then there are three more generations of Brooke's leading to where the break is to Diana's line, which is Margaret Brooke, sister to my 15th ggf John Thomas Brooke os Shropshire. In hopes of learning more to verify the Brooke's, I just clicked on the discussion tabs and found none :o( Perhaps I should start one, or at least put out a hello there! I love your blog - busy catching up with it as I have only recently discovered it! I use both and I also belong to the New England Historical Society in my efforts to research the Hortons of Long Island. (My mother was a Horton, directly descended through Barnabas Horton (b.1660,d.1680) I would love to join the Colonial Dames! Thanks for the fun post!

Rebecca DeMarino said...

oops! I left out the "G" in NEHGS! That should have been I belong to the New England Historic Genealogical Society!

Hilary Gadsby said...

Martin surely you meant to say that Dorchester is the county town of Dorset. Weymouth, where I spent the first night of my honeymoon, is a busy port in Dorset.

Geolover said...

Great place to verify place locations, with links to maps, nearby places, parishes, etc.:

Helpful links to Dorset parishes and registers:

Howard said...

This interested me because I, too, descend from your George Allen. But I've never read that there is any connection to Lady Di.

There is a sketch of George Allen and family in Great Migration 2nd Series (pub. 1999). For son Samuel "(b. say 1633), living 1656", it says: no further record.

You are right that the genealogy of Diana Spencer has been well researched. See for example: and

I found the following on-line genealogy which draws heavily on the work of Roberts and Reitwiesner.

You can start at that page for Lady Di and trace back following the path indicated in You will see early on a couple of errors in the Geni page: Diana's mother is shown with the surname of her second husband (Diana's step father), and "ellen work" should be Ellen Wood.

Otherwise, things seem to agree until we get to Samuel Allen. From Leo's site, you see that the father of Lady Di's Samuel Allen is Reginald Allen. Further, this Samuel is about 25 years older than George Allen's (our) Samuel. Also, Lady Di's Samuel lived in Windsor, CT; while our Allens lived in Sandwich, Mass.

So, it appears to me that we're not cousins of Lady Di -- at least not this way.