Queen Elizabeth’s documented genealogy goes back more than 1,000 years

Credit: Special

Credit: Special

Queen Elizabeth II’s lineage is among the most well documented ever, due to the record keeping surrounding the royal line through the centuries.

But, while it is well known that she descends from William the Conqueror, she also counts among her ancestors Alfred the Great, who lived from circa 848 to 899. The direct royal line descends from some of the more well-known figures in English history, such as King John, of Magna Carta fame, and Mary Queen of Scots. But she descends from King Henry VIII’s sister, rather than Henry himself, in the line of succession.

While the royal house has technically changed names over the centuries, it’s still in direct descent from the same original line, that of William the Conqueror. It was in 1917 when the Queen’s grandfather, George V, renamed the royal house, then called Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (from Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria), to Windsor, to sound more English. Our own state of Georgia was chartered and named for the Queen’s ancestor King George II in 1732, with Augusta bearing the name of the Princess of Wales, another ancestor. Nearby North and South Carolina (originally one colony) were named in 1663 for the last King Charles, Charles II, who became king in 1660. Charleston, South Carolina is for him as well.

Royals documented on Ancestry

You can look up original documents on Queen Elizabeth’s ancestors on Ancestry.com, with its vast amount of records that are indexed and searchable. The parish records of London and Westminster (separate legal entities within greater London) are there. Under U.S. Passports, you can find the passport of the Duchess of Windsor (Wallis Warfield Spencer Simpson), who was a world traveler long before she captured the heart of the future King Edward VIII.

Find a Grave has royal Burials

The Kings and Queens of England were buried at various churches around England until they began to be buried at either Westminster Abbey or Windsor Castle. All of these burials are now covered on the Find a Grave website and similar sites. The burials at Windsor’s St. George’s Chapel are there, as are those within the grounds under “Royal Burial Ground.”

Contact Kenneth H. Thomas Jr., P.O. Box 901, Decatur, Ga., 30031 or kenthomasongenealogy.org.