Today, December 22nd, marks the birthday of my husband’s brother, Richard Davis. He passed away this year here in East Tennessee. The photo above is Ione, Washington, overlooking the Pend Oreille River where we spread his ashes this summer in his memory. This was where my husband Mike, his brother Dick and sister Robin were raised as children.
I wanted to do some research and write a special blog in celebration of a big year in the life of our Davis family. When we lose members to the afterlife we are reminded about how important our time here on earth is as a family. And, when we know very little about our family it makes us want to dig deeper so our history isn’t forgotten.
So, I wanted to dig tonight. I wanted to dig and learn in celebration of our family. I wanted to figure out our Scots Irish side more. So that is where I began.
So, tonight (tomorrow by the time you all read this) I went back and researched how exactly the Middleton history started. I have spent so much time researching the Davis side and am only beginning to get into the maternal side of our family tree. In my research tonight I was surprised to find out as I went back in time that it was the Warren side (the maternal side of the Middleton line) where the Scots Irish blood is so strong.
Before I got into the 1000AD time spans I learned that our Hamelin De Warenne (1130-1202) was the son of Empress Mathilda, Queen of Germany. Going back further I learn that her father is Henry I, King of England. That is really interesting, I think. Then I come upon Matilda, “Maud” of Scotland, the wife of Henry 1st. These are my husband’s 25th great grandparents. SCOTLAND, great. I am finding the link, I think to our Scottish side.
Meanwhile, I learn that Hamelin De Warenne’s dad is Geoffrey V. Plantagenet. I have no idea who this person is but I am curious since he married a Queen. Digging deeper I go back further and low and beyond his father is FULK OF ANJOU!! Seeing as we just got back for Israel and Jerusalem and our family is beginning to delve deeply into our Melungeon history that has legends of “Lost Tribe of Israel stories” and emerging DNA findings of Anatolian (Turkey), it would be fitting that Mike’s 25th Great Grandfather is none other than the King of Jerusalem and the founding ancestor of the Knights Templar. WOW! Fulk, King of Jerusalem is our direct ancestor. Amazing.
Fulk went on the first Templar crusade in 1019-1020. When he went back to Anjou France he left 100 knights behind to protect the kingdom in Jerusalem. He began to finance the Templars in 1121 leaving Templars in place in the Holy City to protect what they called “Solomon’s Temple.”
Fulk was a wealthy crusader, experienced military commander and a widower. His experience in the field would prove invaluable in a frontier state always in the grip of war. King Baldwin II of Jerusalem at the time had no male heirs and had already designated his daughter to succeed him. He arranged with Fulk to marry her and they ruled as King and Queen over Jerusalem together. Fulk V, King of Jerusalem ruled from 1131-1143 and is listed as the first Knights Templar Ancestor of the order.
https://www.magnacharta.com/dtk/the-history-of-the-knights-templar/. This link is fascinating to read in order to understand the Knights Templar and their focus and mission. It is very interesting that Melungeons are known to have what is called the “Anatolian bump” on the back of their head often (a genetic marker). It is interesting to note that At the Council of Clermont, in 1095, Pope Urban II called for a military expedition to aid the Byzantine Empire, which had recently lost most of Anatolia (today’s central Turkey) to the Seljuq Turks. (The Melungeon “bump” is called “Anatolian” as it is characteristic of people from Anatolia Turkey). The resulting military expedition, known as The First Crusade, succeeded in re-capturing Anatolia and went on to take the city of Jerusalem which was under Islamic rule since the 7th century. The crusade resulted in military forces occupying the Levant, the creation the Kingdom of Jerusalem and ultimately the Crusader States.
So our 25th Great Grandfather was the first Knight of Templar and its first funder along with becoming the King of Jerusalem. Okay, that is shocking. Then, what is even more amazing to me is finding out he is buried at The Church of the Holy Sepulchre!!! WHAT?
What is so important about this church specifically? It is THE church that was built on top of calvary. Yes, THAT Calvary.
This is where Jesus died on the cross. This was where Jesus was laid for burial and this was where Jesus was buried and rose from the dead.
For those who know anything about Bible prophecy, the building of the 3rd Temple is key to historical events forthcoming. While we were in Israel we ended up accidentally and completely unplanned standing at the dedication of the alter for the 3rd Temple (Dec. 10th, 2018). The fact I am learning just now that Mike’s 25th Great Grandfather is buried at The Church of The Holy Sepulcher in the heart of Jerusalem, which is considered the holiest ground on the entire planet along with the Temple Mount, is rather mind bending to say the least in lieu of such prophetic events transpiring as we speak. It is as if the Davis clan is meant to be learning about their ancient roots and how significant they are for a reason we do not yet know or understand why. At the beginning of 2019 our family was struggling to remember the name of Mike’s grandfather because he died when Mike was five. We have been working diligently to learn anything and now we know this. Our ancestor was buried where we just visited and where Jesus died and rose again. And, we just happened to be there.
This just literally amazes me…that our family’s bloodline rests in such a holy place. And the research just kept revealing more.
So, I kept digging on the research and learned even more. Back to the wife’s side of the family (of Hamelin De Warenne – Mike’s 23rd great grandfather), I learn that his grandfather, Matilda’s dad, is Malcolm I King of Scots. And Malcolm I’s father is Duncan I, King of Scots. He was killed by his cousin Macbeth and is whom William Shakespeare wrote about in his play. Duncan I (1001-1040) is Mike’s 27th great grandfather and he is buried in none other than the Isle of Iona, Argyll Scotland. It says when researching the Isle of Iona that “Just outside the chapel is the Reilig Odhrain the sacred burial ground of the Scottish Kings, said to include Macbeth‘s victim Duncan. Forty-eight kings of Scotland are buried here.” In the early Historic Period Iona lay within the Gaelic kingdom of Dal Riata – our direct family ancestors, the Kings of Dal Riata and King Arthur.
The Isle of Iona is described as such – “The tiny island of Iona in the Scottish Hebrides is believed by many to be one of the most sacred places on earth. Formed by the very oldest of rock, it may have been a sacred island of the Druids before becoming the centre from which St Columba converted most of Scotland and northern England to Christianity. Monks from Iona created the Book of Kells and founded the monastery of Lindisfarne in Northumbria. The island became a place of pilgrimage and royal burial as its fame as a centre of learning spread far and wide.”
As if things couldn’t get more fascinating, legend has it that the Lia Fail – also known as the Stone of Destiny, Stone of Scone or Coronation Stone – was brought to Iona by Columba, who then used it as a travelling altar on his missionary activities to the Scottish mainland. It is called “the speaking stone”, or the stone which would proclaim the chosen king. It was originally used as part of crowning ceremonies of the Scots kings of Dalriada, in the west of Scotland, an area just north of Glasgow now called Argyll. One legend dates back to biblical times and states that it is the same stone which Jacob used as a pillow at Bethel. Later, according to Jewish legend, it became the pedestal of the ark in the Temple.
I also learned that there are legends about the Isle of Iona in the future as well. There is a legend that Mary the mother of Jesus visited the island, and by a prophecy mentioned by the author William Sharp, writing as Fiona Macleod in 1910: “When I think of Iona I think often, too, of a prophecy once connected with Iona….the old prophecy that Christ shall come again upon Iona, and of that later and obscure prophecy which foretells, now as the Bride of Christ, now as the Daughter of God, now as the Divine Spirit embodied through mortal birth in a Woman, as once through mortal birth in a man, the coming of a new Presence and Power: and dream that this may be upon Iona, so that the little Gaelic island may become as the little Syrian Bethlehem…. A young Hebridean priest once told me how, ‘as our forefathers and elders believed and still believe, that Holy Spirit shall come again which once was mortally born among us as the Son of God, but, then, shall be the Daughter of God. The Divine Spirit shall come again as a Woman. Then for the first time the world will know peace’.”
So, in tribute to Dick for his birthday I wanted to write something that would celebrate our family. And in these wee hours of the morning I have learned that our ancestors are buried in the same church as Jesus Christ and are also buried with 47 other ancient kings of Scotland. I learned a few other things, such as:
- Our ancestors funded the Knights Templar and paved its way into full use in Jerusalem to protect Solomon’s Temple and the ancient wisdom therein
- Are descendants of King of Jerusalem, Kings of England, Germany and Scotland
- And are the interesting play content for William Shakespeare
- Our ancestors rest on the most ancient and holy ground on the planet
What a truly fascinating evening discovering our family’s history. The enormity of the sacredness I keep finding in terms of key figures and pivotal times in human history that our family was part of is truly beyond comprehension. This was another one of those research nights.
I hope you enjoyed it!!! Sent to us from our loved ones above all looking down at us for this holiday season.
Below is Iona Chapel and near it is the ancient chapel from the 1100s where our Duncan is buried along with 47 other Scottish kings, 8 Norwegian and 4 Irish Kings. This was an early Middle Ages Monastery founded by Columba in 563AD. It is here where the first crosses are found with a circle through the center, sculpted in the 8th century. They would later become the first of what is now known of as the “Celtic Cross.”
The ancient burial ground, called the Rèilig Odhrain (Eng: Oran’s “burial place” or “cemetery”), contains the 12th century chapel of St. Odhran (said to be Columba’s uncle) restored at the same time as the Abbey itself. It contains a number of medieval grave monuments. The abbey graveyard is said to contain the graves of many early Scottish Kings, as well as Norse kings from Ireland and Norway. Iona became the burial site for the kings of Dal Riata and their successors. Notable burials there include:
- Cináed mac Ailpín, king of the Picts (also known today as “Kenneth I of Scotland”) (34th Great Grandfather)
- Domnall mac Causantín, alternatively “king of the Picts” or “king of Scotland” (40th Great Grandfather)
- Máel Coluim mac Domnaill, king of Scotland (“Malcolm I”) (31st Great Grandfather)
- Donnchad mac Crínáin, king of Scotland (“Duncan I”) (27th Great Grandfather)
- Mac Bethad mac Findlaích, king of Scotland (“Macbeth”) (cousin)
- Domnall mac Donnchada, king of Scotland (“Domnall Bán” or “Donald III”)
Each one of these Kings are our direct ancestors.
What is the magic in the name Iona which lures men and women from the far corners of the earth to the tiny rocky island off the west coast of Scotland? Surely not the scenery, for there is more magnificence on the mainland of Scotland. It must be something deeper. Something knocking on the heart which speaks of mystery and holiness, of dreams and truths which have outlived time….There is an indescribable atmosphere in Iona as if a ‘Presence’ dwells in the hallowed soil of the tiny island which has been washed by the waters of prayer down through the ages.
byGeorge and Helen Sandwith