Marleta Childs
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     Fifteen years of additional research by Carl Boyer, 3rd, has culminated in the new MEDIEVAL ENGLISH ANCESTORS OF ROBERT ABELL, WHO DIED IN REHOBOTH, PLYMOUTH COLONY, 20 JUNE 1663, WITH ENGLISH ANCESTRAL LINES OF OTHER COLONIAL AMERICANS, SECOND EDITION. This latest edition contains more than eighty percent additional text and forty-four percent (219 instead of 152) more ancestral lines than the first edition.

     Although the book was intended to be limited to only the forebears of Robert ABELL (of the line in Stapenhill in Derbyshire, England), the volume naturally includes families who were progenitors of many other colonial Americans. Data concerning these Lineal connections can be found in the standard reference works, PLANTAGENET ANCESTRY OF SEVENTEENTH-CENTURY COLONISTS by David Faris, ANCESTRAL ROOTS OF CERTAIN AMERICAN COLONISTS by Frederick Lewis Weiss, and THE ROYAL DESCENTS OF 600 IMMIGRANTS TO THE AMERICAN COLONIES AND THE UNITED STATES by Gary Boyd Roberts.

     Unlike those three publications, however, Boyer’s volume encompasses every line that could be discovered, going back at least to the end of the reign of King Edward I in 1307. In addition, it provides historical background and as much information on all the children that could be found. The book also benefits from input from numerous genealogists.

     Another useful feature is the bibliography, which has grown from eleven pages in the first edition to sixty-two pages in the new edition. The increase in the list of printed sources is due in large part to the availability of the vast amount of books now on the internet.

     Like many people, Abell descended from kings, nobility, military men (including Crusaders), villains, and criminals. In his introduction, Boyer points out several of Abell’s ancestors, who were especially fascinating for one reason or another. For example, Turchill de Warwick, the last Saxon Earl of Warwick, was an ancestor of both Abell and William Shakespeare. Loyal to King John, Thomas Bassett attended him at the signing of the Magna Charta at Runnemede in 1215. William Butler of Warrington in Lancashire fostered health and decency in his domain and built a bridge of the River Mersey. Captured by the French led by Joan of Arc, Sir John Talbot, the first Earl of Shrewsbury, was cast as the hero in one of William Shakespeare’s plays.

     Abell’s ancestors also had interesting relatives. For instance, Elizabeth Brereton (wife of Sir Randal Mainwaring) was the sister of Thomas Brereton. Accused of being “familiar” with Queen Anne Boleyn, wife of King Henry VIII, Thomas was sentenced to die at Tyburn. Two days later, Anne was beheaded.

     Representing thousands of hours of research, Boyer’s publication incorporates a wealth of material and sources into one handy volume. Because the familial lines who form Abell’s lineage are also the forebears of millions of Americans today, MEDIEVAL ENGLISH ANCESTORS OF ROBERT ABELL, WHO DIED IN REHOBOTH, PLYMOUTH COLONY, 20 JUNE 1663, WITH ENGLISH ANCESTRAL LINES OF OTHER COLONIAL AMERICANS, SECOND EDITION will prove to be an invaluable genealogical resource.

     The 606-page soft-cover work has an attractive illustration on the front, an introduction, addenda, a glossary, a bibliography, and separate indexes for person and place names. The publication may be purchased for $46.00.

     To the price of the book, buyers should add the cost for shipping charges. For U. S. postal mail, the cost is $7.00 for one book and $2.50 for each additional book. The volume may be purchased by check, money order, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express from Heritage Books, Inc., 5810 Ruatan Street, Berwyn Heights, Maryland 20740. For phone orders, call toll free 1-800-876-6103; fax 410-558-6574; e-mail ; website ).

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