The classic movie The Lion in Winter, starring Peter O’Toole and Katherine Hepburn, the true story of King Henry II of England, his wife Eleanor of Aquitane, their sons and their family battle over the royal succession, could be called Our Medieval Family Feud:
The Lunney Family of Maine are descendants of King Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitane, and most of the medieval royalty and nobility of the British Isles and mainland Europe:
William Lunney, the Irish ancestor of the Lunney family of Maine, and the Lunnie family of New Brunswick, Canada, was a man of mystery. He was born in Ireland, probably in 1821, but all civil records of him in Ireland were likely burned at Dublin in 1922. Public records in New Brunswick list the assumed year of his birth variously as 1821, 1823 and 1825. His surname appears in New Brunswick records variously as Lunney, Lunny and Lunnie.
William Lunney married Matilda Kennedy in a Wesleyan Methodist ceremony in May 1847 at Waterborough, New Brunswick. In 1853, William Lunney received a land grant of 60 acres at Waterborough. The 1865-6 Hutchinson Directory listed both Thomas Lunny and William Lunny as farmers at Cumberland Bay, Waterborough. William’s brother, Thomas Lunny, had previously received a land grant for 100 acres at Petersville, New Brunswick in 1844. In 1866, William Lunney received a second land grant of 100 acres at Cumberland Bay, Waterborough. In 1871, the Census for Waterborough Parish, Queens County, New Brunswick listed him as William Lunny, as a married Methodist farmer, living alone with a single female servant named Charlotte Dross. The adjoining household was that of Thomas Lunny and his large family. In 1881, the Census for Aberdeen Parish, Carleton County, New Brunswick listed him as William Lunnie, a Methodist farmer, living at Glassville with wife Charlotte Lunnie and four young sons. New Brunswick cemetery records list William Lunnie as having been born in 1821, died in 1900 and buried at Glassville United Church cemetery.
I recently found the original death certificate for William Lunney:
William Lunney apparently died at “East Glassville” on “January 1, 1901” at age “78” from “asthma”, from which he had been suffering for “between eight and nine years”. The death certificate implies yet another birthdate of 1822. William’s son, Thomas Lunney, stated on his marriage license in November 1900 at Easton, Maine that his father William Lunney was then a resident of Easton, Maine, and that his mother Charlotte Dross was a resident of Glassville, N.B..
There is no question that William Lunney, William Lunny and William Lunnie were the same person. That William Lunnie was buried in Glassville United Church cemetery in 1900 and then died in 1901 is the biggest mystery of all.
If you are planning a road trip this year, you should visit the Lunney House Museum in Seneca, South Carolina. The Lunney House has been completely restored to its original 1909 appearance, and has re-opened for regular visiting hours.
The Lunney House was built by Dr. William and Lillian (Mason) Lunney, and was occupied by Mrs. Lunney until 1969. The stately Queen Anne Arts & Crafts “bungalow” is on the National Register of Historic Places. Seneca, SC is located near I-85 in the foothills of the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains, close to Clemson University and several major parks and lakes.
Address: 211 West South 1st Street, Seneca, SC 29678 · Get Map & Directions
Hours: Thursday through Sunday; 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Lunney House Museum on Facebook:
A long-held “rumor” in the Lunney Family of Maine is that Mehitable (Pattee) Taylor, the grandmother of Susan (Taylor) Lunney, was a Native American Indian.
This “rumor” started because, in some old family photographs, Mehitable Pattee definitely appears to be an Indian; however, in such old black & white photographs, well-tanned or sunburned farm folk can often appear to be Indians.
As I researched the Pattee family genealogy, I at first concluded that the “Indian” rumor was false. The Pattee’s were a very old New England family of English and French Huguenot origins.
It was not until I had researched seven generations of the extended Pattee family tree in New England that I found the Native American ancestor:
Mehitable Pattee married Isaiah Taylor and had eleven children.
Joseph Pattee married “Polly” Lowe and had a daughter, Mehitable Pattee.
Mary Hadley married John Pattee and had a son, Joseph Pattee.
Hannah Flanders married Joseph Hadley and had a daughter, Mary Hadley.
Joseph Flanders married Esther Cash and had a daughter, Hannah Flanders.
Stephen Flanders, Jr. married Abigail Carter and had a son, Joseph Flanders.
Jane “Sandusky”, “Indian princess”, married Stephen Flanders and had a son, Steven Flanders, Jr.
JANE “SANDUSKY”, “Indian princess”, was supposedly born around 1622 at “Gorgeana”, now known as York, Maine. Her name was recorded as “Sandusky”, but she probably did not have a surname, since she was supposedly a Christianized Indian of the “Sandusky” tribe.
As late as the end of the 1500’s, the Sandusky tribe lived on the banks of the Sandusky River, south of Lake Erie. The original Sandusky tribe split apart before 1600, with some parts going west and others northeast into upstate New York. Some early missionaries from the Jamestown Colony reached that area of New York, and then took some of the Sandusky descendants into upper New England to become Christianized, which explains how Jane could have been born at “Gorgeana” (York, Maine).
Jane “Sandusky” married Stephen Flanders prior to 1646 at “Gorgeana”. Stephen Flanders, his wife Jane and two children moved to Salisbury, Massachusetts in 1649-50. Stephen and Jane “Sandusky” Flanders had seven children:
- Steven Flanders, Jr., born in 1646.
- Mary Flanders, born about 1648 and died about 1650.
- Mary Flanders, born in 1650 and died in 1719.
- Phillip Flanders, born on 14 July 14, 1652 at Salisbury, Massachusetts, married Martha Eaton Collins and died August 27, 1712 at Salisbury, Massachusetts.
- Sarah Flanders, born on November 5, 1654 at Salisbury, Massachusetts, married John Newhall and died on January 18, 1717.
- Naomi Flanders, born on December 15, 1656 at Salisbury, Massachusetts, married Benjamin Eastman and died July 24, 1718 at Salisbury, Massachusetts.
- John Flanders, born on February 11, 1658 at Salisbury, Massachusetts, married Elizabeth Sargent and died on December 24, 1716 at Salisbury, Massachusetts.
Jane “Sandusky” Flanders died on November 19, 1683 at about age 61 at Salisbury, Massachusetts.
Some genealogists dispute that Jane “Sandusky” Flanders was an “Indian princess”, or any kind of an Indian, because colonial records indicate that she had an excellent command of the English language. On the other hand, she was supposedly raised in an English colony as a Christian, and she was recorded as being an exceptionally fierce and sometimes violent woman, characteristics not usually associated with Puritan female colonists:
She was referred to by colonist William Osgood as “a foresworn wretch.”
A complaint to Salisbury court brought by Jane Flanders against Samuel Gachall and his wife for calling her vile names: “She and her daughter went into Gachell’s field to see where their cattle had broken in and Goodwife Gachell met them and asked if they had come to steal their corn. ‘I said no, I haue no need of yor corn’; then shee said ‘Geet of my ground thou pennycoinquick – I am sheure you are com to stell my corn’ …Shee had a pumkeng in har hand. She held it up & said shee woold staue my hed wth it. ‘Then I said if my Cattell haue stooid your corne your piggs haue stooyd mine wheat.’ Then shee said ‘Com doun St. Donstone to heare how the Deuill lies’… & Likewise good man Gacheall doe often prouocke mee by calling my children Deuills ,etc .” [The epithet “pennycoinquick” that Goodwife Gachall hurled at Jane Flanders, when Jane and her daughter allegedly entered the neighbor’s cornfield in search of the Flanders’ cows, is a mystery. It sounds like it could be an Indian word, but could also be some obscure English insult. There was a prison at “Pennycomequick” near Plymouth, England. “Pennycomequick” comes from the old Celtic name “Pen y cwm coet”, meaning “the head of a wooded valley”, or “Pen y cwm gwyk”, referring to a nearby creek.]
On October 16, 1649, Jane was brought before the local Court for “abusing her husband and neighbors”.
Excerpt from The Flanders Family: From Europe To America (2nd ed. volume I) by Stephen M. Flanders (2000): “Jane Sandusky, was purported to be of Indian descent. This is a tradition in the family; however, there has never been a tribe of Sandusky Indians in the region of New England she was found in. However, there has not been enough evidence found to refute it either.”…“A ready tongue, together with no hesitancy to use it, were attributes that could not pass unrecorded in a community of Puritans, who tolerated nothing. That Jane possessed these attributes cannot be doubted, after reading the old court records. The offenses for which she was charged were commonplace and an everyday occurrence in New England during this period. The lives of constant struggle against hardships of deprivations and the constant harshness of the Puritan code, coupled with the cultural and language differences Jane experienced, would account for much of the discord with her neighbors.”
There is a GEDCOM listing for a “Jane ‘Sandusky’, Indian”, who married Stephen Flanders, which is well-documented. It says that she was Iroquois of Sandusky descent. It quotes as sources: Eunice Allen, genealogist, Mary Parrish, Genealogy Files of Mary Parish, Columbus, Wisconsin and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Ancestral File.
According to Henry Howe, an early Ohio historian, the origin and meaning of the name “Sandusky” was also a matter of some dispute. However, William Walker, principal chief of the Sandusky Wyandot tribe living at Upper Sandusky, Ohio in 1835-36, claimed that it meant, “at the cold water,” and should be pronounced “San-doos-tee.”
A lone Sandusky artifact (below) is on display at the National Museum of the American Indian at Washington, DC:
For the Boyd and Dawn Lunney family of Cape Elizabeth, Maine, the Civil War is an interesting coincidence of unusual family histories. Boyd Lunney’s maternal grandfather, David Taylor (of Smithfield, Maine), was a Quaker, but served in a Maine regiment during the Civil War. Dawn Lunney’s paternal great grandfather, Frederick Howard (of Kingsclear, New Brunswick), was a Canadian British subject, but also served in a Maine regiment during the Civil War, even though forbidden to do so by an act of Parliament. According to Boyd Lunney’s late sister (Alice Lunney Gregory of Westfield, Maine), Boyd’s father (Thomas Andrew Lunney of Easton, Maine) “knew old Frederick Howard and even stayed at his hotel in Grand Falls, New Brunswick.”
DAVID TAYLOR, a son of Isaiah Taylor and Mehitable (Pattee) Taylor and the father of Susan Martha (Taylor) Lunney, was born on July 2, 1833 at New Sharon, Maine. He was a descendant of four of the Mayflower Pilgrims, and of New England’s earliest Quakers. The 1850 US Census showed 17-year-old David Taylor living on the Taylor family farm at Smithfield, Maine, along with his father and mother, eight brothers and sisters and his maternal grandparents, Joseph and Mary Pattee. He married the first time to Susan W. Wakefield on May 11, 1861. David and Susan (Wakefield) Taylor had a son named Charles in 1862.
David Taylor was also a descendant of veterans of the Aroostook War, the War of 1812, the American Revolution, the French and Indian War, King Philip’s War, and even the battle of Black Point at Scarborough, Maine in 1677; so it came as no surprise to his Quaker family when, in October 1862, 31-year-old David Taylor volunteered for military service during the Civil War. Leaving his young wife Susan and infant son Charles in the care of his parents, David enlisted as a private into Company D of the 28th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment of the Union Army.
28th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment:
Organized at Augusta and mustered in for nine months service on October 18, 1862, the 28th Maine Infantry left for Washington, D. C. on October 26. It stopped at New York, and saw duty at Fort Schuyler until November 26 and at East New York until January 17, 1863. The 28th Maine then moved on to Fortress Monroe, Virginia on January 17-22, and then to New Orleans on January 22-29. The 28th Maine was posted to Chalmette, Louisiana until February 15, 1863, then moved to Pensacola, Florida on February 15, and returned to New Orleans on March 22. It then moved to Donaldsonville and had duty there and at Plaquemine until May 27, 1863. The 28th Maine Infantry was then attached to the 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, 19th Army Corps of the Department of the Gulf to May, 1863. Six companies were then ordered to Port Hudson, Louisiana on May 27. The 28th Maine Infantry was assigned to Major General Nathaniel Banks’ force in its prolonged assault on Port Hudson, Louisiana.
Confederate General John C. Breckinridge and 4,000 troops occupied the fortification and batteries at Port Hudson, situated between Baton Rouge and Bayou Sara. Soldiers of the 4th Louisiana Infantry also arrived at the site on August 15, 1862. According to historian John D. Winters, “Port Hudson, unlike Baton Rouge, was one of the strongest points on the river, and batteries placed upon the bluffs could command the entire river front.”
Union General Banks and his troops assaulted and then surrounded Port Hudson from May 22 to July 9, 1863. On May 27, 1863, after their initial frontal assaults were repulsed, the Union forces settled into a siege that lasted for 48 days. Banks renewed his assault on June 14 but the Confederate defenders successfully repelled them. During a Confederate counterattack on June 28, 1863, the Union companies fought-off an overwhelming force, “killing and wounding twice as many men as they themselves numbered, including a general and several field officers – captured nearly as many prisoners as the number in the garrison and twice as many officers as there were in the fort,” according to the Adjutant General of Maine.
On July 9, 1863, after hearing of the fall of Vicksburg, the Confederate garrison of Port Hudson finally surrendered, ending 48 days of continuous fighting and placing the entire Mississippi River under Union control. Both sides had suffered heavy casualties: about 5,000 Union men were killed or wounded, and an additional 5,000 fell to disease or sunstroke; Confederate forces suffered around 750 casualties, several hundred of whom died of disease. Six thousand five hundred Confederates surrendered and were sent North into custody.
The 28th Maine was then attached to the 3rd Brigade. 2nd Division, 19th Corps of the Department of the Gulf to July, 1863. On July 4, the Regiment was ordered to Donaldsonville, and saw duty there until July 12. They moved to Baton Rouge on July 12, then to Cairo, Illinois on August 6. The 28th mustered out on August 31, 1863. A total of 1185 men served in the 28th Maine. The regiment lost one officer and ten enlisted men, killed and mortally wounded, and three officers and 140 enlisted men to disease, a total of 154.
After his Civil War service, David Taylor returned to his wife Susan and young son Charles at the Taylor family farm at Smithfield, Maine. David and Susan Taylor then had two more children: Alma and Ervin. The 1870 US Census for Smithfield, Maine shows David Taylor (age 35) and wife Susan (age 32) living on the farm with three children, Charles (age 8), Alma (age 5) and Ervin (age 2), along with David’s parents, Isaiah (age 70) and Mehitable (age 62). David and Susan had another child, Mary, around 1873. At some point after 1873, Susan (Wakefield) Taylor became gravely ill. Her close friend and neighbor, Martha A. Stevens, came to live with the Taylor’s, to care for Susan and her four young children. After Susan (Wakefield) Taylor died, Martha A. Stevens and David Taylor married on November 18, 1876. David and Martha (Stevens) Taylor had a daughter, Ethel, in 1877. The 1880 US Census for Smithfield, Somerset County, Maine shows David (age 47), wife Martha (age 26) and children Charles (age 17), Alma (age 14), Ervin (age 11), Mary (age 7) and Ethel (age 2) living on the Taylor farm. The 1880 US Census also shows that David Taylor was working at the farm of John Hoyt at newly settled Easton in Aroostook County, Maine. David and Martha had two more children, Preston in 1882 and Evelyn in 1883. At some point before July 1884, David Taylor and his family moved to a farm at Easton, Maine. David and Martha had one last child, Susan Martha on July 21, 1884 at Easton, Maine.
David Taylor died on January 30, 1887 at age 53 at Easton, Maine.
FREDERICK HOWARD was born on November 5, 1840. He was the fourth child of John and Jane Howard of Kingsclear Parish, York County, New Brunswick, Canada. According to the 1851 Census of New Brunswick: John Howard, age 48, was a farmer; Jane was 38; both were born in New Brunswick and were Wesleyan Methodists; and their seven children at that time were Alexander (age 20), Louisa Jane (age 17), Caroline J. (age 13), Frederick A. (age 11), John A. (age 5), Sarah (age 3) and Frances M. (age 1). Fredrick’s father, John Howard, was the son of John “Allan” Howard, the son of a Loyalist soldier during the American Revolution. After the American Revolution, his widow and son were stripped of their property by New York authorities and then fled to Canada and were settled on a 280-acre land grant at Kingsclear Parish, New Brunswick, dated December 31, 1799.
In 1861, Frederick A. Howard, a Canadian British subject, defied the order of Parliament that its citizens not become involved in the American Civil War, and enlisted as a private in Company F of the 10th Maine Infantry Regiment of the Union Army, which mustered at Portland, Maine on October 4, 1861.
Pvt. Frederick A. Howard circa October 1861
10th Maine Infantry Regiment:
Organized at Portland and mustered in October 4, 1861. Left State for Baltimore, Md., October 6. Attached to Dix’s Division to November, 1861. Railroad Brigade, Army Potomac, to April, 1862. 1st Brigade, Williams’ Division, Dept. of the Shenandoah, to June, 1862. 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 2nd Army Corps, Army of Virginia, to September, 1862. 1st Brigade, 1st Division, 12th Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, to April, 1863. Headquarters 12th Army Corps, Armies of the Potomac and Cumberland, to November, 1863.
SERVICE.–Duty at Baltimore, Md., until November 4, 1861. At Relay House until November 27, and at Baltimore until February 27, 1862. Guard duty by detachments along Baltimore & Ohio Railroad between Martinsburg and Charleston, W. Va., until May. Company “D” at Harper’s Ferry until May 24, then moved to Winchester. Company “F” at Harper’s Ferry until May 9, then moved to Winchester. Company “H” at Duffield’s until May 24, then moved to Winchester. Company “K” at Kearneysville until May 24, then moved to Winchester. Company “C” at Van Obeiseville until May 9, then moved to Winchester. Company “A” at Opequan Bridge until May 24, then moved to Winchester. Company “B” at Martinsburg until May 24, then moved to Winchester. Company “E” at Halitown until May 9, then moved to Winchester. Companies “G” and “I” at Charleston until May 9, then moved to Winchester. All Companies at their stations from March 28. Operations in Shenandoah Valley May 15-June 17. Middletown May 24. Winchester May 25. Retreat to Williamsport May 25-27. Reconnaissance toward Martinsburg May 28. Reconnaissance to Luray C. H. June 29-30. Battle of Cedar Mountain August 9. Pope’s Campaign in Northern Virginia August 16-September 2. Guarding trains during Bull Run Battles. Battle of Antietam, Md., September 16-17. Duty at Berlin, Md., October 3-December 10. March to Fairfax Station December 10-14, and duty there until January 19, 1863. March to Stafford C. H. January 19-23, and duty there until April 27. Ordered to rear for muster out April 27. Three-year men formed into a Battalion of three Companies and assigned to duty at Headquarters 12th Army Corps April 26. Old members mustered out May 8, 1863. Chancellorsville Campaign April 27-May 6. Battle of Chancellorsville May 1-5. Gettysburg (Pa.) Campaign June 13-July 24. Battle of Gettysburg July 1-3. Along the Rapidan August 1-September 24. Moved to Nashville, Tenn., September 24-October 2; to Murfreesboro, Tenn., October 5, thence to Shelbyville and Wartrace. Reopening Tennessee River October 26-29. Provost duty at Headquarters 12th Corps until November. Transferred to 29th Maine Infantry November 1, 1863.
Regiment lost during service 8 Officers and 74 Enlisted men killed and mortally wounded and 1 Officer and 53 Enlisted men by disease. Total 136.
Throughout his Civil War service, Frederick Howard carried the following photograph of his widowed mother Jane Howard:
Following his Civil War service, Frederick returned to New Brunswick, married Ruth Langdon, and by 1868 had settled in the town of Grand Falls, New Brunswick. According to the 1881 Canadian Census, Frederick (then age 40 and a Methodist) and Ruth (then age 38 and an Episcopalian) had five children: George (age 13), James (age 11), Alice (age 8), Marie (age 7), and Lillie (age 4), all being raised as Episcopalians.
Frederick A. Howard circa 1881
Frederick Howard went on to become a successful hotelier in Grand Falls. By 1900, Frederick (age 60) was a widower and a grandfather, but two of his daughters, Marie and Lillie (then ages 26 and 24), were still living at home with Frederick in Grand Falls.
Frederick A. Howard died in 1906 at age 65 at Grand Falls, New Brunswick.
A medieval member of the Mhuintir Luinigh is featured in an on-line exhibition sponsored by the Irish Franciscans, the Royal Irish Academy, Trinity College Dublin and University College Dublin. Ruaidhrí Ó Luinín (Rory O’Lunney) of Innismore (Great Island) in Loch Erne in County Fermanagh, was the principal seanchaidh (historian and scribe) of Annála Uladh (the Annals of Ulster). This medieval chronicle, one of the regional Irish annals, covers events that occurred in the northern half of Ireland between the years 431 and 1504 AD. They record the deaths of important churchmen, the reigns of kings and other significant persons and events. Pages from Ruaidhrí Ó Luinín’s original handwritten manuscript are on display at Dublin in the Trinity College Library, and are one of Ireland’s greatest historical treasures.
Some scholars believe that Ruaidhrí Ó Luinín’s beautiful script (shown above) inspired J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Elvish” caligraphy in his Lord of the Rings novels.
Ruaidhrí Ó Luinín, who died in 1528, was a member of a famous learned family, the hereditary historians to The Maguire’s of Fermanagh. Historians like Ruaidhrí Ó Luinín were members of the courts of the medieval Irish aristocracy. They sustained important schools of learning, were the hereditary keepers of medieval churches and lands, and possessed extensive lands and other wealth in their own right as a consequence of their profession and the nobility that it conferred.
Practitioner of seanchas, like Ruaidhrí Ó Luinín, were known as a seanchaidh (professional historian), and continued many of the scholarly roles once performed by the druidic poets of pre-Christian Ireland. Briefly defined, seanchas was the narrative memory of Irish history, as preserved and written from the early medieval period of Ireland. Seanchas recorded the many important traditions of the Irish, their origins and genealogies and their leaders and political landscape.
Link to the on-line exhibit: Writing Irish History
The Lunney Family of Maine is saddened by the death of our distant cousin Elizabeth Taylor, the violet-eyed film goddess, whose life, fame and glamour made her one of the last of the old-fashioned Hollywood movie stars.
Dame Elizabeth Taylor died on Wednesday, March 23, 2011, of congestive heart failure at age 79, in Cedars-Sinai Medical Center at Los Angeles. Elizabeth Taylor shared common Taylor family roots with Susan Martha (Taylor) Lunney, founding ancestor of the Lunney Family of Maine.
Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor was born in London on February 27, 1932, the daughter of Francis Taylor, an art dealer, and Sara (Sothern) Taylor, an American stage actress. At age 3, with extensive ballet training already behind her, Elizabeth Taylor danced for Britain’s Royal Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret Rose at London’s Hippodrome. At age 4, she was given a wild field horse that she learned to ride expertly. At the onset of World War II, the Taylor’s came to the United States. Francis Taylor opened an art gallery in Beverly Hills and, in 1942, his 10-year-old daughter Elizabeth made her screen debut with a bit part in the comedy “There’s One Born Every Minute.” She was a bona fide star at age 12, a bride and a divorcee at 18, a superstar at 19, and a widow at 26.
She arrived in Hollywood when the studio system controlled every aspect of an actor’s life and image, but had more affairs and marriages than any publicist could ever explain away, and then lasted long enough not to owe anyone an explanation for anything. “I don’t entirely approve of some of the things I have done, or am, or have been. But I’m me. God knows, I’m me,” Taylor once said. She had a remarkable and exhausting personal and professional life, but was the film industry’s great survivor and iconic beauty, and among the first to reach the modern pinnacle of celebrity – being famous simply for being famous.
Dame Elizabeth Taylor also shared common Taylor ancestors with US Presidents James Madison, William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor, Abraham Lincoln and Benjamin Harrison.