Revisiting the Princess of Wales

More than a decade ago I had the opportunity to edit Richard Evans’s account of the ancestry of Diana, Princess of Wales. Looking now at the finished product gives me great pleasure: it seems to me both intrinsically interesting as an expansive view of one person’s (fascinating) ancestry and connections, as well as a useful model for managing large amounts of genealogical information.

Of course, in looking at the book now my eye is drawn to some entries that (at least in part) defeated the author and defeated me – in our efforts to use the best sources available, there were some people in the more recent generations who could not be fully documented. Now, with some distance – and noting that more genealogical resources come online daily – I have taken a fresh look at some of the “problem children” to see what I could find.

The Princess of Wales’s stepfather, Peter Shand Kydd (1925–2006), died shortly before the book came out (in August 2007). His death was registered in the Ipswich, Suffolk district in March 2006.[1] The book also omitted Mr. Shand Kydd’s mother’s name: she was Frances Madeline Foy (1900–1983),[2] and she married Norman Shand Kydd in 1920[3] and Yorke Edwards Pittar (1895–1949)[4] in 1929.[5]

The entry for the Princess of Wales’s stepfather should read: Peter Shand Kydd, born at “Waratah,” Highgate, London 23 April 1925 and died at Aldeburgh, Suffolk[6] 23 March 2006, son of Norman Shand Kydd and Frances Madeline Foy.

*

The Princess’s stepmother died in 2016, so her entry should read:

Raine McCorquodale, born at 6 Culross Street, Mayfair, London 9 Sept. 1929 and died at 24 Farm Street, Mayfair 21 Oct. 2016, formerly wife of Gerald Humphrey Legge, 9th Earl of Dartmouth, and daughter of Captain Alexander George McCorquodale and Dame Mary Barbara Hamilton Cartland, D.B.E.

*

Much was made of the Princess’s American great-grandmother at the time of her wedding in 1981. This great-grandmother was Frances Eleanor Work (1857–1947), who married secondly – and against her father’s wishes, according to contemporary gossip[7] – a Hungarian horse trainer named Aurél Bátonyi on 9 August 1905. Bátonyi, who evidently aspired to finer things than managing horses, sometimes described himself as Count Bátonyi; he traveled abroad frequently, and in 1915 – despite having become an American citizen in 1895 – he was said to be in Budapest in the Austrian army.[8]

…Aurél Bátonyi recedes from view during the First World War…

A 1906 article, from the period of Bátonyi’s marriage to Mrs. Burke Roche, noted that his parents were M. and Mme. Leopold Batonyi of Budapest; given that the younger Bátonyi later testified that he was born a Kohn, his father’s name is uncertain. Bátonyi was “a perfect genius in the management of horses”; a master at teaching the art of driving four-in-hand, he had taught the skill to Mrs. Burke Roche and Mrs. Nicholas Longworth (Alice Roosevelt, the daughter of the president).[9]

In any case, Aurél Bátonyi recedes from view during the First World War; perhaps he remained in Europe after 1915. A little more can be added to his entry: Aurél Bátonyi, who was born at Baja, Bács-Kiskun, Hungary 30 Aug. 1865, son of Leopold Bátonyi [sic].[10]

*

One of the Princess of Wales’s great-great-grandmothers was Barbara Smith Marr (b. 1842), whose entry notes that she “died before 30 June 1898.” This entry should now read:

29. Barbara Smith Marr, born 14 Aug., baptized at Tarves 11 Sept. 1842 and died at Drumoak, Aberdeenshire 29 July 1869.[11]

*

Seven entries for the next generation can be updated:

34. Colonel Sir Horace Beauchamp Seymour, K.C.H. (1836), M.P. 1819–32 and 1841–51 … married, 2nd, at St. James’s Church, Westminster (London) 9 July 1835, Frances Selina Isabella Poyntz, who was born 23 Dec. 1795, baptized Frances Isabella Poyntz at the Church of St. Mary le Bone, Westminster 20 Jan. 1796[12] and died at 28 St. James’s Place, London 29 Aug. 1875, widow of Robert Cotton St. John Trefusis, 18th Baron Clinton, and daughter of William Stephen Poyntz and Hon. Elizabeth Mary Browne, daughter of Anthony Joseph Browne, 7th Viscount Montagu. He married, 1st, at St. George’s Church, Hanover Square, London 15 May 1818,

35. Elizabeth Malet Palk, died at Hampton Court Palace 18, buried at St. Mary’s Church, Hampton (Richmond), Surrey[13] 26 Jan. 1827 aged 31.

36. Henry Baring, M.P. 1806–7 and 1820–26, partner in Baring Brothers 1803–23, born 18 Jan., baptized at St. Gabriel Fenchurch, London 17 Feb. 1776[14] and died at 11 Berkeley Square, London 13, buried at All Souls’ Church, Kensal Green, Chelsea (London) 20 April 1848.[15] He married, 1st, at St. Pancras Old Church, London 19 April 1802 (marriage dissolved by divorce in 1825), Maria Matilda Bingham, whose will [as Marquise du Blaisel] was proved at London 18 Aug. 1849,[16] formerly wife of Comte James Alexander de Tilly,[17] and daughter of U.S. Senator William Bingham and Anne Willing.

*

38. John Crocker Bulteel, M.P. 1832-34, baptized at Yealmpton, Devonshire 15 May 1793 and died at 15 Great George Street, Westminster (London) 10, buried at All Souls’ Church, Kensal Green (Chelsea), Middlesex 15 Sept. 1843.[18] He married at the Earl Grey’s house, London 13 May 1826,

39. Lady Elizabeth Grey, born 10 July, baptized at Essendon, Hertfordshire 12 Aug. 1798 and died at 52 Green Street, Grosvenor Square, London 8 Nov. 1880.[19]

*

42. Richard William Penn Curzon [from 1821 Curzon-Howe], 1st Earl Howe, G.C.H. (1830), P.C. (1831)married, 1st, at 36 Portman Square, London 19 March 1820, Lady Harriet Georgiana Brudenell, born 18 Dec. 1799, baptized at Hambleden, Buckinghamshire 16 Jan. 1800[20] and died at Penn House, near Amersham, Buckinghamshire 25 Oct. 1836, daughter of Robert Brudenell, 6th Earl of Cardigan [No. 90], and Penelope Anne Cooke [No. 91].

*

47. Lady Caroline Paget, born 6 June, baptized at St. James’s Church, Westminster (London) 2 July 1796[21] and died at 51 Portland Place 12 March 1874.

Continued here.

Notes

[1] England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916–2007 [database on-line].

[2] Sydney, Australia, Cemetery Headstone Transcriptions, 1837–2003 [database on-line].

[3] England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1916–2005 [database on-line].

[4] Australia, Newspaper Vital Notices, 1841–2001 [database on-line].

[5] Australia, Marriage Index, 1788–1950 [database on-line].

[6] East Anglian Daily Times, “Suffolk and Essex’s daily newspaper online,” 31 March 2006.

[7] “Mrs. Burke Roche Dead Here at 90,” The New York Times, 27 January 1947, 23.

[8] “Robbed Batonyi Home,” The New York Times, 18 April 1915, 1. The robber, who had escaped from the Mattapan Insane Asylum, had “a pink shirt monogrammed A. B. and other shirts monogrammed Batonyi” in his possession at the time of his arrest.

[9] The Sketch, 29 August 1906, 201. He also went by Cohen (“Wed Batonyi Last Year,” The New York Times, 17 July 1906, 3, which confirms the wedding date of 9 August 1905) or Kohn. A review of Bátonyi’s appearances in the Times suggests that he was both litigious and unlucky – as were his antagonists.

[10] U.S. Passport Applications, 1795–1925, 0126_42444–43365, 13 January 1911–31 January 1911 (42647).

[11] Her Findagrave entry includes the information that Barbara was born 10 September 1842, which conflicts with the Tarves (Aberdeenshire) baptismal register quoted in the book.

[12] London, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1538–1812 [database on-line].

[13] London, England, Church of England Deaths and Burials, 1813–2003 [database on-line].

[14] London, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1538–1812 [database on-line].

[15] London, England, Church of England Deaths and Burials, 1813–2003 [database on-line].

[16] England & Wales, Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills, 1384–1858 [database on-line].

[17] Rhode Island, Vital Extracts 1636–1899 [database on-line].

[18] London, England, Church of England Deaths and Burials, 1813–2003 [database on-line].

[19] England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858–1966, 1973–1995 [database on-line].

[20] England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538–1975 [database on-line].

[21] Ibid.

About Scott C. Steward

Scott C. Steward has been NEHGS’ Editor-in-Chief since 2013. He is the author, co-author, or editor of genealogies of the Ayer, Le Roy, Lowell, Saltonstall, Thorndike, and Winthrop families. His articles have appeared in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, NEXUS, New England Ancestors, American Ancestors, and The Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine, and he has written book reviews for the Register, The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, and the National Genealogical Society Quarterly.

4 thoughts on “Revisiting the Princess of Wales

  1. Of the corrections of vitals, there is a never ending.

    I smiled at your phraseology in footnote 11, re Barbara Marr, when you know darn well the Find-A-Grave person, seeing the baptismal date, “created” the birth date under the assumption that an infant baptism would follow closely on the birth. Putting a “?” after the 10 would have at least alerted a another researcher to the “fact” of the assumption.

  2. I was intrigued that Diana’s step-mother’s maiden name was the same as her sister Sarah’s husband’s surname. It turns out that they are second cousins once removed!

  3. Princess Diana and I were 11th cousins, exactly. Our common ancestor was John Cogswell, who came to America in 1635. I find it intriguing how our lives ‘paralleled’, and wonder if it would have been different had our fate been switched-I being her, she being me, with my family ending up in England instead of staying here in the U.S. Thanks for the update on the info!

  4. Have there been any changes in her ancestry including Grifith Bowen and Margaret Fleming? They were from Wales ca. 1600, They came to the American colonies around 1635. I am their descendant as well. Kitty Hayes

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