Anglocentric medieval genealogy



I read with enjoyment and interest Mr. Sjostrom's article on Queen
Helena of Sweden in the current _Foundations_. I echo what he and others
have said here as to the value of seeing more "out there" on continental
medieval genealogy. I suspect the lack of more continental genealogy
here is due to several factors, among them 1) English is the predominant
language of the group, 2) perhaps more has been already published in
English, and about British families, hence spurring yet more British
research, and 3) disproportionately more British collections and
archives are catalogued, and therefore "known" (at least, to "us").
Possibly, too (though this is hard, if not impossible, to assess)
proportionately more records created in Britain have survived to this
day.

In the same issue of _Foundations_ (pp. 384-5), I found Morris
Bierbrier's words tantalizing, "A bombshell has been quietly waiting in
the Vatican library in the papers of a certain Angelo Massarelli
(d.1566) which contains a detailed genealogy of the descendants of
Theodore Kantakuzenos...." Also, "[m]any documents may still remain
unread or even unknown." Having gotten to know a scholar who had worked
at the Vatican library, later working with me at the Newberry Library in
Chicago, I have long strongly believed (for instance) that crucial
documents regarding the divorce of Henry VIII (etc.) might well lurk
unnoticed in the Vatican library. Ah, for more time and unlimited
resources!

By the way, this is a fine opportunity for me to express my thanks and
appreciation to Steven Edwards and the _Foundations_ team. An excellent
publication!





Anthony Hoskins
History, Genealogy and Archives Librarian
Sonoma County Archivist
Sonoma County History and Genealogy Library
3rd and E Streets
Santa Rosa, California 95404

707/545-0831, ext. 562
.