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Chapter 57  Godwulf – My earliest lateral ancestor


The earliest known relative in my family is Godwulf, who is a figure in the Anglo-Saxon royal genealogies.  Anglo-Saxon royal genealogies refer collectively to the genealogies of the pre-Viking Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of Britain. These trace the royal families through legendary kings and heroes, through myths, and usually an eponymous ancestor of their clan, and in most cases converge on Woden. In their fully elaborated forms, they continue the pedigrees back to patriarchs Noah and Adam, but are not viewed as a reflection of authentic history.


Godwulf was born about 80 AD.  He heads the longest genealogical line recorded in my files, covering 67 generations.  That shows easily that a generation averages about 29 years.  That is the time between a person's birth and the first child given issue by that person.


Godwulf is the 65th great grandfather of my Westmoreland grandchildren, though he is not directly related to me.  Godwulf's descendants travel down through the family line of my son-in-law, Steven O. Westmoreland.


Godwulf can be described in relation to my family’s lines as the 34th great grandfather of the 14th great grand uncle of Edward Southworth, the first husband of my 7th great grandmother, Alice Carpenter.  My descending from Alice is through her second husband, Plymouth Colony Governor William Bradford, known as one of the leaders among the people of the Mayflower ship that landed in what later became known as Massachusetts Bay. 


This very long genealogical line ties into my most lengthy genealogical  line, the one going back to Halfdan Vanha Sveidasson, the Earle of the Uplands in Norway.  Halfdan Vanha Sveidasson was a Viking born about 750 AD.  Halfdan Vanha Sveidasson is my 34th great grandfather.  Halfdan Vanha Sveidasson's family line and Godwulf's family line came together in the person of French born English King Henry II. 


King Henry II came from the Plantagenet (pronounced planTAJ uh niht), which was the family name of a line of kings that ruled England from 1154 to 1399.  These kings descended from the marriage of Matilda, daughter of King Henry I, to Geoffrey, count of Anjou, France.  Geoffrey was nicknamed Plantagenet, because he wore a sprig of the broom (genet) plant in his cap.  Numerous historians also call these kings Angevins, meaning from Anjou.  The Plantagenet dynasty began with Henry II, son of Matilda and Geoffrey.  Henry is my 9th cousin, 24 times removed, as well as the 14th great grandfather of the first husband of Alice Carpenter, my seven times great grandmother.  Henry II is the 10th great grandson of Halfdan Vanha Sveidasson and the 35th great grandson of Godwulf.


Godwulf's birth occurred just months following the event of Mount Vesuvius erupting on August 24, 79 AD, burying the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum in volcanic ash.  An estimated 20,000 people died.


Godwulf came about on this earth in the days that the Biblical New Testament were just being completed.  The concluding book of the Bible, "Revelation, was written when Christians were entering a time of persecution.  The two periods most often mentioned are the latter part of Nero's reign (54-68 AD) and the latter part of Domitian's reign (81-96 AD).  Most scholars date the book by the Apostle John about 95 AD.  A few suggest a date during the reign of Vespasian: 69-79 AD."   Other New Testament writings were being wrapped up in the era of Godwulf's birth.


Source:       "The New International Version Study Bible," editor Kenneth Barker, Zondervan, publishers, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530, 1984,page 1,522


The Gospel of Jesus Christ was beginning to grow across the world.  However, it would be the 17th generation from Godwulf before Christianity came into this family line.


Of course, one of the most famous Post Biblical events to occur to the Israelite nation was the destruction of the Temple at Jerusalem in 70 AD, just a decade prior to Godwulf's birth.


In Godwulf's lifetime, when Trajan was Emperor of Rome (98-116), the Roman Empire reached its greatest geographical extent.


Source:       "The Timetables of History," Bernard Grun, a Touchstone Book, published by Simon & Schuster, New York, 1975 ISBN 0-671-74919-6, page 26


Not much is known about Godwulf, the man.  It is said that he is from Norse traditions.    Norse is of or relating to medieval Scandinavia or its peoples, languages, or cultures.  It is of or relating to Norway or its people, language, or culture.  Norse is relating to, or being the branch of the North Germanic languages that includes Norwegian, Icelandic, and Faroese.  All of this is a pre-Christian time for this part of the world.




An extensive discourse is posted about the people of Godwulf and his descendants at this URL:


Be aware, in this context, that the term, "mythology" means experiences of human kind allegedly encountering the Devine.  That would include the God (and Trinity) of the Bible as well as the false deities of what is called by various names, such as "Greek mythology."  A myth is a traditional or legendary story, usually concerning some being or hero or event, with or without a determinable basis of fact or a natural explanation, especially one that is concerned with deities or demigods and explains some practice, rite, or phenomenon of nature.




Other reports which account events of 80 AD or close to it:


#Year 80 was a leap year starting on Saturday of the Julian calendar.


# The Emperor Titus inaugurates the Colosseum with 100 days of games.


# The earliest stage of Lullingstone Roman villa was built (approximate date).


# The Roman occupation of Britain reached the River Tyne-Solway Firth frontier area (approximate date).


# The original Roman Pantheon was destroyed in a fire, together with many other buildings. 


# The Eifel Aqueduct was constructed to bring water 95 km (60 miles) from the Eifel region to Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensum (modern Cologne).


# The first African enters the Roman Senate


#The aeolipile, the first steam engine, is invented by Hero of Alexandria.


#The Gospel of Luke and Acts are written approximate date).


#The Gospel according to Matthew is translated into Greek.


#Saint Timothy, bishop of Ephesus died in 80 A.D. (traditional date)





This series of genealogical and historical events have been compiled for the information and enjoyment of interested persons.  Obviously, dates and facts claimed to have ancient origins, chiefly prior to the 1600s, are often not considered reliable by serious historians.   However, they do reflect ideas and notions people researching history have felt likely took place.  It is in those senses that I hope the reader enjoys this effort.


The genealogical descendants report I have for Godwulf is 370 pages.  You may download it here, if you wish. 




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