Friday, July 31, 2009

Nutfield's Royal Connection

Doña María del Rosario Cayetana Alfonsa Victoria Eugenia Francisca Fitz-James Stuart y Silva

The Duchess of Alba, the grandest grandee in Spain, is said to be able to cross the country from north to south without leaving her estates, and to possess more titles than the Queen of England. She is one of the wealthiest women in the entire world. She has 44 noble titles and 150 hereditary titles. Her name is splashed on headlines in Europe more than the Octomom, Michael Jackson and Angelina Jolie combined in the United States.

I married a Spaniard, and in all our trips to visit the in-laws in Madrid, we often pass the Duchess of Alba’s grand mansion. Of course, I only see it whilst jammed into a public bus, peeking out between the elbows of other Madrileños. We all hope to see the Duchess perhaps in her limo, or out watering the roses.

I recently saw that on top of all her titles, she was applying, with her sisters to belong to DAR. Now, here in lowly Londonderry, membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Society of Mayflower Descendants might be the closest your average Jane Doe can attain to having a “title.” I guess Doña Cayetana wanted to pile another title on her crown.

When I found out how she qualified for DAR membership, I had to chuckle. The lineage was public knowledge, and is easily found with a little time spent googling on the internet. Now thousands of Americans may claim her as a cousin, and perhaps want to crash on her sofa while taking in the sites in Madrid!

William McKean (pronounced McCain, like the presidential candidate) was a Scots Irish immigrant from Northern Ireland, just like most of the first settlers in Nutfield. He, like so many of the Scots Irish, didn’t stay put in New Hampshire, but he removed to Pennsylvania. His grandson, Thomas McKean, was a lawyer and politician, as well as a Revolutionary War officer. He married well twice, and lived in luxury in Philadelphia. He became a signer of the Declaration of Independence, a Continental Congressman, President of Delaware and Governor of Pennsylvania, among other triumphs. I guess grand titles run in this family!

His daughter, Sarah, was only a teenager when she caught the eye of a Spanish grandee at a state dinner in Philadelphia. Señor Don Carlos Martinez d’Yrugo quickly married her and had three children before returning to Spain. Their son Don Carlos Fernando Martinez de Yrujo y McKean became prime Minister of Spain, and the second Marquis de Casa Yrujo, Duke of Sotomayor. He married even better than his grandfather and mother, and his children and descendants began collecting titles, estates and power in Spain. Thus a dynasty was born in lowly Londonderry!

Doña Cayetana FitzJames Stuart is also a direct descendant of the King James II of England by his illegitimate son James FitzJames, 1st Duke of Berwick by his mistress Arabella Churchill.

The Family Tree....

  • Gen. 1. William McKean b. 1704 Northern Ireland d. 18 Nov 1769 in Londonderry, New Hampshire m. Letitia Finney

  • Gen 2: Thomas McKeen b. 19 Mar 1733/4 in New London, Pennsylvania d. 24 Jun 1817 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania m. Sarah Armitage on 3 Sep 1774 in Newcastle, Delaware

  • Gen 3: Sarah Maria Teresa McKean b. 8 Jul 1777 in Newark, Delaware d. 4 Jan 1841 in Madrid, Spain m. Carlos Martinez on 10 Apr 1798 in Philadelphia

  • Gen 4: Carlos Fernando Martinez b. 14 Dec 1802 Washington, DC d. 26 Dec 185 in Madrid, Spain m. Gabriela de Acazar

  • Gen 5. Carlos Manuel Martinez b. 5 Apr 1846 in London, England d. 14 Sep 19 in San Sebastian, Spain m. Maria Caro

  • Gen 6. Pedro Martinez b. 3 Oct 1882 d. 5 Sep 1957 San Sebastian, Spain m. Ana Maria Arazcoz Labayen on 26 Oct 1910

  • Gen 7. Luis Martinez b. 17 Nov 1919 in Madrid, Spain d. 6 Sep 1972 in Houston, Texas m. Maria del Rosario Fitz-James Stuart on 12 Oct 1947 in Seville, Spain as her first husband. 
      The children of her first husband are eligible for DAR or to join the "Descendants of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence" and other patriotic organizations because of this marriage.  

Copyright 2009, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

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