Warenne Family Ancestry

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History of Warren Family Edit

This history assumes that all Warren Family Lines originated with a family of Norman Knights that resided in an ancient castle on the River Warenne in France and that played a very critical role in assisting William of Normandy with his famous conquest of England for which they were handsomely rewarded. These early Warennes had also intermarried with the highest of French and English aristocracy that provided a ancient bloodline to King Charlemagne.

Vikings & Norman Knights (790-1066) Edit

The Family of Warenne originated from Normandy France. The de Warenne surname derives from the castle of that name on the River Varenne which flows through territory that William acquired in Upper Normandy. Ruins of this old 11th Century castle are found today near Bellencombre, Seine-Maritime. This family is believed to be descendants of Scandinavian Vikings.


The period from the earliest recorded raids in the 790s until the Norman conquest of England in 1066 is commonly known as the Viking Age of Scandinavian history. Vikings used the Norwegian Sea and Baltic Sea for sea routes to the south. The Normans were descended from Danish and Norwegian Vikings who were given feudal overlordship of areas in northern France — the Duchy of Normandy — in the 10th century. In that respect, descendants of the Vikings continued to have an influence in northern Europe. Likewise, King Harold Godwinson, the last Anglo-Saxon king of England, had Danish ancestors.


Ranulf I de Warenne (998-1058), is the earliest documented patriarch of the Warren Family. He was a Norman Knight - lived at Castle de Warenne in France. He had two sons; Rodulf, father of the Warenne Family, and Roger of Mortimer, father of the Mortimer Family. See Ranulf I de Warenne (998-1058)/descendants for the first few generations of his descendants.


Roger received the Mortimer surname for conquering another Norman castle of that name. The grandsons of Ranulf I would later become involved in a dispute over possession of the Mortimer castle, but later reconciled in time to both join William in his conquest of England.

During this time the authority of the French king was very weak, and Normandy saw much intrigue and violence amongst the various landlords. 


This political landscaped changed significantly in the year 1066.  That was when many of the Norman knights aligned with a fellow named William who had become involved with a dispute with his childess cousin, Edward the Confessor, to inherit the English crown.  

This argument climaxed into victory in September of that year when these Norman knights sailed in a large invasion force and did battle at Hastings with Harold Godwinson, who had been named the next king by Edward on the latter's deathbed in January 1066.

The winner of this contest, William the Conqueror, rewarded his fellow knights with vast tracts of English land. It appears that none were rewarded more handsomely than our William de Warenne, who would be titled the 1st Earl of Warenne. This reward indicates that he was a very high ranking lieutenant in the Norman army.

Earls of Warenne (1066-1304) Edit

Lewes Castle2

Lewes Castle - Ancestral Home of the Warenne Family.

William de Warenne, who crossed with William I. in 1066, was a distant cousin of the Conqueror, his grandmother having been the sister of Gunnora, wife of Richard I. of Normandy.

Genealogists have hotly disputed whether or not William de Warenne's wife Gundred, was the daughter of the Conqueror (as alluded to on her gravestone.) However more recent discoveries are leading us to believe that the gravestone description is a bit misleading and actually refers to a more distant family connection.

The Earldom of Surrey was first created in 1088 for William de Warenne, as a reward for loyal service to William during the Conquest. He received the lordship of Reigate Castle in Surrey, but also had holdings in twelve other counties. Perhaps because he held little property in Surrey, the earldom came to be more commonly called of Warenne. It was held by William de Warenne's son and grandson, both also named William, and then by the husbands of Isabella, daughter of the third William de Warenne.

Lewes Castle, the Early English ancestral home of the Warenne Family, stands at the highest point of Lewes, East Sussex, England on an artificial mound constructed with chalk blocks. It was originally called Bray Castle. It was the scene of many historic events in early English history. The first fortification on the site was a wooden keep, later converted to stone. It is unusual for a motte and bailey construction in that it has two mottes. It is one of only two such remaining in the country, the other being Lincoln. The Barbican is a particularly fine example of its type. Today this castle museum is open to visitors. Lewes Castle was built in 1069 by William de Warenne, 1st Earl of Surrey. William de Warenne and his descendants also had estates and built castles in Reigate, Surrey (Reigate Castle) and in Yorkshire (Sandal Castle and Conisbrough Castle).

William and his wife also founded a nearby religious order, Lewes Priory.  This place recorded much of the early Warenne family history and also became the burial place for early family members.

The Earls of Warenne were very active in English politics and battles of the time. William de Warenne, 3rd Earl of Surrey (1120-1148) even sailed to Paris to negotiate an English-French treaty and then later died fighting in the Crusades in Asia Minor.

Lewes Castle was the site of the Battle of Lewes in 1264.  Here King Henry, supported by John, 7th Earl of Warenne lost the battle to rebel barons and was forced to sign the Mises of Lewes.

When the last of the Warennes John, the 7th Earl died without issue in 1347, he was buried in Lewes Priory.  The earldom (of Surrey) then passed to John's nephew, Richard FitzAlan, 10th Earl of Arundel, although he did not assume the title until after the death of the previous earl's widow in 1351. It was also held by his son, who forfeited it upon his execution in 1397.

For more info see: Gundred Family Documents -

See also the Warenne Chronicle - Oxford Medievel Text - publ 2013 by Elizabeth Van Houts and Rosalind Love. (A small portion of which is visible in Google Books)

See also the Dictionary of National Biography, Volume 1 - by Sir Sidney Lee, Sir E. T. Williams, C. S. Nicholls, Robert Blake, Helen M. Palmer, L. G. Wickham Legg, John Regina.  pg 1367-68.

Lord of Ightfield (1304-1485)Edit

We are currently working to fill in a distinct gap in the Warren Family History covering the 14th and 15th Centuries of English history. 

The modern Warren family is believed to trace through John de Warenne, 6th Earl of Surrey who died in 1304. He had son named John, who was named the 7th Earl of Surrey, but who died without issue. (Another son named William died in a jousting tournament accident.) It is believed there was an illegitimate son named Griffen thru which the Warren Family lineage is traced.

During this time period, the Warrens moved from Lewes in East Sussex, down the English coastline to Nayland, located near the Suffolk/Essex county border. However the village of Ightfield appears to be far away in Shropshire which is near Liverpool on the west coast of England.

Here is the descent as it is usually given: 1. William de Warenne, Earl of Surrey, son of Hameline "Plantagenet." 2. Griffin de Warren, illegitimate son, dead 1286, m. Isabel de Pulford, sister of Robert, rector of Coddington, Cheshire, widow 1286 and 1298. 3. John de Warren, lord of Ightfield jure ux (through marriage), liv. 1289, m. Audelin, daughter and heir of Griffin de Albo Monasterio/Whitchurch [these earliest two generations seem kind of suspicious]. 4. Griffin de Warren of Ightfield, m. Wynifred, d. & coh. of William Broxlon of Chester. 5. John de Warren of Ightfield, liv. 1314, 1335, m. Ellen, d. of John Chorleton. 6. Griffin de Warren of Ightfield, d. 1356, m. Maud/Matilda, d. of Fulke, Lord Strange of Blackmere, afterwards married Sir Piers (or Peter) de Cornwall, lord of Kinlet, Shropshire. 7. Griffin de Warren of Ightfield, m. Margaret Corbet, daughter of Sir Piers de Corbet. 8. John Warren of Ightfield, d. ca. 1413, m. Matilda/ Margaret/ Emma, daughter of Sir John Cheney of Willaston. 9. Margaret Warren, sister and coheir, m. William Mainwaring, d. 1498/9, had Ightfield, Shropshire, and Stratton, in Tilston, Cheshire, with lands in Broxton. But I don't have Morris's notes to the pedigree so I don't know what further evidence he uses to establish the line. Sources: Memoirs of the Ancient Earls of Warren and Surrey, and Their Descendants to the Present Time by John Watson pg 215-220. He cites Vincent's Cheshire that is said to contain a complete pedigree of this Griffinus de Warenna, son of John Warenne, Earl of Surrey.

Warrens of Nayland (1485-1580)Edit

The Warren Family wills recorded in Nayland Parish substantiate the Warren family line back to Robert Warren (1485-1544) and his brother Thomas (residing at Nayland-Wissington, Suffolk Co).  Records refer to Corlie Estate located in this parish.

Rosamary Knox, a local historian of the town, wrote me in Oct 2013. The Warren Family lived in a farmhouse on Corlie Road (now called Cawley Road). The house has since burned down and replaced with a more modern structure. Most of the inhabitants of this region of Wiston and the rural bit of Nayland were smallish farmers and there was no large land owner resident in this parish.

The earliest source of documents on the Warrens here is the Wiston Manorial Documents beginning in 1351 and show a John Waryn present here by 1359.

Nayland village and the adjoining rural hamlet of Wissington (these days usually called 'Wiston'), were originally two separate parishes. However, in 1883 they were united into one civil parish, Nayland-with-Wissington, although the two ecclesiastical parishes remain separate. Nayland and Wiston lie on the northern bank of the River Stour that divides Essex and Suffolk.

Early New England Immigrants (1580-1650) Edit

There are three distinct branches of the Warren Family that settled in the early 1600's in New England all are believed to be descendants of the William de Warenne, 1st Earl of Surrey (1055-1088).

  1. John Warren, The Immigrant 1585 - Sailed to American with Gov Winthrop on the Arabella in 1630.  Many descendants (includeing US presidents and famous celebrities) with direct lineage to the Earl of Surrey.  This wikia project researches this line of the family - my direct ancestors.
  2. Richard Warren (c1580-1628) - Sailed on the Mayflower and settled Plymouth Colony.  Includes several descendants that played a very prominent role in Boston during the American Revolution.  Direct lineage to Medieval England cannot be traced.
  3. Daniel Warren (?) - Third Family.

Warenne Family LineageEdit

01. Ranulf I de Warenne (998-1058)

Norman Knight - lived at Castle de Warenne in France. He had two sons; Rodulf, father of the Warenne Family and Roger of Mortimer, father of the Mortimer Family.

02. Rodulf II de Warenne (1030-1074)

Norman Knight - lived at Castle de Warenne in France

03. William de Warenne, 1st Earl of Surrey (1055-1088)

Norman Knight, Assisted William the Conqueror in his victory at the Battle of Hastings - 1066. Granted many English estates. First Earl of Surrey

04. William de Warenne, 2nd Earl of Surrey (1080-1138)

English Knight and follower of Henry I - married to Elizabeth de Vermandois - Granddaughter of Henry I, King of France (French Royal Line).

05. William de Warenne, 3rd Earl of Surrey (1120-1148)

English Crusader knight that died on the 2nd Crusade in Asia Minor.

06. Isabel de Warenne, 4th Countess of Surrey (1130-1202)

Married Hamelin Plantagenet, descendant of Charlemagne (747-814) and early French Royal lineage dating back to the time of Christ. See also Monarchs of France.

07. William de Warenne (1166-1240), 5th Earl of Surrey

Loyal supporter of King John of England in staving off revolts by the barons and encouraged him to sign the Magna Carta.

08. John de Warenne (1231-1304), 6th Earl of Surrey

John was prominent during the reigns of Henry III and Edward I. During his long life he fought in the Second Barons' War and in Edward I's wars in Scotland. The king appointed Warenne captain of the campaign against the Scots in early 1298. He raised the siege of Roxburgh and re-took the castle at Berwick.

09. Griffen Warren 1288

Illegitimate son who married Isabella de Pulford.

10. John Warren 1320

Married Audela Monasterio. By this marriage he became Lord of Ichtefeld.

11. Griffen Warren 1380

Married Winnifred Broxton, daughter of one of the heirs of William Broxton of Cheshire, Esq. 

12. John Warren 1430A

Married to Helen Chorleton, daughter of John Chorleton

13. Robert Warren 1485A

Resident of Corlie Estate - Nayland, Suffolk Co -

14. John Warren 1522A

Resident of Corlie Estate - Nayland, Suffolk Co,

15. John Warren, The Middle 1555

Resident of Corlie Estate - Nayland, England - Married Elizabeth Scarlett

16. John Warren, The Immigrant 1585

Born in Suffolk, immigrated to Watertown MA in 1630 as part of Gen. Winthrop's fleet. He died 1667. Married Margaret Bayley.

17. Daniel Warren 1628A

Came to America at Age 3 with his father. Lived in Watertown as a farmer and fought in King Philip's War (1675-1676). Married Mary Barron.

18. Ensign John Warren 1666

Married Mary Brown - Watertown, MA.

19. Captain Daniel Warren 1689

Married 1) Rebecca Garfield and 2) Mary Weatherbee

20. Moses Warren 1728A :

Married Persis Rice - descendant of William de Mowbray, a signer of the Magna Carta in 1215

21. Moses Warren II (1760-1851)

Born in Westboro MA - Veteran Soldier of the American Revolutionary War, Included in the group betrayed by Benedict Arnold at West Point. He married Priscilla Nurse, great grand-daughter of Rebecca Towne Nurse who died in the Salem Witch Trials.

22. Moses Warren III (1803-1895) 

(FPC) Early Settler of Warrensville near modern-day Cleveland Ohio

There is some uncertainty between #08 and #12. See Warenne line to Warren of Nayland, Suffolk.

Lineage of French Royalty Edit

William de Warenne, 2nd Earl of Surrey (1080-1138), a English Knight married to Elizabeth de Vermandois of French Royalty including The Emporer Charlegmagne. See also Monarchs of France.

...There is no documented confirmation on any genealogy prior to Clovis. History for the Kings of Cologne
01. Clovis de Cologne (c405-445)Clovis, a Ripuarian Frank who was the King of Cologne circa 420 AD. Frankish "kings" at this time were really just local tribal chieftains. Clovis Family History
02. Childebert de Cologne (c425-460)Childebert who was a the King of Cologne circa 450 A.D. (German Tribal Chieftan) Childebert Family History
03. Siegbert de Cologne (c454-509)Siegbert the Lame, King of Cologne (German Tribal Chieftan). Murdered in 509 by his son Cloderik. Siegbert Family History
04. Chloderik_der_Franken_(bef491-?)Cloderic (475-509) the Parricide who was briefly the King of Cologne. Cloderic murdered his father in 509, and was himself murdered the same year by Clovis I, the founder of the Merovingian Dynasty. History of Chloderik
05. Munderic_der_Franken_(bef531-?)Murideric, Lord of Vitrey who revolted against Thierry I who killed him. Murideric was "very young" in 509 when his father was murdered by Clovis I. History of Munderic - (Dispute Familypedia - Mummolin is not the father of Bodegisel.)
06. Bodegisel_II_der_Franken_(bef565-?)Bodegisel II DE AQUITAINE (532-588) - Governor Of Aquitaine (b. Saxony, d. Carthage) History Bodegisel
07. Arnulf_of_Metz_(582-640)St. Arnulf, Bishop of Metz under the Merovingians
08. Ansegisel_(c606-bef679)Mayor of the Palace in Austrasia in 632
09. Pepin_of_Herstal_(635-714)Mayor of the Palace in Austrasia
10. Charles_Martel_(686-741)Mayor of the Palace of Austrasia
11. Pepin_the_Short_(714-768)First King of the Franks (752–68) of the Carolingian dynasty
12. Charlemagne_(747-814)Charlemagne Carolingian, Duke of Bavaria, King of the Franks, King of the Lombards, and Holy Roman Emperor
13. Pepin_of_Italy_(773-810)King of the Lombards
14. Bernard_of_Italy_(797-818)King of the Lombards
15. Pepin_de_Vermandois_(c815-aft848)Carolingian Count of Vermandois
16. Herbert_I,_Count_of_Vermandois_(c848-907)Forcibly took the county of Vermandois from his third cousin Rodulf of Flanders (c869-896).
17. Béatrice_of_Vermandois_(c880-931)m. Robert I, King of West Francia (866-923) - King of France
18. Hugh the Great (898-956)Duke of Franks and Count of Paris
19. Hugh Capet, King of France (c940-996)1st French King of the House of Capet. He was a French Nobleman placed in power by Germans and the Pope.
20. Robert II, King of France (972-1031)2nd French King of the House of Capet
21. Henry I, King of France (1008-1060)3rd French King of the House of Capet
22. Hugh de Vermandois (1053-1101)French Prince and leader of the First Crusade to capture Jerusalem. Died of wounds in Turkey in the Crusade of 1101
23. Elizabeth de Vermandois (c1081-1131)Married to William de Warenne, 2nd Earl of Surrey (1080-1138) who is #4 on the Warenne Family Lineage

Medieval English Royalty Edit

01. Herbert I de Vermandois (c848-907)See #16 on French Royalty Chart above.
02. Herbert II de Vermandois (884-943) 
03. Robert de Vermandois, Count of Meaux (918-968) 
04. Adele of Meaux (c950-c980)Married to Geoffrey I of Anjou
05. Fulk III, Count of Anjou (972-1040) 
06. Ermengarde of Anjou (c1020-) 
07. Fulk IV, Count of Anjou (1043-1109) 
08. Fulk I, King of Jerusalem (c1090-1143)Count of Anjou, Count of Maine, First King of the Crusade Kingdom established in Jerusalem
09. Geoffrey V, Count of Anjou and Maine (1113-1151)He became Count of Anjou and Maine in 1128, when his father left France to become king of the Holy Land.
90. Hamelin de Warenne, 5th Earl of Surrey (c1129-1202)Plantganet descendant, married Isabel de Warenne, 4th Countess of Surrey (1130-1202). He was an illegitimate son of Geoffrey of Anjou, and thus a half-brother of King Henry II, and an uncle of Richard the Lionheart and King John.

Other Warren Family Genealogies Edit

  • Moses Warren Immigrant Ancestors - Moses Warren II and his wife, Priscilla Nurse - are my 7th Generation Ancestor. (5th Great, Grand Father). Almost all of their ancestors came to American 5 Generations previously in the Great Migration of the 1630s to General Winthrop's Watertown Colony. Through this pedigree chart they have many connections to prominent early New England families.

Famous Descendants Edit

This section has moved to the following subsections:

  1. John Warren List of Famous Descendants - List of famous descendants of John Warren 1585, Immigrant to America

Famous Descendants of Ranulf I de WarenneEdit

  • George Washington - Descendancy by Roger Mortimer
  • George Washington - Descendancy by William de Warenne and Hamelin Plantagenet who had a daughter that married John I, King of England.

References for Warenne Family History Edit

Page Stub StartsEdit

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