Ancestry has uncovered a Canadian connection to the family of Catherine Elizabeth Middleton.
Historical records on Ancestry reveal that Ms. Middleton’s grandfather, Peter Middleton, spent some of his formative years in Calgary, where he was stationed during World War II while training with the Royal Air Force at #37 SFTS (Service Flying Training School).
He was first posted to Canada as a flying instructor, and it would be more than two years before he finally saw military action, joining 605 Squadron at Manston, Kent, in August 1944.
Peter also visited Canada when he was 17 years old, arriving with a group of fellow students for a “School Empire Tour Party” in August 1939. Peter is found on a passenger list arriving in Quebec from Liverpool on August 11, 1939, on the SS Andania. Coincidentally, it was Peter Middleton’s death in November 2010 that delayed the announcement of Ms. Middleton and Prince William’s engagement.
Royal Weddings Galore
If this isn’t enough to get Canadians excited about the royal couple, recent Ancestry data suggests that each year in Canada, more than 12,000 “royal” weddings will take place, in which either the bride or groom (or both) can claim ties to some form of royalty in their family tree. These findings from the family history website were gathered by comparing current marriage rates for Canada with the proportion of the population that can claim royal ancestry (10 per cent).
Canadians looking to see if they have ancestral ties to royalty can visit www.ancestry.ca/royal to check out the complete collection of royal family history records. The Royal Collection details half a million people born into or descended from royalty, the peerage, nobility, and the landed gentry and highlights royal and noble family trees, coats of arms and family crests, lineage, titles, and more.
Here is a list of tips to help you discover your own royal connections.
Cross-reference surnames in your family tree with those found in The Royal Collections on Ancestry. Look for names like Windsor, Stuart, Plantagenet.
Seek Out Wealth
Look for evidence of wealthy ancestors through domestic staff listings on census records, property and businesses documented in wills and probate records, and ancestors who were extensive travelers listed in immigration records traveling in First Class.
Look For Titles
Titles like “Sir,” “Count,” and “Duke” mean your ancestors had some connection to royalty, familial or otherwise. If any of your ancestors had titles, explore the age and origins of those titles.
Look For Places
For surnames in your family tree that are also the name of a place – for example, a town or parish – do further research to establish any connection between that ancestor and significant ownership in that location.
Find The Normans
Investigate whether any of the surnames in your family tree has Norman origins and if so, research that particular branch of the family as far back as you can. Many early Normans had direct royal connections.