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Sadler Disputed descent

Posted: 11 Feb 2019 11:29
by E Wilcock
I mentioned on this Forum in connection with writing a query (see DNA Descent through the male line (16601)) that there has been a bitter genealogical dispute in my Sadler family about whether or not it is descended from Sir Ralph Sadler of Wolf Hall fame. For a moment I wondered if it could be resolved through DNA.

Since someone kindly commented on the research involved, I am moving to this section of the forum to outline the problem.

When Michael Thomas Sadler M.P.1780-1835, stood for Parliament he believed that he was descended from Sir Ralph Sadler via a family in Warwickshire. This belief was discussed and not dismissed in 1809 in Clifford's Sadler Papers (i.e. Papers of Sir Ralph) edited by Walter Scott, 1809 Vol. 2 p. 612. This remained undisputed till the 1930s.

In 1936 my grandmother's uncle, Sir Michael Ernest Sadler, Master of University College, Oxford, applied to carry the arms of the Sadler family. His claim was rejected in a four page report by the Garter King of Arms, Anthony R. Wagner, dated 6 November 1936. I have a copy of this and notice some observations ignore baptisms now on line on the Derbyshire /Staffordshire border.

My father Geoffrey Gollin 1902-1992, a serious amateur genealgist re-investigated both Sadler families and employed a professional to assist. I listed and reported his enquiries over the years for my mother's cousin, the late Michael Miller Q.C. who again looked into our early family history, using documents in the national Archive. Neither my father nor Michael found any support for the claimed relationship to Sir Ralph. So the official rejection stood.

My father's (and my) rejection of the descent was much resented by the family of Ernest Sadler who researched the family in the 19th century and who prepared the classic family tree. Communication was broken off. The unproven descent from Sir Ralph remains unchallenged as the majority view on ancestry. It is this persistence of a claim for which there is no evidence that troubles me

Although Michael Thomas Sadler and his family might have reason to cherish a descent from Sir Ralph (i.e.wishful thinking) my own feeling as a historian is that when people tell you things about their family, there is often a grain of truth somewhere. So every now and then I think I must find time to re-examine this question. But I can assure those who kindly responded to the other thread, that our research has been to a high standard. Just fruitless.

If anyone here has suggestions (which would be very welcome) or would like to take up the puzzle themselves, I would be glad to share all the reports and documents that I have.

Re: Sadler Disputed descent

Posted: 11 Feb 2019 17:23
by gwilym'smum
Nothing to do with your dispute but I have a William Sadler (1846) Hanley whose father was Edward, born in Shropshire. William married my 2x great aunt Mary Ann Parr and they lived in Tunstall in the Potteries. Edward was a cabinet maker and William worked in the Pottery industry. They went to Trenton, New Jersey for a few years but returned. just wondered if they was a connection (with humbler origins :) )

Re: Sadler Disputed descent

Posted: 11 Feb 2019 17:24
by AdrianBruce
Just a thought.... As was mentioned in the other thread, the obvious suggestion is Y-DNA. Find wholly male-line descendants of each of the parties, i.e. of Sir Ralph Sadler and Ernest Sadler (I think), and get them to do a Y-DNA test. However, I suspect this may be useless as I'm guessing Sir Ralph has no male line descendants, else they'd be carrying the arms themselves! (Unless they were illegitimate male-line). Further, even if you could find them, finding identical Y-DNA doesn't prove that one lot is descended from the other - they could simply be descended from a common ancestor whereas Sir Ralph's arms would descend only to his descendants, not to his cousin's descendants (say).

On the other hand, Y-DNA testing might well be useful to resolve later debates - if the paper documentation goes missing in the 1800s, say, having been solid up to then, then it might be possible to find male-line descendants of the Sadlers on either side of the murky bits and prove that Sadler 1 was indeed related to Sadler 2. But if the issues start earlier than that, you may be out of luck again.

I guess one thing is that Y-DNA might very well show who is not related to who, whereas using it to demonstrate the descent from someone is another matter.

Re: Sadler Disputed descent

Posted: 12 Feb 2019 07:48
by E Wilcock
Thank you Adrian,
That is very helpful. I have copied your observations to an elderly researcher in Canada - the only Sadler DNA match that has showed up.
I will have a look. The Sadler family were at one point local gentry but my experience is that unless the sons and daughters of a landowner e.g. a wealthy farmer, married someone of equal standing and wealth, the majority of the children became agricultural labourers within two generations. Similarly going backwards a researcher of my husband's apparently illiterate home workers arrives eventually at someone with an estate and a memorial in the Parish church.

Re: Sadler Disputed descent

Posted: 12 Feb 2019 09:40
by E Wilcock
A quick text search of my fh Sadler database shows it has no Sadler references to Shropshire. But I do have a Sadler son mentioned in a will who just vanished. And I was once contacted by someone from America who found a link.
Now that Rootsweb have restored their user websites I have put the link to my genealogy site back in my forum signature and you are welcome to have a look. But it doesnt show up as a hyperlink on the preview. I dont know what I have done wrong.
I am not sure what state the Sadler tree is in due to having moved it to fh and changing to Gedsite . It hasnt been updated and worked on - it remains a transcription of my father's research which I entered onto the computer.

Re: Sadler Disputed descent

Posted: 12 Feb 2019 19:50
by gwilym'smum
Dear Evelyn
Your link worked fine. I had a look but I couldn't see a possible link. I must admit though that I have not researched the Sadlers very fully. I concentrated on those connected to my Parr line.
Thank you