Latest update 10 24 12
The gathering place for Woulfes seeking information on our ancestors.
Edited by Michael Woulfe, Plantation, Florida, USA
This is a tough one. Hugh has long been believed by many, including me, to be the ancestor of the first Woulfe in Ireland. But, Paul MacCotter has shot that one down with cold, hard, facts. But, I too find the legend rather nice to think about. And, you've got to wonder how Jane Woulfe Cooper (Aunt Dollie) made the Lupus connection. Did she simply seize on the Lupus name, and the possibility that Hugh's descendants lived in the right era, and would likely have gleefully taken part in the fighting and land grab in Ireland? Trouble is, Hugh left no male heirs. His only son died in the wreck of the White ship, and none of his daughters used the Lupus or Wolfe name. But, others I've spoken to about this point to Hugh's many illegitimate children, possibye as many as 2 dozen, and wonder if any of them took the Wolfe name and went along in the invasion. It's because of the strong family belief that we are descended from old Hugh that I have included the this research Hugh Lupus...
We'll start with Hugh's viking ancestor Rollo "The Wolf". ?) Rollo's great grandson William - known as William the Conqueror (also as William the Bastard - but never to his face) - invaded England in 1066 and set up a Norman Dynasty as King William I. William ruled as King from 1066 to 1087. Among those rewarded for their help in the war, was a cousin, Richard Viscount de Avaranches. Richard's son Hugh Lupus was granted lands in Chester and in Wales. Hugh maintained the family's Wolf nickname by adding the latin word for wolf (Lupus) to his name.
The Norsemen - Vikings had settled the northwest coast of France in an area known then as Nuestria. They fought with the French (Franks) to keep control of their new kingdom, and eventually in the year 911, reached an agreement with the French King to hold Lordship over their new land. A Kingdom that became known as Normandy after the Norsemen who settled there. Norman is what the Franks called Vikings. It's from the Latin Northmannus. The other common reference to the Northmen was...Pirate. The deal the Norsemen and French allowed the Norsemen already in Nuestria to keep their land and be awarded French Titles if they would help the French battle new Norse raiders who were sailing all the way up the Seine and attacking Paris. This must have been an attractive offer. The Northmen envied the French lifestyle and were already adopting more "civilized" customs. It also gave them a chance to keep on fighting.
Back to Hugh. He was made Earl of Chester in England in 1071, and lived at a place now called Church Laughton.* He'd gained quite a string of titles by this time. He was known as Hugh Lupus (the Wolf), Hugh "Les gros" - either "The Great" - or "The Fat" depending on the translation - d"Durance - Earl of Chester, Hugh D'Abrincis - And - at the death of his father he also became Hugh de Avaranches - the name of the family holdings back in France.
Hugh was quite a character who gained a reputation as a ruthless ruler of his lands in Wales. An early document says Hugh had an insatiable appetite for food, and the ladies, and partook heartily of both. In later life, he became so fat he could hardly walk. As Hugh got older and probably realized he'd die soon...and that he'd been rather a mean fellow during his life...he lived out his last days as a monk. Hugh also had possibly 2 dozen illegitimate children or more. This high number of illigitimate descendants is why some believe the Lupus name through Hugh might possibly have made it to Ireland.
(From Hugh Lupus at chipping Camden Manor) Lord of the Manor in 1066 was Harold King of England who was killed during the battle with William the Conqueror. The manor was then given to Hugh Lupus Viscount Durance (the Earl first referred to in the Domesday Book along with a son Richard Viscount Albrincis, by Margaret, sister of William for services in the invasion.) Hugh died in 1101 and was succeeded by his son Richard then 8 years old. Richard died in 1120 (1119?) by drowning on the ill-fated White Ship with Prince William. The Domesday survey shows Hugh Lupus earl of Chester held a manor house at Lucteburne.
Here's an excerpt from the list of "Extinct Peerage."D'ABRINCIS, -- ---- 1070.Hugh D'Abrincis, alias Lupus, nephew of king William the conqueror, was created by that monarch earl of Chester, which title became extinct in this family upon the death of Richard, second earl of Chester, 25 November 1119. Ranuf de Meschines, or Micene, cousin of Richard succeeded Hugh as Lord of the Manor, and on his death his son Randolph Gernous became lord of the manor. Around 1173 Hugh de Gondeville (Gondaville or Grunderel) possessed the manor and became the first resident lord of the manor. During this time he obtained a charter of incorporation for the town, and founded the Free Chapel of St. Katherine. At this time there were 4 water mills in Chipping Campden (there were two at the time of the Domesday Book). At left is one of Hugh's castles - Hawarden in Flintshire, Wales.
Hugh Lupus genealogy. You won't find any leLous or Wolfes.
Richard le Groz d'averanches = Emma de Conteville
Hugh Lupus d'abrincis 1047-1101 = Ermintrude de Clermont Maud D'Avranches b1054=Ranulf des MeschinesII Judith Le Goz D'Avaranches b1054 = Albreda b1045 = Arbella=
Richard Viscount D'Abrincis= Matilda deBlois Geva=Geoffrey Ridel* Ranulf des MeschinesIII=Lucy Taillebois
Both drowned on White ship 1120 / /
Maud Ridel=Richard Basset Ranulph de Gernon Earl of Chester=Maud Fitzrobert(granddaughter of HenriI)
Ralph Basset Geoffrey Basset Hugh of Keveliok 1147-1181=de Evreux, Bertrade de Montfort
le Meschines, Matilda (Mabel) of Chester
Earl of Chester, Ranulf de Blundeville of
le Meschines, Agnes of Chester
le Meschines, Amicia de Keveliock
Cts de Lincoln, Hawise le Meschines
At the tiny village of Shotwick, (pronounced "Shottick")Hugh built a castle to keep control of the Welsh. All that's left are earthworks today - but it was from this castle that Henry II's soldiers set sail for Ireland to gain control over Norman Conquerors in Ireland. Curiously, the waters next to Chester silted up over the years, and were later filled in for farmland, and the sea is miles away.
Hugh Lupus also conquered much of North Wales and built another motte and bailey castle at Caernarfon in 1088. The castle that stands there today is built atop the old castle's ruins.
*Church Lawton or Church Laughton, is also the home of Hugo de Rode. "The Wolfes of Forenaghts" by R.T. Wolfe gives Hugo de Rodes, a contemporary of William I, as the progenitor of the "English" Wolfe family in Kildare.
Now, upon reading that, I wonder If Jane Woulfe Cooper used that to make the connection. Sadly, we'll never know.
I find it very curious that both families have their roots in Chester. Both have descendants with a variation on the Wolfe (including Lupus) name. Both end up in Kildare.
"Forenaghts" says the Wolfes descended from Richard Wolf, arrived from England in 1658, and found an "Irish" family of Wolfes already living there. Hugo de Rodes, contemporary of William I. William de Rode, cont. Henry I. Hugo de Rode. Henricus de Rode - contemporary of Richard II. Winthelimus de Rode. Ranus Dictus Lupus de Church Lawton. Ranus Lupus de Church Lawton. David Lupus de Church Lawton - active 1346. Then, here comes the unexplained name change... Thomas le Wolfe - active 1372. His 3 sons were, Thomas le Wolfe of Church Lawton, Gralam, and Robert le Wolfe. Thomas had a son, also named Thomas le Wolfe. He had a daughter and heir listed as Feliz who married Thomas leigh Robert le Wolfe above had a son named Thomas. Thomas had 2 daughters, Selina who married a deRowley, and another daughter named Selina who married Joseph de Wareham. That means, aftert just a few generations, that Wolfe line went extinct. But, what does this mean? R.T. Wolfe says he regrets the source of this lineage, the Encyclopedia Londinensis goes no further than this. The final list of descendants ends with 2 daughters, and the end of the Wolfe name. But again, later generations or illegitimate children may have picked it up again.But, keep in mind this is just a guess. There is nothing on paper to back it up.
So, you see the de Rode family adopts the "Lupus" name 5 generations after Hugo, and the Wolfe name 3 generations after that in the 1370's. Does this mean the 2 families are the same? Not likely, because the Rodes and DeRodes later became the Rodes and Rhoades. Because of the Chester and Wolfe/Lupus connection, I'd be willing to guess they were already related or later intermarried. But, it's possible that later generations married into the Wolfe or Woulfe family descended from Hugh Lupus. Again, just guessing, but the possibility is intriguing.
R.T. Wolfe doesn't have another Wolfe on the list again until Richard Wolfe of Huttonread, Co. Kildare, who emigrates to Ireland from England in 1658. Wolfe cannot find any earlier mention of the 1658 Richard Wolfe except in court papers relating to lawsuits in Durham and York in England. He sites writings by Arthur Wolfe, the First Lord of Kilwarden who says, "The first of the family that settled in Ireland came from Yorkshire sometime before the restoration of Charles the Second, driven from his own country for the part he had taken on the side of the King in the Civil War." This is interesting because the ancestor of General James Wolfe is a Captain George Woulfe from Limerick who fled TO York in the 1650's.
Finally, I'd caution you again. The facts of the Lupus lineage are correct, but my guesswork is just that. It was formulated during my long search for our original Woulfe ancestor, and based on what I knew before the MacCotter project.mw