Select Warren Miscellany

Here are some Warren stories and accounts over the years:

William de Warenne and His Line

William de Warenne was born in Normandy.   His line there has been traced back three generations to Walter de St. Martin, born around 953.  He himself accompanied William the Conqueror to England and commanded a detachment of the Norman army at Hastings.  His reward in the victory was land and estates in Norfolk.  In the next few years he married a certain Gundreda who may or may not have been William the Conqueror's daughter.

The Warenne family made its first appearance in records in 1164 when Hamelin Plante Genest (later changed to Plantagenet), a Norman baron and illegitimate half brother to King Henry II, married Isabel de Warrene.  He assumed the surname of Warren, settled in Surrey, and was granted the Earldom of Surrey.  This family also held lands in Suffolk, Somerset and Sussex.  John, the last de Warenne Earl of Surrey, died in 1347.  Soon afterwards they appear to have been inexplicably disinherited.

The line may not have gone dead.  The last earl was said to have had a mistress Maud de Nerford and an illegitimate son Edward.  This Edward has been linked to the Warren family of Poynton and Stockport in Cheshire.  And once this connection had been made, some much more far-reaching genealogical linkages were concocted.

In 1782, the  Rev. John Watson published his Memoirs of the Ancient Earls of Warren and Surrey and Their Descendants to the Present Time.  This was a vain attempt to prove that Watson's patron, Sir George Warren, was entitled to the earldom of Warren and Surrey.  Later, in 1902, came Thomas Warren's A History and Genealogy of the Warren Family in Normandy, Great Britain and Ireland, France, Holland, Tuscany, United States of America etc, 912-1902.  This book supposedly joined up all the dots between the Warennes in Normandy and Warren immigrants into America.

The Warrens of Old Ireland

The Warrens got their estates in the days of Strongbow and held them through all the vicissitudes of olden Ireland.  They were a house called "English-Irish" or "inside the pale," which meant that they stood kigh in British favor and contributed heroes to the army or navy from each of their hardy generations. 

They had no title, but to be The Warren of Warrenstown, Meath was to be entitled to look down with disdain upon upstart baronets and newly created peers.  Sir Christopher Aylmer's daughter Catherine was honored to marry Captain Michael Warren and her brother, Admiral Lord Aylmer, only too glad to take charge of her boy later on. 

Born in 1703, Peter was the youngest of the family and the most ambitious of the lot.  When he was nine years old, his father Captain Michael died and he was sent to his uncle Lord Aylmer to be trained for the service.  Two years later, at fourteen, young Peter enlisted.  He rose rapidly through the ranks, attaining the rank of admiral in 1747.  

Reader Feedback: Warrens from the West Country

The Rev. Thomas Warren published his History of the Warren Family in 1898-1902 and I have researched his findings on my own line which have suffered the ravages of Warren want for many years.  Below is my line beginning with my own grandfather and ending back in 1617 (proven) and possibly from there going back to the Norman conquest and beyond.  I am still working on my own blog site, the Warren Family from Normandy to Australia. 

My grandfather Alfred Samuel Warren migrated to Australia from New Zealand in 1887, my great grandfather Albert Frederick Warren migrated from Winchester in Hampshire to New Zealand where he took up the post of Government printer in 1860. 

  • Albert was born to Nathaniel Short Warren (printer and minister) in 1830.  
  • Nathaniel was born to Christopher and Anna Maria Simms Warren (stonemason and churchman) at Southampton in 1805.  
  • Christopher was born to Martin Warren and Anna Maria Short Warren in October 1768 at Marnhull in Dorset.  
  • Martin was the son of Christopher Warren, born in 1698, who married Elizabeth Crow or Crew around 1721 with their firstborn John being born in March 1723.  
  • Christopher Warren was the son of John Warren, born in 1658, perhaps at Exeter in Devon.  He married Ruth around 1693 with his firstborn son John being born in 1695. 
  • John, born in 1658, was the son of John Warren, born in 1617 and buried in Marnhull 1698, at Ashburton in Devon. 
  • His father was Christopher Warren who married Alice Webb Warren in 1613. 
My family have been ministers of the church and parish clerks for hundreds of years, as proven by the Rev. Thomas Warren in his history.  The minister Harry and Conyers Place and the Rev. John Hutchins in his Histories and Antiquities all verify that my line have come from Ashburton in Devon to Marnhull in Dorset via Ilsington in Devon. 

That we are of the Ashburton line is a surety for me, but I refuse to go back past 1617 until I have absolute proof of John's father. The turmoil that occurred in 1641/2 was perhaps the cause of the migration of John away from London or Ilsington in Devon and he became the first of my line to be parish clerk of Marnhull, a line that continued there for two hundred years. 

Raymond J. Warren (

Richard Warren of the Mayflower

Richard Warren of the Mayflower was a London merchant who had married Elizabeth Walker in Hertford in 1610.  Little else is known about him, however, not even who his parents were - despite extensive searches of the records.

He joined the Leyden band of Mayflower pilgrims at Southampton and was among the ten passengers of the landing party at Cape Cod in November 1620.  After numerous hardships and an Indian fight they set foot at Plymouth.  Richard was a signer of the Mayflower Compact and was one of the nineteen out of forty one signers who survived the winter.  He was described by a contemporary as "a man of integrity, justice, and uprightness of piety and serious religion."

His wife Elizabeth and his first five children, all daughters, came to America on the Anne in 1623.  Once in America, they then had two sons. Nathaniel and Joseph, before Richard's untimely death in 1628.  Elizabeth survived another forty years.

Joseph Warren, Physician and Rebel

Before he was General Joseph Warren, he was Doctor Joseph Warren, a well-respected Boston physician.  He once saved the right hand of John Quincy Adams when a severe fracture of the forefinger caused other doctors to recommend amputation.

Dr. Warren gave the famous oration in memory of the Boston massacre victims.  He was also a good friend of Paul Revere and was the man who sent him on his famous ride.  On the day after the Boston Tea Party, their names appeared in the following street ballad:

"Our Warren's there and bold Revere
With hands to do and words to cheer
For liberty and laws."

Joseph Warren arrived at the battlefield of Bunker Hill without any official orders.  So he fought as a private and was shot in the back of the head by a British soldier who recognized him as one of the rebel leaders. The enemy buried him where he fell. 

Nine months later, when the British had finally retreated from New England, his body, recognized by his two false teeth, was disinterred and honorably buried.  A little psalm book found by a British soldier in his pocket has been kept by one of his descendants.

The Warrens and the Ojibwes

In 1818 Lyman Warren and bis brother Truman headed west for the frontier.  They found employment at a trading post run by Michael Cadotte, a fur trader, in Wisconsin.  Michael married Cadotte's daughter Mary in 1821.  Mary was seven-eighths Ojibwe and spoke only the Ojibwe language. 

It was after the death of Truman that Lyman came down the Chippewa, building the first sawmill at Chippewa Falls in 1836 and being the first white person to settle in that area. 
He traded with the Ojibwes and with other fur traders there for many years.

Lyman's son William grew up with Indians and had learned to speak their language at a very young age.  He was very much liked by the Indians and invited to be a guest at their lodge-fire circles.  Here the Ojibwe would tell stories of history and William in return would translate narratives from the Bible to them.  Then William embarked on a written history of the Chippewa "to save the traditions of their forefathers from total oblivion."  Sadly, William's health was poor and he died in 1853 at the age of twenty eight.

William's brother Truman lived on and was responsible for organizing and leading the Ojibwe people from their old grounds at Crow Wing and Gulf Lake to the White Earth reservation.

Mrs. Fiske Warren's Vase

A rare Josean dynasty Korean blue and white porcelain jar set a world record  at the December 2008 auction at the San Francisco salesroom of Bonhams & Butterfields.  It had been discovered by the Asian Art Department Director's monthly appraisal event at the company's Sunset Boulevard gallery in Los Angeles. The vase had formerly been within the collection of Mrs. Fiske Warren, part of Boston's Mount Vernon Street Warren family at the turn of the century; and then became a family heirloom and was in a family member's southern Californian home for decades.

Mrs. Fiske Warren had been a great beauty of her day.  She had married Frederick Fiske Warren of the Warren paper mills fortune.  The wedding, a union of two of Boston's most prominent families, was the talk of the town in 1891.  

The couple travelled the world extensively and entertained lavishly within their Massachusetts home, a utopian enclave called Tahanto.  Family records relate that their guests included Sun Yat-sen, Clarence Darrow, Booker T. Washington, and Robert Frost amongst others.  It was thought that Mrs. Fiske Warren acquired the vase during one of her many trips to the Far East in the 1890's.


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