2019-09-17 20:56:24 UTC
According to my ancestors, a branch of the noble Cecil family fled to Virginia and changed its name to Davis. In Virginia, this Davis family was researched by genealogist Joan Horsley (now deceased). Several of her Davis files are at https://joanhorsley.org/ -- but her work is not without error. My paper-trail ancestor William Davis (c. 1725-1791) of Pittsylvania County, Virginia is here: https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Davis-19677 -- I established, by a circumstantial proof, that he was the same as an earlier William Davis of Culpeper County, whom Joan Horsley mistakenly packed off to Kentucky.
The Cecil family rose to prominence through the association of William Cecil (1st Baron Burghley) with his father-in-law Peter Cheke, whose story begins this lineage. I will continue with following Cecil generations in separate posts.
Peter Cheke (1483 - 1560)
(May 25, 2019) Peter Cheke was a professor. Peter Cheke played a role in administering. Peter Cheke did not have a role in decisions about which professors to give appointment. This was done by the Chancellor. This was done without regard for what the existing professors thought. This led to disagreements. Professors were required to be respectful. However, professors could cultivate an air of disdain among their students for a view held by another professor. This was of the college. This was something that was often deplored. Inquiry was hobbled when an attitude was already present.
(May 28, 2019) Peter was able to think. People had the good of the university in mind. People had to think that the university could be maintained as it was. However, the King had changed the religion. Now, everything in the theology had to be reviewed. This made a terrible problem. How could this be done? Theology was the study of God. The theology of the Church involved revelation. Henry acted in a way that countered what many considered to be correct thinking. This was of considerable discussion.
(May 29, 2019) Peter had to think. The study of God was given by revelation and reason. The Church had decided that King Henry had been inspired. This was a difficult decision. King Henry was known for his way of not being a good Christian. Henry, however was King. If God was going to inspire a man, it would naturally be the King.
(May 31, 2019) Peter was the founder of a branch of the university. Peter hoped, because of what Peter understood, to be able to think of various ways of doing good. Peter was a professor of theology. Theology was in change. The King hoped to investigate and amend. Peter hoped to preserve. The King hoped to instruct the clergy. Peter expected to prevail unless the King had enough time to instruct in detail. The King took a lot of time, but perhaps not enough.
(June 4, 2019) Peter had to think carefully. Peter had to explain the thought behind what Peter tried to include. Theology had to conform to reason. To cut out the Church was to adopt an alternative structure for understanding the will of God. Peter accepted that the bishops in conclave could express the will. Peter also accepted that the King could be inspired. Peter had to think that the King could not be a substitute for a Pope. Peter had to imagine that, in an issue of doctrine, a King with the support of the bishops could be regarded as authoritative. This is what Peter affirmed. The King did not object.
[NOTE: The story of my ancestor Bishop William Barlow, who was actively involved in changing Church practice, relates to Peter Cheke’s point. --JSS]
(June 9, 2019) Peter was unable to think, after the issue of reformation of doctrine, that Peter would be unable to deal with any doctrinal issue that came up. Peter was confident. The King was not in a mood to object. Then Mary came. This upended everything. Peter had to resign. There was no need for a man who reformed Catholicism to suit a new order. Peter was unable to expect a pension. The hostility was evident. Peter simply had to be as a man with nothing. Peter had to encourage helpful people to not allow Peter to starve. This was humiliating. Peter was chastened and strengthened. Peter was of a new type. The men who endured during the time of Mary prospered when Elizabeth took the throne. Peter was reinstated. Peter was assured of a pension.
(June 11, 2019) Peter hoped. There was a need. Peter thought of the kingdom. There was simply too much strife. The Puritans and the Catholics were unrepentant. The King tried to stand in the middle. Those who stood with the King were reviled by both. Peter had to not be perceived as standing with the King. This was not as difficult as Peter thought. The King had to declare. People paid. Consequences were severe. Peter had to think. The ideas were discussed with men who thought of the good. This was the difference. Peter was never under attack.
(June 21, 2019) Peter had a decision. The end was coming. Peter had to think of what to say. The daughter had an ability. The mother had trained. The daughter understood. There must be a way to not expose. Peter had a feeling that Cecil shared the ability. Peter also had a feeling that the ability in Cecil was weak. Cheke was able to give to the children of Cecil. Peter had to think of ensuring that the daughter not make a relationship with a husband or wife of the children who did not have the ability. That was something that led to exposure.
Peter talked to the husband of the daughter. This was an awakening. The husband had the ability in a way that was equal to the daughter. This relieved Peter. There was no need to instruct.
Peter hoped. There would be a continuing lineage. A family with a lineage, at the center of power, could easily disappear. There were many examples of powerful families that now do not exist. Peter hoped that Cecil, somehow, would arrange for a younger son to go to another place. Peter hoped that there would be a new colony. This was discussed after it became clear that a New World had been discovered. Cheke and Cecil could help settle. That was a thought at the end. Peter had no way of making a proposal beyond the simple suggestion.
Agnes Duffield, wife of Peter Cheke
(June 24, 2019) Agnes was the wife of a university man. Agnes had to expect. The man was preoccupied. This was the constant state. Ideas were in the mind. The man was not concerned with a relationship. Agnes was a helper. The husband was polite. There was no lack. Agnes had to be accepting. The husband was pleased to attend church with the wife. This was as Agnes expected. This was the relationship. In church, Agnes was seen by all to be a respectable wife.
APPENDIX: Communicating with Ancestors
I began communicating with deceased ancestors, and recording their stories in November 2016, after I was told that this was possible. When recording the stories of distant German ancestors, I "heard" their thoughts in plain English. However, at times there was confusion about the proper choice of a word. When that happens, the ancestor and I agree on the particular word to use, and then I put parentheses around the word in question, and then the ancestor moves on with his/her story.
Humans have a natural ability to communicate with deceased ancestors. In some countries this ability is taken for granted, but in “modern” western society, this ability has been largely lost.
Here is my ancestor Anschetil d’Harcourt’s explanation of how he learned to communicate with ancestors: “When my grandfather died, I was young. I was sad because I wanted to be close to him. I asked how I could talk to him. My father said: Think of your grandfather. Words will appear. That is your grandfather.”
On Aug. 26, 2018, my ancestor Tobey Mathew (an early bishop in the Church of England) further explained:
"Bishop Tobey Mathews is speaking, if that is the correct word. Bishop Tobey Mathews will simply refer to himself as Bishop. Bishop understood, before he died, that he would be able to communicate with descendants. Bishop understood that descendants would have the choice. Bishop also understood that he had the choice to communicate with ancestors. Bishop knew, from an early age, that he could communicate with his mother. This was because his mother died when he was three years old. Bishop understood, because of this experience, that there was a clear reason for this. Children who lost the parents had the ability to continue in their time of need. Bishop never thought beyond this. Bishop simply understood that this was common. Bishop understood, because of his role in the Church, that Bishop had to accept the accepted teaching on this. This was simple: The ability existed, so God must have had a reason."
Deceased ancestors appear unanimous in stating that, upon death, a separation of the soul into two parts occurs. As my recently-deceased father explained on Dec. 3, 2018, three days after his death:
"Roger knew, as Roger died, that there would be a change. Roger remembered hearing that there was a separation. Roger experienced this separation. Roger knew to expect it. Roger also knew, because of his training, that it is best to simply accept. Roger did not fight. The separation took place. Roger experienced a flash of memories. Things in Roger’s life that Roger did not have any recollection of went through Roger’s mind. Roger does not think that these memories still exist. Roger is certain that aspects of his life are no longer available. Much of Roger’s intellectual interest is simply not available. This suggests that the purpose of what Roger is in now is not related. Roger hopes that, as Roger experiences what he is experiencing, John will continue to make notes."
When I was told that it is possible to communicate with deceased ancestors, I was cautioned to always have a respectful attitude when talking to them. I decided to try it and see what happened, and it worked.
On the “Day of the Dead” (the day after Halloween) in 2016, I thought of the names of all of my grandparents and their parents and grandparents, and they started talking to me. (I made detailed notes.) Remorse came up immediately for some of them. I learned that women often had ongoing connections with living daughters and granddaughters, but most of the men had been isolated since their deaths. I was told – several times – that after death there is a kind of separation of what we call the soul into two parts. Each ancestor has a part that remains accessible to descendants, and a part that goes elsewhere. Memories are incomplete.
Ancestors want to see the well-being of their descendants. Ancestors also want to be able to talk to their own parents and children. Ancestors hope that living descendants will work their way back from their parents or grandparents to more distant ancestors, one generation at a time. This allows children and parents among the ancestors to talk to each other, when a living descendant is open to ancestral communication.
Ancestors want to avoid hearing from descendants who just want to ask questions about the family tree. Ancestors may not communicate with descendants with only this in mind. For this reason, it is once again a good idea to work your back from one generation to the next. Ancestors believe that descendants who are respectful will be pleased to talk about their own lives. Ancestors want their descendants to live will, and ancestors are concerned when descendants are struggling. Ancestors have the ability to observe the lives of living descendants, but they often do not do so. Ancestors may be inclined to be more observant after a descendant contacts an ancestor, especially if that ancestor had not had any communication with descendants before.
Some ancestors, especially those who were devoutly religious, may avoid communicating with descendants who don’t share their moral values.
Husbands and wives who didn’t get along with each other may be able to begin to communicate about issues that they never talked about before death.
One final point – I have heard some disturbing stories from ancestors, and proper respect demands that the ancestor be asked for permission before sharing such stories.