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The barons Faringdon:

their cousinship with
Jean Margaret (Kennedy) Mitchelson
through the Rapalje family

Buscot House
The seat of the Faringdon family, “Buscot Park,” near Faringdon, Oxfordshire, houses the famous Faringdon Collection of art and furniture, featuring a number of notable Pre-Raphaelite works. The family’s fortunes rose under Sir Alexander Henderson, 1st Lord Faringdon, a financier and art patron. He was Chairman of the Great Central Railway from 1889 to 1922. During the First World War he founded the British Trade Corporation, serving as its first Chairman. He was created a baronet in 1902 and a baron in 1916. At his death in 1934 the administration of his estate gave rise to Henderson Global Investors, which became a public company in 1983, and in June 2000 reported assets of £83 billion.
    The Faringdon collection was further developed by the first lord’s grandson and heir, Sir (Alexander) Gavin Henderson (see DNB for 1971-1980). Educated at Eton and Oxford, the 2nd Lord Faringdon had, in the 1920s, been a member of the set known as the “Bright Young Things,” depicted in the novels of Evelyn Waugh and Aldous Huxley. But by the time he succeeded to Buscot in 1935, he had developed a strong interest in public affairs, had joined the Labour Party, and had keenly supported the Republican cause in the Spanish Civil War. A pacifist, he served in the Fire Service in the Second World War, and afterward sat on the executive committee of the Fabian Society until 1969. He served on the London County Council as a councillor (1958-61) and alderman (1961-65). Upon the creation of the Greater London Council in 1965, he was appointed to serve on its Historic Buildings Committee.

The 3rd Lord Faringdon
    The latter’s nephew, Charles Michael Henderson, the 3rd and present lord, was Treasurer to the National Arts Collection Fund between 1984 and 1991. He was Chairman of the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England from October 1994 up to its administrative merger with the English Heritage Commission in April 1999, and was re-appointed to the latter Commission in April 2000. He has also served on committees of hospitals and medical research institutes. Lord Faringdon has not, however, attended Parliament since before the 1997-98 session, nor, since the passing of The House of Lords Act of 1999, which reduced the number of hereditary peers to 90 (besides the holders of the offices of Earl Marshal and Lord Great Chamberlain) and subjected the positions to competition, has he stood for election.
    The Faringdons’ American-Canadian ancestry is through the Earls of Carnwath (an extinct title), whose numbering is so confused that we have not committed ourselves on the point here. This connection has always been known to genealogists on this side of the ocean and is mentioned, for example, by E.M. Chadwick in Ontarian Families (1898), and by A.W. Ryerson in his 1916 Ryerson genealogy. In this same line, their ancestress Amelia (Ryerse) Harris was a first cousin of the eminent Methodist minister and educationist Egerton Ryerson (1803-1882).
    It is purely coincidental that the two lineages shown below run through families named Harris. Those two families had no connection with one another other than tee one through the Rapalje family. Incidentally, Capt. John Harris, R.N., appears to be of unknown origin. In any case, despite the claim made on at least one website, he was certainly not a son of John Harris, of the manor of Radford, in the parish of Plymstock, Devon, by the latter’s wife Catherine Bulteel, as their son John (1784-1841) died unmarried [see Charles E. Pitman, History and Pedigree of the family of Pitman (London, 1920), 104.]

          Joris Jansen Rapalje = Catalyntje Trico
               (1604-1663)     |  (ca. 1605-1689)
         |                                   |
  Daniel Rapalje                       Annatje Rapalje
   (1650-1725),                         (1646-1692+)
 of Brooklyn, N.Y.                  = (1) Marten Ryerse  
  = Sara Clock                         (d. ca. 1687)
   (1651-1731)                         of Brooklyn, N.Y.    
        |                                     |  
   Sara Rapalje                          Joris Ryerse
   (1687-1773)                        (1666 - ca. 1747)
 = Pieter Corn.                       of Bergen Co., N.J.
     Luyster                          = Anneken Schouten  
   (1687-1759)                           (1666-1743) 
   of Newtown,                       widow of Theunis Dey
    L.I., N.Y.                                |
        |                                     |
   Sara Luyster                         Luykas Ryerse 
   (1714-1767)                           (1704-1764)
  = Isaac Lent                   of Pacquanac, Morris Co., N.J.
   (1707-1771)                 Judge of the Court of Common Pleas
   of Fishkill,                   = (3) Johanna van der Hoff      
 Dutchess Co., N.Y.                           |
       |                                      |
  Catharina Lent                        (Lieut.-Col.)
 (say 1743-1767+)                    Samuel Ryerse, U.E.L.
 = Francis Harris                        (1752-1812)
  (1740-1816),                   of Port Ryerse, Upper Canada,
later of Sandy Cove,              J.P., District Court Judge
Digby Tp., Annapolis               = (2) Sarah Underhill        
(now Digby) Co., N.S.            widow of Capt. John Davenport
       |                                      |
 Catherine Harris                      Amelia Ryerse
  (1767-1846)                           (1798-1882)
 = John Comfort                     author and diarist
 (ca. 1755-1830),                = Capt. John Harris, R.N.
 of Clinton Tp.,                        (1782-1850)
   Lincoln Co.,                      of London, Ontario
   Upper Canada                               |  
       |                                      |
  Francis Comfort                    Sarah Bushby Harris
   (1800-1880),                          (1821-1916)
  of Beamsville,                  = (Lieut.-Col.) The Hon. 
Clinton Tp., Lincoln Co.        Robert Alexander George Dalzell
 = Jemima Wilcox                         (1816-1878)
    (1801-1876)            4th son of the 9th (?) Earl of Carnwath
       |                                      |     
 Margaret Comfort               Robert Harris Carnwath Dalzell,
   (1833-1916)                          (1847-1910)
= John Kennedy (IV)               14th (?) Earl of Carnwath
  (1832-1897),                    = Emily Sullivan Hippisley
   of St. Anns,                           (d. 1889)
 Gainsborough Tp.,                            |
   Lincoln Co.                                |
       |                                      |
 John Kennedy (V)                  Violet Charlotte Dalzell
  (1862-1939),                           (1879-1956)
of Melita, Manitoba,           her father's eventual coheiress
     Canada                  = (Maj.) Harold Greenwood Henderson
= Susanna Samantha                       (1875-1922)
   Helena Young                       M.P. for Abingdon
  (1882-1937)                   son and heir (in his issue)
       |                         of the 1st Baron Faringdon
       |                                      |
Jean Margaret Kennedy                    (Lieut.-Col.) 
  (1917-2000)                    Michael Thomas Gavin Henderson
 = Richard Harry                          (1906-1953)
 Mitchelson, Jr.                 eventual heir (in his issue)
   (1914-1998),                  of the barony of Faringdon
of Winnipeg, Manitoba            = (1) Oonagh Evelyn Brassey
  (my natural                                 |
  grandparents)                               |
                                  Charles Michael Henderson
                                          (1937-    )
                               3rd Baron Faringdon (succ. 1977)
                                    = Sarah Caroline Askew
                                          (1936-    )
                                  (issue: 3 sons, 1 daughter)

Sources: There is much material available at the family’s website, Buscot Park, at http://www.buscot-park.com/. The 1st lord has been the subject of full-length biography, Henderson: a history of the life of Alexander Henderson, first Lord Faringdon, and of Henderson Administration (1985), by David Wainwright, which we have not seen.
    In preparing the present page, recourse has naturally been had to the various peerages and to Who’s Who. Working from the top downward, other published secondary sources bearing on the barons Faringdons’ Rapalje lineage – besides those already listed in the Clinton table – include (working from the top of the table downward):

  • Armida Sharpin, Rapelje Rasters: a genealogy (1994), pp. 15-16, 17-18 (which requires correction as to the issue of Marritje Hanse Bergen and Jacob Rutsen).
  • Teunis G. Bergen, Register ... of the early settlers of Kings County, Long Island, N.Y. (New York, 1881), 241 (for Ryerse).
  • Edward Marion Chadwick, Ontarian Families: Genealogies of United Empire Loyalist and other Pioneer Families of Upper Canada, 2 vols. (1894, 1898), 2:15-20 (Ryerse).
  • Albert Winslow Ryerson, The Ryerson genealogy: genealogy and history of the Knickerbocker families of Ryerson, Ryerse, Ryerss; also Adriance and Martense families... (Chicago, 1916), 1-3 (Marten), 4-6 (Joris), Luykas (22-23), 50-53 (Samuel).
  • “A Ryerson Family Bible,” arranged by D. Stanton Hammond, Genealogical Magazine of New Jersey 44 (1969): 97-102, with correction in 46 (1971): 11. Reprinted together in Genealogies of New Jersey Families, 2:606-12.
  • E. Alfred Jones, The Loyalists of New Jersey: their memorials, petitions, claims, etc., from English records (Collections of the New Jersey Historical Society, X, 1927), 183-4 (on Samuel Ryerson, who is however split into two entries).
  • Daniel J. Brock, “Samuel Ryerse (Ryerson),” in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, 5:732-5.
  • Edwin R. Deats, Underhill Genealogy, vol. 5 (Baltimore, 1980), pp. 116-17, 188.
  • Robin S. Harris and Terry G. Harris (eds.), The Eldon House diaries: five women’s views of the 19th century (Publications of the Champlain Society — Ontario Series, XV, 1994), which contains the diary of Amelia Ryerse Harris, with valuable editorial commentary. As pointed out to us by Mike Crutchley, of Surrey, England, this work supplies, on p. xxxiii, the identity of John Davenport, of New Brunswick, the first husband of Sarah Underhill.
  • Robin S. Harris, “Amelia (Harris) Ryerse,” in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, 11:782-3.
  • United Kingdom. Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Lord Faringdon re-appointed to English Heritage, 19 April 2000, available online at http://www.nds.coi.gov.uk/coi/coipress.nsf/ 546794c477bc2d35802567350057e87d/ c9ddad85a6db1eac802568c6003b3426?OpenDocument.
  • TourUK, Houses in Oxfordshire: Buscot Park, available online at http://www.touruk.co.uk/houses/houseoxf_bus.htm.

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From the Genealogy Page of John Blythe Dobson
URL = johnblythedobson.org/genealogy/famous/Faringdon.html
This page written 8 May 2001
Last revised 26 February 2011