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Godiva and William The Conquerer

Godiva and William The Conquerer

Posted: 13 Nov 2007 9:16AM GMT
Classification: Query
I am looking for confirmation or otherwise of the following

Part of my trail has traced back to Estmond Earl of Mercia and his wife Godiva.

Many sites continually refer to Godiva as sister to WTC daughter Of Robert the Magnificent and his Mistress Harlette or Arlette

My problem is that Godivas birth date is around 1076. Bothher supposed parents were dead long before this date

Here are some examples of links

If you copy and paste the following links in your browser you'll see.



Does anyone have any info on this one way or the other

my email is

Many thanks

Best Regards


Re: Godiva and William The Conquerer

Posted: 14 Nov 2007 4:57PM GMT
Classification: Query
Clive, try to wean yourself off web sites that don't list published sources. The LDS Family Search data base does have some leads worth following up, but a great deal of it is junk. Many web pages go to some trouble to actually transcribe primary and secondary sources. British History Online includes the Victoria County Histories, which are quite good. Lots of other good books online now, and more all the time, using Google Books. The BYU online library also has some references.
One of my rules of thumb: the closer you get to an ancestor who is famous, the more likely there is to be a phony link.
Good luck.

Re: Godiva and William The Conquerer

Posted: 21 Nov 2007 1:48PM GMT
Classification: Query
Clive, I have Godgifu (Godiva) married to Leofric, founder of the church of Conventry, Earl of Mercia by 1032. Leodric died at Bromley, co. Stafford, 31 Aug 1057. Godiva was born abt 1010. She was the sister of Thorold of Buckingham, sheriff of Lincolnshire. They had one known child: Aelfgar, Earl of East Anglia, Earl of Mercia.
Aelfgar married Aelfgifu. They had three known sons, Eadwine, Morkere and Burchard and a daughter Aldgyth (Edith) who married Griffith ap Llewellyn and Harold, Earl of Wessex, later Harold II, King of England.

Re: Godiva and William The Conquerer

Posted: 22 Nov 2007 7:13PM GMT
Classification: Query
Hi and thanks for replying

The Godiva you mention as far as I know is the infamous Lady Godiva and is not the one I am looking for.

Many sources on the web are identifying a Godiva as a sister of William however I can find no authorative source so for the time being I am treating her and her husband Estmond with caution.

Once again many thanks

Re: Godiva and William The Conquerer

Posted: 21 Sep 2008 2:11AM GMT
Classification: Query
This is a response to an old question but should put it all to rest.
Leofric was the Earl of Mercia who married Lady Godiva, as noted by an earlier thread.
His son was Aelfgar, Earl of Mercia.
His son was Edwin, Earl of Mercia. Edwin died in 1075 and the earldom of Mercia was discontinued at that time.
Estmond therefore could not have been an Earl of Mercia since he was born about 1074 and the earldom was discontinued at the death of Edwin.
See any encyclopedia (such as Wikipedia) for confirmation.
In summary, Estmond, who was apparently a son of Eadnoth "the Staller" a marshall of the king, was never an Earl of Mercia or anywhere else.
And finally, the name "Godiva of Normandy" is at best a misnomer, since Godiva is an Anglicization of Godifu, a Saxon name and not a Norman name.
My suspicion is that some over zealous hobbiest "created" this couple to get from one generation to another. Unfortunately even if Godiva existed (I can find no evidence of that) she could not have been the sister of WTC, being a generation younger at least.
We should all agree once and for all that Estmond, son of Eadnoth (maybe) had a wife unknown.
And then there is the very real question: Is Estmond a figment of imagination as well?
Although well attested on the net (through copying over and over) no evidence has been found by me that he even existed, and certainly not in any "royal" capacity.
I hope this finally dispenses with this sad issue.

Re: Godiva and William The Conquerer

Posted: 28 Oct 2009 1:43PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Godiva of Normandy
I contacted Alan Freer A.C.I.B., Member of the Society of Genealogists, London. All of his work in on the Dukes of Normandy. His web site is THE DESCENDANTS OF WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR:

So I figured he knows his stuff. He said that he has never come across Godiva of Normandy, in all his decades of research. And he pointed to the contradiction in the name, as was pointed out in one your other relies.

So, what I am going to do is show Estmond of England, married to Godiva of Normandy as the parents of Eva Fitz Estmond (who married Robert Fitz Harding) and dead-end the lineage, as there appears to be no evidence of any connection to any of the Dukes of Normandy, and indeed a generational gap between her (or Estmond) and William, Robert I or Robert II. You might see people that have moved Godiva and Estmonds dates closer/earlier, so they could tie to the Dukes, but then it leaves a generation gap with their daughter, or later generation(s), depending on where they started speading the fudge.

If the glove doesn't fit - you must acquit !

Re: Godiva and William The Conquerer

Posted: 29 Oct 2009 7:36AM GMT
Classification: Query

I know this is a long time since you posted your reply but I have only just come across it. You have confirmed what I expected and indeed have found in subsequent research so thankyou for that.

One other thing you may be able to help with is Eadnoth and his lineage? If you have any info that would be great

many thanks and best regards


Re: Godiva and William The Conquerer

Posted: 29 Oct 2009 7:39AM GMT
Classification: Query
Many thanks for replying to this query, again you have confirmed what I expected. SO many thanks for that and for responding.

I am also interested in Eadnoth the staller, if you have any info on him I would appreciate it. His lineage also seems to be very hazy!!

many thanks and best regards


Re: Godiva and William The Conquerer

Posted: 5 Jul 2012 1:53AM GMT
Classification: Query
I agree with your decision, I think we have to assume that 'Godiva' was not unique to the lady in Coventry.

Re: Godiva and William The Conquerer

Posted: 12 Jul 2014 1:19AM GMT
Classification: Query
'The Berkeley Manuscripts' by Thomas Dudley Fosbroke & John Smyth (1821) - pg. 72, and 'Dursley and its Neighbourhood' by John Henry Blunt (1877) - pg. 102 are 2 places this is noted. Perhaps this is where the controversy comes from. I'm just a hobbyist so present it here for those wiser in such endeavours. Both are available on Google eBooks.
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