King Henry VIII separated the Church of England from the Catholic Church in 1533 and decreed marriage between first cousins legal, leading to perhaps the most complex family tree ever!
Technically, William Shakespeare has no direct descendants. However his mother is our 13th great grand aunt, sister to our 13th great grandmother. Thus his maternal grandparents (Robert & Mary Webb Arden) are our 14th great grandparents. On his father's side his, John Alexander Webb is his Great Grandfather and also our 15th Great Grandfather. Richard Webb came to America in about 1629. He is Beatrice Scofield Syska's 9th Great Grandfather and William Shakespeare's 2nd Cousin.
ARDEN FAMILY OF ENGLAND
The Arden Family takes its name from the Forest of Arden in Warwickshire and can trace it's male lineage back to the Anglo Saxon time period prior to the 11th century Norman Invasion.
Ralph De Arden (1373-1421) m. Sibell DeBelgrave - 18th GRGR
WEBB FAMILY OF ENGLAND
- Mary Webb (1512-1550) married Robert Arden (1506-1556) and had 2 daughters.
- Mary Arden Shakespeare (1537-) who married John Shakespeare and gave birth to William . - see below
- Margaret Arden Webb (1538-1608 ) who married Sir Alexander Webb Sr. and whose descendants emigrated to America - see below
|Mary Arden Home|
- Abigail Webb Shakespeare (1515- ) married her first cousin, Richard Shakespeare in 1532 and had 2 sons- John and Henry.
- John Shakespeare also married his first cousin Mary Arden (1537 - ), daughter of Robert Arden & Mary Webb (Abigail's sister), in 1557. They had eight children including William Shakespeare.
- Sir Henry Alexander Webb (1510-1544): Presumably named after King Henry, he was an usher in the Privy Council of Queen Regent Catherine Parr (King Henry's 6th wife), who granted him lands and privileges for his service. Henry married Grace Arden (1514- ) (daughter of Thomas Arden) and had three children: Alexander, Agnes and Robert.
- Sir Alexander Webb Sr. (1534-1573) also married his first cousin, Margaret Arden (1538-1608) who was the daughter of Robert Arden.
- Sir Alexander Webb Jr. (1559-1629) married Mary Wilson (1561-1629) emigrated to America abt 1629 with their family including Richard Webb (1594-1676) (my 11th gr gr)