One of the most remarkable things to be noticed about the Anglo-Saxon genealogies, is that so many have survived. Not only have they endured intact the ravages of some twelve or more centuries of war, worm, damp and decay; they have also survived the ravages of kings whose political interests once lay in the suppression of such records, namely the Vikings, Normans and Plantagenets. But happily, the Saxon records have survived them all, and the story they tell is of profound interest to us in our present study.

In Table 5, I have brought together (in sometimes simplified forn,) the genealogies of six Saxon Royal Houses. It is obvious to anyone who studies the history of Saxon England these various houses were fiercely independent of one another, and their ambition to rule over their neighbours was always uppermost in their considerations, often spilling over into long and bloody conflict. It is therefore all the more remarkable that their various genealogies should all hark back to the same ancestral roots.

We are commonly asked to believe these various Royal Families concocted these lists, and that the lists are thus rendered untrustworthy and false. Thus, we are asked to accept that, say, the House of Kent concocted a list of ancestral names that happens to match that of the House of Northumbria, in spite of the fact the two kingdoms were separated by hundreds of miles in days when travel was difficult, spoke different dialects, and whose subjects hardly ever moved beyond the confines of their own borders. And that this happened not just between two of the Royal Houses, but at least six! To put it mildly, that is a lot to ask, and clearly these oft disparaged records should be re-examined along with the somewhat dubious conclusions that have lately been reached concerning them.

The sheer abundance of the Anglo-Saxon genealogies allows their comparison with one another, and the first thing we notice when we compare these lists is that gaps occur. The appearance of such gaps, and they are never large, has given rise to all sorts of speculations and juggling, the inevitable implications being that here we are dealing with anything from forgery to plain fiction. Yet it is extremely rare for the evidence itself to justify such conclusions and to illustrate the point, let us consider the following statement. Wishing to demonstrate the fact that the present Royal Family of England has Stuart (Scottish) blood in its veins, I shall simply state that: "Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II is directly descended from James I."

Now, the statement is not only grammatically correct, it is historically accurate also. Elizabeth II is descended from James I. But, if we compare my statement to another list of English monarches, we shall immediately see my statement contains a gap!

This gap omits two Charles, one other James, one Anne, six Georges, two Edwards, two Williams, one Victoria (the longest reigning monarch of all,) and the Regency (1811-1820.) Within all these reigns, there occurred the English Civil War, two World Wars, the founding (and losing) of the British Empire, the Industrial Revolution, the South African Wars, innumerable Laws and Reforms, and a whole host of I know not what else!

Thus, 350 years of history, all these events (and much more besides,) and all these reigns, are missing from my statement that Elizabeth II descended from James I. Yet, in all seriousness, would any future "critic" or historian be entitled to conclude that my integrity as a historian was thereby impugned, or the accuracy of my statement was somehow diminished by these omissions? I should hardly think so! Yet, this is precisely what happens when gaps are found in Saxon genealogies. It is often more than strongly implied that either the genealogist was falsifying the records, or that the records themselves are somehow corrupt and faulty. Either way we are asked not to accept them as historically reliable.

In reality, none of the gaps in the Saxon genealogies are as large as the gap in the above example. Usually, only one or two names are omitted, and examination of these omissions invariably, reveals that their importance is not such as to justify the sometimes startling conclusions current wisdom reaches concerning them. Current wisdom however, is governed by the parameters within which it operates, namely an unseemly, not to say unscholarly bias against the Biblical record; and this bias is clearly displayed even in the highly specialized field of Saxon genealogies. For example, Kenneth Sisam (Bibliography) once wrote an extremely involved and in-depth study of the Anglo-Saxon royal genealogies, employing throughout a most complex analysis of the various names and pedigrees that he encountered. However, when it came to the lists of the various Biblical patriarches whose names appear in those same pedigrees, he dismissed them thus:

"The Biblical names show the artificial character of this lengthened pedigree and the crudeness of the connexions that passed muster. Otherwise they need not detain us." 25

This baseless assumption, so contrary to evidence, inevitably led him on to dismiss, with equal abruptness, everything else that he had previously written, (even those lists of names that he had previously analyzed, and which did not contain Biblical names!):

"Beyond Cerdic, all is fictional or error, and if the names themselves, are old, they were not attached to the ancestry of the West Saxon kings by old tradition." 26

Despite his previous attempt to deal with the genealogy of king Aethelwulf back to Noah and beyond by dividing it into sections (Aethelwulf - Ingild; Ingild - Cerdic; Cerdic - Woden, and so on,) Sisam ultimately recognized the fact that no one section could really stand alone. They stood or fell together, and this was why he was forced to demolish the entire structure once he had dismissed from any further discussion the Biblical patriarchal names.

There is a certain and definite irrationality in this approach, and it highlights a flaw in logic that underlies the whole structure of modernist thought. Consider this statement by James Mitchell, one of today's leading historians:

"The nature of historical evidence, then, leads us to accept the judgement of the late nineteenth-century American philosopher, William James, that history is the most difficult of all the "sciences" because no historian can place confidence in a single statement that he makes." 27

This sentence of Mitchell's bears repeated reading, for it is pronounced on the basis of two historical facts, namely the one-time existence of William James, and a statement he made regarding the nature of historical evidence. Yet, Mitchell has already stated that such information cannot be trusted! Under the philosophy Mitchell embraced at William James' recommendation, Mitchell could not possibly know for sure William James himself had even existed, let alone that he'd ever said any such thing! Logically, Mitchell has based his entire approach to the historical record on an assumption he himself dare not trust, from which it follows that his readers need proceed no further, if he cannot trust his own statements, then what on earth are they supposed to do with them? (What it tells his publishers, we can only imagine!) Any system of thought that can base its most fundamental tenets upon such nonsensical reasoning, can have little constructive to tell us. If such a system finds recent history such an insuperable obstacle, then what will be the outcome when its adherents presume to guide us through the complexities of ancient history?

___________________________________________________________________________ TABLE 5. A chart showing the lines of Saxon descent leading to six of the Saxon Royal Houses.

                                                              SCEAF (1)
                                                             Hwala (2)
                                                            Sceldwea (3)
                                                             GEAT (4)
                                                             Fin (5)
                                                            WODEN (6)
                     |                  |            |      |          |  |
                BAELDAEG (7)            |            |      |          |  |
                     |                  |            |      |          |  |
                   Brand                |            |      |          |  |
                 ____|_____             |            |      |          |  |
                 |        |             |            |      |          |  |
            Freothogar  Benoc         Winta        Witta    |          |  |
                 |        |             |            |      |          |  |
             Freawin    Aloc          Cretta      Wihtglls  |          |  |
                 |        |             |            |      |          |  |
                Wig   Angenwit       Cwedglis        |      |          |  |
                 |        |             |            |      |_________ |  |
             GEWIS (8)  Ingin         Caebed         |               | |  |
                 |        |             |   (10) HENGIST HORSA       | |  |
                Esla     Esa          Bubba          |               | |  |
                 |        |             |            |               | |  |
               Elesa    Eoppa          Beda         Oisc             | |  |
                 |        |             |            |               | |  |
             CERDIC (9)  Ida         Beoscep      Irminric           | |  |
                 |        |             |            |               | |  |
               Cynric     |          Eanferth (11) ETHELBERT (1)     | |  |
                 |        |             |            |               | |  |
              Caewlin     |            Eata       Eadbald            | |  |
                 |        |             |            |               | |  |
              Cuthwine    |          Aldfrith   Earconbert           | |  |
                 |        |     (HOUSE OF LINDSEY)   |______________ | |  |
               Cutha      |_________________________               | | |  |
_________________|______________             ______|______         | | |  |
|           |        |         |             |           |         | | |  |
Ceolwald  Ceadda  Cuthglis  Cyneglis     Aethelric     Ocga        | | |  |
    |       |        |         |             |           |         | | |  |
 Cenred  Cenbbrlht Cenferth    |        Aethelfrith   Aldhelm      | | |  |
    |       |        |         |             |           |         | | |  |
    |    Caedwalla Centus      |           Oswlu      Ecgwald      | | |  |
    |                |         |             |           |         | | |  |
    |             Aescwin      |          Ecgferth    Leodwald     | | |  |
 ___|____                  ____|_____               ____|____      | | |  |
 |      |                  |        |                |      |      | | |  |
Ine  Ingild            Centwine  Cwichelm         Cuthwin  Eata    | | |  |
        |                           |                |      |      | | |  |
      Eoppa                      Cuthred           Cutha  Eadbryht | | |  |
        |                                            |             | | |  |
       Eafa                                       Ceolwulf         | | |  |
        |                                    ______________________| | |  |
     Earhmund                       _________|________               | |  |
        |                           |                |               | |  |
     Ecgbyht                     Egbert            Hlothere          | |  |
        |                      _____|______                          | |  |
    AETHEWULF                  |          |                          | |  |
        |                    Edric     Wictred                       | |  |
 ALFRED THE GREAT                         |                          | |  |
                                __________|_________                 | |  |
                                |         |        |                 | |  |
                            Eadbert   Ethelbert   Alric              | |  |
                                  (HOUSE OF KENT)                    | |  |
                  ___________________________________________________| |  |
                  |                   _________________________________|  |
                  |                   |                  _________________|
               Whltlaeg            Waegdaeg            Caser
                  |                   |                  |
              Waermund              Slgegar           Tytman
                  |                   |                  |
                 Offa              Swebdaeg            Trygil
                  |                   |                  |
              Angeltheow           Slgegeat           Hrothmund
                  |                   |                  |
                Eomaer             Saebald              Hryp
                  |                   |                  |
                 Icel              Saefugel            Wilhelm
                  |                   |                  |
               Cnebba              Saefugal             Wehn
                  |                   |                  |
              Cynewald            Westerfalca      (14) WUFFA
                  |                   |                  |
               Creoda              Wilgils             Tytla
                  |                   |                  |
                Pybba              Uxfrea                |
             _____|_____              |                  |
            |          |             Yffe                |
        (12)PENDA    Eawa         ____|____              |
                       |          |        |             |
                       |        Elfric   AELLE           |
                       |  (HOUSE OF NORTHUMBERLAND)      |
                  _____|____                             |
                  |        |                             |
                Osmod    Alweo               ____________|_______
                  |        |                 |                  |
               Eanwulf Aethelbald            |                  |
                  |                          |                  |
              Thincferth                     |                  |
                  |                          |                  |
              (13) OFFA                      |                  |
           (HOUSE OF MERCIA)                 |                  |
                                      (15) REDWALD             Enl
                  ___________________________|    ______________|____
                  |        |          |           |       |         |
               Sigbert  Earpwald  Raeganhere    Anna  Ethelhere  Ethelwald
                                  (HOUSE OF EAST ANGLIA)

TABLE 5. A chart showing the lines of Saxon descent leading to six of the Saxon Royal Houses.

The above Table has been constructed from various king-lists and genealogies, and it demonstrates the common ancestry of six of the Saxon Royal Houses. The Houses of Wessex (Occidentallium Saxonium;) of Lindsey (Lindis feama;) of Kent (Catwariorum;) of Mercia (Merciorum;) of Northumbria (Northa hymborum;) and of East Anglia (Estranglorum,) are all represented (see also Figures 2 and 3,) and all are seen to have traced their ancestry directly back to Woden and beyond. Fortunately, Woden's own ancestry is also shown in various sources, and this goes way back to Noah through Sceaf (of whom more shortly,) thus providing us with an invaluable and unbroken link with the immediate post-Flood era.
The political supremacy of these various Houses fluctuated almost from one decade to the next, and the particular king who at any one time held sway over the others, was accorded the title Bretwalda. The East Anglian king, Redwald (15), was a particularly famous Bretwalda and it is thought by many that it was his grave that was discovered during the excavations of the Sutton Hoo burial.
Redwald, however, as well as being an East Anglian king, also belonged to the famous clan of the Wuffingas. This name derived from his ancestor Wuffa (14), and it demonstrates the seriousness with which the early Saxons kept their genealogies. Undoubtedly, Wuffa would in time have been deified as an ancestor, as were other notable founders of clans before him, and it was only the presence of the early medieval Christian Church that prevented this happening in Wuffa's case. For example, Geat (4) was not only the founder of the Geatingas (Beowulf of epic fame was a Geating,) but he became also one of the major gods or demi-gods of the Saxon pantheon.
In chapter 31 of his Historia Brittonium, Nennius recites the genealogy of the Kentish kings from Hengst (10) in ascending series. Of Geat, Hengist's deified ancestor, we read that he was on of the false gods whom the Saxons worshipped. ("...non ipse est Deus deorum...sed unus est ab idolls eorum quod ipsi colebant.") Asser tells us exactly the same thing in his Life of Alfred (see Bibliography:) "Geat...whom the pagans worshipped for a long time as a god."
Sceldwea (3) - otherwise Scyld - founded Scyldingas. Hwala (2) was remembered in one Saxon epic (Windsmith) as a most able and benificent king. Fin (5) was also a famous king whose memory was revered by the Frisian Saxons of Europe; and Bealsdeg (7) - otherwise Balder - was worshipped as an almost Christ-like figure, famous for his beauty and goodness, and for his untimely, sacrificial end.
Gewis (8) illustrates these principles more fully. He founded the clan of the Gewissae, (whom Welsh annalists also knew as the Gewisse - Geuuls a quo Britones totam gentem Geguuls nominant;) and in the charters that have survived from before King Alfred's time, the West Saxon kings were each styled Rex Gewisorium. King Aldred, however, in his translation from Latin into Old English of Bede's Historia Ecclesiasticae, suppressed the hitherto royal title of Rex Gewisorium, undoubtedly because of its blatantly pagan connotations. Had he continued the title, and adopted it for himself, it would have been akin to styling himself as king of the peoples of Woden; and this would have been anathema to such an overtly Christian king as himself! Yet, this raises a most pertinent question, namely: why was Gewis' name preserved in the ancestral list of King Alfred's own biography - a biography that he undoubtedly authorized? As the founder of a clan, Gewis was, of course, an important member of the royal line, and royal genealogies, pagan or otherwise, were too sacrosanct to allow the arbitrary interference and invention that we are asked to believe were so commonplace in their compilation. Other, less important, names were dropped or added in various lists, so Alfred would have been expected, surely, to drop a name that had such pagan overtones as Gewis (if modernist assumptions were valid, that is.) But the name is preserved, warts and all, as if to emphasise both the authenticity of the names, and the historicity of their owners.
Cerdic (9), who reigned from 519-534 AD, is the earliest Saxon king from whom Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II traces her own descent, Ethelbert (11) is important in many ways, as it was during his reign that Augustine landed in Kent in 597 AD, thus bringing the power of the Roman Catholic church to these islands. However, it was Ethelbert's sister, Ricula, who married c. 580 AD Sledda, king of the East Saxons, and this marriage united for the first time the royal lines of both the Saxons descended from Woden, and those descended from Seaxnet (see Table 6.)
Offa (13) and Penda (12) were both famous kings of Mercia, more cultured rulers than popular history would generally allow, as were all the Saxon kings; and Woden (6) was the ancestor and archetype of them all. The historicity of Woden as once-living king is seldom denied, so notorious were the Saxons in deifying their ancestors. Yet, happily for us, it was this very habit that brought about the preservation and natural growth of the Saxon genealogies and pedigrees, which in turn have provided us with such a direct historical link with the early Genesis record.
That link is epitomized in Sceaf (1) - pro. "sceef" or "shaif" and he is listed in the genealogies as the son of Noah. We know from the Genesis record that Noah had three sons, and Sceaf is therefore identical to one of them. This realization, however, has led to some recent proposals that serve only to obscure and deny Sceaf's true historical identity.
Keynes and Lapidge (p. 229, see Bibliography) propose the most astonishing notion of all. Making the most of the fact that Asser, King Alfred's biographer, allegedly misspelt Sceaf's name as Seth in the royal genealogy, they blandly inform their readers that: "Towards the end of the genealogy, Asser's "Seth," son of Noah, corresponds to Sem (sic) of Luke iii...!"
Now, there are phrases of Germanic history that are, admittedly, vague; yet, to suggest that there ever was a time when the Germanic races, of all people, wished to propagate the view that they were Semites is truly extraordinary! Anti-Semitism has been an inheritance of Germanic culture and philosophy since time immemorial (it was by no means the invention of the Nazis,) and to accept such a proposal as this, we would have to fly in the face of all that we know concerning Saxon and Germanic culture. We would also have to ignore the fact that there exists not the slightest etymological link between the names of Seth and Shem.
Keynes and Lapidge, however, were misled through a fundamental error made by Magoun (see Bibliography,) whom they cite. Likewise seizing upon Asser's alleged mispelling, Magoun concludes: "...the total effect is to make Aethelwulf (Alfred's father) by accident or design...a collateral relative of Our Lord" (p. 250.)
In other words, Magoun is suggesting that Aethelwulf's, and hence King Alfred's ancestry was taken all the way back to Noah's son in order to make that king an albeit distant relative of Christ (who was also descended from Noah,) thus enhancing the supposedly divine nature of kingship, in particular Alfred's kingship! Yet, surely, the fact that all subsequent men were descended from Noah, would have made Alfred no better than the common man! Magoun seems not to have considered this. Ancestry from King David would have been a more convincing demonstration of Alfred's semi-divinity, if that was truly Alfred's intention in allegedly doctoring his own pedigree; yet, no such tampering is seen in these royal lines. Indeed, their comparative purity and consistency argues most strongly against the charge of invention or interference.
Yet, was Asser's alleged misspelling of Seth for Sceaf truly an error on Asser's part, or did Asser know something that modernist scholars have missed? The question is answered in part by one of the most sceptical investigators of modern times, Kenneth Sisam (see Bibliography,) who, when dealing with the identities of Seth and Sceaf, is forced to admit that: "Iafeth was usually regarded as the ancestor of the European peoples, and the possibility that the last four letters of his name have something to do with the error Seth cannot be excluded..." (p. 316.)
(To further the identity of Asser's Seth with the Sceaf of other chronicles, we have the testimony of Florence of Worcester, who wrote in 1118 AD: "Seth saxonice Sceaf." In another of his manuscripts - CCC92 - the name of Sceaf is written over an erasure of Seth by a later scribe, thus showing that confusion had begun to arise - and thus needed to be sorted out - even at that early date. See Sisam, p. 317.)
However, it follows that if Seth was a natural corruption for Iafeth, then Sceaf is also identical with that particular son of Noah. Indeed, Sceaf must itself have been an extremely early corruption of Japheth's name in the Saxon tongue, for it was a usage so ancient that the early Christian (and pagan?) Anglo-Saxons were confused by it. Furthermore, it was also said of this Sceaf that he had been born in the Ark of Noah.
Which brings us to the following point: namely, why should allegedly fraudulent Christian monks try to convince readers of their present king's descent from Noah through Japheth, by rendering Japheth's name in a form that would have been entirely unfamiliar to those same readers? And further, why should they then proceed to compound their folly by inventing the story of Sceaf's birth in the Ark? - (Se Sceaf waes Noes sunu and he waes innan theare earce geboren. Rel. Antiq., p. 173. See Bibliography.)
Any of their readers who had only a basic knowledge of the Book of Genesis would have known that Japheth was born before the building of the Ark, and one did not have to be an educated scholar to possess such knowledge. Even the illiterate Caedmon (c. 680 AD) was familiar enough with Genesis to compose songs and poetry about it:
"So Caedmon stored up in his memory all that he had learned...He sang of the creation of the world, the origin of the human race, and the whole story of Genesis." Bede's Historia Ecclesiasticlae, iv, 24 (tr. Leo Shirley-Price, Penguin, 1968, p. 252.)
Even scholars of the time did not usually know Japheth under the name of Scaef. For example, when the Saxon scholar, Aelfric of Eynsham (c. 955 - 1020 AD) wrote On the Beginning of Creation, he rendered the names of the sons of Noah thus:
" ic wille gehealden the aenne and thine wife and thine thrie suna Sem Cham and Iafeth and heora threo wife forthon the thu eart rihtwise and me geave me." My transliteration and emphasis which may be rendered thus:
"...but I will save thee alone, and thy wife, and thy three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and their three wives, for thou art righteous and please Me" (my translation.)
The important thing for us to notice in this passage is, of course, the fact that Aelfric recorded Japheth's name in the Latin-cum-Hebrew rendering of Iafeth. Indeed, we find that all three names of Noah's sons are recorded in the Sixto-Clementine Vulgate in a form that is identical to Aelfric's rendering, thus showing, along with many other examples, that the Saxons borrowed Biblical names directly from Jerome's and the Old Latin versions. In other words, the Anglo-Saxons were definitely not used to transposing Japheth's name as Sceaf.
Therefore, had it really been certain unscrupulous monks who fraudulently invented the Saxon royal genealogies, and had it really been in their own and their present king's interests to prove that the Saxon kings were royally descended from Japheth, then it is surely inconceivable that they would have thus obscured this one vital point by rendering Japheth's name in a way that was completely unfamiliar to those whom they hoped to convince! And no educated scholar would surely have made such a silly error over Scaef's (or Japheth's) being born in the Ark. Such an error, whether it occurred willfully or otherwise, would have found speedy, if unwelcome, correction from any one of a number of rival schools
In short, it is clear that here we are not dealing with any attempted fraud or fiction. What we are dealing with is something with which we are already familiar, namely yet another historical account that is quite independent of the Biblical record (but which it nevertheless verified to some degree,) that has also become distorted with transmission and the passing of time. It is, to be brief, nothing other than a pagan memory of Biblical events and personages that had been preserved and told since time immemorail by Saxon fathers to Saxon sons. The process began very soon after Babel. It did not end until the "Christianisation" of the Saxons and their subsequently inheriting the (Latin) Scriptural record. Even then, several centuries were to pass before the Saxons finally abandoned their own folklore in favour of the more "conventional" history of their new-found Norman and Plantagenet masters.
"Interea uenerunt tres ciulae a Germania expulsae in exilio in quibus erant Hors et Hengist qui et ipsi fratres erant fiili Guictgils, filii Guitta, filii Guechta, filii Woden, filii Frealaf, filii Fredulf, filii Fodepaid, filii Geta, qui fuit, ut aiunt, filius Dei: non ipse est Deus deirum, amen, Deus exercituum, sed unus est ab idolls eorum, quod ipsi colebant - strong enough evidence, surely, that these genealogies were Pagan in origin, rather than forged by the hands of horrified Christian monks!

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