The Royall Family

This is a chronological descent of the ROYALL family complied from various sources. The data, substantiating each step of this genealogy, is a matter of public record. 

Special assistance was rendered and information secured from the records of: The British Genealogical Society, the British National Museum, Public Records Office in London, England, the State Archives of Virginia in Richmond, The United States War Department, The United States Pension Rolls, land grants and records of various states, Bureau of Vital Statistics of the state of Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Texas and from old family records such as entries in family Bibles and ancient documents and receipts. Some minor facts and details may be missing from this report but the important facts and data are included and the line of descent is correct, as shown.

Our heritage is a rich heritage, replete with the names of pioneer Americans who did much toward the development of a new country and a new way of life. Among our ancestors were the very men and women who founded this country, who developed a new land, a new code of laws and the highest civilization that the world has ever known. Your forbearers were the lawmakers of the country, the men who fought to defend it against enemies from without and within; the men who opened the new frontiers of the West against almost insurmountable odds; who tilled the virgin soil; erected cities; built the roads, the dams and the industries that supported the civilization as it moved westward.


Family names, up until around the year 1000 and even later, were uncommon as we know them today. At first, each individual was known by his father's given name, the name of his lord, duke, bishop or landholder. For example: John's son became Johnson, Peter's son became Peterson.

Around the year 1000 AD, those in attendance to the king of a country (these might be personal servants, bodyguards or gentlemen and ladies attached to the royal court for various reasons of state or the personal preference of the king or queen) were known as "ye royal families" or "ye familie royal". This title applied only to those who lived in the residence of the king or who attended him on his missions. A son of royal blood would be Prince John. He might have a personal servant or bodyguard by the name of John. This John became: John of ye royal familie". If he were freed by the king or became a freeman by wars or acts, he would still go by the only name he knew, only he dropped part of his title. He became: john royal (no capital letters). He was not of the so called royal blood and this caused confusion and bitter resentment among the nobility. By kingly decree, the family was ordered to spell their name differently and they did this by adding an additional L to royal.


The family originated in Normandy of France and their lineage may have extended back to the dark ages of around 800 AD or earlier. The first recorded instances of the family were those bodyguards, personal servants and artificers attached to the French kings and various dukes, engaged in the wars of the Crusades, during the years from 800 to 1300 AD. These "ye familie royal" accompanied their kings on trips to the Holy Lands on these war expeditions, often fighting the Turks alongside their masters, acting as couriers back to France or as metal workers supplying the armies of their king with instruments of war. WILLIAM the CONQUEROR, who was born in 1037, had a retinue of such persons attached to his court and among these were some of our ancestors as will be shown by events to follow.


The ROYALL family lived in France, for we don't know how may hundreds of years, but we have been unable to find any records of them having lived anywhere in that country other than Normandy. In the year 1064 WILLIAM the CONQUEROR, of Normandy, invaded England and, after successfully waging a war against the Saxon rulers of that country, was crowned King of England on Christmas Day, 1066. He took all of the land from those who had opposed him and gave it to his followers in exchange for their loyalty and military service to him in his campaigns. He ordered that there be published a book which would contain all the names of his followers, all freeman of the land and all of the land owners and their financial status. This was a roster of his most loyal followers and was used for the purpose of taxation of all inhabitants. This book, later to become, next to the Bible, the most famous book of all time, was called the "Domesday Book", was written in long hand and in Latin. There are two families of ROYALL's listed in this book.

These two families settled on the Thames Estuary, near the village of London and it was little more than a village in that year. According to the tax records, they were tillers of the soil and paid tithe to the king only. In reality, they were still little better than serfs and were available for any duty that the king might impose at any time.

WILLIAM the CONQUEROR, now King of England, awarded many new titles to those who followed him from Normandy, created ranks of nobility that have survived until the present day and awarded family crests or coat-of-arms to families who met with his favor. The family crest, pictured, was granted to our family and it's design was approved by WILLIAM the CONQUEROR sometime in the 1070's.


JOHN ROYALL 1467 - C1519

Born before the discovery of America and during the reign of Edward 4th. Land title deeds and tax records find him in the CALENDAR OF PATENT ROLLS which cover the years from 1476 to 1485 both showing the same location and same dates but spelled differently. One was RYALL and the other ROYAL. He held some sort of public office holder "in ye svc sfe Richard 3rd an Henry 7th". He was involved in some sort of court intrigue and records show him acquitted. Attending his trial were his wife LUCITTE and "fmal fon (small son) ROGER.


                    ROGER ROYALL 1493 - 1562

Born during the reign of Henry 7th and Fairstead Parish Register, Essex #27649, show him as "brevart" in the service of Henry 8th from 1513 until 1538. Evidentially a professional soldier, but he was also a land holder in Essexshire. He is shown as being a member of the Royal Palace Guard but shows service only in the area outside London. Will on file in Essex mentions his wife Nancy (no other name) and sons ROGER and JOHN.


                    JOHN ROYALL 1521 - 1576

Born during the reign of the notorious Henry 8th and died during the reign of King Edward 6th. John was some sort of a minor public assessor or tax collector. Found two records of his signature on matters dealing with tax records - one was spelled RYAL and the other ROYALL. His will is on file and mentions only two children, a son Joseph and a daughter Sarah. The Recorder of Records in Essex suggested, to Royall S. Pinnell, that church burial records of this date be checked to see if there were records of the death of other children during the Plague and intimated that these two might have been the only survivors.

                    JOSEPH ROYALL 1550 - 1615

Born in London, member of a large family. Served apprenticeship as a leather worker and founded a factory producing shoes for the armies of Queen Elizabeth 1st and King James 1st. (From the Leatherworkers' Guild records on file in London). Married twice. First wife's name is not known, but second wife's name was Angeline. No complete record of children but names of five are known. They were: William, Roger, Henry, and Joseph. Records of his probated will show he left some property to "my two daughters" but they are not named nor do we know which wife bore them or the sons. Joseph and Angeline died of the Black Plague, which killed 150,000 in London alone. (Guild records, St. Martin's Church rolls and burial records).

                    JOSEPH ROYALL 1600 - 1655

At age 20 years, came to Virginia on the ship "Charitie", 22, July 1622. In the following year, in the census, he was listed at Neck of Land in Charles City. As shown in the muster he was one of two young men serving Luke Boyse. Joseph Royall was a ship's master in England and worked for a man by the name of Boise. In June of 1625, Boise outfitted a ship for transporting people to the colonies. The ship left England on July 1, 1625, with Mrs. Boise and four daughters as passengers for the trip over. On the trip, Captain Royall, "thru neglecte" caused sea water to ruin the clothing of the passengers. After her husband's death Mrs. Boyse petitioned the Court regarding an agreement entered into between her husband and young Royall: At this Court, 11, January 1626, there was a petition preferred by Mrs. Alice Boise, widow, against Joseph Royall servant to her late husband Luke Boise and showed a covenant bearing date 25, February 1625, wherein the said Joseph Royall was bound unto the said Luke Boise to perform certain conditions therein mentioned; whereupon, it is ordered, according to the said covenant that the said Joseph Royall shall make or cause to be made gratis for the said Alice Boise, her child and such servants as were then of this family all such apparel as they shall wear or use till such day and time as he shall depart this land, so long as those of the family shall either serve her or the child. A decree of this sort would be difficult to enforce and it's reasonable to conclude that circumstances freed young Royall from the permanent obligation under which Mrs. Boyse sought to place him.

By 15 August 1637 he was a land owner in his own right, having patented a portion of a tract (300 acres Henrico Co. p. 452) later included in the Isham-Royall plantation know as "Doghams."I The land lay on the north side of the James River above "Shirley" and remained in the Royall family for more than 200 years. In 1929 it was sold to James Pinckney Harrison. Harrison was a direct descendent of Katherine Banks and Henry Isham (through both the Eppes and Randolph lines), and was a distant "half-cousin" to the Royalls who last owned the property. Dogham is now the home of the Mitchell family (grandchildren of Mr. Harrison). Dogham Farm has recently been approved for listing on the Virginia Landmarks Register, and has been recommended for the Virginia Department of Historic Resources for listing on the National Register of Historic Places."

In 1638 Royall added to his land holdings 200 acres on the South side of the James River which he sold to EDWARD MARTINN. By 1642, he patented 600 acres "above Sherley hundred, N. by E. upon the Riv. to Dockman's Cr...adj. Daniel Llewellyn." He was deceased by 10 March 1655, as is shown in a patent of that date describing Daniel Llewellyn's land as adjacent to that "lately belonging unto Joseph Royall, dec'd."

Joseph Royall married (1) Thomasin and before 1637 (2) Ann , both wives having been claimed as headright in his original patent, and Katherine Banks, who later married Henry Isham, after Joseph's death. Her will, 10 October 1686 December 1686, Henrico, names children by both marriages. Henry Isham, Sr., came to Virginia about 1656, where he had a grant of land. As the records of Henrico Co., where he lived at Bermuda Hundred, previous to 1677 have been destroyed, no copy of his will remains; but the records show that he died about 1675. He married Katherine, widow of Joseph Royall, of Henrico Co., (stated in the Isham pedigree to be a daughter of Banks, of Canterbury, England) and had issue (1) Henry, died 1679, unmarried. (2) Mary, married William Randolph, of "Turkey Island," Henrico Co., and (3) Anne, married Frances Eppes, of Henrico Co. In his will dated 13, November 1678 Henry Isham, Jr. names mother, sisters and step brother.

Children of Joseph and Katherine (Banks) Royall:

1. Joseph Royall2 married Mary Archer

2. John Royall

3. Sarah Royall married John Wilkinson

4. Katherine Royall married Richard Perrin (See Perrin Family)

5. daughter who married Dennis.

Her daughter Sarah and son Richard Dennis mentioned in Grandmother's will.

6. daughter married Maschell
Son Maiden named in his Grandmother's will.

JOSEPH ROYALL2 made a deposition 20, February 1681/82, Henrico, stating he was 26 years of age or thereabouts. His mother, Katherine Isham bequeathed "to my son Joseph Royall all my lands." With Captain William Randolph and Francis Epes, the husbands of his half sisters, Royall was joint patentee, 20 April 1680, of 580 acres known as "Martin's Swamp" lying in Bermuda Hundred Neck on the south side of the James River and adjoining lands of the three grantees. He served as Sheriff of Henrico and as vestryman of Curles Episcopal Church in Bristol Parish. His second wife was probably Mary, widow of George Archer, whose daughter Margery (Archer) Bullington, mentions in her will dated 20, January 1691/92 her brothers John Archer and Henry Royall.

Will of Katherine (Banks) Royall Isham


Other Royall Family Researchers:

Royall Family History 

Early Royalls



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