I find it interesting that you are not descended from an Eaton as you may have a valid descent from the Eytons. The most interesting link is to Katherine Talbot supposed daughter of the 1st earl of Shrewsbury – I say supposed as it is generally not accepted or included by those who study royal and medieval genealogy. However, I believe it is almost certainly correct. Rather than rewrite my thoughts on Nicholas Eyton/Katherine Talbot I am going to paste an old post I had them in another forum:
The Katherine Talbot link would be the one most people here would consider the weakest. The link you provided is the only one where she is called Margaret, everywhere else she is called Katherine. She is known only through the Visitation records which is a major weakness. There is no other supporting evidence. However, as noted in the links above, she is in multiple Visitations taken at very different time periods.
Visitations of Shropshire, 1623
Nich’us Eyton de Eyton in co. Salop Sheriff in 1440 and 1449
m. Katherina filia Joh’is Talbott in com. Salop Earl of Salop
Walter Barnfield of Poulmore in com. Devon
m. Ellen dau. Nicho. Eyton of Wigmore knight Sr Nicholas Etton of
Wildmore by the Earl of Salops da.
Visitation of Essex by Hawlet 1552; Hervey 1558; Cooke 1570; etc.
Sr Nicholas Eton of Etton in com. Salope, knight
m. Katheran, da. to John Talbott Earle of Salope
To me this enough evidence to this say is very likely true. There is other circumstantial evidence to suggest Katherine Talbot existed. As you noted their son and heir was Lewis Eyton. The Eyton family can be traced back to the 1100’s and nowhere previously does the name Lewis occur – it is likely he is named for Lewis Talbot who would be a brother of Katherine’s. As I noted in a previous post, the church at Eyton (built 1733) had stained glass showing the arms of every family which had married into the Eyton family. It has the Talbot arms in a position which indicates a Talbot married Nicholas Eyton – certainly the Eytons believed the marriage and were willing to display the Talbot arms in their church.
Nicholas Eyton was a sheriff of Shropshire in 1440, 1445 and 1455 and a M.P. in 1449 and 1450. VCH singles out Sir Nicholas Eyton to say national politics played a role in his 1454 appointment. From 1377 to 1643, "only 6 Shropshire sheriffs served more than 1 year contrary to statute", Nic Eyton obviously served 3 years. At this time, the sheriffs were primarily followers of the Earl of Shrewsbury. It would seem to me that these appointments were probably due the Sir Nicholas Eyton's marriage to the Earl's daughter.
The next question would be which Earl of Shrewsbury are we talking about. Based on dates of when Nicholas and his son were active it was almost certainly John Talbot, (c1384-1453), cr. Earl of Shrewbury. But how could a man as well known as John, Earl of Shrewsbury, Earl of Wexford and Waterford, Lord Talbot, Lord Strange, Lord Furnivalle, Count of Clermont, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Lord High Steward of Ireland, Marshall of France, “the English Achilles”, leader of numerous military campaigns, have a daughter as obscure as Katherine Talbot married to Nicholas Eyton (an important member of the landed gentry and knights of Shrewsbury, but no where near the level of the
Earl)? First, John Talbot was not born to this level of nobility but slowly acquired it through marriage, and as a reward for his service later in life. It would not be unthinkable that a daughter could be married to a family such as Eyton and the Eytons would be known to him from his campaigns in France (I note that Fulk Eyton, brother of Nicholas, carried the bones of the Earl of Arundel out of France, and later he was in command of the English garrison in Maine). Secondly, we know very little about any of the children of John Talbot other than the ones which inherited titles.
The daughter “Warren” that you mentioned is known from only one reference. He provides for her marriage in his will. If she had been married already we would have no notice of her at all. I think this is what happened to Katherine – once married off she is gone from the record. With regard to the name Warren, Hugh Talbot a biographer of John Talbot says the name actually appears as ‘Warris’ in the original will.
So if John Talbot, 1st Earl is the father, who is the mother of Katherine Talbot? John Talbot was married twice. First he married Maud Neville in 1405; she died 1423. During this 18 year marriage, only 4 children are known. It is very possible she had additional children who are not known; it would also match the theory that Katherine would be married to Nicholas Eyton prior to John Talbot becoming a national hero. He married 2nd Margaret Beauchamp in 1425. This marriage is probably a little late if you think Nicholas was married c1435 (a very rough guess). The third possibility is that she is illegitimate. John Talbot is known to have acknowledged 1 illegitimate son, Henry who was killed with him at Castillion. People have speculated on this forum that Katherine is illegitimate to explain her marrying into a different social class (I don’t think this is necessary). I think it is likely she is a daughter of Maud Neville, possibly an illegitimate daughter, and less likely a daughter of Margaret Beauchamp. Regardless, without new evidence being discovered, it is impossible to say who her mother is.
John Talbot 1st Earl died in 1453 and played no role in the War of the Roses
Sir Nicholas Eyton is one of 29 knights listed as a Lancastrian at the Battle of Blore Heath, Sept. 23, 1459 John Talbot, 2nd Earl was killed at the Battle of Northampton 10 July 1460 fighting on the Lancastrian side
Nicholas then is found in 1461 on a Yorkist Commission of Array (raising troops) In 1462, he is pardoned as an ex-Lancastrian
So Nicholas Eyton was on both sides at one time or another, but probably best called a Lancastrian. He was a Lancastrian with the Earl of Shrewsbury, but smartly switched to the winning team eventually.
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