I have been researching this very unusual phenomenon. Preliminary DNA testing results have shown that the majority of the 26 Hildreths tested including 2 Wigingtons share a common ancestor who lived in the last 800 – 1000 years. From my understanding, the test subjects only match in the first 12 alleles. Had we shared more matches in the following alleles 13 – 25 then we might have shared ancestor who lived 400 – 500 years ago. This means our ancestor lived sometime during the 11th and 12th before surnames were adopted.
However I have been attempting to trace the Hildreth lineage to a time just before surnames were adopted. I found a curious possibility which could potentially connect us. Since William the Conqueror never completely subdued the English lands south of Hadrian’s Wall, he negotiated treaties and alliances, sometimes by marriage to keep the peace between the Normans and the Scottish. Much of my research stems from the “Great Roll of the Exchequer for 1131”
During his son’s reign, William II, had a native lord in Northumbria who went by the valiantly spelled name of Hildredus de Karleolio. If you google him, you’ll learn he was the Lord of Carlyle, a city in the Allerdale region of Cumberland. Evidently he was bestowed with English lands by the Earl of Allerdale Ralph Meschine, the parishes of Gamblesby, Cumwhinton, Whetherall, Newbie-on-the-Moor, and Kirkbampton. Apparently he also had a silvermine, several acres of thagnage of cornage in the Counties of Cumberland, Northumberland, Durham, and even Yorkshire. In addition, Sir Hildred the Knight was bestowed with lands given him by King William the Lion of Scotland in Hoddam, Kirkhampton, and a few more lands in Dumfrieshire.
Hildredi is said to have married a granddaughter of Waltheof the Earl of Northumberland. Now Waltheof was married to Judith of Lens, William the Conqueror’s niece. Waltheof was executed by William for supporting a revolt by Edgar the Aetheling, grandson of Edward the Confessor former of King of England. I can not yet prove the lineage of Hildredus. He has been connected to being the same as Maldred son of King Malcolm of Scotland. However nothing is proven.
The Wigington connection is still merely speculation on my part. Hildredus had a son known as Odard the Sheriff. Odard was given even more lands by Henry I, grandson of William the Conqueror. Odard confuses many historians since there were five famous Odards living in this same time period. The ones I am aware of are Odard the Sheriff, Odard de Logis, Odard de Bamburgh, Odard de Hoddam, Odard de Hodholm, Odard de Wetherall, Odard de Wigton, and Odard de Carleolio.
The Carlisle family of today claims descent through Hildredus and Odard de Carleolio, but has no documentation to connect them. The patronage Lords of Carlisle ceased to exist during the 15th century with no male successor. The Carlisle family of today can only trace itself back to 18th century Northern Ireland and South Carolina. The Howard family assumed the title of Earl of Carlisle in the 16th century. Their castle was built on top of another castle in the parish of Henderskelf known as Hildreschelfe in the Domesday book. It’s a small town outside of Malton, North Yorkshire. The Howard Castle is placed on either side of a forest, one called Brandreth Wood, and the other called Hildenly Wood.
It is my hypothesis that perhaps Odard de Wigton is the Wigington Family ancestor and his father Hildredus de Karleolio is the Hildreth family ancestor. Further research will continue, and hopefully I’ll have the data all posted on a website.
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