Impossible Ancestral Theories

Impossible Ancestral Theories

This section discusses the various existing theories regarding the ancestry of Simon Hadley I. It should be clearly understood that all of this information is unproven, and are only theories about Simon’s predecessors. There are numerous versions claiming the parents of Simon to be James and Lady Jane Roswell Hadley.  Another theory is that Simon’s father was named Jeremiah. No evidence has been presented that these people even existed, or any proof of their parentage.

The following article from the Quaker Yeoman clearly debunks the Somerset Hadley line that has been erroneously represented for so many years. This article, plus the DeBrett report should leave no doubts.

Note from John Hadley:

Most of this piece from 1991 is accurate, as far as I know. There has been more information uncovered since this writing, but the main point is to debunk the previous theories of Simon Hadley’s parents. Let’s get these erroneous lines out of the GEDCOMs and other internet programs…so this misinformation will not continue to be circulated as gospel! The last James Hadley of the Somerset line died over 100 years before our Simon was supposedly born. This is an impossible lineage.

            We now know that Simon was living in Dublin in 1665, 1668, 1672, and 1685 from the various documents discovered by Fiona FitzSimons of Eneclann, Dublin, Ireland. (See Irish Reports)  We’ve also found further descendants of Benjamin Hadley in Ireland, not listed below. In defense of the earlier researchers, it was reasonable to assume that Simon came from the gentry class, as his petition of 1680 describes him as a Gentleman. This had great significance in those times, as the gentry were only 1-2% of society, and upward mobility was the exception. It is very likely that the parents and grand parents of Simon were gentry, so that is a significant clue.

             I think it is likely that the birth date of Simon as 1640 was an estimate by earlier researchers. I have never seen any evidence of his birth date, or those of his children.(The exception being Sollomon, who was christened at St Michans in 1672)  The first proven birth dates I have seen are for the children of Simon and Ruth. As we find earlier and yet earlier references for Simon Hadley in Dublin, my suspicion increases that Simon was probably born earlier than 1640. Perhaps we’ll someday find positive proof of all this, but in the meantime I think it’s important to document our sources, and to be conservative and honest in our reporting.

The Quaker Yeomen – Volume 18 Number 3 – October 1991 – Page Seven


  “Hardly a month passes that I do not receive a document attempting to trace the ancestry of Simon Hadley I to illustrious ancestry naming as his ancestor either Jeremiah Hadley of Northumberland and his wife who was a supposed daughter of Lady Jane Russell of Perth Scotland; or more frequently, stating as reference “Notes of The Quaker Family of Hadley,”published by Chalmers Hadley in 1916: Philipa Audley, daughter of Sir Humphrey Audley, who was descended from Sir Hugh Courtenay:

 1.)  Sir Hugh Courtenay; d. 1377-05-02; m. Margaret de Bohun, who had 8 (or 4) sons and 8 daughters:

  2.)   An unnamed son.  Some say Hugh de Courtenay who m. Elizabeth, daughter of Lord Tobrian, while others skip this generation, or state that their son

   3.)   Sir Philip Courtenay; d. 1406-Jul-29; who m. Ann Wake, and were the parents of:

    4.)   Some say John de Courtenay, father of: (while others say Elizabeth Courtenay, 6 below, skipping this and the next generation).

     5.)  Some say Philip Courtenay who m. Elizabeth (Hingeston?) (Hungerford?), showing as their daughter:

      6.)   Elizabeth Courtenay who supposedly m. Sir  Humphry Audley who was beheaded in 1461, whose daughter:

       7.)   Philipa Audley supposedly married Richard Hadley, son of John Hadley, grandson of Alexander Hadley who held the manors of Williton-Hadley; Withycombe-Hadley, Watchet, Heathfield, and other lands and who m. Alice Durborough daughter of Sir Ralph Durborough a supposed descendant of Sir Reginald Fitzurse. Richard Hadley and Philipa Audley were the supposed parents of:

         8.)  James Hadley, who had brothers Sir Henry, George, Sir John of Bruyton, Sir William of Barlinche, and sisters Anne and Jane Hadley; and who m(l) Friedeswith Matthew, daughter of Christopher Matthew of Glamorganshire, Wales; m(2) Elizabeth (- -), and was supposedly the father of:

9.)    Simon Hadley I, who was born 1640.

If the above appears vague or somewhat far-fetched to the reader it should!  The children of James and Friedeswith (Matthew) Hadley were Christopher, John, James, Thomas, Anne and Rachel. There is no record of James Hadley and his second wife, Elizabeth (- -) having children.

In any event, no record has been located in Ireland or England tracing the ancestry of Simon Hadley I. Any attempt to make such a connection with existing data is pure fakelore! “