The Cathedral of Saint Mary of Toledo, located in Toledo, Spain was begun in 1226 and the last parts were finished in 1493. I have visited this cathedral three or four times, but just last month I found a genealogical connection to some of the tombs inside.
The tombs of Henry III (4 October 1379 - 25 December 1406) of Castile and his wife, Catherine of Lancaster, in the Chapel of the New Monarchs inside the Toledo Cathedral, Toledo, Spain. He was known as Henry the Sufferer "Enrique el Doliente" (I never found out what illness he suffered from). Catherine of Lancaster, also known as Catherine Plantagenet, is my half 21st great grand aunt. Her father, John of Gaunt, is my 22nd great grandfather, and I descend from his wife, Catherine Roet, through their daughter Joan de Beaufort. John of Gaunt had four wives, and Costanza, was the mother of Catherine the wife of King Henry III of Castile.
Joan de Beaufort (about 1375 - 1440), my 21st great grandmother, had two husbands. I descend from three of her children. With her husband Robert de Ferrers (about 1373 - 1396) I descend from their daughter Mary de Ferrers. From her second husband Ralph de Neville (about 1364 - 1425) I descend from Ralph Neville (about 1392 - 1458) and Eleanor Neville (born 1407).
How did I find out I was descended from royalty? There are several books listed below which name "gateway" ancestors to royal lineages. I am also lucky enough to live near the New England Historic Genealogical Society, where Gary Boyd Roberts has checked my family tree several times and pointed out ancestors who descend from the Plantagenets and other royal and noble families. William Adams Reitwiesner's website is valuable, too.
The immigrant ancestor I have who descended from John of Gaunt is Thomas Lawrence (1589 - 1625) who married Joan Antrobus. I descend from two of their six children. He is a descendant of Mary de Ferrers described above. Some other ancestors with royal lineages are Reverend Peter Bulkely (1583 - 1659) as well as his wife Olyff Irby (about 1547 - 1615), Judith Lewis (1626- 1688) wife of James Gibbons, and Elearnor Slingsby (died 1647) wife of Arthur Ingraham.
Henry III and Catherine of Lancaster were the grandparents of Queen Isabella, wife of King Ferdinand, who is most famous to Americans as the benefactor of the explorer Christopher Columbus.
According to Wikipedia, the plaque above the tomb of Henry III says:
" "AQUI IACE EL MUI TEMIDO Y JUSTICIERO REI DON ENRIQUE DE DULCE MEMORIA QUE DIOS DE SANTO PARAISO HIJO DEL CATHOLICO REI DON JUAN NIETO DEL NOBLE CAVALLERO DON ENRIQUE EN 16 AÑOS QUE REINO FUE CASTILLA TEMIDA Y HONRRADA NACIO EN BURGOS DIA DE SAN FRANCISCO Y MURIO DIA DE NABIDAD EN TOLEDO IENDO A LA GUERRA DE LOS MOROS CON LOS NOBLES DEL REINO FINO AÑO DEL SEÑOR DE 1407."
Which translates to:
There are many monarchs of Spain buried inside the Toledo Cathedral. The others are Sancha II, Sancho III, Emperor Alfonso VII and his wife Berenguela, Sancho IV the Brave, Henry II and his wife Juana Manuel, Juan I (father of Henry III), John II is represented here in Toledo Cathedral with a cenotaph (his body lies in Burgos, Spain).Here lies the late feared and just king Henry, in the sweet memory of the Holy God of Paradise, son of the Catholic King John I and grandson of Henry. The noble 16 year old knight, who ruled over Castile justly and honourably, was born in Burgos on the day of St Francis and died on Christmas Day in Toledo, during the war between the Moors and the kingdom's nobles, which finished in 1407."
The coolest thing about the above inscription is the mention of these kings being born in Burgos. My father-in-law was born in Burgos. Perhaps if I could trace his lineage back far enough I would find our line might cross in Burgos?
You can read more about Henry III of Castile at this Wikipedia link:
You can find royal lineages, including the ones described above at William Adams Reitwiesner's website:
Some books to consult if you think your ancestor has a noble lineage:
Plantagenet Ancestry of Seventeenth Century Colonists, by Davis Faris, Baltimore: Gneealogical Publishing Company, 1996
The Royal Descents of 500 Immigrants to the American Colonies or the United States, by Gary Boyd Roberts, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1993
Ancestral Roots of Certain American Colonists Who Came to America before 1700, by Frederick Lewis Weis, 7th edition, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1992
Copyright 2013, Heather Wilkinson Rojo