The Family Tree of Meghan Markle

As you know, we at Finders International have a keen interest in genealogy and family trees. So, we wanted to find out more about the next Royal-to-be—the fabulous Meghan Markle ahead of her nuptials this Saturday.

Meghan Markle’s Background

Born in Los Angeles on 4 August 1981, Rachel Meghan Markle has a half-sister, Samantha Markle Grant, and brother, Thomas Markle. Her parents are Doria Markle and Thomas Markle. They married in 1979 and divorced in 1987, and Meghan’s half-siblings come from Thomas’s first marriage.

Meghan’s mother is African-American, her bi-racial status welcomed by many when the engagement was announced. Her grandparents on her mother’s side were Alvin Ragdale (1929 to 2011) and Jeanette Ragdale (1929-2000).

Meghan also shook up the establishment, thanks to her divorced status. She married the Hollywood producer and manager Trevor Engleson in September 2011. The couple divorced in 2013.

Genealogical Research

The New England Historical Genealogical Society carried out research into Meghan’s background. Through her father, Rachel has colonial ancestors in common with eight presidents, including George W Bush, Richard Nixon, Herbert Hoover, and three First Ladies (Frances Cleveland, Ellen Wilson and Mamie Eisenhower).

The Society found that Meghan’s ancestors also include someone of royal descent—the Reverend William Skipper, who immigrate to Boston in 1639. The Reverend was a descendant of King Edward III (died 1377). William’s ancestors include Sir Philip Wentworth, who died in 1464 and Mary Clifford, ancestors too of the late Queen Mother and the late Diana, Princess of Wales.

Another Skipper ancestor was Margaret Kerdeston, who lived in the 15th Century and was the wife of a French nobleman, later the grandmother of a queen of Bohemia and Hungary and this the ancestor of many later European kinds.

Descent Through 200 Lines

Thanks to royalty’s early tendency to intermarriage, Prince Harry is descended from Margaret Kerdeston in more than 200 lines. Margaret’s grandparents—Katherine Stafford (died 1419) and Michael de la Pole (died 1415) are therefore Harry and Meghan’s common ancestors.

Prince Harry’s ancestry is extensively documented. The second son of Charles, Prince of Wales and the late Diana Spencer, he was born in September 1984. His father is the oldest son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip.

Queen Elizabeth’s descent comes through her father, King George VI who acceded the throne following the abdication of his brother, King Edward in 1936. Both were the great-grandsons of Queen Victoria.

Prince Harry will marry Meghan Markle this Saturday (19th May) at Windsor Castle.

Comment from Finders International’s MD Danny Curran

Danny Curran, Finders International founder and managing director, said: “Like the rest of the country, we can’t wait for the royal wedding this Saturday. Meghan’s family tree is fascinating and the connections between her and her about-to-be spouse proof that it’s a small world right enough! We wish the couple all the very best.

“If our genealogy piece has inspired you to do your own research, remember that Finders International offers its own research/family tree verification service. We are often asked to check family trees for insurance purposes or the distribution of an estate, and we find mistakes in 50 percent of these cases, thanks to inaccurate information. Email us on [email protected] to find out how we can help.”