Matching family tree profiles for Roland d'Alvers, Norman knight
About Roland d'Alvers, Norman knight
Additional Curator's Notes:
Roland d'Alvers was born in France c.1027. He came to England in the service of William the Conqueror. He settled in Oxfordshire and left three sons, Ranulph (or Ralph), Roger and Almar. He is generally accepted as the progenitor of the English d'Anvers/Danvers lines. He died c.1081.
Historians tell us that Danvers is a toponym, from the town of Anvers. Anvers, however, is the French name for Antwerp. As a follower of William the Conqueror it is not likely that Roland's family was from Antwerp. There is a suburb of Paris known as Alvers-sur-Oise, which might have given Roland the descriptive name of "d'Alvers." One source gives him a birthplace of Plouigneau, Brittany, France. Most likely, however, is that Roland came from Normandy. There were several villages in France at the time of the Conquest called Auvers. The name de Alvers appears on the Battle Rolls, including a Robert who received property from William at Northampton. The exact relationship between Robert and Roland has never been proven, but they might have been brothers.
A note about names: The earliest spellings of the name Danvers include d'Anvers, de Aluers, d'Alvers, de Alvers, d'Anverso and d'Alvereux. Surnames in this era were more often descriptive names and spellings were not standardized. I have chosen to use d'Alvers for Roland and his children, switching to d'Anvers when I find in texts, and to Danvers for those born in the 14th century, unless the other form is clearly shown in reference texts.
Maria Edmonds-Zediker, Volunteer Curator, May 26, 2013
Links to additional material:
- The English Baronetage: Containing a Genealogical and Historical ..., Volume 2, By Arthur Collins, available as e-book from Google.
- Memorials of the Danvers family (of Dauntsey and Culworth), By F. N. Macnamara. Published 1895 by Hardy & Page in London. Available as e-book from openlibrary.org.