My Mum’s lot came over as thugs on horseback with big weapons and were at the Battle of Hastings (poor old Harold). When that was won they were given William’s wife Matilda’s lands in Gloucester to look after which became theirs over time. I think that they were related to William and there is family rumour that the line goes back to Charlemagne and crew. They were known as the Minchins which is my Mum’s maiden name. They were a pretty well known family in the sense that a lot of them went on Crusade and there is a street in London named after them. They held on to their lands until the 15th Century when the family split – Mum’s branch went to Ireland where they were supposed to subdue the natives and build a castle. The castle got built but they got absorbed by the Irish which as (Peter McCarthy pointed out in his book McCarthy’s Bar – great fun by the way) is the way that the Irish have been dealing with invaders for centuries. That and get them drunk! In fact there a few disgruntled letters that survive from the Gov in England bemoaning the fact that the Minchin’s and other families were way to easy going with their charges:-) The family is still there in the main although a quite a few left like Mum’s Dad because of the Troubles.
Regarding “de Corbeil, de Lumley, de Peshale and, finally, Pearsall” I have not come across them but I will have a look in Mum’s archive stuff. Incidentally my Dad’s lot are American and came over as displaced Scots after the defeat of Culloden in 1746. Apparently the English were getting fed up with them making a nuisance of themselves north of the Border:-) They have been lurking around Virginia and North Carolina ever since.
In regards to the extra bit in your tail – it takes the expression “bony bum” to whole new level! I can also understand your fear for your kids – I would feel the same if I was a Mum. But on a lighter note I would not be surprised if my family were aliens – we are notoriously eccentric and the rest of the population has a habit at looking at us sideways whilst moving quietly away – he he.
Yours with scales