I'm tracing my paternal family tree and have managed to reach back to the late 18th century. However, my uncle also traced the tree around 20 years ago and got back to the early 16th century, but thanks to multiple changes of computer, he's lost all the information. He does remember finding that we were direct descendants of Matthew Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury, but doesn’t remember from which of Matthew’s four sons we are descended:
1st Son – Sir John Parker (1548 - 1617)
When Sir John Parker was born on May 5, 1548, in Cambridge, his father, Matthew, was 43 and his mother, Margaret, was 29. He attended Corpus Christi College, Cambridge and graduated in 1562.
He married Joanna Cox in 1576. They had four children during their marriage. He was knighted in 1603 by King James I. He died on January 29, 1619, in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, at the age of 70, and was buried in Sutton Valence, Kent.
More information about his life can be found here - http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1558-1603/me...
Sir John Parker himself had two sons:
Matthew Parker (1570 - 1645):
When Matthew Parker was born on May 19, 1570, in Bekesbourne, Kent, his father, John, was 22 and his mother, Joanna, was 14.
Matthew graduated from Corpus Christi College, Cambridge in 1588. At one time he was
Captain of the Bulwark at Dover Castle.
He had one son, John, and three daughters with Margaret Jenkins. He died on May 9, 1645, in Sittingbourne, Kent, at the age of 74, and was buried there.
Matthew had one son; John, but I can’t find any further information about him.
Richard Parker (1577 - ?):
Richard was the youngest son of Sir John Parker (1548-1617) and Matthew's grandson. He received a BA from Corpus Christi College, Cambridge in 1597 and an MA in 1600. I don't know if he ever married or had children.
2nd Son – Matthew Parker (1549 - ?)
I believe he died young, likely before his younger brother Matthew as born.
3rd Son - Matthew Parker (1551 - 1574)
When Matthew Parker was born on September 1, 1551, in Norwich, Norfolk, his father, Matthew, was 47 and his mother, Margaret, was 32. He married Frances Barlow on December 29, 1569, in Lambeth, Surrey. They had one son during their marriage that died at before he turned 2. Matthew Parker died on January 28, 1574, in Lambeth, Surrey, at the age of 22.
4th Son - Joseph Parker (1552 - ?)
I know nothing about Joseph and only found reference to him here - http://www.tudorplace.com.ar/Bios/MathewParker(ArchbishopCan...
Given that the Archbishop’s 2nd son, Matthew Parker (1549) died young and that 3rd son, also Matthew, (1551 – 1574) only had one son who died as an infant, this discounts them both as possible ancestors.
I believe this leaves:
• Archbishop’s 4th son, Joseph Parker (1552)
• Sir John Parker’s son - Richard Parker (1577)
• Sir John Parker’s grandson (through his son Matthew Parker) - John Parker
If anyone has any information that could help in finding more information on these people and their descendants, I’d be incredibly grateful.
I've attached a GEDCOM file with all the information I've found on Matthew Parker's family for reference.