The earliest ancestor I have so far traced is Guillaume de Cahaignes, who left the village in Normandy of that name to fight with William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings.
There is a vivid account of how his son Sir William de Keynes (the anglicised form of the name) captured King Stephen at the Battle of Lincoln in 1141.

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I am also a keen family historian. I am researching my own family history, mosty in Devon and Kent, and my husband Jack Priestley’s ancestors, mainly in Lancashire and Yorkshire. Some lines go back more than 30 generations, from paupers to lords of the manor. I even know the village in Normandy one of my ancestors came from.



I am currently working on a book about the first English saints.