Roy’s maternal family, the Broughtons are claimed to be descended from members of the the Vernon who arrived in England with William The Conqueror in 1066. However, the earliest aspects of the story of the Broughton family are both confusing and contradictory. There are myriad historical documents, manuscripts and records that show many versions of this family’s descent from the town of Vernon-sur-Seine in Normandy, France; which one is correct may never be known but all researchers agree on the basic premise that the Broughton family are descended from the lords of Vernon.
Vernon is an ancient town delineated by prehistoric, Celtic, Gallo-Roman and Merovingian remains. It became an important military town after the foundation of the Duchy of Normandy. It was attached to the French kingdom by Philippe Auguste in 1196, even before the rest of Normandy (1204). Philippe Auguste had the castle of Vernon built; the Keep and a tower still remain. Vernon played a political and military part during the long rivalry between the Capetians and Plantagenets.
The Lord of Vernon during the early 11th century was one William de Vernon whose son Richard was Captain of the town and known then as Seigneur de Reviers – the family name before the town of Vernon was granted to them. Richard together with his brother Walter and many other members of the Vernon family accompanied William the Conqueror in 1066 when he invaded England. For the service more great estates in Normandy and England were granted to the Vernon family and its members were ranked among the wealthiest and most powerful in both counties. Several members became Barons and were knighted.