Author Topic: Invented - but from where?  (Read 6277 times)

Offline pstainthorp

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Invented - but from where?
« on: Monday 29 September 14 10:54 BST (UK) »
I understand that coats of arms on internet "Family Crest Stores" don't always have much bearing on reality, and that I most probably have no particular claim or right on them just because they match a particular surname.

But the arms offered for a particular surname (e.g. mine) by these companies must have come from somewhere. Are they generally invented from scratch? Plucked from an old book of heraldry at random? Or is it likely that they will be associated with somebody of that surname at some point in the past? Does anyone know how these companies operate?
ARM: Grady
BDF: Squires
CAM: Cresswell; Flavell; Foster; Greeves; Holmes; Moles; Ricket; Utteridge; Woodward
DBY: Bown; Poyser
DUR: Bullerwell; Harland
ESS: Munson
HUN: Allen; Corr
LAN: Burrows
LEI: Pope
LIN: Busley; Cass; Challans; Eato; Mabbott; Meadows; Pask; Robinson; Watson; Wright
LND: Batten
NBL: Curry; Gallon; Gray; Hall; Heslop; Longridge; Richardson; Sadler; Wears
NRY: Kay; Stainthorp
OXF: Bowden
SAL: Bassett
STS: Hunt; Spooner
WOR: Farley
WRY: Black; Cowley; Howson; Vauxhall

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Offline KGarrad

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Re: Invented - but from where?
« Reply #1 on: Monday 29 September 14 11:26 BST (UK) »
The coats-of-arms always have a link to someone of the surname mentioned - but you can only (officially) use them if you are a direct descendant!

Just imagine if your name is Smith (for example) - how many coats-of-arms are there for the name Smith?!

Even my own surname (Garrad) has a few listed.
However, I found a blazon (description in heraldic language) of the arms of a defunct line. A John Garrad who died without issue in the 1600's.
So I use the shield ONLY, and not the full armorial achievement!

If you carefully read exactly what these companies tell you, it becomes clear.
They usually tell you that a coat-of-arms is "associated with your surname" (or something like that)! ::)


In addition, the company you provided the link for are American! WTF do Americans know about English Heraldry? :o ;D :-X
Garrad (Suffolk, Essex, Somerset), Crocker (Somerset), Vanstone (Devon, Jersey), Sims (Wiltshire), Bridger (Kent)

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Offline pstainthorp

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Re: Invented - but from where?
« Reply #2 on: Monday 29 September 14 14:01 BST (UK) »
I've got no interest in 'claiming' spuriously or otherwise a coat of arms for myself. I'm not sure what I'd do with one if I had one :) ...carry a banner of it next time I ride avenging into battle maybe?

I'm just vaguely interested -- especially as my name is slightly less common than e.g. Smith -- in who it might have been who shared my surname and who was apparently granted arms.

But before I go looking for this person, I want to dispel my nagging doubt that the company  in question just made it up or picked one at random. They don't list their sources on their website, funnily enough.

Paul
ARM: Grady
BDF: Squires
CAM: Cresswell; Flavell; Foster; Greeves; Holmes; Moles; Ricket; Utteridge; Woodward
DBY: Bown; Poyser
DUR: Bullerwell; Harland
ESS: Munson
HUN: Allen; Corr
LAN: Burrows
LEI: Pope
LIN: Busley; Cass; Challans; Eato; Mabbott; Meadows; Pask; Robinson; Watson; Wright
LND: Batten
NBL: Curry; Gallon; Gray; Hall; Heslop; Longridge; Richardson; Sadler; Wears
NRY: Kay; Stainthorp
OXF: Bowden
SAL: Bassett
STS: Hunt; Spooner
WOR: Farley
WRY: Black; Cowley; Howson; Vauxhall

Offline KGarrad

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Re: Invented - but from where?
« Reply #3 on: Monday 29 September 14 14:16 BST (UK) »
There are many books out there containing Armorial Bearings - some old, some not so old.

All they do is create a database of these.
Then hook you in and sell you a load of tat!! ;D

The definitive site would be the College of Arms (for England & Wales).

Others include: www.armorial-register.com/
https://archive.org/details/britishheraldorc02robs
https://archive.org/details/generalarmoryofe00burk


Scotland is different - it is still illegal in Scotland to use a coat-of-arms to which you have no entitlement!
Garrad (Suffolk, Essex, Somerset), Crocker (Somerset), Vanstone (Devon, Jersey), Sims (Wiltshire), Bridger (Kent)

Offline pstainthorp

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Re: Invented - but from where?
« Reply #4 on: Monday 29 September 14 14:22 BST (UK) »
Thanks for the links! I'll take a look.

Scotland is different - it is still illegal in Scotland to use a coat-of-arms to which you have no entitlement!

Now that's the best reason I've heard yet to try one out ;)
ARM: Grady
BDF: Squires
CAM: Cresswell; Flavell; Foster; Greeves; Holmes; Moles; Ricket; Utteridge; Woodward
DBY: Bown; Poyser
DUR: Bullerwell; Harland
ESS: Munson
HUN: Allen; Corr
LAN: Burrows
LEI: Pope
LIN: Busley; Cass; Challans; Eato; Mabbott; Meadows; Pask; Robinson; Watson; Wright
LND: Batten
NBL: Curry; Gallon; Gray; Hall; Heslop; Longridge; Richardson; Sadler; Wears
NRY: Kay; Stainthorp
OXF: Bowden
SAL: Bassett
STS: Hunt; Spooner
WOR: Farley
WRY: Black; Cowley; Howson; Vauxhall

Offline davidbappleton

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Re: Invented - but from where?
« Reply #5 on: Monday 29 September 14 17:39 BST (UK) »
The one book that nearly all of these "bucket shop" databases are built upon is The General Amory of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales by Sir Bernard Burke.  This volume, published in the late 1800s, contains roughly 60,000 coats of arms, organized by surname.

The general method used by the folks who want to sell you "your family crest" is to delve into their database (which may also include J.-B. Rietstap's Armorial Général, containing some 120,000 coats of arms from all over Europe) and either print out the oldest coat of arms used by someone with that surname, or to print out the oldest coat of arms used by someone whose surname sounds similar.  For example, if your surname was "Warren," you would probably be sold the arms of William de Warrenne, as his is the oldest attributed use of arms by someone surnamed, Warren (even though his direct male descent line died out in just a few generations).  As an example of the latter, I know of an instance where someone with the surname "Scolly" was given the arms of someone surnamed "Scholar."

I hope that this gives you an adequate answer to your initial question.

David

Offline pstainthorp

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Re: Invented - but from where?
« Reply #6 on: Monday 29 September 14 20:20 BST (UK) »
The one book that nearly all of these "bucket shop" databases are built upon is The General Amory of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales by Sir Bernard Burke.  This volume, published in the late 1800s, contains roughly 60,000 coats of arms, organized by surname.

Aha - thank you David (and again thanks KGarrad) for the useful information. Even with my pretty much nonexistent knowledge of blazon terminology, I can see from the General Armory on Archive.org that the design that several companies are hawking as attached to my surname in fact comes from this entry:

Quote
Stamford (temp. Richard III.). Gu. a saltire vair betw. four lions' faces or.

This means "Stamford" is identical to "Stainthorp" in their database. Clearly a liberal coating of Soundex has been applied ;)

So, even more tenuous than I had imagined.

ARM: Grady
BDF: Squires
CAM: Cresswell; Flavell; Foster; Greeves; Holmes; Moles; Ricket; Utteridge; Woodward
DBY: Bown; Poyser
DUR: Bullerwell; Harland
ESS: Munson
HUN: Allen; Corr
LAN: Burrows
LEI: Pope
LIN: Busley; Cass; Challans; Eato; Mabbott; Meadows; Pask; Robinson; Watson; Wright
LND: Batten
NBL: Curry; Gallon; Gray; Hall; Heslop; Longridge; Richardson; Sadler; Wears
NRY: Kay; Stainthorp
OXF: Bowden
SAL: Bassett
STS: Hunt; Spooner
WOR: Farley
WRY: Black; Cowley; Howson; Vauxhall

Offline davidbappleton

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Re: Invented - but from where?
« Reply #7 on: Tuesday 30 September 14 18:19 BST (UK) »

Quote
Stamford (temp. Richard III.). Gu. a saltire vair betw. four lions' faces or.

This means "Stamford" is identical to "Stainthorp" in their database. Clearly a liberal coating of Soundex has been applied ;)

Yes, that is (far too often) just how it works.  Can't find the name a customer is asking for anywhere in the database?  Find something that sounds close and use it.  The example I gave of Scolly getting the arms of Scholar was from an 18th Century bucket shop in Boston, Massachusetts.  The more things change, the more they stay the same.

David

Offline pstainthorp

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Re: Invented - but from where?
« Reply #8 on: Tuesday 30 September 14 18:26 BST (UK) »

Quote
Stamford (temp. Richard III.). Gu. a saltire vair betw. four lions' faces or.

This means "Stamford" is identical to "Stainthorp" in their database. Clearly a liberal coating of Soundex has been applied ;)

Yes, that is (far too often) just how it works.  Can't find the name a customer is asking for anywhere in the database?  Find something that sounds close and use it.  The example I gave of Scolly getting the arms of Scholar was from an 18th Century bucket shop in Boston, Massachusetts.  The more things change, the more they stay the same.

David

In 1998, I worked for a shop in Cambridge (England) which sold Scottish clothing, mostly quite good quality expensive stuff, and mostly to Japanese and American tourists. We had a computer in the corner of the shop into which you could type your surname and it told you to which "clan" tartan you were entitled... you could then spend a few hundred pounds on kilts, scarves, badges etc. matching your "clan".

I'm afraid that mostly operated along the same lines :)
ARM: Grady
BDF: Squires
CAM: Cresswell; Flavell; Foster; Greeves; Holmes; Moles; Ricket; Utteridge; Woodward
DBY: Bown; Poyser
DUR: Bullerwell; Harland
ESS: Munson
HUN: Allen; Corr
LAN: Burrows
LEI: Pope
LIN: Busley; Cass; Challans; Eato; Mabbott; Meadows; Pask; Robinson; Watson; Wright
LND: Batten
NBL: Curry; Gallon; Gray; Hall; Heslop; Longridge; Richardson; Sadler; Wears
NRY: Kay; Stainthorp
OXF: Bowden
SAL: Bassett
STS: Hunt; Spooner
WOR: Farley
WRY: Black; Cowley; Howson; Vauxhall