Skip to content

Category Archives: artifacts

Arms in early Florida: Pedro Menéndez de Avilés

[UPDATED: better, credited photo of the modern painting of Don Pedro.] We New Englanders, and Anglos generally, have neglected the other colonies in our search for armigerous early settlers in the colonies that would become the United States. (This is the mandate behind the Roll of Arms compiled by the Committee on Heraldry of the […]

Jeremiah VanderBullfrog…

Too many Jeremiahs! Since writing about Natalie’s people, my New York great-aunt’s ancestry, I have been drawn into her Vanderbilt connection. Her great-grandfather, Thomas Atwater Jerome, was an uncle of the famous Jennie Jerome, Churchill’s mother. Jerome’s wife was Emma Vanderbilt, and I had thought that with such a famous person in it—the Commodore—this family […]

Promptuarium armorum: the Boston manuscript

Yesterday, in the R. Stanton Avery Manuscript Collection of the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) in Boston, I had the chance to look at (and, with the acquiescence of Timothy Salls, the manuscript curator, take a couple of photographs of) the Promptuarium armorum, a heraldic miscellany by William Smith, Rouge Dragon Poursuivant in the […]

as seen on Sarah Palin: service banners

One thing that surprised me in the days following Sarah Palin’s emergence in September was the number of folks from among her base who did not recognize the pin she wore at the GOP convention and on her meet-world-leaders day at the U.N.: many wondered if she was wearing an Israeli flag pin, when actually […]

last militaria mystery: small star pin ’50-500′

OK, after a marathon session online I’ve identified most of the odd bits of militaria in the previous post, except for the small star pin which I’m reposting by itself here: Any ideas?

the enamel cardinals

Here’s another piece of WWI memorabilia from the family, this time something I cannot identify. They are a pair of enamel cardinal pins, found with a cache of WWI and WWII material of mixed provenance (a WWI victory medal & ‘honorable discharge’ pin from my mother’s father, a WWII Sustineo Alas AAF Air Services Command […]

more on ‘Lady Lightning’

Since posting this picture of Lady Lightning, a B-24 that went down over the Netherlands on 15 August 1944, I have heard from two people near where it went down (at Nijensleek). They have collected memorabilia and historical data on the air battle in which this and other planes were lost, and plan a memorial […]

Instant Heirlooms: an early Taylor will (sort of)

Many who find me online do so because of one long-term project, a genealogy of my male-line kin, the descendants of Richard Taylor, a planter in the Northern Neck of Virginia (‘Old Rappahannock’ County, subsequently Richmond County, Virginia) who died in 1679. My work on this Taylor family started out as an article-length manuscript in […]

More on the Conde de Clonard

The Conde de Clonard has penned a predictable response to an earlier entry in my blog in which I made note of his fascinatingly absurd genealogical claims. The best part of his reply is that it includes a photograph of the illuminated pedigree prepared by the Ulster King of Arms in 1764 for his ancestor […]

cousin Wilbur’s B-24 nose art — update

As a followup to my post and queries about cousin Wilbur’s (S/Sgt Wilbur F. Whiting, USAAF) sketch for the Scrubbed Goose, the helpful folks over on the message boards at haven’t been able to locate an actual aircraft with that name, but it could have been a sketch for a plane which was lost […]