Skip to content

Category Archives: heraldry

Sancha de Ayala’s heritage: the Ayala palace, Quejana (exterior)

[Part of a series of posts and pages dedicated to Sancha de Ayala] The first of a series of photographs of the rural Ayala castle at Quejana, home of Sancha de Ayala’s mother Ines, daughter of Fernán Pérez de Ayala and Elvira de Ceballos (who are buried in the chapel, along with Sancha’s famous uncle […]

cousin Frederick Gordon Brownell, of the Stackallan Brownells

For years I only knew him as a correspondent of my mother’s cousin Dick Brownell. After cousin Dick had visited the old Brownell home-place at Stackallan, County Meath, Ireland, in the 1980s, he corresponded with far-flung members of the Brownell family in Ireland, England, Canada, and South Africa. Long ago Dick showed me (and I […]

Bolton’s American Armory: a frank assessment

Tipped into the copy of Charles Knowles Bolton’s Bolton’s American Armory in the reading room of the Rhode Island Historical Society Library is a photocopy of an excerpt from a letter by Horold Bowditch, longtime chair of the Committee on Heraldry of the New England Historic Genealogical Society; it amounts to a review of the […]

armigerous New Englanders: two lists (or rather one list)

I’ve been reading some of the works of the Appleton era, when the Committee on Heraldry of the New England Historic Genealogical Society kept a conservative eye on New Englanders with proved rights to English arms, and cast a jaundiced and disapproving eye on everyone else who affected arms. Before the Committee began in earnest […]

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 […]

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 […]

more unidentified militaria of mixed provenance

OK, I’ve come to the bottom of my family militaria barrel but hope to identify things. This is a batch of things, of obviously mixed provenance, kept by my mother. A few messages to rec.heraldry helped narrow down the cardinals: likely something from WWII and hence from cousin Wilbur (army air forces) rather than from […]

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 […]

fine quarterings on a little brass: Wentworth of Gosfield

When I was in Salt Lake City last month (working hard on a royal descent which has since been disproved!) a friend gave me a couple of those books which have been sliced open for digitization, rendering them highly unstable (lots of loose pages held together by string). This is from William Loftie Rutton, Three […]

Sutton & Clonard: a case study in genealogical fantasy

In the annals of genealogical fantasists the Conde de Clonard is an interesting case. The condes de Clonard descend from an Irish mercantile family in eighteenth-century Spain, the Suttons of county Wexford, of whom Don Miguel Sutton (hispanized ‘de Soto’ or ‘de Sotto’) was ennobled in 1770 as the ‘conde de Clonard’, taking his title […]