Sunday, May 14, 2017

Heraldry Used in Tree Climbing (7)

Early on in my various tree climbing experiences... beside family stories... local resources play a dominate role.  The "court house" and local "public library" were often explored.  During one visit to the library the following reference was discovered:


Wow...I thought, a JONES family from my very own home town, written by a fellow JONES from my very own town, about a family being from "London and Virginia".  Could this be my JONES family?  Now "Roger" was not a first name that had been used among my family tree, but a "Captain"...hey I liked that.  Also, there were lots of other family surnames that seemed a bit foreign to my own tree branches.  The word "Descendants" was understood, but... antecedents?  Then I opened the book and...


On my...a coat of arms came with this family.  What a discovery it was believed.  Got to find out more about this fellow from Virginia and London.  Thank you Judge Lewis Hampton Jones who published this book in 1891... lead away.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Heraldry Used in Tree Climbing (6)

While all this heraldry stuff was being studied, my Jones family tree from the old Kentucky home, to the mouth of Red River [Madison/Clark/Estill counties joined along the Kentucky River] was also being accomplished.  It became evident that Virginia was the origin for my group of Jones, and there were a fair number of brick walls to be overcome.  It became apparent that Caroline Co. (VA) and Spotsylvania Co. (VA) [which had their roots in Essex Co., which had its roots in Old Rappahannock Co. (VA)] were the areas that grew most of my tree branches.  As time went along, the following book was found titled, you guest it... "Virginia Heraldica".


Originally published in 1908, it was reprinted by Southern Book Co. in 1953, reprinted again by Genealogical Publishing Co., 1965, and finally reprinted by Clearfield Company, Inc., 2000.  Since 1908 some folks were interested in this topic in Virginia.  Maybe there was more to this heraldry stuff yet to be discovered.  The story continues.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Heraldry Used In Tree Climbing (5)

Symbols and the tincture (base color) of the shield are the foundation to the "coat of arms".  Last post (4) described these topics for the arms that carried the surname JONES.  The next step was to see if the recorded families [for Jones] could be identified and located by counties.  The following tables show the results of this study by the symbols they presented in the last post. (4)



The surname Jones is listed by family groups from which the arms were identified in Burke.  The following figure continues the findings among the various symbols.


To show the geographic distribution among the counties represented, the following map was drawn.  Ireland, Wales, and central England gave the locations.

This was the distribution of the Jones families who were identified in Burke before 1870.  What a deal!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Heraldry Used In Tree Climbing (4)

My interest in understanding the use and implication of this field called Heraldry, lead to several more steps to analyze the Jones surname coat of arms.  The following two figures show the results of other steps taken to this process.  They are given just to show that additional information can be obtained.  Please recognize that I understand very few folks would be this interested in the steps and procedures shown, but they  are given to demonstrate the findings of my own tree climbing.


The next figure continues the analysis all done some years ago.

This analysis help me form some ideas as to where to look for the roots to many who came to carry the surname Jones.


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Heraldry Used In Tree Climbing (3)

Symbols played an important part in all this heraldry stuff.  Upon each shield was placed a symbol which often was a self selected image of the person who carried the shield.   For the JONES surname, exploring these symbols to see if there were any common use was an early process.  The following figure shows the results of my study that contained 123 coat of arms for the JONES surname.  All would have been in use before 1850.  Each primary charge (symbol) was analyzed and organized as shown.  The "lion" represented the most common symbol among this group at 45%. 

One can follow the results shown in this figure which found a single lion in a standing position (called lion rampant) to be the most common symbol.  Other symbols as found are depicted with a cross/pheons (pheon = the barbed head of a dart or arrow) at 13%.  A variety of other symbols including swords/arrows, birds, boar's heads, Nag's head, Stags, Wolves, and of course the Bull.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Heraldry Used In Tree Climbing (2)

The next step in this "Heraldry" adventure was to use Burke and look up the surname JONES.  In this addition on pages 547 - 549 there are listed the "Armorial Bearings" for my surname.  One hundred and eight listings are given...can you believe it!  They read like..."Sa. a fesse embattled erm. betw. three boars' heads couped or."...and..."Ar. three bull's heads cabossed sa."...and..."Chequy or and sa. on a fess gu. three leopards' faces jessant-de-lis of the first".  Say what?  A new language it is.

Trying to sort through this organization of terms, abbreviations, flow of thought, and arrangement of words took a good amount of effort.  This effort lead to a number of discoveries, and opened a new area for my tree climbing experiences.  [Burke contains a "Glossary" describing the various markings, symbols, and abbreviations used.]  Needless to say, there were many other sources that added to a beginning understanding of this topic.

Some of the most helpful references on my book case are:

The Story of Heraldry, by L.G. Pine, first published 1952 with the last edition being revised 1963.

Simple Heraldry Cheerfully Illustrated, by Iain Moncreiffe & Don Pottinger, first published 1953 and reprinted 1956.

The Elements of Heraldry, by William H. Whitmore, first published 1958. [The title page states "An Explanation of The Principles of  The Science and A Glossary of The Technical Terms Employed and With an Essay Upon The Use of Coat-Armor in The United States.]

American & British Genealogy & Heraldry, compiled by P. William Filby, first published 1975.

Heralds And Ancestors, by Sir Anthony Wagner, 1978. [A Colonnade Book published by British Museum Publications Limited.]

A Complete Guide To Heraldry, by A.C. Fox-Davies, 1978.

A Guide to Heraldry, by Ottfried Neudecker, 1979.

Heraldry Illustrated, by W.H. Abbott, 1897.

Concise Encyclopedia of Heraldry, by Guy Cadogan Rothery, first published 1915 and reprinted 1985.

Wow...enough you say.  Other books on my shelf provide additional information. 

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Heraldry Used In Tree Climbing (1)

Brick walls come in all shapes, sizes, and thickness.  Over the years, with a surname like JONES, you can imagine the number of obstacles that presented themselves along the way.   The purpose of this blog has been to communicate the different approaches I have used that might be helpful in your own tree climbing experiences.  The next several posts will begin a series on one method that has been the most fun, helpful, and yet most difficult.  It is the method using the topic called "Heraldry".

There were several stages in this process that need to be told. It really begins when after some 20 years of tree climbing, I was able to connect my family tree from Kentucky, which began in 1811, back to its roots in Virginia.   "Pewmansend Creek" [in present Caroline County] was the geographic landmark that helped make the connections.   It was the use of  "Heraldry" that took this Virginia location across the great pond to Wales. 

Of course, this did not happen all at once.  From my earliest days of tree climbing [starting at age 9], an interest in all things pertaining to knights, castles, swords, shields, coat of arms, and such things had a special attraction.   However, it was not until a book by Sir Bernard Burke was found during one of my many trips to "rare book stores" that got me going in earnest.   The title page is shown:


In this text it states: "Heraldry may be defined  'the art of blazoning, assigning, and marshalling coat armour' or more particularly 'the art of arranging and explaining in proper terms all that relates or appertains to the bearing of Arms, Creast, Badges, Quarterings, and other hereditary marks of honour".

Whew, quite a mouth full.  Anyway, this text was to serve as a reference and resource for this stage of the process.  It has served me well.   Let's keep going.  The next group of posts will describe this adventure.