Swedish Heraldic Society

I’m a sometime member of the Swedish Heraldic Society (Svenska Heraldiska Föreningen). I sort of rolled into it, from years ago when Magnus Bäckmark included my grandfather Harry Swanstrom’s coat of arms in his armorial roll at Gröna stubben. Probably about 1998, or a bit earlier. At this point I feel like I’ve known Magnus most … Read more

More on Gallop

A few months ago Stephen Plowman wrote about the Gallop coat of arms as recorded in the 1677 Visitation of Dorset.  It’s an interesting topic for me because I’m a descendant of immigrant Capt. John Gallop (c1593-1650) — like so many other Americans. Now Plowman is back with more on the Gallops. This time the question is … Read more

Gollop, of Strode

I was pleased and surprised tonight to check Feedly and discover an article by Stephen Plowman. Now there’s a familiar name. The article is Armorial Bearings of Gollop of Strode. Another familiar name. Like many Americans with ancestry in Colonial New England, I’m descended from Capt. John Gallop (c1593-1650), an early settler at Boston. His … Read more

Heraldry is vanity

This title really caught my eye. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a heraldry aficionado willing to give time to anything that implies a criticism of heraldry, particularly an outright moral failing. “Medieval churches still abound in coats of arms depicted on tombs, epitaphs, windows, altarpieces and other commemorative devices. And of course it was … Read more

Heraldic Lore

“Swan, (lat. cygnus, fr. cygne): this graceful bird has for various reasons been a favourite charge in armorial bearings. Swans are generally blazoned as proper, i.e. white, else they are described as argent, but they are frequently beaked and legged of other tinctures. The bird is generally borne with expanded wings, and it seems desirable … Read more

Swanström Arms

    Traditional arms, assumed about 1918(Design by Magnus Backmark) Descendants of Adolf Swanström The Swanström arms were assumed (I believe) during or shortly after World War I, perhaps about 1918, and certainly before 1942 by my great uncle Hugo Ferdinand Swanström (1886-1971). The arms might be older than I know. No records exist of … Read more

American Heraldry Society

American Heraldry Society

Back in 2003 I was one of three founding members of the American Heraldry Society, with David Boven and Cory McHenry. Those were the days. As I recall, the Society grew out of discussions in an online forum. One of the usenet groups, I think. Probably rec.heraldry. In the beginning David was our President, I … Read more

My Coat of Arms

Arms of Justin Place In 1969 I was just learning about heraldry. I knew my step-father had a coat of arms and my mother’s father had a coat of arms, but I hadn’t yet discovered a coat of arms for my paternal ancestors. So, I designed my own. Frankly, they’re still my favorite. The blazon … Read more

Stripped of Arms

It might seem very archaic but it turns out you really can be stripped of your coat of arms. That is, if you used fraud to obtain it. What seems to have happened is this. David Holliday, a Dallas attorney, wanted to be chief of the Halliday family. In Scotland, a chief of the name … Read more