Friday, June 29, 2007

Heraldry in New England: Did Your Ancestor Swipe a Coat of Arms?

Quotes from Joseph L. Chester’s letter to William H. Whitmore, dated London, 4 March 1864, as published in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. LX (1906):

Of course I do not mean to say that no early New England families were entitled to bear arms, for we all know better, but I do mean to assert that the proportion was very small. I rather take pride in my position that the greatest majority of the early settlers were of the hardy yeomanry of England, rather than from a socially higher class . . . The use of arms is the very weakest of all evidence. I find them now on the old tombstone where it is certain that the individual had not the slightest claim to them. The very tombstones themselves are questionable evidence.

See: "My So-Called Family Coat of Arms: A Case Study"

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