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Re: [SCA Newcomers] coat of arms

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  • Carrie McGinnis
    Wayne-- I m also an SCA Newbie, but my Aunt does geneology and has for as long as I can remember. Listen to the man who kept turning his internal herald and/or
    Message 1 of 10 , Jan 2, 2008
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      Wayne--

      I'm also an SCA Newbie, but my Aunt does geneology and has for as long as I
      can remember. Listen to the man who kept turning his internal herald and/or
      geneologist on and off. If you really want to know your family's coat of
      arms, you'll have to trace your line backwards and find out what happened.
      As a personal example of this, I can share with you that there are a lot of
      McGinnis's and none of us spells it the same, related or not, and more to
      the point, most of us are not relatives, not even distant. And, for that
      matter, if you understand how naming goes, nobody ever made a living at beer
      at any point in my pedigree. ;-)

      Now, as the girlfriend of a herald, I can assure you that the advise you've
      already received is correct -- no matter how well researched, how many
      volumes of data, how many times someone had to Belfast or Northern Ireland
      in spite of recent civil unrest to confirm the accuracy of the claim, or how
      convincing you are on these points, you cannot register your family coat of
      arms as your own. The best course of action is to find a nice herald who
      will consent to be your friend and make one just for you. Then it can be
      truly your own, and you can elevate yourself in stature from a family of
      pesants to a newly created noble in the SCA. :D I promise you, it's great
      fun!

      --Carrie

      On Jan 2, 2008 3:04 PM, wayne_schlapkohl <wayne.s@...> wrote:

      > Hi Folks,
      >
      > I'm a complete newbie at this, so excuse a naive question. My wife just
      > received a copy of her coat of arms from a heraldry site. She was a bit
      > sceptical though saying, "I come from a long line of peasants and
      > farmers. Why would my family need a coat of arms?" <interesting post
      > snipped short for the sake of expediency>


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Signora Beatrice
      Greetings from Beatrice. ... [MUCH SNIPPAGE] ... *with tongue FIRMLY in cheek* And finding heralds is SOOO difficult. There are NONE of us around, and none
      Message 2 of 10 , Jan 2, 2008
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        Greetings from Beatrice.

        --- Carrie McGinnis <furdreams@...> wrote:
        [MUCH SNIPPAGE]
        > The best course of action is to find a nice herald who
        > will consent to be your friend and make one just for you. Then it can be
        > truly your own, and you can elevate yourself in stature from a family of
        > pesants to a newly created noble in the SCA. :D I promise you, it's
        > great
        > fun!

        *with tongue FIRMLY in cheek*

        And finding heralds is SOOO difficult. There are NONE of us around, and
        none online, and no mailing lists or websites or anything USEFUL to get in
        touch with them.

        *takes tongue out of cheek*

        If you're interested in going this route (which I recommend highly), look
        on your Kingdom website and look at the Herald for your Kingdom. Then
        email them. Ask them for a reference to someone in your area to consult
        with, or for a consulting table at an upcoming event. Heralds are happy
        to help, and ESPECIALLY happy to help BEFORE you get your heart set on
        something that won't work.

        Contrary to (occasionlly pouplar) belief, Heralds are not ogres, and we
        really do WANT to help you.


        In Service,
        Signora Beatrice Domenici della Campana, AoA
        Tree-Girt-Sea, Midlands, Middle Kingdom


        ____________________________________________________________________________________
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      • Sara L Uckelman
        ... Both you and your wife should check out this FAQ entry from the www.heraldica.org website: http://www.heraldica.org/faqs/mfaq This will probably explain
        Message 3 of 10 , Jan 3, 2008
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          Quoth "wayne_schlapkohl":
          > I'm a complete newbie at this, so excuse a naive question. My wife just
          > received a copy of her coat of arms from a heraldry site. She was a bit
          > sceptical though saying, "I come from a long line of peasants and
          > farmers. Why would my family need a coat of arms?" I don't have an
          > answer. Did even relatively rare names or names of people in lower
          > economic statuses have coat of arms. That would include my name too. I
          > think I too come from a long line of peasants.

          Both you and your wife should check out this FAQ entry from the
          www.heraldica.org website:

          http://www.heraldica.org/faqs/mfaq

          This will probably explain some of the (prefectly correct!) skepticism
          that she had. Arms belonged to a person, not a family or a surname.

          -Aryanhwy



          --
          vita sine literis mors est
          http://www.ellipsis.cx/~liana/
        • wayne_schlapkohl
          Thanks a ton for those responses. Labhaoise s comment has me curious now! Labhaoise commented Just because there is a coat of arms for your name doesn t
          Message 4 of 10 , Jan 3, 2008
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            Thanks a ton for those responses.

            Labhaoise's comment has me curious now!

            Labhaoise commented "Just because there is a coat of arms for "your"
            name doesn't mean that you are in any way qualified to it. ...Why do
            you think your name is rare? Are you the only ones you know, have
            they died out in the area you come from? Many names that are rare
            here and now, were common somewhere and sometime."


            You are right, I know very few Schlapkohl(s) and I think I read once
            there are only 90 in North America. But in Germany there may be many
            more.

            I am probably barking up a dead end here, and I've read the latter
            comments that say if I am interested in a coat of arms I should speak
            to a herald to help me design one of mine own. OK, I'm happy to do
            that but, but, well I am curious if I come from the line of
            Schlapkohls that once had the coat of arms I've seen (yes in malls
            and heraldry web sites). Is there a way of finding out what
            individual had been granted a coat of arms or is that just
            impossible. Schlapkohl is an old name (the oldest reference I've seen
            is the 1380s so were talking about some 700 years of relatives here),
            so I would (maybe with some grumbling:) accept it if you folks
            said "no, it's just impossible to do that kind of geneology."

            Thanks again,

            Wayne
          • Sara L Uckelman
            ... It s possible, but sometimes difficult. If the coat of arms was either granted by the English College of Arms, or is something that was ratified by them,
            Message 5 of 10 , Jan 3, 2008
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              Quoth "wayne_schlapkohl":
              > and heraldry web sites). Is there a way of finding out what
              > individual had been granted a coat of arms or is that just
              > impossible.

              It's possible, but sometimes difficult.

              If the coat of arms was either granted by the English College
              of Arms, or is something that was ratified by them, then it's
              probably possible to find information in their records
              (though those records are in general restricted in access).

              Another way to find out whether someone with a particular
              surname had a coat of arms would be to look through medieval
              rolls of arms or armorials; these are page of arms, usually
              in full achievement, listed with the bearer's name. The
              Medieval Heraldry Archive, http://www.s-gabriel.org/heraldry/,
              has links to a number of armorials available in electronic
              format. As libraries digitize their old books and manuscripts,
              more of these armorials are becoming easily accessible.

              -Aryanhwy


              --
              vita sine literis mors est
              http://www.ellipsis.cx/~liana/
            • Carrie McGinnis
              ... Pray tell who is spreading this nasty rumor?!!! I sent but one teensey weensie little e-mail to one herald, and he sent it to one of those e-mail lists you
              Message 6 of 10 , Jan 3, 2008
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                On Jan 2, 2008 9:17 PM, Signora Beatrice <signorabeatrice@...> wrote:

                > [reluctant snippage of some very amusing content]



                > Contrary to (occasionlly pouplar) belief, Heralds are not ogres, and we
                > really do WANT to help you.
                >
                Pray tell who is spreading this nasty rumor?!!! I sent but one teensey
                weensie little e-mail to one herald, and he sent it to one of those e-mail
                lists you mentioned, and then forwarded close to 10 replies to me -- some
                incredibly volumous -- within half a day. I've never seen such helpful
                people!

                *e-hugs random herald*

                --Carrie


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Signora Beatrice
                ... Carrie, thank you for your support, and I m glad you had such a positive experience with the Heralds. Unfortunately, there are a few things that can happen
                Message 7 of 10 , Jan 3, 2008
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                  --- Carrie McGinnis <furdreams@...> wrote:

                  > On Jan 2, 2008 9:17 PM, Signora Beatrice <signorabeatrice@...>
                  > wrote:
                  >
                  > > [reluctant snippage of some very amusing content]
                  >
                  > > Contrary to (occasionlly pouplar) belief, Heralds are not ogres, and
                  > > we really do WANT to help you.
                  > >
                  > Pray tell who is spreading this nasty rumor?!!! I sent but one teensey
                  > weensie little e-mail to one herald, and he sent it to one of those
                  > e-mail lists you mentioned, and then forwarded close to 10 replies to
                  > me -- some incredibly volumous -- within half a day. I've never seen
                  > such helpful people!

                  Carrie, thank you for your support, and I'm glad you had such a positive
                  experience with the Heralds.

                  Unfortunately, there are a few things that can happen that lead to people
                  having a negative impression of heralds:

                  1) Running into a particularly crotchety herald (I've met them, they do
                  exist, but they're becoming more rare)

                  2) Getting your heart set on something that WILL NOT pass, and taking it
                  personally when the heralds tell you so (repeatedly).

                  3) Being told by a well meaning person one answer, and finding out later
                  from a herald that the answer you were given is wrong (see #2 above).

                  Heraldic registration in the SCA, thanks to the internet, is becoming more
                  and more a transparent process, which leads to more and better information
                  out there, and easy ways to debunk myths and misinformation before it
                  spreads too far. (I imagine this is true for any area of SCA research,
                  but with most areas, you don't have the Laurel Sovereign making judgement
                  on everyone's submissions.) The internet has also helped even the most
                  remote branches get access to the best Heralds in the world, making
                  research and shared knowledge easier (again, true for any discipline).

                  As I said before, Heralds are happy to help, anxious to help, and would be
                  overjoyed to be asked to help BEFORE you get your heart set on something,
                  so we can steer you towards more period sources and designs.

                  I would like to think that the overall impression that non-heralds have of
                  heralds is positive, and is becoming more positive over time. The College
                  of Arms is working for that, as is each Kingdom College of Heralds. I'm
                  glad to see, Carrie, that it is positive for you.

                  *sighs* Now if we could just take chips off shoulders and erase bad
                  memories of heralds-past....




                  In Service,
                  Signora Beatrice Domenici della Campana, AoA
                  Tree-Girt-Sea, Midlands, Middle Kingdom


                  ____________________________________________________________________________________
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