Display by one's spouse

Application, uses and display of Heraldry
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Michael F. McCartney
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Re: Display by one's spouse

Post by Michael F. McCartney » Tue May 05, 2015 9:59 pm

Chris - true enough; but moral suasion, peer pressure, and the snicker factor ("how silly / presumptuous / ugly / etc. is that?") is really all there is most anywhere else given the general lack of effective (if any) legal regulation and enforcement beyond perhaps refusal to officially grant/confirm/etc. a substandard new design, which the petitioner should not, but can, just ignore with no effective legal consequence. The only exceptions I'm aware of are Scotland, which bars any use of arms not properly registered; some theoretical requirements in England with little modern evidence of consistent enforcement; and some level of protection for officially registered arms but othereise no bar to free assumption in a few other countries. And of course trademark protection for the relatively small % of arms actively used in commerce. Beyond that, it's all moral suasion, peer pressure, and the snicker factor ... hmmm ... sounds familiar ...
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Re: Display by one's spouse

Post by Michael F. McCartney » Thu May 07, 2015 12:27 am

Chris - "land of the free" - true enough! - but we can only try...

Kathy - I gather you're looking at quartering practices (and likely much else!) from a more or less small-f feminist viewpoint, which I can appreciate - mother, aunts, wife, two daughters, three granddaughters, last five immediate supervisors before retirement females ...

My views re: quartering are in my mind practical rather than ideological. The primary purpose of arms is identification; and any nation's heraldry is a subset of the broader society, and reflective of real world reality. (Nothing new so far.).

In our broader society, the most common identifier is our name, and often primarily our surname. Thus for arms to reflect reality, there is a need (or at least a practical benefit as an identifier) for our arms, either unquartered or in the principal quartering, to reflect that real world surname.

Whether the heraldic result its fair or unfair is merely one of likely many consequences of the broader social / legal real world reality. Historically this reality, which was reflected in heraldry, was decidedly stacked against any notion of gender equality; but the heraldic reflection of that reality wasn't the villain any more than a mirror is to blame for a bad hair day.

Our modern real world reality, in the US anyway, has changed. Married women are no longer required to bear their husband's surname; many do, but that's their choice. Parents are no longer required to give their children the father's surname; many do, but that's their choice; I have friends who each kept their unmarried surnames, and for their two kids, one bears mom's surname and one dad's. And the kids will be free, absent intent to defraud, to change their names if they want when they reach maturity. No unfairness, free choice to follow old customs or not; just a requirement to use whatever name is chosen honestly in one's legal, political and social dealings.

Heraldically, the question is therefore how best to reflect that real world identity in one's use of arms. Logically, one's choice of which arms to use, either alone or marshaled with other arms, should reflect one's actual surname. Choosing to use alone, or favor in màrshalling, arms not reflecting one's real world surname, defeats the primary purpose or function of arms.

Quartering arms is an old, respected practice, and entirely consistent with the above logic so long as the result still accurately reflects one's real world identity, i.e. the arms pertaining to one's chosen surname in the first quarter. If one bears a double-barrel surname (his & hers, or whatever) there are established conventions for how to reflect that in one's arms - IIRC Smith-Jones would be Jones 1&4, Smith 2&3. (If that heraldic pattern is really, really personally unacceptable, one can change one's surname to Jones-Smith, but that seems to me to be having the heraldic tail wag the real life dog.)

There is also the practical need to balance genealogical completeness (or political correctness :) ) against artistic balance and visual clutter. Just because one is entitled / justified to quarter both parents, all four grandparents, all 8, 16, 32 etc umpty-great grandparents doesn't make it a good idea, at least for everyday use; though it might make a nice (if gaudy) quilt for the guest bedroom. This consideration merely reflects the practical real world pro's and con's of trying to continually hyphenate surnames through the generations with two becoming four becoming eight ad ridiculum. I'm picturing a soldier with an embroidered name tag wrapped around his chest...
Last edited by Michael F. McCartney on Thu May 07, 2015 3:33 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Kathy McClurg
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Re: Display by one's spouse

Post by Kathy McClurg » Thu May 07, 2015 1:06 am

Actually, what I am attempting to think through is using no more than 4 quarters, the surname always in the primary quarter. Next nearest relative's arms in second quarter. it rolls kind of like this:

One parent with arms - the arms pass to the next generation as is if surname is same, if surname changes, arms are differenced (not by cadency, but perhaps tincture or a "minor" change of charge or field division).

Two parents with arms - surname in Q1 and Q4, Other parent in Q2 and Q3.

One parent has quartered arms, other parent unquartered. Q1 and Q4 is surname. Q2 is other parent. Q3 is the arms which were in original parent's quartered arms at Q2 and Q3.

Both Parents Quartered with only 2 arms. Q1 surname, Q2 = Q1 of parent who's surname is not in use. Q3 and Q4 the others with closest relationship to surname as Q3 and closest relationship to not surname not used in Q4.

Both parents quartered with 4 different quarters. Q1 = surname, Q2 = "unused" surname (or Q1 of "other" parent) Q3 is closest arms (generations back) to Surname parent and Q4 closest arms (generation back) to "unused" parent.

Now.. obviously in each of these scenarios they could have multiple children. Do ALL children bear same shield of parent's quartering system? Or Is there some differencing in the arms? I haven't thought that through, but differencing in this case could be in crest - as kids get married their children would have distinct arms for each branch of the family depending on surname use and who they married. - but the surname is retained and The heraldic history is retained for at least one generation back systematically... It sounds complicated, but when laid out visually (which I've started doing) it's not bad at all..

I'm still playing with it. One of the reasons I do this is that I perceive the application of the equality laws to heraldry (for instance in Canada) does require a change to traditional heraldic practices, but does not require a "free for all" with no consistent guidelines... so it's an interesting mental exercise to see what I can come up with.. But the first step for anyone to try to think this through is to be open to the idea that we should be attempting to preserve the heritage of both sides of the family heraldicly - which a great many people are not yet open to considering. I consider, leave it, come back to it, back and forth, off and on.. Someday perhaps I'll have it fleshed out enough to actually show someone... The community appear more about "why not" vs. "how can we" at this point.. ;)
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Kathy


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Re: Display by one's spouse

Post by Michael F. McCartney » Thu May 07, 2015 4:20 am

Your proposed system seems, on first reading (haven't sketched it out yet) quite logical - essentially treating each individual as an heraldic heir or heiress, but bumped down the ladder and dropping off the grid after three (?) generations.
So if I'm visualizing correctly, it doesn't preserve the "other" surname arms more than a three generations, unless there are other siblings / cousins who do bear that surname.

The traditional heraldic heiress modern, on the other hand, gives longer survival to the arms but only in limited branches of the lineage, and no guarantees of not being bumped off by other heraldic heiresses whose arms are for whatever reason more desirable.

Neither model is perfect, but without creating armorial elephant blankets as the norm, no one can preserve more than a few of their many ancestors' arms (four in your model). Same for my suggested approach above - it's all tradeoffs, but what in life isn't? I prefer the relative simplicity of one coat at a timewithout brisures absent some compelling reason, at least for everyday use; but to each his / her own within some set of reasonable sideboards.
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Re: Display by one's spouse

Post by Chris Green » Thu May 07, 2015 5:31 am

Kathy:

As you must know (but perhaps all those who follow this thread do not), the cadency road leads only to madness. It works - just - for the British royal family. But they have the services of the College of Arms to guide them, and even the College found it appropriate not to use the traditional system. The College also has to change the labels of the family each time the monarch changes. The British royal family (and all other royal families for that matter) does of course have the decided advantage that at each generation there is a recognised head of the family - the monarch (of either gender). This system clearly has no application to the vast majority of the rest of us, where there is no "head of the family".

The traditional cadency system only works properly for the first generation of the family following the initial armiger. Thereafter it rapidly descends into confusion and an irretrievable mess.
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Re: Display by one's spouse

Post by Martin Goldstraw » Thu May 07, 2015 3:47 pm

Chris Green wrote:
//snip// This system clearly has no application to the vast majority of the rest of us, where there is no "head of the family".

The traditional cadency system only works properly for the first generation of the family following the initial armiger. Thereafter it rapidly descends into confusion and an irretrievable mess.
The Scottish system works, the English system doesn't. It doesn't look likely that there will ever be the kind of regulation or enforcement of any system in England that would enforce differencing from the main arms.

This is why I have often advocated a sort of reverse cadency for English heraldry. It is now well accepted, even by the College of Arms, that the traditional cadency system doesn't work because it leads to confusion and was only ever voluntary anyway. This has now led us to the acceptance that English heraldry is no longer personal heraldry but family heraldry (not surname heraldry but definitely family heraldry); all the male line descendants of the original armiger now bear the same undifferenced arms and are therefore indistinguishable one from the other.

My suggestion, which I know will never be taken up, is that we forget about attempting to distinguish one cadet from another by differencing their arms to the arms of the founder of the line but instead to award some invented difference to the founder and his direct male descendants in the same way that the arms of a baronet are differenced from the rest of his family by a small escutcheon placed on the arms thus making the founder, or original grantee, the head of his newly founded armigerous house and then those who become heirs to the headship of the house in perpetuity would be easily distinguished from the cadet lines of the house; they are the only ones to bear the difference.
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Re: Display by one's spouse

Post by Michael F. McCartney » Fri May 08, 2015 12:44 am

Martin's suggestion is intèresting but it strikes me as a solution (however logical) in search of a problem. The only place that comes to mind where "head of the family" - or even cadency generally - is considered all that important heraldically is Scotland, which has a long-standing and workable, if somewhat complex, system for distinguishing each family member's place within the family. Outside that context, while dropping cadency was based on the shortcomings of the English system of stacking tiny symbols, the undifferenced arms haven't caused great problems.

Individuals or families that do care about cadency are of course free to use it, but the rest of us are free not to.
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Kathy McClurg
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Re: Display by one's spouse

Post by Kathy McClurg » Fri May 08, 2015 9:08 pm

Chris,

When I say differencing, I am not saying cadency - cadency is a form of differencing which I generally do not advocate with the possible exception of the label.

Michael, one must leave the mindset of "heraldic heiress" entirely, IMHO. One is and heir to arms or not. note that nowhere did I indicate male/female, but Surname and "other" - this allows the choices of using mum or dad's or mum and mums or dads and dads.. it's based on surname use, not gender.

I also prefer simplicity, but not in lieu of basically the loss of an entire branch of the family's arms. I am of the opinion that a woman leaves her family to become that of her husbands family is generally passed. Two people bring their families together. The traditional choice of surname is a personal one and should remain so.

I have sketched it our somewhat - but haven't yet sketched out variations and what ifs... like, what if a woman with arms marries a man without arms and they choose to retain the man's surname? Is there a way to account for that? Could they use her arms with a difference (not cadency, per se) or some symbolism which would effectively create "new arms" for his surname based on her arms.. You know - stuff like that.. My mind pops in and out of this sometimes in the evening I'll throw an hour or something into it.. then set it aside for a bit.. work in progress.. <grin>
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Kathy


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Re: Display by one's spouse

Post by Chris Green » Sat May 09, 2015 4:51 am

Cathy,

Not cadency then. So the differencing would not be intended to give any indication of the armiger's relationship to the head of the family, simply that there is some sort of relationship? One of the ways that it could be done is through use of different tinctures, though the combinations are limited. Substitution, alteration, or addition of an ordinary, subordinary, or charge is possible. But you couldn't have a "one rule to fit everyone" solution

It looks as though you have set yourself a conundrum that could take you through to retirement - or beyond. Good luck with that.
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Re: Display by one's spouse

Post by Michael F. McCartney » Sat May 09, 2015 7:21 am

I had laboriously typed a long, detailed, elegant (or not) but ultimately mind-boggling response, which mercifully vanished into the ether when my tablet hiccuped. Hate it when that happens ... :). So more briefly:

Rereading Kathy's post, her tentative solution for a couple choosing to use his surname but only she has arms, seems logical - either he designs and assumes new arms tied to his family (parents / siblings / etc) and them impale or quarter as if he always had those arms;
or design new personal arms, based more or less on hers, but incorporating something new - maybe add a new field division, possibly then counterchange; and / or add or substitute a new charge (not just a small charge that might resemble or suggest mere cadency) - maybe something canting or referring to his pre-conjugal life. Then either impale in the usual manner, or use the new composed arms as their joint arms standing alone.

In the US at least, neither would break the bank.

Well, I've added a bit to what Kathy really said, so she's not responsible for the additions!
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Re: Display by one's spouse

Post by Michael F. McCartney » Sat May 09, 2015 7:55 am

Oh - re: Kathy's adversion to "heiress" (her shibboleth, as "armiger" is mine :))

I'm not a fan of the term, either as to gender or to exclude non-heiresses from quartering - I merely used it "as if" since most students of heraldry would be familiar with the term in the context of quartering, and that they hopefully would see that I meant all should inherit the right / option to quarter "as if" they were heiresses rather than limiting it to females with no male siblings. Just as I might have said all children, regardless of gender, should inherit their parental arms "as if" they were the eldest son in the European tradition.

Hopefully my intent to substitute a primary focus on surname rather than gender was visible in the plethora of verbiage.
Last edited by Michael F. McCartney on Sun May 10, 2015 11:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Display by one's spouse

Post by Kathy McClurg » Sun May 10, 2015 2:46 am

Chris Green wrote:Cathy,

Not cadency then. So the differencing would not be intended to give any indication of the armiger's relationship to the head of the family, simply that there is some sort of relationship? One of the ways that it could be done is through use of different tinctures, though the combinations are limited. Substitution, alteration, or addition of an ordinary, subordinary, or charge is possible. But you couldn't have a "one rule to fit everyone" solution

It looks as though you have set yourself a conundrum that could take you through to retirement - or beyond. Good luck with that.
Yes - similar to what we did with my family's arms. The firstborn male has differenced with label and is differencing in crest (all males, but we haven't had 2 in on generation yet, so we will get to that). My line is differenced from my brothers line in division of the shield. My brother's daughters have differenced by taking an element from their father's crest in base and some tincture differences of that charge to segregate each of them. The successive generations will be the beginning of some "institutionalization" of the "system" used in the family.

We have yet to deal with marriages with armigers and non armigers and whatnot - one of the reasons I'm going through this mental exercise over time. ;)
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Re: Display by one's spouse

Post by Kathy McClurg » Sun May 10, 2015 2:51 am

Michael,

You've got it on the basic concept of a married couple using the non-armed surname.

If you read very early in the thread - your original "as if" appeared to be referring to a woman with arms in her own right. There is no "as if" in that case. She is treated as any other person with arms. It's not an aversion to the term heraldic heiress in this case, but an aversion to any implication that a woman with arms in her own right should be treated or displayed different than any man with arms in his own right.

We're close.. we generally are - with some nits left to pick at.. ;)
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Re: Display by one's spouse

Post by Michael F. McCartney » Sun May 10, 2015 11:35 pm

OK on concept. "As if" to me at least, should convey "same result" even though for different reasons. In the British tradition, a daughter with no brothers could transmit her arms to her kids as a quartering to their father's arms (or in Scotland at least, in lieu of their father's arms if he had any, if they bear her surname rather than his). Or if she had a fresh grant in her own name, same result "as if" she was an heiress whether or not she has brothers.

In your scheme, a wife -- whether she inherits arms assumed by her own parents or assumes new arms in her own name --could transmit those arms to her kids, whether or not she has brothers, either as a quartering or stand-alone depending on which surname the kids bear. Essentially the same result "as if" she was an heiress or a new grantee in her own name in Britain. Same result, just no need to fork over a four-figure fee or kill off her male siblings. ;)
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Re: Display by one's spouse

Post by Michael F. McCartney » Sun May 10, 2015 11:35 pm

(Continued). Since a number of those posting here are Europeans, and presumably more used to the idea of heraldic heiresses, I figured (rightly or wrongly) that the "as if" approach might make more sense to them, in reaching the same end result.. Raising your ire was just unintended collateral damage ;)

Shifting gears, differencing between immediate or near relatives bearing the same surname isn't necessary in the American (or pretty much any other non-Scottish / non-Canadian) context, though it's certainly permissible for those who want it; that's of course your family's call if the added complexity now and in the future is OK with them. The range of differenced variations you've designed to date are quite attractive, but may be a tough act for your posterity to follow!
Last edited by Michael F. McCartney on Mon May 11, 2015 1:51 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Display by one's spouse

Post by Kathy McClurg » Wed May 13, 2015 12:18 am

Michael F. McCartney wrote:(Continued).
Shifting gears, differencing between immediate or near relatives bearing the same surname isn't necessary in the American (or pretty much any other non-Scottish / non-Canadian) context, though it's certainly permissible for those who want it; that's of course your family's call if the added complexity now and in the future is OK with them. The range of differenced variations you've designed to date are quite attractive, but may be a tough act for your posterity to follow!
Unsure if you mean within my family or in the above discussion, Michael? My family is rather easy to follow - ravens in cheif stay, males difference in crest with senior male carrying label, females difference by using something of their father's crest in base. <shrug> ;)
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Re: Display by one's spouse

Post by Michael F. McCartney » Wed May 13, 2015 4:56 am

Both. Over the years I've come to prefer the relative ;) simplicity of undifferenced family arms, but to each family (or even each individual within a family) their own preferred approach, at least in the US context.

There are arguments both ways, both symbolic and artistic; but neither approach is offensive to our national social norms and values. An extended discussion of pro's & con's, if desired, would likely warrant a new thread rather than here in a discussion of spousal display.
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Re: Display by one's spouse

Post by Kathy McClurg » Sun May 24, 2015 11:01 am

Michael F. McCartney wrote:Both. Over the years I've come to prefer the relative ;) simplicity of undifferenced family arms, but to each family (or even each individual within a family) their own preferred approach, at least in the US context.

There are arguments both ways, both symbolic and artistic; but neither approach is offensive to our national social norms and values. An extended discussion of pro's & con's, if desired, would likely warrant a new thread rather than here in a discussion of spousal display.
I don't disagree that the simplicity of family arms may be preferable. I had three influences:
1. I was very new and was advised differencing would be required... long story
2. They may be slightly different if I'd been going for a single "family" arms.
3. Differencing was certainly a way to get the other members of my family involved (hoping they will, in fact, live into future generations if they had some sense of "ownership" of their designs).

And yes - new thread if we wish to "go there" ;)
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Re: Display by one's spouse

Post by Michael F. McCartney » Sun May 24, 2015 7:40 pm

I'm not particularly skilled with the technology -- past computer illiterate, more like computer dyslexic -- maybe you or SKS could move or duplicate your last post & this reply as a new thread? "Pro's and Con's of Cadency?" or some such new title?

Briefly re: your three numbered points:
1. Me too -- Alban go braugh! :) -- but since my design already included a bordure, I gave my brother a crescent, and my adopted son & his son a double link of chain. Also pondered and played with what to assign to my genealogically junior cousins back East but didn't follow through before gradually shifting my mindset to undiffrrenced arms within an extended family, largely as fallout from participating in the group effort drafting the AHS Guidelines ("best practices") for American heraldry.

2. Actually it's only fairly recently that I realized your arms were personal and that your extended family all have significantly differenced versions -- all attractive, but different enough for unrelated families of the same name, or for spouses designing new personal arms based on those of their McClurg spouses. (Not a criticism, just an observation. Your approach is a perfectly valid option, with it's own pro's and con's vs. other systems of cadency / differencing within a family.)

3. Promoting personal involvement is IMO the strongest argument in favor of your approach. The question is whether, or for how many future generations, the (re)design process will or can readily continue without becoming too complicated and/or losing family coherence.

Back to you...and hopefully others with a variety of views and concerns.
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Re: Display by one's spouse

Post by Kathy McClurg » Tue May 26, 2015 4:48 am

Michael F. McCartney wrote:I'm not particularly skilled with the technology -- past computer illiterate, more like computer dyslexic -- maybe you or SKS could move or duplicate your last post & this reply as a new thread? "Pro's and Con's of Cadency?" or some such new title?
I don't know how to move these things around either - perhaps an admin will do so...
Michael F. McCartney wrote:Briefly re: your three numbered points:
1. Me too -- Alban go braugh! :) -- but since my design already included a bordure, I gave my brother a crescent, and my adopted son & his son a double link of chain. Also pondered and played with what to assign to my genealogically junior cousins back East but didn't follow through before gradually shifting my mindset to undiffrrenced arms within an extended family, largely as fallout from participating in the group effort drafting the AHS Guidelines ("best practices") for American heraldry.
Since I was not in that conversation/nor had an interest in heraldry when accomplished, I have little comment. If they have a single thread on the conversation - I'd love the link - I'm still a bit of the opinion that US heraldry didn't start until the country was founded (prior was an extension of the previous countries we were possessed by) and that there is little yet "distinct" about US heraldry, per se. We look too much back rather than forward IMHO.
Michael F. McCartney wrote:2. Actually it's only fairly recently that I realized your arms were personal and that your extended family all have significantly differenced versions -- all attractive, but different enough for unrelated families of the same name, or for spouses designing new personal arms based on those of their McClurg spouses. (Not a criticism, just an observation. Your approach is a perfectly valid option, with it's own pro's and con's vs. other systems of cadency / differencing within a family.)
Having a bit of the genealogy in question - There are very FEW McClurgs that are unrelated of the same name in the US. Even the two families (one immigrated from Ireland and one from Scotland) are known to be related through DNA testing. We've had a family genealogist working for over 50 years and just about all McClurgs are linked. Also - being the family originates in Scotland - "of the name" base arms are certainly within the realm of possibilities (genealogical connections not required). On top of all that - if one were to believe the tale the arms are based on - all families currently known to use the Ravens on the arrow are of the same matrilineal descent (Murdoch, Mackie, McClurg) - which, of course, has a certain appeal to me personally. The "base" in our case is the upper half argent with two ravens attached via an arrow Or. The rest is.. the rest..
Michael F. McCartney wrote:3. Promoting personal involvement is IMO the strongest argument in favor of your approach. The question is whether, or for how many future generations, the (re)design process will or can readily continue without becoming too complicated and/or losing family coherence.
All arms descendant of my father should be (bold consistent): Per <choice-preferably that of your McCLurg predecessor - changing the line of division here may be the best option for a "new" branch or something..> Argent and <choice - again, good place to distinguish major branch change or even surname change ?> in chief two ravens proper jointly transfixed by an arrow fesswise point to sinister Or in base <choice - if male, equivalent of your father, if female, a charge from your father's crest>.

Crests are completely the choice of the individual - who may choose to have none at all (currently the only females that do are those who have served the country (me).

Bottom line - in future, if one sees "in chief two ravens proper jointly transfixed by an arrow fesswise point to sinister Or" on an Argent field - they should be connected to my family. Of course, I have yet to properly explain that to the family... for the most part they think mom and Aunt Kathy is a bit of a loon...
Michael F. McCartney wrote:Back to you...and hopefully others with a variety of views and concerns.
TAG! you're it!
Be well,
Kathy


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Re: Display by one's spouse

Post by Michael F. McCartney » Tue May 26, 2015 6:47 pm

Based on your family's perceptions, should you swap out one or both ravens in favor of loons? Hmmm...that might suggest a Canadian connection, and maybe a couple of Canadian $1 coins transfixed by a golden arrow? (For the benefit of readers east of Newfoundland, Canadian $1 coins feature the image of a loon -- a bird, not Kathy -- which they call loonies -- the coin, not Kathy... though if they got to know her, who knows?

The AHS Guidelines reflect the end result of extended discussions, but of course not all the back & forth leading to the final document. Those exchanges, if they are still preserved (haven't looked yet) should be in the Members portion of the old (archived) AHS forum. I assume you should have access as an AHS member if you'd like to review any of it. IIRC the historical perspective, beginning in colonial times and extending post-independence, was largely based on Joe McMillan's research. Briefly, it was largely reflective of English useage by largely English colonists, but with significant colonial variations and little effective official oversight from the College in London. Independence severed any real or pretended legal connection, but required little if any change in actual practice here. This reflected the larger social and legal situation, which continued reliance on English common law to the extent consistent with colonial practice and severing of legal ties and subsequent legal and social evolution post-independence. (Apologies to Joe for likely butchering his careful research and analysis, and to all here for being so long-winded.).
Bottom line -- not a blank slate, either legally, socially, or heraldic.

Still hoping for SKS to move this to a fresh thread...

Enough for now -- "She who must be obeyed" has other tasks I need to address. ;)
Mike~~
Fremont, California

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Michael F. McCartney
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Re: Display by one's spouse

Post by Michael F. McCartney » Wed May 27, 2015 4:53 am

Rereading the last few messages in our heraldic ping-pong, you noted several families (names) bearing two ravens on an arrow (Murdoch, Mackie, McClurg) and then note that the "base" for your McClurg arms is the white with the ravens & arrow, with the rest just "etc".

To my mind, the base arms for your extended McClurg family include both the raven kabob on white in chief and the lower half blue, the specific partition (per fess or chevron) and the charge(s) in base being individual variables within the family.

This suggests (to me, anyway -- like a high school literature teacher imputing hidden meanings to Shakespeare that the Bard likely never intended) hypothetical stem arms for some equally hypothetical founder of the hypothetical Clan McClurg of old, of the ravens on a stick standing (dangling?) alone, in some hypothetical color scheme; with yours being indeterminate cadency from this hypothetical stem, differenced possibly by color in chief and definitely by the blue in base. Does this collection of hypotheticals seem plausible?

This may seem silly, but it is based on real cases in which Lyon, in granting arms to a family whose name isn't previoudly represented in any of the Scottish armorial records, or if there are historical arms but no known grnealogical connection, first creates hypothetical stem arms and then works down to the petitioner.

(This is most likely old hat to you, but maybe not to others here with no historical or hypothetical Scottish roots.)
Mike~~
Fremont, California

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Michael F. McCartney
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Re: Display by one's spouse

Post by Michael F. McCartney » Thu Jun 04, 2015 7:04 am

Extension / correction to my SWAG assumptions re: arms of McClurg, Mackie and Murdoch -- Murdoch appears in one of the old Scottish sources as Argent with the two birds on a stick (OK, an arrow) with no further charges; Mackie of Larg the same as Murdoch with a chief Azure charged with a lion passant Argent (likely reflecting an early marriage with a daughter of the MacDowell family whose arms were Azure a lion rampant Argent etc.); and while I couldn't find MacLurg in the rolls, there is on the web the photo of an early MacLurg grave marker in Minnigaff parish with the Murdoch arms differenced with a crescent in base (no colors on the carved stone, but I'm guessing the shield was Argent, the raven-kabob Sable, don't know about the crescent). All of these were if I understand correctly in the same general area, and as Kathy hinted, traditionally linked to three sons of the same mother, all expert archers but from three husbands whose names they bore, in the time of King Robert the Bruce etc. A great family tradition of the "if it isn't all true it shoulda been" type, reflected historically (and now again by Kathy & clan) in their heraldry. Many of us would give our eye teeth for this sort of family origin myth, reflected in real historical heraldry!
Mike~~
Fremont, California

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