The author of Roots to Now is a professional writer and editor who resides in northern California. He received his BA in American Studies from Hampshire College, writing narrative history based around over a thousand hours of genealogical research he'd conducted by the age of 18, and after studying under such noteworthy historians as Stephen B. Oates and Joseph P. Ellis. His clients have included Gracenote, PC World Online, XLR8R and the Village Voice. He's also the author of another Wordpress blog, Fatherhood Poetic.
Hopefully they look like actual shields, but of course they’re just composites of tons of separate photographic elements. Hover the cursor over each one to see its caption.
They’re chronologically organized, roughly. And in this first batch, the first three (going left to right) form pairs with the ones they’re above: ie, Sir Arthur Cambel’s arms evolved into the arms of Strachur; Sir Colin Mor’s into those of Loch Awe; Sir Donald’s into Loudoun. The last two on the right of this batch are just among the earliest cadet branches with attested arms, Craignish and Inverawe. Enjoy!
Sir Arthur Cambel
Sir Colin Mor Cambel
Sir Donald Cambel
Craignish Old (SPEC)
of Loch Awe
Among the sources I used to learn and/or confirm these designs were the various descriptions provided in the legit, straight from the source rolls from Scotland.
Here’s a little bit of the context for when some of these armorial bearings branched off the “main” line, the Argyll line that has been the chiefly line since the 13- or 1400s, and thus at what point they were differenced with the various marks of cadency.
attends the special tribute to Sophia Loren during the AFI FEST 2014 presented by Audi at Dolby Theatre on November 12, 2014 in Hollywood, California.
This is the first installment of my rolling out of what I’ve learned about the most senior line of descent from England’s King Edward III. Why? It’s an intellectual exercise, a fascinating one that’s turned out to be quite fruitful, too!
From a surprisingly revealing ladder by which to get a hold of making sense of the intricate pecking order of Continental European aristocracy over the past 700 years, to both a tidy tale of how down to earth and normal some are today due in no small part to actual changes in the world’s rulership and wealth, as well as succinct lessons in the opposite: how some of them still cling to the money & power.
Inspired by the Wikipedia page on “Alternate Successions” to the throne of Britain/England (& the hilarious tidbit that the most senior line, for instance, of Queen Victoria, was through her daughter to Kaiser Wilhelm II!) and my limited American understanding of the rules of succession, I determined several months back to find out if I could what the senior line was and if there were any descendants. Indeed there are! And you can see her above, next to her royal ancestor, a widely forgotten daughter of Edward III.
So, I’ll start today with the wayback:
Edward III’s eldest son, Edward, gets a lot of press since, well, he was the most apparent heir…whoooo, didn’t quite make it to the throne, as he died a year before his dad. He also gets attention, not only due to his snazzy black armor and “all that” attitude, but because it was his son who inherited the crown and became king after Edward III: Richard II.
Richard II, however, had no children. He selected his cousin, Roger Mortimer to inherit the crown from him.
Roger Mortimer was a great-grandson of Edward III through the next son after Edward, namely Lionel (called “of Antwerp” and also Duke of Clarence). Lionel’s daughter Philippa had married a Mortimer, and they’d had two kids, Roger being the boy. His older sister married Henry “Hotspur” Percy, and you’d think would have a claim to the throne, too; more on that later.
Cousin Roger died before Richard II, so being the heir passed to his 7-year-old son Edmund. But wee Edmund didn’t get to be king since his and Richard’s cousin Henry, who was the son of Edward III’s third son, John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, up and took the throne for himself, becoming King Henry IV.
And as we know, Henry IV’s son, grandson et al (aka: the House of Lancaster) arm-wrestled (ie, battled in most bloody fashion) with the sons etc of Edward III’s fourth son, only a year younger than John, Edmund of Langley (aka, the House of York) for the throne over the next 200 years, this civil war known now as Game of Thrones–er, War of the Roses.
So Edward the Black Prince and his brothers Lionel, John and Edmund all get press. So does their baby brother Thomas, since he was murdered.
And you even hear about poor, young Joan, Edward III’s daughter, because she actually died of the Black Death at age 15 on her way to Spain to marry the prince there.
But you never hear about the couple of other daughters, mostly, it would seem, because they had no kids. But to me it’s very curious why we don’t hear more about the 2nd oldest kid of the bunch. Between Edward and Lionel was–apparently Edward III’s favorite child: Isabella, named for his mother, the French princess whose blood allowed/led Edward III to make war on France, claiming the throne (and by which he added the snazzy blue field with gold fleur-de-lys to the Plantagenet/English royal coat of arms).
Isabella turned down various marriages, and finally wed a nobleman in France. Perhaps it was because her dad has launched that ongoing war with France that she got written off, history-wise. Not sure about that yet. What I am sure of, and am here sharing, is her line of descent to the present. It’s funny to me that they counted descent from Lionel’s daughter Philippa but not a generation up from Isabella.
Here’s a chart showing the great-grandkids (work-in-progress) of Edward III & Philippa of Hainault:
Part II soon…in which we meet the next few generations of Edward III’s most senior descendants, some of the most famous, most powerful, most wealthy noble folks of the Continent….
I was in Dallas for the first time a few weeks ago for my cousin’s wedding. A lovely time, seriously charming wedding (sweet, impressively solid couple).
And the morning before the shindig got underway I had occasion to take a drive into downtown Dallas with two other interested parties (another cousin’s partner and his son) to check out no less an important historical location than Dealey Plaza, the site of the assassination of the 35th President of the United States, JFK.
Behind me, myself and I in the above pic, and below: the Grassy Knoll itself, confirmed site where Mr. Zapruder took his home movie featuring infamous & awful frame 313–unconfirmed location of a second or even third gunman, behind the gently sweving road where Kennedy died, essentially in front of the world.
(Remember that at this point in 2017 the only person confirmed–more or less universally–to have shot a gun whose bullet hit President Kennedy is Lee Harvey Oswald, from the 6th floor window of the Texas Schoolbook Depository. Mind you, that doesn’t preclude that another gun in another person’s hands fired the “kill-shot”, i.e., the one that took JFK’s life–but there simply isn’t enough conclusive evidence as to that other shot or shots to convince enough people of only one version; there are as many versions of where the other shooter was as one can imagine. Meanwhile, the window where Oswald sat and from which he fired his infamous Carcano rifle, is today the museum about the assassination. We didn’t go there, but did visit the bizarre gift shop, which sits on the ground floor of the building across the street from the former Depository.)
And so but this location, Dealey Plaza, is crazy. Not just because a major world leader was killed right out in public, not just because that’s relatively rare in the US, or even just because it’s also still essentially unsolved. It’s precisely the multiplicity of other versions and the number of eyewitness accounts and bewildering lack of a consensus conclusion that makes this location crazy. It’s so heavy a site because that event provides a tightly, intricately focused hypermicrocosm of epistomology: almost every aspect demonstrates–wantonly, defiantly like nailing down quicksilver–just how many uncertainties can bedevil a given slice of so-called “reality”.
This thing happened…or did it? This person stood there and saw “X”…or did they? Well they *heard* “Y”…or at least this other person did. And “Z” was caught on film…or was it? So many pages, files, terrabytes of analyses…that just don’t add up…with each moment that passes rushing us all hopelessly further past the moment at 12:33 pm that autumn day that a bullet from some gun somewhere in, above, near, passing by Dealey Plaza blew the top of our President’s skull & at least a third of his brains out, ending his life–BANG–right then and there, unchangeably.
Reality is many sided. Perspectives are tenaciously held to. It continues to roll onward, and usually the stakes are not that final, but any moment has as many potential veracity chasms–my term for things there just isn’t definitive proof for. What do we do with veracity chasms? We fill them in, naturally. But with what, is the question.
Its huge wave of popularity emboldended moneymen, er, TV producers to greenlight similar shows set grimly & grimily in that distant past of dark armor, shields & swords that gives Game of Thrones its look and feel.
Surging forth first (or at least most notably) on this cashflow has been the epic & popular “Vikings”, and now “The Last Kingdom”, a BBC adaptation from a book in a series by British historical novelist and former news correspondent Bernard Cornwell that chronicles goings-on in England in the centuries before the year 1000.
And it’s awesome.
It’s set during the reign of King Alfred the Great of England, so in the late decades of the 800s AD/Common Era (CE). Like stories & cinematic adaptations before such as Little Big Man, it inserts a fictional character into totally historically accurate situations to tell the past context in human detail.
For now, and for any fan of the show, here’s a chart I’ve done showing Alfred’s descendants for a few generations. Click on it and in the new tab click it again so you can check it out in detail if you like. More on this show later.
This follow-up post presents the historical imaging I’ve done focused on maps and location. Actually, I’d say that it’s most correct to say that this is imagery driven not by simply the “location”, but by the agenda of attempting to locate a thing; to impart a sense of how and where the thing in question is located–oriented–to the viewer.
To locate a thing so that it fits with the audience’s world.
It turns out (of course) that usually at least some sort of context is necessary. For images of a place (whether from a map, an aerial photograph or other rendering, crude diagram in the sand…whatever!), for it to mean a ding dang thing, your intended audience much of the time needs to have at least some basic geographical knowledge.
But that said, it’s a very interesting and multi-faceted challenge to try and make an image conveying a sense of place if you consider your audience consisting of people who don’t know…don’t really care. lol
When & Where… & when, again?
Basic “when & where” map for an individual or family
Tighter focus on the “where” (central Massachusetts in this case; a father and son located)
Placing the very specific in the macro
Farmstead of 4x-great-grandad that served as homebase for 3 generations
City unfamiliar to coast-dwelling types
When the exact part of a foreign place is important (for some reason)
Using cool maps cooly. For this one, the only context necessary is that this is the east coast of Ireland, just south of Dublin and that north is to the right.
Tighter focus–after you’ve given some context
Tober Townland was directly referenced on the map above, so now you can zoom in there to see detail. The inset maintains the tether to the broad knowledge base you’re attempting to access.
southwestern Wisconsin, a couple miles off the Mississippi River & 5 or 7 miles from Illinois, showcasing an original land grantee whose descendants carried on in the location; 4x-great-grandkids remain in 2017.
Various specific spots within a larger, but still relatively small (and not commonly nown) location, the Dordogne in southwestern France. In the upper right of this one is Jumilhac, the castle seen in the last post.
one place, Haverhill, Massachusetts and vicinity…
… variations on perspective
One place in detail: Foley, Minnesota
Foley sits nearly smack dab in the middle of the state, among the flat, flat fields 15 miles east-northeast of the mini urban hub of St. Cloud and the bend over which it presides of the still quite wide Mississippi River. The tiny hamlet of Foley has given the world doctors, lawyers, Indy 500 participants, lumber, all-night jazz dances in barns once upon a time, and been home to retired farmers, aspiring capitalist fashionistas, former religious zealots & their kids, descendants of royalty and lots and lots of regular people who very well might’ve been born in other countries or been the kids of those who were.
Rockefeller had a gas station here (like 10s of thousands of of other places in these United States); women turned out nearly to a 100% here in 1924 the first occasion they were permitted to help choose the President. Foley is a stand-in for whatever your little town is, or was. Our Town is the most performed play (or close to it) in America because 100s of millions of us came from our towns like this. “I didn’t, but my mom did”,–we’re all from it together.
These small towns, whose children and grandchildren have flocked and flown out to the gothams and metropolitanias were in their way, factories of the ever-new, ever-renewing people, of us all–factories of Americans.
The sprawling and ever interconnected suburbs and ex-urbs where so many millions of us now reside and have for some time–they are built by the developers and they are inhabited by the dwellers on the model of the myriad iterations of “Small Town America” like Foley, Minnesota. It was in these places that generations of people learned and were taught how to be Americans. Despite the regional differences that might inculcate one attitude or another toward or about other people, the style of day-to-day interaction and pacing and level of attentiveness to the people around you, it’s all very similar in this small town substrate of our collective sense of ourselves and how and who we are.
It is from this America that in many critical ways we came. And it seems to me worth knowing in order to figure out into what America we are, might, or can decide to be going.
Showcasing images I’ve created, composited and/or altered in order to make historical situations, places or circumstances more readily accessible to as many people as possible.
This grew out of my effort–shared with anyone who gets intricately lost in making family trees–of trying to find relevant imagery to use for people of whom no pictures exist (e.g., anyone who lived before the 1840s). But not just relevant, you really want to push it further and find images that are interesting, too. Or at least I do. And accurate, for instance, to the time when a particular ancestor or historical personage might have actually lived or been at a given location. So from these endeavors, the following sampling of images.
This is Château de Jumilhac, a castle south of Limoges in southwestern France. In the course of working on a friend’s family tree, I learned some of his ancestors had been involved in actually building it back in the 1200s. (!!) They’d been among its lords, too, for 150 years or so. After first thinking, aha! whatta sweet image to use for that string of ancestors, I learned as I read more about them and it, that the conical rooftops (that will surely strike Americans as quintessentially “fairy-tale”) were added hundreds of years after his family had been on the scene in the depths of the actual Middle Ages. Well I couldn’t use a historically inaccurate image, so I did something about it.
This is much closer to what it would have looked like to the de Bruchard family as they knew it.
An older photograph also lent itself to easy changing:
So the examples here are each within a category:
People & Location
Now to Then
SketchUp 4 Teaching History
Now to Then 2 (showing elements)
People & Location
Swedish origin spot of my great-grandmother and 3 generations of her people
South-central Sweden, Vastragotaland.
2. Recent Dukes of Argyll at their seat, Inverary Castle, Scotland
Now to Then
View from the Mayflower
View closer to 1620
2. Castle Hornby
Castle Hornby c.1900
Castle Hornby c.1520
On the left, as seen around 1900 (& today); on the right, as it was when my ancestor lived there (incidentally, just about the last–my most recent–ancestor to reside in a castle…500 years ago!)
SketchUp 4 Teaching History
Construction of the White House (the Executive’s Mansion) in the 1790s in Washington, D.C.
These are views of a multi-layered SketchUp model I’ve built of various stages of the White House’s construction. Here we see the foundation as it was originally laid down in 1791-2. The layers reflect the actual materials, orientation and configuration learned from researching primary source material (such as reports of the crew who laid the new foundations in the 1950s as to what they found as well as reports of Thomas jeffereson, architect Benjamin Latrobe and others involved in the early days of the building). The close-up is the northwest corner, seen from just a few feet south and west of it.
Here’s the southern facade, seen from the southeast, depicted as the Limestone facing began to be mounted on the brick walls.
And the same face seen from the southwest, a little further along in the process:
And here’s the north (properly, the front) as it neared completion. (The portico that we know today was not added until the 1820s).
Now to Then 2 (showing elements)
Here you can see various elements that went in to the image at the very top of the page (the black & white 1800s looking street).
That’s Liverpool, England. Specifically, Vauxhall Road, looking across it from near where my gr-gr-grandad, a guy named Edward Dunn, had a business in the 1870s, to the intersection with Blacklock Street, toward the site of Vauxhall Gardens, a housing project that was destroyed in WWII during the Blitz just before Xmas 1940.
Composite of contemporary shot (made B&W) with old shot.
Composite of two images; the corner building has been added to the street shot. I then added this with the B&W version of the current corner seen in the shot above this to get the image seen at the very top of the page.
This is the current shot, unaltered.
And the combo with the building destroyed by Nazi bombs in WWII is below again for easy comparison.