William Finnie's ancestors and the clues to be found in a coat of Arms.

Started by Private User on Saturday, June 4, 2011

Participants:

  • Private User
    Geni Pro
  • Private User
    Geni Pro
  • Geni Pro

Profiles Mentioned:

Related Projects:

Showing all 7 posts
Private User
6/4/2011 at 8:56 PM

Hi All,

I have been very busy here, trying to track down the ancestors of my 5th g.grandfather, William Finnie. And I have found a tiny chink in this brickwall of mine.

Having downloaded the Arms of Robert Finnie McEwen, I noticed that his Arms include, as Arms of Affection, the Finnie Arms (headless cranes on a red (gules) background). This has given me a clue to William's origins, in that as Arms are heritable property (there is no such thing as a "family coat of arms" in Scotland), Robert could only have included these Arms if his wife Isabella's father, William Finnie, was entitled to them. It stands to reason, therefore, that for William to have had this right, it must have passed down the line to him from my 5th g.grandfather.

I have found Arms for a William Finnie of Hilbrae (a farm in Aberdeenshire), which were granted in 1765, and Arms for James Phine of Whitehill, which were granted in 1572. Both of these contain the headless cranes (gules). Whilst I am not expecting the descriptions of these Arms to contain a great deal of genealogical information, I am buying them anyway. One never knows!!

Anyway, guys, my main point is this: if you are stuck behind a brickwall but know that a certain person in your tree was granted Arms, it may be worthwhile obtaining a copy of the grant, just in case...as has been the case with me...they hold even the tiniest clue to your ancestor's/relative's origins.

Cheers from a pretty happy Lynne. :))

Private User
6/5/2011 at 1:27 AM

If you find real coat of arms they are quite useful of giving you hints about the origin of a family and because of this you should also be aware that a coat of arm might change in a generation because a symbol from the mothers family might be added.

I would however put up a big warning for those who start searching for coat of arms: Most of what you find on internet are fake, made by companies that try to make money on that which also might serve you a fantastic history behind it.

As a test I searched for Brox coat of arm (which I know does not exist) on a site several times and not so long time after I got a result, so they seem to monitor what names people search a coat of arms for and make one if enough people search for it: http://www.houseofnames.com/brox-family-crest

Private User
6/5/2011 at 6:14 AM

Absolutely right, Bjorn. They sell the original Arms to the unsuspecting public who truly believe that they are a family coat of Arms. They change all the time, depending on the person's place in the descendency, i.e., a younger son's will be different to the original. It is illegal to use Arms that don't specifically belong to you, of course. But they do hold a wealth of information, don't they? I'm wishing that I had downloaded this one months ago. Still, better late than never!! :) Scotland's People now has Arms which you can buy images of for £10 per pop.

Private User
6/5/2011 at 6:16 AM

Oh, and of course, "Arms of Affection" may be from an unrelated benefactor's Arms. But as I know that William Finnie was Robert Finnie McEwen's benefactor, I know for sure that the Finnie bits are my family's. :)

6/5/2011 at 8:24 AM

Lynne and Bjørn: There are lots of older books available that show original, official arms for those early families of New England entitled to use them. (There weren't many.) I usually cross-check with those if I'm going to put up arms as an image. That's probably a good idea for other contributors on Geni, though I don't know that any of those books are available in full color for free on-line. :/ Does anyone know of such a resource?

Private User
6/5/2011 at 3:57 PM

Ashley, to the best of my knowledge, there are illustrated books of armorials, of course, but I think that the majority are in black and white. I was looking at a plain text version of one last night on www.archive.org But I'm going to check on there just in case there is some obscure source that I've missed (I usually look on Google books and then download a djvu version from archive.org). If I find one I shall post the url both in here and in sources. At least the books available have detailed descriptions of the colours used, so that we can still double-check? :)

Private User
6/5/2011 at 5:19 PM

A collection of armorial bearings, inscriptions &c. in the parochial chapel of saint Andrew ... (1818)
http://www.archive.org/details/acollectionarmo01richgoog

Armorial families : a directory of gentlemen of coat-armour (1905)
http://www.archive.org/details/armorialfamilies02foxd

Armorial Bearings of the Surnames of Scotland
http://www.archive.org/details/armorialbearings00dona

The Heraldic Journal: Recording the Armorial Bearings and Genealogies of American Families
http://www.archive.org/details/heraldicjournal00whitgoog

The British herald, or Cabinet of armorial bearings of the nobility & gentry ... (1830)
http://www.archive.org/details/britishheraldor02robsgoog

Good one for those who want to know the ins and outs of heraldry, who has what, etc.

A collection of armorial bearings, inscriptions &c. in the church of st. Nicholas, Newcastle on ... (1820)
http://www.archive.org/details/acollectionarmo00richgoog

The symbolisms of heraldry : or, A treatise on the meanings and derivations of armorial bearings (1898)
http://www.archive.org/details/symbolismsherocad00wadeuoft

Courtenay family armorial, containing over two hundred coats of arms taken from those at Powderham Castle, with explanatory notes (1896)
http://www.archive.org/details/courtenayfamilya00cour

Illustrates Bjorn's point, really, that Arms change over time, re: the various holders/grantees.

Anecdotes of heraldry, in which is set forth the origin of the armorial bearings of many families (1864)

http://www.archive.org/details/anecdotesofheral00elvirich

The particular description of England. 1588. With views of some of the chief towns and armorial bearings of nobles and bishops (1879)

http://www.archive.org/details/particulardescr00smitgoog

The general armory of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales; comprising a registry of armorial bearings from the earliest to the present time (1884)
http://www.archive.org/details/generalarmoryofe00burk

Scottish arms : being a collection of armorial bearings, A.D. 1370-1678, reproduced in facsimile from contemporary manuscripts, with heraldic and genealogical notes (1881)

http://www.archive.org/details/scottisharmsbein01stoduoft

Scottish arms : being a collection of armorial bearings, A.D. 1370-1678, reproduced in facsimile from contemporary manuscripts, with heraldic and genealogical notes (1881)
http://www.archive.org/details/scottisharmsbein02stoduoft

Genealogy of the Breck family : descended from Edward of Dorchester and his brothers in America : with an appendix of additional biographical and historical matter, obituary notices, letters, etc., and armorial bearings : and a complete index (1889)
http://www.archive.org/details/genealogyofbreck00brec

Armorial of Jersey : being an account, heraldic and antiquarian, of its chief native families, with pedigrees, biographical notices, and illustrative data; to which are added, a brief history of heraldry, and remarks on the mediæval antiquities of the island (1859)
http://www.archive.org/details/armorialofjersey00payn

A collection of armorials of the County of Orkney : being drawings of armorial bearings from tombstones, wood carvings, seals &c., with extracts from the Lyon Registers, and genealogical notes compiled from public records and other sources (1902)
http://www.archive.org/details/collectionofarmo00smitrich

Colonial families of the United States of America, in which is given the history, genealogy and armorial bearings of colonial families who settled in the American colonies from the time of the settlement of Jamestown, 13th May, 1607, to the battle of Lexington, 19th April, 1775; (1907)
http://www.archive.org/details/colonialfamilie00rhoagoog

Prestwich's Respublica, or, A display of the honors, ceremonies & ensigns of the Common-wealth under the protectorship of Oliver Cromwell : together with the names, armorial bearings, flags & pennons of the different commanders of the English, Scotch, Irish Americans and French : and an alphabetical roll of the names and armorial bearings of upwards of three hundred families of the present nobility & gentry of England, Scotland, Ireland, etc., etc (1787)
http://www.archive.org/details/prestwichsrespub00pres

The descendants of John Brockett, one of the original founders of New Haven colony. Illustrated with portraits and armorial bearings; an historical introduction relating to the settlement of New Haven and Wallingford, Connecticut. The English Brocketts. "A pedigree of Brockett," published in England in 1860 (1905)
http://www.archive.org/details/descendantsjohn00unkngoog

The British herald; or, Cabinet of armorial bearings of the nobility & gentry of Great Britain & Ireland, from the earliest to the present time; with a complete glossary of heraldic terms: to which is prefixed a History of heraldry, collected and arranged .. (1830)
http://www.archive.org/details/britishheraldorc02robs

The peerage of Scotland : a complete view of the several orders of nobility, of that ancient kingdom; their descents, marriages, issue, and relations; their creations, armorial bearings, crests, supporters, mottos, chief seats, and the high offices they possess ... together with a list of the sixteen peers, from the union to 1767 ... (1767)

http://www.archive.org/details/peerageofscotlan00kimb
A complete body of heraldry: containing, an historical enquiry into the origin of armories, and the rise and progress of heraldry, considered asa science ... The proper methods of blazoning and marshalling armorial bearings ... The arms, quarterings, crests, supporters, and mottos, of all sovereign princes and states; as also the atchievements of the peers, peeresses, and baronets, of England, Scotland, and Ireland. An historical catalogue of all the differentorders of knighthood ... The arms of the counties, cities, boroughs, and towns corporate, in England and Wales; and of the abbies and religious houses founded therein: as also those of the royal boroughs in Scotland; and of the societies, bodies corporate, trading companies, &c. in London. The arms of archiepiscopal and episcopal sees in England and Ireland, and of those heretofore established in Scotland ... A discourse on the origin, use, and abuse, of funeral trophies. Glover's Ordinary of arms, augm. and improved; an alphabet of arms, containing upwards of fifty thousand coats, with their crests, &c. and a copious glossary, explaining all the technical terms used in heraldry .. (1780)
http://www.archive.org/details/completebodyofhe01edmo

A complete body of heraldry: containing, an historical enquiry into the origin of armories, and the rise and progress of heraldry, considered asa science ... The proper methods of blazoning and marshalling armorial bearings ... The arms, quarterings, crests, supporters, and mottos, of all sovereign princes and states; as also the atchievements of the peers, peeresses, and baronets, of England, Scotland, and Ireland. An historical catalogue of all the differentorders of knighthood ... The arms of the counties, cities, boroughs, and towns corporate, in England and Wales; and of the abbies and religious houses founded therein: as also those of the royal boroughs in Scotland; and of the societies, bodies corporate, trading companies, &c. in London. The arms of archiepiscopal and episcopal sees in England and Ireland, and of those heretofore established in Scotland ... A discourse on the origin, use, and abuse, of funeral trophies. Glover's Ordinary of arms, augm. and improved; an alphabet of arms, containing upwards of fifty thousand coats, with their crests, &c. and a copious glossary, explaining all the technical terms used in heraldry .. (1780)
http://www.archive.org/details/completebodyofhe02edmo

The Douglas book (1885)

Author: Fraser, William, Sir, 1816-1898
Volume: 1
http://www.archive.org/details/douglasbook01fras
The Douglas book (1885)

Author: Fraser, William, Sir, 1816-1898
Volume: 2
http://www.archive.org/details/douglasbook02fras
The Douglas book (1885)

Author: Fraser, William, Sir, 1816-1898
Volume: 4
http://www.archive.org/details/douglasbook04fras

Showing all 7 posts

Create a free account or login to participate in this discussion