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Re: Family arms, OOP

Countess Ianthe writes;
>     As an aside, I'm no herald (nor have I played one on T.V.)
>     but on the issue of these family arms history companies - I'm
>     not at all sure of the integrity and quality of their research.
>     If your mundane name is "Richards", they find a historical
>     family with arms of the same name and provide you with their
>     blazon.  As far as I can tell, no investigations of any
>     real-world linkage occurs.

Actually, I think it is even worse then that.  I got a letter from such a 
company which told me that Harrop, a wonderful Saxon name that dates back 
to the 500's, meant Hare in the Valley, and that my family arms were: 
Vert, on a Pile Argent a Hare (something).  I'd say blech!, except my 
older brothers arms (in the SCA) are vert fretty Or, a hare (springing) 
argent and my wife's arms (in the SCA) are vert, on a pile indented 
argent, a sword inverted gules (my daughter and I invented that).

In fact, the mundane, English arms for Harrop, as borne quarterly by 
Hulton-Harrop, the only person who can legally carry it, are:
Per chevon argent and sable, three eagles displayed collared and charged 
with a fleu-de-lie, counter-changed.  Which are damn nice arms, even if I 
say so myself.

As for Harrop, my study of Anglo-Saxon suggests that it means venerable, 
or wisdom of age, or simply grey-haired wisdom.  And hopefully the more I 
get of the former, the more I'll have of the latter.

In Service
Leifr Johansson