My Ancestor Left an Heirloom
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Summary

Did your ancestor leave an heirloom? In Europe, for well over one thousand years many people from all walks of life have been putting their names and other personal details on a variety of metal objects, to identify or be identified and to advertise trades or professions. In addition the crown, the armed forces and civilian institutions increasingly awarded medals and badges for service and merit.
There are many thousands of metal objects around engraved with personal details, any of which your ancestor, regardless of how humble, may have made, used or been awarded.
In the United Kingdom (UK), there are some 30,000 metal detectorists busily unearthing this ancestral metalwork, which is not only bringing to light countless thousands of lost or discarded items but spawning new and revised literature on the history and ancestry behind these metal objects.
This book will guide you every step of the way to discover:
* The types of metal objects people in the past have made, used or been awarded.
* Extensive sources of information on these artefacts and the people associated with them, many of which will be found by simply visiting your local library.
* New lines of enquiry that can take family history research back into the mists of time.
* How and where you may locate real antique items connected with your ancestors and experience the joy of owning and displaying tangible family history.
* How to safely store metal objects so your heirlooms will survive for generations to come.
* How to research family history in Britain.
Contents include:
* Introduction * Orders of Chivalry * Medals and Badges * Seal Matrices * Heraldic Mounts and Pendants * Buttons * Makers’ Marks and Plates * Spoons * Coins and Tokens * Locating ‘Lost’ Metal Objects * Finding Books * Safe Storage of Metal Heirlooms * A Guide to British Family History Research * A Brief Introduction to Metal Detecting

Published: David Villanueva on
ISBN: 9781301009817
List price: $4.99
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My Ancestor Left an Heirloom - David Villanueva

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My Ancestor Left an Heirloom: Hunting Family History and Genealogy Treasure Through Metal Detecting Finds

by David Villanueva

Smashwords Edition

All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means, including scanning, photocopying, or otherwise without prior written permission of the copyright holder. Copyright 2012 David Villanueva

Smashwords Edition, License Notes:

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you are reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

Table of Contents

1. INTRODUCTION

2. ORDERS OF CHIVALRY

3. MEDALS AND BADGES

4. SEALS

5. HERALDIC MOUNTS AND PENDANTS

6. BUTTONS

7. MAKERS’ MARKS AND PLATES

8. SPOONS

9. COINS AND TOKENS

10. LOCATING ‘LOST’ METAL OBJECTS

11. SAFE STORAGE OF METAL HEIRLOOMS

12. A GUIDE TO BRITISH FAMILY HISTORY RESEARCH

13. A BRIEF INTRODUCTION TO METAL DETECTING

14. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

15. GREAT BOOKS IN PRINT FROM THE SAME AUTHOR

1. INTRODUCTION

Discovering names and dates can be exciting and you may relish that hard won copy of a document but family history only really comes alive when you clasp your hands around your grandfather’s war medal; your great grandmother’s christening spoon or your great, great grandfather’s fob seal. We’re not all fortunate enough to own such family treasures but it’s highly likely that one or more of your ancestors left an heirloom at sometime in the past – perhaps you just haven’t discovered it yet.

In Europe, for well over one thousand years, people from all walks of life have put their names and other personal details on a variety of metal objects to identify or be identified and to advertise trades or professions. In addition monarchs, armed forces and civilian institutions increasingly awarded medals and badges for service and merit. And, of course, many Europeans have migrated across the Globe, so now there are thousands upon thousands of metal objects around, World-wide, engraved with personal details, any of which your ancestor, regardless of how humble, may have made, used or been awarded.

Many of these objects have been widely studied, collected and catalogued so not only do you have the possibility of acquiring tangible artefacts to add sparkle to your research but you can also make use of a number of easily obtainable but little known ‘directories’ to trace your ancestry back further than you ever thought possible.

Over the past forty years the hobby of metal detecting has grown up, busily uncovering thousands of lost and discarded family heirlooms. Most metal detectorists are interested in history, getting much pleasure from finding objects, which identify an individual or family and are keen to learn more about the personalities behind such artefacts. Others may just like an outlet to dispose of their finds, particularly those they are currently confining to the junk box. So here is a vast resource for uncovering heirlooms and common ground where participants in both pursuits could benefit each other.

Having been involved in metal detecting, genealogy and family history for over thirty years, I can confidently:

* introduce you to some of my ancestors who possessed metal artefacts

* discuss the types of artefacts commonly being found, which have family connections

* describe sources for finding out more about these objects and the personalities behind them

* bring finders and families together so that information and artefacts may be beneficially exchanged

* show you a simple way to store and protect your heirlooms for yourself and future generations

* provide an introduction to tracing your ancestry in the British Isles

In short this book will guide you to sources that may take your ancestry back into the mists of time and help you to locate actual heirlooms so you can discover the thrill of having a tangible link with your forbears.

2. ORDERS OF CHIVALRY

Joaquín Lorenzo Villanueva (1757-1837)

From: Semanario Pintoresco Español, 1848, p.391

I was first sent this portrait of my great, great, great, grand uncle Joaquín Lorenzo Villanueva, (1757-1837) by the librarian in Valencia. The first thing I noticed is that he is proudly displaying badges or medals. I didn’t know what these signified at first but digging around as you do, it turns out that, as Confessor to the King of Spain, in 1807 he was awarded an order of chivalry -- Knight Pensioner Ecclesiastical of the Royal Illustrious Order of Charles III. He has the badge of the order around his neck and the star on his right shoulder. All the physical trappings of the order have unfortunately been lost. However, to gain admission to that order, Joaquín, or Joachim in English, had to prove nobility and Christian blood back to his great grandparents. In fact not being a man to do things by half, he went back six generations to the sixteenth century on his paternal line and the result is nearly 600 pages of family history courtesy of the Spanish National Archives.

So if you have any inkling that an ancestor was involved in any one of the several hundred chivalric orders founded within the last two thousand years, I urge you to look into it. The family tree following is taken from: Archivo Histórico Nacional, Madrid, Consejos, Orden de Carlos III, Expediente 1372.

SOURCES

J. H. Lawrence-Archer, Orders of Chivalry: From the Original Statutes of Various Orders of Knighthood and Other Sources of Information, (London, 1887)

Guy Stair Sainty, Ed. World Orders of Knighthood and Merit (Burke's Peerage and Gentry, 2006). Includes essays on all the current orders of the world, and studies of orders and nobility, heraldry and knighthood, the self-styled orders and lengthy essays on the most famous orders.

François Velde, History of Orders of Chivalry: a Survey http://www.heraldica.org/topics/orders/ordhist.htm