The Cambridge University Heraldic & Genealogical Society

The Escutcheon

Volume 1

Number 3 – Easter Term, 1996

A Message from the President

Welcome to the third edition of The Escutcheon! This the last in the trilogy this year, but the response to our work has been good, and the Society is all set up to continue it into the future (albeit without the ubiquitous gossip column which many other University publications seem to require!).

The final speaker meeting of the year saw the welcome return of a talk on the Clare family and College, courtesy of our Senior Treasurer, Dr Gordon Wright. We were particularly pleased on this occasion to be able to welcome back one of the Society’s Honorary Vice-Presidents, Miss Heather Peek, and her sister. (The scheduled talk on the Clare bell regrettably had to be postponed, but it is hoped that it will reappear in next year’s programme.)

With summer now already on its way, many on us now have considerale amounts of work to think of, so I am especially pleased that two of our overseas members have taken the trouble to send us pictures of their new Grants of Arms, which we have reproduced on page 18.

There remains little more to say at this stage, other than to wish everyone well for the Easter Term, and I hope to see as many faces as possible towards May Week, for we are privileged to be able to hold our Accession Banquet in the Fellows' Dining Rooms at Girton College on Saturday, 1st June, and our Annual Society Garden Party in Clare College Fellows' Garden on 12th June. Good luck to all those with examinations looming. CUHAGS may be at rest for a few weeks, but we’ll be back to dine in style, and meet over strawberries and cream (and hopefully some punting on the Cam) in June. See you then.

The President

The Society’s Collection

In the previous issue of The Escutcheon, the President drew the attention of members to the Society’s collection of heraldic and genealogical material. If you have Armorial Bearings perhaps you might consider donating a drawing or a small shield which may be reproduced in these pages and also deposited in our unique collection. The presentation of books, charts or another heraldic or genealogical item would be welcomed.

Family History, Heraldry and the Internet

László Kóczy

[Editor’s note: Since this article was written, many of the URLs quoted have changed; they are retained in their original form for historical reasons.]

Historians, including family historians, have always preferred books to computers. In the past, computers were just tools in the hands of engineers or mathematicians. With the expanding possibilities of the World Wide Web, however, these times are well and truly over.

The World Wide Web (WWW) is like an international library on a computer screen, consisting of pages from all realms of life and work, and from all around the world. It displays not just text, but high quality diagrams and photographs, and has the advantage over books in that it can be accessed from wherever you are sitting to read it. It can also link pages together. The consequences can be seen immediately: to find a particular reference is no problem at all, and from it, further references can be sought at the mere click of a button – provided that material is available!

The world of computers all too often can remain an enigma, and yet browsing the pages of the WWW need be no trouble at all. One of the advantages of being at Cambridge is the University’s advanced computer network. The WWW screens can be found in the University Library, the City Library (in Red Lion Yard), and on the Personal Workstation Facilities (PWF) terminals, or in some College computer rooms, where programs like NETSCAPE, MOSAIC, LYNX, CELLO, &c are available. If there is a choice of program, I recommend trying NETSCAPE 2.0, as some of the pages on the older browsers are less enjoyable. Usually, the first page to appear will be the Cambridge University introductory page. Such pages (often very colourfully illustrated, and outlining a university, department, company or society’s aims) are known as Homepages. From the hompage, access can be gained to dozens of other topics simply by clicking on any words which are underlined in the screen. In this way, it is not hard to spend hours “surfing the net”!

One of the disadvantges of the WWW, however is the lack of a comprehensive reference. This is partly because it is constantly being added to and updated, but all the same, it can make it difficult, finding what you want in the labyrinth of links. There are specialist centres which trawl the WWW for information from which reference files can be built, but, for most people’s purposes, it is easier and quicker simply to know where to begin, and to explore as you become more acquainted with the system.

Genealogy and heraldry have both caught up with the latest computer technology, and there are WWW pages specially devoted to each. In fact CUHAGS has even had its very own page for over a year now. To reach it (from any computer offering the WWW service) all you have to do is to type in the appropriate code. The complete list of Cambridge University Clubs and Societies' homepage may be reached by typing:

and further pages can be accessed either by clicking the relevant words visible there, or by typing in other codes directly:

Genealogy (Homepage)
The College of Arms
The Heraldry Society
The British Heraldic Archive

So what can be found here? So far, the material available on related topics is still limited, but already now, some pages feature high quality articles, others may provide a searchable database for Arms (according to the heraldic charges), or for Royal Pedigrees, or for the latest appointments at the College of Arms. You can even search for particular surnames – try one of the following for details:




Whatever your reservations, I strongly recommend that you take the time to investigate the WWW. It’s like an address book-cum-encyclopædia in one – and best of all, it’s free! I hope you find what you are looking for when you search. Enjoy browsing the net!

Book Reviews

The Surnames of Wales, John and Sheila Rowlands, FFHS (Publications) Ltd, 1996. A5 pprbk, 217pp, £9-95. ISBN 1-86006-025-0.

This is a most excellent survey of the surnames in the Principality. The authors, both experienced family historians, have been working in this field for many years. Although a few books about Welsh surnames have been published, very little information has been presented showing comprehensive distribution data. Consequently this study is especially useful to those with ancestors in Wales who may have difficulty in deciding where to start their searches.

The source material for the study was marriage entries from parish registers during the period 1813–1837 augmented where necessary by details from Bishop’s Transcripts. There were good grounds for selecting this relatively late period because by then hereditary surnames had become the norm and the requirements for recording entries in all parish registers had been standardised.

In addition to some excellent maps there is an alphabetical glossary setting out the surnames surveyed with details of their origin and the areas of their greatest incidence. The book also includes some general conclusions about marriage rates, the relative incidences of various types of name and likely migration and emigration patterns.

Basic Facts About Using Marriage Records for Family Historians, Pauline Litton and Colin R. Chapman, F.F.H.S. (Publications) Ltd, 1996 A5 pprbk, 16pp, £1-25. ISBN 1-86006-026-9.

This is the sixth booklet in a series devoted to basic research methods. It addresses a wide range of topics essential when seeking information relating to marriages, including civil registration, Anglican parish registers and transcripts, marriage licences, bond and allegations, etc. There are valuable sections on non-conformist marriages and variations in different parts of the U.K. This booklet contains a section on marriage indexes and useful bibliography.

Members' Interests

The following list of surnames (with their geographical associations and historical occurrences) represent some of the ancestral lines of members of the Society. If you have links with any of these names please make contact.

AudenStaffordshirepre-1900T.J. Cockerill
CatchpoleEssex / Suffolkpre-1900T.J. Cockerill
CorderEssex / Suffolkpre-1900T.J. Cockerill
HuxleyStaffordshirepre-1900T.J. Cockerill
KirkbankCumbriapre-1850T.J. Cockerill
RodgersStaffordshire / anywherepre-1900T.J. Cockerill
WindowsStaffordshire / anywherepre-1850T.J. Cockerill

Forthcoming Conferences and Other Events

March 14th–October 27th, 1996 Imperial War Museum Exhibition – Evacuees, Major exhibition at Lambeth Road site
May 4th–5th, 1996Family History Fair hosted by the Society of Genealogists, Royal Horticultural Society Hall, Westminster
June 29th–30th, 1996Family History Fair at York, Tattersall’s Stand, York Racecourse
August 30th–September 1st, 1996Weekend Conference and F.F.H.S. Council, hosted by Doncaster and District F.H.S. at High Melton
October 5th, 1996Northamptonshire F.H.S. 20th Anniversary, Day conference at Kettering
November 1st–3rd, 1996Cornwall F.H.S. Annual Conference, Newquay, Cornwall

Editor’s Postscript

I would like to reiterate the remarks which I made in the very first issue of The Escutcheon, namely, that this publication is designed to serve the membership of Cambridge University Heraldic and Genealogical Society. It needs to reflect both the activities of the Society and the interests of its supporters. Consequently the Editor welcomes items of news and drafts of short articles for inclusion in future issues.

We continue our appeal to every member to list the surnames in his or her ancestry for inclusion in the Members' Interests section. A few of you have taken advantage of this option but we would like all of you to do so.

It should be noted that the Federation of Family History Societies, to which C.U.H.&G.S. is affiliated, represents the interests of family history societies throughout this country and elsewhere in the world. For further information please write to the F.F.H.S. at:

The Benson Room,
The Birmingham and Midland Institute,
Margaret Street,
B3 3BS

Derek A Palgrave, Crossfield House, Dale Road, Stanton, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. IP31 2DY