Thursday, December 27, 2012


It's been ages since I've posted here!  Sorry, sorry, sorry, friends of NYC Heraldry.  I promise you some exciting new posts in 2013!  Too many blogs, too little time, but I will be back very soon.  Meanwhile, enjoy the going out of 2012 and the coming in of the new year.

Yours in heraldry,

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Sept. 24: The Heraldry of American Presidents

Don't forget to join us for this great presentation!  Your invitation follows right here:

The College of Arms Foundation, Inc.,
The Committee on Heraldry of
The New York Genealogical & Biographical Society
Invite You to

The Inaugural Fall Heraldry Presentation by
Joseph McMillan
The Heraldry of American Presidents

This will cover both hereditary arms of early US presidents and also granted arms to recent ones.  
Mr. McMillan is President of the American Heraldry Society ( 
A career civil servant with over 28 years of service in the Department of Defense, he is a
senior research fellow at the Institute for National Strategic Studies.

Monday 24 September 2012 at 6 PM
36 West 44th Street – Seventh Floor
New York, NY   10036
Complimentary Admission

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Blogs and More Blogs!

Thanks to David Appleton for sending along a great list of blogs that might of interest to my readers.  You'll see this blog listed under "Personal Heraldic Blogs."  Thank you, David!

Blogs of Heraldry Societies
Heraldry Society of Scotland:
Onward: The Heraldry Society of New Zealand:
Royal Heraldry Society of Canada:
Personal Heraldic Blogs

Armorial des Rues de Paris:
Cheshire Heraldry Web Journal:
Heráldica en la Argentina:
Héraldique européenne... le blog:
Heraldry: Musings on an esoteric topic:
NYC [New York City] Heraldry:
Tiempos de Historia: Historia, Nobleza y Heráldica:
Tout sur l'héraldique: dessin de blasons et d'armoiries:

Monday, August 13, 2012

David Appleton's Blog

I thought our readers might be interested in this blog by David Appleton:

David has kindly linked to my blog -- a nice surprise!  Thank you, David.

Readers, if you know of a worthwhile blog on heraldry, please send me the link.  Though the focus of my blog is on heraldry in/around New York City, I'm always glad to learn of other interesting resources.

Lots and Lots of Letters ... and Heraldry

This afternoon, I received a very interesting email from Jon von Briesen of New Jersey.  Earlier this summer, as he went into the James A. Farley Post Office on Eighth Avenue, Manhattan (or, as I know it, the main post office), Jon took pictures of the ceiling medallions.

He reports, "In June, I was in the city to catch a train. I had some bill payments that needed to be mailed in a hurry. I took the opportunity to post them at the central post office, across from Penn Station/ Madison Square Garden. Recessed medallions on the ceiling each held arms of some nation. The display is pretty eurocentric. As far as I can see, the heraldry is correct. France might have gotten some more pictorial treatment --- fasces, perhaps."

Readers:  Would you like to help identify the shields captioned with numbers only?

Here are Jon's photos.  Perhaps next time you're in the neighborhood, you'll stop and look up!  Many thanks for getting in touch, Jon!  Please send us more heraldic photos from your travels in and out of town.




Republic of France

Great Britain

United States of America

German Empire

Russian Empire


Austro-Hungarian Empire

#11:  Medallions in Context

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Date Change: The Heraldry of American Presidents

Arms of President Chester A. Arthur

Please note an important change.

The date of this talk, originally September 17, has been moved to September 24.  You won't want to miss this informative, interesting evening.

Time:  6 p.m., followed by refreshments

Place:  The New York Genealogical & Biographical Society offices, 36 West 44th Street, Room 711, Manhattan.

Cost:  Free; open to the public.

This talk is sponsored by the College of Arms Foundation in partnership with the Committee on Heraldry of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society.

Reservations are suggested: email or post a comment here with your name and contact information.

Here are the details.  Hope to see you there!

September 24, 2012
Presenter: Joseph McMillan
Topic: The heraldry of American Presidents.
Details: This talk will cover both hereditary arms of early US presidents and also more recent granted arms. Mr. McMillan is a governor-at-large of the American College of Heraldry. A career civil servant with over 28 years of service in the Department of Defense, he is a senior research fellow at the Institute for National Strategic Studies.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Are You Armigerous?

Join us on Monday, April 16, 2012, to learn how you can acquire English or Scottish arms (or maybe both??). The College of Arms Foundation and New York Genealogical and Biographical Society invite you to join us for an interesting, informative talk on

How to Acquire English and Scottish Arms
16 April 2012
6 p.m.
NY G&B Society, 36 West 44th Street, Suite 711. Manhattan
Admission is free and open to the public. Perhaps a wee dram of something after the talk ...

Presenters: John Shannon and Paul Campbell
Both speakers are armigers. John Shannon is the chairman of the committee as well as the president of the College of Arms Foundation and acquired arms from the College of Arms in London.

Paul Campbell, a member of the Heraldry Society of Scotland, acquired arms for his father from the Court of Lord Lyon in Edinburgh, and is an expert on Campbell arms, or which there are many variants. Just learned that Paul will bring a full-sized color reproduction of his father's grant! Pictured: Letters Patent, John McConville Shannon.

RSVP advised: or

Hope to see you there!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

What's a Galero?

Find out this Monday when ...

Heraldic designer and noted ecclesiastical heraldist Fr. Guy Selvester speaks on “The Use of the Miter and the Galero in Ecclesiastical Heraldry” this Monday, March 12, at 6 p.m. Reception follows with refreshments at the New York Genealogical & Biographical Society, 36 West 44th Street, Room 711, Manhattan.

All are welcome! No charge, but reservations required: email See you there!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Great Talk Coming Up - March 12

Hope to see you at this new talk:

Monday, 12 March 2012
6 p.m.
New York Genealogical & Biographical Society, 36 West 44th Street, Room 711, Manhattan
Admission is free.
Presenter: The Rev. Guy W. Selvester, an expert on church heraldry and a member of the Committee on Heraldry
Topic: "The Use of the Miter versus the Galero in Ecclesiastical Heraldry."

Details: Fr. Selvester is a Governor-at-Large of the American Heraldry Society, as well as a fine heraldic designer and artist and a member of the Committee on Heraldry. He recently gave the Mark Elvins Lecture on Church Heraldry at the Heraldry Society in London. Pictured: Arms Surmounted by Galero.

Space is limited, so please respond to John Shannon at at your earliest convenience.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Guide to Dutch Lineage Research

Hello, everyone! Many of you might have Dutch ancestors who have coats of arms. Perhaps you'd like to know more about those families or are just curious about searching for ancestors in New Netherland. The Society of Daughters of Holland Dames has just published my guide to Dutch research -- and you can purchase a copy for just $10.00 plus postage, here:

Scroll down the page to read about the guide; the order form is at the bottom. Clip, enclose your check, and mail. I hope this is helpful to you.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Alta Studia Heraldica

Hello, everyone. Duane Galles, a heraldist friend from the Midwest, pointed me to the journal Alta Studia Heraldica here: This is published by the Royal Heraldry Society of Canada, at The site is content rich; have a look and happy reading!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Stone Carving, Old School

Hello, everyone. I thought this was interesting, and heraldry-related. See photos of the Cathedral below, from April 2011. More to come!

Monday, January 2, 2012

An Invitation ...

Please join the New York City Heraldry Facebook page for quick updates on activities, new photos, and heraldry news. The Wall is open to all group members, and I hope you'll post your heraldry news there, as well as your comments here. I'll continue to alert FB members to new posts here, too.

Thank you for your interest. It's exciting to read your comments and greet new blog followers!

Regarding the Old NYC Seal ...

The old seal (with the 1664 date) is hard to find, but about a year ago, I saw it on the base of a flagpole in Central Park. I KNOW I have a digital photo here ... somewhere ... but will return to take another and post it. Has anyone else seen it -- near the West 72nd Street entrance on low-rising hill?

Happy New Year!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Old Seal/New Seal - City of New York

Happy New Year! To start us off this year, Sandy Sanford explains why there were two dates on the seal of the City of New York, and why the older date prevailed. Here are the details:

The basic design of the Seal of the City of New York originated in the seventeenth century and has been in continuous use since that time with two major modifications: first, at the time of the American War of Independence, the crown originally at the top of the seal was replaced by an eagle, signifying the new nation; second, approximately two hundred years later the date at the bottom, which was originally 1664, was replaced with the date 1625.

Here is the seal dated 1664:

from Seal and flag of the city of New York: authorized by the committee appointed by the mayor to commemorate the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the installation of the first mayor ... Edited by John B. Pine. In the public domain; on Google Books.

The first date commemorated the year that the Dutch ceded control of New Amsterdam to the English. In the 1970s, however, a passionately anti-English New York City politician, Paul O'Dwyer, led the move to replace the date (1664) with one that made no reference to the English but rather commemorated the locating of the administrative center of the Dutch New Netherland colony to New Amsterdam.

Here is the newer seal with the older date:

This image (available from Wikipedia Commons) is in the public domain and is originally from Vector-Images. com. The vectorization is by Alexei Ishimov.