Heraldic bookplate artist

Requiescat in pace

Born September 23, 1950 - Died October 19, 2010


Daniel de Bruin, who has died suddenly aged 60, was one of Europe’s leading heraldic bookplate designers, and whose treatment of the art broke the unwritten rules then existing.


His acclaimed work graces collections across Europe from Poland to Portugal including the Vatican, and distinguished clients sought him out from every continent. Bibliophiles marked ownership of their volumes with work by de Bruin that assumed form in rectangle, square, roundel, diamond and cartouche.


It is the mark of the man that de Bruin’s work appears in the archives of Sir Ilay Campbell of Succoth, Scotland’s leading bookplate collector, as well as that of an Edinburgh bus driver.



Ed. note - Daniel de Bruin was one of several artists who rendered their own version of the armorial bearings of The American College of Heraldry

Daniel de Bruin was born and lived all his life in the small Dutch town of Krimpen aan den Ijssel. Fascinated from childhood by colourful images reinforced by a boyhood collection of football badges, his latent ability in graphics led him into a self-taught path of calligraphy and letter design by the time he was 23, a move that introduced him to the world of heraldry, and he became fascinated by how bookplates established both decoration and provenance in books.


Inspired by modernist engravers such as Professor Mark Sverin, Pieter Wetselaar and Win Zwiers, de Bruin became influenced by the relationship of solid line and black-against-white - and the functional way in which his fellow Dutch typographer and engraver Pieter Wetselaar gave form to bookplate design.


While he enjoyed the tradition of the English masters like Edward Kruger Gray and John Vinycomb, Daniel was particularly inspired by those he termed the “masters” – the Scottish heraldic draughtsmen Graham Johnston, AG Law Samson and John Sutherland.


His first commission came in 1981, but it was his day job in computing that gave him a lead through the internet revolution of the mid-1990s. He set out to establish himself electronically, as well as using the net to examine heraldic sources otherwise unknown to him. By 1996, he had become one of the earliest users of a website, and this – coupled to availability of cheap technology in colour printing and appointment as a craft member to the Society of Heraldic Arts – established him globally.


He fashioned unusual and delicate work for Father Peter Walters in Colombia and Robert Urquhart, baron of Cromartie, stretching boundaries in conventional design by using integrated lettering within an anciently expressive culture.


His work attracted critical acclaim, appearing in leading publications of a dozen nations. Several of his bookplates feature in Alexander von Volborth’s opus The Art of Heraldry, and from the mid-1980s, his bookplates appeared in international exhibitions from St Petersburg to Hong Kong, Tokyo to Belgrade. His expertise led him to be appointed chairman of the first bookplate competition in the Netherlands in 1990.


De Bruin’s motto was, not surprisingly, Dare To Be Different, and he marked his work with an ermine spot – a choice of personal insignia deriving from the myth that a white stoat (the “ermine”) would rather run into fire than dirty its paws in mud.


He never allowed either his trademark scholarliness nor his personal style to erase the style of heraldry practised in a particular region. Thus the bookplate of Johan Deboutte in Belgium is infused with Flemish spirit, while that for the Mexican David de Olverara-Ayes shows Spanish heraldry of his Conquistadorean ancestor of 1519 Diego de Olvera. For his clients, he employed heraldic influences running from the Turkish and Egyptian to the Japanese and Welsh, and even produced a recognisable heraldic signature to recent work for Carl Pritchett in Texas.


The noted Danish heraldic bookplate designer Ronny Andersen went as far as turning the tables on his own trade in asking de Bruin to design for him.


A modest man, de Bruin brought pictorial language in new form to today’s visually-focused society, and without four decades, has produced a body of work almost unparalleled in its exuberance and celebration of heraldry.


- Obituary by Gordon Casely

Official Press Release

Lord Lyon King of Arms




The Queen has been pleased, on the recommendation of the First Minister, to appoint Mr William David Hamilton Sellar, Solicitor, to be Lord Lyon King of Arms.


Mr Sellar succeeds Robin Blair, LVO, WS who has held the office of Lord Lyon since 2001.


Her Majesty is also to appoint Mr Sellar to be Secretary of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle.


Mr Sellar qualified as a solicitor in 1966. After two years with the Scottish Land Court, he joined the Faculty of Law at the University of Edinburgh where he is now an Honorary Fellow.


The Lord Lyon has both administrative and judicial functions. The administrative functions include the granting of armorial bearings to individual persons and corporations. The Lord Lyon’s judicial functions include ruling on who has the right to bear an existing coat of arms, and the authorisation of matriculations of differenced Arms. The post is part time - three days a week, with a salary range of £56,000 - £78,500 pro rata.


The Lord Lyon is appointed by Her Majesty The Queen under section 3 of the Lyon King of Arms (Scotland) Act 1867. The Office of the Lord Lyon is situated in New Register House, Edinburgh.


David Sellar, aged 67, is a graduate of the Universities of Oxford (History) and Edinburgh (Law). He qualified as a solicitor in 1966. After two years as a legal assessor with the Scottish Land Court, he taught in the Faculty of Law at the University of Edinburgh. He is now an honorary fellow of the Faculty. He is joint author of the Saltire Society’s Scottish Legal Tradition (1991), and has written on the history of various branches of Scots law, including marriage, divorce, incest, homicide and unjust enrichment. He has published on the Lordship of the Isles and on the origins of many Highland families, including the Campbells, MacDonalds, MacDougalls, MacLeods, Lamonts, MacNeills and Nicolsons.


He was O’Donnell Lecturer (in Celtic Studies) at Edinburgh in 1985, Stair Society Lecturer in 1997 and a Rhind Lecturer in 2000. He has been a Member of the Ancient Monuments Board for Scotland, Vice-President of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Literary Director of the Stair Society, Chairman of Council of the Scottish History Society and Chairman of the Conference of Scottish Medievalists. He has also served on the Council of the Scottish Genealogy Society and of the Heraldry Society of Scotland. He was appointed Bute Pursuivant of Arms in 2001.


The appointment followed public advertisement of the post and a selection board met to interview a short-list of candidates and provide a recommendation to the First Minister.

American Beat: The Rite To Bear Arms

Colin Powell May Be The Most High-Profile Descendant Of The British Empire To Apply For An Official Scottish Coat Of Arms, But He's Part Of A Growing Trend, Says Our Columnist

Newsweek Web Exclusive

Updated: 7:46 PM ET Jan 25, 2008


Is there anything more pretentious than a coat of arms?


I'm willing to make exceptions for people whose families have coats of arms that go back to the Magna Carta. But, seriously, if your neighbor called you up and said, "Hey, come on over and see my new coat of arms," you'd think he was pretentious. And if you actually went over and found that he had redecorated the family room in a Scottish motif and was wearing a kilt as he hung the coat of arms on the wall, you'd think he was not only pretentious, but weird too.


Which brings us to Colin Powell.


The world--or, at least, the world of people who are obsessed with coats of arms--was stunned by the news last week that the U.S. Secretary of State had applied to the official Scottish authorities for an official coat of arms to celebrate his previously unheralded British Empire ancestry (Powell's father was born in Jamaica and his mom's family hailed from Scotland).


Now, I'm not calling the Secretary pretentious, but get a load of this guy's proposed design for his coat of arms: "azure, two swords in saltire, points downward, between four mullets Argent in a chief of the second, a lion passant Gules." To translate from the pretentious Scottish, that means a blue (azure) shield with two crossed (in saltire) swords, a silver (argent) bar (chief) with four stars (mullets) and a red (Gules) lion with his right paw raised and his head facing to the left (passant). Powell's motto will appear in a fake parchment banner underneath all the other artwork. The motto he's chosen is "Devoted to public service"--not, as many others had suggested: "A powerless pawn of the Bush Administration."


The symbolism is obvious--swords, stars, lions, fake parchment. It all speaks of a man who is either very proud of his military heritage or auditioning for a much-needed makeover on "Queer Eye." But why were the points of the swords facing downward? I'm no expert on coats of arms (my own personal coat of arms would depict a chicken, a knife and fork, and a bottle of barbecue sauce), but was this Powell's way of saying that he had put his fighting days behind him? Perhaps he was even showing overt disapproval of the war in Iraq.


Fortunately for you, dear reader, I have deep sources in the Scottish heraldic community. And fortunately for President Bush, I was wrong about the symbolism of the down-turned swords.


"I wouldn't draw any conclusion," said Dave Richardson, general manager of Swyrich, a Canadian company that designs coats of arms. "He's probably not making a statement about Iraq."


But he is making a statement. Despite our Second Amendment, Americans have no legal right to bear arms. But anyone whose heritage goes back to countries that do issue official coats of arms--countries like Scotland, France, Germany, the Ukraine, etc.--can apply for one.


The big wig in the Scottish coat-of-arms community is the Lord Lyon (a.k.a. Robin Orr Blair, who was appointed King of Arms in 2001) --and, to be honest, he's a bit of a hardass. I went to his website and immediately felt as if I was being scolded by an overdressed snob who can trace his lineage back to King David (my family can only go back as far as King Cullen).


"There is a widespread misconception that a family or a clan can have a family or clan Coat of Arms," the Lord tells us. "This is completely incorrect. A Coat of Arms belongs only to one individual person and can only be used by that person and no one else." (OK, I get it!)


According to Parliamentary law that dates back to the days when the English were still putting the letter "e" on the end of every noun, the Lord Lyon can grant arms to only "virtuous and well-deserving persons."


Yet even the most virtuous and well-deserving need to submit a formal petition asking for a coat. "The process is not complicated," according to the Heraldry Society of Scotland, which then describes dozens of rules, regulations, protocols and pretentious spellings that a would-be arms buyer must follow.


Under the words "I humbly sheweth," Powell must give his full ancestry, accompanied by birth and marriage certificates, a separate "Schedule of Proofs," and an image of his proposed coat of arms.



Oh, and there's the small matter of the check. Given how pretentious it is to get a coat of arms, it's no wonder that "a new grant of armorial bearings" will set Powell back more than $3,500, plus another $1,500 to transfer the coat from his father to him.


The Lord Lyon can still reject the petition, but my sources in Scotland--and when I say "sources," I mean those distillers I met on that whiskey junket last year who keep sending me bottles of single malt that they swipe from the company gift shop; you know, reliable sources!-- tell me that the fix is already in. The Lord Lyon has tentative plans to present Powell with his coat of arms in September (a visit that's clearly timed to swing the election. I can't prove that, of course, but it's pretty obvious that the Republicans are courting the coat-of-arms vote).


At least Powell is doing the right thing. A few years back, Donald Trump, the real estate tycoon and TV star formerly known in the New York press as "the short-fingered vulgarian," decided he needed a coat of arms for his growing casino-hotel-golf empire. Did he go through the process that Powell is now undertaking? Did he follow all the rules of heraldic design? Did he willingly misspell words to satisfy some mace-bearing, in-bred Scottish lord? No. He just paid a graphic designer to throw some symbols together.


And what a coat of arms this is! To call it "tacky" is to insult genuinely tacky people everywhere, people who struggle every day to decide whether to put Miracle Whip or regular mayonnaise on their American cheese and Wonder bread sandwiches. Trump's coat features a shield of ermine (heraldic experts say it's a symbol of royalty), three lions in the rampant pose (a symbol of magnanimity), and an arm sticking out of the top holding a golf club (a symbol of, well, golf).


"You don't see a golf club very often," said Richardson. "You often see an arm, but it's usually holding a sword. A golf club is..." His voice trailed off before he could issue the obvious insult. (Those Canadians are so darn nice! I wish they were running the war in Iraq!).


Underneath the coat of arms, where most people put their motto, Trump inscribed, simply: "Trump."


"That's not necessarily his motto--unless he means it as a verb. Otherwise, it's just his name," said David Wooten, executive director of the American College of Heraldry, which help people design and register new armorial bearings (Trump never called them, by the way--and he never called me back for this story, either).


Wooten took a live-and-let-ruin approach when it comes to Trump. But he confirmed my suspicion that the apprentice's sorcerer is pretty much persona non grata among people who take their coats of arms seriously.


"The international heraldic community often looks down at Americans because most of us assume arms," Wooten said. "There are bucket shops at every mall offering to sell you 'your coat of arms,' but there's no such thing. Now they say, 'a coat of arms in your family's name,' or something like that."


But those kinds of outfits may be on the decline as more and more people are applying to--sorry, petitioning--the Lord Lyon directly. According to Elizabeth Roads, Lyon Clerk at the Court of the Lord Lyon, the big guy grants about 150 new arms every year. Roads said the increase in petitions was a result of people seeking out their roots. That may be bad news for those of us on this side of the pond who lack Scottish ancestry--unless you happen to think your pretentious neighbor looks good in a kilt.



Born January 20, 1950. Died August 3, 2007 suddenly at home at Darlinghurst.


Fond son of Norah Elizabeth (Scullion) and the late Francis John McCarthy, brother of Daniel and Thomas and uncle to their children. He was a former administrator at the School of Asian Studies, University of Sydney. He had been a seminarian in his youth but decided not to pursue the priesthood and he went home to Tasmania. He maintained strong links with the Church and in 2002 was invested as a Knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre. Recently he had been promoted to Knight Commander.


In 2003 he received a small grant from the National Library of Ireland to produce a book on the coats of arms of the bishops of Ireland. The beginnings of this were presented as a paper at the XXVIIth International Congress of Genealogical and Heraldic Sciences convened at St. Andrews, Scotland in 2006. The completed work is with the Chief Herald of Ireland for review. He was hoping for its completion and eventual publication book at the time of his death.


From an early interest in heraldry encouraged by Archbishop Bruno Heim during his appointment to the Court of St James’, Michael established Thylacine Press (named after extinct carnivorous marsupial from his native Tasmania) in 1998 to publish works on ecclesiastical heraldry, which would be given in the historical context in which particular Coats-of-Arms were and are used. At his death he was the author, primary illustrator and publisher of no less than seven books on heraldry. They are:

  • An Armorial of the Hierarchy of the Catholic Church in Australia, 1998
  • Heraldica Collegii Cardinalium, (Vol II), 2000 
  • Armoria Sedium, 2001
  • Heraldica Collegii Cardinalium, (Vol I), 2001
  • A Manual of Ecclesiastical Heraldry, 2005
  • Dragonkind, 2007
  • Armoria Pontificalium, 2007

In addition, in 2001 and again in 2005 he published supplements to the Heraldica Collegii Cardinalium and a CD Rom updated version of the Armorial of the Australian Catholic Hierarchy was produced in 2005.


A fine artist and a keen scholar Michael's unique style was befriended, encouraged and heavily influenced by the late great Archbishop Bruno Heim as well as being influenced by the late Dom Anselm Baker, OCSO. Michael could often be seen to be "difficult" by those who didn't know him well. He had very strong opinions and didn't suffer fools gladly. However, after a disagreement it was often he who was the first to offer a conciliatory word. Horribly worried about the decaying state of heraldry in the Catholic Church Michael undertook to effect a revival of sorts building on the foundation laid by Heim. For those who will miss his work and his contributions to the world of ecclesiastical heraldry his efforts were certainly not in vain and he was somewhat successful in achieving his goals. It is a shame that his untimely death comes just as he was beginning to receive the recognition he so richly deserved as one of the world's leading scholars of heraldry as well as one of its finest heraldic artists. In his Manual of Ecclesiastical Heraldry he left a work of great practical utility to experts as well as to many amateurs.


Michael was a devout man with a dry but very quick sense of humor. He lived modestly in Darlinghurst and ran his pet project, Thylacine Press, out of his residence. His tiny cramped library was a treasure trove of heraldica! In recent years he began to look forward to a hoped-for return to his native Tasmania. He will be sorely missed by those who knew him personally and those who knew only his magnificent and prolific work.


In recent times Michael had been putting his art work into bound volumes for its protection and with a view to its ultimate bequest to the Vatican Library to which he left “all my library of heraldic books, manuscripts, illustrations, artwork and related material and all copyrights belonging to me whether in published or unpublished works.” He was a member of Heraldry Australia as well as the Society of Heraldic Artists.


The Mass of Christian Burial for Mr MICHAEL FRANCIS McCARTHY will be offered in St. Canice’s Church, Roslyn Street, Elizabeth Bay, on Tuesday (August 14, 2007), commencing at 10 a.m.


May He Rest In Peace.

Obituary by Fr. Guy W. Selvester


Requiescat in pace

16 November 2006

Richard Crossett was a valuable member of the College, having served for many years as our sole American Heraldic Artist. His input on heraldic design served both Dr. David Johnson and the College's current administration. He illustrated the College's Arms as appearing on this website, and produced countless dozens of renderings for fellow armigers. Up until his death he was still devoted to his craft.


The Heraldic World has lost a true friend and great talent.


Richard McNamee Crossett, 80, of Louisville died Thursday November 16, 2006.


Mr. Crossett, who was recognized as a preeminent heraldic artist, also worked for more than 50 years as a graphic designer in Salt Lake City, UT and Louisville, where he moved with his family in 1962. He was a member of The American College of Heraldry, The Society of Heraldic Arts, and the Ermine Society. He was honored for a number of his graphic designs, including his artwork that was selected by Churchill Downs for use as the Kentucky Derby logo in 1989.


A native of Little Rock, AR and a US Army veteran who served proudly in Europe during World War II and during the Korean conflict, Mr. Crossett was a loving husband, father, and grandfather. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Maurine McArthur Crossett; four children, Richard (Sharon); Virginia (Mark), Jonathan (Pascale) and Clay (Diane); grandchildren, Meredith and Alison Crossett, and Miranda Thompson of Louisville; Ian and Emma Crossett of Salt Lake City, UT; Celia, Mara, and Camille Crossett of Anchorage, AK; and cousin, Jim Dowden, Little Rock, AR. Memorial service: 2 p.m. Monday at Pearson's 149 Breckenridge Lane, with burial in New Albany, IN National Cemetery. Visitation: Sunday 1-5 p.m.


Memorials to American Diabetes Association.



Published in The Courier-Journal on 11/17/2006.




Requiescat in pace

6 April 1927-13 February 2006


brooke_little.jpgJohn Brooke-Little was born 6 April 1927 and was educated at Clayesmore and New College, Oxford (MA). He served on the Earl Marshal's staff from 1952-53 and as Gold Staff Officer at the 1953 Coronation. He was appointed Bluemantle Pursuivant in 1956, Richmond Herald in 1967, Norroy and Ulster King of Arms in 1980 and, finally, Clarenceux King of Arms in 1995 (he resigned from the College of Arms in 1997). In addition to his duties as a Herald, JBL held three administrative positions at the College of Arms: Registrar (1974-1982), Librarian (1974-1994) and Treasurer (1978-1995). From 1991-1997 he was also Director of the Heralds' Museum at the Tower of London (now closed). JBL took great pleasure informing people that the commonly held view that the Order of Saint Patrick was extinct was quite false since, by virtue of his position as Ulster King of Arms (which was merged with that of Norroy), he remained ex officio an Officer of the (dormant) Order and, until such time as the Sovereign chose to formally abolish the position of Ulster King of Arms or to specifically declare otherwise, the holder of that office would continue to serve as the Order's King of Arms, Registrar and Knight Attendant (the fact that the last knight had died in 1974 was of little consequence to this staunch traditionalist).

JBL served as Chancellor of the British Association of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta from 1973-1977 and eventually held the rank of Knight Grand Cross of Grace and Devotion (having first been admitted to the SMOM as a Knight of Magistral Grace); he was also honoured with the Order of Merito Melitense in 1964. JBL was a Knight of Justice of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem and a Knight Grand Cross of Grace of the Franco-Neapolitan Branch of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of Saint George (British Delegation) and also held the Cruz Distinguida (1st class) de San Raimundo de Penafort.


Other positions held by JBL included: Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies; Master of the Scriveners' Company (1985-1986); Chairman of the Council of the Harleian Society, President of the English Language Literary Trust (1985-1996) and Trustee of the RAF Heraldic Trust.

JBL published at least ten books including Royal Ceremonies of State; Royal Arms, Beasts and Badges; The British Monarchy in Colour; Beasts in Heraldry; An Heraldic Alphabet and Royal London.

-Rafal Heydel-Mankoo



Requiescat in pace

7 October 1944 -  24 July 2005


1Roll_of_Honour_550.gifMargaret Wood trained first as a librarian from 1967 to 1969 and gained her Associateship of the Library Association. Then as a professional calligrapher, illuminator and heraldic artist, on a full-time three year course at Reigate School of Art and Design from 1977 to 1980, where she gained a First Class Honours Diploma. In 1976 she was approved as a tutor by the Inner London Educational Authority and elected a Fellow of the Society of Scribes and Illuminators of London in 1977. She was a member of the Council of the Society of Heraldic Arts for ten years and Chairman of the Blackmore Vale Scribes for seven years. She retired from both Offices because of pressure of work.


She worked for the Crown Office in the House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster, initially as a librarian and then as one of the five QUEEN'S SCRIBES from 1978 to 1987. producing illuminated Letters Patent creating Notaries Public, Judges, Life Peers, Heralds and Kings of Arms. She also painted heraldry for several of the Officers at the College of Arms, including John Brooke-Little (Richmond Herald), Rodney Dennys (Somerset Herald), and Sir Colin Cole (Windsor Herald and later Garter Principal King of Arms).


She returned as a tutor and visiting lecturer at Reigate School of Art and Design, now part of East Surrey College, from 1979 to 1987. She moved to Somerset in 1987 and established an enviable reputation as one of the best tutors of the Craft in the Country. She was much demand at Colleges of Adult Education, Community Education Centres and Universities as a resident tutor and lecturer. Her ability as a teacher was extraordinary.


She was able to encourage and inspire everyone she taught, and was regarded with enormous affection by all her students and everyone who met her. She had endless patience and understanding not only with her students' work but with their problems as individuals. She was someone who all felt able to turn to and confide in. Her work was sensitive and imaginative and is much prized by everyone who owns it.


Her commissioned work included the design and execution of formal documents on vellum and paper, calligraphy, manuscript painting, gilding and heraldic design and painting. She also undertook commissions for Letters Patent, illuminated addresses and scrolls for the Armed Services, County and Municipal Boroughs and the Church. For private collectors, commissions included manuscript books, genealogical and armorial family trees and armorial library paintings.


Her commercial work involved calligraphic and heraldic design for reproduction, publishers' book jackets and titling, greetings cards, book tokens, logo designs and graphics for television and advertising. Her death will create a very great loss both to the craft and to all who knew her. She was married to Anthony Wood (DFACH) and had a son by her previous marriage.


BS, MSW, DSW, FSA (Scot)

Requiescat in pace

29 July 1936 - 8 March 2004


Dr. David Pittman Johnson, born July 29, 1936 in Nashville, Tennessee, departed this life on March 8, 2004. He was the son of the late Calvin Leonard Johnson, PhD (Hon) and Charles Bernice Cagle of Montgomery. David received a Bachelor of Science in Education from Huntingdon College in Montgomery, and went on to receive Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Social Work from Tulane University in New Orleans. He served as a clinical social worker and later, as Director of Outpatient Services at Montgomery Area Mental Health Center in the early 1970’s. He went on to become an Associate Professor of Social Work at the University of Alabama in the Master’s Program, where he taught from 1975 until 1990.




During his professional career he attained various professional certifications, including Diplomate Status in Clinical Social Work. Upon retirement he opened a small private practice in clinical social work and social work consultation. Most recently, he has worked as an outpatient rural therapist in Pickens County. He was an active member Holy Trinity Holy Cross Orthodox Church in Birmingham. Prior to this, David was one of the founding members of Saint Gregory’s Orthodox Church in Tuscaloosa.


For over three decades David was the President and driving force behind the American College of Heraldry, a chartered, non-profit body established in 1972, to aid in the study and perpetuation of heraldry in the United States and abroad. He was affiliated with numerous organizations, including: Knight Grand Cross of the Imperial Order of the Star of Honour of Ethiopia; Grand Officer of the Imperial Ethiopian Order of the Lion; Knight of The Military Order of the Vitez; and Knight of St. Michael of the Wing. David was instrumental in the reestablishment of the Malta Obedience of the Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem, serving the Grand Bailiwick as Commander of the Commandery of Alabama and advisor to the Grand Bailiff, and rose to the rank of Knight Commander in that Obedience. He was a Fellow of The Society of Antiquaries of Scotland; Honorary Member both of the Collegium Heraldicum Russiae (The Russian College of Arms) and of the Russian Heraldry Society; Founder Companion of the Most Honorable Legion of the Eagle; Member of the Military Society of the Wild Geese, Noble Officer Corps.

Click to enlarge hatchment

He was a founding director of the Society of Scottish Armigers, served as its Vice-Chairman, and was one of only three Fellows of the Society. He belonged to the Clan Johnston/e Society. David was the recipient of the 2003 Whiting Award presented by The International Society for Philosophical Enquiry to publicly acknowledge his significant cultural contributions through his work in the field of Heraldry. He was also recently selected as a Mentor for the ISPE. He was internationally known as an accomplished heraldic designer.


David served our country in various capacities with the National Guard, Air National Guard, and Army Reserve. He was a Colonel in the Alabama State Defense Force, and was recently appointed Chief of Staff, Headquarters.


He leaves behind his wife Linda, sons Michael and Chris, along with a host of relatives and friends who will miss him dearly. Services were held at Tuscaloosa Memorial Park’s chapel on March 11. The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in David’s name to Archangel St. Raphael Charity Fund via Plan-it for Kids, Inc., 501 Main St., Suite 101, Berlin, PA 15530.

Here's a toast to coat-of-arms popularity

We have time, money. Now we want to flaunt the family crest.

By Maria Montoya

    Move over, Queen Mum. There may be some non-royal Windsors laying claim to the family coat of arms. And planning to display it on everything from the household china to the dog's house.


Manufacturers and artists are being bombarded with commissions for items bearing new or historical family crests. Some have started waiting lists and turned on their answering machines because of high demand.


     "We thought that things would slow down after the holidays, but we have just been swamped," says Julia Hardin of Fleur-de-lis Designs in Knoxville, Tenn., which creates crests for items such as fluted glasses, plaques, rings and apparel. "Orders are coming in from across the world, and they just don't stop."


     The trend is an outgrowth of Americans' interest in genealogy and personalized and logo-emblazoned goods, which are flourishing in today's strong economy. "Right now, we have an affluent society with an abundance of time and money," says genealogical researcher Loretto Szucs of MyFamily.com, a Web community built to keep families in touch via the Internet "And they are just captivated with flaunting their family history and where they are from."


     When Adair and Holland Graham of Wilmington. N.C., wanted to showcase their family crest, they went to see Betsy Collins al the Golden Butterfly in High Point, N.C. Their custom-made Pickard china was ready in about six weeks.


     "It's a touch of elegance that is just timeless," Collins says. "It really is a signature that no one else has."


     With no regulatory agency existing in the United States, it's difficult to guarantee the authenticity of many family crests in use. But the non-profit American College of Heraldry maintains a database of recognized coats of arms and registers new designs for $225.


     About 90% to 95% of people don't have the right to bear the arms of their ancestors because family crests were once granted only to individuals and their male descendants, says Heraldry secretary/treasurer David Wooten.



     "We realize that coats of arms are pretty, and that they do look beautiful when on display," Wooten says. "But people need to also realize the historical value coats of arms have."


     Simply copying the coat of arms of his ancestors would have never satisfied Kerry Gateley of Franklin, Tenn.


     The physician had his own coat of arms designed and placed on everything from his king-size bed quilt, brass eyeglass holder and briefcase to signet rings for himself and his wife, Laura.


     Gateley even registered his design in Spain, where the grant process is less complicated, for about $500. "It's not something that is for everyone, and it was certainly expensive," Gateley says. "What it does do is appeal to one's own sense of pride and luxury.


     "In a way, it appeals to a little bit of snobbishness in some of us."


This article appeared in the June 23, 2000 issue of USA Today