Saturday, 24 May 2014

A search for the arms of the Dana family

A Search for the Arms of the Dana Family
by Rafe de Crespigny
May 2014


The Dana family is noted in American history, and has members and kinfolk around the world. The coat of arms, however, potentially an insignia of identity and relationship, has been a source of confusion; enhanced by contradictory and essentially spurious accounts of the family origin.

Burke's Encyclopaedia of Heraldry lists the armigerous families of Britain in alphabetical order, but this comprehensive work contains no mention of any family of the Dana surname.1

Bolton's American Armory, however, offers four different forms of arms:2
  • One, ascribed to Richard Dana (1700-1772) and based on the frame of his portrait, has a silver shield with a blue chevron engrailed [see below] between three "stags:" these last, however, will be discussed further. The crest is a fox and the motto Cavendo tutus.
  • The second, based on the bookplate of Richard's son Francis Dana (1743-1811), is described with a red chevron rather than a blue one, again with the crest of a fox and the motto Cavendo tutus.3 A note adds that Francis' son Richard Henry Dana Senior (1787-1879) had a gold shield, and unicorns instead of stags.
  • A third, based on the bookplate of Charles L Dana, has "On a bend [see below] three chevrons [or chevronels];" no colours are specified. The crest is described as an ox's head cabossed (facing the viewer); no motto is given. There were several men named Charles Dana with the middle initial L, but this one is probably Charles Loomis Dana (1852-1935), a noted physician.
  • And the fourth, from the bookplate of Charles A Dana, has a shield divided horizontally into six bars, with three lions rampant [see below] wearing crowns; again, no colours are specified. Here too the crest is an ox's head, and there is no motto. Again, there have been many Charles Danas with the middle initial A, but this one is probably Charles Anderson Dana (1881-1975), lawyer, businessman and philanthropist; another Charles Anderson Dana (1819-1897) was a well-known journalist associated with General Ulysses S Grant during the American Civil War, but the lawyer appears more likely to have used a coat of arms. 

All these variants are discussed further below, and I argue that Bolton's is incorrect in a number of details, but the two used by Richard and his son Francis are the earliest recorded and appear the most significant.

A number of different designs, each purporting to be the arms of the Dana family, may also be found on internet websites:
  • "Arms and Badges" at; accessed May 2014. This shows a white/silver shield with a red chevron and three stags, similar to Bolton's description of that used by Francis Dana above. There is an eagle's head above the shield, looking like a crest, but Arms and Badges applies the eagle's head to all its presentations; it is not specific to any family. 
  • "Heraldry WS" at; accessed May 2014. This is the shield which Bolton's ascribes to Charles L Dana above, with the colours shown as a black shield, a white bend and green chevrons. 
  • "House of Names," which is associated with "The Red Thread," presents two versions at; accessed May 2014.
    • An "English" version has a gold shield, with a red-and-white checked chevron between three silver trefoils – similar to shamrocks, as below; this is heraldically incorrect, for silver should not be placed upon gold.
    • An "Italian" version has vertical bars of gold and blue.
  • "4crests" at; accessed May 2014. This design is similar to the English version of House of Names, but the trefoils are green, which is heraldically acceptable.

Outline sketches of the various charges mentioned above are provided here:

Just as the heraldry is confused, so too accounts of the origins of the surname on the websites are varied, vague and unreliable. There are prosaic explanations, including the obvious one that it referred to a Dane or – in contrast – from House of Names, that it is an Anglo-Saxon name, taken from the word dann, meaning "valley," an early site of settlement. House of Names also finds an Italian origin in Piedmont, implying some connection to the royal house of Savoy, future kings of Italy. Another suggestion cites the personal name Daniel while, still further afield, The Red Thread offers a theory that the Danas may be connected to Dan, one of the Lost Tribes of Israel. 4crests even refers to the mythical princess Danae, who was imprisoned in a tower by her father but was seduced by the Greek god Zeus, manifested as a shower of gold, and gave birth to the hero Perseus. It's good fun, but it's not useful.4

In fact, the origins of the Dana family are quite obscure, and their heraldry is erratic. By the use of library resources, however, including material which has been placed on the internet, and various items of physical evidence, it is possible to trace some history and to recreate the earliest coat of arms.

The family in Massachusetts: 

There are two very useful books on the history of the family: The Dana Saga: three centuries of the Dana family, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Dana (1881-1950), published by The Cambridge Historical Society in 1941,5 and The Dana Family in America, by Elizabeth Ellery Dana (1846-1939), published at Cambridge in 1956.6 The Dana Family is a work of almost seven hundred pages; it was begun by Elizabeth Ellery, continued after her death by her nephew Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Dana, and was finally edited and published by members of the family forming the Dana Genealogical Committee; it contains a most detailed genealogy up to the middle of the twentieth century. In contrast, The Dana Saga has fewer than seventy pages, and was evidently prepared as a preliminary pamphlet while Henry Dana was working on the materials left by his aunt. Besides these, a Memoranda of Some of the Descendants of Richard Dana, compiled by John Jay Dana (1811-1899), was published at Boston in 1865;7 and the Personal Papers of Elizabeth Dana have been published by the National Parks Service in 2001.8

In her Introduction to The Dana Family, Elizabeth Ellery Dana discusses the possible origins of the family, and concludes that the only likely connection is with Manchester in England, where a Richard Dana was baptised on 31 October 1617. His name is not mentioned again in English records, and it is probable this is the same person as first appears at Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the early 1640s. Elizabeth Ellery notes that she has explored the possibility of a French origin, including any connection to the Huguenot exile community in England, but can find no references; and she dismisses the theory of migration from Italy. Amongst other arguments against a non-English origin, Richard Dana held substantial official positions in Massachusetts, and it is most unlikely that a foreigner would have received such appointments in a British colony. The Dana Family notes also that Richard Dana was the only person of that surname to come to America for the next two hundred years, and he is the sole ancestor of the main family.

About 1647 Richard Dana was awarded a land grant on the southern bank of the Charles River. He continued to acquire property, he was an early donor to Harvard College, and he held several important local offices. He died of a fall in 1690.

Richard Dana's youngest son Daniel (1664-1749) had a successful life without great distinction, but his son Richard (1700-1772), first of the family to attend Harvard, became a magistrate and a leading figure in agitation against the British imperial government. Dressed in full legal regalia, his portrait was painted in 1765 by the celebrated artist John Singleton Copley.9

Richard's son Francis (1743-1811) had a still more impressive career, on a national scale. A leading lawyer and a close associate of George Washington, he was a member of the Constitutional Congresses of 1777, signed the Articles of Confederation in 1778, and was sent as Ambassador to Russia in 1780; the future President John Adams served as his secretary. Again a member of Congress in 1784 and a leader of the Federalist Party, he later joined the Supreme Court of Massachusetts, and was Chief Justice from 1791 to 1806. His son and grandson, Richard Henry Sr and Jr, were both lawyers; Richard Henry Sr (1787- 1879) being also a well-known poet and literary critic, while Richard Henry Jr (1815-1882) was the author of Two Years Before the Mast.

The English coat of arms:

Francis Dana was the third son of Richard: the eldest, Edmund, was born in 1739; a second son, Henry, was born in 1741 but died in 1761. Edmund had graduated from Harvard in 1759, and he left America for England about 1760; it does not appear that he ever returned.

Edmund took holy orders in the Church of England, spent time in London, and then held a series of livings, ending as Vicar of Wroxeter in Shropshire. It was not a notable career, in no way comparable to that of his brother Francis, but he did become well connected: in 1765 he married Helen, daughter of Charles the sixth Baron Kinnaird; her mother Barbara was a daughter of the baronet Sir James Johnstone.10 It was probably through Edmund's agency that the Dana family first acquired a coat of arms, though it came by a most roundabout route and is of very uncertain authority.

In 1569, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, the Alderman William Dane of London became Sheriff of that city and was granted a coat of arms by the English College of Heralds. Originally from Stortford in Hertfordshire, he became a member of the Worshipful Company of Ironmongers and was Master of the Company in 1570 and in 1573, in which year he died.

A monument set up by his fellow guildsmen describes the shield: " Or, a chevron engrailed azure, between three hinds gules;" in modern English, that is a golden/yellow shield, with a blue chevron with scalloped edges, surrounded by three female deer coloured red.11 The effect is gaudy, but Tudor heraldry could look like that:

There is some resemblance to the shield of the Ironmongers Company, which I show alongside. It has a silver shield with a chevron surrounded by three objects, in that case they are described as "gads" (wedge-shaped bars) of steel; the chevron, moreover, has three golden swivels, ironwork designed to assist a chain to flow freely; the supporters are lizards but surely represent salamanders, which operate in extreme heat.12

So William Dane adapted the shield of his Company but created several points of difference, reversing the colours and even varying the edge of the chevron. It is important to note, however, that the animals on his shield were hinds – female deer – and not stags. The badge of Sir Christopher Hatton (1540-1591), future Lord Chancellor and already a favourite of Queen Elizabeth, was a hind, and it is probable that William Dane was showing respect to a current or potential patron. In similar fashion, when Sir Francis Drake sailed around the world from 1577 to 1580 he named his ship Golden Hind.

William Dane was survived by his wife Margaret nee Kempe, but the couple had only one son, who died young, probably before his father, so there was no-one to inherit the coat of arms.

There is no reason to believe there was any family connection between William Dane of Hertfordshire and London and the Dana family, probably from Manchester, two hundred years later; not even the name is the same, and it is unlikely that the final e was ever sounded. For some reason or other, however, members of the Dana family in the latter eighteenth century persuaded themselves that the shield of William Dane could reasonably be used for their own insignia.13

The person responsible for the appropriation was most probably the Reverend Edmund Dana. There is no way to tell how he found out about the grant of arms in 1569, but after his arrival in England in the early 1760s he would have had opportunity to make enquiries, and he may have simply asked at the College of Heralds when he was in London.

One particular reason for Edmund Dana to seek a form of arms would be his marriage to Helen Kinnaird in 1765. Regardless of personal affection, as the daughter of a lord she and her family could expect her to marry a gentleman of coat armour, and Edmund might well have found it desirable to acquire such insignia; since we are told that the couple were wed at Leith in Scotland, where heraldry is governed by Lord Lyon King at Arms independent of the English establishment, there were probably no questions asked.

This being done – and we know that Edmund Dana's family in England used a version of the shield of William Dane14 – it is not difficult to accept that he advised his father and his brother Francis of the newly-claimed arms. Their use was never registered by the English College of Heralds and so was formally unlawful in that country, and few American colonists had been granted arms. Edmund Dana was evidently not concerned, however, and his father Richard and brother Francis were certainly not deterred; they appear to have been making use of the insignia by the mid-1760s.

The arms in America: Richard Dana's portrait frame and Francis Dana's bookplate:

We have noted that Richard Dana had his portrait painted by John Singleton Copley in 1765. The portrait survives and is presented within a gilded frame, probably of the same date or very close to it, which has at the top a shield and a crest. The picture and frame are privately owned by a member of the family, but it was lent for an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York during 1992, and a descriptive catalogue was published as American Rococo, 1750-1775: Elegance in Ornament.15 Unfortunately, though there is a large photograph of the portrait and its ornate frame, the design at the top does not come out well and cannot be reproduced here. The charges can nonetheless be identified as a blue chevron and three animals, and the crest is a walking fox. In contradiction to the entry in Bolton's Armory, however, it is clear that the background of the shield is gold. It is not possible to ascertain whether there is a motto.

About the same time Richard Dana's son Francis had a bookplate prepared, also showing a coat of arms. The work was engraved by the distinguished silversmith Nathaniel Hurd, and a copy appears facing page 30 of The Dana Saga. This contains the full achievement, and the illustration has a commentary by the author Henry Dana, including a blazon [description] of the whole achievement: "Argent, a chevron engrailed azure, between three stags trippant gules." The crest is a fox, and the motto is Cavendo tutus: Safe [tutus] by being cautious [cavendo].

Henry Dana adds that "This was the Coat-of-Arms granted in 1569 to John Dana [sic, not William Dane], from whom Francis Dana at one time imagined he was descended."

In fact, despite Henry Dana's kindly note, there is no reason to believe that Francis Dana was under any illusions about the descent, and there are a number of problems and doubts about the description of the shield:

Firstly, though engraved metal can have no direct colouring, colour can be indicated by a system of "hatching:" whereas argent or silver is plain, dots are used to show or, the heraldic term for gold, Downward lines indicate gules red, sideways show azure blue, and the lines for vert green are diagonal from top left to bottom right. In the illustration, therefore, dots are discernable on the background of the shield, and so it should in fact be described as or gold, not as argent silver; that is the way William Dana had it in 1569.

Second, while the chevron is indeed engrailed, the hatching is unclear. It is possible that the chevron is red rather than blue, a variation from William Dana's, but more probable that Francis followed the some blue colour scheme as on the frame of his father's portraits.

Thirdly, however, though the blazon given by Henry Dana describes the animals as stags, they do not appear to have horns, and are more likely to be the original hinds of William Dana. In that regard, the design proposed by Arms and Badges above, with deer surrounding a red chevron, is comparatively close, but the animals are female without horns, not stags with antlers, and the background of the shield is gold and not silver.

Bolton's American Armory, as discussed in the Introduction, says that Francis Dana's son Richard Henry Sr had a bookplate with a gold shield but with unicorns instead of deer. I suspect this is a misreading of the design, and that in fact the animals were correctly hinds.

We may note also that, writing in the 1860s, J J Dana states at page 6 of his Memoranda that "The first known proofs of [the shield's use are soon after the Revolutionary War." The evidence of Richard Dana's portrait frame and the bookplate of Francis Dana would indicate that he is mistaken.

In general, while shields are supposed to be more or less permanently attached to a particular family, subject to slight variations to identify individuals or cadet branches, crests can be changed more readily and mottos can be adopted almost at will. Most families, however, maintain the same tradition from one generation to the next.

The motto adopted by Richard and Francis is shared with other families, sometimes accompanied by the crest or charge of a snake, though it is also used by the Dukes of Devonshire, whose surname is Cavendish which goes quite well with cavendo. For the Danas, though the crest of the fox has no earlier authority, it makes a nice combination with the motto: female deer should be careful when there are foxes about.

The Dana arms in England and Australia: Charlotte Frances Dana's box:

When I was in Cambridge, Massachusetts, during September 1999, my aunt Nancy Movius nee Champion de Crespigny showed me a small camphorwood box with a silver plaque engraved with a shield and a motto. The box is a family heirloom which has since been passed to Nancy Movius' grand-daughter, but at that time its provenance was not known, and she asked me to try to find out what the shield related to and where the box might have come from. I was able to offer her some conclusions, which I have now been able to confirm.

The shield and motto on the plaque are accompanied by neither crest nor supporters, while the smaller figures on the shield are difficult to make out and their colours cannot be identified. In heraldic terms, however, the shield would be blazoned:
Per pale:
dexter: quarterly, 1 and 4, vert an eagle displayed; 2 and 3, argent a lion rampant; sinister: or, a chevron engrailed gules between three hinds.
Translated from the formal language, we have a shield divided in two down the middle. The left-hand part of the shield is again divided into four parts, of which both the top left and bottom right have a green background with a spread-winged eagle; while the top right and bottom left have a white or silver background with a lion rampant.

The motto below the shield is in English: "In God Alone I Trust."

From the discussion above, we know that the right-hand half is a version of the Dana shield, based upon that of William Dane, but with one significant difference both from William Dane's shield and from that used by Richard and Francis Dana in America: whereas the background is or gold, and the three animals are female deer, the chevron is engraved with vertical hatching, indicating gules red. It appears that Edmund Dana in England varied William Dane's shield, but his father and his brother preferred to keep the original colours.

The left-hand half of the shield is not difficult to identify. There are several books which index the charges on shields and the family or organisation which holds them, and one of the most comprehensive is Papworth's Ordinary of British Armorials, compiled in the nineteenth century and revised in the mid-twentieth.16 This work ascribes the arms of an eagle on a green ground quartered with a lion rampant on a silver ground to Sherborne "of the Tower of London." Papworth, moreover, describes the lions as vert green and the eagles as argent white/silver, so each quarter reverses the colours of its neighbour.17

The reference to the Tower is unusual: most families are described as coming from a particular county and not from a building, even a royal one. Shaw's Knights of England, however, records that Edward Sherburne, clerk of Ordnance at the Tower, was created a knight bachelor in January 1682 (the beginning of 1683 by modern calculation – New Year at that time was in March).18 These are presumably the arms that he bore and that his descendants continued to hold, though they may have had no further connection to the Tower.

This shield, moreover, is close to that recorded for the Sherborne family of Lancashire, the main difference being that the (original?) Lancashire branch has the quarters in opposite order, so the lion is in the first and fourth, and the eagle in the second and third. Burke's Encyclopedia of Heraldry also lists the two families, but adds that the crest of the Lancashire family is a unicorn head, silver, with a horn of gold, while Sherborne of the Tower of London has a green lion rampant guardant [i.e. looking towards the viewer].19

A shield divided into two relates to a married man whose wife has brothers. When a woman marries, her husband is entitled to "impale" the arms of his father-in-law. If, however, the wife has no brothers, she is a "heraldic heiress:" her husband places her family arms on a small shield in the middle of his own, and their descendants can show the combined arms as "quarterings" thereafter.

On such a shield, the arms on the left hand side are those of the husband's family and those on the right the wife's. [Left and right in this case are described as from the observer's point of view, but in heraldry they are considered from that of the wearer: hence dexter [Latin: right] is on the observer's left, but is a position of greater honour than sinister [left] which is on the observer's right.]

So the small shield engraved on the box relates to a married couple, the husband being a man of the Sherborne surname and the wife being born Dana. Fortunately it is comparatively easy to identify them.

The genealogy in The Dana Family lists the children of the Reverend Edmund Dana.20 The first three were daughters: Frances Johnstone, who was born on 8 May 1766 and died on 7 May 1767; Elizabeth Caroline (1767-1844) who had many children; and Frances Johnstone, born on 3 September 1768 and named after her dead sister – a common custom of the time.21 In 1793 this second Frances Johnstone Dana married Joseph Sherburne [or Sherborne], and the union was symbolised by the shield which combined their families' arms.

I have in my possession a family Bible, which came to me from my grandfather Constantine Trent Champion de Crespigny. An inscription in the front describes how it was passed to him by the will of his grandmother Charlotte Frances Champion Crespigny nee Dana (1820- 1904). The inscription before that reads:
The Gift of Mrs Frances Johnstone Sherborne to her niece and God daughter Charlotte Frances Dana by her will – 
Charlotte Frances Champion Crespigny nee Dana was eighth child of William Pulteney Dana (1776-1861), who was born at Wroxeter as the seventh child and second son of the Reverend Edmund Dana. Frances Johnstone Sherborne nee Dana, William Pulteney's elder sister, was the aunt of Charlotte Frances and also her godmother.

In order for the box to come into the possession of my aunt Nancy Movius, daughter of Constantine Trent Champion de Crespigny, it must have been owned by her great- grandmother Charlotte Frances nee Dana, who came to Australia with her husband Philip Robert Champion Crespigny in 1852. Like the Bible, it was presumably a gift, and the date when it was given may be indicated by the motto on the plaque: "In God Alone I Trust." The motto is not associated with either the Sherborne or the Dana families,22 but it would be most suitable for a present from a godmother, and I believe the box may have been given to the infant Charlotte Frances at the time of her christening in 1820.

In any event, the box and its plaque demonstrate that the Dana family in England used the shield with a red chevron between three hinds on a gold background. Two of Charlotte Frances' brothers, Henry Edmund Pulteney Dana (1817-1852) and William Augustus Dana (1826-1866), also came to Australia: Henry became the founder and head of the Native Police Corps – armed Aborigines mounted on horses – and William was second in command; there are still members of the family in Australia.23

So the shield of the Dana family in England and Australia, descended from the Reverend Edmund, was gold with a red chevron and three red hinds, while the family in America, descended from Edmund's father Richard and his younger brother Francis, followed the original sixteenth-century pattern borne by William Dane, with a blue chevron. It is probable that both sides of the family used the crest of a fox and the motto Cavendo tutus.

In footnote 57 on page 29 of The Dana Saga, Henry Dana remarks that Elizabeth Ellery Dana disapproved of any claim to heraldic honours: "the Dana family, with their humble origin, had no right to bear this Coat-of-Arms." Henry supports her opinion, and particularly objects to the fox crest and to the motto: "The Danas were rarely safe and never cautious." Richard, Francis and their kinfolk, however, were and are entitled to disagree.

The other Dana arms:

We have noted in the Introduction above that Bolton's American Armory lists two other sets of arms used by members of the Dana family, both based on bookplates: Charles L[oomis] Dana had a shield with a bend bearing three chevrons; no colours are given, but the footnote to page 29 of The Dana Saga describes the shield as black, with a white bend and three green chevrons: this is the same as that presented by the website of Heraldry WS.

Charles A[nderson] Dana had a shield divided horizontally with six bars, with three lions rampant wearing crowns, but there is no source for any of the colours; presumably the bookplate did not provide any hatchings. I have provided random colouring in order to show the nature of the background and the charges.

Bolton's American Armory has the crest as an ox's head cabossed (facing the viewer); it is described by Washbourne as a bull's head affrontée, which is the same design. Again, no colour is given, and there is no reference to a motto.24

In his footnote to page 29 of The Dana Saga, following his unfavourable view of the arms claimed by Richard and Francis Dana, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Dana remarks that the black shield with a white bend and three green chevrons, accompanied by the crest of a bull's head crest "is, if possible, even more spurious." He makes no comment about the shield with bars and three crowned lions rampant, but would no doubt have been even more scathing.

His strictures, however, are not entirely justified. It is clear from Bolton's American Armory that the two achievements were used, and by different branches of the family:
  • While Richard Dana (1700-1772) and Francis were the son and grandson of Daniel (1664-1749), who was the seventh and youngest son of Richard (1617-1690), founder of the family in America;
  • Charles Loomis Dana was descended from Caleb (1697-1769), also a son of Daniel but elder brother of the second Richard;
  • and Charles Anderson Dana was descended from Benjamin (1659/60-1738), sixth son of the first Richard.

By the early twentieth century, therefore, when Charles Loomis Dana (1852-1935) and Charles Anderson Dana (1881-1975) were making use of their bookplates, the connection was very distant. Strictly speaking, they should perhaps have used some variant of the earlier coat of arms, but given the distance of the relationship and the lapse of time it was reasonable for them to have chosen insignia of their own, and their descendants are free to follow their models.

Finally, we may note once more that while Bolton's American Armory lists shields and arms for the Dana family, neither Papworth's Ordinary nor Burke's Encyclopaedia record any of the forms. Those latter compilations deal only with the heraldry of Britain, where the lineage of William Dane was long extinct; though members of the Dana family made use of his chevron and hinds in England and elsewhere, they never sought to register them.


There are three sets of arms which can be ascribed to one branch or another of the Dana family. Those connected to Charles Anderson Dana, in the line of Benjamin the sixth son of the found Richard Dana, may like to use the shield with six bars and three crowned lions – and may presumably choose whichever combination of colours seems appropriate.

For those related to Charles Loomis Dana, descended from Caleb son of Daniel and grandson of the first Richard, there is his black shield with a white bend and three green chevrons.

And those of the second Richard's lineage can claim the tradition of a chevron on a gold shield, with three red hinds or does; the colour of the chevron may vary between blue, for members of the family in the United States, to red for those of English or Australian background.

So there is a broad choice, and individuals may vary colours and shapes to distinguish themselves from their cousins. One notable point, however, is that of the designs found on internet websites, only that shown by Heraldry WS has actually been used by a noted member of the family. The version provided by Arms and Badges has some relation to the initial accession by Richard, Edmund and Francis Dana, taken from the shield of William Dane, but is mistaken as to colour and has stags rather than hinds. All others must be regarded as fictitious and without authority.


1. John Burke and John Bernard Burke, Encyclopaedia of Heraldry or General Armory of England, Scotland and Ireland, comprising a registry of all armorial bearings from the earliest to the present time, including the late grants by the College of Arms, London 1844.
2. Charles Knowles Bolton, Bolton's American Armory: a record of coats of arms which have been of use within the present bounds of the United States, first published Boston 1927 with later editions; most recently revised by Jina Bolton, The Genealogical Publishing Company, 2009, and available on the internet at Dana &f=false; accessed May 2014. The Dana arms are described on page 45.
3. The colours of the shield and of the chevron are discussed further below.
4. The suggested origins are discussed in similar terms in a footnote at page 2 of The Dana Saga as below.
5. At;view=1up;seq=11; accessed May 2014. Both The Dana Saga and The Dana Family in America, below, have been scanned from a copy held by the University of Wisconsin.
6.;view=1up;seq=7; accessed May 2014.
7. E.g.; accessed May 2014.
8.; accessed May 2014.
9. The picture – and notably its frame – are discussed further below.
10. Details of the marriage and immediate descent of Edmund Dana appear as Genealogy item 581 at pages 484 to 486 of The Dana Family in America. Edmund and Helen's first three children, all daughters, were born in London between 1766 and 1768: see below. Page 20 of The Dana Saga tells how in April 1775, just before the outbreak of fighting at Concord and Lexington, Francis Dana was sent as an envoy to England with letters to Benjamin Franklin. In fact Franklin returned to America early in May of that year; their ships probably passed one another in mid-Atlantic. It is also said that while he was in England, Francis sought to persuade his brother's connections to sympathy with the colonists' cause; we are not told whether he had any notable effect.
11. See Account_ of_ the_ Worshipful_ Company_ of_ Ironmongers_1000832814/561; accessed May 2014.
12. John Bromley and Heather Child, The Armorial Bearings of the Guilds of London, London 1960, 148-151, with plate facing 134.
13. At pages 6 and 7 of his Memoranda, J J Dana expresses his doubts on the connection to William Dane, and confirms that there is no evidence the name Dana has any connection that that of Dane, and that it has always been a word of two syllables.
14. On the use of arms by Edmund Dana's family, see the account of the camphorwood box below.
15. Morrison H. Heckscher, American Rococo, 1750-1775: Elegance in Ornament, New York 1992; accessed May 2014 at BkC&print sec = frontcover&redir_esc= y#v =onepage&q&f=false. The portrait and its frame are illustrated at page 141, with discussion at 142.
16. John Woody Papworth, An Alphabetical Dictionary of Coats of Arms belonging to Families in Great Britain and Ireland: forming an extensive ordinary of British armorials; edited from page 696 by Alfred W. Morant; reprinted from the original 1874 edition with introductions by G D Squibb and A R Wagner, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, Baltimore 1965.
17. Papworth, page 304. The surname appears in different texts as Sherborne, Sherburne and Sherbourne. There is no doubt, however, that it is the same family.
18. William A Shaw, The Knights of England: a complete record from the earliest time to the present day of the knights of all the orders of chivalry in England, Scotland, and Ireland, and of knights bachelors; incorporating a complete list of knights bachelors dubbed in Ireland, compiled by G. D. Burtchaell, London 1906, volume II, page 258.
19. John Burke and John Bernard Burke, Encyclopaedia of Heraldry, London 1844.
20. The Dana Family, page 485.
21. Johnstone was the maiden name of Helen nee Kinnaird's mother, the child's grandmother.
22. See, for example, Henry Washbourne, The Book of Family Crests, London 1882, which includes "A Dictionary of Mottos."
23. There is an entry for Henry Edward Pulteney Dana compiled by Marilynn I. Norman in The Australian Dictionary of Biography, Canberra 1966:; accessed May 2014. The year of his birth is given as 1820, but The Dana Family has 1817, which would be correct: Charlotte Frances was born in March 1820, and she was not Henry's twin. Further details are provided by Marie Hansen Fels, Good Men and True: the Aboriginal police of the Port Phillip district 1837-1853, Melbourne University Press 1988; pages 44-49 discuss the family background.
24. Washbourne, Family Crests, volume I, page 131.
25. This is the shield presented by Heraldry WS; the present design is taken from that website at; accessed May 2014.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

My grandmother's cousins

My grandmother, Kathleen Cudmore (1908-2013), had many cousins. Her sister Rosemary claimed they had ninety.

Their father, Arthur Murray Cudmore, was one of thirteen children and their mother, Kathleen Mary Cavenagh-Mainwaring, was one of ten.

Two of the bridesmaids at my grandmother's 1933 wedding, Mary and Dymphna Toll, were her cousins. SOCIAL NOTES. (1933, June 12). The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1931 - 1954), p. 5. Retrieved May 12, 2014, from

The children of James Francis Cudmore (1837-1912) and Margaret née Budge (1845-1912):
  • James Kenneth Cudmore (1867-1948) had four children
  • Margaret Jane Cudmore (1869-died young)
  • (Arthur Murray Cudmore, Kathleen's father, had two children)
  • Violet Mary Cudmore (1872-1947) had three children
  • Kenneth de Lacy Cudmore (1874-1940) had two sons
  • Dorothea Nevill Cudmore (1876-1925) had one son
  • Thomas Cecil Cudmore (1877-1926) had no children
  • Rosa Florence Cudmore (1879-1954) had five children
  • Daniel Cashel Cudmore (1881-1966) had one child
  • Alexandrina Budge Cudmore (1882-1953) had three children
  • Mary Jane Cudmore (1883-1884) died as an infant
  • Mary Paringa Cudmore (1887-1952) had two children
  • Robert Milo Cudmore (1889-1969) had four children
There were 25 Cudmore cousins for the two daughters of Arthur Murray Cudmore.

The children of Wentworth Cavenagh (1822-1895) and Ellen Jane née Mainwaring (1845-1920):
  • James Gordon Cavenagh-Mainwaring (1865 – 1938) had four children
  • Eva Mainwaring Cavenagh-Mainwaring (1867 – 1941) had two children
  • Mabel Alice Cavenagh-Mainwaring (1868 – 1944) had two children
  • Wentworth Rowland Cavenagh-Mainwaring (1869 – 1933) died without issue
  • Orfeur Charles Cavenagh (1872 – 1890) died without issue
  • (Kathleen Mary Cavenagh-Mainwaring (1874 – 1951), Kathleen's mother, had two children)
  • Hugh Cavenagh-Mainwaring (1875 – 1953) had three children
  • Helen Maud Cavenagh-Mainwaring (1877 – 1918) had three children
  • Alice Mainwaring Cavenagh-Mainwaring (1879 – 1952) had two children
  • Gertrude Lucy Cavenagh-Mainwaring (1882 – 1968 ) had one child
There were seventeen Cavenagh-Mainwaring cousins for the two daughters of Kathleen Mary Cavenagh-Mainwaring.

In total my grandmother Kathleen had 42 first cousins.

Some of my grandmother's first cousins once removed. Members of the Cudmore family who owned "Adare" at Victor Harbor. Back Row, l-r: Roland, Henry, Mary (Minnie), Paul. Front Row, l-r: Collier, Martha, Daniel H;, Danny (on footstool), Milo DATE ca.1900 From the State Library of South Australia image B 48077. Daniel Henry Cashel Cudmore (1844-1913) was the brother of my grandmother's grandfather.
As their grandparents were all from large families, Kathleen and her sister Rosemary had many second cousins. Their great grandparents on the Cudmore side had 52 grandchildren, including the 13 children of James Francis Cudmore. 39 of those grandchildren were the first cousins of Kathleen's father Arthur Murray Cudmore and thus my grandmother's first cousins once removed. The children of the 39 cousins were Kathleen's second cousins.

On the Budge side, Kathleen's grandmother, Margaret Budge, had two brothers and two sisters but only one of the brothers and one of the sisters had children and there were only five grandchildren other than the thirteen Cudmore grandchildren.

Kathleen's grandfather Wentworth Cavenagh had six brothers and sisters. Only one brother had two sons who survived. 

On the Mainwaring side, although Kathleen's great grandparents had seven children, only one, Kathleen's grandmother Ellen Jane Mainwaring had children. Thus Kathleen had no second cousins from this side of the family.

In total my grandmother Kathleen had 46 first cousins once removed. This calculation does not include the younger generation, the children of her first cousins.

My own cousins

I have only two first cousins, the daughters of my mother's sister. My father was an only child and my mother had one sister. These cousins do not have children so there are no first cousins once removed downwards.

My mother had no first cousins. Her father was an only child and her mother's sister had no children. She is, however, close to a cousin of my grandmother's, and also to her children, my mother's second cousins.

My father had one cousin on his mother's side of the family, the Cudmore side, with whom he remains close. There was another boy who died as an infant. On his father's side, the de Crespigny side, my father has four first cousins from his father's sisters and five cousins from his father's half-sister. In total I have eleven first cousins once removed on my father's side of the family.

As for my second cousins, my great aunt Nancy had five grand children. My great aunt Margaret had six grandchildren. I am not sure of the number of grandchildren my great aunt Charlotte has (I must follow this up with her). On the Cudmore side, my great aunt Rosemary had three grand children. I have fourteen second cousins in addition to the grand children of my great aunt Charlotte.


This post was inspired by Randy Seaver's post some weeks ago asking How many cousins do you know you have?

I enjoyed Alex Daw's and Caitlin Gow's responses and thought I would have a go myself.

I wanted to calculate my great aunt Rosemary's statement about the number of cousins she had. 42 first cousins and 46 first cousins once removed is certainly a lot. Calculating the number of second cousins is a large task that remains for another day.

I found it very interesting that both my grandmother Kathleen's parents came from large families but their children, my great grandparents and my various great great aunts and uncles on my grandmother's side, all had small families. There was a very rapid shift in the size of families within a generation.

I am more interested in tracing my family tree backwards than keeping track of the present generation but I am always delighted to hear from them and would be thrilled to share what I have learned of our family history.

The challenge was:

1) Take both sets of your grandparents and figure out how many first cousins you have, and how many first cousins removed (a child or grandchild of a first cousin) you have.

2) Extra Credit: Take all four sets of your great-grandparents and figure out how many second cousins you have, and how many second cousins removed you have.

HINT: Make a Descendants Chart with your genealogy software program!

3) Tell us the grandparents and great-grandparents names, but don't give the name of living cousins unless you want to.

4) Are there any of those lines that you don't know all of the cousins names? Do you care? 

5) Tell us about them in your own blog post, in a comment to this blog post, or in a Facebook or Google+ post of your own. Be sure to drop a comment to this post to link to your work.

Monday, 12 May 2014

A confusion of Sir Henry Mainwarings

Sir Henry Mainwaring (1726-1797), by Allan Ramsay
There are two notable portraits of Sir Henry Mainwaring  (1726-1797), the fourth baronet of Over Peover. Unfortunately these portraits are sometimes thought, mistakenly, to be portraits of Sir Henry Mainwaring (1587-1653) the pirate. I wrote about the pirate in an earlier blog post.

The two men were related, as third cousins four times removed. Their common ancestor was John Mainwaring (1470-1515), of Over Peover, Cheshire, sheriff of Flintshire, knighted at at the taking of Thérouanne and Tournai. John Mainwaring is my thirteenth great grandfather.

There are no known portraits of the earlier Henry Mainwaring. In the introduction to The Life and Works of Sir Henry Mainwaring printed for the Navy Records Society in 1920, the editor, G. E. Manwaring, states
Before completing this volume I had hoped to discover a portrait of Sir Henry Mainwaring, but after a fruitless search in many quarters I am convinced that none exist. (page xvi at )
There is a cartoon image of Henry Mainwaring, the pirate, in Disneyland at Anaheim in California in the area where people wait for the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.

 Henry Mainwaring the fourth baronet was the nephew of the third baronet, Sir Thomas Mainwaring (1681-1726). Sir Thomas died leaving no children. His brother Henry (1686-1726) had married Diana Blackett (1703-1737) on 26 July 1725. They had one son, Henry, born on 7 November 1726, after his father's death on 1 July 1726. This child inherited the baronetcy from his uncle who had died on 21 September 1726. The young Henry's mother, Diana, married again to Thomas Wetenhall (1708-1776).

George E. Cokayne (1900), Complete baronetage, Exeter: W. Pollard v. 3. English, Irish and Scottish, 1649-1664 pages 129-130

Betham, William. The Baronetage of England, Or the History of the English Baronets, and Such Baronets of Scotland, as Are of English Families: With Genealogical Tables, and Engravings of Their Armorial Bearings. Vol. 5. London: E. Lloyd, 1805. Google. Web. 12 May 2014. <>. pages 574-5.
Sir Henry Mainwaring was educated at Durham School and then at Oxford University.

Sir Henry Mainwaring's portrait was done by Allan Ramsay, a noted portrait painter in 1748 when Mainwaring was about 22. When Mainwaring died leaving no children, this portrait probably passed to his friend George, Lord Grey, later Earl of Stamford. It was sold by the Earl of Stamford's descendants in 1928. It was recently sold again, by Sothebys in 2007 for £18,000.

When Sir Henry Mainwaring was in Rome on the Grand Tour in 1760 he was painted with his companion Lord Grey, by Sir Nathaniel Dance-Holland RA.

George Harry Grey, Lord Grey of Groby, later 5th Earl of Stamford (1737-1819) and his Travelling Companion, Sir Henry Mainwaring, 4th Bt (1726-1797)
The painting is in the collection of the National Trust and on display at Dunham Massey in Cheshire. Henry Mainwaring, standing, is showing Grey a cameo ring.  Grey and Mainwaring commissioned Dance to paint a subject from Virgil. He painted Aeneas and Venus for Mainwaring and The Meeting of Dido and Aeneas for Grey. The latter painting is now in the Tate. Venus appearing to Aeneas and Achates as a Huntress by Nathaniel Dance dated 1762 was sold by Christie's in 1994 for £243,500.

Venus appearing to Aeneas and Achates as a Huntress by Nathaniel Dance dated 1762
Mainwaring bought other paintings on the tour for example The Bay of Naples from Posillipo by Pietro Fabris and Antiquaries at Pola by Thomas Patch.

Antiquaries at Pola: Sir Henry Mainwaring Bt (1726-1797), Jacob Houblon (b.1736), George Harry Grey, 5th Earl of Stamford (1737-1819) and the Reverend Jonan Lipyeatt by Thomas Patch 1760. The painting is at Dunham Massey, now owned by the National Trust following a bequest by the 10th Earl of Stamford. Mainwaring is seated on a Roman altar at the left; beside him Houblon stands, extravagantly dressed in check trousers and red-lined hooded black cloak, a pistol in his belt; and next to him Lord Stamford in a similar cloak; Lipyeatt in the foreground is bending over a marble fragment which he is deciphering. A fragmentary marble head caricatures the features of Patch and his spaniel, with water gushing from his mouth, appears to represent a life-like fountain; a lateen-rigged boat at the right, a servant carrying baggage and in the background the amphitheatre at Pola. Pola or Pula, is opposite Venice on the coast of Croatia.
Grey bought A Punch Party in Florence by Thomas Patch which is now owned by the National Trust at Dunham Massey.

A Punch Party by Thomas Patch with Sir H. Mainwaring; Earl Cowper; Viscount Torrington; Reverend J. Lipyeatt; Lord Grantham; Sir Brook Bridges, Bt; James Whyte; Jacob Houblon; the Earl of Moray; Mr Charles Hatfield, the landlord; Earl of Stamford; Charles S. Boothby; Sir John Rushout Bt, and Sir Charles Bunbury, Bt. The 5th Earl of Stamford is seen with his friends enjoying an evening at Mr Hadfield's inn called Carlo's near Saato Spirito in Florence. The artist has introduced a caricature bust of himself on the wall on the right, with the horns of a faun. Fourteen figures are depicted, engaged in various activities round a table, for example, Lord Grantham is carrying a pedlar's tray filled with cameos from which Lord Stamford, because he wears it on his finger, has evidently acquired one; but principally they are engaged in drinking the punch provided by the patron Charles Hadfield. On the back wall are paintings of Bacchus and of Silenus in chariots pulled by leopards and tigers respectively; on the wall at the right is a caricature bust of the artist with the ears of a faun, perhaps echoing the replica of the Dancing Faun on the adjacent wall, the original of which is in the Uffizi. The socles on which the sculpture is placed are decorated with the Medici arms.
Sir Henry Mainwaring is sitting at the end of the table (in blue) opposite  Sir Charles Bunbury who is proposing the toast.

Sir Henry Mainwaring the fourth baronet died unmarried and the baronetcy became extinct.

Henry Mainwaring the fourth baronet is my seventh cousin seven times removed.

Friday, 9 May 2014

A to Z wrap up


I found the A to Z challenge busy - it consumed much of my time through April even though I had planned out what I would write about beforehand and drafted some posts.  I found during the month I changed my mind on some topics and, despite preparation, was writing each day.

My 26 posts:
According to the statistics on, the most read post during the month was the post on Cremation, followed by the post on Fromelles.  The Cremation post and the post on the Zulu War shared equally in having the most plus ones on Google+. The Cremation post received the most comments.

I gained some new readers, including a cousin :).

My family enjoyed the posts, and that was really important to me.

During the challenge I read some interesting blogs, not all on family history,  and learned many new things.