Welcome, fellow genealogists! My blog will teach you about U.S. land records and United Kingdom research. My family has roots in Niagara County, New York; Norfolk, England; and northeast Germany.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wisdom Wednesday: Colonial UK Immigrants

In the Spring, I wrote four blog posts that described distinct immigrant groups that settled in various parts of the original thirteen colonies. These posts were based on a book by genealogist, William Dollarhide. He felt that if you knew where your ancestor settled in the colonies, you could narrow the range of places he could have come from in the UK. My posts dates and topics are:

            26 Feb 2014 - British Origin of U.S. Colonists (New England Puritans)
            12 Mar - UK Origins of Virginia Cavaliers
            26 Mar - Quakers from the North Midlands
            9  Apr - Scottish/English Borderlands to Rural America

Dollarhide, William. British Origins of American Colonists, 1629-1775. Bountiful, Utah: Heritage Quest Genealogical Services, division of AGLL, Inc., 1998.

-A much expanded discussion of the four group's influence on American culture can be found in the following book:

Fischer, David Hackett. Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991.
I found this book which uses the same four colonial groups described by Dollarhide to illustrate the history of American culture as it has changed through time. It argues that our original British folkways underlie most of our regional cultures. Oxford press states, Americans “have assimilated regional cultures which were created by British colonists, even while preserving ethnic identities at the same time.”
-This Fall I was asked to speak on a topic where a summary of the above information would be helpful so I developed this chart:

New England
East Anglia (50%)
Chesapeake Bay
West Country & London
Delaware Valley
North Midlands (67%)
Rural Areas/ Borders
English/Scottish Border + N Ireland

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Wisdom Wednesday: Eagle Lecterns in the Church of England

Unfortunately, I recently attended a funeral at an Episcopal church in New England, and I noticed the beautiful lectern with a shiny metal eagle holding the bible on its backs with its wings spread. Being Lutheran by birth, I had not noticed a similar one until a 1997 trip to England, where all the parishes I visited in Norfolk had a similar “bookstand.” I decided to find out about the history and symbolism.

According to Stephen Friar, there are three types of lecterns in use in the Church of England. The first is a two- to four-sided revolving stand supported by a pillar. The second is a modern version of the first – a one-sided desk made in the 19th or 20th century.
The third and most often found is an eagle with outstretched wings made of wood or brass, the symbol of St. John who used the words ‘soared up into the presence of Christ’ in the New Testament books attributed to him. The bird’s open wings are functional for holding the bible or other liturgical books, but also symbolize carrying forth the word of God. Its feet are often resting on a globe or orb. Rarely, the bird might be a pelican, the mythical symbol of Christ.  

Medieval eagles are rare but Victorian Eagles are plentiful. Because of my Norfolk roots, I was happy to note that there was a fifteenth century East Anglican ‘school’ of artists who exported eagles to other parts of Britain and the continent. Here is a wooden example from St. Lawrence's Church, Biddulph, Staffordshire:
Source: Friar, Stephen. The Companion to the English Parish Church. London: Chancellor Press, 2000.