Het ons ‘n familiewapen?

It is a popular misconception that there is a coat of arms for each surname and that everyone bearing that surname is entitled to use those arms. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Fred Brownell, Staatsheraldikus, Buro vir Herlaldiek
in: Familia, Kwartaalblad van die Genealogiese Genootskap van Suid-Afrika
(35) 1998 (4) p.155

Die kort antwoord op die vraag hierbo is: nee, ons het nie ‘n familiewapen nie.

Die langer, meer interessante antwoord is: ons weet nie of ons een het nie en dit gaan waarskynlik ‘n rukkie duur om uit te vind.

As ‘n mens op die internet rondsoek na “Fowler-familiewapens”, ontdek jy onder andere die volgende verskeidenheid:

HOEKOM SO BAIE WAPENS?

Familiewapens soos ons dit vandag ken, het in circa 1400 in Europa ontstaan om ridders van mekaar te onderskei op die oorlogsveld.

Die wapen is gewoonlik deur die koning aan ‘n individu toegeken, aanvanklik vir uitsonderlike prestasies op die oorlogsveld en later vir enige uitsonderlike prestasie, byvoorbeeld in wetenskap (Sir Isaac Newton) of literatuur (Shakespeare).

Omdat die familiewapen is toegeken is aan ‘n persoon en nie aan ‘n hele familie nie, kan daar verskeie familiewapens in omloop wees vir dieselfde van. Volgens die Coat of Arms Database is daar 17 familiewapens toegeken aan verskeie FOWLERs oor die eeue heen.

Die familiewapen kon verder ook net van vader na oudste seun oorgedra word en “slegs diegene wat bewys kan lewer dat hulle direkte afstammelinge is van ‘n persoon wat ‘n bepaalde wapen regmatiglik gevoer het, het enige aanspraak op die betrokke wapen.” [1]

Dus: Om vas te stel of ons ‘n aanspraak het op enige van die (regmatige) FOWLER-familiewapens in omloop, moet ons eers vasstel of ons direkte afstammelinge is van ‘n FOWLER aan wie daar so ‘n familiewapen toegeken is.

En ongelukkig is die ondersoek na Thomas Alcock FOWLER se voorouers nog nie so ver gevorder nie!

DIE EERSTE FOWLER?

Tydens my soektog na inligting oor die FOWLER-familiewapen, het ek afgekom op ‘n paar brokkies omtrent die eerste FOWLERs in Engeland.

Die inligting hieronder moet nie beskou word as “feite” nie want ek kon nêrens verwysings vind na gevestigde bronne nie.

Dis nietemin interessant en hopelik kan ‘n mens eendag meer uitvind hieroor!

  • The ancestor or progenitor of this family in the UK was Richard le Fowler I, a Norman knight who came to England with William the Conqueror in 1066 AD.
  • According to the Fowler Report an earlier Fowler-ancestor was “Henry, born about 876, chosen King by the Franks and the Saxons in 919, united the Saxons, Franks, etc. into what is now modern Germany, died 936” 
  • Richard le Fowler I had a son, Henry le Fowler, born in England around 1090 AD.
  • Henry in turn had a son, Richard le Fowler II (aka Richard le Fowler of Foxley) who was born in 1130 AD in Foxley, Buckinghamshire, England. [2]
  • Richard le Fowler II went on the Third Crusade to the Holy Land with Richard the Lionheart in 1189 and served as commanding officer of bowmen who were tenants of his manor. Richard le Fowler II saved the camp from a nocturnal surprise attack and for his outstanding vigilance in deterring the attack, he received the honour of knighthood from his royal commander, Richard the Lionheart, who also caused Fowler’s crest to be changed to a vigilant owl. [3]

  • For his service, Sir Richard le Fowler II also won a grant of lands at Abbey Cwm-Hir, County of Radnor, Wales.
  • From Sir Richard Fowler le Fowler II were descended the families of that name which were to be found at early dates in England, in the counties of Buckingham, Lancaster, Wilts, Stafford, Oxford, Gloucester, and Shrops, and also in Wales and Ireland. They appear to have been, for the most part, of the landed gentry and yeomanry of the British Isles. [4]

NASKRIF

Deesdae word die terme “coat of arms” en “family crest” (familiewapen) as sinomieme gebruik maar oorspronklik het “coat of arms” blykbaar verwys na die kleed wat ‘n ridder oor sy oorlogsdrag aangetrek het om dit te beskerm teen die son terwyl die “crest” aangebring is op sy wapenskild en helm.

BRONNE

[1] Brownell, Fred, Suid-Afrikaanse “Familiewapens”, Familia (35) 1998 (4) pp. 150-8

[2] Coat of Arms Database: Fowler Family Crest, Coat of Arms and Name History

[3] Geni World Tree: Sir Richard LE FOWLER II, Crusader Knight

[4] Rootsweb, Fowler, Chittenden and other CT Lines:  Reginaldus le FOWLER and Richard FOWLER Sir

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