“He loved chivalrye, Trouthe and honour, freedom and curteisye.”

— Geoffrey Chaucer (c1343-1400), Canterbury Tales

Roll of Arms

A family roll of arms.

Beaumont, of Whitley Beaumont, co. Yorks. Gules a lion rampant Argent langued and armed Azure within an orle of nine crescents of the second. Crest: A bull’s head erased, quarterly Argent and Gules. Motto: Fide sed cui vide (Trust, but mind whom you trust). Notes: Perhaps related to Beamont of Crosland. The Beaumonts of West Yorkshire were tenants of the de Lacy honor of Pontefract.

Camoys. Or on a chief Gules three plates.

Camoys coat of arms

Costner (Kestner). Argent a box with the lid open Gules. Crest: a pair of wings the dexter Argent and the sinister Gules. (Adam Kestner (?-1767), 1748 from Rotterdam to America. His daughter Margaret (1745-?) married Lt. John Hoyle).

Crossland, of Crosland Hill, co. Yorks. Quarterly Argent and Gules, a cross botonny countercharged. (Visitation of Yorkshire, 1665).

Dennis, of Pucklechurch, Gloucester. Gules a bend engrailed Argent between two leopards faces jessant-de-lis Argent. Crest: A demi-lion rampant Azure bezanty.

Durand du Rapée. Sable a fess dancetty Or and in chief three fleurs-de-lis of the second. Crest: A griffin’s head erased pierced with a spear Proper. (Bookplate of Dr. John Durand, circa 1720). Burke’s General Armory gives these arms for Durant, of Tong Castle, Shropshire.

Eagle. Argent an American bald eagle close Proper upon on a branch from which depends four feathers Gules, Argent, Vert and Or, and in chief sinister four pairs of feathers each pair one Gules tipped Sable and one Or tipped Sable conjoined in chief at their quills by four hurts.

Frame. Argent on a cross Gules three lions Or, a chief Gules.

Gledhill. Azure three fusils in fesse Argent. Crest: A cock proper. Motto: Fortiter et Recte (Bravely and Rightly). (Granted 1612).

Glendinning. Quarterly Argent and Sable, a cross parted per cross indented countercharged. Crest: A maunch Or upon the point of a sword. Motto: Have Faith in Christ.

Grant of Freuchie. Gules three antique crowns Or. Crest: A burning hill proper. Supporters: Two savages proper. Motto:Stand Fast. Notes The hill depicted in the crest is Craigeleachie (opposite Rothemurchus), where a fire was lighted to call the whole clan together in Strathspey, the seat of the Grants in Morayshire.

Gunn. Argent a galley of three masts sails furled and oars in action Sable, displaying at the mast-head flags gules within a bordure Azure, on a chief of the third a bear’s head of the first muzzled of the second between two mullets of the field. Crest: A dexter arm wielding a broadsword, proper. Motto: Aut pax aut bellum (Either peace or war). Notes: These arms are commonly assigned to Gunn, but no arms have been matriculated in Lyon Register.

Habsburg. Or a lion rampant Gules crowned Azure.

Hauri, of Beromünster. Azure a dove rising wings elevated and displayed Argent beaked and membered Gules. Crest: A dove as in the arms. (Stift Beromünster, Liber Vitae, circa 1415).

Hauri, of Reinach. Azure a dove rising wings elevated and displayed upon a trimount Vert and in chief two mill rinds addorsed Argent. Crest: A dove as in the arms. Supporters: two bears passant Proper. (Carved above the door at Schneggen, in Reinach).

Holmström, Fredrich. Fänrik vid Västerbottens infanteriregemente, 1772. Sköld: En (ojämn rundel) överläggande en ginbalkvis ställd ström. Hjälmprydnad: En uppstigande barhuvad man i vänster hand svingande en värja, mellan två blå fanor. Eder 260. (Gröna Stubbens Vapenrulla).

Holmström. Sköld: I fält av guld ett svart patriarkalkors. [Hjälm okänd.] Valspråk: Habet onus honos. — Hans Olof (1784-1855), ärkebiskop. Berghman, s.45, Kungl. Serafimerorden, s.286. (Gröna Stubbens Vapenrulla).

Holmström. Sköld: I rött fält en nedvänd pincett av guld korslagd med en nedvänd gravstickel av silver med handtag av guld. Rött hjälmtäcke fodrat med guld. Hjälmprydnad: En röd färgboll hållen av en bevingad hand av silver, vingen delad i svart och silver. — Hjalmar, faktor, Stockholm, (senast) 1943. Stolts exlibrissamling. (Gröna Stubbens Vapenrulla).

Holmström. Sköld: I rött en bjälke av silver bildad upptill av en tinnskura och nedtill av en vågskura samt ovan åtföljd av en gående grip av silver med beväring av guld. Rött hjälmtäcke fodrat med silver. Hjälmprydnad: En uppstigande grip av silver med beväring av guld. — Karl A. H., Åmål, 1987, medges, efter överenskommelse, åt efterkommande till Gustav Alexander (född 1815) eller (med annan hjälmprydnad) till Harald, Sveaborg (1700-talet). Äldste kände stamfader är Olof Sund (1627-1703), Ängelholm. SVR 371/88. (Gröna Stubbens Vapenrulla).

Horne. Sable three bugle horns stringed and garnished Argent. (Seal of Robert Horne, Bishop of Winchester (1561-1580); and Plate in Abp. Parker’s Antiquitates, Hanover edition).

Horne. Or a cross flory Gules between four griffin’s heads erased Azure, on a chief Sable three bugle horns stringed of the first. (Cassan’s Bishops of Winchester (Robert Horne, Bishop of Winchester (1561-1580))).

Howery, Justin. Azure a dove roussant Argent beaked and membered Gules, and for difference on a chief Argent three chaplets of roses Gules leaved Vert. Crest: A pair of wings conjoined in lure each charged with a rose Gules. Motto: Hora e Semper (Now and Always). (American College of Heraldry).

Hultberg. Sköld: Delad av ett sänkt sparrsnitt i grönt, vari en balansvåg av guld, och guld, vari en röd ros med gröna foderblad och disk av guld. [Hjälm okänd.] — Britt-Inger (Bitte), gift Werholt, Ljunghusen i Vellinge, 1998. SVR 572/99. (Gröna Stubbens Vapenrulla).

Kenney. Per pale Or and Azure, a fleur-de-lis counterchanged between three crescents.

Hoyle (Heyl). Azure three roses Or. Crest: three roses Or slipped and stalked Vert. Motto: Semper Gradatim Numquam Retrosum. (Jürgen Heyl married 1597 in Spandau to Gertraut Buschler).

Luce. Azure a cresent Argent. Crest: An eagle regardant wings displayed holding in the dexter claw a sword erect, all Proper. (Burke’s General Armory (Luce and Lucy)). Attributed to Henry Luce, the American immigrant, but not proven.

MacDowall of Garthland. Azure a lion rampant Argent crowned of a ducal coronet Or. Crest: Issuant from a crest-coronet Or, a lion’s paw erased and erected Proper holding a dagger point upwards Proper hilted and pommelled Or. Motto: Vincere vel mori (To conquer or die). These are the arms of the ancient province of Galloway, differenced by the addition of a coronet.

MacKinnon of MacKinnon. Quarterly, 1st Vert a boar’s head erased Argent, holding in its mouth the shank bone of a deer Proper (for MacKinnon); 2nd Azure a castle triple-towered and embattled Argent, masoned Sable, windows and portcullis Gules (for MacLeod); 3rd Or a lymphad oars in saltire Sable (for MacDonald); 4th Argent a dexter hand couped fessways Proper holding a cross crosslet fitchée Sable (for Macdonald). Crest: A boar’s head erased, holding in its mouth the shank of a deer all Proper. Supporters: Dexter, a lion Proper; sinister, a leopard Proper. Motto: Audentes fortuna juvat (Fortune assists the daring).

Mallory. Quarterly, 1st Or a lion rampant Gules double queued, ducally gorged Argent (for Mallory), 2nd Sable an eagle displayed Or (for Nonwycke), 3rd Argent a bend between six martletts (for Tempest), 4th Azure two bars and in chief three mullets pierced Argent (for Washington). (Visitations of Yorkshire, 1563-64, 1585, 1612).

Middleton, of South Carolina. Argent fretty Sable, a canton Sable. Crest: A sheaf of wheat Proper between two wings conjoined in lure Argent. Motto: Regardes Mon Droit (Respect My Right). Borne by Arthur Middleton (1742-1787), a signer of the Declaration of Independence. (Tomb of Arthur Middleton, The Gardens, Middleton Place, Charleston, South Carolina. See also America Heraldica, 1886).

Place (Barons de Plaiz, etc.). Per pale Gules and Or a lion rampant Argent. (Burke’s General Armory (Place, Playce, Playse, the Barons de Plaiz, etc. (and no others))).

Place, Carroll Arthur (1920-2001). Azure on a chief Argent three chaplets of roses Gules leaved Vert. Crest: Issuant from a crest-coronet Or a pair of wings conjoined in lure each charged with a rose Gules. Motto: Rosam Qui Meruit Ferat(Let Him Who Has Earned It Bear the Rose).

Zurich Roll of Arms
Zürich Roll of Arms

Place, of Halnaby. Quarterly, 1st Azure on a chief Argent three chaplets Gules (for Place of Dinsdale, co. Durham), 2nd Per pale Or and Gules a lion passant guardant Counterchanged (for Stapleton of Flamborough), 3rd Gules three chevrons Or (for Slitholme), 4th Argent a fess between six fleurs-de-lis Sable (for Halnath of Halnaby, co. Richmond). Crest: Issuant from a ducal coronet Or a dexter arm embowed in armor holding in the hand a battle ax all Proper. (Visitation of Durham, 1595). Notes: The arms of Place are apparently based on those of Lascelles.

Plaice. Azure on a chief Argent two wreaths Gules. (Morant’s Additions to Burke, Monsire William Plaice), citing Jenyn’s Ordinary, 1829).

Playce, of Halnaby, co. Durham. Azure on a chief Argent three torteaux each charged with a cinquefoil Or. (Burke’s General Armory).

Plays. Azure on a chief Argent three chaplets Gules. (Morant’s Additions to Burke (Sir William Plays), citing Glovers Ordinary). Notes: Meggison of Whalton, co. Northumberland, and John Cressoner had similar arms.

Plecy, Earl of Warwick. Argent six annulets Gules a chief chequey Or and Sable.

Herr Helle von Rinach
Herr Helle von Rinach

Quarmby, of Quarmby, co. Yorks. Argent two bars and in chief a Cornish chough Proper. No crest or motto recorded. (Visitation of Yorkshire, 1567). No details are given in the 1563, 1584 or 1612 Visitations of Yorkshire. See also The Augustan Society Roll of Arms (sub Justin Durand), 1983. The arms are undoubtedly canting arms; a Cornish chough is also called a “corbie.” The Quarmby family had early alliances with Beaumont of Crossland and Copley of Balley. The Aglionbys, apparently a related family, bore similar arms. In the time of Edward II, John Aglomby bore Argent two bars and in chief three martletts Sable.

Quillen of the Route, co. Antrim. Gules a lion rampant Argent, a chief Or.

Robertson of Struan. Gules three wolves’ heads erased Argent armed and langued Azure. Crest: A dexter arm and had erect holding a regal crown all proper. Supporters: Dexter, a serpent; Sinister, a dove, the heads of each encircled with rays. Compartment: A wild man chained. Motto: Virtutis Gloria Merces. Slogan: Garg’n uair dhuisgear. Badges: Dluth Fhraoch (Fine-leaved Heath), An Raineach mhor (Bracken)

Shaw of Tordarroch. Quarterly, 1st Or a lion rampant Gules armed and langued Azure; 2nd Argent a fir-tree growing out of a mound in base seeded Proper, in the dexter canton a dexter hand couped at the wrist holding a dagger point downwards Gules; 3rd chequy Argent and Azure, and on a chief of the Second three mullets of the First; 4th Or a galley sails furled Azure flagged Gules oars in saltire of the Last. Crest: A dexter cubit arm couped and holding a dagger erect all Proper. Motto: Fide et fortitudine (By faith and fortitude).

Straumey. Argent a vine branch Vert leaved of the same and fructed Azure. Notes: The sagas say that Straumey is located at the mouth of a fjord (Straumfiord). Banks identifies it with Martha’s Vineyard, but other authorities identify it with Belle Isle. The grapes are a play on both “Martha’s Vineyard” and on the Norse “Vinland.”

Sutton. Argent on a chevron between three armulets Gules as many crescents Or. Crest: A greyhound’s head couped ermine collared Gules garnished and ringed Or, on the collar three armulets of the last.

Swanström. Per fess Azure and Gules, in chief two mullets Or surmounted by a crescent Argent, in base a swan Argent crowned Or naiant on water of the last. Crest: A swan displayed issuant Argent crowned Or, the wings per fess, the dexter of the first and Azure, the sinister Gules and Argent. (Svenska grefliga och friherrliga atters wapen utgifven av August Wilhelm Stjernstetd (1812-1880)). Ridders-och Adelsman utgifven av Carl Arvid Klingspor (1829-1903).

Swanström. Azure two bars wavy Argent between three swans rising Argent beaked and membered Or, wings elevated and addorsed. Crest: Issuant from a crest-coronet Or a demi-swan as in the arms. Motto: Sans Tache.

Swanström, J., å en häradsrätts vägnar, 1704. Sköld: En svan simmande på böljor. Hjälmprydnad: En uppstigande svan med utbredda vingar. Stockholms magistrat och rådhusrätt 1636-1849 E6:4. (Gröna Stubbens Vapenrulla).

Swanström, Justin. Azure two bars wavy Argent between three swans rising wings elevated and addorsed Argent beaked and membered Or. Crest: Issuant from a crest-coronet Or a pair of wings conjoined in lure Argent each charged with a rose Gules. Supporters: two swans rising wings elevated and addorsed Argent beaked and membered Or ducally gorged and chained Or, Motto: Be Just & Fear Not.

Toomey of Croom. Argent, in chief a galley and in base a lion passant Gules.

Tyrrell. Argent two chevrons Sable.

Veltheim. Azure a cock Argent on a trimount Vert and in chief a mullet. Notes: Velthiem is a village in Brugg, Aargau, Switzerland. Cf. Blarer, Hauri.

Venables. Azure two bars Argent. Crest: On a wreath a wyvern Argent pierced by an arrow, head Or and feathered Argent, devouring a child proper, crined Or, and standing on a wier Argent banded Azure.

Washington, of Sulgrave. Argent two bars and in chief three mullets Gules. Ancestors of Pres. George Washington.

Welles. Sable a lion rampant queue forchy Or.

Wheeler. Vert on a fess […] three lions rampant Vert. Crest: Issuant from a mural coronet a griffins head Argent. (America Heraldica (Moses Wheeler, of New Haven, Connecticut, 1638)).

Wilmot. Argent on a fess Gules between three eagles’ heads erased Sable a unicorn loged enclosed by two escallops Or. Crest: A demi-leopard rampant Argent spotted with hurts and torteaux holding in the dexter paw an acorn branch Vert fructed Or.

Wilson. Sable a wolf salient Or and on a chief Or three estoiles of six points Sable. Crest: A demi-wolf Or. (From a gold watch charm owned by John C. Wilson (1784-1832), of Somerset County, Maryland, a descendant of Ephraim Wilson (1664-1733), of Ireland and Somerset County, Maryland. Also wax from George William Maslin, 1924).

Woodcock. On a bend three cross-crosslets fitchee. Notes: These are the arms that Sir Pury Cust impaled as the arms of his wife Ursula Woodcock on the monument in Saint George’s Church, Stamford, which he erected in her memory. She was distantly related to the Ursula, wife of John Culpeper. See Stow (”London” [Strype], Book v:116, 175).

Worthington, of Blainsco. Argent three dungs forks Sable.


  1. Per Hemmingson (c1746-?) was a crofter at Högsby in Småland, Sweden. He married Stina Danielsdotter (c1753-aft 1803).
  2. Daniel Persson Fyrstén (1791-1837) was a master smith at Gärdserum. Daniel adopted the surname Fyrstén (”fire stone”). He married Christina “Stina” Nilsdotter (1786-1849), daughter of Nils Persson and Maja Persdotter. Their sons and grandsons carried on the family tradition, working as smiths in Sweden’s metal industry.
  3. Nils Peter Fyrstén (1822-aft 1900), a master smith at Storebro Bruk in Vimmerby. He married (1) Christina Charlotta Svanström (1820-1866), daughter of Nils Gustaf Svanström and Sara Stina Eliasdotter. Nils came to America in 1868 after the death of his first wife, settling at LaPorte, Indiana. He left behind his older children.
  4. Johanna Carolina Fyrstén (1846-1917). She married Lars Erik Classon (1845-c1932). According to relatives in Sweden, Johanna Fyrstén was the mother of Josefina Classon by August, Duke of Dalarna before her marriage to Lars Erik Classon. Maybe so, but I think it is at least possible that Josefina’s father was Anders Johan Reinhold Andersson (1831-1887), a farmer at Löckerum.

Breaking news Nov. 23, 2014: DNA test results from a cousin in Sweden appear to confirm that Josefina Classon was a daughter of Andrew Andersson in Löckerum. More to follow.


“Virtutis Gloria Merces”

Robertson of Kindace Tartan
Robertson of Kindace Tartan

Coat of Arms

Robertson of Struan: Gules three wolves’ heads erased Argent armed and langued Azure. Crest: A dexter arm holding a regal crown all Proper. Supporters: Dexter, a serpent; Sinister, a dove, the heads of each encircled with rays. Compartment: A wild man chained. Motto: Virtutis Gloria Merces. Slogan: Garg’n uair dhuisgear. Badges: Dluth Fhraoch (Fine-leaved Heath), An Raineach mhor (Bracken).

My Line

James Roberson (c1785-1835) lived at the Watauga Settlement in Tennessee before 1805, then settled at Cumberland Gap in Lee County before 1820. He owned land on both sides of the Powell River, and operated an inn there. James died in 1835. His widow and children left Virginia. According to tradition, they went first to Georgia, then to Oklahoma. However, I find no record of them until they reached the Platte Purchase in northwestern Missouri in 1839.

During the Civil War, public opinion in Missouri was violently split between the Union and the Confederacy. Northwestern Missouri saw much guerrilla activity on behalf of the Confederacy. James’ son Rufus Morgan Roberson was a slave owner and Confederate sympathizer, yet after the Civil War (1868) his daughter Rachel Jane Roberson married Union veteran William John Horne. Their descendants went west to Nebraska, Oregon, and Washington.

Lineal Genealogy

  1. Robert de Atholl of Struan (c1485-?), 8th Laird of Glenerochie, and 1st feudal Baron of Struan. He married Margaret Stewart (c1487-?), daughter of John, Earl of Atholl, and Eleanor Sinclair. [re-check this]
  2. Alexander Robertson of Struan (c1480-c1506), 9th Laird of Struan (formerly Glenerochie), and 2nd feudal Baron of Struan. He married Isobel Stewart (c1483-?), daughter of John, Earl of Atholl, and Eleanor Sinclair. [re-check this]
  3. John Robertson of Muirton (c1500-c1540), 1st Laird of Muirton. He married Margaret Crichton (c1498-bef 1546), daughter of Sir James Crichton of Crichton, and Katherine Borthwick.
  4. Gilbert Robertson of Muirton (c1520-aft 1570), 2nd Laird of Muirton. He married Jonet Reid (c1515-?), sister of Robert Reid, Bishop of Orkney.
  5. David Robertson of Muirton (c1540-aft 1600), 3rd Laird of Muirton.
  6. William Robertson of Muirton (c1560-1599), 4th Laird of Muirton. He married Isobel Petrie (c1565-?).
  7. Thomas Robertson (c1592-1686), a merchant and Baillie of Edinburgh. He married Jean Jeffrey (c1598-?).
  8. Rev. William Robertson (c1622-?), a minister in Edinburgh. He married Katherine Kirkwood (c1650-aft 1700).


  1. Thomas Roberson (c1658-1692), a planter in Henrico County, Virginia. He married Elizabeth Alder (c1666-1691). I’m skeptical about his supposed parentage.
  2. John Robertson (c1670-1720), a planter in Henrico County, Virginia. He married Mavell Alsop East (c1676-?).
  3. Jacob Robinson (c1694-1774), a planter in Caswell County, North Carolina. He married Martha Headen (1702-1755).


  1. William Robinson (c1733-bef 1804), of Claiborne County, Tennessee. He married Charity Kennedy (c1740-c1848). There is some dispute about his parentage.


  1. James Roberson (c1775-1835), a farmer in Lee County, Virginia. He married Catharina Helvey (1781-1851), daughter of Henry and Susanna (Gale) Helvey. His parentage is uncertain.
  2. Rufus Morgan Roberson (c1811-1897), a farmer in Holt County, Missouri. He married Elizabeth A. Lomax (1814-1895), daughter of Asahel and Betty Jane (?) Lomax.
  3. Rachel Jane Roberson (1847-1944). She married William Steven Horne (c1832-1896).

See Also

More Information

Updated September 26, 2021.

Occult Lore

In the symbolism of alchemy a swan was the emblem of mercury, being of the same color. It was thought to express the union of opposites (fire and water), and therefore an archetype of hermaphroditism.

The Kabbalah associates swans with the Hebrew letter ר (resh), the 20th letter of Hebrew alphabet. Resh has a numerical value of 200. It is associated also with the head, and symbolizes beginning.

In the Tarot, swans are associated with the card 20 Judgment. That card typically symbolizes redemption, renewal, forgiveness, new beginnings, and so on.

Haplogroup R

Haplogroup R1a

This lineage is believed to have originated in the Eurasian steppes north of the Black and Caspian Seas, perhaps in a population of the Kurgan culture. The Kurgans were known for the domestication of the horse (approximately 3000 BCE). They are believed to have been the first speakers of an Indo-European language. This lineage is currently found in central and western Asia, in India, and in the Slavic populations of eastern Europe.

Brian Sykes used the name Sigurd to represent the founder of Haplogroup R1a (Saxons, Vikings, and Celts, 2006). Sigurd is a legendary Scandinavian hero. Stephen Oppenheimer used the name Rostov (The Origins of the British, 2006).

Somerled, who defeated the vikings and established a kingdom in the Hebrides, was a member of this haplogroup.

Haplogroup R1b

This lineage is the most common haplogroup in European populations. It is found in about 90% of Basques, 80% of Irish and Welsh, 70% of Scots, 60% of English, 50% of French, 50% of Germans, but only 25% of Norwegians and 1% of Syrians. It is believed to represent the main pre-Ice Age population of western Europe, which expanded throughout Europe as humans re-colonized after the last Ice Age 10-12,000 years ago.

Brian Sykes used the name Oisin to represent the founder of Haplogroup R1b (Saxons, Vikings, and Celts, 2006). Oisin is a legendary Irish hero. Stephen Oppenheimer used the name Ruisco (The Origins of the British, 2006).

Studies on Scottish and Irish families have shown that Colla Uais and Niall of the Nine Hostages, the putative ancestors of many clans and septs, were probably members of this haplogroup.

The French Haurys belong to Haplogroup R1b1b2* (R-M269), the most common subgroup in western Europe. Further testing would refine this result.

Read More

Famous Studies

There have been many studies using yDNA analysis to answer historical questions. Here are a three of the most famous.

Sykes Study

Dr. Bryan Sykes, a geneticist at Oxford University tested men all over England who have the surname Sykes and variants. Genealogists had theorized that the surname Sykes was used by dozens of unrelated families. However, the study showed that about 50% of the Sykes men tested had the same y chromosome. Assuming an infidelity and adoption rate of about 2% or 3% per generation since the Middle Ages, this is about the percentage of modern Sykes men who should have the Sykes y chromosome if there is only one Sykes family. So, instead of showing that there are dozens of different Sykes families in England, the study seems to show that there is only one Sykes family — but not everyone who belongs to the family is biologically descended in the male line from the first Sykes.

Jefferson-Hemings Study

The descendants of Sally Hemings have an old tradition that Thomas Jefferson was the father of her children. In 1998 Eugene Foster undertook to test the tradition using yDNA analysis. He compared samples from male-line descendants of Sally Hemings’ son Eston Hemings with samples from male-line descendants of Thomas Jefferson’s uncle Field Jefferson. The test results proved that Eston Hemings’ father was a Jefferson, but the test cannot show whether Eston’s father was Thomas Jefferson himself. Most historians now accept that Thomas Jefferson was the father of Eston Hemings, and that Jefferson was probably the father of all six of Sally Hemings’ children. The Jefferson family belongs to Haplogroup T* (fomerly K2). See Wikipedia, Jefferson DNA Data.

Cohen Study

Michael Hammer, a geneticist at the University of Arizona tested a large number of Jewish men who have the surname Cohen or who have a family tradition that they are cohanim. Jews believe that the surname Cohen indicates that a man is a cohen (priest), descended in the male line from Aaron, the brother of Moses. A high percentage of the test subjects share the same y chromosome and apparently have a common origin in the Middle East. Researchers suggest that these men descend in the male line from the Biblical Aaron, confirming tradition. Critics point out that a single prolific Rabbi living 1,000 years ago could account for the matches. The Cohen lineage belongs to Haplogroup J2. See Wikipedia, Y-Chromosomal Aaron.

The only sonnet I know by heart


Poor soul, the centre of my sinful earth,
Foul’d by these rebel powers that thee array,
Why dost thou pine within and suffer dearth,
Painting thy outward walls so costly gay?

Why so large cost, having so short a lease,
Dost thou upon thy fading mansion spend?
Shall worms, inheritors of this excess,
Eat up thy charge? Is this thy body’s end?

Then soul, live thou upon thy servant’s loss,
And let that pine to aggravate thy store;
Buy terms divine in selling hours of dross;
Within be fed, without be rich no more:

So shalt thou feed on Death, that feeds on men,
And Death once dead, there’s no more dying then.”

— William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Sonnet 146

Slavic Lore

In a Sclavonian legend, a youth was reposing in a forest. The wind sighed through the trees, filling him with a tender melancholy which could find no expression in words. Presently there fluttered through the branches a snowy swan, which alighted on his breast. The youth clasped the beautiful bird to his heart, and resisted all its struggles to escape. Then the swan changed into a beautiful girl, who forthwith accompanied him to church, where they were united. (Sabine Baring-Gould, Curious Myths of the Middle Ages (1866-1868))

Hauri Families in Bern

A Conrad Hauri (Chuondradus dictus Hovri) was mentioned on 8 February 1282 as owing 9 shillings annually for his land at Steffisburg, when Werner von Steffisburg leased certain lands to Kloster Interlaken. The dues he owed for his lands are in line with amounts throughout the region for larger peasant holdings and there is nothing to indicate that these lands were anything else.

Conrad Hauri (Conrad dictus Hovri) was mentioned again on 29 March 1308 when Werner von Matten bequeathed lands, including Conrad’s holdings, to Kloster Interlaken. In the same document Werner von Matten bequeathed other lands, which belonged half to the Hauri farmstead, to his daughter Adelheid, wife of Peter von Wichtrach. It should be noted that different lands seem to be involved in these documents, and that Conrad seems to have held lands simultaneously from the von Steffisburg and von Matten families.

A Nicholas Hauri (Nicholaus Hovri) was mentioned in a 19 January 1303 charter as owing 8 shillings annually for his farmstead at Steffisburg, when Walter ab der Matten renounced any claims he might have to lands given by his father to Kloster Interlaken. Conrad and Nicholas Hauri might have been brothers, because both were living at the same time and holding lands in the same area.

An Ulrich Hauri (Uolriens Hoori) was mentioned 24 July 1310 at Jegenstorf as living near two farmsteads sold by Squire Bleiso (Junker Bleiso) to Peter von Krauchtal, a burgher of Berne. In 1323 and 1336 Hauri’s property (Hauris Gut) was mentioned in the same area. This Ulrich might have been the son of Nicholas and nephew of Conrad Hauri. He might have been the Hauri (Hörinus) named in 1313 and 1324 at Beromünster.

The earliest Hauris, then, are Conrad (living 1282-1308), Nicholas (living 1303) and Ulrich (living 1310-1324). There is nothing to prove their relationship to one another, although they were living in the same area and were very likely close relatives.

The surnames Haari, Hari, Harri, Hauri and Houri were recorded in a 1798 census of Berne that included all men between the ages of 20 and 70 [Men of Bern: The 1798 Bürgerverzeichnisse of Canton Bern, Switzerland].