More on Gallop

A few months ago Stephen Plowman wrote about the Gallop coat of arms as recorded in the 1677 Visitation of Dorset.  It’s an interesting topic for me because I’m a descendant of immigrant Capt. John Gallop (c1593-1650) — like so many other Americans.

Now Plowman is back with more on the Gallops. This time the question is where they got the quartering with the white bear (Azure a bear passant Argent).

Greenland arms
Arms of Greenland

No one knows the origin of these arms. Under English heraldic rules these should be the arms of a heraldic heiress, a woman who transmits her father’s arms to her descendants because she has no brother.

There are two heiresses recorded in the Gallop pedigree at the Visitations. They are Alice, daughter of William Temple, of Templecombe; and Elizabeth daughter of Thomas Thorne, of Caundle Marsh. These arms aren’t known to match to either family. So the mystery remains.

I can’t help but see this figure as a polar bear. It reminds me of the arms of Greenland (Azure a polar bear rampant Argent). Not that Greenland makes any sense in this context, but I love polar bears so I’m always going to see the polar bear connection if there’s one anywhere in the vicinity. (Totally off-topic, but I have a polar bear charm with snow flake obsidian that used to hang from the rear-view mirror of my car.)

Plowman notes the arms quartered with Gallop in this instance match those on record for Aresen (Denmark), in Rietstap’s Armorial Général. An unlikely lead, but it’s the best anyone has so far. Now that I know, I’ll be watching for other instances of a white bear on a blue background.

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Gollop, of Strode

I was pleased and surprised tonight to check Feedly and discover an article by Stephen Plowman. Now there’s a familiar name.

The article is Armorial Bearings of Gollop of Strode. Another familiar name.

Like many Americans with ancestry in Colonial New England, I’m descended from Capt. John Gallop (c1593-1650), an early settler at Boston.

His ancestry is not certain but he is widely believed to been been the son of John and Mary (Crabbe) Gallop, and probably a grandson of Thomas Gollop, of Strode and North Bowood.

One thing is certain — his Internet genealogies are nearly always mangled beyond recognition, and Geni seems to be no exception, although there was a joke among Geni’s curators in the early days that the fastest way to become a curator was to be be a Gallop descendant.

John Gallop is a favorite of researchers because we have a touching glimpse into his personal life. Gallop’s wife did not come with him to America, and that was a problem. Gov. John Winthrop in Massachusetts wrote to Rev. John White in England:

I have much difficultye to keep John Gallop here by reason of his wife will not come. I marvayle at the woman’s weaknesse. I pray pursuade her and further her coming by all means. If she will come, let her have the remainder of his wages; if not, let it be bestowed to bring over his children, if so he desires. It would be about £40 losse to him to come for her. Your assured in the Lord’s worke, J. Winthrop, Massachusetts, Jul 4 1632’”

(Winthrop Papers)

Rev. White seems to have succeeded. Christobel Gallop and her children came over the following year. Capt. John piloted the ship into Boston Harbor through a new channel he had discovered, the channel running by Lovell’s Island, a quarter of a mile east of Gallop‘s Island.

I’ll be very pleased if someday we get a documented genealogy for these Gallops. There is a review of sources in The Great Migration Begins, 725-28, and a good research summary at Wikitree.

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