For some unknown reason Family Tree DNA pushed out the results for our Staffordshire, England Babb in record time, cutting their original estimate by a full 30 days. Our wait is over and the results, once again are not what I was expecting. Once again DNA has taken us in a new direction.
Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.
– Winston Churchill
Unfortunately, our candidate didn’t match to any lineage in the US or the UK and thus we are founding our 9th unique DNA-Proven lineage. So, without further adieu let me introduce you to the Potters of Staffordshire.
Our newly minted crest draws from the County Flag for its backdrop and upon its history for the Roman & Greek figures seen along the top side.
Staffordshire is a known the world over as a producer of Fine China and is the home to a remarkable potters such as Royal Worchester, Spode, Minton, Royal Doulton, Fenton, Royal Albert & Churchhill which is better known for its ubiquitous patter Blue Willow. These companies, collectively referred to as the Staffordshire Potteries are contained in the city of Stoke-on-Trent. The area became a center of ceramic production in the early 17th Century due to the local availability of clay, salt, lead & coal.
In my mind at least, one company stands head and shoulders above all others and that is Wedgwood. Josiah Wedgewood and Sons was founded in 1759 and has since become a symbol of quality and a mainstay of formal dining rooms throughout the world.
One of Wedgewood’s legendary patterns goes by the name Jasperware. Jasperware is a type of pottery first developed by Josiah in the 1770s. It has an unglazed matte finish which in the industry is referred to as a “Biscuit” finish. The pieces are pale blue and features reliefs which are typically in white. The scenes depicted often rely on ancient Greek and Roman iconology that give an heir of grandiosity. The technique is still in production to this day and original pieces often adorn museums. It is this concept which is reflected at the top of the crest which features a Greek Urn and two Roman Hoplites engaged in battle.
The 9 collective pedigrees contained inside this collection account for 1453 people currently and though we have only tested 1 of those lines at this time, it is highly probable that these lines are intertwined as all 9 are found within a 11 mile (17 km) radius.
So, where does this leave those who are still looking for a connection? I’ve included a short list of the remaining untested groups and their numbers.
So far in England we have established DNA trails for 5074 individuals and have 2817 to go. Somewhere in that 2817 should lie the connections we are searching for in the US. This puts us 2/3 of the way through the list and as it currently stands we only see significant numbers of Babbs remaining in 3 counties. West Midlands and Staffordshire could easily overlap due to place name changes over time.
So it appears we are now able to tighten our net and concentrate of Devon & Cornwall where we will continue our search and expect/hope to find those long sought connections. Armed with my new data I’ll be setting out to find some living descendants of these linages and get them tested.
In my 20s I worked for 5 years at Macy’s as a salesman in the Fine China, Crystal & Silver department. During this time I learned far more about these products than one person should ever need to know. But it never occurred to me that half our china collection would have come from the same city in England. So, I was immensely pleased at being able to travel down memory lane while pulling this crest and story together.
Please join me in welcoming this newest lineage into our fold. It isn’t the connection I hoped for, but just another major step towards those answers.