Coats of Arms that is!
With the encouragement of one of our members who helped underwrite the digitization of the Diaries of Thomas Babb (1841-1915) of Champaign, IL, I reached out to the College of Arms in London to inquire about the origin of the Babb Crest. As an association we have never known the origin of the Arms that floats around and is attributed to our family name.
Many people mistakenly believe that the Arms is for an entire surname, when in fact they were registered to an individual. They are often changed by the following generation, though at times they were carried on after a particularly popular leader, such as Richard The Lionheart (
I first reached out in February of 2020 just before the whole world collectively flushed the toilet at the same time. Before I knew it everything was locked down and there was no ability to settle the matter. I took another stab at it about a month ago after some elbowing by our member and this time I mailed a physical letter. This time I got a response, but the person wrote me a physical letter back and asked that I call. Due to the time differences I was never able to reach anyone and had all but given up when I was contacted by none other than the Chester Herald himself – Christopher Vane.
Now, being an American I knew nothing of what a “Chester Herald” was. So, I did some research and found that Mr. Vane has his own Coat of Arms, which I found super impressive! I don’t believe I’ve ever met someone with a legitimate Arms. While that may be common in the UK, it just doesn’t happen in the States unless you run into Prince Harry at Starbucks. But I digress.
Mr. Vane agreed to take an initial look at the records for our Arms and came back to me with some astounding news.
He found not one Coat of Arms, but records of 4 Coats of Arms! He gave me an invoice to cover the research time and wanted me to send a check via the mail. First, I wondered who still took checks, but they have been around since the 14th Century, so I overlooked it and set about finding the Association Checkbook.
I promptly mailed the funds and now it’s time for the Arms Race Waiting Game to begin. Who are the Arms related to? Are they members of the same family or are they spread out amongst different genetic lineages? Only time will tell, but this is as unpredictable as DNA testing and anything can happen.