The Arms Race is Over!

As quickly as it began our Arms Race has ended with the report from the Chester Herald of the College of Arms in London, England. The letter covers 4 different Babbs, news about the known crest, etc. The report is only a few pages in length, but contains a number of revelations.

I’m still working to analyze the details of the report, but here are some key points.

Babb Arms discussed in #1 below
  1. used in The Coat of Arms we are all familiar with was not “Legally Registered” and is referred to as an “Irregular Use of Arms” meaning that the person who used it had no legal authority to use the Arms. My first thought was, “well that sounds like a Babb to me.” My second thought was that I’m as guilty as the person who created it, because I’ve created Arms for each of our DNA lineages. Fortunately, no one is going to show up at my house and smash my computer.

    Mr. Vane (Chester Herald) said, “The Arms we know is credited to a John Bekke of Kent: DBA vol.2 page 240. At the Visitation of Dorset of 1623 a Robert Beke of Dorchester was credited with the coat of arms of which you sent me an illustration: College of Arms – C22/151. The pedigree of his family, which was then recorded, indicates that his family came from Kent. In my view Beke/Bekke and Babb are quite different surnames. My guess is that the coat of arms, of which you sent me an illustration, latterly became associated with the name Babb in the printed books as a result of a clerical or other mistake.”

    This may prove to open a new door, or it just might slam it shut. Only time will tell. I do see that Bakke and Babbe could easily be confused in Middle English, so that bears looking into as well.
  2. No Babb has ever successfully registered Arms with the College, so all we have are irregular arms.
  3. The report includes a brief discussion about the Doddiscombsleigh Arms that we are already familiar with along with. The Arms sought by William Babb of Doddiscombleigh and Christopher Babb of Tingresse were Disclaimed (aka rejected). For those that may not recall, The Babbs of Doddiscombsleigh were Lords of the Manor for many decades and the name faded away over time. We know not, what happened to the line at this moment. So, no one can currently lay claim to these Arms. There may be a lead here with Christopher Babb as it will give us a new location to try and pick up the line.
  4. The most prominent new name associated with one of the Arms is John Humphrey Babb, Esquire who lived in the London Area in the late 17th and early 18th Century. At this time he appears to have died without issue, that or he survived his entire family. We have only a few documents related to him so aren’t certain. He is a new name for our tree and we know not what line he belongs to.
  5. Thomas Babb lived in the London Area as well and lived in the 1600’s. There is a painting that came before an Antiquities commission in the late 19th Century that includes him. It will need to be tracked down.
  6. There is a Mrs. Babb who had her Arms painted for her funeral, but no further info is available other than that she apparently used the same Arms as John Humphrey & Thomas Babb.
  7. There is an Irish Arms that is recorded in Castle Derver (Darver), Louth County, Ireland. Note that they have their own system, so more work will need to be done to research its place as a Legal Arms. This pedigree is headed by a Patrick Garvey who is shown as having married Sara, daughter of John Babe of Castle Derver. The Babe family are there credited with for a coat of arms Azure three Crescents Or.

    This is an apparent variation of the arms used in items 4, 5 & 6 above.
Castle Darver, Ireland

So, in short there are many more questions than answers. A cursory check didn’t immediately link to anyone that already existed in the tree. I expect the research on these people to take months and hope that we may yet glean some useful information from this report. I’m sad that we weren’t able to immediately put them to use, but it is just another turn in the road of Babb.

I’ll continue to post about this report as more information becomes available.

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