There are any number of Internet Sites and catalogs willing to sell merchandise carrying “the ancient and noble coat of arms of the Stallard family.” A bug bit me a while ago to try and track down what I could find of the origins and of what the Coat of Arms rules really are.
The most prevalent coat of arms is described in the work titled “Encyclopaedia of Heraldry: Or General Armory of England, Scotland, and Ireland, Comprising a Registry of All Armorial Bearings from the Earliest to the Present Time, Including the Late Grants by the College of Arms” as written by John Burke and Bernard Burke and published by H.G. Bohn in 1851 and can be found online through Google’s Library at http://books.google.com/books?id=9hFXAAAAYAAJ&vq=stallard&pg=PT970#v=snippet&q=stallard&f=false. The coat of arms is described as “Or, a fess betw. three lions’ heads erased. sa. vulned in the neck, gu. Crest – A Storks head, or” (Described in more modern terms: Gold (Or) shield with a black horizontal stripe taking up about 1/3 of the shield (sable fess) that is positioned between 3 black lions heads that are wounded red (gules or gu) in the neck. The crest is a gold Storks head)
In another document titled “Notes and Queries On Some Families and Persons Bearing the Name of Stallard, With Extracts from Wills and Other Documents” privately printed in 1912 by Arthur D. Stallard the awarding of the arms is given a little more detail as:
“Norfolk – William Stallard, mentioned earlier in this pamphlet as being the husband of Jane Beckham, must have been in existence in the sixteenth century. So also must Thomas Staller, Stallar, or Stallard (the name is variously spelled in different records- it is Staller in his will). I attribute him to Norfolk as he mentions in his will, Prob. 22 March 1606 (P.C.C., Stafford, 18), his lands in the City of Norwich and his brothers William of the City of Norwich and John of Drayton. From the Athenae Cautabrigienses, Fasti Oxonienses, etc., it appears that he was born about 1547, matriculated Corpus Christi Coll., Camb., 1562, B.A. 1566, Fellow 1567, M.A. 1569, incorporated M.A. Oxford 1572, Rector of All Hallows, Lombard Street, 1573, and St. Mary-at-Hill, Billingsgate, 1574. For a short time he had the prebend of Moreton cum Whaddon in the Cathedral Church of Hereford. He was created D.D. in 1585 and made Archdeacon of Rochester in 1593, and for some time was domestic Chaplain to Matthew Parker, Archbishop of Canterbury 1559-1575. About 1603 this Thomas Staller, then a widower aged 56, married Isabel Bromskell (“Allegations for Marriage Licences issued by the Bishop of London 1520-1610,” Harl. Soc.), and about the same time he obtained the grant of a coat of arms and crest, of which the blazon was as follows : Arms – Or a fess between three lions’ heads couped and embrued sable. Crest – A Stork’s head couped or. He apparently died without male issue, no sons being mentioned in his will. His two daughters were Alice, the wife of Thomas Malby, and Joan, the wife of John Mountfort.”
Law in the United Kingdom regarding Coat of Arms ownership is NOT to the family name, but to the individual and his direct male heirs and their male heirs, passing down from father to son. (http://www.college-of-arms.gov.uk/resources/the-law-of-arms). As such, the legal use of claiming this particular coat of arms passed with Thomas on his death.
I have not yet found a copy of the original document citing Thomas Stallard as being awarded the Coat of Arms, but I have found several references from other people who have done so. The above “Notes and Queries” was one source. Another source cites “College of Arms; 25.9.1971” which may have been a personal inquiry to the heralds at the College of Arms. As of yet, they have not seen fit to return my email.
Another version of the coat of arms was awarded to another member of the Stallard family and recorded in a record of The Surrey Coats of Arms in which the following information is recorded:
STALLARD Lieutenant-Colonel Hamilton George Frampton Stallard, RAMC, of Redhearne, Churt, (b.1871), son of Major-General Samuel Stallard, RA, (1824-1902).
Arms: Sable a sword fesswise point to the dexter Or between three lions’ heads erased of the last each gorged with a wreath of oak Vert.
Crest: A stork’s head erased Sable supporting in the beak a sword point downwards pommell and hilt Or. (FD7)
This coat of arms is similar to the first, with the exception of the crest, which can be seen in the following sketch:
A little more of his genealogy can be found at Mocavo, listing Armorial Families: A Directory of Gentlemen of Coat Armor Volume 2 in which it is noted that he does have a few sons and as of that time (after WWI, before WWII) there was a military tradition in the family and that line had the right to the Coat of Arms as described.
I was still hopeful that there was something a little more “ancient” involved somewhere, some hope for that image of an ancestor on a battlefield with the family coat of arms on his shield for identification and having received awards of valor. To that end, I have done additional searching, but as of yet have not come up with anything specific.
What I have found is that all of the “Family Crest” web sites that claim to do research on the family name and crest and have “authentic” family coats of arms all reference the same source, namely “Burke, Sir Bernard. The General Armory of England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. London: Harrison & Sons, 1884” which records the first granting mentioned on this page to Thomas Stallard (Staller) in 1605. Additionally, other historical works such as “Makers of America: Biographies of Leading Men of Thought and Action, the Men who Constitute the Bone and Sinew of American Prosperity and Life, Volume 2” by Leonard Wilson and published by B.F. Johnson in 1916 also cite “English Authorities” who cite the same source. If there is a more ancient record I have yet to find it.
With that said while the overall “Stallard Family” does not have claim on the coat of arms mentioned on this page, there are a large number of ancestors who have shown a long tradition of military service, so imagining others going further back to other more violent times is highly probable.
What is difficult is tracking a consistent family lines during times when records were scarce and spellings regularly changed.
* We know there was a William le Staleworth (or Stalewarde) in the extent (made about 1278 A.D.) of the Manor of Amenel (Ampney in Gloucestershire) belonging to the Abbey of St. Peter of Gloucester adn who held lands (“Historia et Cartularium Monasterii Sancti Petri Cloucestriae,” Rolls Series, iii., p. 210 and note, also i., p. 165; ii., p.194).
* There are several Stalworths mentioned in the history as incumbents (or inombants as the spelling of the time dictates) of various livings in Norfolk from 1361 to 1603, and in the “Visitations of Norfolk”.
* There was a John Le Staller who was one of the sureties for the Burgess who returned to Parliament for the Borough of Shaftesbury in Doreset county in 1307.
* We have records indicating that there was a Geoffry Stallard who was one of the sureties for the Knight of the Shire who returned for the county of Wilts in 1321 (From Palgrave’s Parliamentary Writs, Record Commission, 1834, Pt. I., p. 11, No 27, and p. 242, No 24.).
From the records of the Hundred Years War which can now be found online at http://www.medievalsoldier.org/ it appears there was:
- a Walter Staleworth who was also an archer but in 1372 under Sir John de Charlton.
- a Hugh Staliard who served as an archer under Sir William de Neville in 1372.
- a Hugh Stalyard who served as an archer under Sir William de Neville (likely the same as the above, but with a different spelling)
- a John Stalewurd who was an Archer in 1418 under Lord William Botreaux,
- a Richard Stallworth under Edward Duke of York in 1415
- a John Stallworth under Sir John Holand in 1439
- a John Stalward under Sir John Arundel temporarily for Henry V
- a number of Stalworths in various positions
There is currently no way to be certain of their ties into the family tree, but the potential is there.
As parish records became more common, so too did mention of others throughout England bearing the surname Stallard (or a variant). For the moment it is impossible to trace them all with surety, but I look forward to the journey.
What can be safely said by most of us is that “A distant cousin was granted the coat of arms for services rendered and deeds done”.
(On a side note, others have tried to authenticate that the Walter Stallard that many of us in the United States are descended from is actually the son of Roger Stallard of Tarrington, Herefordshire, as put forward in the book “The Stallard Connection”. I have copied one of their research documents here. In the future I am hoping to try the DNA relationship tracking through the AncestryDNA project and see what turns up.)