Saturday, December 08, 2007


A bit of genealogical background on our old friend, Mimi Van Wyck, from the loathsome Harper's Bazaar "A Fashionable Life" issue:

Mimi, her mother, Mary Lynn, and her brother, Bronson, share an antique name dating all the way back to when New York was known as New Amsterdam.

Big deal. I've got it all over Mimi in the antique name department.

This is the Howard University standard. HU was founded by one of my ancestors, General Oliver O. Howard.

This is General Howard, looking suitably dignified and generally general-ish. O.O. graduated 4th in his class at West Point, lost his arm at Fair Oaks and had three horses shot out from under him during the Civil War. He went on to found Howard University, and was later appointed to spearhead the Freedman's Bureau, where he treated the Native Americans abominably, I'm sorry to report.

Here's O.O.'s monument at Gettysburg!

I'm guessing there aren't any Van Wyck memorials at Gettysburg, or anywhere else, for that matter. Heh heh!

This is Castle Howard, Suffolk, England.

Sadly, these particular Howards are somewhere in my tree, but certainly not on my branch. I'm just throwing it in here because let's face it-- that is one gorgeous castle.

Prior to their trip across the pond, the Howards populated England for many a century. The Howards landed on these shores around the same time the Van Wycks showed up. Maybe they were neighbors and had barbeques and stuff! Maybe not.

Another branch of my family, the Suttons, settled in England (via France) before the Howards. In fact, the Sutton crest bears the motto (translated from Latin) "Puttin' the 'Anglo' in 'Anglo-Saxon' since 1066".

That newbie Mimi Van Wyck may have an old name, but mine are older, thank you very much.

No comments: