Home Decyphering My Ancestor’s Family Crest

Decyphering My Ancestor’s Family Crest

Abandoned Graves

In an abandoned church graveyard in Co.Cavan lies two graves both of the Stratford surname and amongst some of my other relatives.

I took some photos of the graves, but as you can see, the legibility of them is not great - and it wasn’t that much better in person. So I thought to try some image manipulation to try and extract some more information

![[Crest - Nearby Grave.png]]

Image Operation

First, I skewed the images so that they were properly squared.

Then, the lines still being difficult to read, I applied a threshold to the image, which enhanced the contrast between valleys and hills in the image.

There’s probably a good few more techniques I could have applied, but sometimes the simplest is enough. I sketched over the image in GIMP as best I could.

Similar Operations were performed on the other grave: Skewing: ![[Crest - Similar.png]] Sketchover:

I knew these familes were connected and thus thought that gaps in one could be filled by the other and vice versa. I matched up common features and found that most true. There were some small differences - In one image the sword is more curved like a scimitar than straight like a traditional shortsword. In addition the stripes numbered 7 in one image and 10 in the other.

Overall, this matches pretty closely with the general stratford crest (Lion Variation)


There is some sign of the arm being cuffed in the second grave, but it is too hard to tell to confirm. Also the head of the lion is too worn to confirm if it is langued. The arm is Detexer (i.e. Right-Side)

Color of the stripes would help determine which branch of the Stratford family this is, as it appears to represent the amount of baronies/lands ruled by the Stratfords. In correlating this with other know crests, it might be likely that my Stratfords are descendant from the Irish Stratfords originally from the House of Warwickshire - Though not the Arlbourough branch, which were the more noteworthy.

See Also

  • https://www.genuki.org.uk/big/Colin/Misc/Stratfords/Stratfords02.html
This post is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by the author.