This framed drawing of a coat of arms was something I always remember seeing at my great-grandparents house. My great-grandfather’s mom was born a Munson. The Manson/Munson name seems to something that was used interchangeably in the family throughout history.
When their house was sold in the mid-1990s, I was able to obtain this drawing since I have an interest in family history. I kept it in my room on display until I joined the Navy. It ended up boxed for a few years until I was able to get my things from my parents. If I had a place for it, I would put it on display. I think to me it is a link back to my great grandfather.
A few years ago, I took apart the back of the frame. I was curious if there was anything on the back of the crest. Instead, I found an envelope with two letters inside. One of the letters is handwritten and quite old. The other letter is typewritten with no date.
The handwritten letter is fairly fragile. It is starting to separate were it has been folded.
The letter says (be prepared for long sentences):
Manson Coat of Arms
See works of John Burke and those of his son Sir John Bernard Burke, heraldic writers and authors of Dictionary of the Peerage and Baronetage of the British Empire, also numerous other published works on heraldry.
In the family of Nathaniel Munson, descendant of Richard Munson of Sudbury, Mass, and son of Capt. James Manson of Boston who unearthed the extremely old coat of arms of the Manson family, that had been handed down from generation to generation.
This coat of arms was apparently hand-painted in colors and framed. Samuel Manson Jr. ( son of Samuel Manson, son of John Manson who settled in Kittery, Me) settled in Georgetown, Me, and lived to the end had numerous descendants. This Samuel Manson according to accounts possessed family papers that would be of much service in the present genealogy of the Manson Family but were unfortunately destroyed by fire.
This copy of Coat of Arms and data was furnished by Alfred S. Manson 1 Allston St Boston, Mass (something) 25th, 1899
A singular thing was that A. S. Manson has a book plate like the above made, unaware of how the original Coat of Arms looked but they were identical.
The typewritten letter is much easier to read, so I will not type that one out.
The explanation of the coat of arms is interesting. The best part of this letter is the list of names. These are my ancestors going back to when this family line settled in the Americas.
The T.V. Munson at the end of the list is my great, great, great grandfather. There is a book written about him called, The Grape Man of Texas. In that book is an illustration of this coat of arms. He is an interesting man in his own right, and will be the subject of a future post.
Toward the end of last year, I removed the coat of arms and letters from their frame. I saw they were becoming more fragile. My grandma gave me some money for Christmas, and I decided to use that to frame these items correctly.
They are now laid flat to keep the creases from breaking. They have acid free matting, and UV protection from the glass.
Someday I hope to do some research into the Burke’s Peerage angle. I want to see what exactly is written about the Manson family. I want to know if it will give further genealogy information. Mostly though, I want to know if the family actually was some sort of nobility.