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Heraldry & Chief Restoration Update

Reprinting from Our Valour the Newsletter, April 2024 edition

Three pages from a book called Display of Heraldry
Display of Heraldry excerpts.

Ah, Spring has sprung here in Michigan! There are buds on the trees and the early flowers have provided their beautiful signal that ol’ man Winter is gone again. I think that no matter how long I live here, I shall never get used to how long the winters can seem, nor how slowly they can seem to pass. In many ways, that’s how it feels as we work to find our ever-elusive hereditary Chief of Name and Arms. But just like those welcome Spring flowers that sometimes pop up in unusual places and at seemingly unusual times, new clues in the search for the chief show up.


Many of you know, hopefully, that we are moving full-speed ahead with a derbhfine, or family convention, to nominate and sustain by vote a person as Commander of Clan Logan. This is a lengthy process, and much like the winters in Michigan, will likely seem interminably long. In the coming decade, with the help of a commander, the Society will continue to look for any signs that point us to the hereditary chief. And just this past week, a new clue emerged as I was looking through some antique books for Logan heraldry.


In the sixth edition of a book, “A Display of Heraldry,” by John Guillim, Pursuivant at Arms, published in 1726, I stumbled upon a heretofore unremembered branch of the Logan family. In his book, Guillim recorded the blazon of arms of a certain Loggan of Butler-Marston, Warwickshire. They are a fascinating blazon, and appear to have some relation to the Logans of Idbury:


He beareth quarterly; first, Or, a Lion passant, Sable, in Chief three Roman Piles of the second, by the Name of Loggan. Seondly, quarterly per Fess indented, Or and Sable, four Griffons heads erased, counterchanged, a quartering antiently belonging to the Family. Thirdly, Azure, a Cheveron between three Kites heads erased, Or, by the Name of Kite. The fourth as the first. These Coats are thus quartered by William Loggan of Butler-Marston in Warwickshire, Esq.


The Logans of Idbury are well-remembered due to their inclusion in the works of Major Logan Home. It is their arms that appear in the first and fourth quarters of the arms described as belonging to William Loggan above. I am by no means an expert in the heraldry of the Logans, so it came as no surprise that I had not seen this blazon mentioned anywhere before now. However, I was surprised when I spoke with our now-retired Heritage Officer, John Marjoribanks, and he too had never seen it before. With much excitement John, though retired, immediately set to work to find out what might be learned about this newly discovered member of the family of Logan.


Who was this William Logan, and what relation did he bear to our line of clan chiefs? Maybe no close relationship at all will be the answer we find. Or maybe, just maybe, we can find a connection that will lead us to the hereditary chief, quietly living amongst us.


In an interesting sidenote, as I researched this book further, I found that the fifth edition, published in 1679, contained added material. This fifth edition is the first to include Col. John Logan’s “Treatise on Honour Militarry and Civil, According to the Laws of England.” Is John Logan yet another possibly unremembered kin of the Logan clan? History is full of John Logans who served in militaries around the world. It will take a little time and effort to identify which Col. John Logan this author is. Will it be someone we’ve not discovered previously, and what relation will he have to the hereditary chief – if at all?


A Display of Heraldry may be seen online for those interested. A few of the key pages are shown in the image above.

As you can see, even though it may seem we are stuck in an unending winter trying to find the hereditary chief, there are still spring flowers that bloom. The Society will continue to collect these blooms, even as we work through the derbhfine and tenure of a Commander of Clan Logan. Please reach out to let us know about any ways you feel you can help us arrange our bouquet.

Hoc Majorum Virtus!

J. Kevin Logan


Clan Logan Society International

*Note: this was first printed in our April 2024 issue of Our Valour, the Society's quarterly newsletter. To be one of the first to read this and many other excellent features in our newsletter, JOIN TODAY.



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