When in need of guidance in matters relating to heraldry, I turn to John Titford, a professional genealogist in England. Recently I contacted John about a bookplate which I unearthed here in the states and with his permission let me share his delightful response to my inquiry.
" This man is a great favourite of mine , not a direct ancestor but a more distant relation.Some while ago I published a book on the history of the Titford family from 1547 onwards.Nothing grand, mainly hard -working artisans. But I proved that everyone called Titford today is descended from one or two brothers living in Wiltshire England, in the 1550's, shoemakers and alehouse keepers.
Isaac Titford was larger than life.Born in Cranbrook, Kent, England; was a sword cutler in London; was bankrupt; joined the army as a surgeon in the 60th Regiment; went to America, was in the 1780's census for West Virginia; moved to New York in the 1790's, ran a shop selling all manner of things; a young boy relation drowned in his water closet so he moved from his Maiden Lane premises ; his two young daughters also drowned- in a pond in Rye, Westchester County, while playing with the daughters of James Fennimore Cooper, the writer.
Isaac won a gold medal from the Royal Society of Arts in London for importing cashew gum from Jamaica , whence he had moved and had a plantation; he fathered mulatto children; was imprisoned for debt; had his affairs sorted out there by his son from London ( William Jowett Titford,author of a well known book on the botany of North America)
Isaac returned to Cranbrook in England, worked as an apothecary, lived on for years and was buried in the churchyard."
On Wednesday , I will be going down to Washington for a book signing by President Clinton. If I can overcome the sense of intimidation I felt at his last book signing tour several years ago, I may muster the inner strength to ask him for a bookplate. Don't get me wrong , President Clinton has a gift and a talent, for putting people at ease. Any intimidation I may feel is self generated.Too bad he is not running again I would vote for him. Most of the other candidates are just not worthy of consideration and that includes the she -devil Hillary.
See you next week.