Thursday, March 8, 2012

Let’s Talk Heraldry Books

It’s time to do something that I try not to do very often, and that is to make a "shameless plug" and talk about one of the books I have written and published.  Specifically, I’d like to talk about The Gore Roll: An Early American Roll of Arms.

For those of you who may never have heard of it, the Gore roll of arms was created in Boston, Massachusetts in the mid-18th Century.  A paper describing and giving some of the history of  the Gore roll which I presented at the International Congress of Genealogical and Heraldic Sciences held in Bruges, Belgium in 2004 may be found on-line at

Here’s a couple of photographs from the time I was able to go to the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston and see the Gore roll (and the copy made of it by Isaac Child in the 1840s).

While several articles have been published about the Gore roll in the past, those articles most easily and inexpensively available (by William A. Whitmore in the mid-19th Century) contain many errors, and those which are error-free (by Dr. Harold Bowditch in the 1930s) are either difficult to find or expensive or both. And none of the articles have illustrations of the coats of arms contained in the roll.  (That statement is not completely true.  The articles by Dr. Bowditch contain a drawing of one coat of arms from the Gore roll and the same coat of arms from the Child copy.)

The hardbound volume I wrote contains the most complete history and analysis of this unique American roll of arms ever published. It includes the complete review by William A. Whitmore in 1865 (errors and all) and the complete published review by Dr. Harold Bowditch of the Committee on Heraldry of the New England Historic Genealogical Society in the 1930s, as well as additional research I did, along with line drawings of all of the coats of arms in the roll and illustrations and photographs of many of the arms in the roll from other sources.

I still have  two dozen copies of the first printing of this book available at the current price of US$50.  Once those are gone, if I do a second printing the price is going to increase significantly, since costs for binding alone have more than doubled since the first printing.  If you think you might be interested in The Gore Roll, more information about it can be found on-line at:

If you should have any questions or comments about the Gore roll of arms, its history, or my book on it, feel free to either email me or leave a comment here on the blog and I’ll get back to you.


  1. Would you consider making it available in ebook format?

  2. Eventually, yes. Right now, though, I'm limited to .pdf format, which has its drawbacks. (Indeed, reading .pdf's is the main reason why I bought the Kindle DX instead of the smaller Kindle. The larger screen made reading .pdf books easier. But even then, some of them are simply too small for comfortable reading.)