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New Armour Commission

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I recently commissioned a new harness from Jeffrey Hedgecock of Historic Enterprises in Ramona, California. I wanted to be as historically accurate as possible without having to pawn all of the wife’s heirlooms. I also hoped to find a complete harness rather than a composite one that had been assembled from multiple decades. That greatly reduced the number of options available. In the end I chose the harness once owned by Friedrich I, Kurfürst von der Pfalz, often referred to as Frederick the Victorious. Born in 1425 at Heidelberg, he was the son of Louis III, Elector Palatine.

Friedrich (1 August 1425, Heidelberg– 12 December 1476, Heidelberg) earned the surname “the Victorious” (der Siegreiche) shortly after he came to rule as regent for his nephew, Philip, after the death of his older brother in 1451, claiming to be the legitimate elector. The Emperor Frederick III refused to confirm his status as his actions violated imperial law. Friedrich, an able strategist, quickly allied himself with the Duke of Bavaria, and the emperor was unable to remove him. Through a series of subsequent encounters, Friedrich won against members of the emperor’s party such as the Elector of Brandenburg and archbishop of Mainz, which served to increase his territory. At the Battle of Seckenheim, Friedrich captured the bishop of Baden, Margrave of Baden-Baden and count of Wurttemberg.

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Family Genealogy

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Genealogy (jē'nē-ŏl'ə-jē) n. 1. A record or table of the descent of a person, family, or group from an ancestor or ancestors; a family tree. 2. Direct descent from an ancestor; lineage or pedigree. 3. The study or investigation of ancestry and family histories.

Who was the first Colson? Where did the name originate? For thousands of years, mankind has questioned the nature of its existence. Across continents and across the centuries, men and women have felt an innate drive to understand where they come from and what role they play in the cosmic scheme of things. For some cultures, ancestors are worshiped, while for others there is simply a lingering curiosity to know their forebears that never completely goes away.

My Colson Heritage web site became a vital outlet for the sharing of some of the more interesting facts--and opinions--that I have discovered about my family history over the course of the past several years. I have spent countless hours scouring the World Wide Web for any little piece of trivia that is even remotely related to the Colson surname. With few exceptions, all of the information found on these pages comes as a direct result of the intense labors of other people. Although I am always interested in learning more about my forefathers, you will quickly notice that the site--like most of my other personal interests--has a heavy emphasis on the later half of the Middle Ages and early Renaissance. This era just so happens to be the same time period that surnames began to flourish in use, so it all works out perfectly.

In Colson Heritage, I try to separate myth from verifiable fact and dispel some of the false notions that still linger about in books and on the internet. I compare and contrast some of the more popular theories on the origin of the Colson surname. I discuss some of the reasons we see such a wide variety of very similar surnames throughout historical documents. As it has become a rather popular trend to purchase one's family crest, I have at least four, full-color examples of documented Colson or Coulson Coats of Arms. I then do my best to briefly explain what a Coat of Arms really is and, more to the point, what it is not.

In my quest to discover the starting point of the Colson story, I came across several sources that pointed to the Northumbria region of England. There I found that the Colson or Coulson family had a strong presence in the Newcastle area, especially in and around Blenkinsopp Castle. For a time, it was actually owned by a Coulson. I have dedicated quite a bit of space to Blenkinsopp Castle and its relation to the Colson surname.

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The Second Great Mortality is a tale of Pestilence, warfare, and un-death. It represents my first full-length work of fiction. Proceeds from its sale will directly contribute to my jousting addiction.